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Wanna do diplomacy-- anthropology or IR? MA or Ph.D?


gchandra

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So I want to do diplomacy at the NGO or governmental level, and I currently hold a BA in psych/english. I want to switch fields, and I have two questions:

1) Can an anthropology Ph.D be practical for the above work? I don't want to finish 6 years and be like, "Oh, hm. Should have majored in something else." (reminiscent of my current situation haha!)

2) IR seems more applicable to the above professions, but I'm not a fan of number crunching beyond what is necessary in anthropology/social science. Any interdisciplinary programs or recommendations about this? Or maybe I can get training at a local college in econ before applying to grad programs?

Thanks in advannce!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I want to do diplomacy at the NGO or governmental level, and I currently hold a BA in psych/english. I want to switch fields, and I have two questions:

1) Can an anthropology Ph.D be practical for the above work? I don't want to finish 6 years and be like, "Oh, hm. Should have majored in something else." (reminiscent of my current situation haha!)

2) IR seems more applicable to the above professions, but I'm not a fan of number crunching beyond what is necessary in anthropology/social science. Any interdisciplinary programs or recommendations about this? Or maybe I can get training at a local college in econ before applying to grad programs?

Thanks in advannce!

1. It can be ... but only if you are very careful to tailor your dissertation to direct application of ethnography. However, it will be hard for you to do that in most anthropology departments because that's really not their focus. You will have to get in touch with professors first before you apply. But even then, it's not like it will launch you into an IR career, since most IR positions will be looking for professionals with an understanding of IR theories that you are unlikely to pick up in an anthropology department.

2. Since you'll be doing a LOT of stats and methods courses for any half-decent PhD, particularly in anthropology, there's really not much advantage to going for an anthropology PhD unless you really want to be a proper anthropologist. If you want to do professional work in IR, go into an IR master's program. Only do a PhD if you are absolutely sure that what you want to do is research. If you are worried about your preparation and/or grades in math/econ/stats, it's definitely worth taking a community course to brush up.

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