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Just placed on an admission waitlist at University of Virginia (Foreign Affairs) as top candidate.

 

As the 15th of April is looming, if you're considering to accept other offers please do it as soon as possible! Thank you.

 

Same here. But their understanding of "top" is I think a little different then ours. For them, it's everyone on the waitlist. :angry:

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***we interrupt this Ivy League program to inform you that Bubandis has received an admission offer from the University of Nebraska. We now return to your scheduled Ivy League programing***

I got my first admission after two months of painful waiting and anxiety. It's incredible how relieving it is.

The weight has been lifted off my shoulders...finally an acceptance at the University of Oklahoma. 

Just placed on an admission waitlist at University of Virginia (Foreign Affairs) as top candidate.

 

As the 15th of April is looming, if you're considering to accept other offers please do it as soon as possible! Thank you.

 

I received that too, so it looks as is we're all top candidates ;~}.  I'm planning to accept another offer though, so I just sent an email to the DGS asking to remove me from the waitlist.  Good luck on getting in!

Edited by fakeusername
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Same here. But their understanding of "top" is I think a little different then ours. For them, it's everyone on the waitlist. :angry:

 

Right, it was a standard message, so no top candidates really...

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Hi Everyone!

I just started using Grad Cafe so I'm not sure if I'm in the right place, but I'm just looking for some advice about the two programs that I am between.

I'm looking to study American and Comparative with a third (non tested field) in methods. I am interested in public opinion, representation, civic engagement, and particpation.

I'm currently between UC Boulder and University of Iowa. I've toured both, have a strong POI at each, and I am funded at both (Boulder 17,500 + $1,000 signing bonus, Iowa 18,500 + signing bonus to come)

I toured both and had an awful time at Boulder's recruitment, mostly due to the planning of events and rides to/from the airport, and am trying to equally compare the two schools but its hard when I had an amazing experience at Iowa and an awful one at Boulder.

What are people's thoughts on placement and on the programs as a whole. I know Iowa has higher rates of publications, but am unsure about the REAL stats on placements. Which school do you all already in academia think is better at american politics, especially the more poli psych area?


Thank you all in advance! I really need some help!

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Hi Everyone!

I just started using Grad Cafe so I'm not sure if I'm in the right place, but I'm just looking for some advice about the two programs that I am between.

I'm looking to study American and Comparative with a third (non tested field) in methods. I am interested in public opinion, representation, civic engagement, and particpation.

I'm currently between UC Boulder and University of Iowa. I've toured both, have a strong POI at each, and I am funded at both (Boulder 17,500 + $1,000 signing bonus, Iowa 18,500 + signing bonus to come)

I toured both and had an awful time at Boulder's recruitment, mostly due to the planning of events and rides to/from the airport, and am trying to equally compare the two schools but its hard when I had an amazing experience at Iowa and an awful one at Boulder.

What are people's thoughts on placement and on the programs as a whole. I know Iowa has higher rates of publications, but am unsure about the REAL stats on placements. Which school do you all already in academia think is better at american politics, especially the more poli psych area?

Thank you all in advance! I really need some help!

Iowa definitely has a better placement record, especially for American; for instance, they have placed two Americanists at TT positions at UNC in the last few years, and their other candidates are also doing quite well.  Boulder's only recent TT placement at a research institution is Karreth at UAlbany, and that was an IR placement.

I'm accepting an offer to U of Iowa, but in IR.  Send me a PM if you want to discuss the program a bit, and if you don't mind I'm certainly interested in hearing about this signing bonus -- somehow it didn't get to me ;~}.

Edited by fakeusername
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FWIW, my advisor (a well regarded Americanist) thinks that UC-Boulder is a program on the rise. He thinks that their faculty are good, and has told me that he is seeing more and more impressive Colorado PhDs at conferences and on the job market.

Also, though this is a secondary issue, Boulder > Iowa City.

I personally have known three Iowa PhDs, two of them very successful (one in IR and one in comparative) and one of them a hopelessly bad adjunct (comparative).

