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Political Science PhD Introduction and Advice


tjs12220

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Hello to all. I just thought I would say hello. I'm a long time viewer but this is my second post. I have a BA in Govt and a Masters of Energy Regulation and Policy. I wrote a thesis on Chinese energy security and would like to follow up on that thesis and work on a PhD focusing on energy policy. However, I don't know if I should focus on a PhD in policy, or a specific degree in energy like the University of Dundee CEPMLP, or a traditional IR degree. The other question is whether to get the degree in the US or abroad, and how difficult it is to transition from working on a PhD abroad to teaching at a US university. Right now i'm studying for the GREs where the Quantitative section will be my greatest weakness, but other than that I would love any tips and suggestions on what universities in the US or abroad I should look at. Thank you! 

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What do you want to after the degree? If an academic job in the US is your aim then a US PhD is pretty much the only realistic option. There's no point paying for a masters degree unless you're trying to make up for some weakness in your record to date. Good luck with the GRE. I also found the quantitative section a nightmare :)

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Thanks for the info. 

I guess to give everyone a little bit more background information on me. I live and teach History and Global Perspectives at a private high school in Shanghai. I received a masters degree at Vermont Law School focusing on energy policy. However, I am more interested in academic research and teaching than being a policy maker or practitioner. I'm married to a German citizen and we just had a daughter, so we have a lot of flexibility in location of where I would study. So while being an academic in America would be nice, it's not a necessity. I would also like to add that i'm sure I could do research and write a dissertation in American or Comparative subfields, but IR seems like where I would find a majority of professors with an energy focus. 

Again, thank you for all and any suggestions!! :-) 

Edited by tjs12220
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I think that  having a PhD in IR (with a focus on energy policy) would give you more value (and job opportunities) than an energy-specific degree. If you would prefer to live and work in academia in the US, my understanding is that it is very difficult to do so with a PhD earned abroad. 

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