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Welcome to the 2015-2016 Cycle!

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Here's the long overdue thread where we applicants in the 2015-2016 cycle can congratulate and commiserate each other throughout the process! Here's a link to last year's thread: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/56095-welcome-to-the-2014-15-cycle/

 

This is my first cycle. I feel good about most of my profile but am (re)taking the GRE soon and worried it could sink me if I don't beef up my quant score. Applying to political behaviour phd programs (mostly top 10, list not finalized). How's everyone else feeling?

 

Good luck to us all!

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I think we're all a little nervous (at least I am). I am applying to mostly top 20 programs, but I have a couple in the 26-50 range lined up.

I have a great GPA (3.94 cumulative, 4.0 in my majors), decent GRE (170/161/5), and a bit of research experience (senior thesis, one refereed article under review and an abstract submitted to a conference). I also did an internship with Canadian parliament.

The only thing I'm really nervous about is that they see what undergraduate institution I come from (SUNY Purchase) and count that against me due to it being a small state liberal arts school.

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Woohoo, let's get this show on the road!

I'm moving into this application cycle with some confidence. International relations undergrad with a 3.95GPA at a smallish private university with a decent reputation, 4.13GPA in my current International Studies program at a university highly ranked within Canada. No writing score yet, but my GRE results on screen were 170/170. No publications, but I have a paper in an upcoming conference, made presentations for an undergrad research conference, a research competition put on by the German Mission to the US, and an invited talk at a US diplomatic mission abroad. I have written theses at the graduate (MA) and undergraduate levels (including funded international field research for the former). Three semesters as a TA. Previous internship with the US congressman's office in my hometown, and two current remote research internships with US government agencies. 

That said, can't help but have some nerves. I'm applying widely (10 programs (8 US + 2 Canadian)), though all in the North American top 20. I will be obsessive over my choice of writing samples and personal statements. Good luck, everyone!

Edited by MauBicara

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Unlike a lot of people on this site, my goal isn't some ritzy research professor position, I genuinely love teaching, so I am targeting programs more in the middle to low range where I have a better chance of acceptance given my mediocre undergraduate GPA (3.37) due to a tough major at a relatively competitive liberal arts school. I'd be totally content with a 5+5 lecturer position or a 4+4 professorship, because it is a step up in pay over my current high school gig with less government nonsense. Funding is my #1 priority at present. 

My big strengths are my combined GRE (170 quant, 161 verbal), the fact that I majored in economics as an undergraduate (Better background in quantitative methods), and that I hold a masters in Education with a near immaculate GPA, along with a few years of high school teaching experience. A lot of applicants have no teaching experience whatsoever, so I am hoping this helps me with funding opportunities.  I have a conference presentation for my Masters Thesis, but I don't know how much Poly-Sci programs will value a masters outside of the Social Sciences. 

My big weaknesses are my analytical writing (4.5) and the 3.37 undergrad GPA. Trying to hammer out a good SOP is tough, but doable. 

 

Edited by cgfren08

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Anybody here part of the troop of people visiting UVa's grad program next week? I'm looking forward to meeting those who are coming to the event (as a grad student currently in the department)!

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Anybody here part of the troop of people visiting UVa's grad program next week? I'm looking forward to meeting those who are coming to the event (as a grad student currently in the department)!

I'm not coming to the event, but I'm applying there!

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Hello, folks!

I'm pretty excited to start applying this year. Let's just hope it's worth the pain.

After few years after undergrad, I can definitely say that I miss reading about International Relations, Security and Diplomacy etc.   

Right now, I'll be applying for masters in IR. My top choices are Georgetown, Stanford, Tufts, and UCSD. 

GRE is scheduled for Oct. 17 (9 days from now). 

Cheers!

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I'm not coming to the event, but I'm applying there!

Excellent! Let me know if you have any questions :)

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Hello all!

I'm currently attending a Canadian University for an MA in Political Science. 

Plan to apply to Political Science programs in Canada, US and UK. 

Tentative list so far includes:

Canada - University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University and York University
US - UC Irvine, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Columbia and possibly the New School. 
UK - Oxford, Cambridge and London School of Economics. 

Graduated with an undergrad gpa of 3.2 - senior years (Last 2 years GPA) at about a 3.5. 
Estimated grad gpa based on first term marks (hopefully) 3.8. 
Have yet to write the GRE, will likely do so in the coming weeks. 

Will be pursuing Theory as a major field, IR as a minor field. 

 

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Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, and this will be my first application cycle. My goal is a PhD in IR, but I'm also applying to a couple of MA programs as a backup. For various complicated reasons, I'm only applying to PhD programs in California, and right now the list is Stanford, Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA, and Irvine. I'm also considering one-year MA programs at Chicago, Columbia, LSE, and Cambridge. 

Strengths are probably my GPA (3.86 overall, 3.92 in major) at a top-five LAC, and reasonably good GRE scores (170 verbal, 159 quant, 5.0 analytical). 

I think my biggest weakness is that I didn't write a thesis as an undergrad, so my best writing samples are relatively short. Also applying so narrowly is obviously a risk, but one I'm willing to take. 

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Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, and this will be my first application cycle. My goal is a PhD in IR, but I'm also applying to a couple of MA programs as a backup. For various complicated reasons, I'm only applying to PhD programs in California, and right now the list is Stanford, Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA, and Irvine. I'm also considering one-year MA programs at Chicago, Columbia, LSE, and Cambridge. 

