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Grad Program Chances/questions

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I appreciate all of those who decided to read and provide feedback to this post

Firstly, my academic stats are a 3.91 philosophy(8 As, 2 A+s, 1 B)/3.84 overall GPA from an unranked(by PGR) undergrad and a 340 GRE. I wouldn't say more than two of the faculty members from my undergrad could write LORs that would be competitive with letters from faculty at elite philosophy universities. I have been working on a writing sample for roughly a month now off a paper I wrote last semester, and intend on revising it all the way to the deadline if necessary. For the sake of my stats for what they are, at an unranked philosophy department, let's assume my writing sample is good for evaluating my odds based off the things I can no longer improve. My AOI is political philosophy and ethics.

If it's worth mentioning, I'm also applying to law schools this cycle with a 178 LSAT and high likelihood of acceptance to various t14 schools. I intend on applying contemporaneously to the philosophy programs at the law schools I'm interested in, and was wondering if this provides any grounds for advantage/disadvantage. I saw on Columbia's grad school site that it's possible to submit LSAT scores supplementary to the application if one thinks it's relevant, and I was wondering if you thought for philosophy that my LSAT could give me somewhat of an edge. I assume doing so would just come off as pretentious and unnecessary, but if I declare an interest in topics related to the law and politics, is it possible that my LSAT score could indicate a seriousness about pursuing my interests?

Do PhD/JD applicants generally have a decreased chance of admission given their interests and time are less available to faculty?

Thanks for reading and providing feedback if you were so inclined to do so.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The advice I would give anyone is: you need to take these questions up with professors (respectfully and kindly, as they are available) who have your best professional interests in mind (as their own professional responsibility). PhD admissions is not like undergraduate admissions, where there's a lot of blanket advice and back-of-the-napkin admissions-chances math; it is a more competitive and more individualized process, and I don't think it's possible to succeed without consulting the professors in your corner on these types of questions. If you need to make more connections to get people "in your corner," do that before applying (at the very least, you will need three very strong letters of recommendation, and they can't come from people who don't know you well). 

Edit: if I could design an AI to benefit humanity, it would more or less paste this type of response into every question asked on the website known as "Reddit." :) A lot of folks get to an important stage of opportunities in their life (especially if their parents didn't have prior experience with said opportunities) when a support network of trusted mentor(s) becomes an essential part of the process. Asking questions of a mentor (*not* people on the internet) is part of becoming a professional anything, when there is a competition for entry; being mentored on these "basic" questions is not merely a tool to get in, but also a part of the profession itself. 

Edited by direct_answer
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