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2017-2018 Application Cycle


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13 hours ago, WHC_2017 said:

Thank you so much for letting us know about this.  Now I realize that Milner is still on leave to Europe, and Davis and Imai are leaving (sadly). These are all my POIs, and guess that explains why the rejection comes out. 

This actually raises an issue on my end (especially since I was the one harping on the primacy of faculty fit not too long ago). I alluded to this in a prior profile eval, but: within my top program, one of my POIs (and recommenders) is on leave this year, but remains local and maintains a strong on-campus presence/relationship within the department. Another POI is going on leave next year but will be back and taking students the year after that. I wouldn't be shocked if the third POI is thinking about going emeritus soon, but I haven't heard anything to this effect from them or any other faculty directly, so it doesn't appear terribly imminent.

 

So no one's leaving or has left for good, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the first POI was actually on the adcomm or the second POI was going to be around next year. Am I doomed? 

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I got into Maryland Holy shit I thought I was going to strike out. I'm so freaking happy right now. I actually don't have to go back to Japan now to do PhD work.

She said Yes!!! She is Yale. Claiming an admit, slightly hysterically.  Edit: notified by POI email. 

^ Seek professional help. That goes for anyone that is expressing significant depression symptoms, and definitely suicidal thoughts. Your mental health is way more important than god damn gr

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1 hour ago, PoliSci45889 said:

Not a PhD student at LSE, but did my Masters there and very familiar with the process as I was going to apply and gained lots of advice from my advisors there (unfortunately my research was not a suitable fit so decided not to apply there)

The interview is a good sign, it means you've been shortlisted BUT it does not mean you're going to get admitted, it's just the next step of the process. It's pretty much very similar to a job interview in terms of the process itself (they like you but doesn't mean they're hiring you at all). They'll be asking questions about your proposal and research mostly and why you've chosen the specific department and LSE. You'll most probably have POIs in the interview so make sure you do really good research on the department and your POI's areas of research too.

I haven't had a US interview so I'm not sure how similar LSE's interview is to it, but from what I've seen on US interviews they seem to be quite informal and for many, just an informal way of accepting someone. You can very much get rejected from LSE after the interview, it is 100% not a sure sign, but it is a step in the right direction for sure. Just make sure you're prepared to discuss your topic thoroughly and know the university and academics well. As for formality of the interview, from what I've heard it really depends on who's interviewing you. Some faculty like to make it super formal, while others just like to have a chat basically, so there's no certainty with that.

Best of luck though! I hope you nail the interview and LSE is a great school for sure! If it wasn't for lack of POIs in my field, I would've definitely applied :)

A couple of people here (though not myself, I've not reached the interview stage) have been rejected after interviews at US universities. So it's kind of not right to assume interviews are just an informal chat before sending formal acceptance letters. It does indicate one is shortlisted and all but doesn't guarantee a place.

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1 hour ago, skhann said:

A couple of people here (though not myself, I've not reached the interview stage) have been rejected after interviews at US universities. So it's kind of not right to assume interviews are just an informal chat before sending formal acceptance letters. It does indicate one is shortlisted and all but doesn't guarantee a place.

My bad, like I said, I haven't reached interview stage and not extremely sure how they work, just went by the assumption of many people who posted about getting accepted after interviews.

Thanks for the clarification though, helps in the future if I somehow do get some kind of interview.

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4 minutes ago, PoliSci45889 said:

My bad, like I said, I haven't reached interview stage and not extremely sure how they work, just went by the assumption of many people who posted about getting accepted after interviews.

Thanks for the clarification though, helps in the future if I somehow do get some kind of interview.

It's OK. I just wanted to make it clear for other, silent readers who might have thought otherwise. Thanks for your input.

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28 minutes ago, deutsch1997bw said:

Anyone claiming the waitlist at UT-Austin?

Assume troll until claimed. On top of the usual trend that weekends don't usually see decisions sent out, it's also Super Bowl Sunday and I highly doubt anyone sent anything from their schools.

Although what is concerned me is that there was another UC Irvine admit, which doesn't make me too particularly confident about my chances if it is true.

Edited by komina12345
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17 hours ago, WHC_2017 said:

That' tough, but gratefully Milner is still there (my intellectual model). I wish I could have known these moves earlier before writing the applications though. 

Thanks for your comments, they are truly helpful and congrats on the admits! One question, did you apply to Stanford and if yes, when do you expect the results?

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On 2/4/2018 at 10:25 AM, CandyCanes said:

Wow. What were your GPA range and letters of rec like, if you don't mind me asking? There can't be that many people with 338+...

Lowish cumulative GPA (3.68) because of some personal issues in my freshman/sophomore year, although I have around 3.85~3.9 my junior and senior years (and the institution is US news top ten). I know my LORs are strong (I really connected with my professors in my senior year/they expressly told me they would be happy to write "strong" letters without my asking) and one of them is from an enormous figure in Theory. They all helped look over my SOP too. My SOP is strong but I think my Writing Sample could have been better. 

