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Public Policy PhD with IR/Security focus?

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Hi all,

I'm trying to decide where to apply for the 2010 session and I'm currently torn between Political Science and Public Policy programs. I know I want to end up in some sort of policymaking role rather than academia, but I also want to have an inherently security focused thesis - on counterterorrism and counterinsurgency - something I'm not sure I can do with a Public Policy program.

My undergrad degree was a BA in Politics, I finished with a First Class Honours degree (equivalent of summa cum laude, or around a 3.8-3.9 GPA) from teh University of Nottingham and finished joint top of my year. I did the GRE last year but wasn't happy with my results so I'm retaking (610Q, 690V, 5.5AWA) as I want to be competitive at the best programs. I worked as a research assistant for my prof last summer and completed a First class 16,000 word thesis for my undergrad. I've worked as an exit poller, worked in a refugee camp in the Middle East and been heavily involved in extracurriculars - sitting on the Students' Union Council and acting as president of our deparmental society.

Hopefully with a good GRE and good LORs (I've got two internationally recognised profs who marked my dissertation and one other ref who knows my work) I've got a good shot at some good programs. My dilemma is whether to go PoliSci or Public Policy. I'd happily go Public Policy if I can focus on IR!

I want to be based in Washington DC or at least East Coast if possible as I really want to try and get some relevant internships while completing my PhD.

Could you possibly advise me on whether there are any programs out there that offer what I'm after?

Thanks a lot,


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  • 2 weeks later...

George Mason University has a pretty good Public Policy program, and I believe they offer focuses in both IR and National Security. Both their MPP and PhD programs are solid, and if you want a job in the DC area, they're a good choice. Plus the price is right, even for out-of-staters.

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