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Oxford for all three degrees, or move to US for PhD? Watch

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    (Original post by polscistudent88)
    I might have lost the information, but if not I think that without knowing the subject it is difficult to give a sensible answer. This is because there are difference between the US and UK approaches in many universities, at least for certain areas of research. So if you are studying one subject or another, the situation might change.



    Are you willing to undertake research in Political Science (CP, PE, Methods, Theory) or IR? Anyways for PhD studies much (really, much) depends on your research proposal, fitting into the department, interest of a faculty member into your project. I wonder why you mentioned Cambridge. Are you thinking of applying there? Or just assuming that it works the same as Oxford? Anyways for both PolSci and IR I would also consider other departments, especially if you think that having a different background (in terms of international qualification) might play against you (even if, honestly, I don't think this is the case... All top departments in the UK - as in the US - have and have had students coming from all over the world, so they will have likely seen and got to know the qualifications offered in your country... And PhD level studies always require a previous MA/MSc, but in very unusual situation or for specific programs, as 1+3).


    Hi,Thanks for your reply. Actually right now I'm opting for the Mphil then the Dphil, which obviously depends on so many factors, most importantly the research proposal and final results. I might apply to Cambridge but Oxford is my goal. By the way, I received an e-mail from their politics department Yesterday. And this is what it stated:

    "Dear ---,
    Thank you for your email. Your background certainly sounds suitable for an application to the MPhil in IR. You can read the selection criteria here. As you will see, applications for entry in October 2015 are no longer being accepted; applications for entry in October 2016 will open in September 2015. Best wishes,---- "

    What do you think? Is this good news. Do you think I have a chance?
    Kind regards,
    • PS Reviewer
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    (Original post by cranberrie'spy)
    By the way, I received an e-mail from their politics department Yesterday. And this is what it stated:

    "Dear ---,
    Thank you for your email. Your background certainly sounds suitable for an application to the MPhil in IR. You can read the selection criteria here. As you will see, applications for entry in October 2015 are no longer being accepted; applications for entry in October 2016 will open in September 2015. Best wishes,---- "

    What do you think? Is this good news. Do you think I have a chance?Kindd regards,
    Sounds like they would certainly consider you
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    Ox.ac.uk
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    (Original post by cranberrie'spy)
    Hi,Thanks for your reply. Actually right now I'm opting for the Mphil then the Dphil, which obviously depends on so many factors, most importantly the research proposal and final results. I might apply to Cambridge but Oxford is my goal. By the way, I received an e-mail from their politics department Yesterday. And this is what it stated:

    "Dear ---,
    Thank you for your email. Your background certainly sounds suitable for an application to the MPhil in IR. You can read the selection criteria here. As you will see, applications for entry in October 2015 are no longer being accepted; applications for entry in October 2016 will open in September 2015. Best wishes,---- "

    What do you think? Is this good news. Do you think I have a chance?
    Kind regards,
    Yes, but this would have been better in the "am I good enough for Oxbridge" thread rather than derailing another poster's question...
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    Sorry, won't do it again. I promise.
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    (Original post by E_S)
    Hey folks

    I'm in a bit of indecision meltdown, so I thought I'd put the feelers out online for any fresh opinions.

    I did both my Undergrad and my Masters at Oxford, where the department is one of the best for my subject. Furthermore, my Masters supervisor is a really big guy in the field, and he would also supervise me for the Doctorate. However, I also have an offer from a US university. Not Ivy League or anything, but still a very good institution with a good reputation for my subject, and is big on the sort of approaches I go in for.

    I had been pretty convinced that I'd take the US offer to get some diversity of training, get out of the bubble, etc, and the fact it looked like I didn't have funding for Oxford effectively made the decision for me. However, I just got offered a studentship at one of the colleges. It's one particular to my subject, has been around for a while, and only one person holds it at any one time.

    So now I'm stressing out a fair bit as I really don't know what's for the best. I'm concerned about staying in one place for all of my degrees, and that I'd miss out on the broad training and development of a US PhD. However, by staying I get to continue working with one of the big names with whom I get on really well (he's also generally a great supervisor, really supportive), get to say I held a particular named studentship in the subject, and will finish in 3 years instead of 6 - the US degree has three years of coursework, which is great for building up my knowledge but means I'd have to devote a lot of time and effort to studying things that I don't want to specialise in, and there's no way of reducing it despite already having a Masters.

    I've also been looking into a potential middle ground of taking the Oxford studentship but doing part of a year, maybe a whole year as a visiting student at the US school, to try and get the best elements of both.

    So yeah...what do you think? I'm aware that this might look like I'm moaning over a pretty good situation, but the fact there's no clear 'bad' option is making it a bit of a nightmare to reach a decision, and I don't want to end up shooting myself in the foot.

    Cheers
    Having a supervisor you get along really good and who is a world-known specialist is a situation I would not throw away, if I be in that position. A PHD is still a degree and I would rather look to broad your horizont by visiting student and then do a post-doc elsewhere (which you should really do). But doing a six year long PHD in the USA seems a bit too much for the reasons you want to do it. You can only excel, if you really like it and go along with everyone and academia is hard enough, you don't have to get additional stones in your way.
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    OP, I think it very much depends on your field and what you want to do after your PhD. In some fields like econ a US PhD opens up a lot more options. A shorter PhD might also mean that you will have less publishable research when you finish. You might then have to do a 2-3 year postdoc before being able to get a good tenure-track position, as opposed to applying for such jobs directly after the US PhD (which would put you roughly on the same timeline if your ultimate goal is an academic career).
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    (Original post by JohnKR)
    OP, I think it very much depends on your field and what you want to do after your PhD. In some fields like econ a US PhD opens up a lot more options. A shorter PhD might also mean that you will have less publishable research when you finish. You might then have to do a 2-3 year postdoc before being able to get a good tenure-track position, as opposed to applying for such jobs directly after the US PhD (which would put you roughly on the same timeline if your ultimate goal is an academic career).
    I doubt you only get tenure because of the number of your publications and as US PHDs also involve coursework, it is not just a longer time spent in the lab. Furthermore a Post-Doc is not a position you only do, because you lack a number of years of experience.
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    American universities are amazing places to study and work, with plenty of resources and generally great opportunities to work with faculty. Go for it! Nobody will ever care what your studentship was called, unless it's Rhodes or Fulbright.
 
 
 
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