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Elekatana

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Hello everyone,

 

I was wondering if I might be able to garner some responses from this community regarding my problem. I didn't know where else to turn to for now, so I hope to illicit some feedback. :)

 

I have an Associate of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The reason my BA is in Psychology is that my university didn't offer a Political Science major. I decided even before I graduated that I didn't want to pursue Psychology in my Graduate career because I didn't want to have to conduct experiments. It was easy for me to decide on pursuing an MA in Political Science.

 

I was accepted to a Political Science MA program last year which I attended for one semester and got a lot of experience from it. I was even given a Graduate Teaching Assistantship for a first-year undergraduate course in general politics. I am very comfortable in front of students and guiding tutorial sessions, which of course will definitely apply to my own research presentations as well.

 

However, I had to withdraw due to insufficient funds and I had to move from BC to Ontario for my family. Now, I find myself in a position where I am in a safe place and can pursue the MA degree sometime in the future. But, I am worried that potential schools will discount my application as I was already given a chance before and I failed at it. Additionally, the universities in Ontario have slightly higher admission requirements. In BC, all I needed was a 3.0/4.33 GPA and in Ontario, I need a 3.33/4.33 GPA. I have a 3.09 GPA.

 

My research is relevant to today's politics and of the politics in the near future. My writing skill is pretty good I feel (you can judge for yourself, given this post's quality). I am able to study International Relations between Canada and Asia (mostly China), the EU, and the Arctic.

 

I have no presentations or publications to aid my application. I am open to being conditionally admitted with the requirement that I take upper level political science courses before being unconditionally admitted, though I am unsure as to how that would affect GTA and other sources of funding, as well as office allocation.

 

My fundamental question is, should I even bother trying for it again? I know I can do it. Do you need any more information from me before giving advice?

 

Thanks everyone!

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What is your goal for doing an MA? What kind of career do you envision yourself having after you do one. I am sure that there is an MA program somewhere that will take you with that kind of GPA, but I doubt too many people here know very much about the specifics of getting one in Ontario. I think the most important question is what is your motivation for pursuing an MA

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My motivation is two-fold. First, I found that I was simply really good at conducting research. And second, I'd like to be able to get a teaching non-research position for a while. Just because I'm good at research doesn't mean I want to do it full-time.

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I'm still somewhat confused regarding what you are hoping to do.  I don't know much (if anything) about Canadian academia, but in the U.S., you are highly unlikely to be paid to conduct research or teach without at least being in the final stages of a PhD program.  I don't see how an MA advances either of your goals unless (a) you plan to use the MA to pursue a PhD, or (B) you consider the RA/TA experience you might receive with an MA position (but will not in most programs--those positions are usually reserved for PhD students as well) to be 'teaching' or 'conducting research.'  A does not seem to fit what you are describing here, and B seems pretty myopic, since RA/TA gigs are supposed to be short-term stepping stones while you are on to bigger and better things in academia.

 

Maybe I'm just dense (likely), but it might be useful to get just a bit more on what your thought process is here.

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Can...but even to get a non-adjunct position at a community college, don't use usually need a PhD? Or at least, won't most applicants have one?

Some of my faculty during my undergrad only had only their MA in hand while teaching. Yep, in Canada it's a little different and a little less competitive for such positions.

 

What type of grades did you get in BC? You'll need to do better than a B average in graduate school.

In my electives and my Psychology Major, I received decent grades from B- to A-, but for my upper level Political Science courses, I received grades from B+ to A.

 

My end goal for my education is of course a PhD, but I'm not in any sort of rush to complete that. For myself, I just want a teaching position for a few years so that I can attain some financial stability, and build up my experience so that my PhD, and later, my Tenture-Track applications will be pristine.

 

BC's GPA system is a 4.33 scale.

 

A+ = 4.33

A = 4.00

A- = 3.67

B+ = 3.33

B = 3.00

B- = 2.67

etc.

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It's more competitive than you think. A master's just isn't good-enough to get a full-time teaching position in the U.S. at a community college. You need several years of being an adjunct to get the minimum teaching experience. Getting into a Ph.D. program is more realistic than getting a teaching job at this point.

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