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Terminal Master's Personal Statements


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As I prepare to hit submit to my MA programs (academic-bent), I wonder how much of the statement should talk strict political science/research interests and how much should discuss my reasons for applying and future plans. Right now it's about 50-50, with the reasoning that it's not a PhD program and the most I'm expected to do is write an article-length master's thesis within the one year of the program. But then, the guidelines are very vague, so I wonder if it really should deal more with "interests."

Can anyone with experience applying directly to an academic terminal MA (especially CIR or MAPSS) comment?

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I was in CIR a while back and my personal statement was more like 90:10 in terms of research interests:future plans. Although this might have been because my undergrad major was different, so I also spent a while discussing why I wanted to change to IR.

But yeah, I'd definitely recommend discussing your research interests more - you don't need to have your arguments/research ideas worked out as long as you can show that you've done something related and have the appropriate skills (eg. language, quant etc) and that you're familiar with their courses/profs/research interests of profs

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