Hello, gang! Here's me!
Program: PhD in Policy, or potentially political science-- still exploring the viability of that.
Schools Applying To: UChicago Harris PhD, University of Saskatchewan Public Policy PhD-- where I did my master's, Queen's (Canada) Political Science PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Political Science) PhD, Duke Public Policy PhD
Interests: Long-term policy planning (pension viability, CPP which is like Canadian social security); public finance; measurement and evaluation of policy, particularly in long-term output contexts like infrastructure maintenance or the intended policy outcomes of education systems design. It would depend on the interests of the school in question though.
Undergrad Institution: Top Canadian University, in the Worldwide Top 50
Undergraduate GPA: 3.4 Undergraduate Major: Political Science, Women's Studies
Graduate Institution: Canadian U15, Top 200 Worldwide
Graduate GPA: They calculate it oddly, but 83%, which is an A/A- (4.0/3.7) depending on whose comparison scale you use.
Graduate Major: MPA
GRE: not yet done-- depends on if I seriously look at applying to the USA because it's not needed in Canada
Quantitative Courses: Graduate Quantitative Methods (A), Graduate Statistics (A), Graduate Micro Economics for Policy (A), Graduate Social Economics (quant...ish) (A), undergraduate political economy (A), undergraduate micro (C+ but I think the grad should make up for it)
Years of Work Experience: By time of application, it will be 3.5 (or 4.5 including graduate internship) all in direct policy work in increasingly senior roles
Age: 24, will be 26 at time of application
Languages: English (native), French (fluent), Spanish (functional)
Work Experience: One year policy internship in provincial government: education, one year policy: finance, one year policy: infrastructure.
LORs: 1 from Master's prof under whom I worked as a research assistant and with whom I have kept regular contact. 1 from my Master's with whom I worked on an out-of-university research project. Probably another professor from my Master's with whom I completed a lot of coursework and who is a Canada research chair, but he's frustratingly hard to get a hold of, so I may need an alternate, haha. The first two are entirely in the bag, though.
Publications & Honours:
1 chapter, political science and gender, in an edited academic volume published by a Harvard visiting scholar
1 journal article, Kyushu University (in English), about immigration policy and international relations-- not super prestigious but it is referred
1 pedagogical article, University of Tennessee, about social policy and gender-- not a referred journal, but nevertheless an academic publication
1 book review, Laurier University, Canadian political subject
I also have a few prospective chapters in the hopper. It will depend on if they get accepted or not. One is about education policy and the other is more political science-y. The education one is likely a go, though.
1 Policy Report, published at Undergrad level with an NGO, gender and policy-- multiple author but just shows I've been at it a long time
Acknowledged in 2 journal articles as a research assistant-- not author status but they're in my resume while explaining my research work. Public finance subject.
Finalist, Inter-University Poster Competition at Master's Level. Public finance.
Semi-Finalist, the Same. Public finance and gender.
SOPs: In progress, but I'm a ways out yet.
* Lowish undergrad GPA. If you look at my posting history in this very forum, it was the source of some stress during my master's application, haha.
* Don't have a good sense of how Canadian degrees are valued in the USA. Are we good because Canadians speak the same language, or is it seen as sort of poxy by comparison with a US degree? I know the GRE is hugely important (in my practice testing I've top 165+ in verbal and about 158 in quant, so I'm practicing that) but assuming good scores, am I at a relative loss compared to a US applicant?
* Is it possible to apply for straight political science degrees given my published research and my undergraduate degree, or am I dreaming in technicolour?
* I know my research is a little all over, but it's circling the same policy/gender/public finance drain. I think I can tie them together, though-- will that be an asset or a problem, to have done some varied research?
* How much does American financing tend to be? Do they offer full tuition waivers and stipends? The websites seem cagey. I'd love to get the boost of an American PhD, but not at the costs they so often seem to present.