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bhabhafk

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About bhabhafk

  • Rank
    Decaf
  • Birthday 12/27/1995

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Man
  • Location
    Montreal
  • Interests
    Political Theory; International Relations; Political, Social and Moral Philosophy; History; Linguistics; Psychology
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Political Science

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  1. bhabhafk

    Ethics? Philosophy?

    These questions would normally be pursued in a Philosophy department. Ethics is a subfield of philosophy. (In some European schools, "Theoretical Philosophy" and "Practical Philosophy" are separate--ethics falls into the latter category). Use the following link to find the best programs in ethics, then take a look at some departmental websites to find out whether the professors and program at that department fit your interests: https://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/
  2. On your first point: Yes, it's true that most Canadian PhD programs involve coursework, but it's usually only 1 year of coursework compared to the standard 2 in the states. Even though Canadian students typically have a coursework-heavy MA in hand, which their American counterparts do not, there is a difference between being a PhD student doing coursework and being an MA student and doing coursework. On your second point: Yes, Canada has far fewer universities, but the amount of PhDs we produce is roughly proportional to the number of universities we have, relative to the population differences between Canada and the states. Canada produces enough PhDs to fill all their faculty positions, but American PhDs are sought after in the Canadian market, because they are often seen as better trained (this is what I have been told explicitly by my professors at McGill and McMaster). Of course, given equal resumes, a Canadian will often be picked over an America because of Canada-first policies, but that's a whole other thing.
  3. bhabhafk

