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I have a (potentially somewhat ignorant) question. Soon we'll all start getting our acceptances and rejections... Say you get accepted into 5 schools. How typical is it for you to be invited to visit the school over a weekend or something? And if you are invited, are you typically expected to pay for the travel expense yourself, or does the school ever help with that? :)

 

I am generally inexperienced about it, but from what I heard - it's pretty typical to be invited to a visitation weekend. As for the expenses, my only acceptance—Boulder—offers to cover a part of the tickets cost. (I would just name the sum, but then again I'm inexperienced, and don't know whether that would violate some sort of ethical code  :) (?)) 

 

As far as I know for my friends (who got accepted last year), they all were offered to be partly reimbursed for their trips. 

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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.

I don't know if this will make any difference in when notifications go out, but I just spotted this on the Wisconsin portal: "City of Madison Declared snow emergency thru 7AM 01/28/14."

 

A snow emergency in Madison must mean that they are getting seven feet of new powder and the streets aren't fit for a tauntaun.

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I have a (potentially somewhat ignorant) question. Soon we'll all start getting our acceptances and rejections... Say you get accepted into 5 schools. How typical is it for you to be invited to visit the school over a weekend or something? And if you are invited, are you typically expected to pay for the travel expense yourself, or does the school ever help with that? :)

 

I'm also fairly ignorant on this topic, so I don't know how unusual this is, but for what it's worth. I was invited to a pre-application fall recruitment weekend and the program covered the full airfare, hotel, and meals.

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I'm also fairly ignorant on this topic, so I don't know how unusual this is, but for what it's worth. I was invited to a pre-application fall recruitment weekend and the program covered the full airfare, hotel, and meals.

 

Oh wow that's quite a generous program!

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I don't know if this will make any difference in when notifications go out, but I just spotted this on the Wisconsin portal: "City of Madison Declared snow emergency thru 7AM 01/28/14."

 

A snow emergency in Madison must mean that they are getting seven feet of new powder and the streets aren't fit for a tauntaun.

Ok, so I read that and thought 'tauntaun? wtf is a tauntaun?' Natural reaction: query the Oxford online dictionary. No go. Fool-proof step two: query Wikipedia. Result? 'Ahhh, no wonder...'

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I'm also fairly ignorant on this topic, so I don't know how unusual this is, but for what it's worth. I was invited to a pre-application fall recruitment weekend and the program covered the full airfare, hotel, and meals.

(or you're quite an awesome applicant) 

 

Anyhow, I get a sense that's unusual for the schools to spend money on the people they didn't accept yet.

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Ok, so I read that and thought 'tauntaun? wtf is a tauntaun?' Natural reaction: query the Oxford online dictionary. No go. Fool-proof step two: query Wikipedia. Result? 'Ahhh, no wonder...'

 

I had a nightmare a few weeks ago that one program rejected me because I clearly didn't "get" my POI's Star Wars humor. I am making a full-throated effort to address this deficiency. Just in case ;)

 

I'm curious about the cost of weekend visits too, xuejia. A friend at UCSD told me that the school covered all of his expenses for the visit. It sounds like maybe that's not typical.

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I had a nightmare a few weeks ago that one program rejected me because I clearly didn't "get" my POI's Star Wars humor. I am making a full-throated effort to address this deficiency. Just in case ;)

 

I'm curious about the cost of weekend visits too, xuejia. A friend at UCSD told me that the school covered all of his expenses for the visit. It sounds like maybe that's not typical.

Then you might need to read this: http://io9.com/5931217/science-proves-luke-skywalker-should-have-died-in-the-tauntauns-belly

 

Skimming ought to suffice. (Gosh I love the internet.)

 

I'd be content with partial cost reimbursement, should further visits even become a possibility.

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For those that have done it before: What's the protocol after acceptances? I'm assuming I'll get funding information / etc pretty soon, invitation to a accepted students weekend, and a deadline for decision?

 

I am in this same boat. I really don't know. I'm excited to be in somewhere but I am still super worried about funding. A few kind people on this forum suggested waiting a little bit before reaching out, and give the school the opportunity to figure it all out (it is super early now anyway). 

Edited by IR IR IR PhD
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Honestly, I'd be surprised if anyone didn't have these kinds of doubts. The admissions process itself complicates things further. On the one hand, it's extremely competitive, and it's always possible to find a past acceptance with better qualifications in some way. On the other hand, there's such a large element to randomness, with some years shutting people out simply because of department dynamics and greater need for some specialization. So without further information from programs, it's hard to say why exactly someone might be accepted or not in any given year, and that leads to hyper-focusing on perceived weaknesses or inadequacies. And quite a few of those who are accepted deal with the impostor syndrome after beginning their program for similar reasons.