So, while I don't think you can really go wrong here, if I were in your position, I would go with Colorado, mainly because my advisor knows his stuff and is excited about UC-Boulder.

Also, on the signing bonus, I am assuming that Iowa offered you one following your disclosure to them that Colorado had done so? Am I right? If so, nice dealing!

Edited by Bubandis
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FWIW, my advisor (a well regarded Americanist) thinks that UC-Boulder is a program on the rise. He thinks that their faculty are good, and has told me that he is seeing more and more impressive Colorado PhDs at conferences and on the job market.

Also, though this is a secondary issue, Boulder > Iowa City.

I personally have known three Iowa PhDs, two of them very successful (one in IR and one in comparative) and one of them a hopelessly bad adjunct (comparative).

So, while I don't think you can really go wrong here, if I were in your position, I would go with Colorado, mainly because my advisor knows his stuff and is excited about UC-Boulder.

Also, on the signing bonus, I am assuming that Iowa offered you one following your disclosure to them that Colorado had done so? Am I right? If so, nice dealing!

That is what Ive heard about Boulder too, but they dont seem to place at R1s while Iowa is pretty stellar at placing in R1s (not sure if I want to go Elite LIb or R1 yet, so I need a flexible program). And yes, I did tell Iowa about my other signing bonuses, and my POI said she is working on getting me one, I figure whats the harm in asking!

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Hi Everyone!

I just started using Grad Cafe so I'm not sure if I'm in the right place, but I'm just looking for some advice about the two programs that I am between.

I'm looking to study American and Comparative with a third (non tested field) in methods. I am interested in public opinion, representation, civic engagement, and particpation.

I'm currently between UC Boulder and University of Iowa. I've toured both, have a strong POI at each, and I am funded at both (Boulder 17,500 + $1,000 signing bonus, Iowa 18,500 + signing bonus to come)

I toured both and had an awful time at Boulder's recruitment, mostly due to the planning of events and rides to/from the airport, and am trying to equally compare the two schools but its hard when I had an amazing experience at Iowa and an awful one at Boulder.

What are people's thoughts on placement and on the programs as a whole. I know Iowa has higher rates of publications, but am unsure about the REAL stats on placements. Which school do you all already in academia think is better at american politics, especially the more poli psych area?

Thank you all in advance! I really need some help!

 

To be completely honest, placement at both programs seems like a very distant outlier. Post-2008, Iowa touts about 20 "placements" in departments around the country (excluding Nazarbayev University, which is not really something to be proud of), with no distinction between tenure track and VAP/adjunct (http://clas.uiowa.edu/polisci/graduate/recent-placements). There are four R1 placements. At a conservative estimate of ten people per cohort, this would indicate that about 28% of those entering Iowa's PhD programs get any non-post doc positions and about 6% place in TT R1 schools. In other words, statistically, you would not only need to be the best person in your cohort, but the best, most published and most connected person in the program over the course of several cohorts.

 

Boulder appears to do better at overall and non-academic placement (http://polsci.colorado.edu/graduate/about-our-program/graduate-placement), but has only one placement in an R1 department since 2009. Again, this is out of an unknown number of entering students, so it could very well be that the rate is comparable of Iowa's 28%. Either way, you should prepare to not be employed in academia or a job that required you to have done a PhD after you leave either school.

 

Finally, someone mentioned elite LACs. While it is conceivably easier to get jobs here for some applicants, schools in the top 10-20 of those rankings are as if not more pedigree-seeking than R1s. PhDs from Ivys will go a long way and places like Iowa or Boulder will be heavily discounted. Additionally, it always helps to have an undergraduate degree from an elite LAC when applying. Absent these two factors, it's really not a R1 -> elite LAC drop off, but an R1/elite LAC -> very small LAC/R2 drop-off in jobs, and again, even those jobs are open to the best members, most connected and most published of any given cohort.

