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The University of British Columbia Program

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Hello All,

What are people's perception of the University of British Columbia? Is it a good program? Is it respected amongst sociologists? Any opinions on this program and where it falls in the top 10, 20, 30 etc? I applied there and think I have a great chance of being accepted. I just wanted to know the job prospects for after obtaining a PhD there as opposed to a top 20 school like the University of Washington or a top 10 school like UCLA.

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I think this might be relevant, but are you a US or Canadian citizen? And what country would you rather work in? Honestly, I didn't even look at Canadian schools only because as a US citizen, I've heard that things can be more complicated when trying to go abroad either as a student or for a job.. but then again, there are plenty of successful international Sociologists working/teaching in the US, so I don't know..

Edited by sciencegirl

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Thanks for the reply. So I am an American citizen and looking for a job either in the states or in Canada. Top programs in Canada are unique in that many of their professors are American trained sociologists. There connections are in the states versus in Canada. What you essentially have is a Canadian university teaching American sociology.

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Are you trying to decide right now then between programs and its hard since UBC isn't included in USNWR?

Haha yes, you hit the nail right on the head. I don't know how to factor in prestige when making a decision because UBC isn't included in USNWR.

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i think several canadian schools, incuding utoronto, ubc, mcgill, are considered elite in the States for almost all academic disciplines. having said that, i personally have seen very few u.s.-based professors who got their degrees from there. so i dunno. it's weird.

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I think it might be helpful to look at the placement of recent grads from their program with the ones you are deciding between.. are the programs University of Washington and UCLA? Or are they other programs? Also, do you know about funding? Your interests also matter - and also what advisors you might see yourself working with. Those are in reality much more important than "ranking". I would say its safe to think that its a top 40 program, but could fall *anywhere* in that top 40. The rankings methodology too of USNWR is messed up of course.

And yes, I've seen fewer US professors from Canadian schools than the other way around...

Edited by sciencegirl

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I think it might be helpful to look at the placement of recent grads from their program with the ones you are deciding between

good point. what do you guys think of the programs that are ranked relatively high (say top 25) but aren't explicit about their placement records?

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Yeah... I'm going through this a little tiny bit with some of the schools I'm deciding between. I've noticed some programs are really clear about having a page that shows placement of recent grads... but two programs I'm looking at, one top 5, the other top 10.. don't have this. However, I do know that they have placed students... but its hard to know who and where (I actually did start looking at all the other top 20 programs and their assistant professors to try and find recent placements from the schools I was looking into).

My thoughts on this might be that maybe in today's job market, recent placement for all programs have been down somewhat and schools have decided that it detracts in a way that might not be their fault as a program.

For instance, one thing that really surprised me was seeing Harvard's page: http://www.wjh.harva...udentplace.html

Since the economic downturn, the selected list shows only one placement at Northwestern (2009), one at Cornell (2008) but nothing more recent. Yet 2007 was a great year for them... at the same time though, I was a bit more surprised that they weren't able to show a few more great placements in the last 3 years. Perhaps other schools have just responded to this by not putting up the info - and this might not necessarily mean they don't place well, just that the last few years have been rough for everyone.

Edited by sciencegirl

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