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Hi everyone!

I'm a little late coming to the cycle for this year, but better late than never. My problem is that I just don't know where to start. I'm going to graduate with a Master's in Political Science (UN and Global Policy Studies at Rutgers University) in May and I want to pursue a PhD but I'm just not sure what department might be a good fit. I'm looking at International schools as well as US based schools. I do have a few professors who have said they'd write me letters of recommendation. 

My biggest issue is I can't figure out how to put all my interests together in a cohesive way. My research interests run along the lines of cultural attitudes, mental health issues, democracy, globalization, gender inequality, sustainable development, identity, and democracy. I'm currently interested in how social/racial/gender/economic inequalities affect democratic participation.

Also I have no idea how to start reaching out to people in departments that might be interested in working with me. Advice?


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I would recommend two different things:

1) If you can, apply next year and spend time narrowing down these interests.

2) Just pick your current research interest and define that as your topic and find professors who do things like that.

Alternatively, these sounds like good things to research in a sociology program, if you decide to go that route.

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One approach to consider is finding a few journal articles that really intrigue you and tracing back from there - see what universities the authors are at and where they did their PhDs - to find programs that might have people working in your research areas.

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