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Hello everyone! As lots of schools have sent out decisions, I think it’s time to start this thread for the application cycle 2020. I believe everyone has his/her unique story to tell and I hope more people will benefit from it   
 

I will start with mine. not a fancy profile but I am satisfied since I worked hard to achieve it. 
 

If you don’t want to share SoP here, it’s totally fine. Maybe we can even have an SoP thread separately.
 

 

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:   Unknown international school in east Asia.
Major(s)/Minor(s): POlitical science 
Undergrad GPA: 3.54
Type of Grad: Top 20 world ranking university in east Asia 
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: V161/Q167/AWA3.5
Any Special Courses: IPSA research methods 
Letters of Recommendation: MA , BA supervisor,  and a famous scholar 
Research Experience: MA is a research based degree, 3 conferences experience 
Teaching Experience: 1semester TA
Subfield/Research Interests: IR
Other:

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): Penn state $$
Waitlists:
Rejections: rice, Emory, WashU
Pending: Vanderbilt, Maryland, UBC, McGill, UToronto 
Going to:

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Take / prepare for GRE test as early as possible, especially for international applicant. I took 4 times in the past fall   Waste of time and miss chances for lots of schools

2. Try to attend conferences and talk to faculties. They might remember u 

 

 

SOP

will share it if someone asks 

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Excited to get to post this finally! I was going to post earlier, but figured it was better to wait until I was officially decided. Also if you count the Columbia MA acceptance I technically got the C

PROFILE: Type of Undergrad Institution: Big state school Major(s)/Minor(s): IR Undergrad GPA: 3.6 Type of Grad: N/A Grad GPA: N/A GRE: 162v/147q/4.5aw Any Special Courses: Two methods courses, one on 

Hello everyone! As lots of schools have sent out decisions, I think it’s time to start this thread for the application cycle 2020. I believe everyone has his/her unique story to tell and I hope more p

Sure, I can update this as I hear back.

 

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: Big Ten
Major(s)/Minor(s): BA Political science, BS Molecular Biology
Undergrad GPA: 3.63
Type of Grad: ivy league, public health masters
Grad GPA: 3.9
GRE: V162/Q163/AWA5
Any Special Courses: n/a
Letters of Recommendation: job supervisor, research supervisor, joint letter from two professors
Research Experience: applied research, no publications
Teaching Experience: n/a
Subfield/Research Interests: climate migration
Other:

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$):
Waitlists:
Rejections: Brown
Pending: Princeton (interviewed), NYU, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, The New School
Going to:

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Find a way to make learning about researchers interesting, then follow those threads - for me, podcasts... but I started listening only after my applications were in

2. Connect with current PhD students at schools you're interested in to learn if the environment is right for you - email them and ask for a conversation

3. Don't underestimate yourself, try even if you think it's a long shot

Edited by ChooseHappily
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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: #77 in country
Major(s)/Minor(s): BA in Political science
Undergrad GPA: 3.98
Type of Grad: Just started an MA
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: V165/Q155/AWA5
Any Special Courses: n/a
Letters of Recommendation: 2 poli sci profs, one English prof
Research Experience: one honors thesis, one independent study relevant to SOP
Teaching Experience: TA'ing for first time as MA student
Subfield/Research Interests: Comparative politics
Other:

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$):
Waitlists: Northwestern
Rejections:
Pending: 
Going to:

 

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:  One of the best universities in an Asian country, but most probably unknown to admission committees.
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political science 
Undergrad GPA: 3.41
Type of Grad: Same as undergrad
Grad GPA: 4.31/4.5 (it's perhaps 4.0 in 4.0 scale, since I have only A or A+)
GRE: V168/Q157/AWA4.0 & v162/q165/4.0. I submitted both.
Any Special Courses: 
Letters of Recommendation: MA degree advisor, two professors from my MA thesis committee (one is a philosophy professor), someone from work. Everyone tried their best to write a strong LOR for me. I am so grateful for their efforts.
Research Experience: only my MA thesis 
Teaching Experience: almost a year during my MA
Subfield/Research Interests: theory
Other: I have abt 3? years of work experience, not directly related to my study but it bears implications

RESULTS: I'll finish this section when I get all my results.
Acceptances($$ or no $$): UW Madison $$
Waitlists:
Rejections: 
Pending:  
Going to:

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Like needanoffersobad said, taking and finishing GRE ASAP is essential.

