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UC San Diego Ph.D.: Political Science vs GPS


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I don't know very much about UC San Diego specifically, but here's my speculation: 

Most joint degree programs with policy schools are more geared toward research careers in industry, think-tanks, or government, rather than academia.  I imagine that's what is going on at UC San Diego.  The political science program is aimed toward students who are primarily interested in academia.  Of course, students from polisci do end up working outside academia, and vice versa, but if you're in a policy PhD program you will likely find more professors engaged in policy oriented research.  

There really isn't a good forum on this website for policy-oriented PhDs.  Most people on this forum are interested exclusively in polisci, whereas most folks on the government affairs forum are looking only at MA degrees.  Whether or not you want a policy-oriented PhD or a traditional political science degree comes down mostly to what you want to do after grad school.  I will say traditional political science programs are generally better funded.  I wouldn't recommend going to a PhD program UC San Diego GPS, or any PhD program, without substantial funding that allows you to avoid debt.  Hope that's helpful.  Best of luck!  

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