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Before you ask "WHAT ARE MY CHANCES???"...


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I also doubt that the people in Offically Grads would necessarily know much better *just* because they themselves got into grad school. They were able to get into grad school because they applied to the right schools at the right time. They did their homework on where they would be a good fit, and basically everything else that Strangefox said in his original post. But they are not on any admissions committees, just like any of us current applicants. All they really would be basing their information on would be their own numbers, and those that they have heard about. I think that they just did what was in the end best for them, using many sources of information, including other people at this site.

didn't think this one through, did ya?

finding out the stats of students accepted into the programs you are interested in is obviously more helpful in estimating your own chances compared to discussing imaginary cutoff stats with other current applicants - people who are potentially just as clueless as yourself. that's just a waste of time.

Precisely how do you know that comparing numbers is "obviously" more helpful?

Do successful applicants get in primarily because of their numbers? Are other factors--including academic pedigree, LoRs, the SoP, interviews, correspondence, and behind-the-curtain discussions--that display an applicant's potential, punctuation, and personality are less important? What about the departmental politics and economic calculations that factor into the deliberation?

Do successful applicants get a debriefing that tells them why they were admitted and others were not? Or are they left to read the tea leaves and make guesses that, no matter how well founded and educated, are still guesses?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Contacting professors/research interests/publications: do they apply to terminal Masters programs or just PhD programs?

Yes!

I'm applying to terminal master in biological sciences and all the schools I'm interested in stated that I should contact professors whose research interests appeal to me.Moreover I should mention my research interests in my SOP.

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  • 1 year later...

This is such a great thread.  It totally made me feel better about my chances at schools because I concentrated so much on fit.  Who knows what will happen, but my current nerves are somewhat calmed.

 

- Karen

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  • 4 weeks later...

The GRE is often the crux of this matter. May I say:

the only thing worse than "My GRE scores are V145 & Q147. What are my chances at Stanford?"

is "I got V170 & Q168. Should I retake??"

:blink::angry::blink:

 

Those threads are cancerous. As an EE Ph.D. applicant, I found my Q162 to be abysmally low and these kinds of threads only made me feel worse. Somehow, I found the strength to not retake, and now that I'm getting acceptances from top programs, I'm glad I didn't waste another $200+ on that test. I really think it's only used to weed out applicants initially at schools with a large pool.

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The GRE is often the crux of this matter. May I say:

the only thing worse than "My GRE scores are V145 & Q147. What are my chances at Stanford?"

is "I got V170 & Q168. Should I retake??"

:blink::angry::blink:

 

uromastyx, I wish I could accuse you of hyperbole, but I'm afraid you're not far off from the reality of Grad Cafe.

 

And clearly the answers to those questions are EXCELLENT and YES. ^_^

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  • 6 months later...

I wish I could find the page again - but digging through heaps of data on a school's website I saw a note that they expect a 290 or higher combined from the GRE.

It's an "art" school. That doesn't require the GRE and yet I somehow found an old reference to it buried away in layers of web pages about admissions.

So I use that as my mental baseline for "test/retest"

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  • 8 months later...

Thank you so much for this advice, but i have a question, how to approach exactly the professors and make them want you? there are hundreds of applicants who have the same GRE, TOEFL, GPA as yourself? Please i would really appreciate it especially i am thinking about applying to PhD program.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello All,

 

So after doing my fair share of reconnaissance on any threads that pertain to my situation- i'm taking the leap on making my inaugural post!

 

I apologize for , but i'm driving myself a little nuts- I've searched for any metrics on Columbia SIPA admissions, in terms of GRE, GPA etc, but the most I could find is an acceptance rate. They seem to be especially clandestine in regards to their interquartile GRE range, as I've contacted several admissions reps to no avail. SO, with that said, I ask the question "WHAT ARE MY CHANCES" I'm applying for the MPA program (EMPA); All insights and comments would be appreciated. 

 

Education

Undergrad: 3.46 GPA, Business; MBA (3.8 GPA) both from regionally ranked university #30

MS in Organizational Leadership/Public Safety (in progress) from Johns Hopkins University 

 

Courseload consisting of Micro & Macro, Bus Stat I & II, Analytic Geometry & Calculus, Finite Mathematics, Managerial Microeconomics (grad), Financial Management (grad), Accounting I & II.

 

Experience

2+ years with Microsoft Public Sector (Large, complex contract for City of New York)-workload is highly quantitative; relevant experience in project financials, earned value, risk management, contract & proposal management. 

1 year as Project Manger for Enactus (lead community project during undergraduate studies). 

Eagle Scout. 

 

Scores: 156V 159Q 4.0AW

 

Based on my stats- am I in the range that would render me competitive for SIPA's program? Fels? Wagner? 

 

Thank you and I appreciate all of your direction/advice!

 

 

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/13/2011 at 5:17 AM, Eigen said:

The other thing I will add is that if you want to ask about your chances, you need a lot more background on yourself- so many people post a GPA and GRE score, and then want advice- those really are the least important parts of your application.

 

Talk some about your research- how well you feel you fit into the groups where you're applying- your publication record and the potential for good letters of recommendation.

 

I will also add that listing schools probably isn't the best way to go about it- very few of us know much about departments at a lot of the schools out there- I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on my area, but there are around 200 PhD granting institutions, and a lot more that grant terminal masters degrees. It's better to ask for general advice on how you fit into the applicant pool, or even relative rankings.

 

Elaborating on my earlier point and what Strangefox posted, when I talk to my boss about his impressions of applications (he's on the admissions committee) research experience, a good idea for what you want to study, having that area fit with someone in the department, and enthusiasm are all what they want to see. If you're picking someone that is going to work for you for the next 5-7 years, you want someone that promises to be a hard worker, and enjoyable to work with. Show enthusiasm for your area and research and it will do well for you.

Hey Eigen

 

Thanks a lot for some very insightful advice. How does this advice differ for an MS applicant? I believe a lot of the points you mentioned apply to PHD applicants?

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@iceman007 These points still matter for someone going into an MA/MS. I went through an MA program and have spoken with multiple professors on the adcoms about how they make cohorts. They all spoke first about making a balanced cohort so they 100% pay attention to your SoP (Letter of Intent at my school) as one of the most important elements in an application. None of them mentioned GRE and GPA as the important factors for admission; it was all about admitting people they thought would work well in their program. Although I'm sure GPA and GRE scores hold some place in the process and may be more important in some programs than others, you should still be aiming to pick programs where you think you are the perfect (or nearly perfect) fit.

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