2. Start your SOP ASAP!! It takes so much time! Have it read by your professors! And if you're a theory major, perhaps you should start your writing sample ASAP and put in maximum efforts as well.

3. Research fit seems to be almost everything. My SOP was sort of a high-risk & high-return strategy. It worked well for me, look at my college GPA. Your research interest should be specific but not too narrow, and balancing this is, yes, so difficult. In my case, it was very narrow, and it worked out well with UW-Madison. Being rejected by many others with lower rankings atm.

I'll also add other stuffs later.

Edited by horololo
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Transparency is important, so I'll add more after I make my final decision

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:   Private
Major(s)/Minor(s): Chemistry
Undergrad GPA: not terrible
Type of Grad: Private
Grad GPA: good
GRE: OK
Any Special Courses: none
Letters of Recommendation: Yes
Research Experience: 4 years
Teaching Experience: yes
Subfield/Research Interests: Comparative / Labor politics
Other:

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): Berkeley $$, UMass $$
Waitlists:
Rejections: Texas, Cambridge
Pending: Chicago, Yale, Harvard, Brown, MIT, CUNY, Michigan
Going to: ?

Lessons & advice:

Apply for fee waivers if eligible and help your peers apply. Pool knowledge and resources. Review their statements & send yours out widely. Lift each other up. If undergrad offers a workshop or series on how to apply, take advantage of it (I did not do this but know folks who did and benefitted). Let profs help you with SOP (I did not do this, but many peers did and are doing well). Get your statement to letter writers early, i.e. two months in advance. Get GREs in 80th plus percentile if possible. If not possible, don't sweat it too much and start beefing up other parts of the app. Really think about where you want to be, who you want to work with and why. Are there three faculty there you are excited to work with? Are they tenured? Will they jump ship in a year? Will they be sympathetic to your research? Send them emails & request to chat. They can give you insight about the program, and while this is more useful after the acceptance for paring down apps, it may help you get a sense of how to think about fit & if you want to put time into the app. That said, send out as many apps as you can. If you are applying to oxford/cambridge/euro schools, start early on the special fellowships. Think about if you want the PhD - reach out to profs and ask them if it is worth it. Talk to people that dropped out or chose not to apply and see what they're doing. Can you get the career you want w.o a PhD? Remember to go outside, even if it is snowing. Take a breather from this and don't stress. Do things outside of school or the app process. Volunteer. Start an herb garden. Learn how to make pasta. Figure out how you best shrug off rejection and stay positive. Talk to friends. There will be a lot of rejection in an academic career, so also savor the acceptances and wins.

Get yourself together. Move to Philly. Buy a loft. Start a noise band. Get six or seven roommates. Eat hummus with them. Book some gigs. Paint. Smoke cloves. Listen to Animal Collective. Start some kind of salsa company.

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: SEC
Major(s)/Minor(s): Economics and International Affairs
Undergrad GPA: 3.57
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: V158/Q163/AWA5.0 
Any Special Courses: Econometrics and a few courses focusing specifically on nuclear security
Letters of Recommendation: English Professors (Department Head), Two decently well known and accomplished retired Political Science Professors.  They were all eager to write and I know supported my application.
Research Experience: Undergraduate Econ Thesis (though it was pretty informal)
Teaching Experience: N/A
Subfield/Research Interests: Comparative Politics
Other: I spent two years at a top tier consulting firm working on systems implementation (some big data experience as well)

RESULTS: I'll finish this section when I get all my results.
Acceptances($$ or no $$): University of Georgia (money pending)
Waitlists: WashU
Rejections: Northwestern, Emory, Brown
Pending: Yale, UChicago, UNC
Going to:

 

Tips: I don't know that I'm at a point to offer any right now.  Jury is still out whether my application is any good lol

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I think @sloth_girl is right. Do note also that GC prevents you from editing your posts after some relatively short period of time, so if you post a partial list now you'll have to post a whole new one in order to update.

