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2017-2018 Application Cycle


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Just discovered this forum, and it has been interesting to read the posts.

I will claim acceptances from Emory and Wisconsin, an interview at GWU (which I will not attend since I'm unlikely to go their with my current options), and a rejection from Princeton. I have not heard back from Duke yet, but I am assuming a rejection--went there for undergrad so I am unlikely to go there for my PhD. I have also yet to hear back from the following: Yale, Michigan, Berkeley, WashU, UNC.

My subfield is judicial/AP with a particular interest in 19th/early 20th century judicial decision-making.

Good luck to everyone!

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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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I have a dumb question: the application portals of Yale and Columbia let applicants keep uploading materials such as SOP and WS after the deadline. Yale says that the old materials will be replaced by the uploaded ones, so the old become unavailable and the committee will only see the new one. IF you check them right now, you will see that they are wide open. Does this mean that if we upload materials anytime after the deadline such as now, those materials are available to the committee? I do not take this seriously given the time frame and the amount of the application such schools take, but curosity causes me to ask it here.

Edited by Albert01
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26 minutes ago, komina12345 said:

UT-Austin director who I've been in contact with for a bit has informed be the admissions process at UT-Austin has concluded, though she also said all decisions should be coming out prior to the end of February. Take that as you will.

Do you think this means that the admissions committee is done deliberating, or that all acceptances have been sent out? Only one acceptance has been posted to the results page. I feel like there would be more if all acceptances have been sent out.

Edited by deutsch1997bw
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1 hour ago, not@prof_yet said:

I think U of Chicago is a very important one for me this week. They have a longer limit for SOPs (2500 words compared to the usual 1000) and my SOP came out to around 1250-1300. Like I said earlier, I took the calculated risk to keep my SOP over the limit, so if it does go well with Chicago then I can perhaps connect my rejections possibly (but not entirely) to that risk. If I don't get in to Chicago then I know I have a more structural problem in my application profile (especially since UC was supposed to be a "safety" school; not to say I wouldn't be happy to go there, but it  does seem risky to go there for comparative). 

I did the same thing with my SOPs (they were about 1,200 words). I did ask the graduate adminstrator at each of my schools if that would be okay, and they all said yes. But your concern is making me also anxious now (since the admin doesn't sit on the admissions committee and I'm not sure if the committee would agree).  I really hope it's not counted against us! 

Edited by boomah
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22 minutes ago, PoliSci45889 said:

This whole Duke thing has me in shambles. Think it's appropriate if I call and ask if perhaps they've sent out all their acceptances? Or should I just lost out on all hope and assume rejection?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling them. People do that all the time. 

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40 minutes ago, boomah said:

I did the same thing with my SOPs (they were about 1,200 words). I did ask the graduate adminstrator at each of my schools if that would be okay, and they all said yes. But your concern is making me also anxious now (since the admin doesn't sit on the admissions committee and I'm not sure if the committee would agree).  I really hope it's not counted against us! 

Well your post is actually calming me down! It's nice to know I wasn't alone in that decision. How's results season been treating you so far?

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50 minutes ago, boomah said:

I did the same thing with my SOPs (they were about 1,200 words). I did ask the graduate adminstrator at each of my schools if that would be okay, and they all said yes. But your concern is making me also anxious now (since the admin doesn't sit on the admissions committee and I'm not sure if the committee would agree).  I really hope it's not counted against us! 

For what it's worth, I did the exact opposite and I'm getting really anxious about it. I started with a 1,000 word SoP template and then trimmed it down depending on how each school framed what they were looking for in the "Please explain...." prompt on the application. As a result, I didn't really give much of a narrative about my choice to pursue grad school, didn't really propose a project (more just said: here are the questions that motivated the thesis I just wrote and I want to go to grad school to work with a POI who is motivated in their work by these types of questions), and didn't really expand on any of the stuff that comes when one deepens that narrative/proposed project side of the application (e.g. detailing why you really are a fit, showing that you are more well rounded than some vague research interests).

My point would be, I guess, it's a trade-off. There might not be enough in my short SoPs to distinguish me from all of the excellent candidates that apply. And the only way to remedy that is perhaps by risking what you risked--namely, giving too much detail. The SoP is such a tight-role walk! I guess we just have to wait and see what happens. The best is probably just to stay calm and wait, though that's definitely hard to do.

Best of luck!

(Edit for solecisms!)

Edited by bigdummy
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14 minutes ago, PoliSci-freak said:

Anybody claiming the U. Washington Seattle admit just posted? It says notified today, did you actually receive the email today? Who did it come from? Congrats!