I think my main problem is that I have zero research experience as I didn't originally plan to study PS or go to graduate school at all. I was an International Studies major and planned to go into something "practical"*/law school and only really encountered Theory later in my undergraduate degree... I find it so intellectually interesting and cannot imagine doing anything else now but a career in academia was by no means something I deliberately prepared for since my freshman year and I'm sure this puts me at a huge disadvantage. Very worried about this aspect of my application tbh... 

*So instead of RA experience I have stuff like... a paid internship at the art department of Vogue lol. Very much debated on whether or not to even include that, ha. 

Edited by cedfik
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42 minutes ago, cedfik said:

Lowish cumulative GPA (3.68) because of some personal issues in my freshman/sophomore year, although I have around 3.85~3.9 my junior and senior years (the institution is US news top ten though). I know my LORs are really strong though (I really connected with my professors in my senior year/they expressly told me they would be happy to write "strong" letters without my asking) and one of them is from an enormous figure in Theory. They all helped look over my SOP too. My SOP is strong but I think my Writing Sample could have been better. 

I think my main problem is that I have zero research experience as I didn't originally plan to study PS or go to graduate school at all. I was an International Studies major and planned to go into something "practical"*/law school and only really encountered Theory later in my undergraduate degree... I find it so intellectually interesting and cannot imagine doing anything else now but a career in academia was by no means something I deliberately prepared for since my freshman year and I'm sure this puts me at a huge disadvantage. Very worried about this aspect of my application tbh... 

*So instead of RA experience I have stuff like... an paid internship at the art department of Vogue lol. Very much debated on whether or not to even include that, ha. 

I'm in the same boat as you (albeit my undergrad GPA was abysmal) but I took an MA at Chicago to somewhat make up for it. Research isn't too hard to come across, although I suppose at this stage it's sort of a concern, but I'm confident you'll get in somewhere. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and my weakness happens to be my GPA. I'm certain you have strengths elsewhere that you can work on.

Edited by komina12345
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So what are we expecting this week?

Highly Likely:

Pitt

UT Austin

WashU-STL

More from the Univ. of Washington

UChicago

More from Notre Dame

 

Plausible but not exceedingly likely

USC

UCLA

Michigan

Indiana

Virginia

Edited by buckinghamubadger
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Quick 2 questions for those who might have an answer to this: 

Since some schools have sent out both acceptances and rejections, while leaving no notification for some of applicants, is it safe to assume waitlist or rejection? And if the plausibility of waitlist is higher, are chances of actually getting off that waitlist high?

 

I'm assuming that even if we can assume waitlist status, the chances of getting promoted to acceptance is still relatively low. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

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26 minutes ago, buckinghamubadger said:

So what are we expecting this week?

Highly Likely:

Pitt

UT Austin

WashU-STL

More from the Univ. of Washington

UChicago

More from Notre Dame

 

Plausible but not exceedingly likely

USC

UCLA

Michigan

Indiana

Virginia

Would be great for my mental sanity if ND, Indiana & Virginia announced this week...

 

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1 hour ago, polisciallday said:

Quick 2 questions for those who might have an answer to this: 

Since some schools have sent out both acceptances and rejections, while leaving no notification for some of applicants, is it safe to assume waitlist or rejection? And if the plausibility of waitlist is higher, are chances of actually getting off that waitlist high?

 

I'm assuming that even if we can assume waitlist status, the chances of getting promoted to acceptance is still relatively low. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

Not being accepted or rejected for some programs means that they do not have a decision for you yet. EG schools may have decided on their top 20 candidates for 20 slots and they're waiting to see how many of the 20 accept. If only 10 accept, they'll send out another ten acceptances, and repeat this process until they fill the class. If you haven't been accepted or rejected, it may mean that they like your profile, but they want to make sure their class will be small, so they are holding out on offering you admissions until they hear back from other candidates. This may be a form of an informal wait list, but some school's don't do wait lists while others are extremely cautious about cohort size. 

Other programs accept different subfields at different times.

If you haven't been Accepted or Rejected after both have been sent out, it's really tough to say what the situation is. Wish I could give you a better answer.

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1 hour ago, buckinghamubadger said:

So what are we expecting this week?

Highly Likely:

Pitt

UT Austin

WashU-STL

More from the Univ. of Washington

UChicago

More from Notre Dame

 

Plausible but not exceedingly likely

USC

UCLA

Michigan

Indiana

Virginia

Vanderbilt will also interview shortlisted candidates this coming week. Their DGS sent an email last month detailing the process, where he clearly mentioned those not getting the invites should assume rejection.

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4 minutes ago, skhann said:

Vanderbilt will also interview shortlisted candidates this coming week. Their DGS sent an email last month detailing the process, where he clearly mentioned those not getting the invites should assume rejection.

If one doesn't receive an interview invite from a Ph.D. program, should we assume rejection or is this exclusive to Vanderbilt?

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5 minutes ago, komina12345 said:

If one doesn't receive an interview invite from a Ph.D. program, should we assume rejection or is this exclusive to Vanderbilt?

I can't say about others but the Vanderbilt DGS did mention that in his email. From what I've read here, some people do get accepted without interviews and some have been rejected even after them.