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:   Top 20 in US
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science
Undergrad GPA: 3.9
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: V156/Q154/AWA5
Any Special Courses: 
Letters of Recommendation: Faculty mentor for (RA work, summer fellowship, and honors thesis), 2 faculty I've only taken classes with once. Final is a writing lecturer who I am very close with. 
Research Experience: Summer research experience, 1 year of qualitative data collection for mentor. 
Teaching Experience: N/A
Subfield/Research Interests: IR
Other: CP

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): UCSD $$$, UCD $$, UW-Seattle $$, UW-Madison ($? - idk yet)
Waitlists:
Rejections: Berkeley, Emory, GWU. 
Pending: Stanford, UChicago, UPenn, NotreDame, LSE. 
Going to: Probably UCSD. 

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

Get started one year early. If applications are due December of 2020, start january of 2020. Start working on research, SoP, Diversity Statement, and study for the GRE. GRE really don't mean anything in the long haul, it is to filter applicants. If you get below 50%, you should try to get above 60%tile. SOP is all about concision but also descriptive of your research interest, agenda, and it should outline your preparation for graduate work (it's going to be hard, are you ready?). Refine your SOP, DS, and Writing Sample because those MATTERs the most. I ended up with over 20 drafts of SOP, 10 drafts of DS, and 13 drafts of my writing sample. Work hard, and your effort will be rewarded. 

 

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: Top 10 IR school, #77 overall (US News)
Major(s)/Minor(s): IR/Spanish
Undergrad GPA: 3.91
Type of Grad: UK Master's, #4 in Politics, #44 overall (QS World University Rankings)
Grad GPA: N/A, Distinction, prize for top of class
GRE: V166/Q160/AWA6
Any Special Courses: 
Letters of Recommendation: Undergrad mentor (Summer fellowship, 2 conference papers), Grad mentor (Master's thesis supervisor), Former supervisor (RA in public policy think tank), Former supervisor (RA in environmental think tank). 
Research Experience: 2 funded fellowships (undergrad), 2 years postgrad RA experience, BA thesis, MSc thesis, 3 postgrad conferences, 4 undergrad conferences, editor experience for 2 undergrad journals, 1 grad journal, and 1 "real" journal. 
Teaching Experience: 2 years tutor, supplemental instructor for college-level ESL classes.
Subfield/Research Interests: CP
Other: IR

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): Notre Dame $$, UCSB $$.
Waitlists:
Rejections: Berkeley, Princeton. 
Pending: Stanford, LSE. 
Going to: Undecided. 

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

I want to tell you all a horror story. I personally insulted the CP field convenor of my then-top choice PhD program, whom I reached out to to see if I was a good fit. She gave lots of negative -- not constructive -- criticism, saying that I didn't really understand what I was talking about and that I needed to take calc before applying, or else I would have a "major hole" in my application. Mind you, this is 1.5 months before the deadline. After, I emailed my mom to let her know how our meeting went, saying something like "she was not nice." Only, the thing is... I accidentally sent it TO THE FIELD CONVENOR.

Needless to say, I did not get in.

A big lesson I learned is to be humble. Take feedback (even negative feedback) gracefully, and don't retaliate by talking about someone behind their back. And always, always check the "To" line of your emails.

Other lessons I learned were to start applications early, don't be afraid to go into a lot of detail in your SOP, and only apply where you think you would be a good fit. Even though I handled that situation the wrong way, looking back, I don't think I would have been happy in that program, nor would I have been able to handle the amount of pressure and negativity.

Good luck with everyone's pending decisions! Wishing you all the best for the rest of this cycle and beyond.

