gracexx Posted September 22, 2016 Share Posted September 22, 2016 (edited) Hi everyone, I am an international student from China who is seeking to apply to PhD programs in education policy, specifically in program designs and evaluation for 2017 fall. I did my undergrad in China, and am graduating next spring with two Master's degrees from the graduate school of education in a top Ivy, one in literacy education and the other in statistics (kind of like applied statistics in social science context). I am aiming at top 50 universities (the names of the universities would matter a little to me, because I might go back to China after I get the degree and I feel that names probably mean more in China than here) with good education policy program, but am wondering whether I will be a competitive applicants for them. My information is listed below: Undergrad GPA: 3.54/4.0 for my major in English language and literature, and 3.15/4.0 for my minor in economics Grad GPA: 3.74/4.0 for both of my degrees so far GRE: V-158 Q-164 W-4.5 p.s. I have taken two GRE tests in my undergrad and did a lot better in Q than this one (forgetting a lot of mathematical terms in English now), but my V and W is mildly higher than the previous ones, so I think if I am not retaking the test, this should be my best score. Professional experience: 1 summer internship at a NGO promoting US students studying abroad (mildly related to education policy); 5 fieldwork experience (during grad school) where I taught or tutored students in an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, an after-school program, and an adult ESL program. Research experience: one qualitative research experience (I only participated in the initial stage) on a literacy program design, and two on-going quantitative research projects in education evaluation that I am starting this semester Recommendation: I have secured a letter from my academic advisor in one of my graduate degree, and am looking for my other two recommendation letters from the three research projects that I have been or am currently involved My questions are: 1. Would my verbal score hurt my application a lot? I have been searching for average GRE scores in the universities that I wanted to apply to, and from some of the university website or some GRE prep website (like magoosh and kaplan), I feel that my verbal is usually like just one or two points below the average for the really top schools, and sometimes hit the average or is one to two points higher than the average of other schools. I am actually a little hesitant to consider retaking the test, because a. I don't know how much I can improve if I retake the test in less than one month, and b. My biggest problem is my vocabulary, which can take up a lot of time for preparation that I can otherwise use to contact schools and professors, prepare documents, participate in my researches, and other stuff. 2. If my verbal score is just not very ideal and may hurt my application a little bit, would any of my experiences be able to make up for it? 3. I am currently looking at education policy programs in Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, UW-Madison, UM-Ann Arbor, Vanderbilt, UCBerkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and Northwestern, which are all really great programs in great universities (dream programs in my own standard). Could I stand a chance of getting into any of these programs? And it would also be nice to hear some suggestions on "safer" choices, because I am really afraid about ending up being rejected by all the programs I apply to. Sorry for the length of my post. Any comments or help are all greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone! Edited September 22, 2016 by gracexx Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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