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Malabar Coffee

Prospects of US PhD after UK MPhil Oxbridge

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Dear All, I a an Applicant from India , and have done my undergrad in economics (india) MA in International Relations ( India) I have now applied for a second Masters in IR in UK and US . Final aim is to do a PhD and go into teaching. 

Till the time of writing I have been accepted into American University SIS , Korbel Denver and MPhil in Cambridge . I still wait for Oxford, CIR Chicago, SAIS and Elliott . 

I hope to do a PhD in USA , and have hence been building and strengthening my profile for it. 

What are the opinions on doing an MPhil from Oxbridge ? What are the chances of getting into US for PhD ( I like the PhD programs of Columbia and UC Berkeley ). 

My research interests are Middle East, Political Economy and global south critical perspectives of IR . Hence, I do hope to been trained in mixed methodology research. 

Any advise on US PhD in general and the programs in general would be extremely helpful. Thank you !

 

Edited by Malabar Coffee
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Hi! I can speak specifically to doing an MPhil at Oxbridge but not to American PhDs. I'm currently doing an MPhil in IR at Oxbridge, and based on your specific research interests, Cambridge especially sounds like a great fit for you in terms of coursework but Oxford is slightly better with social sciences and has a more critical curriculum (I applied to and researched both programs carefully). Congratulations on being accepted and best of luck with all your other applications! 

Probably one of the best parts about doing an Oxbridge MPhil is that MPhils are considered to be between an MA and PhD (since they're so research intensive, even with mixed taught-research programs), so I believe it would definitely give you an advantage later when applying for PhDs. Another thing to consider (and I don't believe this is fair, but just the way it is and many people independently have confirmed this to me during my studies) is that having a master's from an Ivy League (the obvious ones in the US + Oxbridge) will give you a definite advantage when later applying for professorships, especially in academia that is already so competitive for jobs. I think it's always better to diversify your academic experience (i.e. undergrad from India, master's from the UK, PhD from the US).

Another thing to consider is that in my experience grading is way harsher at Oxbridge (basically you only get distinction if your paper is publishable in peer review) HOWEVER I've  often been told this is taken into consideration when applying to non-Oxbridge PhDs and will still give you the advantage over someone with a higher average but from a non-Oxbridge-level school. This is just my experience, and having said all of this I firmly believe you should make a decision based not only on what will get you to your eventual goal of PhD / teaching, but also on which program specifically is the right fit for you and where you think you'll be the happiest! Best of luck and please don't hesitate to message me if you have any other questions I can answer.

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I'm currently doing an MPhil at Cambridge and have been accepted to PhDs in the US (as an international student). The Cambridge MPhils are generally excellent and I believe it has definitely contributed to my PhD acceptances, if only because it has helped me so much in terms of developing my interests and my ability to carry out research.

Good luck with your decisions and congratulations! PM me if you have any questions about Cambridge :)

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@cosmicrey, Firstly, Thank you for going through my query in  detail. :) . It is always encouraging to hear from students already studying at these universities. 

I just also got my acceptance from CIR chicago, which as you may know is a one year research intensive degree. And since University of Chicago is Ivy, and is known for rigourous preparation for a PhD , this just makes my decision tougher. 

For me , my research interests are paramount . Possibly why I don't go by the generic " Top 10 IR Schools " lists in the first place. 

I did have one important query. How easy in your experience is it to apply for a PhD directly after Oxbridge ? And considering I am an International Applicant, any RA roles possible after the degree ? 

And I agree with you, I too found Oxford more nurturing to alternative theories in general, however, (btw, I havent yet been accepted to Oxford) Cambridge seems to have an excellent research in Middle East. 

 

@avraven @cosmicrey Any advise to choose between University of Chicago and Oxbridge ? UC seems to be the only Uni in USA that I can't find too much on hate on :P 

I shall be PMing you soon, thank you once again for the help and advise 

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UChicago is a phenomenal institution that will prepare you academically and help hone your interests. UChicago isn't an Ivy, though. I'd argue that it is definitely as well respected. Name does carry weight (ie Ivies, UChicago, Berkeley, Stanford, etc.) But program and research fit is probably more important. In the states the Ivies often are not as strong as many public institutions at the Graduate level in terms research. This is, of course, program specific. Just some food for thought ?

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On 2/23/2018 at 2:21 AM, Malabar Coffee said:

Dear All, I a an Applicant from India , and have done my undergrad in economics (india) MA in International Relations ( India) I have now applied for a second Masters in IR in UK and US . Final aim is to do a PhD and go into teaching. 

Till the time of writing I have been accepted into American University SIS , Korbel Denver and MPhil in Cambridge . I still wait for Oxford, CIR Chicago, SAIS and Elliott . 

I hope to do a PhD in USA , and have hence been building and strengthening my profile for it. 

What are the opinions on doing an MPhil from Oxbridge ? What are the chances of getting into US for PhD ( I like the PhD programs of Columbia and UC Berkeley ). 

My research interests are Middle East, Political Economy and global south critical perspectives of IR . Hence, I do hope to been trained in mixed methodology research. 

Any advise on US PhD in general and the programs in general would be extremely helpful. Thank you !

 

Hello. Were you accepted at American University SIS (IR) for your PhD or Masters? Have you decided where you will attend?

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