 

I also haven't shared my final list of schools, despite the anonymity of the internet, but I still think that most people here understand this about the process, and the rare few who might still act judgmentally despite knowing how admissions work don't really deserve to be listened to.

 

And yes, life always goes on even when it doesn't fit the initial plan!

At some point, once the cycle's over and I know what I'm allowed to discuss publicly, I'll probably write something up with a few of my thoughts on the admissions process. For now, a quick thought following this point:

In admissions at my top 5 program, applications go through an initial round of review by two commitee members, after which we decide between those applications that have been recommended for admission independently by both members. This year, we had about 120 applications that were recommended for admission independently by two members of the committee, and have to narrow that down to less than 40 (probably closer to 30) to actually make offers to (which constitutes a substantial increase in the number of offers we intend to make this year relative to previous years). All that is to say that even if two commitee members really liked your application and thought you were good enough to enter the program, there is about a 75% chance we won't be able to make you an offer. So if it turns out we don't make you an offer, you really shouldn't take this as saying anything particularly harsh about your application, as things inevitably get a bit mercurial when we're at this stage.

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Found it.  :ph34r:

 

The wonderful CGMJ posted this a while back. It contains data on the number of admitted students and the quantities of corresponding TGC results page posts, for selected programs. Additionally, because I am uncomfortable posting half portions of a full conversation,  I have included the remark by polisci12345 to which CGMJ is referencing. 

 

Thanks for this. Looks like February 12-13 was crazy town for notifications last year. UC Davis is 3 weeks ahead of schedule relative to last year.

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At some point, once the cycle's over and I know what I'm allowed to discuss publicly, I'll probably write something up with a few of my thoughts on the admissions process. For now, a quick thought following this point:

In admissions at my top 5 program, applications go through an initial round of review by two commitee members, after which we decide between those applications that have been recommended for admission independently by both members. This year, we had about 120 applications that were recommended for admission independently by two members of the committee, and have to narrow that down to less than 40 (probably closer to 30) to actually make offers to (which constitutes a substantial increase in the number of offers we intend to make this year relative to previous years). All that is to say that even if two commitee members really liked your application and thought you were good enough to enter the program, there is about a 75% chance we won't be able to make you an offer. So if it turns out we don't make you an offer, you really shouldn't take this as saying anything particularly harsh about your application, as things inevitably get a bit mercurial when we're at this stage.

RWBG, Thank you so very much for sharing this.

 

It's good to have this kind of "color" , so  Ithank you immensely and look forward to more information from you when you are able to.

 

One point and two questions, if I may:

 

Point: You said "All that is to say that even if two committee members really liked your application and thought you were good enough to enter the program, there is about a 75% chance we won't be able to make you an offer."  This is an incredible statistic.  Simply incredible!

 

Questions: 

 

1.  Please clarify: to proceed to round two, must the application be recommended by BOTH (of the committee members) that review the file or just at least one of the two members who review the file?

 

Edit:  Re-reading the post, it seems clear that the requirement is for both members to recommend admission. I guess I was hesitant to accept this strict selection criterion.  Do you have any procedures for tie breakers e.g. bringing in a third member to review the file if both members cannot both agree to admit or not to admit  i.e one votes for admit and one votes not to admit.

 

2. Prior to the initial round of screening by two committee members is there an initial pre-screening  round where some candidates are eliminated by GPA, GRE or other factors.  If so, what are those initial screening factors.

 

Once again,  a hearty thank you to you and best wishes in all your pursuits.

 

Edit:  The selection of two committee members to review the file does introduce an element of randomness into the process, does it not?

Edited by aecp
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A lot of things have already been said on visits to programs. The general answer that has been provided in this thread tends to be correct. Most schools offer at least partial reimbursement for travel expenses acquired when you visit the program (some programs have visitation weekends, others schedule individual visits). The more prestigious the program, the more likely you are to have all of your expenses covered, but most programs are rather generous. At some programs, those who they really, really want to recruit might receive full reimbursement for their travel while other students receive a bit less.

 

Oh, and these visits generally (as far as I am aware) happen before you make your decision on whether to attend the program or not. The visit is supposed to help you make up your mind about whether the program is right for you, get a feel for the department and its faculty, etc. I recommend going to as many visits as possible. If you really can't make the "visitation weekend" for some reason you should make sure to ask whether it is possible to schedule an individual visit at a different date.

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Questions: 

 

1.  Please clarify: to proceed to round two, must the application be recommended by BOTH (of the committee members) that review the file or just at least one of the two members who review the file?

 

2. Prior to the initial round of screening by two committee members is there an initial pre-screening  round where some candidates are eliminated by GPA, GRE or other factors.  If so, what are those initial screening factors.

 

Once again,  a hearty thank you to you and best wishes in all your pursuits.

