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Andromeda3921

Confused between applying to Sociology & Geography

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Hi, 

I'm interested in applying for a PhD in Fall 2019. Choosing schools in the US is particularly hard because I am conflicted between Sociology and Geography programs. I hold a Masters in Development Studies from a premier institute in India and have close to 2 years of work experience in the public policy &  academic research sectors. 

My expectations are as follows: 

1. Emphasis on qualitative research/ room for qual research

2. My specific interest is in urban studies, so would prefer a research cluster on cities/urban spaces. 

Interests: Urban studies - Qualitative Transportation, Identities, Spatiality, Heritage ; Comparative Research;  International Development; South Asia; Public Policy

Expectations from Programmes

Program: Interdisciplinary, Allowing students to choose courses across departments, emphasis/known for applied approach

Resources: Ongoing projects with vibrant research space, Access to funding, Encouraging collaborations, Good enough brand to ensure employment on completion of programme, preferably located in an urban area to aid fieldwork. 

Look forward to suggestions from you guys about which department might be a better fit and potential school options too! 

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I recommend posting this question to the sociology or geography boards to get their two cents.  That said, if it were me, I would look for a school that is top ranked in BOTH fields.  Then, find which professors at those schools you're most interested in working with, and applying to the department where he/she works.  You can create your plan of study around both ideas you're interested in.

 

That said, I gather that most programs in those fields are more quantitatively slanted.  Again, check with the particular boards, as I could be way off.  But given that, focus on professors you're wanting to work with, then apply to the program they're a part of. :)

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2 hours ago, E-P said:

I recommend posting this question to the sociology or geography boards to get their two cents.  That said, if it were me, I would look for a school that is top ranked in BOTH fields.  Then, find which professors at those schools you're most interested in working with, and applying to the department where he/she works.  You can create your plan of study around both ideas you're interested in.

 

That said, I gather that most programs in those fields are more quantitatively slanted.  Again, check with the particular boards, as I could be way off.  But given that, focus on professors you're wanting to work with, then apply to the program they're a part of. :)

Thanks for this! I have posed the same question in both the forums as well. Given the lack of responses, I figured there might be no harm in posting here as well. 

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Ah, makes sense.  Yes, you're totally right.

 

Here's what I did when I was investigating my programs.  I knew I wanted to go to an R1 institution (basically, institutions that offer Phds and do a lot of research).  So I wrote down all R1 institutions that also PhDs in my field. Then, I went website-by-website to see if they had concentrations in what I was interested in.  If they didn't, I deleted the school.  Then, I looked to see what professors at those schools were doing that interested me, and made note of those.  Finally, I made note of other factors (location, coursework required, etc.).  I plugged it all into a spreadsheet and came up with a ranking, then I finally skimmed those for places I would live and wouldn't live.


Here's a blank copy of the spreadsheet you can copy if it would help: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EBayVkXRcYS4ECviOkApehEO_oEedMKM5P7K9UNmYhM/edit#gid=746719307

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56 minutes ago, E-P said:

Ah, makes sense.  Yes, you're totally right.

 

Here's what I did when I was investigating my programs.  I knew I wanted to go to an R1 institution (basically, institutions that offer Phds and do a lot of research).  So I wrote down all R1 institutions that also PhDs in my field. Then, I went website-by-website to see if they had concentrations in what I was interested in.  If they didn't, I deleted the school.  Then, I looked to see what professors at those schools were doing that interested me, and made note of those.  Finally, I made note of other factors (location, coursework required, etc.).  I plugged it all into a spreadsheet and came up with a ranking, then I finally skimmed those for places I would live and wouldn't live.


Here's a blank copy of the spreadsheet you can copy if it would help: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EBayVkXRcYS4ECviOkApehEO_oEedMKM5P7K9UNmYhM/edit#gid=746719307

Wow! This is fantastic! I did something similar, but without the ranking system. Thanks for this, really! 

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On 7/15/2018 at 2:55 PM, Andromeda3921 said:

Hi, 

I'm interested in applying for a PhD in Fall 2019. Choosing schools in the US is particularly hard because I am conflicted between Sociology and Geography programs. I hold a Masters in Development Studies from a premier institute in India and have close to 2 years of work experience in the public policy &  academic research sectors. 

My expectations are as follows: 

1. Emphasis on qualitative research/ room for qual research

2. My specific interest is in urban studies, so would prefer a research cluster on cities/urban spaces. 

Interests: Urban studies - Qualitative Transportation, Identities, Spatiality, Heritage ; Comparative Research;  International Development; South Asia; Public Policy

Expectations from Programmes

Program: Interdisciplinary, Allowing students to choose courses across departments, emphasis/known for applied approach

Resources: Ongoing projects with vibrant research space, Access to funding, Encouraging collaborations, Good enough brand to ensure employment on completion of programme, preferably located in an urban area to aid fieldwork. 

Look forward to suggestions from you guys about which department might be a better fit and potential school options too! 

I know there are some undergraduate programs in my State's university system who combine sociology and geography, yet am not familiar with any at the Ph.D. level.  However, if they exists at the undergrad level then surely there is at least one graduate level program, too.  You may also want to look into civil engineering and/or anthropology and geography.  University of Washington has a Sociology and Political Geography program that might suit you.

Now, if you are looking solely at individual departments I would suggest sticking with Sociology.   

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Hey! Glad to have found you! I am from Delhi with very similar research interests (urban studies, spatial inequality, political economy) and work ex. Nevertheless, my conflicts were largely between Geography and Anthro. I've decided to apply for both, although I'm a bit skewed towards the former. Would be happy to connect! PM

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