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Path Dependence in Political Science


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As a matter of curiosity, I wonder how (or if) the experience of those in grad school and beyond has actually been shaped by their undergraduate experience.  As many of us are gearing up to apply this fall we are told about things we should, or at this point should have, done in order to prepare ourself for getting accepted and hopefully succeeding in a graduate program... but during and even post-admissions, how do all the little things that supposedly make or break an ideal political science applicant really impact the grad student experience? 


How was your experience or that of your peers affected if you: 

Came from R1 versus LAC or anywhere in between

Had loads of math experience 

Came from fields other than poli sci 

Didn't do so hot in UG 

Came straight from UG 

Wrote significantly prior to grad school 

Participated in university or departmental honors programs 



Any thoughts from the veterans in our midst would be awesome! 


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  • 2 months later...

Did a total 180 in first year of grad school away from the IR/theory path I came away from college with and now do causal inference questions in AP/CP.

Most of the people I know who stuck closely to their original plans came in with a strong regional focus. 


Once you're in you're in and you can do pretty much whatever you want.

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