john29 Posted June 18, 2015 Share Posted June 18, 2015 Greetings! To make my life story as short as possible, I graduated from a small liberal arts college with a degree in Political Science. My overall GPA was 3.76, with major GPA of 3.92. I had okay GRE scores (verbal/quant) and a relatively high writing score (5.5). All of my professors in the department thought I should go into a PhD program, and I've long thought about the academic route. That said, reading about the academic job market put me off some. I fear the diminishing returns that come with getting a PhD from programs down the "ranking" list, as the placement stats seem to fall off steeply after you get outside the top 25 programs. With that in mind, I applied to a bunch of masters programs in International Relations (which, if I did a PhD program, would be my subfield of focus). I got into Johns Hopkins SAIS and will be attending this coming fall. I realize these types of programs are more "professional" in nature. My main question is whether such programs are ultimately beneficial or harmful to any potential future PhD applications. My line of thinking is to attend SAIS, perhaps try to find a research intensive job for a year or two, and then evaluate whether a Political Science PhD program and academic career is still something I want to pursue. I'm just curious if that kind of masters and experience really adds anything to a graduate application for a top program or if my odds are roughly the same as they would be now, with only my undergraduate degree. I'm excited to attend SAIS and all that comes with it, but if I really was set on an academic career and SAIS wouldn't really help my eventual application to graduate programs (or, if possible, even harm it), then perhaps I would need to reconsider the cost (financially and the years spent) of such a program. I realize programs like SAIS aren't meant to feed into PhD programs, and at the time that I applied, it wasn't my intention. I'm just considering some different options, and I was looking for advice with the path I've outlined above. Thanks! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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