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Penelope Higgins

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  1. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from soni1597 in Looking for more qualitative comparative politics programs (South Asia/middle east areas of particular interest)   
    First, I want to encourage you (and everyone looking at schools) to let the specific research question drive the methods you choose to use rather than limiting applications based on a perception of methods preferred that is often hard to get from outside the department.

    Second, any department will only have 1-2 faculty that specialize in any geographic area. You also need to have a substantive area of interest within comparative, and to look for departments with strengths in that area.

    Third, and without knowing your substantive area of interest, a few suggestions in answer to your question about regional strength, with the names of a few relevant faculty off the top of my head.
    Berkeley (Chaudhry)
    Penn (Kapur, Lustick)
    Princeton (Kohli, Jamal)
    Yale (Wilkinson, Lawrence)
    Harvard (Singh for India; trying to hire a Middle East person this year)
    Texas (Brownlee for Middle East, has an India center)

  2. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from ZajoncSays in Most of you won't get tenure-track jobs   
    Yes.
  3. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from AuldReekie in Six assistant professorships at Princeton just opened up   
    Princeton announces searches in every subfield every year. Does not mean they will hire in all of them.
  4. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from Applicant2014 in American University - SIS MA Program for an Academic Career?   
    The MA in Political Science at NYU is not a good place to get academic training. I can't compare it to the other options, which I don't know as well, but at NYU (as discussed on here before) the MA is a separate program from the PhD. Students do not normally take classes with the main political science faculty or with PhD students, and it does not prepare you well for PhD programs. Again, I can't offer advice as to how to choose among these options, but the NYU program is not as good a pre-PhD option as the name of the school would suggest.
     
    Here is a post from last year that discusses the NYU MA program in some detail:
  5. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from Page228 in Should I retake Trig for a PhD in Political Science?   
    Folks, I sit on an admissions committee at my university most years. I have had students admitted to top 5 departments in empirical political science in the last 5 years who had little to no math background since high school, no programming skills, and certainly little beyond intro calculus. So I just want to point out that there's a bit of exaggeration about the math background needed going on in this conversation. Applicants should simply seek to show that they are smart and able to build the needed skills once admitted.
  6. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from rising_star in Should I retake Trig for a PhD in Political Science?   
    Folks, I sit on an admissions committee at my university most years. I have had students admitted to top 5 departments in empirical political science in the last 5 years who had little to no math background since high school, no programming skills, and certainly little beyond intro calculus. So I just want to point out that there's a bit of exaggeration about the math background needed going on in this conversation. Applicants should simply seek to show that they are smart and able to build the needed skills once admitted.
  7. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from throwaway123456789 in Should I retake Trig for a PhD in Political Science?   
    Folks, I sit on an admissions committee at my university most years. I have had students admitted to top 5 departments in empirical political science in the last 5 years who had little to no math background since high school, no programming skills, and certainly little beyond intro calculus. So I just want to point out that there's a bit of exaggeration about the math background needed going on in this conversation. Applicants should simply seek to show that they are smart and able to build the needed skills once admitted.
  8. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from AuldReekie in Should I retake Trig for a PhD in Political Science?   
    Folks, I sit on an admissions committee at my university most years. I have had students admitted to top 5 departments in empirical political science in the last 5 years who had little to no math background since high school, no programming skills, and certainly little beyond intro calculus. So I just want to point out that there's a bit of exaggeration about the math background needed going on in this conversation. Applicants should simply seek to show that they are smart and able to build the needed skills once admitted.
  9. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from NYCBluenose in Should I retake Trig for a PhD in Political Science?   
    Folks, I sit on an admissions committee at my university most years. I have had students admitted to top 5 departments in empirical political science in the last 5 years who had little to no math background since high school, no programming skills, and certainly little beyond intro calculus. So I just want to point out that there's a bit of exaggeration about the math background needed going on in this conversation. Applicants should simply seek to show that they are smart and able to build the needed skills once admitted.
  10. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from victorydance in Does applying earlier benefit your application?   
    I've sat on the admissions committee about every other year for a while now at two departments that sit in different places on the academic food chain. I can guarantee you that It makes NO difference at all when you apply as long as your application is in before the deadline, and your letters of recommendation arrive within a week or two after the deadline. The committee does not even see the files for a couple of weeks after the deadline since an administrator has to organize them and upload them to the server we use to view them.
     
    The only exception is one that arises at departments that do not fund all students. These are mostly lower-ranked departments but include many of the schools under discussion by various applicants here. At these schools, departments can nominate their best applicants (or more accurately the best applicants they think are likely to attend, since the funding rolls down to a university-wide waiting list rather than to the next nominee of that department) for university funding, and deadlines for department nominations often fall earlier than the department deadline for applicants to turn in their materials. These deadlines are usually listed on department websites with language like "for best consideration for funding, apply by X date."
     
