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About Paulcg87

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  1. Same. Our pre-fall math camp was called "Data Analysis Bootcamp" and it was pretty much designed for people who already have a math background so if you don't, spend the summer before your first year doing a stats review. Seriously. I did my master's in a quant heavy program and I was a little shocked to find calculus and linear algebra in our basic intro "Statistics for Political Scientists" course last fall. The level and complexity of the math will depend heavily on your department/instructor but polisci is trending more data/quant intensive (for every subfield besides theory), not less. Ca
  2. @needanoffersobad Not going to lie, it's tough being relegated to Zoom. Especially office hours and feeling like everything takes longer (including lab questions) when we are trying to do it over Zoom. With that said, my cohort had the advantage of (mostly) being together in person when classes started since we had in-person classes at the beginning of the term that switched over to online only once the second wave got bad, so many of us had met each other in person before we were forced to go online. Some schools/departments weren't so lucky. I think the answer to your question really de
  3. I just finished the first term/semester of the first year of my political science PhD. Just a few things for next year's incoming cohort: Learn how to code in R. Don't fight the inevitable, just learn it. - This is the most important advice I can give to anyone entering a PhD program next year who doesn't have a strong computer programming/coding background. In the past, users on here have emphasized how important quant methods are ad nauseam, and this is true and I don't want to take away from it. You do need to understand undergraduate algebra based statistics. You do need to know
  4. Good news my friends - the U.S. government has agreed today to rescind their new policy regarding foreign students and visas. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/14/trump-administration-drops-plan-to-deport-international-students-in-online-only-classes-361053 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-14/harvard-and-u-s-make-deal-on-foreign-student-visas
  5. @needanoffersobad just wanted to elaborate on a few things I mentioned earlier. Each school and academic department in North America has to make its own choices with regards to how it will offer courses during the 2020-2021 school year. Some will not offer classes at all in-person. Some, like my school, will offer online and in-person. Some will go with the majority in-person as if nothing has changed. I'm lucky that I have a choice; I think your perspective will vary depending on how much flexibility your school gives you. For those who have to go back to campus when they don't particularly w
  6. @needanoffersobad Yep, University of Toronto And yes, that's pretty much exactly it. My department is going to conduct every class both in-person and live/synchronous at the same time using live video via zoom. Undergrad and grad students have been given the option of attending in-person or online at their own discretion. So, if you want to attend in person, you can (as long as the class size is relatively small; the 50+ person undergrad classes will only have the online option) and if you don't want to be in Toronto right now or attend in person, you can attend purely as an online student.
  7. My school has offered us the choice of in person or online for the next year, with everything (including orientation) being offered in both formats. If my choice was online or deferred admission, I'd definitely take the online option. It's unfortunate if online is the only option in lieu of on campus, but at least you'll make progress towards your degree; if you defer for a year in particular, you are losing an entire year. Your cohort will move on without you and they will be a year ahead of you when you do start, and additionally, there are no guarantees about what the format will be in a ye
  8. @JamesPratt congratulations on getting into two amazing programs. About a decade ago, I spent a summer at Cal doing an energy policy workshop with GSPP and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For what it's worth, if it were me, I'd go to Cal, but that's because I'm an IR specialization. I know UCLA and Cal seem to be trading the USNWR ranking for best public school, but Cal has (in my opinion) better contacts with government and private IR think tanks, including very close ties with CGSR at Lawrence Livermore and Rand, both through their polisci and public policy programs. I saw this person
  9. ^What BTF said; Carleton has outstanding placements and networking/connections if you want to work for the government/civil service, particularly if you want to stay in Ottawa with the feds. Also, there's an entire forum on here just for this degree type but the MPPA (and Public Affairs/MPP/MPS type degrees) from North American schools generally are not the same as a master's degree in political science in a number of ways so this specific forum is ill suited for this. Just FYI, there are some fantastic Carleton MPPA threads on reddit too that answer just about every question.
  10. Haha no doubt you will get good meat here! You are both spot on. I was in Argentina last year and went to a steakhouse in BA, my first Argentine steakhouse. I had the porterhouse steak with chips and local wine. It was literally the best steak/meal I have ever had in my life. I would fly from Canada back to Argentina just to do a tour of the steakhouses. Back to reality, I sincerely hope everyone commenting on here is able to get into the US for school this fall. I can empathize/relate, having studied in the US for my masters degree as a foreigner. The process isn't easy even i
  11. Fair enough. Digressing to something unrelated to CARES, I just saw that the University of California announced it will be ending the current testing (SAT/ACT) requirements for undergraduate admissions at all of its campuses. We are living in interesting times.
  12. International update: Cambridge (UK) has cancelled most in-person classes for the next year, and will offer streaming lectures until summer 2021, but will allow teaching in small groups: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cambridge-university-lectures-cancelled-1.5576617 For Canada, so far it seems it will be partly to entirely online for fall 2020 depending on the school. UBC is offering "selected smaller classes" in person and the rest online, UVic will be "predominately" online, and Simon Fraser will be 100% online. In eastern Canada, every school who has issued an official statement on the
  13. No problem. I understand that this is a very US-centric forum, and that the majority of users are Americans, so most users interpret what I'm saying from an American perspective. I should have clarified for that reason. And yes, it does seem that the US is being very proactive when it comes to this, comparatively speaking. I do not think many American students realize or appreciate this.
  14. Heh. I realize I didn't specify where "elsewhere" was but I guess it's all how you look at it. I was referring to schools around the world. Maybe I should have said the "US" rather than "California", if that would make a difference? In Canada at least, there hasn't been coordinated student aid like this (other than federal unemployment benefits for students, which are only available to Canadian citizens/permanent residents, and only for this summer). If all US schools are doing as much as UCLA is doing as per the CARES Act, I'm genuinely impressed.
  15. Your quant is 86th percentile which is good for most social science graduate programs outside of econ. Not sure it's necessary to focus too much on raising your quant score; you already have the math from your STEM background and it will be extremely valuable given the quantitative rigour of most top US polisci PhD programs. Having R experience already from undergrad is also very beneficial given how integral this is in most US graduate polisci curricula. From what I've seen and depending on the school/program, many polisci grad students will have come from social science/liberal arts backgrou
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