The first generation of CIDE students that I met is about to graduate in a few months. Some are considering grad school. I dont have particular advice for PolSci but there is good info available on Economics programs–IMO, the generic rules should not vary a lot among disciplines in top schools anyway. Here are some pointers:
1. Stanford Prof. Susan Athey’s advice on applying to economics grad school.
2. Guide to applying at www.econphd.net (with lots and lots of additional info)
3. And a nice Q&A from Davidson College:
Why go to graduate school in economics?
How long does it take to get a Ph.D. in economics?
What is a typical course of study?
What can you do with a Ph.D. in economics?
Should I get a Master’s degree in economics?
What is the Diploma in economics?
What about a Ph.D. in public policy?
Should I go directly to graduate school?
How much does graduate school cost?
What is the average salary?
How hard is it to get into a top program?
What are the admissions committees looking for?
Where should I apply? And to how many places?
What are my chances of graduating with the Ph.D.?
Where have recent economics Ph.D.’s found jobs?
What you need to be doing now?