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Theory with capital T

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About Theory with capital T

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  • Birthday 08/03/1988

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    Political Science (Theory)
  1. You are absolutely right about this basic political economy--- cheap labor is the secret of much of today's grad schools. My experience also says that theory classes are far more popular than other subfields among the undergrads. As for me, what else can I do? I could go for a phd in philosophy, but philosophy job market is no better than pol theory. May be I need to study another subfield along with pol theory (if there is such a scope)...so that I can have a better shot at getting a job.
  2. I tend to hope that the writing sample designates the quality of your education than something as tangible as GRE. My GRE scores are not stellar, but they are not bad either. I honestly think that my undergrad institution has a very solid quality, no less than the elite universities. Would you suggest me to re-take the GRE, by the way?
  3. This makes sense. I don't think that there is an inflation of theorists (for instance, I am probably the only one from my gigantic college who is seeking to get into pol theory program this year). There is a huge cleavage between pol theory and other sub-fields of pol science. I choose to do theory over, say, philosophy because of it's more liberatory potentials. I'll have to accept the fate (in terms of job), and do my study and writing. Little else can we do.
  4. Even though my undergrad institution is not a well-ranked college (300+ ranking in usnews), its faculty possesses some of the big names of the field (perhaps because it's a public institution, and conjoined with grad school). I can have LORs from relatively big names. Also, some of my professors are the direct students from institutions where I hope to go: their LORs are supposed to be well-received by their ex-professors.. I simply can't afford to do an MA. Plus, some of the programs offer MA with the phd program (Berkeley, Northwestern come to mind). So I hope in most cases, if not all, not having an MA won't be a serious drawback. Thanks a ton for your kind comment.
  5. I appreciate your comment. The scenario that you described is really horrific. Nevertheless, as I have said earlier, I will just have to accept this abysmal state, for I can't move elsewhere. This stat however gives a more optimistic account: http://resource.udallas.edu/132/APSApoltheorysurvey.pdf As per this survey, around 46% of the graduated students in pol theory find a tenure-track job within a year. Around 10% have to wait for 5 years to get a tenure-track position. It's not great, but not either as bad as it often claims to be. You really think that a political theorist can do anything except teaching? Why on the earth would somebody hire an obscure theorist for other jobs..?
  6. How would you explain the "fierce competition" (I've seen people are saying so in this forum) for getting into political theory programs? If the job market is so bad, why people are still running after it? (I presume not many are caught up like me).
  7. Yes, I've been advised many times about the abysmal job market. It's indeed frightening. Yet, given my overarching interest and investment, I can't simply change the discipline. It's not only about romantic rose-tinted affiliation with the subfield--- for me, political theory is more than "academic-interest." I appreciate your cautionary remark, yet I can't undo things... Which subfield are you in?...
  8. Also I was wondering whether it will hurt you if you apply directly from your undergrad program (I'll finish my undergrad at spring 2013, and applying for 2013 fall phd programs)...
  9. Thanks! It puzzles me how the admission committees differentiate among candidates. Almost everybody possesses strong LORs, decent GRE, grades etc. Writing sample can vary, but I heard it doesn't play much of a key role in admission. SOP really seems to be the key. I have another question for you: do you think the status of your undergrad institution matters when you are applying to rather elite grad schools?
  10. Hello guys, I hope to apply to grad schools directly from undergrad. I'm double-majoring in philosophy and politics from a decent public university. Grade around 3.80. GRE: verbal 670, Math 730, AW 5. I've a good honors thesis on contemporary continental political theory (incorporating Strauss and Arendt). I've not published anything yet. Have taken 10+ courses on political theory, some of which are graduate level courses. And, unfortunately, I can't afford to do an MA. My LORs are supposed to be strong. I'm specifically looking forward to universities which give emphasis to continental political theory (e.g. University of Chicago, Northwestern, John Hopkins, Berkeley, Notre Dame etc). I'd be more than grateful if you could let me know whether I've a fair shot at above-mentioned institutions. If not, could you please suggest me what should I do to become a stronger candidate?
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