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  1. What is the general opinion of studying leadership in political science? I have seen it making somewhat of a comeback in IR especially (Weeks, Horowitz, Goemans) and somewhat in American (Carnes). This is also evidenced by large data sets on leader characteristics (Archigos, among others). I'm interested in this line of research, but I just wanted some other opinions on the research area. Thanks!
  2. Best masters programs to prepare for a PhD

    @ExponentialDecay I'm looking for a rigorous masters because I want it to add value to a future application and I figure a pure math masters is pretty rigorous and would send a good signal. I also am interested in formal theory, including applications of nonlinear systems and networks in political science as well as game theory. So I feel like I would benefit from taking graduate coursework on those topics before a PhD, as well as writing a thesis that could be broadly applied to political science. I also brought up a SE Asia area studies masters because I am interested in the region as a regional focus and could see myself benefiting from masters in the region. I have a fairly clear idea of what I want to research moving towards a dissertation topic. And I feel that any of the types of masters listed above could help me gain more experience and send a good signal for future PhD applications (if this cycle didn't work out so well). But that's good to know about public policy masters. I was looking through CVs of current grad students and noticed a good number had a public policy masters before the PhD so I wanted more information about that. I listed Chicago Harris specifically because I saw that Robinson had moved there (to my surprise) and they had a good mix of well known political scientists and economists. So I figured some public policy programs would be valuable with a thesis component. I put political science in a second tier because I have heard they are less helpful than other types of masters. @deutsch1997bw Thank you, I will look into it.
  3. So I'm looking at various masters programs to apply to concurrently with PhD applications as a backup plan to prepare for a second round of PhD application if I don't get into a good school (there's about 5 top 10-15 schools in really interested in). I'm looking for some input on what you think are the best types of masters programs to prepare for a PhD if it comes to that. Right now I'm also looking at economics (LSE, PSE, Columbia, Chicago), mathematics, and statistics/applied math. I'm also thinking about public policy (especially Harris School at UChicago), political science (Chicago, CIR, Columbia), and maybe area studies (SE Asia; although I don't have any language experience). In terms of academic interest and preference, I'd personally rate them: 1) Economics or Pure Math 2) Statistics/applied math, political science 3) Public policy, area studies. What do you think?
  4. Democracy, a political ideal?

    What makes you think a country like China will become a democracy? All indicators seem to point towards them being a stable autocracy for the foreseeable future?
  5. SOP for Political Science PhD

    I'd be willing to take a look.
  6. Globalization or Nationalism?

    What about the incentive for the rich to engage in state capture and prevent redistribution to the poor?
  7. What area of poli sci do the top PhD programs specialize in?

    I've recently been going through the top programs' faculty pages (specifically CP people) to indentify potential POIs by looking at descriptions of their current research and CVs. It was fairly time consuming but definitely a good experience. All of this is with regards to the CP faculty, I cannot speak to the other subfields. I remember that Yale had a lot of people working on conflict and war. Cal had a really strong traditional CPE group. Princeton and Columbia had a lot of people working on the Middle East and Africa (Columbia particularly had a lot of people working on ethnic politics and patronage/clientelism). NYU had the deepest quant group (especially social networks; which also meant that it didn't seem like a lot of people had deep substantive knowledge in specific areas). HSMP were all pretty balanced, with Michigan and Princeton having a lot of people doing field work and experiments. I personally liked Princeton and Michigan the best, they had a deep faculty list filled with people that most CP students could work with (in my opinion). I also kept these descriptions pretty general, so I welcome additional discussion and corrections.
  8. Faculty perspectives

    Hello, So I have two very defined, but rather unrelated research interests. How do you recommend talking about this in an SOP? Should I describe both interests equally (i.e. prior research experience, plans for future research, and professors I'd want to work with) or should I tailor each SOP according to whichever field the department most fits? Thanks!
  9. Does anyone know how dual PhDs work? I've seen a couple people have them on their CVs and would be interested in that option if it were possible. Is it a better alternative than a standard political economy program? (As a secondary question, what are the best political economy programs? I know GSB and HKS are the top 2, what are the others?)
  10. Chicago

    Seeing there game theory people was a pleasant surprise for me, they looked like they were doing some really interesting work. As most of you know, the field is becoming more and more empirically sophisticated, so one of the main things I'm looking at in a program is there stats training. That's partially why I'm interested in the relationship with the economics department, the prospect of also getting some top notch economics training is appealing. Thanks for letting me know about Slater, he was one of the people that was drawing me to program. I took a look at their placements and they seem okay, not great but not bad, a good number are getting assistant professor positions (though only a few are getting at top programs). Any further comment on their placements? Also, @Comparativist you seem to be pretty well regarded here and especially knowledgeable about admissions for comparative. Would you mind taking a look at my profile that I posted and give some feedback on my prospects if you have a chance?
  11. Chicago

    What are you thoughts on the program? For Comparative? I know they're more known for their qualitative methodology, but any insights on the quant? What kind of interaction do they have with the economics department, if any?
  12. Too old?

    To build on the above comment: I asked one of my professors about entering a program after taking time off school (it'll be 2.5 years for me, so not as extreme as your case (but the work I'm doing is not at all relevant to political science or anything like that)) and she said they don't care at all. As a caveat, she did mention that attrition rates aren't high for older grad students because they tend to have more responsibilities (kids, wife, etc) and can't make the appropriate time commitment even if the student has the skills. She said they have admitted several 40+ year olds (top 20 program). So if you think you'll be able to manage the time commitment you should be fine.
  13. 2017-2018 Application Cycle

    Just submitted a proposal to what will be my first solo conference. Hope it gets accepted, fingers crossed! I'm using the conference as a hard deadline to get my writing sample done. Now need to start thinking about the GRE again...
  14. Profile Evaluation

    Thank you so much for the responses! My plan going forward will be to start a new paper and get a proposal done as soon as possible. I found a conference that has a deadline in June, so I'll be deciding on a topic between then and now. Does anyone know the best places to look for conferences? Also, since I'm not an undergraduate (graduated in fall 2015), do you think I'll need a sponsor at a conference? Will being independent make it more difficult to be accepted into conferences? Will the 2 year gap between undergrad and grad negatively impact my chance for admissions to top programs? Note taken on the GRE. When I first took it, I so fundamentally did not agree with it as an institution (i.e. why should I have to take a test to prove my worth when I have a 4 year body of work as proof?). So, I'll take it more seriously this time around. @dagnabbit I'm more interested in CPE. I want to be more into IPE (and IR in general; I only took one IR course in undergrad), but definitely more interested in CPE.
  15. Faculty perspectives

    Hello, thanks so much for the advice you give to prospective students; I know I appreciate it! How do admissions committees view breaks between undergraduate and graduate studies? I will hopefully be applying this fall. December will mark the 2 year mark since I graduated from undergrad, so it will be 2.5 years by the time I start my PhD. I'm particularly worried because they have been unrelated private sector, contract jobs. Will this serve as a hindrance to admissions? Thanks!