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Penelope Higgins

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Everything posted by Penelope Higgins

  1. I can't say this strongly enough: interest in the department (as demonstrated by taking up time with faculty members, or doing anything beyond applying and showing in your statement that YOUR academic interests have some overlap with theirs) is worth ZERO in admissions to poli sci PhD programs. If it helps you make decisions about where to apply etc, then it is worth doing. But otherwise your time is better spent reading, studying for GRE scores, or doing just about anything else.
  2. For a PhD in political science (not public policy or international affairs) this is not an issue. Work experience doesn't matter, so long as you have a clear idea of what you want to study in grad school. Most applicants (and most entrants) are straight out of undergrad.
  3. Theory departments tend to specialize in particular kinds of theory (historical, analytical, Straussian, post-modern, etc.) What kind of work do you want to do, and what kinds of questions are you interested in? Tell us more about that and hopefully someone here can suggest some programs to consider. Right now your area of interest is too broad for us to be helpful.
  4. You'd of course benefit from improving that score, but if the rest of your record is as strong as you claim, the scores that you currently have put you in reasonable shape for the schools that you listed. Higher scores are always better (until you get over 750 or so) but you're not in bad shape as things currently stand...
  5. Just to answer your last question: schools in the top 10 get hundreds of applications. The approach most use to narrow down that huge pile is to start with test scores, so you do need to pass some threshold to have a decent shot. After the hundreds of applications are narrowed down to a hundred or so, the other factors start to matter. In terms of your specific interests, I don't know much on the policy end of things. But the state/regime angle would be a good fit at Princeton, Berkeley, or Harvard - less so at places like Stanford and UCSD. Yale might be worth a look as well.
  6. Not all top 10 comparative programs are quant-dominated: you might look at Berkeley, Harvard, or Princeton for example as places where you could do comparative and public policy work. But it is hard to offer any useful advice because you tell us nothing about your intellectual interests. What do you want to study? And we can't offer opinions on your chances at the top 10 schools without test scores.
  7. The question of how globalization (however you define it - I presume you mean increased economic interchange among countries, but you might mean cultural interchange) affects certain groups fits quite squarely into political science. But I am not sure what you mean by community stability and group productivity... if you can spell out that part a bit more clearly perhaps we can advise you. And yes, while a lot of the work on identity is about politicization and violence, not all of it is.
  8. Lots of people working on the determinants of educational policy across countries, ranging from Benjamin Ansell at Minnesota to David Stasavage at NYU to many others. There are also people working on education and the labor market or other aspects of the economy. You will find fewer working on the effects of education directly, though many (too many to name!) work (particularly historically) on how education shapes nationalism and other aspects of identity formation. If you can tell us a bit more about your specific interests (and a geographic region of interest if you have one) we may b
  9. If the rest of your file is REALLY STRONG - great GPA from a school that will impress an admissions committee, strong statement of purpose, and (most importantly) letters from people well known to the admissions committee - you've got a good chance with those test scores at a top program, unless you are applying to do quantitative methods work. Only you know what the rest of your file looks like...
  10. Your stats suggest that you would be a reasonable candidate for the right program, but you need to do some research on departments that would be interested in this kind of work, and to read some of the work done in this vein to figure out how your interests relate to the (vast) existing literature. This is not my field, but three names that come to mind are Melissa Lane (Princeton as of this fall), Melissa Schwarzberg (Columbia) and Eric Nelson (Harvard). Josiah Ober at Stanford is another great choice, but you say that you are limited to the East Coast. Edited to add: your quant GRE score
  11. Pevehouse left, and moved back to Wisconsin - he will certainly be there as of this fall.
  12. Fluency takes years, particularly for a difficult language like Arabic. If you're a US citizen, you can get a FLAS grant to spend your summers in intensive language training, and to fund your academic years so long as you take some language classes (if your university is connected to the FLAS program). So that can get you up to speed to do research. Fluency takes years living in the region - I have spent 3 years living in the region I study, and while I'm quite proficient in the language, I would not call myself fluent...
  13. Lots of people pick up language skills in grad school. It just adds courses to your first two years, and may take up a summer or two as well doing immersion in the country/region. That won't give you the fluency to do ethnographic work, but you can write survey questions, carry out interviews with a local assistant, go to archives, etc. with the skills that you pick up in a couple of years of study.
  14. Doner and Reiter, in comparative and IR respectively, are pretty big names.
  15. Ruggie is not in the Government Department at Harvard - I wouldn't apply there if I planned to work with him. And unless I'm confused, the post about Rochester is either a misstatement or a joke. I'd also probably steer clear of Princeton and Columbia given your interests.
  16. Assistant professors are sometimes on admissions committees. At some schools (Columbia, for example), every subfield makes its own decisions separately. At other schools, the admissions committee is drawn from across the department, and includes both senior and junior people.
  17. I've never known this to be a problem - everyone's interests evolve across their coursework years...
  18. I don't know much about the IR group at Minnesota (I'm a comparativist). UVA has certainly made some strong hires and has a real commitment to build a strong department. It isn't a top 20 place, but is definitely improving.
  19. To add a bit of info on UVA (which should not be taken as an endorsement of one program over the other): David Leblang will be starting at UVA this fall if he is not there already. If you're an IPE type, that is a big addition to the department, which has made some strong young hires recently (to name two relevant for your purposes: Pandya, Gingerich), and has some strong CPE folks (Schwartz, for example) and some strong comparativists (Medina, Waldner). I agree with plisar about funding, but would add that it is true for both programs.
  20. The ND situation sounds to me (and I am not there and don't know anyone there, so this is just a guess) less like a waitlist for a waitlist, and more like plans to balance a cohort after the results of their first offers are known. Some departments like to do this to ensure subfield representation.
  21. I'm a faculty member at a school often mentioned on here (I won't say more than that), and I'm not here to find out about people's choices, but to try to give some advice that I never got when I was applying to grad programs. I've got nothing to do with admissions here and I intend to keep it that way...
  22. It looks like the OP is in American Politics. In that subfield, I don't think ND is such a good place - Hero is (apparently) entertaining outside offers, and otherwise the dept is not so strong.
  23. Placement looks pretty bleak with a few exceptions - see the link at the bottom of this page: http://nd.edu/~governme/graduate/ Beyond that, it depends on your subfield. There are some very strong faculty there, and you'll get well trained. But it isn't a program I would choose over a lot of other options.
  24. Here are a few comparative hires at top schools in the recent past (chosen purely off the top of my head, not based on any commentary about these folks or anyone left off the list): Prerna Singh (Princeton PhD, hired at Harvard) qual and quant work on India, comparisons across Indian states Ana de la O (MIT PhD, hired at Yale) quant work on Mexico - natural experiments Rafaela Dancygier (Yale PhD, hired at Princeton) quant (mostly) work on ethnic violence in Western Europe Stanislav Markus (Harvard PhD, hired at Chicago) qualitative work on former Soviet Union Daniela Campello (UCLA PhD,
  25. Stanford is a clear #1 for these issues - nobody comes close except maybe the Kalyvas/Sambanis/ maybe Wilkinson crowd at Yale, plus all the visitors at their OCV center...
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