Edited by billk
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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:  small unranked state school
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political science 
Undergrad GPA: 3.5
First MA: SEC School GPA: 4.0

Second MA:Top 60 Political Science program (also SEC)- left PhD program after 2 years for personal reasons GPA: 3.85


GRE: first time V159/Q153/AWA5 second time V161/Q151/AWA5


Letters of Recommendation: 3 really good letters from well-published academics 


Research Experience: 1 sole authored publication in a good (not great) academic journal; 1 work in progress; 5 conference presentations


Teaching Experience: TA for 5 semesters; Instructor of American Government for 3 semesters 


Subfield/Research Interests: IR/CP

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): University of California, Irvine $$, University of Georgia ($$ - funding info to come), Arizona State University $$, University of Nebraska $$
Waitlists: Indiana University (fully funded if offered a spot)
Rejections: Rice, Vanderbilt 
Pending: University of Oklahoma

 

No advice that you haven't already heard or seen.  

 

 

Edited by IRTphd915
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/8/2020 at 11:20 PM, ChooseHappily said:

Sure, I can update this as I hear back.

 

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: Big Ten
Major(s)/Minor(s): BA Political science, BS Molecular Biology
Undergrad GPA: 3.63
Type of Grad: ivy league, public health masters
Grad GPA: 3.9
GRE: V162/Q163/AWA5
Any Special Courses: n/a
Letters of Recommendation: job supervisor, research supervisor, joint letter from two professors
Research Experience: applied research, no publications
Teaching Experience: n/a
Subfield/Research Interests: climate migration
Other:

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$):
Waitlists: Princeton
Rejections: Brown, MIT
Pending: NYU, Harvard, Tufts, The New School
Going to:

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Find a way to make learning about researchers interesting, then follow those threads - for me, podcasts... but I started listening only after my applications were in

2. Connect with current PhD students at schools you're interested in to learn if the environment is right for you - email them and ask for a conversation

3. Don't underestimate yourself, try even if you think it's a long shot

updated above

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution: Big state school
Major(s)/Minor(s): IR
Undergrad GPA: 3.6
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: 162v/147q/4.5aw
Any Special Courses: Two methods courses, one on R and the other on STATA
Letters of Recommendation: One from my undergrad mentor, who also supervised my senior honors thesis and was the director of an on-campus research institute. One from a professor who taught me various IR courses. One from a professor that taught me language and led my study abroad/field research experience. 
Research Experience: One summer field research experience, a junior level research one semester research project, a senior honors thesis. 

Teaching Experience: N/A

Subfield/Research Interests: 
Other: 
I also presented at three research conferences hosted by my university. They were for undergrads within the school, but it did give me presentation experience.

Results: 

3a/1w/2r/0p 

Cycle RESULTS: 

Acceptances ($$ or no $$): CU Boulder ($$), UConn ($$), Kansas (waitlisted for $$) 

Waitlists: Kentucky 

Rejections: Penn State, UMass Amherst

Pending: 

Going to: CU Boulder

 

SOP:

  • First section talked about my motivation for entering grad school, as well as the research question I had and wanted to pursue within grad school.
  • Second section talked about how I prepared for grad school. So I went through my relevant undergrad courses and research experience. 
  • Third section was the "fit" section. I went in depth as to why I wanted to attend the specific school, discussing at least two faculty members that I was interested in working with. 


Lessons Learned/Advice: 

