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Hey yall- I'm starting this thread for those applying to NPSIA for 2018. Feel free to post any questions or comments here. And as offers roll out too dont be afraid to share your acceptance or decline comments here :)

 

 Just curious, in regards to the MA, are people limiting their statement of intent to a certain number of words? is it research focused (with citations and all) even if you aren't planning on doing the thesis or MRP? The instructions on the website are quite vague, so i'm curious what people are doing  (especially word count wise). 

Edited by sandradee

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I am about to Graduate with a Honours Bachelor`s of Commerce (Analytics) with an 8.0 GPA. Solid work experience and extracurricular. 

Really concerned about my GPA, should I be, what do people usually get admitted with 

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It's nice to finally see this thread up - I've been a lurker for like the past two years following these things. 

Speaking of such, if you want an idea of who generally gets accepted, just check out some of the older application threads. Most people post up their stats, so you can cross reference them with their acceptances (or rejections, as it sometimes happens to be). 

I just finished my personal statement a few days back. At least, it's finished for the time being. I'm applying to a few schools, so I felt like I better get a head start on everything before I'm up to my neck in scholastic anxiety. For NPSIA, I'm running a bit over 1000 words. Like, maybe 1200. I'm circumlocutory at even the best of times though, so it won't surprise me in the least if mine ends up being on the longer end of the spectrum.*

Hopefully more people stumble upon this thread. It'd be nice to see what concentrations people are leaning towards, whether they favour the MRP or coursework option, etc. I mean, having an online emotional support group can't be all bad, either. 

*For those who watch Archer: Phrasing. For those who don't - well, just ignore me...

 

Edited by Delidas

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@Delidas Ugh 1200 words is on the long side? Mine is almost done and I'm capping it at 2000! maybe I should shorten. Its a very easy read however and it flows well. I may reconsider. Do you have citations in yours or is it more of a personal essay?

@Sean M I would also echo what was said above and take a look at last years thread. However, I have read that NPSIA is very holistic when evaluating applications. While I'm sure there is a GPA cut off they use, there may be other points of consideration for you. 

I have a masters already, and I have had two job stints abroad at this point with grassroots NGOs (both contracts were under a year). I also speak another language, and I have a published a paper on a international topic. That being said, my undergrad cum GPA is a joke, and I spoke with the associate director who still encouraged me to apply based on the other factors. 

My research on the program tells me there isn't too much difference between the MRP, Thesis, or the course based, unless you're wanting to move on to a PhD or really market yourself as a researcher. Since I did a thesis in my previous masters I won't be electing for one here. 

Still torn on what to choose for specialisation as I am drawn to classes in literally every grouping. Ive reached out to Tabbatha to see how likely it is that students get to take classes outside of their specialisation. Im hoping she says that as long as I take the required three from my specialisation that I can take a variety of courses from the other cohorts. However I would imagine that is unlikely. 

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@sandradee I'm in the same boat as you. My undergrad GPA was a joke and I also have masters where my GPA was much better. I have loads of international experience and was encouraged to apply as well. I speak two other languages besides English so I think that's an advantage in terms of getting in. I'm leaning more towards the course based path but still unsure on which specialization to pursue. I'm in the process of writing my statement of intent but the instruction were vague, just to clear it up its essentially why we want to do the program and what we expect to gain from the program?

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@sandradee No citations here. I wrote mine more as a narrative than anything else, and I figure (hope?) that my transcript/CV will demonstrate my academic aptitudes satisfactorily. Like you, I'm a bit torn in regard to what specialisation I want to bid for. I'm leaning towards conflict resolution/analysis right now, but who knows, that might change in the coming weeks. Unlike you and @xioaping I'm going to be fresh out of my undergrad next year; I've no additional MAs or foreign job experience under my belt. But my CGPA is high, I have good ECs, and some international research experience. Hopefully my referees have something good to say about me. I'm pretty curious as to how admissions is going to weigh each component of the application, and what section is most determinant of funding offers, etc. I'm cheap and poor (ie an undergrad) so funding will probably play a big role in deciding where I'll go :P

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@Delidas and @xioaping Tabbatha sent me this 

 "For the MA/ MA-JD Program: Your statement of intent should be between 1 – 2 pages in length and should clearly indicate why the program is important to you, your suitability for the program, as well as your future career goals."

