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Found 4 results

  1. Dear all, My specialism is political thought and intellectual history. At top US institutions like Princeton and Harvard, would I have a greater chance of admission if I apply for PhD programs in history, or in political science? Which field is less competitive in top research universities? Thanks, Dem
  2. Hi everyone, I'm spending days and nights trying to decide which programs to apply to and whether I even should apply to PhD programs. My profile is below, and my burning questions follows. Undergraduate Institution: Top 25 liberal arts college (depending on which list you look at) Major: Policy Studies, Economics (Minor in Philosophy) Cumulative GPA: 3.94 GRE: Shooting for around 162Q, 166V Letters of Recommendation: My options are - my thesis advisor who I have known since my first semester (tenure track/international politics), a professor I did research with for a year (tenure track/international politics), professor whom I have a great relationship with (tenured/philosophy), professor who I TA'ed for (tenure/economics), thesis advisor whom I'm fairly close to (tenure/economics). I have good relationships with all of them and most have offered to write me LORs. I don't know how well-respected they are in their fields though. Research Experience: Did a year's worth of research with a professor whose research interests are only loosely tied to mine. I am also writing a thesis. Work Experience: Production assistant at a news channel for 6 months, internship in a municipal business development bureau in China, in charge of a running a book club volunteer program at the local women's prison Teaching Experience: Was a TA for Econometrics for one semester and is a writing tutor for two years now. Additional Skills: Fluent Mandarin, Intermediate Arabic, Python, STATA Research Interests: Energy security and development policy in East Asia (mostly China) Choices for MA: Cambridge, LSE, John Hopkins, Chicago, Princeton, Harvard Choices for PhD: UCSD, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Yale Burning questions: 1) Not a question, but please be brutally honest. I've had enough people being very nice to me about grad school applications just so my dreams don't get shot down. My dreams will get shot down by the admissions committee anyway so you'd be doing me a favor by shooting down my dreams before I pay that $100 application fee. 2) As you can tell, I'm only applying to Top 20 schools. It's a bit of pride, and a bit of practicality because those schools are the best choice for my research interests. However, do you think I will get in? Or am I shooting too high? 3) With my profile, do you think I should do a MA before I apply to PhD programs so I can strength my application and actually get into a top 20 school? 4) Everyone seems to have a publication, so do you think it is necessary to have one to get into these programs? My professors have said that it is actually better to wait until you are a grad student to publish the work you've done in undergrad because those journals are more well-regarded. 5) Lastly, if there are any other schools you think I should look at, please do suggest them! Thank you so much for your time and may you receive brownie points and actual brownies for helping an anxious undergrad!
  3. makingtheleap.back

    Where Should I Apply/Profile Eval

    First, I owe a big thank you to the entire gradcafe community. As a lurker, I learned quite a bit about everything from GRE prep to which programs are more academic vs. more professionally oriented. I'm coming back to school after a few years working, so it's been really nice to have a support system (even if none of you know me). Long-Term Goal: I'm 95% sure I would eventually like to obtain my PhD in Political Science and do a mix of teaching, researching, and consulting. Short-Term Goal: Lacking peer-reviewed pieces, I think the best route is probably to do a Master's degree and go from there. Public Policy has always been fascinating to me, so I've been evaluating MPP/MPA programs. If you feel there might be a better/smarter direction, please let me know. Current List: UC Berkeley (Goldman), Georgetown (McCourt), Chicago (Harris), UVA (Batten), UMichigan (Ford), UWashington (Evans) -- also, I'm interested in MIT's MSci program, so if anyone can shed light on whether that might be a good fit, that would be wonderful. GPA: 3.65, 3.9 Major GPA (International Studies, Focus on US Foreign Policy, Top 10 program for field, but definitely not Ivy). GRE: 169V, 161Q, Writing unknown (took it yesterday). Work Experience: 2 political campaign cycles in leadership positions (plus an internship in '08), 2 years in small business leadership (non-founder but with some policy overlap), 1 year as an academic coach at a community college (with experience setting/implementing new training/assessment policies). LOR: Reaching out to undergrad professors who knew me very well at the time; hopefully that goes well (if anyone has experience doing this and has suggestions, that would be wonderful). Will have one very good professional rec.
  4. I've been accepted at Columbia and Duke's M.A. programs in polisci. I have until May 31 to decide. I am technically enrolled at Duke but did not put down any money so could switch to Columbia without real ramifications (I believe.) I have a couple of years of experience in D.C. as a consultant, and know that there are plenty of jobs I want – even within our firm – that require a master's, so this will be as much a professional as an academic exercise for me. Duke's program is two years, whereas Columbia's is one. I will probably want to pursue another master's degree after I complete this one, ideally HKS, so interested in how each program would position me for that. Maybe a PhD but beginning to think that's not a great idea for what I want in life. I was a bit concerned that Columbia's M.A. was a rich-kid-finishing-school like Georgetown's MAAG program, but after meeting with a professor I feel better about Columbia's offering. I do worry that I won't learn much in a year compared to two, though. Duke's program is clearly academic and will "make me a scholar," as one professor put it, but it is also deeply quantitative. I absolutely want those skills but that doesn't really align with my research interests as of now and I am beginning to balk at the notion of being asked to retool my thesis because it isn't data-heavy enough (I know, early days.) Though, since Columbia is one year, don't really think I would be writing a thesis at all. But I get the Ivy League cachet on my resume. Also interested in the Duke vs. Columbia network value in DC / NY / Boston and beyond. Money isn't an object here – I'm fully funded. I received my B.A. in Political Science from a respected department at a private liberal arts college. Thanks for reading and interested in everyone's thoughts. I am incredibly lucky to have acceptances at each of these programs and am very excited to return to my studies and the classroom.
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