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Anyone else hear from CIR?


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I just found out I was accepted into U Chicago's CIR program. I wasn't sure about it at first, but they offered a very very generous scholarship to cover tuition, and given the fact that its only one year, that saves a huge amount of money for me. I also like the interdisciplinary nature of the program, and the strong academic reputation Chicago has (I'm a History major). Its a bit strange that its a one year program, but since I'm fairly certain I want to continue to the Phd stage (albeit a more policy oriented Phd, something suitable for a think tank job).

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else was accepted, is a current student, or an alumni, and would like to talk about what they think of the CIR program, or U Chicago in general. I'm planning on going to visit day in April but haven't been there before.

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I just found out I was accepted into U Chicago's CIR program. I wasn't sure about it at first, but they offered a very very generous scholarship to cover tuition, and given the fact that its only one year, that saves a huge amount of money for me. I also like the interdisciplinary nature of the program, and the strong academic reputation Chicago has (I'm a History major). Its a bit strange that its a one year program, but since I'm fairly certain I want to continue to the Phd stage (albeit a more policy oriented Phd, something suitable for a think tank job).

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else was accepted, is a current student, or an alumni, and would like to talk about what they think of the CIR program, or U Chicago in general. I'm planning on going to visit day in April but haven't been there before.

yay me too! i hit the roof when i got the email, it's been so tense sitting and waiting and hearing nothing from anybody for so bloody long. it sounds like you got a full tuition scholarship - that's very impressive! i got 1/3, which definitely sweetens the deal... am waiting to hear back from a bunch of places but right now CIR is looking very attractive.

also for the record you can do a 2 year program at CIR, so-called 'second year specialization' in which my impression is your second year is primarily devoted to expaning on your original MA thesis.

and finally, i am also a history major :)

Edited by beaverish
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Hey I got in the same program too with 1/2 tuition. Very excited! I am considering about doing the dual degree program with Harris, or continue to a Poli Sci Phd. Thought I'm not competitive enough this year to apply for a Phd so I'd rather wait till I get a master's. So far with 5 decisions pending, I'm choosing between CIR and CIPA ar Cornell...

I'll go to their 4.4 open house too so hope to see you guys there!

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I heard back on Thursday night and I'm pretty psyched about getting in with a 1/3 tuition scholarship. I thought I wouldn't have a chance to get in such a small program since I go to a state school and my GRE Verbal was pretty mediocre. I guess I must have had good letters of rec and a good personal statement. I go to school about 2 1/2 hours from U of C, so I'll definitely attend the open house in April.

Good luck and I hope to meet you all soon.

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Hi all,

I heard back as well - though I didnt receive any aid - which is a bit disappointing. I'm not interested in a PhD after the one year masters, and I'd made that pretty clear in my application. Do you think this played a role in my not getting any financial aid? I'm still on the fence about CIR and will not know until I hear back from the other schools...

I heard back on Thursday night and I'm pretty psyched about getting in with a 1/3 tuition scholarship. I thought I wouldn't have a chance to get in such a small program since I go to a state school and my GRE Verbal was pretty mediocre. I guess I must have had good letters of rec and a good personal statement. I go to school about 2 1/2 hours from U of C, so I'll definitely attend the open house in April.

Good luck and I hope to meet you all soon.

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yay me too! i hit the roof when i got the email, it's been so tense sitting and waiting and hearing nothing from anybody for so bloody long. it sounds like you got a full tuition scholarship - that's very impressive! i got 1/3, which definitely sweetens the deal... am waiting to hear back from a bunch of places but right now CIR is looking very attractive.

also for the record you can do a 2 year program at CIR, so-called 'second year specialization' in which my impression is your second year is primarily devoted to expaning on your original MA thesis.

and finally, i am also a history major :)

Actually I got the 2/3 tuition ; you got the rest of it, lol laugh.gif

That still makes it cheaper than any of the other programs though. I'm also considering continuing graduate study afterwards so that makes it more enticing as well.

