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Another "Evaluate My Profile" Post


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Hi all,

I am brand new to this forum, as I have only recently decided that I wanted to pursue graduate education in sociology. I wanted to do economics for a long time, but have re-evaluated this decision when I realized that a lot of great research in the policy world is done by sociologists, and that I think I would truly enjoy the coursework in a sociology program more. Sociology was my first love, and it's definitely not "settling on it" instead of economics; in fact, I have been very excited about this whole process ever since I made this decision.

My main questions for you all, to get me started, are as follows:

(1) Do I stand a chance at getting into some of the top sociology programs that have nice "discipline plus" tie-ins with policy schools? (U Michigan's Public Policy/Sociology Dual Degree program, Harvard's program in Sociology & Social Policy, and Princeton's joint degree in Social Policy/Sociology are the three I've found; let me know if you are aware of others).

(2) What are some good programs with a quantitative focus where people are doing solid policy work, particularly in education? Who are these people?

If there are any older forum posts that it would be easier to refer me to, please let me know. I browsed around a bit, but there are so many old posts to wade through that I am afraid I might have generated a re-post here.

Thanks in advance for your time.


About me

Undergrad: Liberal arts college, double major in sociology and economics

GPA: 3.8/4.0, probably slightly higher if you only count my junior/senior years

GRE: 710 V/760 Q/5.5 AWA

Research experience: 2 years as an RA at a well-respected social policy research firm doing statistical programming (mostly SAS, some work with Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) software, Stata, and SPSS); no publications in my name, but I've gotten good experience

LoRs: No one famous, but the letters should be strong - probably two undergraduate professors, 1 econ and 1 sociology (UW-Madison), and one researcher from my current job (Ph.D. econ) who can attest to my research experience. Question - Is it better to have sociologists write your recs, or are these economists acceptable?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I always have "discipline persons" write letters for the discipline. Having an econ professor wont hurt, but its best to have more sociologists speaking to sociologists about your ability to become a sociologists than "outsiders."

Have you looked at U Penn's joint program with demography?


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