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Do I have a shot at Northwestern?


horacepinkert

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I'm a philosophy student and I know what kind of programs I would be competitive for in my field but I thought I might ask you guys about Northwestern's PhD program. I am really interested in political philosophy/ theory and Northwestern looks like a really good fit considering my interests- (critical theory, philosophy etc).

I got a BA from a run of the mill school in philosophy with a minor in poli sci. GPA was 3.98

I've got an MA from a fairly respectable philosophy program (we placed guys in phd programs at Ivy leauges, top ten schools). GPA should be 3.9 or 3.8

I have a writing sample that I'm pretty stoked about on the tension between Kant's ethical and political theories. I will also have really strong letters.

I've got research experience (I'm helping to edit a prof's forthcoming book), and have one publication in a peer-reviewed journal. I have a few presentations and some different awards n' such.

I bombed my GRE. I've got a 650 verbal, 600 math, 5.0 on my writing. last time around, I didn't need one for the program I was applying to and got into the school of my dreams. When I realized at the last minute i wasn't going to be able to afford that program I had to haul ass and take the GRE to submit for other programs. I'm pretty broke and won't be taking it again any time soon. I think my record can speak for itself with this one hiccup.

So, do I even have a shot at being competitive at Northwestern or should I just save my cash? -Thanks

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Of course you have a shot. The only blip on your application is your GRE score, but other than that you will be a strong candidate. I don't think anyone on this forum can say for certain how the GRE will be viewed, but I wouldn't let your test score get in the way of applying.

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Speaking from personal experience, cutoffs can be quite a bit higher than 1200. I know nothing about where they are at Northwestern. My sense is that admissions are quite competitive there. But horacepinkert should certainly apply; the rest of the file looks very strong.

I've never heard of a gre cutoff being above 1200. NW might be at that 1200 but your above it. It may affect funding but then again it may not. I know schools only look at gre to see if you reached the min and value everything a lot more

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I've never heard of a gre cutoff being above 1200. NW might be at that 1200 but your above it. It may affect funding but then again it may not. I know schools only look at gre to see if you reached the min and value everything a lot more

I am concerned because I know that at top 20 phil programs, my writing sample and SOP would never get read because of my GRE scores. In terms of Phil programs- Although I don't fall under a particular cutoff, I would be so far down in the stack of applications that applying is a waste of my time. I know that some programs even say on their websites that anything below a 1400 counts against an applicant even though there is no hard cutoff.

Edited by horacepinkert
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Verbal score is very good; quant is probably too low to get into NW. I'd study up on the math and retake. Theory is competitive enough that a bad quantitative score could ruin your application (I do envy your grades)...definitely worth spending the extra $160 if you're planning on investing thousands in opportunity costs to attend a PhD program.

Edited by interista
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