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Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle


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In at UPenn. I'm at a loss for words. I'm hoping everyone else who has been shut out so far receives some good news soon (hopefully a few more today who also get into Penn).

That was me.   I've applied for 4 rounds.   Finally.

Has anyone of your letter writers received error messages while uploading letters? One of my letter writers got a couple of messages when uploading letters to a few schools. I think it is because some schools use the same online system so one needs to close the browser and restart it to jump from one school to another when uploading letters. Eventually, she/he succeeded. And it appears on his/her screen and on my screen that the letter is "received". HOWEVER, today I just realized that Wisconsin still has not received his/her letter yet. I emailed him/her directly, who later tried three times with three browsers, and it still refused to work. I am going to call Wisconsin tomorrow.

 

This is not the main thing. My worst nightmare would be: since he/she encountered errors in submitting letters and succeeded in later attempts, both he/she and I would really believe that the letter is "received", while it actually is still not received. This would be catastrophic, because we wouldn't know the letter is not received by the committee. Hopefully I am just over-thinking. 

 

I had this problem with Minnesota. I called the department and was told that my letter writer can just email the letter in. So I guess calling the department will be the best choice. 

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Hey Folks,

 

Welcome kal5! It is a great time to come out of the shadows; we are on the verge of the most stressful time of all - the waiting :)

 

New DGS. Might affect the speed at which they get back to applicants.

 

Hey Lemeard, how are things at UIUC, how do you like it so far? Also I vaguely remember talks of a methods subfield opening up at UIUC, do you have any news on that front?

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Hey Lemeard, how are things at UIUC, how do you like it so far? Also I vaguely remember talks of a methods subfield opening up at UIUC, do you have any news on that front?

I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. The collegiality among graduate students and the availability of the faculty are some of the things that have stood out to me (it did so during the visit as well). Even though all students are assigned two first-year advisors, you are still able to approach any member of the faculty to ask questions/discuss research/etc. Last weekend I walked into the office of our acting head and got stuck there for 45 minutes and ended up walking out with two books...

 

Due to timing of when I entered the program my first year is mostly spent on methods (depending on whether you want to consider 'formal theory' to be methods or not). Unless they have neglected to share with those of us currently in the program, I don't believe that an official methods subfield is opening up. However, all students are required to take a substantial amount of methods courses and almost everyone takes more than the required amount. We have at least one advanced student who is specializing in methods as a compliment to their primary subfield.

 

If anyone has specific questions about Illinois, or general questions about this wonderful process, I'm happy to reply via PM or here in the thread! Good luck to all of you!

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If anyone has specific questions about Illinois, or general questions about this wonderful process, I'm happy to reply via PM or here in the thread! Good luck to all of you!

Thanks a lot for the info Lemeard, and I am glad you are enjoying your time there. I am sure people will have more questions as the decisions start trickling in. 

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Most schools are understanding of the fact that sometimes LORs get submitted late due to factors that are beyond [the applicant's] control - don't lose heart yet! :)

(One of my LORs was a bit late for a couple of schools as well, and I was told that it wouldn't be the deal breaker.)

I had multiple issues with LORs. Everytime I reach out to the schools, they would just say have them e-mail directly to XYZ. I'm not sure if that will hurt my applications, but that happened at 3 schools for me! Eventually the applications were switched to "submitted" so it seams they do not mind upload it themselves. If it hasn't been resolved yet, I would just tell your recommender to e-mail the school directly. 

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If anyone has specific questions about Illinois, or general questions about this wonderful process, I'm happy to reply via PM or here in the thread! Good luck to all of you!

 

The same goes for answering questions about Rochester---and lots of good luck to all.

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The majority of my apps are finally done, except for Harvard Kennedy, Rochester and FSU. While some important apps (Rochester!) are still left, I just wanted to mark this occasion and thank you guys for your help! Good luck to everyone!

What programs are you applying to at these schoools - political science, public policy, government?  PhD or Masters?

 

Wishing you all the best!

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Hello everybody!

I'm from Russia. I applied to all universities from my list (10) a month or 2 ago, and still waiting. Yesterday got notification from the last university that they've recieved everything and started to consider my application.

Feel very nervous because everybody gets interviews, e-mails, calls, and even invitations!!...but I got nothing so far.

I started to consider myself as a poor applicant with little chances.... but hope dies last!

Good luck to everybody!

Edited by Aplusk
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Hello everybody!

I'm from Russia. I applied to all universities from my list (10) a month or 2 ago, and still waiting. Yesterday got notification from the last university that they've recieved everything and started to consider my application.

Feel very nervous because everybody gets interviews, e-mails, calls, and even invitations!!...but I got nothing so far.

I started to consider myself as a poor applicant with little chances.... but hope dies last!

Good luck to everybody!

I'm pretty confident that most of the people who are hearing back are in other disciplines. No need to be anxious yet. Use the search function in the results database and you'll find that most schools get back to their applicants in late January to early March.
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I'm pretty confident that most of the people who are hearing back are in other disciplines. No need to be anxious yet. Use the search function in the results database and you'll find that most schools get back to their applicants in late January to early March.

 

I usually visit russian analogical forum about graduate school and there are several people, who already have had at least an interview....But that was other programs. No one go to political science there.