  • Start the whole application process early. Start looking at schools, professors, and research topics well before you have to submit the applications. Secure your LOR writers early on as well, as sometimes those can fall through and you need time to pick up another one. 
  • Get out of the undergrad mindset when selecting schools. By this I mean you have to look at the department and faculty, not the school itself. Sure a school may be prestiges for undergrad, or well known in various STEM or Humanities fields, but that isn't what you're going to school for. Get out of the whole mindset that dominates undergrads and undergrad admissions. 
  • Find at least two professors at a given school that you want to work with. This is both for the admissions and the subsequent years spent there. For admissions, they are more likely to admit you if you show a strong fit with the department, and that is better demonstrated by having more then one POI on staff. But this is also important for when the program actually starts. You don't want to be in your 2nd or 3rd year and your POI leaves and you have no one to work with. I've seen that happen, and it sucks because the student then has to go through this entire hellish experience all over again. 
  • Take quality of life into account when selecting where to apply. I think this factor is usually ignored or put on the back burner for many students as they are most looking at rank. But quality of life is one of the most important things in determining your ultimate success in grad school. If you are someone who hates winter, don't apply to any New England schools, if you are someone who loves four seasons, don't apply to U of F. If you are unhappy in your environment then you will less successful in graduate School. It is already a SUPER stressful time in your life. you don't want to increase that by being unhappy about where you are living. 
  • Placement matters more than ranking. I know that this is a bit controversial, but I firmly believe that it is the placement that matters way more then the rankings. I think the most important thing is to take a look at the recent placement and think if you'd be happy there or not. Where do their students end up? R1's? R2's? LAC? Industry? all of this is important and you have determine if it is where you can see yourself and where you would be happy.
    • NOTE: often times schools will get one or two big flashy placements, those are most likely outliers. Make sure you look at where most people end up as that is far more likely. 
  • I think we as applicants place WAY too much emphasis on GRE. That is mainly because it is one of the two things that we can really compare to each other and one of the major things that shows up in the results page. While the GRE is a factor in admissions, I think it is definitely loosing its importance. We shouldn't see it as the end-all be-all of applications. 
  • Second cycles are okay. I know it sucks not getting in anywhere, but doing it again is totally okay and does work out! 
  • Apply to a wide rang of schools. PhD applications are a total and complete crapshoot. You don't know who will like your profile, or who will be on sabbatical or who will be looking to take on more students. All you can do is shoot your shot. So sure, apply to that top 20 school, or even the top 10 school, because who knows? 
    • I would also like to say that generally speaking applying to only top 10 or top 20 is ill-advised. Sure you may think you have an excellent profile, but you never know what they really are looking for. Applying to schools from every bracket is a much better idea and a safer bet.
  • I want to reiterate that the application process makes absolutely no sense. As you can see from my profile I was admitted to a top 40 which generally has an acceptance of around 15-20 percent, while I was either waitlisted/waitlisted for funding/straight out rejected from lower ranked/less competitive schools. I honestly have no idea why the cycle played out the way it did for me. I doubt I would be able to replicate it if I tried. 

This website has been a great source for me and I would love to give back some of the knowledge that I have. Please feel free to slide into my DM's if you have any questions about anything I've posted. 

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PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:   Top 3 Canadian university
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science/History
Undergrad GPA: 3.61
Type of Grad: Top 10 U.S. university
Grad GPA: 3.78
GRE: V166/Q161/AWA5.0
Any Special Courses: Calculus, stats & calc-based stats in undergrad; inferential stats, research methods & modeling in grad school
Letters of Recommendation: MA supervisor, three work supervisors (two supervisors have PhD's in field; all three are senior positions in IR related field)
Research Experience: Professional work experience as a quantitative researcher in IR-related field; MA is a research-based degree 
Teaching Experience: 3 semesters TA experience
Subfield/Research Interests: IR
Other: MA is from a quantitative-intensive program that specializes in statistical modeling

RESULTS:
Acceptances($$ or no $$): University of Toronto ($$), McGill ($$), UBC ($$)
Waitlists: none
Rejections: none
Pending: none
Going to: University of Toronto

 

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Fit is the most important part of the PhD application process in my opinion. If you aren't happy, you'll be spending 5-6 years regretting your choice and you might even drop out. "Fit" includes not just your department and how well you get along with your mentor/supervisor, but also, location, funding and quality of life. 

2. Despite what some might tell you on here and on PSR, rankings do matter when it comes to getting hired for a Tenure Track/postdoc job after your PhD. Fit is vital to your happiness but rankings are still an important part of your post-PhD job success, as are the connections that your supervisor/committee have. 

3. If you want to work in the US afterward, go to a US school. If you want to work in the commonwealth afterward, go to either a top-30 US school, a top-3 Canadian school, Oxbridge/LSE or ANU/Melbourne. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it's the advice that most professors gave me based on hiring committee preferences and reputation.

4. Only go somewhere if they're funding you for your PhD. Please please please do not go into a program that will require you to take out a lot of student loans, even if it's a good program. The chances of you getting a decent paying job the first few years after you finish your PhD vary but in many cases you might be a postdoc, visiting prof or adjunct for a while, and it's not worth taking out a lot of student loan debt for a PhD in a field that generally doesn't pay very well unless you're Tenure Track (TT) at a top-20 program. Go somewhere where your program is paying you to be there, not the other way around. 

