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Where Should I Apply/Profile Eval


First, I owe a big thank you to the entire gradcafe community. As a lurker, I learned quite a bit about everything from GRE prep to which programs are more academic vs. more professionally oriented. I'm coming back to school after a few years working, so it's been really nice to have a support system (even if none of you know me). 

Long-Term Goal: I'm 95% sure I would eventually like to obtain my PhD in Political Science and do a mix of teaching, researching, and consulting. 

Short-Term Goal: Lacking peer-reviewed pieces, I think the best route is probably to do a Master's degree and go from there. Public Policy has always been fascinating to me, so I've been evaluating MPP/MPA programs. If you feel there might be a better/smarter direction, please let me know. 

Current List: UC Berkeley (Goldman), Georgetown (McCourt), Chicago (Harris), UVA (Batten), UMichigan (Ford), UWashington (Evans) -- also, I'm interested in MIT's MSci program, so if anyone can shed light on whether that might be a good fit, that would be wonderful. 

GPA: 3.65, 3.9 Major GPA (International Studies, Focus on US Foreign Policy, Top 10 program for field, but definitely not Ivy). 

GRE: 169V, 161Q, Writing unknown (took it yesterday). 

Work Experience: 2 political campaign cycles in leadership positions (plus an internship in '08), 2 years in small business leadership (non-founder but with some policy overlap), 1 year as an academic coach at a community college (with experience setting/implementing new training/assessment policies). 

LOR: Reaching out to undergrad professors who knew me very well at the time; hopefully that goes well (if anyone has experience doing this and has suggestions, that would be wonderful). Will have one very good professional rec. 



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Given you desire to start with a Masters and work your way to a PhD, I'd like to offer a program suggestion at Harris Public Policy called the Master of Arts in Public Policy with a Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM). I've given you more information below.

The objective of the Master of Arts in Public Policy with a Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) program is to prepare students for top-tier Ph.D. programs in economics and political science as well as other social sciences, policy, and business.  Applicants should exhibit strong quantitative backgrounds (including exposure to mathematical probability & statistics, multivariate calculus, and matrix algebra) and plan on pursing admission to doctoral programs, seeking careers in academia, think tanks, or other research-oriented policy work.  The program will allow students the opportunity to take PhD-level coursework at Chicago Harris, afford them the opportunity to research and work with world-class faculty at the University of Chicago, and enable them to build a high-level research portfolio, further strengthening their candidacy for future PhD programs.

If you're interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to our team at: harrisadmissions@uchicago.edu

Warm regards,


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