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Right fit schools? (IR/Conflict Processes)


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Hey folks,

I'm rounding out my list and polishing off applications, and I wanted some non-professorial feedback on where I'm applying. I've focused on fit so far, and I'm being pretty aggressive as far as where I'm looking. I'm looking to go into conflict processes, especially researching irregular warfare, but am also interested in security studies, so my list has a couple security studies programs.

3.75/3.75 overall/major. I completed a joint bachelor's with a top 25 global university and a top 5 public research university in the States, majoring in political science with honors from both schools. I have a couple of highly competitive/unusual internships on my resume, collected data for and wrote a quanty honor's thesis (not related to IR), and worked almost full-time during most of my four years. I graduated in May and am working full-time.

GRE: 169V, 160Q, 5.5 AW. LORs: should be very solid, if not spectacular. Two are from rising stars in CP and the third is from my thesis director, a well-regarded quant researcher on American politics.

The list right now is:










Any recommendations or opinions on how aggressive/conservative that list is? Any other programs I should be considering? I've heard PSU, OSU, Maryland, Rochester (probably too quanty), and FSU. It's not PhD or bust for me but any other good fit schools would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Edited by cp12
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As a security studies person, you should look at Chicago, Georgetown, George Washington, and WashU. In addition, all of these places are very open to policy interests so that should be helful.

Side note, I wouldn't call Rochester too quanty. They do formal models, which is slightly different than quant. Quant usually refers to statsitics. Now, if you want to do qualitative work, some of those schools you list may not be too open to qualitative methods, so just be clear what you are wanting.

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Thanks for all the responses. Bdeniso, I was mainly referring to Rochester's methods-intensive approach that reduces the amount of IR classes you come into contact with, which concerned me. It's a little too narrowly focused for me.

McMuffin, I'm still narrowing down my research interests but they primarily relate to foreign internal defense and assistance relationships that stop short of military intervention. I think peacekeeping and full military interventions have been studied more thoroughly than the softer deployment of advisers. I'd like to understand what drives those decisions, and I think that question can be approached from multiple angles.

I'd like to do quantitative research or do qualitative research on civil-military relations, hence the kind of split nature of my current list. Does that answer what you were asking?

Are there any that I should drop due to a lack of fit or a near-zero shot at acceptance?


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you are interested in Civ Mil relations - Duke should be on your list as well.

You can certainly do theoretical or empirical conflict work (or both) at Rochester.

Very well, just the perceptions I have heard, apoligies for misrepresenting.

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Don't bother with WUSTL. From their website: "We have active research groups in American politics and institutions, comparative politics, international political economy, positive and normative theory, and political methodology". And that's an exhaustive list - you really can't do security stuff at WUSTL and it would be unwise to try.

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