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IR PhD profile evaluation. Thanks for your help!


Tiffany612
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Hi all! 

I am an international student (China) applying to PhD programs in International Relations this year. I am looking for some opinions on me being admitted by some programs. My profile is as follows:

BA(07/2015): International Political Economy at Top 2 Universities in China;

GPA: 3.51 (I know, this looks bad. But there is actually no GPA on my official transcript. I am wondering if I should omit it in the online application);

MA(05/2017): Top 10 IA programs in the US;

GPA: 3.91

TOEFL: waived

GRE: V: 159; Q: 169; AW: 4

LOR: one from my former internship boss (he is a renowned expert in my field); one from my American professor (he is in IA department, not political science); one from my undergrad professor (he is in Political Science Department);

Research: Currently working in a think tank, doing research related to the field I am interested in; was research assistant to my professor during my last semester at grad school; wrote a relevant essay which was published in a think tank's blog; my former internship also contains lots of research work.

Universities I am considering: 

Columbia, Cornell, BU, UMD, USC, Denver, American University, UT Dallas, George Mason

Please let me know how you would evaluate my profile. Thank you soooooo much! 

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12 hours ago, dagnabbit said:

Columbia and Cornell are good choices - however, I'm a little confused about how you chose those other programs for IR. What are your interests within IR? Security, IPE, IO?

I am more interested in Chinese foreign relations, PRC-Taiwan relations or IR of East Asia. Columbia and Cornell are great but I am a little bit worried that I may not be able to get admitted. I do have some backup choices among the schools above. To be honest, I feel a program which really fits me is better than a program which has fancy ranking but lack the resources I need:)

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  • 1 month later...

I am doing IPE too and come from China, though I did my undergrad and MA both at top-tier US colleges. I believe if you can produce a stellar MA thesis, at least from what I was told from my adviser (a leading scholar in IPE from Stanford), this will help a lot in top-20's admissions. I don't think Peking/Tsinghua's 3.5 would be a big negative, considering you lifted it up through a MA program. For Chinese foreign policy, why not consider programs like UCSD too? 

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You should apply to a few more of the top ranked schools! I get what you're saying about fit, and the rankings are of course arbitrary, but unfortunately they matter quite a bit. Coming from a higher-ranked institution will increase your options down the road. For admissions, much will depend on your LORs and statement, but your numbers and overall profile will earn your file a close read at much of the top 10. All good Ph.D. programs reject most applicants, so you want to roll the dice as many times as you can.

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/24/2017 at 10:51 AM, Tiffany612 said:

Hi all! 

I am an international student (China) applying to PhD programs in International Relations this year. I am looking for some opinions on me being admitted by some programs. My profile is as follows:

BA(07/2015): International Political Economy at Top 2 Universities in China;

GPA: 3.51 (I know, this looks bad. But there is actually no GPA on my official transcript. I am wondering if I should omit it in the online application);

MA(05/2017): Top 10 IA programs in the US;

GPA: 3.91

TOEFL: waived

GRE: V: 159; Q: 169; AW: 4

LOR: one from my former internship boss (he is a renowned expert in my field); one from my American professor (he is in IA department, not political science); one from my undergrad professor (he is in Political Science Department);

Research: Currently working in a think tank, doing research related to the field I am interested in; was research assistant to my professor during my last semester at grad school; wrote a relevant essay which was published in a think tank's blog; my former internship also contains lots of research work.

Universities I am considering: 

Columbia, Cornell, BU, UMD, USC, Denver, American University, UT Dallas, George Mason

Please let me know how you would evaluate my profile. Thank you soooooo much! 

Sounds like an extremely competitive applicant,  based on your stats! Hope you get into Columbia! Do you mind telling me how you got your TOEFL scores waived? I've got my Master's from the US as well but was still required to provide those scores. 

Edited by Dan_Xu
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