I wasn't able to see the instructions through my OUAC account so Tabbatha emailed them to me. This changes everything haha. Currently at four pages.... lol 

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@sandradee Phew, looks like my keen sense of intuition has saved me once again! I'm almost at the end of page 2, so I'll just make sure to refrain from adding in any more. Hopefully you don't have too much trouble editing yours down - I always find it tougher to remove verbiage than to add it in.

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@xioaping Definitely the co-op and networking opportunities. I've spent the last four years (entire life, come to mention it) in a small town, and my undergraduate institution isn't so big as to offer much in way of networking unless I'm willing to drive an hour either way, give or take maybe fifteen minutes for traffic. I'm looking forward to being in a diplomatic hub. 

Co-op is also a really exciting prospect. As it happens, I'd like to get a job out of this degree, and co-op seems as good a means as any to get my foot in the door at places like GAC or DND. Speaking of which, what does everyone want to do after graduation? (I know, I know. jumping the gun a bit here). I figure a lot of us are interested in the foreign service, but I'm sure there's bound to be a few of us looking to go into consulting or something. What are we all thinking long-term?

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@xioaping @Delidas what are you guys doing about economic courses? Or do you already have them? Im wondering if I should start them now (I know, quite presumptuous) but just to see if I can even get the B-. Super nerve racking as I'm not a numbers person. I heard the athabasca courses were way easier than the ECON courses on-campus that carleton offers during the summer... 

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@sandradee I might not be much help here - I took both micro and macro last year, and so already have them under my belt. I wouldn't worry too much, honestly; I'm no numbers guy, and I managed to pull off 90+ grades in both. Just make sure, if you're not taking them concurrently, to do micro first. I found macro a lot harder, and appreciated the background micro gave me going into it. Either way, they're decently accessible. I wouldn't sweat it. 

And if you want my opinion, I'd start them sooner rather than later. You're going to need them if/when you get accepted, and even if you don't get into NPSIA, it doesn't hurt to have a basic understanding of economics tucked away in your mental repository. Honestly, it's pretty practical stuff: I can't imagine you'd ever regret taking them.

 

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Hey there ! I am considering applying to NPSIA for next year but I have to admit that I am quite nervous about it. I looked at last year's topic and I feel like I am pretty ordinary compared to the applicants. I am from Montréal, so my first language is french (I also speak spanish and japanese, if that's relevant) and my english is alright but far from amazing. I am currently doing an exchange in Sweden but that is basically the only international experience that I have. Other than that, my GPA is good. I kinda failed my first semester because of some personal problems but I improved every semester after that.  I don't have any implications or relevant job experiences... I would really be interested in the development field, since my bachelor's specialisation is international cooperation and development. 

I think my chances of getting in are very low, actually. 

I also looked at GPSIA and the development program at UOttawa, I would be happy to get into those as well. I am gonna apply at the equivalent of GPSIA/NPSIA at the University of Montreal just to have a cushion since my professor told me I would get in. It's still my last choice. 

I never did anything like a statement of intent, I am also nervous about that... Do you have any tips ? 

I agree that an online support group would be nice haha. I didn't imagine that applying to a master would be that stressful ! 

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@Chuupa Nice to have you onboard. I think you might stand more of a chance than you think, given your linguistic aptitudes and international experience. I mean, I'm no authority on the matter, but I'd definitely give it a shot if I were you! Just make sure you get your English up to snuff before September.  

Statements of Intent can be a royal pain, for sure, but I find it's easier to think of them as a personal narrative more than anything else; just be frank. I'm sure you have a reason as to why you want to go to grad school, so just tell it like it is.* You said you had a bad first year? Well if you have a good reason for that (personal problems?), you can include that too. Though an upward trend alone probably looks pretty good regarding CGPA. The more specific you can be as to what you want to research, what professors line up with such, etc. the better.

