Good International Relations School Selections?





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Discus: College Search and Selection: September 2003 Archive: Good International Relations School Selections?
By Xtech (Xtech) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 04:37 pm: Edit

I've been working on this list for a little bit and here is what I've thought to be a pretty good selection of schools that I have a chance at getting into for a major in international relations, that are in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. I'd prefer to stay in this area though suggestions from anywhere are cool.

(*= Almost Definite Application)
Reach:
*Johns Hopkins(will almost definitley apply ED)
*Georgetown
*Tufts
Match:
*NYU
*George Washington
Penn State-University Park
Boston University
Lehigh
Safety:
*American
Rutgers-New Brunswick(no major in IR but a pretty decent PoliSci Dept. with IR courses, and the chance to create my own IR major with approval if I end up feeling it's that important, they have also been considering an IR major for years, mostly considering in case of sudden financial difficulties/bad FA packages, and it's close to home, I'm from NJ)

My Stats:
SAT:1380(730v/650m) I'm retaking it in Nov. which is too late for Hopkins ED but I truly believe I can get it to a 1450+

SAT II: Got sick with food poisoning when I was planning to take them back in June, so I'm stuck with Math IIC, Writing, and US History in October. I've been studying and have a 700+ in all the practice tests I've taken as of late and can bring it up more with a month left of studying.

GPA:3.4UW,3.6W,decent Frosh+Soph year, great Junior year, shaping up to be a good Senior year, progressively harder schedule each year while still maintaining a very good increase in GPA each year, Junior year was 3.7w,4.0w for example.

Rank: Top 30%(closer to top 20% but we do it by decile, no actual info on this but I would guess that I'm top 10% Junior year, and if my school reranks after 1st quarter or 1st semester I could make it into top 20%

EC: Nothing Spectacular but I'm no slacker either.
Tennis JV Frosh+Soph Year
Young Politician's Club Junior+Senior Year(Elections next week, good chance I'll be President)
Computer Club Soph+Junior+Senior Year(VP this year)
Worked after school in childcare/babysitting for 2-3 hours a day Junior+Senior Year(why I dropped tennis)
Volunteer work with my mosque all 4 years of HS, though this year it has dropped a little bit since our main 2 coordinators who I did a lot of work with have moved to Pakistan, and I have lost contact with them as well). I couldn't put an exact number on the hours but probably 1-2+ hours a week over 4 years, 75% of the weeks of the year.
Possible Problems for IR:
I've only taken 2 years of a foreign language(French) in HS, because I saw absolutely no future in it for me with what I wanted to do. I know Urdu(like Hindi) from home, and have been teaching myself Arabic as of late. I knew that I would never get to a level of French where it would make a significant difference so I decided to end it after Sophomore year, it being my worst class of HS, high C's, also led to that decision)
I'm looking for ideas on how I can let them know about my Urdu and Arabic

Conclusion:
I was just wondering what you all though of my list. Whether those were good schools or bad schools for IR and any changes you think I should make. Am I applying to too many difficult schools? Are any of those not that great for IR? Any other good IR schools that I should take a serious look at? Also, what do you think my chances are at those various schools?

Thanks for any replies, college admissions are a difficult thing and I'm trying to get to the point of finalizing schools so I can get to work on my SAT 2's some more and college apps. (The Hopkins one has been bothering me, what would I do with $10 for a day's adventure, and who would I bring? :P)

By Perry (Perry) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:13 pm: Edit

xtech --

A suggestion. If you plan on majoring in international relations, you should consider resuming foreign language classes.

By Xtech (Xtech) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:08 pm: Edit

My school only offers Spanish, French, and Latin, and seeing as how none of those 3 would help enrich me, and that is too late/difficult to add another class at this point, I won't be able to do that. I do however plan on taking Arabic courses at a local college 2nd semester and/or over the summer before college, seeing as how I would have to start at a 1st or 2nd level course despite my familiarity. However, colleges most likely won't see that for admissions. If any of you have good on ideas on how I can let them know that I am fluent in Urdu and am learning Arabic, to help make up for only 2 years of French, please let me know. It's one of the things that is really bothering me.

By Anonymoussparty (Anonymoussparty) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 10:04 am: Edit

Try looking into Michigan State James Madison program, its very unique and combined with the world's largest study abroad program you've got a lot of options at MSU-JMC.