Re Q1: If either member who reviewed your application gave you a rating lower than "excellent: admit" you would not make it to the round two. Many great applications were eliminated in the first round.

Re Q2: We do not screen on any factors. Every application is read at least twice in full.

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Re Q1: If either member who reviewed your application gave you a rating lower than "excellent: admit" you would not make it to the round two. Many great applications were eliminated in the first round.

Re Q2: We do not screen on any factors. Every application is read at least twice in full.

 

Thank you so much for this information. If you don't mind I have an additional question. When you say every application is read at least twice in full, does that include every individual component of the application? For example reading a writing sample seems particularly taxing if that application has other components that would make admission unlikely.

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Re Q1: If either member who reviewed your application gave you a rating lower than "excellent: admit" you would not make it to the round two. Many great applications were eliminated in the first round.

Re Q2: We do not screen on any factors. Every application is read at least twice in full.

Thanks for answering my questions.

 

The process is even far more competitive than some of us imagined.

 

Two more points/questions, please:

 

1.  The selection of two committee members to review the file does introduce an element of randomness into the process, does it not?

 

2. It would be great, I think, to have procedures for tie breakers e.g. bringing in a third member to review the file if both members cannot both agree to admit or not to admit  i.e one votes for admit and one votes not to admit. 

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Re New Questions: Every stage of the process introduces randomness, and we might have had tie-breakers if we didn't end up with 120 applications that had been recommended for admission. We had hoped to narrow it to about half of that with the first round. Realistically though, if there's a member of the committee who wouldn't have recommended you for admission, it's unlikely your application would make it past the final round even if you made it to it.

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Re New Questions: Every stage of the process introduces randomness, and we might have had tie-breakers if we didn't end up with 120 applications that had been recommended for admission. We had hoped to narrow it to about half of that with the first round. Realistically though, if there's a member of the committee who wouldn't have recommended you for admission, it's unlikely your application would make it past the final round even if you made it to it.

Sorry, it seems our posts crossed.  Thanks for the additional info!

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Thank you so much for this information. If you don't mind I have an additional question. When you say every application is read at least twice in full, does that include every individual component of the application? For example reading a writing sample seems particularly taxing if that application has other components that would make admission unlikely.

I don't want to get too far down the rabbit hole of answering questions here, given that I risk accidentally overstepping what I'm allowed to reveal publicly. Generally, I'd say that if there are other components that make admission unlikely, all other aspects of the application will still be read, but possibly skimmed. Anyone who's graded papers before probably knows you don't need to read the whole thing in detail to assign a grade. GRE and GPA are basically never sufficiently good or bad to make admissions likely or unlikely on their own; indeed, we've had many people with near perfect scores and GPA who were eliminated, and many people who were much weaker on those dimensions that have moved on. 

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I don't want to get too far down the rabbit hole of answering questions here, given that I risk accidentally overstepping what I'm allowed to reveal publicly. Generally, I'd say that if there are other components that make admission unlikely, all other aspects of the application will still be read, but possibly skimmed. Anyone who's graded papers before probably knows you don't need to read the whole thing in detail to assign a grade. GRE and GPA are basically never sufficiently good or bad to make admissions likely or unlikely on their own; indeed, we've had many people with near perfect scores and GPA who were eliminated, and many people who were much weaker on those dimensions that have moved on. 

 

RWBG -- THANK YOU! I understand that this is as descriptive as you can be right now but even this "limited" information substantially alleviated some concerns that I had about the process. I really appreciate your willingness to be straightforward and help us during these crazy few weeks. 

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RWBG -- THANK YOU! I understand that this is as descriptive as you can be right now but even this "limited" information substantially alleviated some concerns that I had about the process. I really appreciate your willingness to be straightforward and help us during these crazy few weeks. 

RWBG, THANK YOU again from me! I echo IR IR IR PhD's sentiments.

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Hmm. I'm getting nervous. I've been in touch with the department, though, and their staff is very helpful/friendly. My own fault... in my immediate post-GRE adrenaline rush, I used the wrong department code.

 

And speaking of department codes, has anyone else here applied to their JSP program instead of political science?

 

Hello mygrotianmoment

 

I applied to the JSP program as well and since I've already heard back from the other places I applied I feel like waiting til mid-Feb to hear from them will seem like an eternity. I also haven't seen anyone else mention it on gradcafe for this admissions cycle... 

 

Do you have a law degree already? And did you establish contact with a POI? Good luck! 

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I was going to distract myself from here with some more progress on my current project, but since I had to reinstall Windows I also find myself reinstalling certain programs I need to process my data, on an Internet connection better suited to 1999.

 

Fingers crossed for everyone this week. I'm only expecting (hoping) one response this week, but that doesn't mean I won't stare at my e-mail all day.

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