IR44

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About IR44

  • Rank
    Decaf

Profile Information

  • Location
    USA
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Political Science

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336 profile views
  1. You might consider looking at sociology programs. Sociologists seem to have more of an activist bent than political scientists in my experience, and their work is often largely qualitative.
  2. Question about fit with school

    I'm applying this cycle as well, and I've struggled with the same general question. I'm interested in civil war with a specific in Latin America. My strategy has been looking at faculty interests in my prospective schools and only applying if it has 2+ folks whose interests are tied to my own. That takes a variety of forms; sometimes the person I want to work with is a really strong methodological fit, other times they have an expertise in conflict or a regional specialty in Latin America. I think it's kind of a judgment call.. it's unlikely that a school is going to have an assortment of academics who explore the specific questions you hope to answer during a PhD program. I think it's best to stick to one question: could I form a strong dissertation committee from the faculty at this school? If it's yes, I say go for it.
  3. Should I Apply for a MA or PhD?

    The most common reason for doing a terminal MA before a PhD is because something from undergrad makes direct PhD admission unlikely. I don't really see anything in your profile that makes me think you couldn't reasonably be admitted to top schools. You should really look at costs, also. I didn't think Harvard had a terminal MA in government, but their regional studies degrees are very pricey (more than 120k) for a two-year degree and funding isn't all that easy to come by.
  4. Question about PhD application

    You should think about what you want to spend your career doing. A PhD from FIU probably isn't going to get you a TT job at a university comparable to FIU in quality; their placements are primarily CC and even a few high school teachers (though it's been a little while since I've checked their placement record). I think you *could* get into any of those places (especially FIU), but it depends on your GRE to an extent. If you're in a two year program now, focus on bringing up your GPA. 3.7 certainly isn't disqualifying, but it's also likely below what most people will have (in terms of grad GPA).
  5. PhD Candidacy Evaluation

    Look at the faculty perspectives thread. I think a faculty member has already addressed that question, and his answer was that JD experience doesn't matter much (double check, because I'm not 100%. It's a great thread regardless.)
  6. PhD Candidacy Evaluation

    I don't see any reason why you wouldn't apply to top programs (I wouldn't avoid any of them.. shoot as high as it goes). Your undergrad experience seems strong, and your GRE is extremely impressive for not studying. Put together a solid SoP and you probably stand as good a chance as most at top programs. If your goal is to get a tenure track position at an R1, you definitely don't want to go to a 50-100 ranked program.
  7. Poli Sci Admissions Questions

    Sounds pretty cool to me, but I'm not on an admissions committee.
  8. Poli Sci Admissions Questions

    1. I really don't think a 160 on each section is going to keep you out of top schools, though you should shoot as high as possible. The vast majority of the test is very learnable; give yourself time to prepare and you should be fine. 2. I'm not in a great position to answer that. The best advice I can give is to find books/articles that are in your specific field and see which names keep popping up (publishing/being cited by others). This will also help you with SoPs. 3. I go to a pretty low-ranked R1, and I'm planning to apply to most schools in the top 5. I may not get in, but I don't think my institution will hurt me *that* much. This is, though, an area where a very strong GRE performance can help level the playing field. 4. Your experience doesn't seem all that minimal to me. I've done one RAship and published one paper (ugrad journal) in addition to a standard honors thesis. I don't think my experience is THAT limited compared to other undergrads, and I don't think yours sounds like it is either. 5. There's an interesting book called "Inside Graduate Admissions" by Julie Posselt. In it, she mentions how admissions committees often speak of a "cool factor" for applicants with interesting work/abroad experience. If your experience fits this criteria, it may give you a minimal advantage. I don't generally think work experience is too important, especially for folks coming straight from undergrad. General advice that may be of use to you: Based on your diction, it seems like maybe you're not as proud as you should be about your profile. I've been down this road as well. I'm a strong candidate who has spent a ton of time researching programs and preparing for my future. I may get 15 rejections early next year. If that happens, I won't be surprised; the process is tough and a ton of incredibly qualified folks apply. Conversely, I won't be remotely surprised if I get into Columbia or Stanford. I worked hard, and I'm a strong applicant. Hope for the best, and recognize that failure doesn't mean you're an idiot. I hope some of this helps.
  9. Civil War

