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Why are you a political science grad student?


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Hey, I'm an undergrad intent on getting a PhD/MA. I would like to do research/accademia or work in International Development. 

 

My question is: why are you doing polisci? What are your goals, and why did polisci meet them over Economics or Sociology, for example? And how does grad school in polisci differ from undergrad? My experience so far is that there isn't a lot of mathematical or statistical rigor (in a top 10 school), which I feel would benefit the field (of course, I am still a newbie). 

 

Any thoughts or insights would help. Thanks. 

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I'm a Political Science PhD Student because I hope to study and contribute to Political Theory and Political Philosophy as our world continues to evolve and new challenges arise that challenge the older paradigms that govern our lives.  What I do has nothing to do with Economics or Sociology, or any Social Science really.  The other place I could have gone was to a Philosophy program, but the questions that I deal with are the sort that fits into either vein, with Philosophy often handling the more esoteric aspects of a question while PoliSci deals with the more applied aspects of it (though that's a sweeping over-generalization). 

 

As to the differences, I'm just getting started, but there's a much greater emphasis in coursework on methods and statistics (you can probably guess how useful I feel that is) as well as a far heavier workload in each course.  Standards are much higher, and especially later on we're expected not just to consume work but to create new research and (for people in other subfields mainly) partner up with faculty for joint research to present and publish.  The end-goal for basically all of us is some sort of tenure-track position in academia.

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Hey, I'm an undergrad intent on getting a PhD/MA. I would like to do research/accademia or work in International Development. 

 

My question is: why are you doing polisci? What are your goals, and why did polisci meet them over Economics or Sociology, for example? And how does grad school in polisci differ from undergrad? My experience so far is that there isn't a lot of mathematical or statistical rigor (in a top 10 school), which I feel would benefit the field (of course, I am still a newbie). 

 

Any thoughts or insights would help. Thanks. 

 

Why do you think political 'science' needs more mathematical rigor? I think it needs all kinds of different methodological rigor, but math is hardly the only game in town. Alas, we are all now unthinking KKV drones. All grad students should be made to read Patrick Thaddeus Jackson's book on Political Science and methods of inquiry.

Edited by bees
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