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6 minutes ago, komina12345 said:

If one doesn't receive an interview invite from a Ph.D. program, should we assume rejection or is this exclusive to Vanderbilt?

No, because most departments have pretty horrible funding and if your resume speaks for itself or if your LOR's are good enough, then I would gander that they don't need one. I didn't get a single interview yet I still got into a fair number of schools. I think it's honestly if there's an incredibly impressive candidate that they want to make sure actually does reflect the pedigree you offer, then that's certainly something. On the other hand, I've seen it used on people with incredible resumes and GPA/GRE scores but have little to no research experience at all.

So under no circumstances should you assume no interview means a rejection nor should you assume that it means an automatic acceptance. I have seen both poor and great candidates receiving interview requests for a variety of reasons. At the end of the day, it's to ask about thing left unclear by your application or resume. 

3 minutes ago, skhann said:

I can't say about others but the Vanderbilt DGS did mention that in his email. From what I've read here, some people do get accepted without interviews and some have been rejected even after them.

That is indeed the case. I believe more often than not though that it's more a case that very few get interviewed to begin with. At least from what I've heard talking to my professors, it was to distinguish and sort out top candidates when it comes to that oh-so-sweet funding that is in demand at least when it comes to Harvard. Can't really say for other schools, but I would assume it's not an automatic rejection by any means if you don't get an interview. 

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26 minutes ago, skhann said:

@CambridgeHeismanLord The entire process is very subjective. Still, many universities are increasingly turning to interviews. In a way that's good as one can have another shot at impressing the adcomms if there were deficiencies in the scores/GPA etc.

Oh, I definitely agree. I'm just more or less clarifying to Komina and to a great many other anxious posters here not to go and call it quits if they didn't get an interview or haven't heard back at this point. Admissions is a long process, and it's not as clear at the doctoral level as it is for the undergraduate level. A lot of people are pessimistic (for perfectly valid reasons), but I think it's good to have an open mind and not let it weigh themselves down too much. To be honest, part of the reason I lurked for so long was because I felt a lot of people here were really negative and only saw the flaws in their applications rather than the strengths. 

After all, if the Eagles were able to win the Super Bowl, then anyone can get into any program. 

Edited by CambridgeHeismanLord
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8 minutes ago, CambridgeHeismanLord said:

Oh, I definitely agree. I'm just more or less clarifying to Komina and to a great many other anxious posters here not to go and call it quits if they didn't get an interview or haven't heard back at this point. Admissions is a long process, and it's not as clear at the doctoral level as it is for the undergraduate level. A lot of people are pessimistic (for perfectly valid reasons), but I think it's good to have an open mind and not let it weigh themselves down too much. To be honest, part of the reason I lurked for so long was because I felt a lot of people here were really negative and only saw the flaws in their applications rather than the strengths. 

After all, if the Eagles were able to win the Super Bowl, then anyone can get into any program. 

Absolutely right! Wishing that analogy works for this thing too. :)

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1 hour ago, skhann said:

I can't say about others but the Vanderbilt DGS did mention that in his email. From what I've read here, some people do get accepted without interviews and some have been rejected even after them.

 

1 hour ago, CambridgeHeismanLord said:

No, because most departments have pretty horrible funding and if your resume speaks for itself or if your LOR's are good enough, then I would gander that they don't need one. I didn't get a single interview yet I still got into a fair number of schools. I think it's honestly if there's an incredibly impressive candidate that they want to make sure actually does reflect the pedigree you offer, then that's certainly something. On the other hand, I've seen it used on people with incredible resumes and GPA/GRE scores but have little to no research experience at all.

So under no circumstances should you assume no interview means a rejection nor should you assume that it means an automatic acceptance. I have seen both poor and great candidates receiving interview requests for a variety of reasons. At the end of the day, it's to ask about thing left unclear by your application or resume. 

That is indeed the case. I believe more often than not though that it's more a case that very few get interviewed to begin with. At least from what I've heard talking to my professors, it was to distinguish and sort out top candidates when it comes to that oh-so-sweet funding that is in demand at least when it comes to Harvard. Can't really say for other schools, but I would assume it's not an automatic rejection by any means if you don't get an interview. 

@skhann It is true for the other schools, there were cases where people do get accepted without interviews and some have been rejected even after interviews. (Once again, idiosyncratic to each profile.)

But for Vanderbilt's case, I have to say that they are very specific about interviews. As mentioned in the DGS email about their timeline of applications,

"3. Week of Jan. 29: Admissions committee meets again to discuss and review each subfield’s “long short-lists.” Coming out of this meeting we will then move to stage two in which we schedule phone or Skype interviews with those applicants that remain under consideration. Applicants will likely be contacted at some point during the first or second week of February to schedule these interviews. If you have not been contacted by the end of the second week of February, this likely means that your application has not advanced to this second stage."

Therefore, it appears the deadline for Vanderbilt's department to reach out for interviews will be the end of this coming week, and if there's still no notifications about interviews by then, I'm afraid that means that the application will be likely a rejection.

Vanderbilt DGS Email.png

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