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Penelope Higgins

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Everything posted by Penelope Higgins

  1. Because of the selection problem you describe, your question (as you know) can't be answered without specific knowledge on individual grad students. The answer is also complicated by the fact that placement is subfield and specialty-specific, even in top 10 departments and especially as you move lower in the rankings. I can think of some Emory grads who placed very well (like Dan Slater at Chicago) and certainly the funding and training seem strong (I have no connection at all to that department) so I don't see the downside to applying. But that's me: if you really believe you will only be hap
  2. I'd say that the broader strategy is a purely personal decision. You're banking on the belief that waiting a year will improve your file significantly (which is not unreasonable) at the cost of however much an MA in Econ will set you back, plus the cost of waiting a year to start on the career path you prefer. So far, you are considering what I see as all the relevant factors. Underlying that is that you seem to believe you won't be happy at a lower-ranked school unless you've taken what you see as your best shot at top programs. Nobody can advise you that, but you need to think about it yours
  3. Your list covers all the obvious places one would suggest. And I think you are overselling the weaknesses of your profile - you've got a clear research interest, a decent course record, and nice test scores - that is enough to get your file a look most places. The one outside the box option that occurs to me is Virginia, where one could put together a nice committee of Leblang, Medina, and some of the junior formal/quant IR and comparative folks. Some of their students seem to place (including a theorist at NYU a couple of years ago) but I don't have a sense of the overall placement prospec
  4. Don't do this. 30-ish pages is the size of a published article or a dissertation chapter; we want to know if you can produce something of that size/scope/depth.
  5. You published in The Onion? I'm can't think of another journal I read for fun.
  6. Not so great for Southeast Asia - the only tenure track there working on the region is Malesky, and though a smart guy, he's not exactly a senior scholar.
  7. Baker's World Politics piece from a few years ago is really impressive as well.
  8. Fair enough, but remember that if you care about location, you need to optimize over your lifetime. What if moving to New York now for 6 years maximizes your chances of getting a job on the west coast? You may or may not decide that is worth the cost if you hate NY, but you shouldn't rule it out without realizing the long term consequences.
  9. A couple of things: first and most importantly, Marxist-critical approaches are not common in political science except in some parts of political theory. Are you sure you want to be in political science rather than another social science (sociology? anthro?) where they are more common? Second, if you want a decent chance at a teaching position somewhere you're willing to live for the rest of your career - which will last a LOT longer than six years - you would be well served to be flexible on the geography front. Third, your list of schools above doesn't make much sense to me. None of your rea
  10. We can't answer this question without info about the schools you have attended (a 3.6 GPA for an MA looks very different if it is from Princeton Woodrow Wilson vs. from Temple political science) and your interests to see whether you're a good fit at these places. All we can say so far is that your GRE scores are good enough for your file to be considered.
  11. I'm not sure my opinion is worth much on this question since I don't see this situation very often, but here's my two cents, and two related concerns that crop up more often in my experience reading applications. ON EMERITUS AND ADJUNCT FACULTY I would not be too worried about listing an emeritus faculty if their research interests match yours and you have the sense that they are still research active, but I would not list them first and I would make sure to identify at least 2-3 other people who might be of interest to you. By contrast, I would NOT list an adjunct. Here's why: emeritus facu
  12. Given that and what you describe as your record, you should be competitive at the schools you list. Just to make sure, you should realize that nearly all of them will expect you to fulfill all the coursework requirements at the new institution - don't expect to transfer many credits (if any at all) upon moving. Given your interests, I'm surprised Maryland is not on your list of schools. It isn't top-ranked, but it is (to a non-specialist) a strong place to do quant conflict work in IR.
  13. The key will be the letters from your current department. What will they say about your ability to do graduate work both in the classroom and in research? You will need letters from there, not just the same ones you used to apply, for this to work for you. Given the reasons you give for leaving, these letters should not be hard to get.
  14. Lots of political science departments have a security focus in their international relations groups. I'm not clear exactly on the difference between that and 'security studies' though my sense is that the former would be more theoretical and less applied/case-specific/policy-centered. Look, for example, at Jacob Shapiro's work at Princeton (since you mention WWS) - how different is that from the stuff you're interested in?
  15. Yes, always indicate you want to receive funding if you are applying to a PhD program. At most top departments, all admits are funded so this is irrelevant, and at lower-ranked departments, in my experience, admissions and funding are separate decisions.
  16. I stand corrected - my impression from the few methods files we get (I am not at one of the schools listed above) was that everyone has a lot of math and/or econ under their belt already, but perhaps the broader pattern is different. Certainly if you want to do methods, you should plan to get the math skills as soon as possible.
  17. Methodology as a field goes far beyond enjoying statistical analysis. If you do methods as a field, you'll be trying to develop new statistical techniques to address the problems with existing ones in studying certain questions. Look at the work of King (Harvard), Imai (Princeton), Mebane (Michigan) or Brady (Berkeley) to get a sense of what this implies. And if you want to study methods as a field, that's not a bad list of departments to look at, along with Stanford, Stanford GSB, Caltech, and Rochester. Without calculus, your chances of getting admitted to focus on methods are going to be sl
  18. Speaking as someone who teaches in a department treated surprisingly well by the NRC, I think it is a load of crap. Most of the measures of research productivity don't really capture anything meaningful, the data is old, and besides placement in jobs after you graduate is, whether we like it or not, still largely driven by networks and reputations rather than objective measures of something like "quality of degree." To take your example (and someone may correct me here) I can't think of a single subfield in which I would choose any of the schools you listed over Madison.* * I've got no con
  19. Northwestern is incredibly popular these days and they reject more than 90% of applications. If you're emphasizing in your application that you want to do quant stuff in addition to theory, I'd be a bit nervous with that score. I'd be a bit nervous about telling the Northwestern theorists you wanted to take quant work seriously in general, but that's a different story. So long as you're not putting all your eggs in the Northwestern basket, though, you should be fine since your test scores are strong enough to get your file consideration lots of other places.
  20. This varies wildly from school to school. Most places have representatives from each subfield on the committee, but the degree to which other members defer to the representative from each subfield varies. Some places have a separate admissions process for each subfield, with the spots allocated to each at the department level. At other places, there may be no members from a particular subfield on the committee at all in a given year.
  21. OK. His degree is in economics, and he received it from the business school at Stanford. Admission there is going to be very competitive, but I would look into that program.
  22. One person I can think of that might fit your interests is Victor Shih, who is moving from Northwestern to UCSD very soon. UCSD in general is a fairly quantitative department in comparative politics, so that might be a good fit.
  23. For methods/formal training that focuses on institutions, you can't do better than the GSB at Stanford or Caltech. Look at the faculty lists and the placement records of these places to see why. The downside is the fairly narrow version of political science you'll get there, but if you're sure this is the kind of work you want to do, I'd put those two places at the top of your list.
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