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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/19/2010 in all areas

  1. SOG25, if your entire purpose is to say "But a law degree is SO MUCH BETTER!!eleventyone!!," why are you slumming on a poli sci message board? What are you trying to accomplish here?
    2 points
  2. I'm starting this thread as a chance to help others learn from my mistake(s), and I hope others will be generous with their lessons learned as well. I JUST thought to look at my transcripts, and realized that two of the classes in which I did the most work in my area of study do not reflect that on the transcript!! They just say "ENGL _____, Literature and Culture" and ENGL ____, British Literature. I didn't even think to talk about the work I did in these classes in my SOP, I focused on my thesis, my conference activity, and what I want to do for my dissertation -so, while I'm sure my prof
    1 point
  3. There's an eight year gap between when I received my BA and when I started my MA. Now a few months into my PhD and I'm the second oldest person in my cohort. All those things that participation in extracurricular activities while an undergrad are supposed to demonstrate are easily substituted by a little thing I like to call "life experience." I haven't met a single professor who hasn't mentioned how nice it is to teach and work with students who have several years of life experience outside of academia. We tend to come with a better work ethic, a better sense of professionalism, and a better
    1 point
  4. The application of one program to which I am applying has a section to list the professors with whom you have had contact. Is this merely a way for them to decide which professor will give your application the first read? If so, it seems redundant with the POS listed in your personal statement. Any thoughts on contacting (via email, most likely) potential professors prior to applying? If that is a good idea, what is the best way to open the dialogue short of "I want to study with you"? Thanks!
    1 point
  5. do you seriously only post here to try & get people to click on your GRE website? every post you make just repeats the same info over and over.
    1 point
  6. we just discussed this again a few posts down. you may want to search through old posts before posting to see if your topic has been discussed before. see:
    1 point
  7. Not getting into grad school seems like the end of the world. But it can truly be a blessing in disguise, as I've learned. It took me three rounds to get in but now I am in a program that's a great fit, and am glad about how things worked out. Here are some reasons why not getting in was a good thing for me: 1. I got to work in my field and gain professional experience. I got exposure to how the field actually works - grants, publications, department politics - which is a huge advantage going into a graduate program. 2. I came in with hands on skills. Because it had been my job to analyz
    1 point
  8. beaverish, I think those scores are fine, all that you'd be making are small improvements. Concentrate on making an impactful dissertation and use that extra time for the application.
    1 point
  9. I do want to just add one thing that I do think is more broadly applicable than just to you, MM (and for the record, I really don't think the above posters intended to attack you, but just intended to make it clear to other applicants who might be considering taking your advice/example that they, as people who would literally be on the receiving end of those emails, think that it would be a bad idea). In some ways, I totally sympathize with you and the impulse to establish contact with profs and students at programs you'd like to apply to. But, like the above posters, that email made me cringe
    1 point
  10. I'm not sure how else to put it, other than that things look very different from this perspective. 1. You seem to assume what I think is a false dichotomy between people who are willing to help and people who are not. It's not nearly that simple--as my previous response (unsuccessfully, apparently) tried to indicate. Most graduate students ARE willing to help, but are discerning about who they help, under what circumstances and framework. Personally, I would never speak badly of a professor, adviser, or my program via email to what is essentially a stranger. It's a political risk (even if
    1 point
  11. Seconding both answers vehemently. There's a lot to be said for getting help from current grad students. When I last applied, I had friends and colleagues at almost every program on my list. Their help was absolutely instrumental: they (knowing my work) suggested professors that I would never have thought of, helped me gauge the atmosphere of the program, edited my SoP and writing sample, introduced me to other graduate students, offered suggestions on other programs, etc, etc. I don't think I can ever pay off that intellectual debt and I feel absurdly lucky. But I knew them going into this pr
    1 point
  12. Yeah, let me be more honest than I was before: I'm a current grad student, too, and I'd find the email an imposition. I'd respond as thoroughly as I could, out of common courtesy, but the sheer volume of questions would overwhelm me. If MM were to read my response, she'd think the email was successful (and, if it answered her questions, I suppose it would be). But it would do her no favors with the department. I can even imagine the dialogue that might ensue between a grad student and her adviser: GRAD STUDENT. A prospective applicant wrote to me last night. She asked me exactly 20 quest
    1 point
  13. as a current grad student, i can say 100% i would a) not have time to read that huge email not have time to reply to that huge email and c) would likely come away with a negative opinion of the e-mailer ("does (s)he REALLY think i have time to answer all these questions?!"). i also agree that the professor email template is way too SoPish and not likely to lead to dialogue with a prof. so, that's good that you've been successful so far, but i can't say i'd recommend others do the same...if you want to contact grad students or profs, make it short and appropriate. i'm much more likely to r
    1 point
  14. if your true intent was to be informative only, then you would not link to your fee-required GRE services in your signature. you are using this forum with a clear intent to attract new business which, yes, does bother me. people come here for advice from real people, not to try and be sold on yet another product.
