Jump to content

Profile Evaluation - Comparative Politics/IR MA or PhD?

Recommended Posts

My ultimate goal is to complete a PhD, but I am not sure if I will be offered funding. Here's my bio below. Do I have a shot at direct entry with full funding to a PhD program? Or should I apply to an MA and then a PhD after?

Undergraduate majors: Comparative Politics; Spanish (2012)

Undergraduate GPA: 3.56

Undergraduate institution: Low-ranked large public school

Graduate Degree: MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Graduate Institution: Small private school; low ranked

Graduate classes: courses taken as non-degree student at #80 large public school: Environmental Politics (B+); Global Politics (A); Introduction to Public Policy (A-); Grantwriting (P).

Other Math and stats (undergraduate): general ability.

GRE (Q,V,W): 160, 164, 5.5

Teaching experience: 5 years of university teaching experience; 4 years of public schools; considerable work abroad.

Research experience: extensive work in university writing center helping students and professors publish; one publication (not related to political science)

Writing sample: 15 pg. paper written recently for a graduate program – decided not to attend due to Covid.

Letters of Recommendation: current and past supervisors.

Programming: none

This is my profile as of right now – I’ve worked abroad for several years now and want to become a professor, but I am more interested in political rather than composition studies.

My main concerns: time spent out of political studies; not a prestigious undergrad program; no publications or research experience in politics.

What do you think?


Edited by CarlosAntonio88
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Re: PhD Programs

Your undergrad GPA is a bit worrisome, but your GRE scores are quite stellar and should make up for the GPA issue. That said, I have no idea if admissions committees remove candidates from their pool on the basis of GRE scores first or GPA (if they even do so). What it comes down to, however, is submitting a strong SOP with a clear research agenda and solid LORs (preferably from faculty that folks in the program you are applying to can recognize). Don't bother about MAs. Apply straight to PhDs. I think you have a solid shot. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any good PhD program would only accept you with reasonable funding, so the question is not so much funding v. no funding as it is acceptance v. rejection. As polisciallday mentioned, it will probably come down to your SOP and LORs, but you probably have a real chance at many good programs. I'd say only do an MA if it's funded AND if you're only looking at the very top programs, which would expect some research experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

What do you want to do as a subfield?

If you can connect your experience and skills to what you want to do, then maybe you can build a good portfolio. What I'm seeing is that your undergrad was 10 years ago, your graduate program is not relevant for the PhD, and you don't have research experience. The positives are that your writing is should be great, and that's something you can emphasize. 


Link to comment
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.