bibble1998 Posted May 22, 2020 Share Posted May 22, 2020 I'll be a senior in the fall finishing my BA in Government at Cornell. I ultimately want to teach and do a bit of research on the side; my ultimate career goal is to pursue a Ph.D. and end up at a teaching college, probably in the US. I'm also interested in working in public service, preferably the federal government. Since I don't feel ready to apply for a Ph.D. quite yet, and many have advised me to take a few years to do something else before doctoral study, I'm trying to think about what I should apply for in the next year. The job market seems as though it well be very unkind to a graduating social science major, so I am applying to fellowships in addition to some master's degree programs. Unfortunately I spent much of my undergraduate career figuring myself out - changing majors, taking classes I ended up disliking, being generally "late to the game", so I feel like I haven't really honed my interests much. Much of the coursework I took relates to American politics, and while I do enjoy learning about American politics, I am becoming increasingly interested in European affairs and French/Francophone studies. My hope would be that if/while I do my Ph.D., I can incorporate some French fieldwork as part of my dissertation. I was able to study abroad this semester in the UK and thoroughly enjoyed being abroad. My primary academic interests are in comparative politics and political methodology (specifically I enjoy studying elections and voter behavior as well as political culture). I am beginning to research and choose schools to submit applications for this fall, and I am soliciting any advice from graduates or current students in these programs. My main criteria include: the ability to continue language study (many US programs lack this), study abroad (similar issue), offer merit aid and/or partial tuition scholarships, and have faculty whose research interests align with mine (either as a potential connection at a future doctoral program and/or someone who can advise me on doctoral applications in the future and how I can incorporate my interests into my career). The programs I am currently considering match some or all of these criteria: Sciences Po: MA in European Affairs Oxford: MSc in Politics Research Oxford: MPhil in Comparative Politics Cambridge: MPhil in Politics in International Studies University of Chicago: MA in Social Sciences Duke University: MA in Political Science NYU: MA in European and Mediterranean Studies NYU: MA in French Studies UVA: MA in European Studies It feels like I have a million questions. Some of the most burning ones are: What are the relative benefits of doing a MA in a lesser-known or more niche field (i.e., European or French studies vs. Political Science or Comparative Politics)? Does this set me apart and/or benefit me at all in the Ph.D. application process down the road? Is it worth applying to programs that I *know* will not allow me to study language or study abroad, since these experiences are really important to me? How are the French and British degrees perceived to employers and doctoral programs in the US? If you were an American student who went to one of these programs in Europe, what was it like adjusting to student life abroad? If I don't have a lot of international affairs and comparative politics coursework from my undergraduate career, is that a major detriment to my masters application (let's say for all programs except the Duke and UChicago ones)? I recognize that all of these programs are highly competitive. How do they compare with each other? If you have suggestions for other programs to look at, please feel free to say! If you are a current student or alum from any of these programs and are willing to share more with me about your experience, career path, etc. - please reply or reach out! I would love the chance to speak further and more specifically with you! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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