10 months ago
Admissions Advice

How to build a spike in the social sciences?

I am a junior thinking of aiming high for the Ivy Leagues or simple prestigious colleges that are known for their social sciences. I have quite a lot of extracurriculars, but I am definitely missing a spike. Only this year I decided I would study social science (I'm not sure which one yet but I'm thinking general sociology or political science). The only thing about my extracurriculars that directly aids this is the student activism club I just started 3 weeks ago, and maybe my Associates degree if I can really focus on related courses.

My school only offered 1 AP class (human geography) and 4 years of honors Arabic, so I took them. The reason we have so little is that we almost completely focus on dual credit in our junior and senior years. By the time I graduate high school, I will have my Associates degree, so this summer I will get to start taking classes leaning towards the social sciences.

For ECs I have 70+ hours of volunteering in the form of tutoring, PSIA training, teacher assisting, event organizing, fundraising, etc. I was also the head of marketing and PR for my school's MIST team, raising $2k+ in funds. I won 2nd place in social media and qualified for nationals at MIST, I began a student activism club (it's fairly new though, I wish I'd thought of it earlier), and I've been part of the student council all 3 years, I am the student council vice president, aiming for president next year. I'm part of a book club and I do videography/video editing and a bit of photography on the side, I have a couple of school/family/friends videos for that. I am fluent in Bengali and Arabic (reading too) with basic speaking skills in Urdu and Hindi and a bit of American Sign Language (although I sort of stopped ASL so I can focus on Urdu and Hindi). I enjoy learning about cultures and ties between multiple ones (I'm thinking of minoring in some sort of cultural study).

Just to paint a clearer picture, I mean I'm looking at schools like Rice (hard target), Harvard (reach), Columbia (reach), and a few others. I also plan on taking the ACT this summer. I can't think of any ideas to build my spike, I thought of blogging but a lot of college-help websites had people saying blogs don't prove much unless you have some sort of high stats.

I feel sort of helpless in improving my profile. To top it off, I only have a few months to my intended ACT testing date so I'm already stressed.

PSIA: Private Schools Interscholastic Association (I trained kids who participated)

MIST: Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (it's mainly for Muslims, but it's open to all nation-wide and in Canada)

@DebaterMAX10 months ago [edited]

By prestigious schools do you consider LACs?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
10 months ago

So you seem to have a lot of quality social science related ones especially in the “cultural” sub section. Learning new languages on your own MIST. You also have leadership with student council and activism club. And you have a book club and photography for good measure

To me what you seem to be missing is something that that relates to human behavior especially as a sociology major. Some suggestion I have off the top of my head is a psychology club maybe a neuroscience club as it deals with though processes?

Alternatively you can try to have your hook be something about activism and then I’d just try to further your leadership in your activism club and your MIST club.

As for PoliSci you have no ECs related to it unless you count MIST which I wouldn’t. So if you want to do that I’d definitely get expierence and ECs in that area. I don’t know what opportunities you have so I can’t recommend any.

Also as I believe you are a Canadian I have no knowledge on Canadian politics besides who the PM is so sorry about that.

Also a unrelated tip: I’d recommend you apply as a linguistics major then transfer to PoliSci if you want to go into PoliSci. For sociology I say you can apply directly.

Hope this helps and feel free to comment if you’s like clarification as I’d be more than happy to help!

10 months ago

First congratulations! You already have a strong foundation. If you were hoping for Linguistics, I could see where you've been crafting your spike. For social sciences like Sociology and Political Science, I am getting from your post that you do not feel like you stand out YET. You could always try for something personal. Like a student at Johns Hopkins who had a particular surgery as a child and put together a booklet of advice for pediatric patients and their families that got thousands of downloads and lots of positive feedback. But I think you should also check out an article here on CollegeVine that I found really helpful: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-high-schoolers-interested-in-studying-a-social-science/


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