Jump to content

Welcome to the 2016-17 cycle!


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, krapp said:

Does anyone here encounter the issue where anything you write for an SoP just ends up sounding very cliched? Maybe it's just the nature of the beast, but I feel like I keep reaching the point of "mediocre at best" in all my drafts.

Honestly, I began in July, didn't have something I was truly happy with until mid-September, and now am still thinking about changing things around. The first 20 or so (I mean that literally) drafts or beginnings sounded horrible when I would read them out loud, because I wanted to sound interesting to the committee. If you want to save the time I spent on this I would recommend to drop the pre-tense of that cool introductory story and just have one or two sentences at the beginning to explain your interest, why it fascinates you and then just describe what you did so far, are doing now, and plan on doing in the future. If you tie it together nicely it should be clear why a PhD at that particular department is the logical next step. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2.5k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Claiming an official admission offer from UC Irvine! Oh it's a relief!

If we consider Berkeley and Princeton as rejects, I am three rejections and await on 6 more humbly (and why not count princeton and berkeley? In Russia, if something goes away and you don't hear more,

Today I decided for OSU. I hope this means somebody can get good news from the other programs that accepted me. Still have to hear definitively from Notre Dame, but to assume rejection at this po

Posted Images

@Monody - I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one going without the whole "this is my story" approach. I consider myself to be a decent writer, but I can't do personal narratives to save my life!

@resDQ - Are you using an old paper for your writing sample or doing up something new? I have two old papers that I'm debating between (my MS thesis & a term paper with some rudimentary quant analysis), so I'm hoping it won't take me too long to get them to a level that I can use for this.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, krapp said:

@Monody - I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one going without the whole "this is my story" approach. I consider myself to be a decent writer, but I can't do personal narratives to save my life!

@resDQ - Are you using an old paper for your writing sample or doing up something new? I have two old papers that I'm debating between (my MS thesis & a term paper with some rudimentary quant analysis), so I'm hoping it won't take me too long to get them to a level that I can use for this.

@krapp I'm using an old paper that needs theory and quant work beefed up a bit. Starting a new paper would be impossible and probably not a good idea (at least for me). 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no need to tell a story. Just convey that you know what political science is, that you are serious about research, and that you read up enough about the school to know why their program would help you further your research agenda based on their training and faculty. It doesn't need to be interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, jazzmintea said:

Sorry for intruding, but if a department specified that the SOP be one to two page long, would writing a single-spaced two-page long SOP be considered excessive? 

I wouldn't say so unless you use 0in margins and it specifies double-space in the FAQ. As long as you write something meaningful, I dont think that anyone will be bothered as it is in the prescribed range.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, international_IR said:

Hey everyone,

I'm an international applicant for a PhD in Political Science (IR). Just started to send my applications after I took the GRE & TOEFL, finished writing my SoPs and mailing POIs. I'm planning to apply to 12 schools. I think it's a safe number. What do you think?

I would say that 12 is plenty, but it strongly depends on the schools and your profile. If you had only perfect score, then 12 would probably be too many.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, international_IR said:

I don't have a perfect score: V 163 / Q 164. I'm applying to 5 top 5, 5 top 20, and 2 top 35.

I rather mean that your success chance generally depends on your profile, so in case that the rest of your application is similar in quality to your GRE scores (even though this comparison probably doesn't work) 12 makes an admittance somewhere probably relatively likely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Monody Congrats on the submission. May reviewer two smile upon you.

I'm in the final crunch time for editing my SOP's and polishing up the writing sample - the first application is due at the end of the month and it feels like it's coming up so fast. 

Regarding the number of applications/rankings - 8 for me (2 T-25, 3 T-40, 1 T-60, 2 T-70) with GRE scores of 170V/154Q. I don't have the strongest admissions profile, but I targeted my search pretty heavily for programs with professors doing research in my interest areas. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, krapp said:

@Monody Congrats on the submission. May reviewer two smile upon you.

I'm in the final crunch time for editing my SOP's and polishing up the writing sample - the first application is due at the end of the month and it feels like it's coming up so fast. 