I can claim the admit! Thank you! I'm incredibly excited. I just received the email a few minutes ago from the chair of the Poli Sci Department. 

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1 hour ago, deutsch1997bw said:

Do you think this means that the admissions committee is done deliberating, or that all acceptances have been sent out? Only one acceptance has been posted to the results page. I feel like there would be more if all acceptances have been sent out.

I was notified yesterday that I was accepted by a faculty member. I think he was acting on his own because he said official acceptances would be coming out in the next few days. So, no not all acceptances have been sent out. 

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2 hours ago, deutsch1997bw said:

Congrats, and this is good to know! Is your main field IR or CP?

Main subfield is IR! Also, the email was very specific to me so I don't think every accepted person got a personal email yesterday. Just wanted to pass on that I was told official acceptances were coming this week. Good luck! 

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1 hour ago, Albert01 said:

I have a dumb question: the application portals of Yale and Columbia let applicants keep uploading materials such as SOP and WS after the deadline. Yale says that the old materials will be replaced by the uploaded ones, so the old become unavailable and the committee will only see the new one. IF you check them right now, you will see that they are wide open. Does this mean that if we upload materials anytime after the deadline such as now, those materials are available to the committee? I do not take this seriously given the time frame and the amount of the application such schools take, but curosity causes me to ask it here.

Nobody interested?

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2 hours ago, PoliSci45889 said:

This whole Duke thing has me in shambles. Think it's appropriate if I call and ask if perhaps they've sent out all their acceptances? Or should I just lost out on all hope and assume rejection?

I just logged in to the portal and there's a greyed out box that says "Decision Not Ready" that I can't click on in place of "Withdrawal Application", so maybe they're getting ready to post it.  I'm pretty much full on assuming rejection, but it would be nice to know for sure so I can start planning more of my visits.

Edited by hs2011
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13 minutes ago, hs2011 said:

I just logged in to the portal and there's a greyed out box that says "Decision Not Ready" that I can't click on in place of "Withdraw Application", so maybe they're getting ready to post it.  I'm pretty much full on assuming rejection, but it would be nice to know for sure so I can start planning more of my visits.

Thank you for the info. I just checked my portal and found out I am rejected from Duke... I wish you the best luck!

Edited by Albert01
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1 hour ago, not@prof_yet said:

Well your post is actually calming me down! It's nice to know I wasn't alone in that decision. How's results season been treating you so far?

Still waiting for my schools! I hope to see some results later this week!

1 hour ago, bigdummy said:

For what it's worth, I did the exact opposite and I'm getting really anxious about it. I started with a 1,000 word SoP template and then trimmed it down depending on how each school framed what they were looking for in the "Please explain...." prompt on the application. As a result, I didn't really give much of a narrative about my choice to pursue grad school, didn't really propose a project (more just said: here are the questions that motivated the thesis I just wrote and I want to go to grad school to work with a POI who is motivated in their work by these types of questions), and didn't really expand on any of the stuff that comes when one deepens that narrative/proposed project side of the application (e.g. detailing why you really are a fit, showing that you are more well rounded than some vague research interests).

My point would be, I guess, it's a trade-off. There might not be enough in my short SoPs to distinguish me from all of the excellent candidates that apply. And the only way to remedy that is perhaps by risking what you risked--namely, giving too much detail. The SoP is such a tight-role walk! I guess we just have to wait and see what happens. The best is probably just to stay calm and wait, though that's definitely hard to do.

Best of luck!

(Edit for solecisms!)

Yeah the SoP is such a tricky genre--it's difficult to know which side to err on. Best of luck to you as well!

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35 minutes ago, Albert01 said:

Nobody interested?

Nope. I spent three years in enrollment, recruiting for a SLAC and on the back-end for a large private university. By and large, the procedural parts of your application (portals, uploads, etc.) are not controlled by the people reading your application, and sometimes the two departments don't even communicate very much.

It's really best to default to the "most likely explanation," and not worry too much. With Yale and Columbia, a systems administrator either left the upload option open by mistake, or perhaps in case the AdComm asks for an addendum from someone. Your file will be reviewed in its proper order with whatever materials you most recently uploaded at that time.

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Just got a notification from Duke that the decision was available. I checked the decision and it was a rejection. To be honest, I can't say I'm devastated. It had the least appealing faculty to me out of all of the schools that I applied for, and it was definitely my long-shot program. The best things about it were the name and location, to me. 

Congratulations to people who received good news from Duke today. My main concern with this news today is simply that it may set a bad trend as the rest of my application decisions begin to come out. I did receive an admittance offer from my fallback school, so I have at least one potential program waiting for me, but I hope that I have options when it is all said and done. 

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