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Is NSSR legitimate for political science?


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I've heard mixed things about the legitimacy of NSSR overall, particularly in how it's perceived by graduate departments in other schools. Can anyone give good feedback on how Political Science graduate study is perceived at NSSR specifically? The school doesn't usually make it to the rankings. Also, is it feasible to apply to top doctoral programs out of its Political Science M.A.?

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there are many successful students who graduate from NSSR, particularly from the philosophy and political science departments. my undergraduate advisor, for example, did his Ph.D at NSSR, and now works in the political science department at Notre Dame. political science in particular has had alot of success over the years placing their Ph.D students, particularly the theory students. additionally, there is alot of success placing m.a. students into Ph.D programs. last year, TWO students were accepted to chicago. you will find, however, that many m.a. students who plan to apply elsewhere end up loving NSSR so much that they choose to stay. one student, a few years ago, got into Berkeley, went for a year, and then came back to NSSR because the atmosphere was much more to his or her liking.

now, here is the rub. because NSSR is strapped for cash, two problems occur.

1. students are not properly funded. this has several implications, not the least of which is that students need to find outside jobs, which distracts from their studies. this mostly only applies to m.a. students, since most Ph.D students are better funded and also able to find jobs teaching at one of the many colleges in brooklyn, manhattan, or new jersey. however, the lack of funding does prevent a certain level of studying sometimes.

2. because m.a. students fund Ph.D students, NSSR lets in alot of m.a. students, few of which are accepted into the Ph.D program. many, many of these students are excellent students, and will get into the Ph.D program at the NSSR or elsewhere. however, some of these students are not at the same level as other students. for this reason, sometimes classes are taught at a slightly lower level, or are not as intense or rigorous as they *could* be. but this is a problem for all classes, even at harvard.

from these problems, a third implication arises.

3. the Ph.Ds that come out of the NSSR are inconsistent. some of the scholars are bar none the best. some are not as strong. for this reason, i believe, some schools might be a bit wary of hiring NSSR students.

finally, NSSR does not do as good a job 'prepping' their Ph.Ds for jobs as other schools do. this 'prep' includes grooming for interviews, going over job talks, etc.

there are some really excellent scholars at the new school, and political theory is taken VERY seriously in the department. the community is very close, very active, and very intelligent. i highly recommend applying to the program, but students should know that the funding is not as good as some other 'top tier' schools.

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