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Next year's apps.... cant believe i'm applying AGAIN


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Ok so does anyone have any info or advice on next year's applications??? i was rejected from EVERY phd poli sci program i applied to. while i love poli sci, my subject of study could really be studied through history, poli scie, econ, or business. Is any one of those less competitive than the other? I'm starting my 2nd master's degree in the fall, hoping that will make me a stronger applicant. My undergrad is from Columbia (poli sci + spanish) my MA is from NYU (Political Economy) and i start Quant Methods MA at Columbia this Fall...

I really want to just get my PhD already so i can research & teach etc but it's getting farther and farther :( any advice? I also work full-time as an analyst in financial services.

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  • 3 months later...
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I was advised by a professor from U Maryland (now at WashU) that getting hired in Political Economy is becoming increasingly difficult, so it would follow that schools would likely admit fewer students interested in the field. He's a very well respected economist and basically laughed at me and told me to rethink my interests when I mentioned the possibility of Political Economy as a research focus.

I left an econ PhD program with an MA (as a partial result of the above conversation) and am now applying to Poli Sci PhD programs. Of the programs you listed, I can say that econ is now the most competitive and has the most strict prerequisites. By that, I mean few programs will admit students without having demonstrated success in multivariate calc, stat, linear algebra, and real analysis. The Poli Sci admissions process seems to really vary from school to school based on fields and focus. The trend in the field is quickly shifting towards quantitative methods, so that MA should prove handy. Admissions officials at several schools have told me that they would like to require a math background similar to what I listed for econ, but can't yet, because their competitors don't have any such requirement. I'll bet someone could write a game theory paper on Poli Sci admissions and get it published. Hmm... maybe that's what I will do while waiting to hear back from these programs. Yet, at the same time, there are other programs at top universities that require maybe one or two methods courses and seem to prefer to admit philosophers. For that reason, it's important to match your interests to specific faculty and to apply to a wide range of programs.

I don't know about history or business admissions, but I'm sure there are people in this or other forums who could write about those. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

History is likely as much of a nightmare as English (one of the more competitive disciplines within the humanities). I would be especially wary of applying to fields of study that require fewer languages. U.S. history is flooded with applications from people who wanted to do something else, but realized they would have to waste every summer for the next seven years attending intensive language courses.

Some of my buds in poli sci say it's not that bad, if you have excellent credentials and are willing to settle for a mediocre program.

Isn't that always the way? lol

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