Strengths are probably my GPA (3.86 overall, 3.92 in major) at a top-five LAC, and reasonably good GRE scores (170 verbal, 159 quant, 5.0 analytical). 

I think my biggest weakness is that I didn't write a thesis as an undergrad, so my best writing samples are relatively short. Also applying so narrowly is obviously a risk, but one I'm willing to take. 

With the exception of UCLA and Irvine, all of those programs are very quant heavy in IR. I would suggest trying to boost your quant GRE. Verbal is obviously killer.

 

also note that rumor has it trachtenberg is retiring, so don't put his name on the SOP!

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Hi everyone,

This is also my first application cycle, and I'm incredibly nervous! I'm from a decent flagship state school, and am planning to apply to a range of programs - mostly in the top 20, but a few others as well. 

Numbers wise, I feel ok: 3.95 GPA and 170/170/5 on the GRE, which I'm hoping will help balance the fact that I haven't taken a math class since freshman year.

I have a couple research assistant experiences, and two undergrad conference presentations. 

My recommendations are all going to come from tenured political science professors, and hopefully will be ok. 

I'm actually most terrified about the SoP, which so far is a mess...

Anyways, I hope others are not as nauseated as I. 

Nice trolling.

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With the exception of UCLA and Irvine, all of those programs are very quant heavy in IR. I would suggest trying to boost your quant GRE. Verbal is obviously killer.

 

also note that rumor has it trachtenberg is retiring, so don't put his name on the SOP!

Thanks for the tips! 

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Glad things are getting rolling! 

Question: Does anyone know how common it is for schools to allow a multi-article dissertation in place of a book dissertation? Is this common practice within top 25 programs? Or do only some allow it?

(Wouldn't alter my application list but might influence my final selections, when that day finally comes.)

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I can't speak for political science, but I know in economics most dissertations are a collection of papers (that will hopefully become journal articles), that are typically but not always related.  I imagine poly-sci is similar in more quantitative subfields and subjects. 

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Hey everyone!

I am also new to this forum. As a current MA student in Political Science at one of the top universities in Turkey, I will be applying to the PhD programs in the United States.

MA GPA: 3.84 GRE Scores: 162Q/158V/5W, TOEFL score:111. Undergrad GPA: 3.58. In undergrad graduated from Honors College of my university with double majors in econ, IR.

Research experience: 2.5 years, teaching experience: 3 years. One conference presentation, and (hopefully) one co-authored paper by the time of application.

Strengths: Research experience, background in statistical analysis, very strong recommendations

Weaknesses: GRE scores. Most of the top programs have average 165 Verbal scores. I am hoping that admission committee will take into consideration the fact that English is my second language. Also, my math score does not really stand out. In addition, although my institution is very well known in Turkey, it is ranked between  250-300 in the world. 

Will be going into the field of Comparative Politics. Top choices: Princeton, Columbia, U of W St Louis, University of Michigan, Northwestern. I know these are super difficult to get into, but I will try! ;)

Good luck!

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Hey all. Long time lurker, first time poster. This is my first application cycle. I'm applying to PhD programs in Political Science.

Undergrad: William and Mary
                    Government, Chinese
                    GPA: 3.29
Master's: Ohio State
                East Asian Studies
                GPA: 3.9
GRE: 162Q 167V 4.0 AW    I'll be taking the GRE again in a few weeks so score may go up if I'm lucky.
Research EXP: Master's Thesis
Research Interests: Comparative Politics, Chinese Environmental Policy

Applying to: Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT, UCSD, Berkeley, Stanford, Michigan, Chicago, NYU, Columbia, Duke, UNC, Cornell

PM me for SOP, would be interested in swapping and reviewing with someone

Cheers! : )

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Hi to all.

It is really good to read from people who share the same worries. I dind't know this blog before today. I am currently studying a MA in political science in an Argentina top university. I am starting my application process. My goals are some top 20 universities. My GRE scores, 170Q/166V. I have no idea on how to write a SOP, hopefully I will find some in this blog.

Best ;)

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Hey, Tiber

 

Great job on GRE scores. I studied abroad in Universidad de Belgrano. I think the fact that you got your degree there would strengthen your application a lot. Good luck to you. 

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^ On that note, how much luck have people had in getting Professors to look over their SOP? I've asked a few, but they're all such busy people that it seems to get lost in their endless task pile, and then pestering them about it seems rude?

The SOP-writing process is proving to be a pretty big struggle for me, so far.

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^ On that note, how much luck have people had in getting Professors to look over their SOP? I've asked a few, but they're all such busy people that it seems to get lost in their endless task pile, and then pestering them about it seems rude?

The SOP-writing process is proving to be a pretty big struggle for me, so far.

It wouldn't hurt. I'm sure if you had a close relationship with 1 or 2 of your professors, they would at least try to fit it in. Are there any graduate students that instruct at your school? They are also worth talking to, because they are frequently on admissions committees and have gone through this process far more recently.

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Would anybody be willing to swap SOPs for feedback? I've managed to get a (I think) decent draft together, but I'd really like to get another pair of eyes to go over it, if anybody is willing. I'm more than happy to return the favour! 

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Greetings, folks!

I was filling out online application for one of the universities, and it asked me about what other schools I'm applying to. And I think this is pretty weird question. Why do they need to know this?Here's my thought process: if I tell them that I have other options, they will look at it as I don't care for them that much, and they will get other students who REALLY want to go to this school. Or (scenario 2) if I tell them that I'm applying to them only, they'll see it as me being unambitious and without other choices, and will be less likely to accept me. 

Any thoughts...? Appreciate your comments.

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