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About StrengthandHonor

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    Espresso Shot

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    Political Science

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  1. UNC has cancelled our recruitment weekend. On that note, I'll make my once-a-year offer: if any of you are considering UNC and have questions, feel free to reach out to me via DM. I'm a current soon-to-be ABD in the department and I'm happy to talk.
  2. Hello, I feel (reasonably) capable of answering this question. I'm advancing to candidacy in a Ph.D. Political Theory program, studied philosophy as an undergrad, and have many friends in political philosophy. The first difference, obviously, is that political theorists are trained in political science departments (usually, though occasionally in literature, law, history, etc.) and political philosophers are trained in philosophy departments. Typically speaking, political philosophers will occasionally be hired for political theory jobs, while the inverse is rarely true. Don't take thi
  3. I'm a current student in another of these departments with small theory cohorts (usually 1 matriculating per year, theory students make up <15 percent of the department). The biggest downside is that you do not (usually) have much room to pivot with your research interests, while still getting the benefits of your faculty's expertise. It's important to remember, though, that you're not in graduate school to do the same thing your advisor does. Additionally, resources for your study may be spread across multiple departments or universities (we have 3 theory profs in the department, but p
  4. I understand the difficulty. Really, the best advice I can offer is to look at a variety of programs and determine what sort of department offers you a) the best resources for the type of work you wish to do and b) the best path towards a Ph.D. if you plan to continue that route.
  5. I am speaking to my experience as someone who moved from politics and philosophy as an undergrad to a theory Ph.D. program, and from what is a fairly common perspective in academia. There are, of course, Phil programs that focus in social and political philosophy. I don't know where you attended undergrad, but it is also true that political philosophy and applied ethics are more widely taught in undergraduate classes than as the focus of graduate programs. I think an excellent exercise is to examine the types of projects and papers that are being produced in political philosophy programs v
  6. I'm a currently attending theorist, and I have a fellowship at an "ethics center" hosted in the philosophy department at my university. The methods of political theory and the methods of political philosophy are, at least today, very distinct. First, as a general note, political philosophy is almost an afterthought at most Ph.D. philosophy programs, where the focus tends to be on metaethics, metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, etc. Traditional "moral philosophy" and political philosophy are less important in those fields. There is a sharp divergence in method of interpretation, t
  7. Don't stress out about it. If you don't have any immediate questions, say something along the lines of "Thank you so much for the kind email. I too am excited about the prospects of working together. I look forward to speaking more at the admitted students weekend." That should do it. If you're certain this is where you are attending, feel free to start discussing more about getting ready for next year -- you could ask for summer reading recommendations, etc. If you haven't made a decision, just be polite, kind, and demonstrate your eagerness and excitement over being accepted without overp
  8. As you note, you do not have much leverage. And even for those who have leverage, exercising it can really put a poor taste in the mouth of your future colleagues. If the financial concern is really the primary obstacle to accepting the offer, though, it might not be bad to bring it up in a conversation with your POI. Say something along the lines of "I'm excited and honored to have received this offer, and I would like to attend. However, I am concerned about the financial offer, and worried about securing a comfortable standard of living. Can you point me towards any information on how other
  9. Don't panic. UNC also does go to the wait-list, so don't panic until it's April 14th. Good luck!
  10. FYI, UNC sends their acceptances out (typically) with personalized contact from POIs. All the admissions decisions were made last week, but they will likely trickle out for a while. *Am UNC grad student. **Also, PM me with questions about UNC.
  11. -Theory is a small subfield, comprising 10-15% of the discipline. -Much of the wisdom that applies to the rest of PS has little bearing on theory -- see how the good schools for theory have little overlap with the USNWR overall rankings (for example, Notre Dame, Boston College, and Brown are all much better in theory than in any other subfield). It is true that some programs do not have theory, but the theory heavy programs make up for that. - Admits are down at many institutions. Duke, for instance (t10 theory and overall) admitted one theory student last year. Many departments ad
  12. Heads up, UNC offers should be out shortly.
  13. Take the course for normal credit. I definitely don't intend to sound mean, but if you are struggling with an undergraduate intro to statistics course, you have almost no shot at getting into (or succeeding in) a mainstream political science department. Many political science Ph.D. programs require somewhere between 3-5 methods courses for anyone who isn't a political theorist/philosopher. I can't speak for graduate adcoms, but I don't really know why you would consider taking such a course pass/fail. If you're just going to have a P grade on your transcript for intro to statistics, al
  14. Chiming in late (because as a current student, I'm not around much). Aside from the additional time/research, remember that if you begin a 1-year M.A., you will be applying to Ph.D. programs at the end of your first term of the M.A. This means that your application will have little additional strength (aside from saying you're in an M.A. program). You'll be asking LOR writers from people who've known you <4 months, and who will likely need to submit your LOR before you've even submitted your final seminar papers for them. It's tempting to do a 1-year for cost/time considerations, bu
  15. Some things you should learn: LaTeX -- it's industry standard for typesetting --- learn any additional subsets or add-ons to LaTeX that might be useful, such as BibTeX, etc. A statistical programming software. Ask someone in your department what is standard. Many departments use R due to its free and open-source character, but some will still use STATA or even SPSS. Once you know one stat programming language, it is fairly easy to pick up the syntax for another, but you're best off focusing on whichever one your department uses. --also learn add-ons to these programs. For R, you should
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