Jump to content

Profile Eval ! Not sure where to apply (PhD)


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone!

I'm a rising senior and I am hoping to pursue a PhD in Political Science Fall 2020. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where to apply so I was hoping some people here had wisdom to share!
I'm interested in development as well as democracy/citizenship with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

How much are letters and experience worth over say, the GRE?

Does anyone have any schools in mind?
 

College: Top 50 liberal arts college

GPA: 3.95

Class rank: top 4% (hoping for Phi Beta Kappa)

Major GPA (Political Science): 4.03 // Minor in history and certificate in International Development 

GRE: Haven't taken it yet 

LOR: 3 Tenured professors (including advisor who I co-authored with)

Awards: Phi Sigma Alpha, award for junior politics major, Omicron Delta Kappa, Newman Fellow (National civic engagement fellowship), Biehl Fellow (grant to conduct research abroad in the summer); Candidate for honors (my school is weird we have to do our thesis and get distinction in the comps for honors)

Experience: co-authoring publication with tenured faculty on mental health policy in Africa (Co-Presented at ISA in Toronto); RA for 1 year (2 by the time I graduate) (NVivo and SPSS work for another publication); currently doing independent research in Ghana (interviewing civil society groups and Members of Parliament on gender-related bill)

Internships: USAID program in Ghana; Johns Hopkins/Makerere University HIV/AIDS program in Kampala, Uganda; Philanthropy intern 

Languages: Italian (native), English (Fluent), French (working on it); Twi/Akan (very basic but I am working on this too..)

Thank you so so much!

PS: Have taken research methods (A) and statistics (B) but I have to admit maths is not my strength (although I'm not awful at it either!) SO any programs with a more qualitative methods focus would be great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LivKa
Link to post
Share on other sites

Annotations below in bold

8 hours ago, LivKa said:

Hi everyone!

I'm a rising senior and I am hoping to pursue a PhD in Political Science Fall 2020. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where to apply so I was hoping some people here had wisdom to share!
I'm interested in development as well as democracy/citizenship with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

How much are letters and experience worth over say, the GRE?

If you want to get into somewhere good, GRE should be good and letters should be stellar. No one really cares about experience outside of research experience. 

Does anyone have any schools in mind?
I'm not very familiar with dev/Africa so I can't give you specific school suggestions. That being said, I think all schools in the top 20 will have someone studying topics you're interested in -- it's not too niche. It's also very hard to say what kind of rank you should aim for without the GRE. Obviously the GPA and LOR (assuming they're very good, because you've won some good awards and done research) aren't stopping you from applying anywhere and if you have somewhere in the ballpark of 160+/160+ (obviously the higher the better) you'll be competitive anywhere. 

College: Top 50 liberal arts college

GPA: 3.95

Class rank: top 4% (hoping for Phi Beta Kappa)

Major GPA (Political Science): 4.03 // Minor in history and certificate in International Development 

GRE: Haven't taken it yet 

LOR: 3 Tenured professors (including advisor who I co-authored with) 

Published? That'll be a big plus. 

Awards: Phi Sigma Alpha, award for junior politics major, Omicron Delta Kappa, Newman Fellow (National civic engagement fellowship), Biehl Fellow (grant to conduct research abroad in the summer); Candidate for honors (my school is weird we have to do our thesis and get distinction in the comps for honors)

Experience: co-authoring publication with tenured faculty on mental health policy in Africa (Co-Presented at ISA in Toronto); RA for 1 year (2 by the time I graduate) (NVivo and SPSS work for another publication); currently doing independent research in Ghana (interviewing civil society groups and Members of Parliament on gender-related bill)

Internships: USAID program in Ghana; Johns Hopkins/Makerere University HIV/AIDS program in Kampala, Uganda; Philanthropy intern 

Internships won't really matter. 

Languages: Italian (native), English (Fluent), French (working on it); Twi/Akan (very basic but I am working on this too..)

The last two will probably be helpful but not game-changing. 

Thank you so so much!

PS: Have taken research methods (A) and statistics (B) but I have to admit maths is not my strength (although I'm not awful at it either!) SO any programs with a more qualitative methods focus would be great!

Shying away from math at this point really isn't a good idea. The qual market is small, and basically any program worth its weight will require you (or virtually require you) to go through a tough quant sequence anyways. Programs that are strongly quantitative, like UCSC, Hawaii, etc. are not very good. That being said, nearly all large programs will have faculty who are big users of qualitative methods so when you make it through the quant sequence and decide that you're still not a big math fan, you can gravitate towards them. 

 

Link to post
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
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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