    Edmonton Vs London

    Probably way too late, but in case people come here in the future, here's my advice: 1. Both are fairly liveable cities. Weather is way worse in Edmonton. Housing is probably a bit cheaper in London. Neither are particularly "exciting" cities. Edmonton is a bit closer to Canada's main centres of natural beauty. General services are roughly equal. 2. Early schooling is roughly the same. 3. Childcare is roughly the same. Edmonton (and Alberta in general) might be a bit better for cost of living overall.
  4. I'd say that the cost is only worth it if you are using it to leverage an acceptance to a top PhD program. If you want to go into industry or government, you're probably better off going to a Canadian university (much cheaper/funded) or funded US program. If you plan on working in NY specifically, however, this program may not be a bad idea.
  5. You've misunderstood this comment: "I don't think you can get paid as "full time" in two places at the same time ." This doesn't mean that you wont have the TIME to work/study full-time at both institutions. Rather, most (of not all) programs won't let you (a) do another program at the same time and (b) leave campus (residency) without reverting to part-time status, which would disqualify you from funding. Most programs also only allow you to leave campus for a certain amount of total time (usually one year), which wouldn't allow you to complete your coursework requirements at a second university. This is pretty unfeasible. You should choose one program. PS I also agree with the poster above regarding the time commitment for grad school. Completing a PhD program full-time is way more work than a full-time job. Instead of the normal 40 hour work week, it takes closer to 50-80 hours per week, depending on the person and the program. Think about that. It's not possible to balance 160 hours of work per week. Even if some of your work would be redundant, because the programs are similar, you'd still be looking at 100-120 hours per week, which is, to be honest, impossible.
  6. It's probably going to be fairly difficult for you to get into a top-30 graduate program in IR with (1) the pedigree of your previous institutions and (2) your grades (in particular, your undergrad GPA is very low, but your grad GPA isn't great either). I would recommend doing an MA in IR/Security Studies to make you competitive, but I'm not sure which schools would accept you into their program, given that you already have an MA in IR. As far as I know, it's usually not possible to do a second graduate degree at the same level in the same (or nearly same) discipline as a previous graduate degree. Do you have any former profs that you're close with who can attest to your quality as a student? That would help a lot, as would any real research experience within the social sciences. Very high GRE scores could somewhat offset the low GPA, but you would need in the high 160s on both sections. I'm sure that you could get into a PhD program somewhere, but I think that you might have to looks outside of the top-30 (and realistically, outside of the top-50). You may also have to fund your own degree, because getting funding will be difficult with your GPA (this will also depend on your GRE scores). Why do you want a PhD in the first place? Are you planning to go into academia, or to build research skills to work in industry/for the government? To be honest, I don't think that academia is a likely option at this point, unless you find a way to overcome these substantial deficiencies in your profile. However, if you just want to learn or build research skills, I'm sure that this is a possibility--just not in a top-30 program. If you choose to do a PhD, make sure that you're making a smart financial investment though. I would personally never advise to fund your own PhD, unless you're independently wealthy. Sorry that I couldn't be more optimistic, but that's the best advice that I can give based on what I know. Take it with a grain of salt, and I'm sure that others will have something else to say.
  7. I don't know much about American Politics specifically, so I can't give you any specific recommendations on programs that might be strong in your specific interests, but here's some general notes: 1. Your GPA is going to be competitive anywhere. If you do competitively on the GRE (verbal and quant each above 165), you shouldn't worry about it. A lot will obviously also depend on your research experience (having an honors thesis will help), letters of recommendation (the fact that your referees are from UMich doesn't matter much, but whether they know you well and how highly regarded they are will matter), your statement of purpose (definitely run this by your referees for help) and your writing sample. 2. UNC Chapel Hill is a prestigious-enough school that ad coms will notice 3. The quant course will help. From what I've heard, it seems like American Politics is very quant-heavy compared to other subfields, so math skills will be important. Since you're also an econ major, I'm guessing it's safe to assume that you already have significant quant training? That should help. A 165+ on GRE quant would be a good bonus. 4. Extra-curriculars don't seem to matter much, unless they specifically involve academic research or are unusually impressive Words of advice: Don't stress. You seem to be on the right track. Finish your thesis, write your GRE, get acquainted with your referees, and you should be fine. I'd suggest that you also post some more specifics about what you plan on researching during your PhD, if you know what you want to do (you should have some kind of idea of what you want to do, though this may change over the years).
  8. Current MAPSS student here. I done quite a bit of digging on the MAPSS website, the Grad Café and other forums. The first thing that you should know is that tuition costs roughly $52000, which adds up to closer to $60000 after fees and health insurance. The vast majority of MAPSS admits get some kind of funding. The largest proportion of admits get somewhere around 1/3 of the cost of tuition in scholarships. If you have a strong background (GPA above 3.7, good letters of recommendation and decent enough GRE scores), you can easily get 50-100% of tuition in scholarships. HOWEVER, it may be a bit different for you because you're switching disciplines. I switched disciplines going into MAPSS and received a $20000 scholarship. I suspect it would have been higher if I had applied within the same discipline, based on the amount that I've seen others with similar profiles receive. MAPSS sounds perfect for you though, because you are in a "general social science" program that would allow you to take classes and explore across the social sciences. You'd also have some of the top faculty in the world in all three disciplines (econ, soc and poli sci) with whom you could speak about your plans for grad school. MAPSS has a very good record of placing its students in decent-to-top PhD programs, but this tends to only apply to students who are highly self-motivated. From what I have gathered, a lot of people who go into MAPSS end up coasting by (they get in in the first place because admission standards aren't very high) and getting nowhere with a very expensive degree. If you have any other questions about MAPSS, I'd be happy to try to answer.
  9. I'm no expert on the matter, but from my conversations with professors and looking at the demographics of faculty at universities I've attended, American PhDs seem to be far and away the most marketable in the world. This appears to be the case across disciplines. I can say that this is for sure the case in Canada. Most recently, I went to McGill, where the vast majority of faculty in the History department, and from what I know, the Philosophy and Political Science departments as well, have American PhDs. I suspect that this is because the graduate training is a) longer (which allows more time for development) and b) more comprehensive/rigorous. I'm sure that my b) is controversial, but for example, the History PhD at McGill involves no coursework--it's thesis only. No way that, on average, a student who completes a thesis-only PhD is going to be as prepared as one who has completed two or more years of coursework along with their thesis, even if the thesis-only student did a one or two year MA.
  10. bhabhafk

    Help gauging competitiveness for PhD in IR/Poli Sci?

    Just offering my advice man. It's not a PhD thesis, so I'm not going to spend hours looking back to where I've gathered info in order to provide citations. Take it or leave it.
  11. bhabhafk

    Help gauging competitiveness for PhD in IR/Poli Sci?

    Also, having an international degree will usually hurt your case, not help it. Lastly, you should look on the the Grad Cafe's results page for NYU, Columbia and Stanford. As you'll see, the applicants that get accepted usually have undergrad GPAs above 3.8 from top universities and have GRE total scores above 330. Many applicants with these stats will still get rejected.
  12. bhabhafk

    Help gauging competitiveness for PhD in IR/Poli Sci?

