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  1. The programs that you mentioned are professional policy MA programs geared at getting students into the industry and working. They are not meant to send students to PhD or JD programs, or academia. So yes, they would help you and are often times a requirement for getting a good paying government or industry job. But that isn't what the OP is asking. They are asking about Political Science MA programs from schools which are known for being cash cows. a public policy MA and a political science MA are two different things. One (Public Policy) is meant to prepare students for work, while the other (political science) is generally meant to prepare students for a PhD or academia. With that being said, most of the time a political science MA is generally not worth the money one puts into it. As most political science PhD programs offer MA degrees to their students along the way (and are hopefully funded) going into massive debt for a political science MA in order to boost a PhD application is simply not a good investment. Now obviously if one gets a lot of scholarship or funding (which while rare isn't unheard of for a political science MA) then it might be worth the time. But I would strongly caution against anyone going into debt for a MA in political science. there simply isn't money in this line of work that will pay off the debt in the long run.
  2. Hey! Congrats on getting into those schools! I personally don't know a-lot about Columbias MA program specifically, but I would just caution you against going to an unfunded MA program in this field. Unless offered significant scholarships I would discourage anyone from going to them. I have heard, on this forum and elsewhere, that the humanities/social science MA programs are really just cash cows for schools like Columbia and Chicago meant to support the funded PhD programs. Now that's not saying that they aren't good programs where someone can thrive and become a better scholar/policy maker, but they are super expensive and in this field we simply do not make enough to support the loans that would come out of it. Now i'm not sure how law school would play into it, in theory a lawyer would be making more than people in the political science field, but even so I think that the above thinking still holds true. That unless offered significant funding they aren't really worth the debt.
  3. Dwar

    MA in IR: GW vs. Tufts vs. Johns Hopkins

    First off, congrats! those are some amazing schools! Also, you might want to check out the "government affairs" sub-forum, they are more equipped to answer these types of questions, with many posters going through similar situations. But to try and answer your question, I would say that the rule of thumb is to not go into debt for an MA degree, especially in the IR/government affairs field. Unfortunately those types of careers do not pull in the six figures that are required to pay off significant debt early on, so while you could eventually end up making that much, it won't happen during the early part of your career. A large amount of debt hanging over you can stop you from getting a car or home loan, not allow you to build up savings, and can limit the cities you can move to. Now to answer your GW v American debate, those schools are pretty similar in both location and prestige, while I am personally more into GW, thats only because of a positive personal experience with the Elliot school over there, while a more negative/neutral experience with the SIS over at AU. But ultimately you'll have to make that decision yourself. I suggest visiting and talking to faculty or students, also, looking at the specific degrees. I know that the Elliot school offers a wide variety of degrees, some regionally specific and some more general to IR, I am sure that AU offers something similar. Were you admitted to just the general IR programs? or more regional/career specific? Hope this helps! but congrats again on some amazing admissions!
  4. Dwar

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    If anyone does go over to PoliSciRumors, just know that like a good 99% of the posts are trolls. When I first went over there I kinda started loosing faith in humanity.
  5. Dwar

    Need Advice on what to do

    Does the funding include a stipend? and if not, would you be able to cover those living expenses? or would you need to take out loans to cover that? If you can either pay your own way, or if they give you a stipend, then I think this is a good option. But, if you would have to take out loans or go into debt to pay for it then I would caution against it. It isn't like people in this field make a massive amount of money, especially right out of grad school. So a large debt would probably hurt you financially for years to come. If UVA is your dream school then I would suggest you do this regardless of which of the first two decisions you make, it can never hurt to wait, although be sure to give yourself enough time to accept another offer before the deadline. I am a personal advocate of not looking a gift horse in its mouth. U of Florida looks like a good program, and while it isn't as highly ranked as others, it seems to have some nice placements. I guess you have to ask yourself if you like their placements, can you see yourself working where their grads end up? would that satisfy your career goals? Also, just putting this out there, if you try next cycle, even with a higher GRE score and new LOR, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will get in anywhere, much less someplace higher then Florida. These applications are such a crap shoot that absolutely nothing is guaranteed, so I would think long and hard before turning down a fully funded offer.
  6. Dwar

    2019 Waitlist Thread

    welp, just got rejected from an unofficial waitlist. Now i'm just waiting on that last official waitlist, seeing as how all the other decisions have been rejections, i'm really hoping with this one.
  7. Dwar

    Who hasn't gotten accepted yet?

    Gotcha, my bad. I thought you meant that the department had recommended you for admissions to the grad school. In most cases that means that you are about to get accepted and serves as a sort of unofficial acceptance. On another note, I am sure that its good news to get recommended by a professor at the school! It sure sounds like you are in the running, I hope you hear good news soon!
  8. hey can you ask your wife to give me some "help" with getting into USC? I hear Aunt Becky is familiar with how that all works
  9. Dwar

    What would you do (advice)?

    I would disagree with a part of this. I do agree that MA programs have become cash cows for schools, including LSE, I would disagree however, with your assertion that Chicago is any different. From what I've read, both on here and on other forums, the MA programs at Chicago are essentially cash machines to fund the various grad programs within the social sciences. Now obviously that doesn't mean that they aren't worth your time/energy, and if offered scholarship then they do seem like a good option, but I would just caution against going there and paying full sticker price for them on the assumption that they will land a great PhD admissions offer.
  10. Dwar

    Who hasn't gotten accepted yet?

    Wait, were you recommended for admissions by the department?
  11. Dwar

    What would you do (advice)?

    I'm not sure if there is a master list of all the placement records, but generally each department should post their placement records on their website. if they don't have them there then i'm sure you can email their grad team and they will probably send them your way.
  12. Dwar

    What would you do (advice)?

    Of course! I totally get wanting to be sure and the nagging anxiety voices in your head questioning every choice. Hope you enjoy Davis!!!!
  13. Dwar

    What would you do (advice)?

    UC-Davis for sure. They are a top 20 program so congrats on getting in there! While I do understand the urge to go to the absolute best program, UC-Davis is a top program and has some great placement, so definitely not something to turn down lightly. PhD admissions is a massive crapshoot, so honestly even with a Chicago or LSE MA degree there is no guarantee that you could get into somewhere higher ranked them Davis, or even somewhere ranked similarly to Davis next cycle.
  14. Hey y'all, Since most of you have gotten your decisions back by now I figured i'd start this thread. Basically it's for people to say where they are turning down, that way those of us still on waitlists will have a better idea about when/if we should be hearing from schools. ALSO, this thread is NOT meant to be a place to harass or attack people with multiple offers on the table who are still deciding. This is obviously a huge decision and some people do need to take more time than others, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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