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in praxis

Profile evaluation (where ought I apply?)

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Posted (edited)

Hey all,

I'm a would-be transplant from philosophy to political science (looking to do theory and IR). I'm starting to get a list of schools together for next cycle and was hoping some of you kind souls could point me in the right direction--not merely for my interests (which I will mention below), but also in light of my undergrad performance. I'll try to keep this brief.

CGPA: 3.71

PHIL GPA: 3.84

GRE: not yet applicable (haven't taken it)

Awards: highest grade on junior and senior theses (both topics in political theory); departmental award; departmental scholarship; campus-wide scholarships. no academic publications, no conferences. 

Relevant (?) experience and non-academic publications: (i) currently a journalist in the most highly covered conflict zone in the world (I don't want to say where, but I'm sure it's obvious); (ii) volunteered in a UN refugee camp for two months; (iii) interned for a city council campaign, conducting political research; (iv) interned for a non-profit law firm, conducting research and contributing to a report that has been delivered directly to the state legislature and governor's office; (v) research assistant to a philosophy professor. (Not sure any of these will mean shit to ad coms.) 

AOIs: broadly, social and political theory (mostly anti-capitalist, -imperialist and -racist thought) and political conflict (primarily conflicts per se, but also their potential resolutions). 

 

EDIT: Right now, I'm considering programs like Northwestern (no surprise), Minnesota, and Johns Hopkins. Do I prima facie have a chance at any of these places? What sorts of programs am I competitive at (that would be good for my interests), given my profile?

Edited by in praxis

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You look like an excellent candidate for any of those places. Judging by the schools you are looking at, Brown, British Columbia, UCLA, Berkeley, University of Delaware, and Cal Santa Cruz might be places to look at. If you are thinking about funded masters programs, Alabama's Women's Studies (really gender and race studies) program places a lot of people into good schools and does a lot of the kind of theory you'd be interested in (and our political science department has two interesting IR theorists in Waleed Hazbun and Daniel Levine you could also take classes from; fair warning, though, Alabama is a horrid place to live). University of Victoria has RBJ Walker and University of Hawaii has Michael Shapiro, and depending on your career goals, could be good places (I wouldn't recommend anything but top 40 if a job at an R-1 political science department were your goal). Also, you might look at ISA-NE when you get to going to conferences. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 6:35 AM, schuaust said:

You look like an excellent candidate for any of those places. Judging by the schools you are looking at, Brown, British Columbia, UCLA, Berkeley, University of Delaware, and Cal Santa Cruz might be places to look at.

This is encouraging news--thanks so much!

My grades, then--which are not low but neither are they impressive for a PhD applicant--shouldn't deter me from applying to some elite programs? UCSC looks great for my interests, and I'd actually been doing some research on their Politics Department recently. I'll check out the other places you mentioned (I'd written off Brown, UCLA and Berkeley on account of my relatively mediocre grades). 

On 4/4/2019 at 6:35 AM, schuaust said:

Alabama's Women's Studies (really gender and race studies) program places a lot of people into good schools and does a lot of the kind of theory you'd be interested in

This program looks super interesting, thanks for recommending it! 

 

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11 hours ago, in praxis said:

This is encouraging news--thanks so much!

My grades, then--which are not low but neither are they impressive for a PhD applicant--shouldn't deter me from applying to some elite programs? UCSC looks great for my interests, and I'd actually been doing some research on their Politics Department recently. I'll check out the other places you mentioned (I'd written off Brown, UCLA and Berkeley on account of my relatively mediocre grades). 

This program looks super interesting, thanks for recommending it! 

 

PM me if you want more details on UA, I'm in that department and political science. Per your grades, they aren't 'bad', if your application file is good you'll get considered by some programs. The process is really unpredictable, so IMO, applying to a variety of programs is a good idea. 

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