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Hey guys, 

Long time lurker here but figured i'd finally join the conversation. I applied/am applying for Poli Sci PhDs to Columbia, UCBerkeley, Brown, MIT, Harvard gov't dept. (just in case of a miracle), UNC Chapel Hill, Cambridge, LSE, and Sciences Po Paris. So I guess that's 9, although I don't think much of my counting skills after my quant score on the GRE :) 

As a half/american half European I applied to both because I'm not sure where I'd rather live, and there are good academic fits on both sides of the Atlantic. I'm a bit worried that the advice I've gotten suggests that for academic jobs in the States, European degrees aren't taken seriously (which would be ridiculously arrogant). Anyway looking forward to hearing everyone's app stories, and here's to hoping we all get big fat envelopes with lots of funding!     

Edited by NYCBluenose
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Hey guys, 

Long time lurker here but figured i'd finally join the conversation. I applied/am applying for Poli Sci PhDs to Columbia, UCBerkeley, Brown, MIT, Harvard gov't dept. (just in case of a miracle), UNC Chapel Hill, Cambridge, LSE, and Sciences Po Paris. So I guess that's 9, although I don't think much of my counting skills after my quant score on the GRE :) 

As a half/american half European I applied to both because I'm not sure where I'd rather live, and there are good academic fits on both sides of the Atlantic. I'm a bit worried that the advice I've gotten suggests that for academic jobs in the States, European degrees aren't taken seriously (which would be ridiculously arrogant). Anyway looking forward to hearing everyone's app stories, and here's to hoping we all get big fat envelopes with lots of funding!     

 

I've seen British D.Phil's occasionally sitting on American political science faculties, but almost never another European doctorate. I think it has a lot to do with methodological styles and networks, since you're less likely to spend a lot of time interacting with US professors before applying to a US department, and immersing yourself among the people driving those discourses. I also believe that European faculties often publish in different journals, which also makes a huge difference. But someone correct me if I'm off-base here.

 

And welcome!

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A couple of thoughts on the rarity of European PhDs in teaching posts in American universities. This is a general statement that should be read as a description of reality that is neither an endorsement, nor without exceptions.

 

There are few recent PhDs from non-US schools teaching at US universities. Of those, the vast majority come from Canada and England. This is largely a result of the fact that American political science is quite different from political science in Europe. Different research questions, different standards for qhat makes good research, different emphases of methods, etc. The result is the emergence of two largely separate communities. These overlap to some extent in studies of European politics, and in some parts of the political theory subfield, but otherwise they largely exist independently of one another. US universities tend not to consider hiring European PhDs partly because of the lack of network connections between the two, but largely because they are concerned that PhDs trained in Europe are not equipped to teach classes or train graduate students in ways that reflect the American version of the political science discipline.

 

I have co-chaired a dissertation with someone at a prominent university in a non-England European country, and discovered that we had completely different expectations, not only in terms of the formal dissertation requirements but in terms of what constituted good research. These are the sorts of bridges that are hard to cross. And that, in my view, is why doing a PhD in most places in Europe, in most areas of study within political science, will limit your access to jobs in the US.

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So, for those who have Windows 8, the mail app gives a top right corner pop up when there's new mail. The preview read:

 

University of XYZ Graduate...

Dear TMCB, We are pleased to inform you that...

 

So in a hurried panic I opened my e-mail. It was a conference acceptance for a paper proposal (that I'll likely have to turn down, unless I find lots of money hiding somewhere) at one of the universities I applied to. Horror story of the day.

 

Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Happy Belated Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa (which originated in my hometown))!

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Actually, on that topic... my US adviser suggested I update my application info to include the accepted paper. Of course, I've already submitted everything... Any thoughts?

I know someone who was in a similar situation, but in a different field. Half accepted the updated CV, the other half said it would be an unfair advantage to accept anything updated after the due date. I would try to update it if I were you. However, don't be surprised if you are turned down. Probably best to email the grad secretary/coordinator. 

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Actually, on that topic... my US adviser suggested I update my application info to include the accepted paper. Of course, I've already submitted everything... Any thoughts?

 

Kind of curious about application updates as well, especially for schools are on a semester system and have additional grades come out in December...

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I know someone who was in a similar situation, but in a different field. Half accepted the updated CV, the other half said it would be an unfair advantage to accept anything updated after the due date. I would try to update it if I were you. However, don't be surprised if you are turned down. Probably best to email the grad secretary/coordinator. 

 

What do you think about reaching out to the program hosting the conference? I can see it being an issue, on the one hand, if they notice I turn it down (if I have to), and they may see my name among the accepted papers already? Not quite sure...

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What do you think about reaching out to the program hosting the conference? I can see it being an issue, on the one hand, if they notice I turn it down (if I have to), and they may see my name among the accepted papers already? Not quite sure...

On my CV, some items are marked as declined, but as you don't know what you will be doing yet, I see no ethical issue to including it even if you decline it later. I am sure academics realize that things like conference attendance may change rapidly. I am assuming that the conference is in the Spring? If that is the case, then it is likely they will have read your CV even before you decline. 

 

Kind of curious about application updates as well, especially for schools are on a semester system and have additional grades come out in December...

Not sure about every school. I know Princeton allows you to send in your first semester grades via the application website and I wouldn't be surprised if other applications have the same useful feature. If not, e-mail the grad secretary. However, if you are not able to update it, I wouldn't fret. If you've received good grades the previous semesters, the probability of you doing terrible is small and adcoms know this (I think...). 

Disclaimer: I don't have much experience, so if any current grad students or faculty would like to add to this/correct me, it would be appreciated. 

Edited by luckyducky
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