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Low GPA, high GRE - where should I be aiming?

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Here are my stats, can I ask y'all for an assessment of what strata of school I should be shooting for? This is assuming I have a coherent application package, with a strong statement of purpose, and I have at least some idea of which faculty members at each program have research interests aligned with mine. This is for a PhD in political science.

Undergrad GPA: 2.99

Graduate GPA (M.A. Georgetown): 3.55

GRE: 750 verbal, 780 quant, 4.5 writing

8 years of work experience

Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some questions:

1. Any explanation for your low GPA? Illness, death in the family, etc?

2. Any research experience?

3. Do you have excellent contact with your recommenders? If not, get it!

You need to know more than just a little about the schools which you are applying to. Emailing faculty helps. One of my BEST offers this application season came from a school that I had corresponded with. There was a professor there I really wanted to work with and I emailed her a few times, made a couple of calls. Emails don't hurt. Read some papers of people you are interested in (hopefully you have already seen a paper or two) and ask a couple of questions. Explain what you are doing and that you are interested in doing this sort of research.

I ended up going with a school I didn't talk with much before my offer, but they read my personal statement, CV, and writing sample pretty closely because they knew a lot about me when they finally made a big offer and I visited.

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