    0 points
  15. I simply try and answer everyone's questions. The fact that similar questions show up repeatedly is a symptom of the fact that people have the same concerns. For that reason we try and develop comprehensive answers to those common questions. I'm sorry that it bothers you, but I am really just trying to be as informative as possible. Regards, Taylor
    0 points
  16. I guess everyone is just different. If someone sent me an email asking me specific things about my department, I'd be glad to answer as honestly as I could because a.) I'd want the same courtesy extended to me and b.) I'd want that person to have as accurate a picture as possible of whatever s/he wanted to know about, because I take academia and university seriously, and I work hard to check things out at any given program prior to applying, including asking as many people as I can about it, and such an email from someone else would indicate to me that s/he was doing his or her homework and ta
    -1 points
  17. God I love the Grad Cafe. I find it very entertaining, and I love how everybody (including myself) pretentiously tell someone there being pretentious. For what its worth, I network best with a beer in my hand, I am just not good in the office/professional world, so I avoided contacting people this year, and it worked out better for me, but I think everybody's approach is and should be different.
    -1 points
  18. Well, here’s just a sample of some of those courses you obviously agree that JDs are qualified (or more qualified) to teach, which also fall within political science: Constitutional law (learned a great deal about institutions simply by understanding judicial decisions) International law (clearly a part of international relations); let’s not forget about International Organizations. Administrative Law (A growing area of concern in political science) Intro to American law All of these courses could fall under the field of Public Law, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is a subfiel
    -1 points
  19. Wesson, While your experience may be different, at least from my limited research, I’ve seen a sizable number of departments with faculty teaching courses outside of their PhD focus. I don’t suggest that this is necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion, a good teacher is a good teacher, regardless of specialty of focus, consistent with my position that a Juris Doctor will be a good political science professor. Of course, having a focus helps, but does not guarantee expertise or greater competence; in any field, I would argue, expertise is developed by practice in a given
    -1 points
  20. I disagree cogneuroforfu. My premise is not “absurd.” Let me restate it since you misunderstood. “My premise is that a Juris Doctor attains a firm grasp on government institutions and public policy through their studies; therefore, they are qualified to teach political science courses.” Given the context of my earlier post, I think it’s clear that I’m not at all implying, as you claim, that any teacher can or should teach subjects significantly outside their field of education. Whether or not that is a good idea, I clearly was obviously pointing to the fact that a good professor
    -1 points
  21. Thanks for your thoughts. I also want to clarify that my point is not to denigrate the merit of the PhD; I think it is clearly a worthy and valuable education. At the same time, I have tremendous respect for the study of jurisprudence, also a worthy endeavor and no small accomplishment. My point is to challenge the idea that only PhDs are qualified to teach political science, when JDs are clearly qualified as well. As to the comment about who deserves to be “doctor”, that designation, in my opinion, appears to be completely arbitrary or conventional. A simple look into the etymology of
    -3 points


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