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Hi all,

I heard back as well - though I didnt receive any aid - which is a bit disappointing. I'm not interested in a PhD after the one year masters, and I'd made that pretty clear in my application. Do you think this played a role in my not getting any financial aid? I'm still on the fence about CIR and will not know until I hear back from the other schools...

From what I understand a lot of people just do the degree and go straight into the workforce, so I don't think not wanting a PhD counts against you

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Thanks -

I guess my question was - does not wanting a PhD count against you for aid? I got in, but didnt receive any aid....

From what I understand a lot of people just do the degree and go straight into the workforce, so I don't think not wanting a PhD counts against you

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Thanks -

I guess my question was - does not wanting a PhD count against you for aid? I got in, but didnt receive any aid....

I didn't write anything about a PhD in my letter and I received aid, so I don't think that counts against you.

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Also admitted, after applying directly to CIR. I only applied there and to another MA in regional studies, each chosen because they are strong, 1-year programs. I made the case that I wanted to enter to decide whether to continue on with the PhD.

I'm having a tough time deciding between it and my regional studies program. Basically, I think that I'd enjoy the theory/academic classes more, but worry I'd already be making a de facto decision to continue on to a PhD (political science) just by virtue of choosing Chicago. This despite the fact that not everyone goes on to academia afterwards, and the fact that I won't "have" to take all those theory courses. There's a bit more to it than that, of course, but that's the first that comes to mind.

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Also admitted, after applying directly to CIR. I only applied there and to another MA in regional studies, each chosen because they are strong, 1-year programs. I made the case that I wanted to enter to decide whether to continue on with the PhD.

I'm having a tough time deciding between it and my regional studies program. Basically, I think that I'd enjoy the theory/academic classes more, but worry I'd already be making a de facto decision to continue on to a PhD (political science) just by virtue of choosing Chicago. This despite the fact that not everyone goes on to academia afterwards, and the fact that I won't "have" to take all those theory courses. There's a bit more to it than that, of course, but that's the first that comes to mind.

I had the same dilemma last year and it all came down to funding. I had to choose between the University of Chicago CIR (1/2 tuition) and Stanford's M.A. in Latin American Studies (full tuition + stipend). It was a no-brainer and I ended up choosing Stanford. But, I still think that I would have liked Chicago and it was hard turning them down. Schools on the quarter system are rigorous though...holy cow.

Edited by cavalier08
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Also admitted, after applying directly to CIR. I only applied there and to another MA in regional studies, each chosen because they are strong, 1-year programs. I made the case that I wanted to enter to decide whether to continue on with the PhD.

I'm having a tough time deciding between it and my regional studies program. Basically, I think that I'd enjoy the theory/academic classes more, but worry I'd already be making a de facto decision to continue on to a PhD (political science) just by virtue of choosing Chicago. This despite the fact that not everyone goes on to academia afterwards, and the fact that I won't "have" to take all those theory courses. There's a bit more to it than that, of course, but that's the first that comes to mind.

nonsense. chicago's distribution requirements are extremely light, compared to for instance JHU SAIS (half of your degree in the latter has to be econ courses, regardless of you not having an iota of interest in economics or not). CIR requires you have to have 3 courses in 2 disciplines - e.g. (1) international security and (2) regional studies - and that's it.

so you could concievably take 5 courses in regional studies, 3 in a second area, and then the 1 core seminar...

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You are quite right, and my reasons for emphasizing theory have more to do with my own academic interests than anything else--- though Chicago is completely deficient when it comes to my region of interest. I'd simply be choosing to take mostly security studies/IR theory courses there because that's what I love to study. Hence, my feeling that I might be locking myself down that path, for completely personal reasons.

They have great faculty at Chicago, too-- though after looking at the expected course offerings for next year on the PS department's website, I have to wonder whether Mearshimer will be taking some sort of leave.

nonsense. chicago's distribution requirements are extremely light, compared to for instance JHU SAIS (half of your degree in the latter has to be econ courses, regardless of you not having an iota of interest in economics or not). CIR requires you have to have 3 courses in 2 disciplines - e.g. (1) international security and (2) regional studies - and that's it.

so you could concievably take 5 courses in regional studies, 3 in a second area, and then the 1 core seminar...

