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About PolPhil

  • Rank
  • Birthday 12/27/1995

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  • 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. A 'C' or 'D' is a fail for most (or at least many) graduate programs (as in, you will not receive credit), but it's way too early to resign yourself to those grades. At the same time, American is very quant-heavy, so you will need to be competent. Keep working at it on Khan Academy, with profs in office hours, constantly drilling yourself, and if it sinks in, it sinks in. If it doesn't, you can reflect upon your first year and re-evaluate your plans. Until that point, the added stress of wondering whether you're good enough is not worth it.
  2. Fair enough. I'll keep my generalization to History and Political Science programs, with which I am familiar.
  3. I'd advise that you do the GRE to keep your options open. It's a small cost that could benefit you greatly. Without it, you'd also be putting a lot of faith into getting into McGill. I think you will, but it's never guaranteed. Chicago would be better for getting into PhD programs for pretty much any field in Poli Sci, though McGill would certainly not hurt. You should also keep in mind that McGill offers no tuition reductions or scholarships. Therefore, since the program at McGill costs just under $30,000 CAD for fall, winter and summer tuition, it's roughly equivalent to a 50% tuition reduction at U Chicago. Of course, this doesn't account for the difference in cost of living, so to be safe, you could say that a 70% or greater tuition reduction at Chicago would be roughly equivalent or better, financially, than McGill, as well as offering better academic opportunities.
  4. 25-35 is large, but it's not that large for a major Canadian university (and McGill is top-3). Compare to the University of Toronto, which has an MA cohort of around 40-50 students but the program is still ranked higher than McGill. In fact, the MAPSS cohort at Chicago is way larger--around 250 students, roughly 40-50 of whom do Poli Sci, so you'd be in a smaller program at McGill. Either are good options. If you get into both and the cost is roughly the same, you should be looking at which professors at which schools do work in an area that interests you. I think you have a good shot at funding at Chicago. As long as you have decent GREs, I would guess you'd get something like 1/3 to 1/2 tuition reduction ($20,000 to $30,000). If you do really well on the GRE and your statement of purpose and other materials are on par, then you would have a chance at a full tuition reduction, or something close to it. I'd say that if you work hard at these things, it would be reasonable to expect a 1/2 tuition reduction. In that case, it would probably be more expensive than McGill (I'm not sure what international tuition at McGill is since I'm Canadian). Even if tuition were similar, the cost of living in Montreal is just a small fraction of the cost of living in Chicago. That being said, Chicago has faculty that are generally more well-known and influential than McGill's faculty, so it would be a tough call. Either way, if you get into either or both, you should be in good shape. If you have any other questions about the universities, or the cities, let me know and I'd be happy to try to answer.
  5. You probably shouldn't already have an answer to your research questions before you've started researching, or have even been accepted into a program. So my first word of advice would be to go into the PhD with an open mind. It's likely that your interests will change over the years anyway, so it's a good idea to go into a program that excels in your 'broad' interests. That being said, to answer your question more specifically, it could be a good idea to read some actual Political Philosophy and Political Theory, see which authors interest you most, and then see whether they did Philosophy or Political Science. In general, I'd guess that Philosophy is better for undergraduate training, since the methodological training (in logic, epistemology, etc.) is better, but Political Science is better for the PhD because the latter is slightly better for job prospects. Ultimately, it may depend on the particular program, since some Political Science programs (e.g. Princeton, Oxford, LSE, Brown) are highly oriented towards Analytic Philosophy, and others are more traditionally Political Theory. You won't be able to distinguish these small but important differences unless you spend some time snooping on program websites and asking your professors for advice.
  6. Do well on your TOEFL, and you'll probably get intothe MA at McGill with that profile. Do well on the GRE, and you have a good shot at the U Chicago MA. Speaking as someone who has graduated from McGill and who currently attends U Chicago
  7. "low but not miniscule" seems like a reasonable assessment to me. You're probably a step and a half behind the top candidates, but you clearly have a strong profile that should find you a home somewhere
  8. Low 160s is a minimum If you have a good GPA (which you seem to have) and strong letters, SOP, etc. But really, if you did that well in your math classes, there's no reason why you can't score above 165 on the GRE, unless your math classes were not sufficiently rigorous.
  9. No one's saying that the GREs are a perfect reflection of your math skills, but if you are actually good at math you will get a high GRE score after a couple tries at most. GRE math really isn't that complex. And yes, having strong mathematical ability and refined skills means that you will be able to complete problems faster and not run out of time, so if you did well in classes but you can't get at least a 160+ on the GRE, your grades are likely a result of grade inflation.
  10. Your GRE scores are fine, but not amazing. They likely won't help or hurt you. Your GPA is bad, but you should be helped by your major GPA. At this point, work on your qualitative material (SOP, LoRs, etc.). Also, you should consider applying to some lower-ranked schools in addition to the schools you listed. For places like Princeton, Columbia and Chicago, even many students with "perfect" application profiles get rejected, so it's best to keep your options open.
  11. I don't know a whole lot about the specifics of these programs, but from what I do know, here's my advice: If you value academic rigour, learning and improving quantitative skills most, then go to Harris If working in the NY area is most important, go to Columbia Both of these are great schools that will give you a great education and access to jobs post-graduation, so you're going to have to split some hairs. Are there any specific faculty at either program who you'd like to work with? That could help you decide. All else being equal, you should choose whichever school is best suited to your lifestyle (and it sounds like NYC is more your thing than Hyde Park).
  12. I don't know about the MA literature program in particular, but most academic MAs at U of T are not funded. Typically, in Canada, programs that are ranked on the higher end tend to give out less money at the MA level.
  13. 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/
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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