Some additional comments.. Despite what the derelicts on PSR constantly trash talk about, you can go to a non-US school and still get a decent TT/postdoc job in the US. It's difficult and you'll have a harder time than if you go to a US school, but it's absolutely possible and that is an objective fact based on a cursory search of polisci department faculty at US schools. With that said, if you go to a lower ranked, lesser known school in the UK or Canada, you're really going to have a hard time getting anything in the US.

So, I recommend that if your heart is set on doing a PhD in Canada or the UK, you go to one of the top 3 polisci programs (Toronto, UBC, Mcgill for Canada; Oxford, Cambridge, LSE for the UK), and if you can't get into one of these programs, go to a US school instead (even if it's a middling or lower tier program) or re-apply in another year with stronger credentials. Go to some political science department faculty pages and look for yourself if you disagree with me; there aren't many faculty in TT jobs at US schools who got their PhD in war studies online from KCL or at the University of Victoria, but with an Oxbridge or Toronto/UBC/McGill degree you at least have a chance. And if you are 100% sure you have no interest in working in the US and you don't care if you close the door on that option now, just go wherever you have a good fit and good funding.

Above all else, do what makes you happy, but know what you're getting yourself into and understand that if you're one of the small group of political scientists who some day is making six figures in a prestigious TT job, it's probably not going to be at any point in the next decade of your life. More likely, unless you go to a top program, you will either be unemployed, working in the private sector (including non-profits & consulting), for the government as a civil servant, or you'll spend at least the first year or two after graduation in a postdoc, visiting/adjunct professorship or teaching at a community college. Accept this before you commit the next 5-6 years of your life or you might regret doing this. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Paulcg87 said:

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad Institution:   Top 3 Canadian university
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science/History
Undergrad GPA: 3.61

How does it look for Canadians from top 3 programs in the job market in Canada? As abysmal as in the US or a little better

Edited by ihatedecisions
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6 hours ago, ihatedecisions said:

How does it look for Canadians from top 3 programs in the job market in Canada? As abysmal as in the US or a little better

Assuming you graduate from a top 3, assuming your department/supervisor/committee have connections, and assuming there are open jobs in Canada in your subfield, the outlook is good. Keep in mind, the Canadian job market is extremely small. In any given year there might be only 2-3 open/hiring TT polisci positions within a given subfield in all of Canada. I've seen U.S. states that have more TT polisci openings than all of Canada combined in a given year.

The other really important part is citizenship/residency. Many schools (especially UT) put a strong emphasis on hiring Canadian citizens/permanent residents, which makes sense, given how small the market is and the extra time/complexity in sponsoring a foreigner for immigration for a TT job. It's absolutely possible to get sponsored for immigration to Canada for a TT job at a Canadian university as an American/foreign citizen and it happens every year, but it's only a handful of people. Canadian polisci departments seem to frequently hire candidates with American PhD's but they are, more often than not, Canadians who (like me) went to the US for at least part of their education. Don't be misled just because UBC, UT and McGill have a lot of faculty with foreign PhD's; many of the faculty you see in Canadian polisci departments who have US or UK PhD's are Canadians who went abroad for their education, not Americans/Brits. 

With all of this said: If you have at least permanent residency, went to a top-3 school in Canada, have interesting research and good references from your supervisor/committee, and there are open Canadian TT positions in your subfield, you will be extremely competitive for those positions in Canada. If everything else is equal and you've published and the rest is true, your odds are at least 50/50 if not higher, which is more than I can say for your odds in most places/circumstances. I hope this helps.

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2 minutes ago, ihatedecisions said:

   @Paulcg87    thanks a lot! I am an international and I am considering offers from two US schools (top 25) alongside two top3 Canadian schools. So I am not really sure how the permanent residency in Canada works, that is, if one can get it while being a graduate student, so there is it. 

@ihatedecisions no worries. I wish I could tell you about the immigration process but I honestly don't know it (I'm a Canadian citizen, born & raised here). Personally if I were you I'd go to Vanderbilt. You might not be competitive for a Canadian TT job but you'll certainly be very competitive for US jobs and unless you have your heart set on emigrating to Canada and settling here, you're far more likely to get a TT job in the US with a Vanderbilt PhD than a PhD from any Canadian school. 

