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Hello, I am wondering if there is much added value in obtaining a certificate when doing a Master's program if my eventual goal is to pursue a PhD?

I have been admitted to a 2-year MA program with a RA full tuition fellowship that has a research track thesis to prep for a PhD program. My sub-field is IR.

Thank you,

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Would would the certificate be in? If it would be in something related to research methods, then I think it could potentially be helpful. 

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I was leaning towards an IR certificate which wouldn't cost extra and wouldn't take up as many elective classes. They have one in Applied Stats but it would take up 5 of 7 elective classes and cost an additional $5,000. Is that worth it or would taking say 2 stats classes be enough until doing a PhD?

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If it's free, then it certainly wouldn't hurt. But, I'm not sure that it would help you get into a PhD program. Then again, if the certificate provides you with opportunities to research and develop connections with professors, it could be of some help. 

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14 hours ago, Leviathan said:

Hello, I am wondering if there is much added value in obtaining a certificate when doing a Master's program if my eventual goal is to pursue a PhD?

I have been admitted to a 2-year MA program with a RA full tuition fellowship that has a research track thesis to prep for a PhD program. My sub-field is IR.

Thank you,

Right after my undergraduate, I decided to do a two semester graduate certificate program in research methods. I can definitely attest to the value of getting a post UG cert, it helped me secure a research analyst position shortly after and made me much more competitive for ph.d studies (i got accepted with full funding). During certificate studies, I met a research adviser who wrote me a great LoR and offered me a book review co-authorship. But then again you will have your MA already, so in your case a cert might be superfluous. 

In my case, I was targeting Ph.D programs all along and this was something i pursued in my gap year to make me more competitive. 

Edited by KevinJHa

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Hmm in that case I might just go for the IR certificate with some stats classes on the side. Thanks for the advice!

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Try to take stats classes that could help your writing sample too. You can to definitely take MLE (logit, poisson, etc.). If the 2 classes you mention are research design and OLS, that is not enough to separate you from the crowd. 

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15 hours ago, MrsPhD said:

Try to take stats classes that could help your writing sample too. You can to definitely take MLE (logit, poisson, etc.). If the 2 classes you mention are research design and OLS, that is not enough to separate you from the crowd. 

That brings up another question for me, what stats courses would you recommend as vital to take during a MA degree? And would you recommend a different list if the courses would be through the Math dept and not within the Poli Sci Dept due to learning outside of the context?

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1 hour ago, Leviathan said:

That brings up another question for me, what stats courses would you recommend as vital to take during a MA degree? And would you recommend a different list if the courses would be through the Math dept and not within the Poli Sci Dept due to learning outside of the context?

Math dept are something too theoretical. Before going to another department you should ask around. You can also try sociology or psychology. 

You should definitely take some type of OLS and of MLE (logit, poisson). You might not have time to take more classes. If you do, ask around for classes that are more practical or that have a good balance of theory and practice. If there is a class on programming applied to social science problems, that could be handy too (if it uses R, for instance), since that could help you to learn how to manage data efficiently or scrape data, etc; it is a good skill to have if you want to start working as an RA for professors in the PhD program (I could definitely use one of those!) 

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