Regarding the number of applications/rankings - 8 for me (2 T-25, 3 T-40, 1 T-60, 2 T-70) with GRE scores of 170V/154Q. I don't have the strongest admissions profile, but I targeted my search pretty heavily for programs with professors doing research in my interest areas. 

Sounds like you and I are in the same boat.  Similar GRE but I'll have a M.A. finished in the Spring and I have a few other quantitative bits and bobs in my profile which should help.  I narrowed my search down to 7 schools, but the breakdown of rankings is similar.  Programs didn't even make the short list if they didn't have at least one prof. doing research in my areas of interest.  I know me and I'll be much happier that way.  Getting a good job is all about publishing, anyways, and as long as you're focused on doing as much of that as you possibly can, things will work out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/20/2016 at 9:04 AM, Monody said:

What about posting our profiles to jointly feel miserable about our different weaknesses?

 Count me out  (at least until I have at least submitted my apps)!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all - longtime lurker, first time poster here. Like the rest of you, I'm currently putting the finishing touches on my file (writing fit paragraphs for SOPs, final writing sample edits), and I can't believe that in just a few months we will know the results of all our hard work.

I have a question for other doctoral program applicants: if you don't get into one of your top choices this cycle, will you accept a lesser offer or will you go another round? While we are all anxious to begin pursuing our PhDs, and while the idea of another app cycle already seems painful, there is significant evidence that the "institutional prestige" of one's doctoral program affects one's entire career trajectory. In my case, there is a nontrivial difference in rank between the highest ranked program I applied to and the lowest. Both programs have plenty of faculty in my area of interest and both place their students in TT positions, it's just that the higher ranked one places students much better and more frequently. Would you be equally happy at any of the programs you applied to? Or would you be willing to wait a year for another shot at your first choice?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I applied to Princeton, Columbia, PennState, MIT, Duke, Stanford and NYU and I obviously would take any offer as long as it is coupled with funding. I also applied to the MACIS program at the ETH Zurich just in case and will then apply again in two years if I am unsuccessful this time with my PhD applications.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm happy with my application choices - if I receive a funded offer this cycle, I'll go. However if there's no funding, I'll apply again next year.

And if I have the happy problem of having multiple funded offers...well, that'll be a decision I wouldn't mind agonizing over a bit!

Edited by krapp
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, resDQ said:

anybody worried that their POI is either leaving the department you are interested in or potentially facing tenure denial? 

It's something to keep in mind. I had a rough go of it last year when two of three people I was interested in working with at one institution were moving (or intending to move within the next few years), at another one was retiring and another moved, and at a third a junior faculty member was denied tenure (and I found out recently that the other person I intended to work with also hopes to move in the next year or two). It's underestimated, and of course completely a function of the state of the job market for juniors looking to transition, or seniors negotiating a place somewhere else. 3 of my 8 applications were wasted - but a lot of these things are harder to find out from the outside. I would be attentive to it during visits when you get to that stage - and don't be afraid to ask.

Link to post
Share on other sites

With the first deadline approaching (2nd of December), one of my LoR writers hasn't started yet. I am currently doing in an exchange year and she hasn't responded to my emails in the last two months, even though she said that she would write the LoRs in the next few weeks after I had have sent her all the material nine weeks ago. Should I send her an additional email asking if everything is alright with the letters or should I wait maybe until next Monday? I already contacted her secretary asking whether the letter writer is sick or something similar but she hasn't responded either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Monody said:

With the first deadline approaching (2nd of December), one of my LoR writers hasn't started yet. I am currently doing in an exchange year and she hasn't responded to my emails in the last two months, even though she said that she would write the LoRs in the next few weeks after I had have sent her all the material nine weeks ago. Should I send her an additional email asking if everything is alright with the letters or should I wait maybe until next Monday? I already contacted her secretary asking whether the letter writer is sick or something similar but she hasn't responded either.

 

I would say wait until Monday or at least Saturday due to Thanksgiving...That is what I am doing anyways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.