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not@prof_yet

Economics and Political Science dual PhDs?

3 posts in this topic

Does anyone know how dual PhDs work? I've seen a couple people have them on their CVs and would be interested in that option if it were possible. Is it a better alternative than a standard political economy program? (As a secondary question, what are the best political economy programs? I know GSB and HKS are the top 2, what are the others?)

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I have personally never heard of such a program, and have no knowledge of anybody who has completed such a program. I can think of a few examples of scholars who have completed both a political science PhD and an economics PhD, though not at the same institution and not at the same time. If somebody has two PhDs, it is usually because their interests changed and they needed the second one to work in the desired field (though I have heard of math PhDs going on to do econ PhDs due to the terrible job market for mathematicians). It is not unheard of for political science doctoral students to acquire an economics MA, though I would not say that it's common.

 

The real question is this: what is your desired career path? If you want to study IPE/CPE from the perspective of a political scientist/using political science research methods (and seek employment as an academic political scientist), you should aim for top political science PhD programs that are strong in these areas. If you want to study issues of political economy from the perspective of an economist/using economics research methods (and seek employment as an economist, academic or otherwise), you should target economics PhD programs that are strong in political economics. The top political economy programs (Stanford/Harvard) do place their PhDs into academic/non-academic positions in both fields, but their admission rates are extremely low - it would be unwise to place all of your eggs in that basket. It's also worth noting that the political economy programs (as well as most top econ programs) will expect you to have taken specific math courses as an undergrad, unlike most political science programs.

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My general rule of thumb is to avoid interdisciplinary programs at the doctoral level. They rarely have as good as job prospects as traditional discipline programs do.

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