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  1. Maryland Program Strength

    Maryland is not quant heavy. You should see what top programs are like.
  2. FSU

    They require security clearances to work and the person asking the question is from another country -- thus, no security clearance.
  3. Need Decision Advice

    I don't know. Texas A&M has grown pretty fast in the past 4 years or so, so students who benefited from this growth are just starting to go on the market. Thus, it is hard to compare both departments. I'd look at the former and current students from people you'd like to work with (where did they go, did they co-author with their advisors, did they get some type of grant, etc.). Focus on your substantive interests, rather than on methods. Also, a lot will be up to you, it is mostly about looking into which department would be a better fit for you, finding advisors who fit your personality (and are not mean for the sake of it) and research interests, etc.
  4. Need Decision Advice

    Penn State has the better methods program if that is what you are interested in. They have more senior people and they have the Data Analytics thing, like you mention. They are have a group of students who regularly are interested in methods. If I'm not mistaken, they made a junior methods hire this year. In CP you have Matt and Sona Golder. They are really nice people and they care about their students. Texas A&M has methods people but they are all junior (except Whitten, though he just does one or two things). Sure, the website lists more but I am looking for people that teach graduate methods, write some type of methods paper or apply advanced methods to substantive problems. The positive aspect of Texas A&M is that is an "up and coming" department, it has been making good hires, and it has money. I'd go to the visiting weekends and see who could you see as being your advisor and if you hit it off or not. Your advisor cannot be an assistant unless they are about to go up for tenure (and you think he/she is going to get tenure).
  5. FSU

    This thread is for FSU. You should not ask questions in the wrong thread.
  6. Duke or NYU? Needs decision advice!

    That is more an Econ thing because they admit big cohorts and then kick out a lot of people. I have known of PhD programs in Political Science in which 40-50% of a cohort was kicked out for failing to pass comps, but it was not a regular thing, just something that happened once. Most departments like Duke or NYU have small and the people that leave are those that (1) realize that they don't want to do a PhD (2) don't study or put any effort and are asked to leave (3) fail comps (if you are already working with someone and make an impression, is less likely that you will fail comps, unless you really do a bad job and it is not a "bordeline" case; usually, you can retake comps once). I've found (3) to be the lower case of attrition.
  7. Duke or NYU? Needs decision advice!

    It is hard to estimate attrition because it is not the case that everyone on the market is from the same cohort. Students go at different times because some take longer than others. Also, not everyone goes on the job market because some decide not to go into academia, others get postdocs before getting listed on websites, etc. You can ask about attrition in visits. I know people that went to Duke and NYU, and there is nothing out of the ordinary with attrition. They are not kicking out people for no reason.
  8. Duke or NYU? Needs decision advice!

    You are being naive. Both programs are similarly ranked and with similar placements. At this point, what will matter is the effort the candidate makes, not a general difference between Duke/NYU. Also, it is hard to know placement in 5-6 years. What could matter more is placement by subfield and advisor(s). Maybe this particular candidate has an interest in something that program X is better than program Y.
  9. FSU

    If I understand the comment correctly, it is 20k + summer funding. When you add the summer funding you are close to 23-25K. I'm never been to FSU, but I know that the area is very cheap; probably cheaper than Orlando. If you care about academics, FSU is a much better department than UCF. At least they train their students well and they've had some decent placements and even some great placements. I don't know about your married situation, though; F-1 visa does not allow your dependent to work so your significant other does not have many choices.
  10. Duke or NYU? Needs decision advice!