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I was accepted to CIR as well and am having the same thoughts about the suspicious absence of Mearsheimer classes next year. Pape and Staniland would be great for my interests, but I don't want to miss the chance to take a class from Mearsheimer. I guess that's the risk of a one year program though.

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Agreed. Staniland looks to be teaching some interesting courses, but ethnic conflict is not one of my main interests, and I worry about putting all my hopes on Pape if I go-- even if Bombing to Win was one of the hallmarks of my undergrad education.

The history selection should be good, especially Lipson's, but I want to maintain a stronger focus in political science (not IPE or IO). As for public policy... well, only if there's a damn good class.

I was accepted to CIR as well and am having the same thoughts about the suspicious absence of Mearsheimer classes next year. Pape and Staniland would be great for my interests, but I don't want to miss the chance to take a class from Mearsheimer. I guess that's the risk of a one year program though.

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I was accepted to CIR as well and am having the same thoughts about the suspicious absence of Mearsheimer classes next year. Pape and Staniland would be great for my interests, but I don't want to miss the chance to take a class from Mearsheimer. I guess that's the risk of a one year program though.

mearsheimer is gone?!?!?!

it says 'Tentative List' at the top, although you're right, it could be a harbinger of things to come...

Edited by beaverish
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Well, it doesn't quite mean he's "gone"-- his courses may not be listed yet, or he may be on some sort of leave, or he may not be teaching this coming fall or year. In any case, I'll try to confirm what's up before I make my decision.

mearsheimer is gone?!?!?!

it says 'Tentative List' at the top, although you're right, it could be a harbinger of things to come...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to U of C for undergrad and lived with a load of CIR students last year. Just wanted to drop in and let y'all know that the U of C and IR are academically intense and not very practically focused. The heavy workload and hellish weather can be really demoralizing, and classes can often pop up or be cancelled within days of the start of the quarter. The place is also crawling with people ranging from socially incapable to borderline insane.

That said, congratulations for getting into the program. You'll definitely come out smarter than you went in. (A couple of my friends just accepted offers for PoliSci PhDs at Yale.) Just be ready to get your ass kicked if you accept the offer.

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I was in CIR a while back. Just thought I would drop in with a few points:

1) The preceptors are absolutely great. In most cases, they help you out with your thesis a lot more than your advisor, help you pick classes and are just great for helping you figure out almost everything.

2) Don't go to the program with just a big name in your mind for your advisor. A Pape or a Mearsheimer care more for their PhD students (obviously), and there are certain other professors who might fit your needs perfectly, even if they are not as famous. I can say with personal experience that my MA advisor helped me out with my PhD applications A LOT and I definitely would not have gotten into so many places had it not been for the help he had given me.

3)This program is great for signaling your strengths when applying to a PhD after CIR..you basically have graduate coursework and a thesis. If you take 1 or 2 methods classes and do well in them as well, that's a bigger boost to your application. On the other hand, if you're looking to just go into the job market and don't have a scholarship, you might want to think about whether taking a loan worth $60k is gonna really benefit your job prospects THAT much. Also, everyone doesn't pursue academia. From my cohort, only 7 or 8 (out of 45-48) have started/will be starting their PhD.

4)Just because it's Chicago, doesn't mean you have to be do a lot of theory. The only 2 compulsory courses are International Security and International Political Economy and in my cohort, after a while, almost every person could be categorized as a person who was into either Security or Economics. So if you're into regional studies, you might want to reconsider. That said, it might be different, I can only speak with experience about my cohort.

5)I absolutely agree with raychurr - "The heavy workload and hellish weather can be really demoralizing". It's worse if you're trying to graduate at the end of the Spring quarter and are basically taking 3 courses and writing your thesis all in the same Spring quarter.

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