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Hey guys, I've been lurking for this season but I'll finally post, to request some opinions. Basically, I applied to 14-15 programs. Got rejected from 10. Waitlisted at 4: GWU, AU, UVA, and BU. I have a good shot at getting off the waitlist and into the program at some of these schools, but not as much as GWU, my first preference. I emailed the head of the admissions committee who said it was low-probability, so I don't know how good my options are. In terms of program fit, ranking, and other factors, my other options in order would be UVA, AU, and BU. Does anyone know anything about these programs and the chances of getting off the waitlist? I realize everyone on the UVA waitlist got the same e-mail. Thanks. I think my chances of getting off the waitlist at AU are the greatest. Would going to AU would be a good idea or waiting for another year? Thanks.

Edited by Nobodylordofnothing
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Hey guys, I've been lurking for this season but I'll finally post, to request some opinions. Basically, I applied to 14-15 programs. Got rejected from 10. Waitlisted at 4: GWU, AU, UVA, and BU. I have a good shot at getting off the waitlist and into the program at some of these schools, but not as much as GWU, my first preference. I emailed the head of the admissions committee and he was actually quite terse with me, so I don't know how good my options are. In terms of program fit, ranking, and other factors, my other options in order would be UVA, AU, and BU. Does anyone know anything about these programs and the chances of getting off the waitlist? I realize everyone on the UVA waitlist got the same e-mail. Thanks. I think my chances of getting off the waitlist at AU are the greatest. Would going to AU would be a good idea or waiting for another year? Thanks.

What do you want to study? At this tier, schools are pretty specialized, so for example, are there particular professors you are interested in at each program?

Edited by rwillh11
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I want to study the evolution of political systems from an ideational perspective, ie. how a country's history and religious traditions shape the attitudes of its actors towards political issues on both the international and domestic levels. This is a topic I've worked on at length in both grad and undergrad, and while my main focus is South Asia, my ideas apply to other regions. GWU and UVA are filled with many individuals I would work with and AU somewhat so as well. 

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To be completely honest, placement at both programs seems like a very distant outlier. Post-2008, Iowa touts about 20 "placements" in departments around the country (excluding Nazarbayev University, which is not really something to be proud of), with no distinction between tenure track and VAP/adjunct (http://clas.uiowa.edu/polisci/graduate/recent-placements). There are four R1 placements. At a conservative estimate of ten people per cohort, this would indicate that about 28% of those entering Iowa's PhD programs get any non-post doc positions and about 6% place in TT R1 schools. In other words, statistically, you would not only need to be the best person in your cohort, but the best, most published and most connected person in the program over the course of several cohorts.

 

Boulder appears to do better at overall and non-academic placement (http://polsci.colorado.edu/graduate/about-our-program/graduate-placement), but has only one placement in an R1 department since 2009. Again, this is out of an unknown number of entering students, so it could very well be that the rate is comparable of Iowa's 28%. Either way, you should prepare to not be employed in academia or a job that required you to have done a PhD after you leave either school.

 

Finally, someone mentioned elite LACs. While it is conceivably easier to get jobs here for some applicants, schools in the top 10-20 of those rankings are as if not more pedigree-seeking than R1s. PhDs from Ivys will go a long way and places like Iowa or Boulder will be heavily discounted. Additionally, it always helps to have an undergraduate degree from an elite LAC when applying. Absent these two factors, it's really not a R1 -> elite LAC drop off, but an R1/elite LAC -> very small LAC/R2 drop-off in jobs, and again, even those jobs are open to the best members, most connected and most published of any given cohort.

That's based on a pretty big assumption.  Iowa didn't even extend offers of admission to ten students this year, and previous cohorts have been as small as three in recent years -- ten is thus hardly a conservative estimate.  I also don't understand the logic of including those who droppped out of the program, for whatever reason, as failed placements; someone who dropped out after the MA because they decided academia wasn't for them obviously isn't going to get a placed.  It makes more sense to compare PhDs out to jobs received.   From what I understand, Willardson also accepted an offer at Nazarbayev for family reasons (his wife is from the region), and to attract scholars Kazakstan has been offering six figure salaries to APs (granted I still wouldn't want to live there); his first offer was a position at a research university in Nevada.  I also count seven TT placements in research universities (not including Willardson or Aurburn university although it grants PhDs) since 2008.  Sure, it's not placing as well as Rochester, obviously, but within its range it is doing fairly well.  Again, making up figures and trying to crunch the numbers without any context-specific information is very close to useless when trying to get a handle on program placement.

