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History undergrad considering poli sci MA/PhD


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Hello all. I have an undergraduate degree in History from Texas A&M but I am considering attending graduate school for political science. I am interested in comparative politics and international relations, specifically in the Middle East. I have taken some courses in poli sci, economics, and sociology (unfortunately no statistics). I have a good GPA, 3.76, and I am fairly certain I can score in the 1350-1450 range on the GRE (been studying a lot!). However, I don't have a BA in poli sci, I would have to learn Arabic, and I don't have any published papers nor could I get recommendations from poli sci profs so I'm worried about my chances. I would like to get into a PhD program, but would my chances be better if I went to a MA program to show that I can do advanced work in political science? Are there any MA programs you can recommend that are good for comparative politics and international relations (and are hopefully funded :mrgreen: ) ? Thank you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I double-majored in political science and history as an undergrad. Obviously I went with political science for graduate school.

Political science at the undergraduate level has a a great deal of history involved (also sociology, economics, religion, psychology, etc). However, political science at the graduate level is an entirely different beast. A good portion of the history is removed. So, if in taking political science classes, the historical aspect is what peaked your interest, I don't know if political science at the graduate level would be the right direction to go. Perhaps a graduate degree in history focusing in political history would be a better idea.

Let me know if I can be more specific.

Good luck!

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I enjoy political science for its own sake. What I really would like to know is if you think I could be competitive for a decent PhD program, or if I should get my masters and prove that I can do advanced work in political science. And if a master's is the best option, what programs I should look into.

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There are plenty of people in my Ph.D. program whose undergraduate degrees aren't in political science and still came straight from undergrad to grad school. So, no, I don't think that would be a barrier.

I would only look into a master's program if you think your GRE scores, LORs, and/or transcript won't get you into a Ph.D. program first or if you think you need the two years of a master's program before committing to a Ph.D. program -- either because you're not entirely sure about political science or because you need to bone up on it. Only you can know where you stand.

What kind of master's program is an entirely different beast. I don't know what your subfield would be, and your subfield would largely determine which schools you should look at.

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