    This only goes to show that you need to do much more research on PhD applications. A 3.7 GPA is good, but not that great. It's very average for most Poli Sci students looking to get into a PhD program, and it's below average for all of the schools that you mentioned. Your GRE scores aren't just low--they're likely below the minimum cutoff for almost all schools in the top-10, and many schools in the top-20. The fact that you got into NYU's MA means very little. It's fairly easy to get into MA programs in Poli Sci. They usually have acceptance rates from 30-50%, and there's very little risk since they don't have to fund you. Those programs pretty much want as many people as possible so that they can use the tuition that you pay to pay for their PhD students. Also, an MPA is not likely to help you in getting into a PhD Poli Sci program. Of course, some people manage to do it, but they're the exceptions. Most of these people will have had GPAs and GRE scores far above yours. PhD programs in Poli Sci won't care much about your internships and "experience in local government." They're not public policy/adminstration programs, they're academic Poli Sci programs. They want to see that you can do academic research in the social sciences. A research assistantship could help in this regard. I don't mean to be discouraging. I'm trying to be honest, and I hope that you actually consider my advice as well as that of others; otherwise, you're in for a world of disappointment come application time. Your 3.7 GPA in Linguistics isn't going to carry you. Get some graduate work done in Poli Sci, and make sure that your grad GPA is above 3.8 and that your GRE scores add up to over 330. After that, you just have to worry about the intangibles, which are also very important.
  13. bhabhafk

    Help gauging competitiveness for PhD in IR/Poli Sci?

    Neoinstitutionalist hit all the main points, but I want to emphasize a few things. 1. Your GRE scores aren't even close for the schools you mentioned. Your quant is completely prohibitive (I would be surprised if they even looked at your application) and your verbal is far below the cut. You need to a least be in the 90th percentile for both (roughly 163 for verbal and 166 for quant), especially since you're coming from outside of the discipline and your GPA, while not bad, is not stellar either. Take 2 months to master GRE material and then retake the test. 2. If you can afford it, do a master's program in political science. This will show ad-coms that you know what political science is, and that you can actually do the coursework. It will also provide you with contacts who can offer letters of recommendation and advice. 3. As it stands now, I would be surprised if you got into a top-50 program, let alone a top-10 program. You need to think about what schools are realistic for you outside of the top-20 and/or dramatically improve your profile. Success in a good master's program and top GRE scores will help a great deal, as will a solid writing sample (a master's thesis would be perfect), SOP (profs in a master's program could help with this) and letters of recommendation.
  14. bhabhafk

    Political Theory heavy masters/PhD program?

    If you want my honest opinion, there's no such thing as a "good" mid-tier department for Political Science. Let me be clear, I'm sure that the professors at mid-tier departments are perfectly capable scholars, but PhD programs don't place unless they are top-20. For Theory specifically, it's more like the only programs worth attending are the top-5 (Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, Berkeley, Yale). For the MA, it's less important. Of course it's better to attend a higher-ranked program for the purpose of future PhD admissions (I'm assuming that this is your plan. Otherwise, I envy that you have 1-2 years and tens of thousands of dollars to burn on a terminal MA and nothing more in Political Theory). However, you could easily attend a mid-tier program, do exceptionally well, and get into a top-20 program. In the mid-tier, I wouldn't worry about how "strong" their theorists are (especially at the master's level, since you won't be specializing) as long as they have at least 3 or 4 theorists.
  15. bhabhafk

    How can I tell if I'm qualified to do a PhD in IR?

    I don't mean to sound like a defeatist, but it doesn't seem like you know enough about the discipline or the PhD application process to really have a chance at getting in anywhere (which is why it's great that you're asking!). Here's my two-cents: 1. It's Poli Sci, not "Poly Sci." The Poli stands for Political. 2. You won't get into a Poli Sci PhD program without at least some significant coursework in Poli Sci, preferably at the upper-year undergraduate or graduate level. Courses in History or Culture likely won't cut it. Economics courses might. The reason for this is that you will likely have no clue what research in Poli Sci looks like if you've never had a course within the discipline. This goes doubly for the programs that you're talking about. To get into Princeton, Stanford, etc. not only takes a proven academic track record in Poli Sci, but also top grades in those courses (preferably from a well-known university). 3. There's no chance that NYU will let you switch from the MA to the PhD program. This never happens. The admission standards are wildly different, and the admission cycle is already over. 4. Do not go for a PhD unless you are dead set on working in academia. That is what a PhD is for. All of the training that you will receive is geared towards an academic career, and there's no point in absorbing the opportunity cost that comes with a PhD when you could just get an MPA (way less time). You need to be very sure that an academic career is your #1 priority at this moment. My suggestions: 1. If you are happy with a government job, get the MPA. 2. If you want a job in academia, get an MA in Poli Sci first, then apply for a PhD after (assuming that your grades are good enough). Some programs to look at are UChicago (could be funded), NYU (unfunded), Columbia (unfunded), and a bunch of smaller programs, some of which are unfunded and some of which are funded. You could also apply to schools in Canada, such as UToronto, UBC, McGill, which will be less expensive than an unfunded US program. Hope that helps!
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