minoxum Posted February 18, 2017 Share Posted February 18, 2017 (edited) Hello GradCafe! I'm a Fall 2017 applicant for U.S. political science PhD programs. I really appreciate the camaraderie and kindness displayed in the applicant discussion forums, as well as the invaluable pieces of advice and information. To that end, I'm here to ask for some more advice! As the application cycle is wrapping up, my most likely options will be Michigan and Columbia. I haven't made a decision yet, but one thing that holds me back from Michigan's otherwise outstanding program is their funding situation: they have a so-called ten-term rule (http://lsa.umich.edu/lsa/faculty-staff/graduate-education/policies/the-ten-term-rule.html) that limits funding from the College General Fund for doctoral candidates to ten semesters. Could any insiders provide some insight on: 1) how realistic it is to get funding beyond the fifth year; and 2) anything else about Michigan or Columbia that might help in making a decision. For example, I'm wondering what the departmental culture is like at each institution. I have heard that faculty at some top-ten departments overwork their students--as in this thread (http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/86719-some-words-of-caution/#comment-1058436012), some students work 70+ hours every week and are told that they are "falling behind if they're not reading in the shower." In contrast, another poster in that same thread states that a (well-focused) 9-to-5 work schedule was sufficient. I of course understand that a PhD will not (and should not) be a picnic, but I'm trying to get a sense of whether the coursework component at either school is more like an excuse to torment students than an opportunity to prepare students for their dissertation phase. 3) the relative strengths of the international relations departments in each school. Thank you all very much in advance! Edited February 18, 2017 by minoxum Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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