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UC Irvine - Any Comments?


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Hey all! I have just discovered this website, and I am actually glad that I didn't find the board before, it would definitely lead me to obsessively refresh the main page. 

I have been admitted to the Political Science program at UC Irvine and this is my only option this cycle. My subfield is Comparative/Methods, and I do social movements/political participation. So far, the people I talked told me that the program is strong on social movements, and also it seems like the new head of the department is hiring new people. I've also learned that the faculty was really disorganized a few years back, but now they sorted it out. Their placement record does not seem very good. Now, I am trying to dig deeper.

I haven't seen many posts on the main board, therefore I would be glad to hear some comments from here, especially regarding the employment opportunities after the program! Please feel free to shoot any ideas!

Edited by martymcfly_85
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I've attended a conference there last semester and will be going back later this year. Everyone in the program seems very nice, smart and capable. I'm considering applying myself if I end up staying on the west coast and persuing a CC job. They're not an elite program, but the name certainly does cary some power at reigonal schools in Southern California. As I understand it they are much stronger at global politics than american or theory. They have the Center for Democracy which gets them some good funding, at least that's what my professors say in my MA program. Irvine isn't my favorite city in the world, but its surrounded by a lot of nice places. You'll likely need a car. Hope this helps. Anything else you were curious about?

(Full disclosure, I am in an MA program that has a pretty close relationship with UCI. We've sent plenty of our students there and have hired their PhD students.)

Edited by buckinghamubadger
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It seems like the jobs that Irvine PhDs get are mostly at SLACs and directionals in California, with a few exceptions - if you wouldn't be satisfied with an outcome like that, you should probably wait a year and then try again next cycle.

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@buckinghamubadger Thank you for the info, that is very informative! The program is indeed a very good fit with what I am doing, and the center of democracy was one of the things that made me interested in the program at the beginning. My main concern is the job market. As  @dagnabbit indicated, the placement is not great. I forgot to add I am an international and I have the two year requirement, meaning that I have to go to my home country for 2 years after my studies. So, I can't directly enter to the job market anyways, but I want to work at a research institution in the end, after satisfying my 2 year requirement. I do not think I'll have any problems finding a job back in Turkey at one of the prestigious universities of the country, but I am not sure if this would help me to get something at a good research university after then back in the US.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Irvine's a good program. I think it's generally considered to sit somewhere between the upper tier of UC Berkeley/UCLA/UCSD/(UC Davis?) on the one hand, and UC Riverside/UC Santa Barbara/UC Santa Cruz on the other hand. Usually you'll see the department ranked around #40 nationwide. Marek Kaminski's work looked interesting to me when I was trying to decide where to apply.

Edited by dumbunny
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