Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

Joint PhD Political Science/MS Statistics?


rnmhugji
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking of applying for a PhD in political science (intended subfield of Comparative Politics), and looking up some of the profiles of current/recent grad students at my target schools (Duke and UCLA, among others), I discovered that some students also seemed, while pursuing their PhDs at a given school, to also have attained an MS in Statistics from the same school during that time. Recognizing the current trends in the academic market, I thought that concurrently getting an MS in Statistics might provide a useful opening for industry/data science positions as an alternate career path. Just out of curiosity, if anyone here has done something like that or is familiar with the process, I had a few questions: 

1. Is the MS in Statistics in these cases usually free/subsidized for PhD students?

2. Is it generally possible to set up an arrangement with one's advisor to get a masters, if it's available? In other words, if it's possible to get a concurrent MS in Statistics, does one typically need to have a special background/extenuating circumstances (for example, that a masters in stats reflect their PhD subfield, etc.)?  

Sorry to ask if there is some publicly available answer, but I couldn't find any information on funding/permission for this sort of situation. Still, I kept seeing that degree combination appear on multiple CV/LinkedIn searches, and it really piqued my curiosity. 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

15 minutes ago, rnmhugji said:

I'm thinking of applying for a PhD in political science (intended subfield of Comparative Politics), and looking up some of the profiles of current/recent grad students at my target schools (Duke and UCLA, among others), I discovered that some students also seemed, while pursuing their PhDs at a given school, to also have attained an MS in Statistics from the same school during that time. Recognizing the current trends in the academic market, I thought that concurrently getting an MS in Statistics might provide a useful opening for industry/data science positions as an alternate career path. Just out of curiosity, if anyone here has done something like that or is familiar with the process, I had a few questions: 

1. Is the MS in Statistics in these cases usually free/subsidized for PhD students?

2. Is it generally possible to set up an arrangement with one's advisor to get a masters, if it's available? In other words, if it's possible to get a concurrent MS in Statistics, does one typically need to have a special background/extenuating circumstances (for example, that a masters in stats reflect their PhD subfield, etc.)?  

Sorry to ask if there is some publicly available answer, but I couldn't find any information on funding/permission for this sort of situation. Still, I kept seeing that degree combination appear on multiple CV/LinkedIn searches, and it really piqued my curiosity. 

Thanks!

I know some schools allow statistics to substitute for a second language for comparative students (out of those schools that require a second language at all), particularly if they do quantitative research. Perhaps that is what is going on in those cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something I've seen quite about for Americanist graduates, probably at least partially because there is never a language requirement. I'm sure sure about all the schematics (perhaps after school visits I will be able to say more about it), but generally I'm quite confident about the following:

1. Students more than likely do not pay for it. You can (and many departments encourage) taking courses outside of the political science department. 

2a. Sometimes these aren't really master's degrees that are open to the general public. That is, at least, as Harvard, there is no Stats A.M. (Harvard fancy letter ordering for an MA) that you can externally apply to (anymore), but Government PhDs sometimes have this.

2b. They are sometimes not as rigorous as a traditional graduate degree. This is especially true for universities that don't usually have masters programs. On the bottom of this page are the requirements for the stats masters at Harvard: a bunch of classes, and no thesis, comps, oral examinations, etc., whereas an MS at my ok state school most definitely involves a thesis. That being said, no one is going to looks at a resume with a Harvard statistics masters and think "oh this person only has this because they got in the back door." 

2c. Sometimes they are the same master's program that you apply directly into. And in those cases, you likely will have to independently apply to get into it. In other words, you're not guaranteed an "in." 

3. Most have pre-reqs that a vast majority of political science graduate students will not be able to meet. Even if you has a minor in applied stats at my undergrad, you would probably not be qualified to jump right in to the material. We're talking calcs 1-3, linear algebra, maybe some computer programming, a previous undergrad-level class in probability and math-stats (both WITH calculus); this sums up to almost a full year of undergraduate courses.

4. You probably need a somewhat compelling reason to convince the department/your adviser to let you take the master's -- if your subfields are theory and qual IR, it doesn't make sense to get a master's. That being said, it seems common enough that you don't need to try too hard to justify it especially if you have methods-heavy aspirations.

4a. If it's not something like the Harvard program that's catered to current grad students, it's more likely harder to gain entrance into the program, and harder to convince the political science department that that many statistics classes is worthwhile. 

4c. From what I've seen, they don't earn the MA degree until around the time they graduate with their PhD, which is to say, they're probably slowly taking these stats courses over a longer period of time. This means another source of stress when you theoretically should be concentrating on your dissertation

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.