Departmental Related Admissions Criteria

- How can an application stand out and be unique?

- Everybody is unique and at CEU we are fortunate to have a very diverse student body, which definitely is also one of the strengths of the MA programs in the Department of Political Science. The fit with the program is very important but we also look for the applicant’s past experience, non-academic activities and international exposure, features that will make anybody stand out.

- What do the evaluators look for in an application?

- The department has prepared a set of guidelines to help evaluators. For example: is the application tailored to CEU and is the prospective student really eager to come here? The Department wants to see the applicant has explored both the program and the university and knows what the Department offers. Do not send the same statement of purpose to all universities you apply to!

What kind of department-related admission criteria are there?

You can find a short summary of the department-related admission criteria on this link. Supplementing the general admission documents, all applicants must submit the following:

· a 100-word statement of purpose describing the reason(s) why you are applying to the program;
· a short (approximately 500 words) exposition of an issue or problem in political science in which you are interested; and
· samples of previous writings and/or a list of scholarly publications and relevant research experience (as applicable).  All submitted writing should be in English, no other language will be considered.

- Are there any guidelines regarding the length and content of the writing sample?

You are free to submit any paper, but its length should not exceed 10-15 pages (please do not submit theses). You are also welcome to submit more than one sample but you should not submit more than 30 pages of text (approx. 10,000 words) overall. Please make sure that when you upload documents to the online application system, these attachments do not exceed 2 megabytes.

- Any advice on the statement of purpose, the exposition, and the writing sample?

- Tell us your strengths, show us your potential, explain to us how our programs can help you realize your ambitions. Make sure your statement is personal and it relates to your past and future plans. Your exposition should reflect on an issue/problem that could be the basis of an interesting research study. Last but not least, make sure you select carefully your writing sample – it is not so much about your writing skills but how you formulate your thoughts and construct your arguments.

- How to ace an application to the Political Science Department?

- There is a competitive element, for sure, as students from all over the world are applying to study in a department that is among the 24 best globally. And yes, our admissions are selective. Therefore, it is important that you convince the evaluators of your qualities and your fit with the program. Do not forget, the application is about you – we want to see how you would benefit from what we can offer. We only accept students when we are confident that they will do well.

- Does the word limit specified in the written sections of the submission refer to a minimum or maximum number of words?

The number of words specified is a maximum limit, i.e. a target length, allowing for the possibility of 5-10% more or less where the applicant feels it is absolutely necessary. Substantially longer submissions might not be taken into consideration.

- What are your recommendations concerning the word limitation in the applications?

- Word limitations are there for a reason. First, the word limit is the same for all applicants and thereby creates a more even playing field. Second, a word limit forces the applicant to think carefully about what they want to share. Stick to these limits – the best is if you write your materials and then you review, edit and cut until you reach the word limit. Writing short is always more difficult than writing long so make sure you have plenty of time to review your writing.

- What are the most serious mistakes that you have encountered in the applications?

- Missing documents sometimes are a problem. If important information is missing, then this reduces the chances of getting accepted into the program. You should ensure you have all documents and take every effort to make your application look neat and professional, it will help your evaluators.

- What is the ideal time to submit the applications? Should the applicants wait until the last day?

- The ideal time to submit the application is before the deadline. Okay, seriously, your chances of getting accepted do not depend on the timing of your application, but do not leave the application for the last moment - you will need time to review your documents and make sure you have done the best job you could have.

- Is there an entrance exam?

Candidates who passed the first (pre-selection) stage of the admissions process to the Political Science MA programs are required to participate in an entrance interview via phone which usually takes up to 30 minutes. This interview includes an oral discussion and a test type questionnaire too. You do not have to study for any of these, our target is to grasp your general knowledge. Selected candidates will be informed about the details of any possible examination on time.