    But with that exception aside, you should not be concerned about getting your materials in early. Simply meet the deadlines and your file will get full consideration. Note that the same thing is NOT true when you apply for academic jobs, but that is a completely separate discussion.
  11. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from cooperstreet in Does applying earlier benefit your application?   
    I've sat on the admissions committee about every other year for a while now at two departments that sit in different places on the academic food chain. I can guarantee you that It makes NO difference at all when you apply as long as your application is in before the deadline, and your letters of recommendation arrive within a week or two after the deadline. The committee does not even see the files for a couple of weeks after the deadline since an administrator has to organize them and upload them to the server we use to view them.
     
    The only exception is one that arises at departments that do not fund all students. These are mostly lower-ranked departments but include many of the schools under discussion by various applicants here. At these schools, departments can nominate their best applicants (or more accurately the best applicants they think are likely to attend, since the funding rolls down to a university-wide waiting list rather than to the next nominee of that department) for university funding, and deadlines for department nominations often fall earlier than the department deadline for applicants to turn in their materials. These deadlines are usually listed on department websites with language like "for best consideration for funding, apply by X date."
     
    But with that exception aside, you should not be concerned about getting your materials in early. Simply meet the deadlines and your file will get full consideration. Note that the same thing is NOT true when you apply for academic jobs, but that is a completely separate discussion.
  12. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from catchermiscount in Does applying earlier benefit your application?   
    I've sat on the admissions committee about every other year for a while now at two departments that sit in different places on the academic food chain. I can guarantee you that It makes NO difference at all when you apply as long as your application is in before the deadline, and your letters of recommendation arrive within a week or two after the deadline. The committee does not even see the files for a couple of weeks after the deadline since an administrator has to organize them and upload them to the server we use to view them.
     
    The only exception is one that arises at departments that do not fund all students. These are mostly lower-ranked departments but include many of the schools under discussion by various applicants here. At these schools, departments can nominate their best applicants (or more accurately the best applicants they think are likely to attend, since the funding rolls down to a university-wide waiting list rather than to the next nominee of that department) for university funding, and deadlines for department nominations often fall earlier than the department deadline for applicants to turn in their materials. These deadlines are usually listed on department websites with language like "for best consideration for funding, apply by X date."
     
    But with that exception aside, you should not be concerned about getting your materials in early. Simply meet the deadlines and your file will get full consideration. Note that the same thing is NOT true when you apply for academic jobs, but that is a completely separate discussion.
  13. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from AuldReekie in Does applying earlier benefit your application?   
    I've sat on the admissions committee about every other year for a while now at two departments that sit in different places on the academic food chain. I can guarantee you that It makes NO difference at all when you apply as long as your application is in before the deadline, and your letters of recommendation arrive within a week or two after the deadline. The committee does not even see the files for a couple of weeks after the deadline since an administrator has to organize them and upload them to the server we use to view them.
     
    The only exception is one that arises at departments that do not fund all students. These are mostly lower-ranked departments but include many of the schools under discussion by various applicants here. At these schools, departments can nominate their best applicants (or more accurately the best applicants they think are likely to attend, since the funding rolls down to a university-wide waiting list rather than to the next nominee of that department) for university funding, and deadlines for department nominations often fall earlier than the department deadline for applicants to turn in their materials. These deadlines are usually listed on department websites with language like "for best consideration for funding, apply by X date."
     
    But with that exception aside, you should not be concerned about getting your materials in early. Simply meet the deadlines and your file will get full consideration. Note that the same thing is NOT true when you apply for academic jobs, but that is a completely separate discussion.
  14. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins reacted to catchermiscount in Help Me Not Panic   
    You work, and you work, and you work.  You work in the office.  You take laps around the office every now and again to make sure that you're seen.  You demonstrate that you're perceptive, hard-working, and collegial on a daily basis:  in classes, in the office, everywhere. 
     
    You do that, and you do just fine.  You have more background than some of us did (myself included).
     
    This is the last summer that you'll get to do a lot of things, and you should do them.  You should read for fun.  You should spend time with folks you care about.  And you should just keep breathing, which is the most important skill of all.
     
    ETA:  as noted above, it is very important to ask for help.  But, it is also important to learn the skill of self-sufficiency.  You should ask for help when you need it, but not without struggling for at least an hour by yourself.  This practice ensures that (1) the problem is important enough to have warranted that kind of time investment on your part; (2) the answer is not embarrassingly obvious, thus saving you on precious reputation costs; and (3) you have enough experience with the problem that you can meaningfully convey your question(s) is reasonable depth and detail. 
  15. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from mockingjay634 in Contacting professors   
    Because you are not admitted to a political science program to work in a particular professors' lab or group, faculty as a whole are far less involved with the admissions process than in the natural sciences. As a result, they are less inclined to respond to email, and their influence is going to be less important in your admissions process. I encourage my students applying to grad schools not to reach out to faculty, but I reach out to colleagues on their behalf as appropriate. If you are applying to political science programs, I would not spend much energy trying to contact faculty.
  16. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from roprisko in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  17. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from Zahar Berkut in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  18. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from cooperstreet in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  19. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from catchermiscount in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  20. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from ajaxp91 in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  21. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from TheGnome in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I've advised students who have transferred for a variety of reasons, including opting for better funding, a better ranked program, and a group of faculty that better suited their interests. I've got no hard feelings about it at all. If they're happier, I'm happy. More relevant than my own personal views is the fact that I've seen job applications that include letters of recommendation from two different departments because the applicant has transferred in the course of their graduate training while keeping a close relationship with faculty at the school they left. So while people may have different views about this personally, I think the disciplinary norms are not as strong as some posters on here suggest.
  22. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins reacted to Display_Name in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    I am a master's student at NYU. My experience is that most of the things you have said are right:

