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Is there no hope?


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Hi all,

What chances do I have of getting into a significant program with funding? I know this depends highly on the program, but I want to get a general idea.

Graduated with BA in Poli Sci from a solid public state school

Undergrad GPA: 3.78 (major gpa is 3.90)

GRE: 159V 146Q 5.5AW

Research Experience: two independent research courses about globalization

Teaching Experience: undergraduate TA for three different classes

Conferences: delegate representative at two undergraduate international foreign policy conferences at U.S. military academies

Volunteer: service-learning in Costa Rica and Belize

LoRs; one from notable tenured professor, one from young tenure track professor, one from tenured professor who was my academic advisor

Special Coursework: IR grad proseminar

Research interests: international security, international conflict, foreign policy decision-making- these are very flexible

I am very afraid that my low quantitative score will count me out of funding and possibly admission in the first place. I didn't apply to heavily quantitative programs for this reason.

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If you have already applied, stop worrying! I'm just another applicant, but from what I have heard, I don't think that one low GRE score is enough to knock you completely out of the running if you have a decent GPA and good LORs/writing. Obviously it's REALLY not a plus, and you should re-take if you can/plan on re-applying in the future so that your application stands out. Some schools will be suspicious of your ability to do quantitative work. Study!! The GRE is just one of those hoops you have to jump through to get into a good program, unfortunately. If you can't re-take, though, just focus on writing a great statement of purpose and don't panic.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was in the same situation really (GPA , a little higher GREs but doesn't matter, and state school). Play to your advantages in SoP, if they read it for more than 4 sentences, you got a good shot. 1) Have an interesting research question in SoP, 2) identify at least 2 faculty members you want to work for and why 3) tell them an interesting story at the beginning (use a narrative) that lead you to Poli Sci!

I did the same, got into some great top 15 programs; although I chose a top 20 program instead since a faculty member had ridiculously similar research interests.

Be confident, be smart, but more importantly - be excited. If you don't get it this time, then you have another amazing chance to wait it out and hone in on what you really want to do.

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