If you do get a 1450 you'll have a good shot at being offered Honors College admission as well which gives you a further edge, with a lot of freshman year research opportunities which can get you things like State Dept internships early on like some kids do.

http://www.jmc.msu.edu/

By Xtech (Xtech) on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Thanks for the suggestion but if you look at my list, all the schools are in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic and that is where I would like to stay. If any of you have other suggestions for schools in the area let me know.

By Redgrail (Redgrail) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 05:16 am: Edit

You're SAT IIs and foreign language courses are the major concern. Georgetown's SFS, for example, requests that all SFS applicants submit SAT II scores in a foreign language.

If you can find some way to document your knowledge of urdu, that would definately help. . .

As for other schools, the Woodrow Wilson school at Princeton has an exellent IA program. However, that would definately be a reach. Also, it is ALOT of work. In fact, it's a killer. Just ask Dean Slaughter. . . (ok, bad joke. sorry.)

You need to add a safety or two and scratch Rutgers. If you want IR/IS/IA, Rutgers is not the school for you.

By Redgrail (Redgrail) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 05:17 am: Edit

You're SAT IIs and foreign language courses are the major concern. Georgetown's SFS, for example, requests that all SFS applicants submit SAT II scores in a foreign language.

If you can find some way to document your knowledge of urdu, that would definately help. . .

As for other schools, the Woodrow Wilson school at Princeton has an exellent IA program. However, that would definately be a reach. Also, it is ALOT of work. In fact, it's a killer. Just ask Dean Slaughter. . . (ok, bad joke. sorry.)

You need to add a safety or two and scratch Rutgers. If you want IR/IS/IA, Rutgers is not the school for you.

By Abf (Abf) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 01:30 pm: Edit

ABAD BEWAQOOF E-MAIL RPLY KARNA.
:D

By Xtech (Xtech) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 07:52 pm: Edit

As far as SAT II's I'm pretty sure I'll have no problem with any of them. It's looking like I can get a 750+ on all of them at this point. I was worried about Math IIC for a bit but with an 89 it's almost too easy. Once again the foreign language comes up. I'm almost afraid to go IR now because of that. I'm thinking about possibly going in the direction of some other major, Political Science with a concentration in IR or something similar possibly? I really don't know how I can express my knowledge of Urdu unless I get to speak to someone in a situation where they would be able to test me. Also, I never knew that Georgetown SFS must submit a foreign language SAT2. I looked all over their sight seeing where this might've been mentioned and couldn't find it. If you could give me a link to where you found this or let me know where you heard it that'd be great.

By Anotherdad (Anotherdad) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 12:18 pm: Edit

I think you have a good list. Note that American has an emphasis on developing areas, which might fit your situation.

By Redgrail (Redgrail) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 03:01 pm: Edit

http://www.georgetown.edu/undergrad/admissions/Testing.htm :

Candidates are requested to submit results of at least three College Board SAT II Subject Tests including Writing and two others appropriate to their area of interest. Candidates for the Walsh School of Foreign Service or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should include a modern language test among these two.

Note that it does not say MUST, but rather SHOULD. However, I suspect your chances of admittance will be lowered quite a bit by not submitting such a score. . .

By Alwayshopeful (Alwayshopeful) on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 10:15 am: Edit

I think it's fantastic that you want to major in international relations!I myself would like to major in that area. I am Russian and I speak Ukrainian and took 6 years of advanced French. That's about the only good thing I have going for me. I would like to get into NYU or American, but it's just a dream. I don't have your high SAT scores, though. You can easily get into those schools, but are you sure you want to apply to a competitive school like John Hopkins for example? Of course you should if you want a challenge, but you don't want to spend 4 years stressing yourself out, either. It can get pretty crazy. I think you have a decent selection. If you have money, go for it. If your financial situation is not as good, you might want to try aiming a little lower (i.e. not a top-notch school). There are many good schools w/IR majors that are still comepetitive but don't cost the $38,000 a year. But then again, you can always get aid and many scholarships with your strong academic background. The only obstacle in your way is the foreign language issue. You might want to try to find out in your school if you can take foreign language exams in your other language. But they're pretty hard I heard--not as easy as the French/Spanish/Italian ones. It might take extra studying. And it's different than just comprehension. There's a lot of grammar involved, too.
That's all really I can tell you right now. Keep trying and don't let little things get in the way of getting into the school that you want.


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