Given that both @sandradee and @xioaping already have MAs, they might be able to shed more light than me. I wouldn't overthink it all, in either case. I wasn't working off of a formula when I drafted up mine, and it turned out alright.

Hopefully you get it all sorted out; you still got lots of time.

*Unless your reason is "I want a salary with more figures than my SIN number, and this is my next best bet if law school doesn't work out." Don't be one of these people.

  

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I'm just a bit thrown off because I want to do the coursework path so no thesis or research essay yet I have to state what area of research I'm interested in. Other than that, I'm pretty much done my statement and just want to apply as soon as possible. The wait until March/April is what really kills me haha

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On 11/4/2017 at 5:46 AM, xioaping said:

I'm just a bit thrown off because I want to do the coursework path so no thesis or research essay yet I have to state what area of research I'm interested in. Other than that, I'm pretty much done my statement and just want to apply as soon as possible. The wait until March/April is what really kills me haha

why do you feel you *have to* state what area of research you are interested in? 

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3 hours ago, xioaping said:

@sandradee Because when I emailed Tabatha about the statement of intent, she included research as one of the criteria. However, I should probably email to make sure. 

@xioaping very interesting! The only info I got from her was " "For the MA/ MA-JD Program: Your statement of intent should be between 1 – 2 pages in length and should clearly indicate why the program is important to you, your suitability for the program, as well as your future career goals." 

So she didnt mention any research topic to me. But thats good info to know! 

and i agree...the wait until march will be so awful! especially because my contract is up in march and I will have no idea what I'm doing with my life after that! 

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@xioaping Maybe I'm off the mark, but you could always state research intent despite wanting to do the coursework option. I don't imagine they'll hold you to the contents of your SoP, as I'm sure people naturally change their minds after admittance to the program, completion of a semester, etc. I mean, that very well may prove the case for me if I end up getting in. 

And I'm curious about the streams/concentrations too. I've pretty well settled on conflict analysis/resolution, as it seems pretty widely applicable across sectors. But Intelligence and Global Governance tempted me. All in all, I don't think you can really go wrong. 

I'm pretty well done my SoP, and I should have all of my applications in by the end of the month at latest. The wait just very well may kill me. Did you guys apply to any other schools, or are you NPSIA or bust? 

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I was told by a current student that you have your first semester to decide what path you will be doing (MRP, Thesis, or coursework) so you definitely have tons of time!

I have such a personal interest in the intelligence/security streams but I wouldn't do well there lol Im applying to the global public policy stream but i think my statement reads that I would do well in the international development policy stream and I'm nervous I will get plunked there. I looked at the course requirements for both streams and so many overlap that it really would be ok either way, but I'm hopeful for the IOGP stream.

What is everyone wanting to do after? I know most hope for GAC... while its on my list I really just want to be working in policy and distance myself away from the front lines a bit. 

I'm fully regretting not applying to anywhere else (GPSIA) but I'm abroad and since you have to mail things in physically for their admission procedures its not really an option for me. NPSIA or bust wasn't a choice but I've accepted it as my life rn lol 

 

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Yeah for me its NPSIA or bust, I'm living in China at the moment so I have the same issues as @sandradee. Although GPSIA is very good, from what I read NPSIA still edges it by reputation and co-op placements. 

For paths, I am on the same boat as @Delidas with Conflict Analysis/Resolution. As for work, I def want to be in GAC but I'm willing to work at any department if I cant be at GAC right away and then move laterally across departments. The ultimate goal is to work for an embassy abroad.

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I think all the fields have great career prospects, but part of me think that perhaps 'conflict analysis' and 'security and defence' might be better afterwards? As I said, I’m more interested by development but IOGP looks really nice as well!

@xioaping If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing in China (studying, working, traveling) ? I also agree with you, I would love to be in GAC, as most of the students in NPSIA I guess. I don't know if it takes long to find a job after graduation... 

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