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4 hours ago, Paulcg87 said:

@ihatedecisions no worries. I wish I could tell you about the immigration process but I honestly don't know it (I'm a Canadian citizen, born & raised here). Personally if I were you I'd go to Vanderbilt. You might not be competitive for a Canadian TT job but you'll certainly be very competitive for US jobs and unless you have your heart set on emigrating to Canada and settling here, you're far more likely to get a TT job in the US with a Vanderbilt PhD than a PhD from any Canadian school. 

The best option is to be a Canadian citizen/permanent resident and to obtain a degree in the USA.  - If the aim is to get a TT position in Canada.
With all due respect to Canadian top-3 schools, those schools can not compete with the US schools located within top-40 (in terms of methods training, funding, networking, placement, etc).

Edited by kestrel18
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15 minutes ago, kestrel18 said:

The best option is to be a Canadian citizen/permanent resident and to obtain a degree in the USA.  - If the aim is to get a TT position in Canada.
With all due respect to Canadian top-3 schools, those schools can not compete with the US schools located within top-40 (in terms of methods training, funding, networking, placement, etc).

Mmm, disagree. Top 10 US, yes. Top 40? No way. As a Canadian who got an SM at MIT and has spent the last five years working as an IR researcher in Canada, most of the search/hiring committees absolutely give preference to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia and Stanford IF it's a Canadian citizen/permanent resident with the degree. With all due respect to the University of Iowa and Florida State University (both US top 40 for polisci according to USNWR), a Canadian from UT, UBC or McGill will be hired over a Canadian from Iowa or Florida State if all other things are equal. I've seen it. 

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12 minutes ago, Paulcg87 said:

Mmm, disagree. Top 10 US, yes. Top 40? No way. As a Canadian who got an SM at MIT and has spent the last five years working as an IR researcher in Canada, most of the search/hiring committees absolutely give preference to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia and Stanford IF it's a Canadian citizen/permanent resident with the degree. With all due respect to the University of Iowa and Florida State University (both US top 40 for polisci according to USNWR), a Canadian from UT, UBC or McGill will be hired over a Canadian from Iowa or Florida State if all other things are equal. I've seen it. 

Johns Hopkins or Georgetown vs U o T or UBC?...
Well, this is disputable. 
 
I hold an MA degree from a reputable University located in Ontario. Our Graduate Coordinator once mentioned they would give preference to applicants who graduated from US schools (mostly due to training in methods).

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1 minute ago, kestrel18 said:

Johns Hopkins or Georgetown vs U o T or UBC?...
Well, this is disputable. 
 

Difficult to say. I've met Georgetown PhD's who go from postdoc to postdoc and can't get anything, and others who are rock stars. Georgetown and JHU are fantastic schools, as are Berkeley, Harvard, Penn, and a number of other top 20 schools I did not mention. But without the pedigree of the Columbia/Harvard/Yale/MIT/Princeton/Stanford (CHYMPS) name behind you, you need to have some stellar credentials whether you want a job in Canada or the US. The same goes for UT, McGill and UBC. They don't have the prestige of the CHYMPS and they probably never will. They also can't compete with the CHYMPS in terms of quant/methodology training. I don't think anyone could argue otherwise. But they do give you solid training, just like Georgetown and JHU. If you have strong credentials (published, relevant research, excellent recommendations/references, etc), I would argue you have about an even chance of getting a tenure track job in Canada if you're at Georgetown/JHU or UBC/McGill/UT and you're also already a Canadian citizen/PR. My point earlier was that top-40 is way too broad and the lower end of the top-40 can't compete against UBC/McGill/UT within Canada. If everyone in the US top-40 is more competitive than the Canadian top-3, you would not see any faculty anywhere in Canada from top-3 Canadian schools, which is simply not accurate. Outside of the US top 10, the Canadian top 3 have the next largest presence in Canadian polisci faculty. 

