abraxas Posted July 14, 2010 Share Posted July 14, 2010 Longtime lurker, first time poster at GradCafe! I decided I should get some advice on my situation, which is as follows: I just graduated from UCLA, major in History, minors in Public Policy and Political Science. After frantically trying to hastily put together an application for any program I could think of last September between the end of a summer internship and the beginning of senior year, I decided to take a year off to better prepare, and I felt a little burned out from being fanatical over my GPA. I did a summer internship at the State Department and thought I might want to get a more practical MA in IR. However being out of undergrad for just one month, I'm really missing the intellectual stimulation of undergrad, and a career in academia is looking more and more appealing. I'm less interested in regional history, so i didn't go the history PhD route since I didn't want to get pigeonholed into a region and time period. I am more interested in the theory and practice behind international relations and diplomacy, so I thought a Poli Sci PhD program would be the best way to do that. Stats: UCLA, History with minors in Poli Sci and Pub Pol GPA. 3.96 LORs: None yet, though I have very very strong connections with History and Poli Sci profs, and a weaker connection to a former Secretary of State Languages: Unfortunately, took a year of Latin early in Undergrad (loved ancient history before meeting ancient history grad students...). Spoke Hindi at home growing up and teaching myself more of the language now. Also used to read Arabic but distanced myself from it after 9/11 when I was an angsty teen and I've forgotten it as a result. Research: No senior thesis, but 4 20 page independent research projects with multiple professors on either US foreign policy or Islamic fundamentalism. Working as research assistant to a history prof on economic history now. Haven't taken the GREs yet, though i'm working on it. I took on quarter of microecon and i'm taking a macro course via UCLA extension (UCLA for working adults). I have pretty much no quantitative experience, though, which will probably not help my case. I'm not mathematically inclined so I avoided them in college so as not to scuttle my GPA. I'm just wondering whether or not a PoliSci PhD in International Relations Theory is attainable with that lack of quant and language skills. I'd ideally want a program that combined a strong focus on history with theory--Chicago CIR, Yale Macmillan, MsC at LSE, and Georgetown MAGIC are looking appealing in that respect, but those are all MA programs. Should I do an Poli Sci terminal MA first to make myself more competitive? If I did one of the more policy-focused MAs like SAIS or GWU, would that hurt my chances of doing a PhD later on? Could anyone recommend a program that sounds like it might be a good fit for my interests? Thanks! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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