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Fall 2016 IR Masters Prospective Applicant - Advice Needed

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Hello Government Affairs,


I am planning on applying to a few graduate school programs for the Fall 2016 to pursue a Masters Degree in International Affairs. I wanted to share my profile to see if anyone has an practical advice on how to strengthen my application or any suggestions of additional schools that I should add to my list. 



Undergraduate Institution: Top 10 US Public School

Major Political Science   Minors: Human Rights and English

Cumulative GPA: 3.85  Major GPA: 3.9

GRE: Will take in September (Took a Kaplan GRE prep course)

Honors College - Honors Scholar

Undergraduate Senior Honors Thesis: IR related topic, presented at two conferences

Graduated May 2014


Post Graduation Experience:


1 year AmeriCorps Vista: Economic development, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance.

State Government Human Rights Department : Current employment



College of Liberal Arts and Science Deans List: All semesters(six)

University Leadership Scholarship:1/2 tuition scholarship for all 4 years

University Scholar Award:Maintaining at least a 3.7 GPA for two consecutive semesters

University Social Science Research Grant(Spring 2013)

Human Rights Research Grant (Summer 2013)

Political Science Honors Department Research Grant

Alpha Lambda Delta National Freshman Honor Society(Fall 2010)

Golden key International Honour Society, which signifies that I am in the Top 15 % of my class (Spring 2011)

Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization (fall 2011)

American Political Science Association (APSA) National Conference:Poster Presenter 

USAFA Academy Assembly Delegate

Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference Delegate



Research Intern and Project Lead at respected Foreign Policy Think Tank (Washington DC, Summer 2013)

Honors Research Assistant for Professor In Poli Sci Department (Fall 2013- Graduation) - Lead to a publication in POLI SCI journal

Research Assistant for well-known Public Opinion Institute (Spring 2014)

Research Intern at HKS (International Development (Summer 2013)

Research Intern at International NGO in Middle East (Summer 2014)

University Model United Nations Director (UNICEF and Human Rights Council)

University Newspaper - Staff Writer

Political Blog:- Foreign Affairs Staff Writer

University Student Government- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator

Residential Hall Association: Vice President

University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Student Representative on Board of Directors

Community Outreach: Alternative Spring Break Trips to New Orleans, Louisiana and Tampa, Florida

University Medical Center- Volunteer

International Relations Society : Secretary


Quantitative Courses:

Micro Economics(A) Macro Economics(A) Calculus 1 (A ) Statistics 1 (A) Stat 2 (A) Poli Sci Quantitative research methods(A) Graduate Statistical Analysis Course at Duke University(A)


Additionally Information:

Languages:  French (Fluent), Arabic (Beginner)

Computer Skills: Microsoft Office, Minitab, R, STATA, and SPSS.


Future Career Aspirations: Political Officer in the Foreign Services at the U.S. State Department, NGO worker at International development or human rights focused institution, or possibly work at an foreign policy think tank in DC or abroad..


Graduate School Programs: Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia SIPA, Georgetown SFS, and Tufts Fletcher


Thank you in advance for your help!

Edited by billythekid72
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Hi KenBesonders, thank you very much for your advice. I took a Kaplan GRE prep course last summer and I plan to spend most of this summer studying for the GRE. I am hoping to take it in September and score well on it. However, taking it in September will give me enough time to retake if necessary,

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You should have enough time if need be. I would also recommend using manhattan or magoosh. Magoosh is cheaper and have heard decent results.

If you get over 160 in any field without low scores you should be in a good position.

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Thanks again KenBesonders! I think I can realistically achieve mid to low 160s for those of the sections. I would expect to get a 5 or 6 on the writing portion as well. It seems the GRE is very important not only for admissions but for funding purposes.

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