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50 minutes ago, kestrel18 said:

I hold an MA degree from a reputable University located in Ontario. Our Graduate Coordinator once mentioned they would give preference to applicants who graduated from US schools (mostly due to training in methods).

I don't doubt that Canadian schools prefer US quant/methodology training, or that top US schools would easily hold more sway over any Canadian school when all else is equal and it's a Canadian job applicant. This is evidenced simply by looking at the polisci faculty at UBC or McGill. If you look at both, the vast majority of faculty have US degrees, and of those, the most common degrees come from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford. I went to MIT, I understand this; the best minds in the world are at the CHYMPS schools, and the Americans pioneered the 5-year coursework and quant methodology PhD model that Canadian schools now try to emulate (versus the British 3-year research PhD model).

With that said, I'm talking about objective facts based on open source data here when I say that the Canadian top 3 are at least as competitive as the US non-CHYMPS schools.. If you look at a random sample of Canadian polisci department faculty, almost every single polisci department and certainly every department from a comprehensive research university will also have faculty from UT and McGill, and often UBC as well. They don't number anywhere near as many as the CHYMPS schools. For example, UBC polisci only has three faculty with UT PhD's but more than twice that many from the CHYMPS schools. But, what I'm saying is, outside of the top-10 US schools, if all other things are equal, you stand as good of a chance coming from a top-3 Canadian school as you do from most US schools within the Canadian job market. I know a lot of people disagree with me, but again, look at the current composition of Canadian polisci faculty and you'll see that everything I've just said is fact. I see a lot more UT PhD's than Florida State, Iowa or Wisconsin PhD's in Canadian polisci departments, and that says it all. 

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42 minutes ago, Paulcg87 said:

Difficult to say. I've met Georgetown PhD's who go from postdoc to postdoc and can't get anything, and others who are rock stars. Georgetown and JHU are fantastic schools, as are Berkeley, Harvard, Penn, and a number of other top 20 schools I did not mention. But without the pedigree of the Columbia/Harvard/Yale/MIT/Princeton/Stanford (CHYMPS) name behind you, you need to have some stellar credentials whether you want a job in Canada or the US. The same goes for UT, McGill and UBC. They don't have the prestige of the CHYMPS and they probably never will. They also can't compete with the CHYMPS in terms of quant/methodology training. I don't think anyone could argue otherwise. But they do give you solid training, just like Georgetown and JHU. If you have strong credentials (published, relevant research, excellent recommendations/references, etc), I would argue you have about an even chance of getting a tenure track job in Canada if you're at Georgetown/JHU or UBC/McGill/UT and you're also already a Canadian citizen/PR. My point earlier was that top-40 is way too broad and the lower end of the top-40 can't compete against UBC/McGill/UT within Canada. If everyone in the US top-40 is more competitive than the Canadian top-3, you would not see any faculty anywhere in Canada from top-3 Canadian schools, which is simply not accurate. Outside of the US top 10, the Canadian top 3 have the next largest presence in Canadian polisci faculty. 

Top-3 Canadian universities, with a considerable margin, are staffed with people holding US degrees, not necessarily from CHYMPS.
For instance, four (!) faculty members at UBC obtained their Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. One TT is from Brandeis. Almost the same tendency is traceable in U o T and McGill.

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Just now, kestrel18 said:

Top-3 Canadian universities, with a considerable margin, are staffed with people holding US degrees, not necessarily from CHYMPS.
For instance, four (!) faculty members at UBC obtained their Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. One TT is from Brandeis. Almost the same tendency is traceable in U o T and McGill.

Agree with you that the majority of faculty at UBC have US degrees. Regarding Minnesota, that's a bit of an outlier and it's misleading to use that as an example. The four Minnesota grads at UBC are something of an anomaly, so much so that they're called the "Minnesota Mafia" by some of the grad students I know at UBC. Minnesota doesn't come close to replicating this at UT/McGill, but it's impressive. With that said, again, the largest number of UBC faculty degrees come from the CHYMPS by far if you tally and combine. And this is also the case at other Canadian schools. I stand by my point that there are UT grads in every major Canadian polisci department, which is not as impressive as the CHYMPS presence but overall is still saying something. 

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