    1. I think PSR sucks. 2. Propose to study what you're generally interested in; it'll help you write the best SoP possible, and there's a high chance you end up studying something else anyway. 3. If you're looking for POIs, Kalyvas (Yale) and Weinstein (Stanford) are good. 4. PSR sucks.
  10. Chances of getting into a phd program

    I think it sounds like you should have a good chance, though it will make a difference how well you do on the GRE. Something often said about international students is that their recommenders sometimes struggle to write the endorsement in the style/format that American admissions committees are looking for; I think selecting folks with PhDs from the United States will likely alleviate this and is thus a good decision. It also sounds like you have a good bit of research experience, which is always a bonus. Good luck!
  11. 2017-2018 Application Cycle

    I'm looking at a few tenure-track professors as potential POIs, though the vast majority are tenured. Is it problematic to highlight faculty you'd like to work with that aren't tenured yet? My initial instinct is 1) they may not get tenured at the current university and leave to be tenured elsewhere (though POIs leaving is always a concern). 2) they will undoubtedly be highly concerned with publishing/be generally swamped. Thoughts?
  12. 2017-2018 Application Cycle

    That's a very useful observation. I had already thought about this concept a bit, and I think it could be exceptionally useful for programs like Northwestern and Notre Dame who have certain programs (theory) that rank significantly above the rest of their subfields.
  13. 2017-2018 Application Cycle

    I came across that first article a few months ago, and it was tremendously helpful. You might also check out these three pieces if you haven't already: http://duckofminerva.com/2012/08/applying-for-phd-in-political-science.html https://www.google.com/amp/foreignpolicy.com/2012/03/18/so-you-want-to-get-into-a-political-science-ph-d-program-episode-i/amp/ http://chrisblattman.com/about/contact/gradschool/ My dilemma is that I'm looking at a fairly specific issue (peacekeeping missions) that deals pretty closely with existing governing structures (somehwhat comparative) and also the impact of relationships between international actors. At this point, I think I'll just try to sell it as primarily IR-- I'll probably change my mind if/when I get into a program anyway.
  14. I know it's still relatively early, but it seems rational to go ahead and begin a new thread for folks that are applying in the 2017-2018 cycle. This forum has already helped me a great deal, and I have no doubt that trend will continue. I'm currently studying pretty extensively to retake the GRE (164, 160 on the first try) and I'm also making an effort to at least skim a few articles per day in order to be up-to-date on relevant literature (a mix of IR/Comparative) - though I'm far from having an adequately developed idea for my SoP. Is anyone else having a bit of trouble conforming their purported area of study into just one subfield? I've read that it's relatively important to emphasize one primary subfield in the SoP, but this is sometimes easier said than done.
  15. You might look at schools with faculty who specialize in political psychology. Are you looking specifically at political science PhD programs? I imagine you are because you posted in the political science forum, but it makes a big difference if you aren't. You don't have to be a political scientist to explore the kinds of questions you're asking, you could also do it from a sociological, etc perspective. Since you have experience in sociology, this might be a good option. In terms of writing sample (and SoP), you need to be able to convey that you understand what political science research actually is. I'd recommend reading some leading journals-- even if the articles aren't directly relevant to your field. I'm not overly certain which schools you should be specifically looking at, but I'd recommend looking at the US News rankings and going from there. Look at faculty pages and read CVs, work to get an understanding of what core faculty work on. Even if you put together a strong application, it may not matter if you apply to places that aren't strong in your area. Finally, if you're planning on applying this cycle, you really should start looking at GRE preparation. I had a 34 on the ACT in reading and have an above average vocabulary, and I still got an underwhelming score on the verbal in my first diagnostic test. It takes practice and perseverance, but a strong score can really help your applications.