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Hey all,

 

I'm applying this season after having flunked last time around. Honestly, it was my own fault. I didn't match up fit-wise with the schools I applied to and only sent in materials to a few. 

 

I'm back and have been very much trying to match myself up in terms of fit and chances of admission. I've identified a number of good schools with multiple scholars I'd be interested in working with, but I was wondering which 50-75 ranked programs are generally thought of as good deals in terms of placement and the likes?

 

Additionally, I'd be very interested to know if anyone has any perception of George Mason as a program. I talked to a professor from there at MPSA recently and am fairly encouraged by both the faculty, the resources, the location and the ranking. However, I know that it is a new program that is only just now graduating its first PhDs.....any thoughts? Are programs like this a huge risk, even if they have got themselves ranked decently high without even placing candidates yet (the first candidate just rolled off the line)?

 

Thanks!  :)

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I'm back and have been very much trying to match myself up in terms of fit and chances of admission. I've identified a number of good schools with multiple scholars I'd be interested in working with, but I was wondering which 50-75 ranked programs are generally thought of as good deals in terms of placement and the likes?

I am sure that you already know this, but a big part of this has to do with what your field of study is. For example, if your field of study is judicial politics  and there's a "superstar" judicial scholar at a program that is ranked 50, that's probably going to help you in getting a good placement afterwards.

 

I can't really help you with George Mason.

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I'm definitely IR, interested in formal modelling causes of war and political psychology! Media studies and American foreign policymaking too!

 

Edit: Because people messaging (who are awesome btw!) have asked about my stats, I'm working with a 3.4 undergrad gpa from a top liberal arts college/university (ranked ~5), a 3.8 from an MA at a ~50 ranked school and a GRE score of ~1400. I've got publications in foreign affairs outlets like TNI, one in FP and a couple of others, but only one journal (a very lowly tiered one).

Edited by damnbuster
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A few programs that you might want to look into when it comes to war (Note, I do not know how good these programs/scholars are at formal modeling):

 

University of Iowa might be at the upper end of the "50-70" spectrum.  However, I think that they have a decent group of people specializing in IR and conflict. I've only heard good things about Sarah Mitchell, Kelly Kadera and Cameron Thies (Although I think Thies is moving in the summer/fall). 

 

University of South Carolina boasts Katherine Barbieri, one of the most vocal critics against the liberal peace through trade argument. They also have Harvey Starr in the faculty.

 

University of North Texas is toward the lower end of the spectrum, but they have some really good people when it comes to war and conflict. Enterline, Greig and Hensel are all excellent scholars.

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I second North Texas, they have an incredible peace science group. They aren't so great about funding though, unless you land a university fellowship.

 

I just spent this cycle doing applications for IR/Peace Studies, so from the impressions I got maybe look into somewhere like Purdue or Iowa (though I'd put both well in the top 50 for this specific subfield). Florida State is also amazing, and WAY underranked for what they've done with their IR program (I think they're usually seen around 40).

 

I'm also going to plug for SUNY Buffalo. They actually have a pretty solid group in IR/Peace studies, if you're trying to limit yourself to that tier of schools. 

 

Finally don't undersell yourself!!! My "stats" were way worse than yours in terms of grades and pubs, and I landed a top 30 school. Be confident, focus your statement (narrow that research interest down: you sound like you're all over the place), and go retake your GRE and blow it out of the water. Shoot for 90th percentile or above. 

 

Feel free to PM me if you want. Also, I'm sure you'll always get this so I won't press the point, but I have to say that in this tier you'll have to really find a dark horse school/advisor so you're competitive for placement. Even with me, I'm stressing about placement--and I'm lower T1/Upper T2 (depending on how you're ranking). My advice is that if you don't truly know what your subfield/interest will be yet, think long and hard before going to lower ranked schools. They can place, but only if you're tenacious enough to know what you want, find the right advisor/school, and take charge. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

USC places quite well given their ranking, and I've heard that they have quite a bit of funding available because they are working to build up the program.

 

 

I'm back and have been very much trying to match myself up in terms of fit and chances of admission. I've identified a number of good schools with multiple scholars I'd be interested in working with, but I was wondering which 50-75 ranked programs are generally thought of as good deals in terms of placement and the likes?

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  • 1 month later...

I know it is not 50-75 but I'd strongly advise you give some consideration to Florida State University (40). Excellent methods training/formal modelling (often called a Rochester-lite) and pretty good placement for its ranking, especially for IR folk (some recent placements include Emory, Arizona, SUNY-Binghamton, Georgia). Additionally,  they have a solid core of IR faculty and some relatively budding/promising experimentalists. Also have a few people who do political psychology though they are mainly Americanists, however. 

Edited by wordshadow
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  • 2 weeks later...

USC places quite well given their ranking, and I've heard that they have quite a bit of funding available because they are working to build up the program.

That's who I was thinking of. Pat James, Brian Rathbun etc. And adding faculty a lot recently which is a good sign of health.

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