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Anybody going to Univ. of Chicago (CIR Program)?


Sroek

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Hey,

I've also been accepted and in all probability I'll also be attending CIR. However, I'm an international student and therefore, won't be attending the Open House. It would be great if you guys could let me know about your experiences at the Open House!

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Sroek,

I actually visited CIR last Spring when I was trying to decide where to apply. Right off the bat I found the CIR staff to be extremely nice, accommodating, and down to earth (which really is something at a place like UChicago I think). The campus is obviously beautiful, and I really enjoyed the city of Chicago as well (my first time to the city). The program seems really great - the preceptors, who are PhD students with staff positions, guide all students through all decisions. What classes to take, who to choose as an advisor, what to focus on in your studies. There are several lectures a week from fields in the social sciences and humanities that CIR students are encouraged to go to, and they all seem really interesting. For example, one taking place there when I visited was hosting by the Classics department, and it discussed the true function of the antikithera device. The faculty there is top rate. John Mearsheimer immediately comes to mind (one of the first IR theory papers that I read was his "Why We Will Miss the Cold War." I recommend checking out the faculty page, and reading some bios if you haven't already. I think we will get a chance to meet them in April as well.

With regards to other placed I applied: NYU dept. of Politics Masters in IR, GW Elliott School MIA, Tufts Fletcher MALD, and Penn State's new School of International Affairs (a fallback). I was accepted to NYU with no funding, and rejected from both Fletcher and Elliott. I received 13k in funding from CIR, which was my top choice anyway. I still haven't heard back from Penn State, but it doesn't really matter at this point.

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Light,

I'm curious to know why you didn't apply to some of the other top schools such as SAIS, GTown, and Harvard, SIPA, etc? As far as concentrations, my focus of studies is security studies, U.S. Foreign policy, and International Law in relation to these two areas. I was concerned with CIR at first because it wasn't a full APSIA member, it is a one year program, and the number of applicants were not as high as the other schools, and it is more academic than career oriented. I felt a year was to short to be prepared for a career or for academia, but I have come to realize that CIR is actually underrated. One of the reasons CIR is not a APSIA member is because the program is not an independent school. You take courses from the Law School, Political Science graduate school, and the Harris School of Public Policy. All of these rank 8 in the nation respectively! This is amazing if you think about it. Also, the program is designed similar to that of Princeton's WWS because you get to choose and create your own curriculum. The one year is not as bad as it seems because you can continue for a second year, apply the first quarter for a joint degree with the other amazing departments, work immediately after one year, or apply to another school an finish your education. All of these options add to the program. These are some of the reasons I think the school is underrated, but I could be wrong. Do you guys have any thoughts on this?

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The other places I'd applied to were Berkeley-Asian Studies (accepted), School of Oriental and African Studies, UK - International Politics (accepted), and Tufts- MALD and Georgetown- MSFS. Didn't get through Tufts, and don't really expect to get through Georgetown, coz I'm still in my final year of undergrad (and here 3 year undergrad degrees are the norm- so I'm technically in my third and final year now), and have no work ex except a couple of internships.

CIR appeals to me because as you said there are a lot of options - continuing with a second year, working, or applying elsewhere to study.

But I also can't help feel intimidated at the same time - are there a lot of people who have lots of work ex in Chicago? I know it's not as much as some of the other professional/policy-oriented IR schools, but Light - what was your impression of the current students when you visited Chicago last spring?

And yes, I agree, being an affiliate member of APSIA is not such a let-down - simply coz not having an independent school for IR is not that important considering that our program otherwise offers such flexible options, in terms of papers to take from the places you mentioned.

So what are you guys looking to do after this one year?

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I've been accepted into the CIR program as well and will be at the open house. I came across this forum trying to find some more information about the program, so this topic and the other by the TC have made me feel pretty good about it. I actually was applying for a Ph.D. program for political science, but I haven't made any of those and it doesn't look like I will. So in terms of what I intend to do, I'm just going to get the MA then apply for another Ph.D. program, though I wouldn't mind staying in Chicago for that. ^_^

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Hey guys! I think our program is totally underrated and almost overlooked without serious insight and consideration. Chicago will give us a solid platform to move from whether it is a career in academics or all the other sectors. Being that it is only a one year program, it will definitely give us options to pursue other things such as continued study or work experience. I applied to 13 schools and was bitterly disappointed about not getting into Harvard, but fortunately Chicago has made the disappointment bearable. I guess we will have to settle for going to the #8 ranked school in world! Not bad if you ask me. Private message me if you want to meet up at open house April 6th. I'm looking forward to meeting you guys and having people I know in the city.

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Is anyone going into this program worried about the fact that it's a single year? How is an employer going to compare an applicant from that single-year program to one from a two-year program? One year seems quite short to learn about such a complex subject.

Incidentally - I was told by someone from the Boren Fellowship program that applicants from one-year Masters programs are not as highly considered as those from a two-year program. If Boren (and by extension Fulbright) feel this way then how are employers going to take it?

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I just got accepted into GTown's MSFS so Chicago is out for me. However, people can take advantage of staying for a second year of specialization or apply for another degree to supplement the year of study. I personally think it's underrated, overlooked, and has unforeseen opportunities. Best thing to do is go to Chicago's open house and see it for yourself. Good Luck guys, I guess I won't be joining you.

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