    - MA program is not staffed by the faculty from the PhD program.
    - Courses are offered separately and most of them are more policy-oriented courses than academic-oriented.
    - Admission to PhD courses is not granted at all (I know some experiences of professors rejecting MA students from their classes).

    Therefore, do not expect the MA at NYU to be an easy way to a high-ranked PhD program. In fact, if you go to the program, take all the classes from the MA program itself, have no contact with full-time faculty and no publications at all, then it is absolutely out of the world of the possibilities to get into a top25 program when you finish the program. 

    However... when you get into the dep. of politics at NYU, it is all in your hands. The MA program is not staffed by the faculty from the PhD program, courses are offered separately and admission is not granted, but:

    - Access to PhD courses in the MA courses list is very possible if you show certain academic or research background or just an interest in the topic and so convincing PhD professors that you can take the course is not very hard.

    - Access to PhD courses not listed as optional for MA students is not impossible either. It is always up to the professor so there are chances that you can convince the professor that you are good enough to take the course and he/she can let you in.

    - Access to courses outside the department at MA / PhD level is totally feasible. For instance, you can take any of these courses to improve your methods courses and research training http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/humsocsci/interdepartmental. They are open to all graduate students at NYU.

    In this line, it is not very unusual to have LOR's from NYU full-time faculty after the MA, which will improve your chances of admission for a PhD. But, again, this is an easy path, but you have to work hard and choose the right courses.

    I don't have sufficient information to provide you with a full list of destinations after the MA, but I know there are some people that were accepted into top10 and top25 PhD programs (including NYU itself) [you can see my list of acceptances to have an idea, although let me warn you that there has been people doing slightly better than me and many more people doing much worse]. 

    Hope it helps! With this I don't mean you should get into debt (I would personally not do it), but just give more info about the pros and cons of the MA at NYU.
  23. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from Display_Name in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    My impression is that the NYU MA program is not a great stepping stone to PhD programs, for the reason I spell out below. Others should feel free to correct me on this issue, and of course my comments here should not influence your choices unduly.
     
    Based on what I know about the MA program, it is not staffed by the faculty from the PhD program, and courses are offered separately. See, for example, this list: http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/ma.scheduleFall2014 of courses for Fall 2014. None of the folks teaching MA only courses, except Cohen, are regular faculty. Other courses are open to MA students only by permission, and many of the PhD courses are not even listed here as options for MA students. Students in this program won't interact much with the NYU Politics faculty, won't get letters from them for re-applying, and won't get NYU training.
     
    All that said, NYU may be the best option for you. But I wanted to put my impressions forward in the interest of starting a conversation that might help you and others make a more informed decision about the program.
  24. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from TheGnome in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    My impression is that the NYU MA program is not a great stepping stone to PhD programs, for the reason I spell out below. Others should feel free to correct me on this issue, and of course my comments here should not influence your choices unduly.
     
    Based on what I know about the MA program, it is not staffed by the faculty from the PhD program, and courses are offered separately. See, for example, this list: http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/ma.scheduleFall2014 of courses for Fall 2014. None of the folks teaching MA only courses, except Cohen, are regular faculty. Other courses are open to MA students only by permission, and many of the PhD courses are not even listed here as options for MA students. Students in this program won't interact much with the NYU Politics faculty, won't get letters from them for re-applying, and won't get NYU training.
     
    All that said, NYU may be the best option for you. But I wanted to put my impressions forward in the interest of starting a conversation that might help you and others make a more informed decision about the program.
  25. Upvote
    Penelope Higgins got a reaction from qeta in Welcome to the 2013-2014 Cycle   
    My impression is that the NYU MA program is not a great stepping stone to PhD programs, for the reason I spell out below. Others should feel free to correct me on this issue, and of course my comments here should not influence your choices unduly.
     
    Based on what I know about the MA program, it is not staffed by the faculty from the PhD program, and courses are offered separately. See, for example, this list: http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/ma.scheduleFall2014 of courses for Fall 2014. None of the folks teaching MA only courses, except Cohen, are regular faculty. Other courses are open to MA students only by permission, and many of the PhD courses are not even listed here as options for MA students. Students in this program won't interact much with the NYU Politics faculty, won't get letters from them for re-applying, and won't get NYU training.
     
    All that said, NYU may be the best option for you. But I wanted to put my impressions forward in the interest of starting a conversation that might help you and others make a more informed decision about the program.
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