However, I think you're spot on regarding liberal arts colleges.  Jobs at selective LACs are certainly not consolation prizes for those who didn't get an R1 position, and they are probably more likely to consider institution prestige than research universities (which are likely to put more weight on publication record and methods training).  Iowa seems to go: R1 (granting significant amounts of PhDs, 2-2 load) -> R2 (MAs, 3-2 or higher).  CU seems to place largely at BA granting state schools and some lower ranked LACs, but I know less about that program.  Name probably helps a lot at landing those LAC jobs.

Edited by fakeusername
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That's based on a pretty big assumption.  Iowa didn't even extend offers of admission to ten students this year, and previous cohorts have been as small as three in recent years -- ten is thus hardly a conservative estimate.  I also don't understand the logic of including those who droppped out of the program, for whatever reason, as failed placements; someone who dropped out after the MA because they decided academia wasn't for them obviously isn't going to get a placed.  It makes more sense to compare PhDs out to jobs received.   From what I understand, Willardson also accepted an offer at Nazarbayev for family reasons (his wife is from the region), and to attract scholars Kazakstan has been offering six figure salaries to APs (granted I still wouldn't want to live there); his first offer was a position at a research university in Nevada.  I also count seven TT placements in research universities (not including Willardson or Aurburn university although it grants PhDs) since 2008.  Sure, it's not placing as well as Rochester, obviously, but within its range it is doing fairly well.  Again, making up figures and trying to crunch the numbers without any context-specific information is very close to useless when trying to get a handle on program placement.

 

 

1) I only "make up" figures because the department is not transparent enough to put their actual enrollment -> job numbers online. If they would, I wouldn't have to guess. If you can add those numbers to the conversation, be my guest, but that's what I had to go on. There are 35 students listed on the website. That is somewhat informative, but without attrition numbers, it is very difficult to get a hang on how many actually come in on a yearly basis. Based on the number listed in the website directory, three per cohort seems like an outlier.

 

2) There is nothing on the placement page to indicate whether a placement is tenure-track, VAP or adjunct. If there is no such indication, there is no way of knowing and one cannot assume that anyone was placed TT (I know of four of the faculty that were, so that's where that number comes from). The statement "Over the last decade, almost all graduates seeking academic positions found jobs" is hollow. For all we know, 90% of those could have adjuncted, VAPed for a couple of years and disappeared into the wilderness.

 

3) As far as I know, Nazarbayev pays about $50000 and in the local currency, so it is subject to fluctuations in oil prices and the ruble, which isn't doing so well these days. I would also take any story of moving to Astana, Kazakhstan for family reasons with a HUGE grain of salt. Even locals think that place is unlivable. Maybe there was something compelling the move, but it's not plausible that someone turns down a TT job in the US to go there. It might as well be called Potemkin University.

 

4) You're really towing the party line on attrition (along with many other things, but I'll focus on this). Faculty love to tell you about things like "poor fit" or "academia wasn't for them" for students that drop out. But there's really no way to know if it was the student or the program that led to the attrition. To write off attrition as the fault of the student basically allows faculty to shirk any responsibility for failures of mentorship or training -- i.e. doing their jobs, so I don't think most people would be as ready to discount this as much as you are.

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1) I only "make up" figures because the department is not transparent enough to put their actual enrollment -> job numbers online. If they would, I wouldn't have to guess. If you can add those numbers to the conversation, be my guest, but that's what I had to go on. There are 35 students listed on the website. That is somewhat informative, but without attrition numbers, it is very difficult to get a hang on how many actually come in on a yearly basis. Based on the number listed in the website directory, three per cohort seems like an outlier.

