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Where should I apply? (Please evaluate my profile)

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Hi everyone :)I'm interested in applying for a PhD in political science at McGill (and have a prospective director there) and U of T. Where else do you think would it be reasonable for me to apply (in the US or in Canada)? How can I improve my profile and how good can it be considered to be?


Here is my profile:


Type of Undergrad Institution: top 20 best universities in Canada 
Major(s)/Minor(s): International relations
Undergrad GPA: 3,5/4 (GPA for the Political Science classes only is 3,9).
Type of Grad: Political Science
Grad GPA: 3,95/4 for my Master's degree in Political Science. 
GRE: Yet to complete, but being a non-native speaker I assume the results will be (at best) average for the verbal and writing sections.
Any Special Courses: A+ in Qualitative methods, A+ in Quantitative methods, A+ in Mathematics for Social Studies. IQMR at another university, funded by my university.
Letters of Recommendation: I could expect one very strong letter from my director (a new professor - no tenure), one strong letter from a tenured professor from my university + one at least good letter from an internationally rising teacher from abroad.
Research Experience: Two years as a research assistant in a Research Chair and a Research Center. I have received national scholarships as well as diverse Faculty grants. I currently have one publication as a third author in a book. I am working on three different research projects, one considered suitable for a top-5 journal by my co-authors (I am third author on this one [but I am first author on the two others projects]). I don't know if these projects will manage to get published before my application in December/January, let's assume to be pessimistic that they will be «under review» at that time. I also currently have 3 conferences participation and expect at least two more before my application.

Teaching Experience: None.
Subfield/Research Interests: Public opinion and electoral behaviour.
Other: Internship in an Embassy abroad. Internship at the Ministry of Culture. Translator for a foreign university and for a relatively high-profile political project team.


Thank you for your help!

Edited by fuzzylogician
Edited for privacy.
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Pending GRE, you should be reasonably competitive anywhere. I wouldn't say any of those "special" courses are special, but IQMR could help if its relevant to what you want to reserach. What will determine where you should apply is what you are interested in researching, as if you are a strong fit at a department, you should have a good shot at admission.

Edited by rwillh11
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  • 2 weeks later...

to second what the last poster said, you should shoot high, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you only apply to McGill and UT, those are good Canadian schools but the fact of the matter is any top-20 (maybe even 25-30?) US school is probably going to be a better bet for job market in the future.

Edited by rwillh11
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  • 3 weeks later...

Apply widely - with your credentials you have potential to get in to top schools in the US and Canada. As a fellow Canadian, I would recommend applying to at least a few choice top-10 programs in the US as their stipend offerings are much more competitive than UofT, McGill, or UBC. Are you Canadian? If so, make sure you apply for SSHRC even if you are going abroad. If you are not Canadian, still apply with the possibility that you remain in Canada.

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