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2021-2022 Application Thread


Theory007

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Welcome everyone to the 2021-2022 application thread for political science!

Discuss the application process, ask questions, post results when they come out, and anything else related to admissions this year. Good luck to you all!

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Thanks for starting this thread! Good luck to all of us applying this year, hope we are a successful cohort.

@Fellow applicants: how many schools are you all applying to? I recently settled for 15, kinda worried that might be too many but I'd rather be safe than sorry I guess.

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1 hour ago, LatinAmericanFootball said:

Thanks for starting this thread! Good luck to all of us applying this year, hope we are a successful cohort.

@Fellow applicants: how many schools are you all applying to? I recently settled for 15, kinda worried that might be too many but I'd rather be safe than sorry I guess.

I had initially thought about applying to 8-9, but have since reduced it to 6. Gonna keep some money for Spring apps. 

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4 hours ago, LatinAmericanFootball said:

Thanks for starting this thread! Good luck to all of us applying this year, hope we are a successful cohort.

@Fellow applicants: how many schools are you all applying to? I recently settled for 15, kinda worried that might be too many but I'd rather be safe than sorry I guess.

Good luck to everyone applying this year! I am applying to 14 this year. Last year, I applied to only three in my naivety and that did not work out too well lol 

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Hi everyone!

I am curious, did any of you hear any rumours about this years admission season?

Last year was a bloodbath, with record number of applications and (simultaneously) many programs either not taking new applicants or reducing their cohorts. I am trying to figure out whether this year we will see a return to the mean or will it also be very competitive due to many applicants who were not successful last year reapplying etc. 

Of course, I don't think anyone has an answer to those questions, but I am curious what the general mood is in the US academia.

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I'm not in the US, but my feeling is this year will be calmer. There is less uncertainty re: politics, the economy, and the pandemic. We will probably see a small decrease in the supply of people applying (going back to industry, other sectors) and an increase in the demand of applicants as departments admit normal-sized cohorts and the ones that suspended admissions go back to normal (perhaps with bigger cohorts to compensate the gap year).

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Hey All, 

Last year was crazy but I feel like this year will be a bit better. I applied to 8 programs last year and this year, I applied to 13 programs. Hopefully, this year will bring better news than the last. 

While I know that we are all seeming competing for spots in our respective programs (especially those of us in American Politics), I am rooting for each and every one of you during this cycle. #LetsDoThis

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  • 4 weeks later...
10 minutes ago, LatinAmericanFootball said:

Me too! Except I have 14 more to go (Six of them by the Dec 1st deadline). Yikes, this is exhausting.

Finishing up my last three - I am done with this... Can't wait for it to be over - until the anxiety starts to kick in about when the responses will come in¬†ūüėÖ

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9 hours ago, LatinAmericanFootball said:

Me too! Except I have 14 more to go (Six of them by the Dec 1st deadline). Yikes, this is exhausting.

How did you convince your recommenders to upload so many letters? I had to cycle my professors because none of them would upload more than 5 lol.

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Oh man, this is my 3rd (and final) application cycle. Applied directly out of undergrad to 13 programs, two interviews, no acceptances (no pubs and limited research experience). Two years later and I applied to four (rejected from all). Now applying to five programs (I have a family and am geographically restricted), three pubs (1st author textbook chapter, 2nd author and 3rd author), plus four years of research experience and work for the governing body of my field. I truly believe I am a competitive candidate, but if I don't get in this cycle then it's time to move on. All my apps are in one is already closed and the others close on Wednesday. It's crazy to know that in ~6 weeks I should know if I will ever get into a PhD program. I hate this process so much and kind of want to go move off the grid and stop speaking to others.

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6 hours ago, sbidyanta said:

How did you convince your recommenders to upload so many letters? I had to cycle my professors because none of them would upload more than 5 lol.

I didn't really have to do much convincing, I mentioned I would apply to 12+ schools when I first made contact asking for the letters and they didn't seem to mind. All of my recommenders did their PhDs in the US so I reckon they also applied to multiple schools and understand how random is the whole process.

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Anyone applying/applied to Northwestern and having trouble with their Letters of Recommendations? My professors are saying that they are asked to make an account or something, and there is no way to skip that. Wanted to ask the people here before I contact them. 

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On 12/1/2021 at 8:29 PM, sbidyanta said:

Anyone applying/applied to Northwestern and having trouble with their Letters of Recommendations? My professors are saying that they are asked to make an account or something, and there is no way to skip that. Wanted to ask the people here before I contact them. 

Hey sbidyanta,

Northwestern uses the CollegeNet application system which does require the recommenders to make an account before they can submit their letters. One of my recommenders had this problem, and I contacted the Help Desk from CollegeNet. They said they requests went out okay, the only issue was my recommender had not made an account. Once he made an account he was able to upload, no problem

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I too have all my applications submitted --- 11 in all. It took a lot of time and energy, attention to detail, many weeks of reading and proofreading. I went back and read one of the classics in my field (Essence of Decision --- Allison and Zelikow). It feels good to have it all done and now it's on to the waiting game. I'm very excited to see what kind of offers I'll get!!! Just waiting for the rest of my letters to trickle in. Good luck to everyone who applies this year!

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1 minute ago, honeymoow said:

Where did everyone apply? I was quite restrictive: Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, and Columbia. Might get massacred but we'll see. 

Curious --- what field are you in? (IR for me)

Princeton, Michigan, Chicago, Cornell, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Virginia, Tennessee. I tried to get a good mix of high end schools, other schools ranked pretty high that I might have a better chance at admission to, and one school where I have a previous working relationship with a professor (which I don't have anywhere else).

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Just now, Not_A_Crook said:

Curious --- what field are you in? (IR for me)

Princeton, Michigan, Chicago, Cornell, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Virginia, Tennessee. I tried to get a good mix of high end schools, other schools ranked pretty high that I might have a better chance at admission to, and one school where I have a previous working relationship with a professor (which I don't have anywhere else).

Comparative + Methods, the particular subfield of the former and the latter itself both placing restrictions on where I can study and research my interests (though I do recognize that this might have notable consequences for my admissions outcome).

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Well good luck to you friend. Aim high!

To me that was the hardest part about choosing where to apply. I could see myself being happy and productive at nearly any school I researched (within reason) , but which ones have faculty expertise geared to the particulars of what I want to study? I tried to do as much homework as I could but sometimes websites are misleading

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1 hour ago, Not_A_Crook said:

Well good luck to you friend. Aim high!

To me that was the hardest part about choosing where to apply. I could see myself being happy and productive at nearly any school I researched (within reason) , but which ones have faculty expertise geared to the particulars of what I want to study? I tried to do as much homework as I could but sometimes websites are misleading

I'm confident that I'll be seeing all your acceptances in the results thread in February!

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Thanks. I do feel good very about my chances and feel that I articulated my qualifications and disciplinary interests as well as I possibly could. Somehow, going through all my transcripts, test scores, previous research/writing experiences, and whatnot  has helped me regain confidence and a sense of optimism for my future. Do you know what I mean? I've had a lot of good and rewarding experiences as a student and being forced to look back on and make sense of all of it I think was personally satisfying, which I was not anticipating. Conversely I've had a lot of frustrating experiences professionally, in my fledgling attempts to strike out and begin a new career during a damn pandemic (the results of which have meager).  So anyways, here's to the future!

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