I'm strongly interested in a terminal MA in Sociology (because I am currently not willing to commit to the length of a US PhD program) and know that I want to work in research for social policy. I'm mainly looking at one-year programs in Europe (due to lower cost, larger quantity of good terminal programs).

Applications for funding deadlines are coming up in January. I have only recently been reaching out to my letter writers, and I haven't yet finished my writing samples, SOPs, or CV to send to them, so many of my letter writers do not have very much to work with since only one knows me well. I also missed every deadline for grants to study abroad, like the Fulbright scholarships. So I potentially will have weak letters of recommendation and few funding opportunities.

My question is how wise it might be to put off my applications for a year to instead try to work at a public policy research institute, then get together much stronger applications for funding next year with letter writers who might be more familiar with me and my interests.

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    Thanks for clarifying. Is there any reason you can't apply this year, see what offers you get, and then decide whether to accept one of those offers or apply again next year? – ff524 Dec 28 '16 at 18:07

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