    I'm not sure if Duke is more prestigious that NYU. It is similar. Duke has a good methods sequence/training as well. There are a lot of people who do advanced methods that went to Duke and some methodologists as well. As far as I know, the methods training/focus is different. At Duke, students take classes in the stats/computer science department, so they focus on statistics, Bayesian statistics, machine learning, etc (Duke has one of the best stats departments in the country). NYU focuses more on causal inference and experiments, though you have Spirling doing text analysis and Rozenas is a Duke PhD so he does more statistical modeling. Your focus should be more on your substantive interests (American, Comparative, IR) and look for a couple of people who could be your advisors (so associate level, maybe full professor as long as they are not retiring, and some people that are about to get tenure). Try to ask them about their current projects and see if they co-author with graduate students. You can also try to talk to their students during the visiting weekend. Ask about people leaving/retiring (I know J Larson is leaving NYU, for instance).
  11. Transferring to another program

    Why do you think your applications did not work out? I think that it is key to figure that out before deciding whether to accept the low ranked department proposal or not. I know people who have successfully received an MA in one department and then, started another MA/PhD at a new department successfully. However, you could also avoid that (and 2-3 years of your life) and figure out what was wrong with your application and do something this year to improve your applications for the next round.
  12. Faculty perspectives

    Some with money do give more benefits to people they particularly want to recruit. I've heard of people that have negotiated at UCSD. But I'd be careful/very polite because some schools -- public and private -- make the same offer to everyone in order to promote collegiality and fairness. That said, some public schools have special fellowships, but those are usually part of a special contest awarded at the university level and nominated by the department. Some departments do have the possibility of putting you in RA duties rather than TA duties, or they might be able to give you like a small research fund to get reimbursement for books, travel to conferences, or field work. If there are centers affiliated to the political science department, those might be able to give you a bit more money, though that could come with strings attached. You could inquire about summer funding (most schools provide 9-month stipend, but you still have expenses during the summer).
  13. Unfortunately, political science is moving more towards quantitative methods (with a sprinkle of qualitative methods). Most PhD programs have at least 3 quantitative methods courses that are required and a very low quantitative score already puts into question your performance in those classes. Adding the fact that you are interested in qualitative methods, then it puts into question your interest in mastering those skills. From another perspective, a very low score in the GRE can indicate lack of effort. I expect people to at least take it a second time and show some improvement. If you are interested in Russia, I expect you to have an very good command of Russian. There is no time in graduate school to learn a language and you cannot be an expert on a particular area without language knowledge. Maybe you already know Russian. You can look into the Critical Language Scholarship to improve those skills, for instance.
  14. Faculty perspectives

    Being a TA is basically cheap labor. It is useful to be a TA a couple of times so that you know what goes into preparing classes, dealing with students, etc. It is also useful when you get to TA a class in your own research area. However, most of your time should be spent doing research either assisting a professor or working on your own dissertation. So basically this, makes no sense. That is because, as you are from another country, you believe that being a professor involves teaching. That is only true if you want to teach at a college (so no PhD program) with low research responsibilities. Even in that case, you do not want to be TA, you want to teach your own course while being in the PhD program. In research universities, however, the teaching responsibility is usually 30% and research is like 60%. Meaning that the bulk of your work as a professor is research and you get evaluated on publications. As a graduate student you want to work on your research and publish. The high rank university is giving you a better offer. You have funding for 5 years. That is rare because some places (lower ranked) make you apply for funding and I've seen cases in which the dean cuts funding to department and, if you were not given 5 years of funding, that means you get no funding or you get a cut in your funding. Plus, you get funding without any responsibilities at the time that you have to write your dissertation which is fab. The low ranked university is making you renew funding for the TA assistantship so that is dependent on how many TAs they need. You don't want that. Then they are offering being a TA in the summer. I'd never do that. During the summer you want to do something useful, like research, not TA. Plus, summer courses are usually intensive so classes are every day. I'm sure the high ranked place has some type of summer stipend that does not require to be a TA or professors have grants and you could do some work for them too. So to answer your questions, 1) No, it does not. I have friends who had a fellowship that did not allow them to TA (NSF fellowship) and they got top jobs. Nobody cared they were never TAs 2) The works stipends are the ones that make you be TA your first year. If you are TA your first year it means you are taking less classes. If you do not TA you take 4 classes each semester. Places that make you TA have you taking 3 classes each semester. Which you do you think it is better? I'd always go with studying than being a TA. 3) Do not prioritize the better rank school. Between two identical people looking for a job, I'd prioritize high ranked program over "has been a TA a lot".