 

2) There is nothing on the placement page to indicate whether a placement is tenure-track, VAP or adjunct. If there is no such indication, there is no way of knowing and one cannot assume that anyone was placed TT (I know of four of the faculty that were, so that's where that number comes from). The statement "Over the last decade, almost all graduates seeking academic positions found jobs" is hollow. For all we know, 90% of those could have adjuncted, VAPed for a couple of years and disappeared into the wilderness.

 

3) As far as I know, Nazarbayev pays about $50000 and in the local currency, so it is subject to fluctuations in oil prices and the ruble, which isn't doing so well these days. I would also take any story of moving to Astana, Kazakhstan for family reasons with a HUGE grain of salt. Even locals think that place is unlivable. Maybe there was something compelling the move, but it's not plausible that someone turns down a TT job in the US to go there. It might as well be called Potemkin University.

 

4) You're really towing the party line on attrition (along with many other things, but I'll focus on this). Faculty love to tell you about things like "poor fit" or "academia wasn't for them" for students that drop out. But there's really no way to know if it was the student or the program that led to the attrition. To write off attrition as the fault of the student basically allows faculty to shirk any responsibility for failures of mentorship or training -- i.e. doing their jobs, so I don't think most people would be as ready to discount this as much as you are.

1) I count 32 students on their website, and at least one of those is cross-listed on the placements page.  Starting from this number, if we assume that the average time to completion is 5 to 6 years (CVs of recent graduates suggest most who complete do so in this time frame) that would mean an incoming class of about 5 to 6.  Sure, this doesn't take into consideration attrition; however, this should have no bearing on placement since someone who doesn't get the PhD, for whatever reason, cannot be placed by definition.

2) Sure there's a way of knowing: simply Google the names!  Virtually everyone in this profession has an easy-to-find webpage.  Hell, often times even their salaries are public information!  By my count, of the 30 graduates since 2008 there are only two VAPs and one whose position is unclear.  So about 10% are VAPs, and judging by all the CVs none of the graduates started adjuncting before moving to a more stable position.

3) Short of emailing the person in question, there's no way to know for sure.  However, all of the other graduates who are teaching in foreign universities are ones from that country originally.  This suggests that American graduates aren't resorting to teaching abroad by necessity.  I happen to personally know someone who was offered a position at NU in a field that traditionally pays less than polisci, and they were offered significantly more than that.  For me this point doesn't matter so much, since I don't intend on moving to Kazakhstan. 

4) My point is that there are numerous reasons why students don't make it through a program, so it doesn't make sense to count those who dropped out as 'failed placements.'  If we do that, then virtually all programs have horrible placements records (since the attrition rate across the board hovers around 50%).  I'm sure that the attrition rate in some programs is due to the program itself.  However, this is an unknown that is constant across all programs (since they all have attrition).  Unless someone explicitly tells you that students are dropping out because of the program, it's incredibly difficult to determine whether they are dropping out for that reason or any number of personal reasons.  Even worse, if someone claims to have dropped out because of the program (bad faculty, etc.) it's nearly impossible to know if that's really the case since that person might not know if that experience is typical of all PhD programs or not (unless he or she transfered from another PhD program, but the first one may have simply been an outlier in how good it was).  We could potentially overcome some of this uncertainly by aggregating the experience of a very large number of students across institutions, but as of now this is a problem that is constant across all programs.

 

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Accepted into UVA off of the wait list in IR!!!!!! Unofficial email from the DGS last night. :) I'd been in contact with the department and they said they had more than one IR spot to fill, so don't lose hope. :)

Congratulations! Any chance that you'll be able to visit on Friday?
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Congratulations! Any chance that you'll be able to visit on Friday?

 

Thanks!! :) I probably won't be able to. I work full time. I do need to get up there to start looking for somewhere to live, though and to take an "official" campus tour and visit the department. I will definitely be accepting my offer, though. I'll PM you with my email and stuff!

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Accepted into UVA off of the wait list in IR!!!!!! Unofficial email from the DGS last night. :) I'd been in contact with the department and they said they had more than one IR spot to fill, so don't lose hope. :)

 

Congratulations. You must be so relieved! Well done.

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