US vs UK universities for Grad school in International Relations

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Caromaher
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Is it easier/harder to get into grad school in a school like Oxford or LSE, coming from an American or British university?
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username5203706
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The short answer is that it does not make a difference whether you get into grad school at Oxford coming from an American or British uni.

However, it does make a difference with regards to your chances of achieving funding. The fees are much higher for US students looking to study at the UK unis. In turn, not all scholarships will be able to cover the full costs. In addition, the main source of funding, government research councils, are normally only available to UK/EU nationals (this may change in light of the UK leaving the EU).
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Caromaher
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(Original post by LaBoetie)
The short answer is that it does not make a difference whether you get into grad school at Oxford coming from an American or British uni.

However, it does make a difference with regards to your chances of achieving funding. The fees are much higher for US students looking to study at the UK unis. In turn, not all scholarships will be able to cover the full costs. In addition, the main source of funding, government research councils, are normally only available to UK/EU nationals (this may change in light of the UK leaving the EU).
So do you think it would be easier to get funding if I was coming from a British University? I'm probably going to attend St. Andrews
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username5203706
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(Original post by Caromaher)
So do you think it would be easier to get funding if I was coming from a British University? I'm probably going to attend St. Andrews
Ah sorry let me clarify. What matter here is whether you are a citizen of the US or the UK.

There are some mere probably advantages though as well. It is likely that the academics who will be your future references for grad are more likely to be known by the tutors at Oxford if your applying from a UK uni. This is often because there's a good chance those academics for your undergrad were themselves grad students at Oxford. But this really is a 'depends on the context' point.
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Caromaher
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(Original post by LaBoetie)
Ah sorry let me clarify. What matter here is whether you are a citizen of the US or the UK.

There are some mere probably advantages though as well. It is likely that the academics who will be your future references for grad are more likely to be known by the tutors at Oxford if your applying from a UK uni. This is often because there's a good chance those academics for your undergrad were themselves grad students at Oxford. But this really is a 'depends on the context' point.
I understand. I'm an American and I don't know whether to go to St. Andrews or Georgetown Uni. Because eventually I want to get to LSE or Oxford
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username5203706
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(Original post by Caromaher)
I understand. I'm an American and I don't know whether to go to St. Andrews or Georgetown Uni. Because eventually I want to get to LSE or Oxford
I'll be honest, there isn't really a specific answer to your question. It depends which departments and subjects you are working in, the specific academics at these unis and their networks.

In truth, I am not sure it is worth basing your decision on which undergraduate program you do on which grad program you want to apply to. What matters most is that you go to a uni that will suit your interests and allow you to perform and get good grades. Having good grades and finding your intellectual passion will be far more important than the status of UK vs US unis for Oxford.
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StDave
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This reply is based on a gut feeling, but if i were in your shoes, I would opt for Georgetown.

UK universities tend to require a lot of independent study and learning. From what I understand, US universities tend to offer more teaching structure and more staff support for their undergraduates.

I may be very wrong, but I have a feeling that you'd thrive more under the US system as an undergrad.
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Caromaher
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(Original post by StDave)
This reply is based on a gut feeling, but if i were in your shoes, I would opt for Georgetown.

UK universities tend to require a lot of independent study and learning. From what I understand, US universities tend to offer more teaching structure and more staff support for their undergraduates.

I may be very wrong, but I have a feeling that you'd thrive more under the US system as an undergrad.
I had not heard about that. I have always longed to be in Europe and be away from the USA. And then there's always the much higher amount of money I would have to pay at Georgetown. But the way I learn is by asking a lot of questions, and have access to people that are willing to help me in my studies, internships, or anything else. I've always had close relationships with my teachers and have I have a fame for questioning everything. So what system you think would apply more to me?
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StDave
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(Original post by Caromaher)
I had not heard about that. I have always longed to be in Europe and be away from the USA. And then there's always the much higher amount of money I would have to pay at Georgetown. But the way I learn is by asking a lot of questions, and have access to people that are willing to help me in my studies, internships, or anything else. I've always had close relationships with my teachers and have I have a fame for questioning everything. So what system you think would apply more to me?
If you want to do postgraduate study at Oxford or LSE, I would definitely go to a US university for undergraduate, get an excellent degree, then look to apply after gradation. (EDIT: this is based on how you say you learn by asking lots of questions and having a close relationship with staff. UK universities generally expect their students to be more independent. If you think you can adapt to the UK system and be an independent learner, then a UK university would be fine.)

If you want to do an in-year transfer to Oxford or LSE, I would say don't, it's almost impossible to do that. But, If you want to try regardless, go to an English university because the English and Scottish degree systems are different and you'll learn less about your specific subject in the first years in Scotland. This alone would make a direct in-year transfer from Scottish university difficult in the early years of your study.
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username5203706
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(Original post by StDave)
If you want to do postgraduate study at Oxford or LSE, I would definitely go to a US university for undergraduate, get an excellent degree, then look to apply after gradation.

If you want to do an in-year transfer to Oxford or LSE, I would say don't, it's almost impossible to do that. But, If you want to try regardless, go to an English university because the English and Scottish degree systems are different and you'll learn less about your specific subject in the first years in Scotland. This alone would make a direct in-year transfer from Scottish university difficult in the early years of your study.
I don't mean to sound confrontational but there is absolutely no basis for your first claim. As a current grad student at Oxford, there is a very wide variety of students who have come from Unis across the world including US unis. The point is that I am not sure it matters much whether it is a US or UK uni as far as grad admission tutors are concerned.
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Caromaher
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(Original post by LaBoetie)
I don't mean to sound confrontational but there is absolutely no basis for your first claim. As a current grad student at Oxford, there is a very wide variety of students who have come from Unis across the world including US unis. The point is that I am not sure it matters much whether it is a US or UK uni as far as grad admission tutors are concerned.
So you think it wont make a difference getting into grad school in Oxford coming from Georgetown or St. Andrews?
;
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username5203706
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(Original post by Caromaher)
So you think it wont make a difference getting into grad school in Oxford coming from Georgetown or St. Andrews?
;
broadly speaking the answer is no it won't make a difference. But, if let say you want to go to Oxford to do graduate studies in history, St. Andrews has a very strong history department. Therefore, you are likely to get a very good history undergraduate degree and your potential future academic references from St Andrews might be viewed as stronger from the view of the history faculty at Oxford.

You see, the detail really matters in this, what kind of graduate studies would you want to do. Furthermore, I just think that if you haven't done your undergraduate studies yet, I just wouldn't really bother thinking about grad school; it's not worth the stress. I mean, how can you even know that you want to pursue graduate research before you have even done undergraduate studies? People need to think seriously and maturely about these choices; trying to work it out before you have even started undergraduate studies is just not really possible. Wait a bit, in a couple of years time, then ask yourself if you want to go to grad school and where you might apply to.
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Caromaher
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(Original post by LaBoetie)
broadly speaking the answer is no it won't make a difference. But, if let say you want to go to Oxford to do graduate studies in history, St. Andrews has a very strong history department. Therefore, you are likely to get a very good history undergraduate degree and your potential future academic references from St Andrews might be viewed as stronger from the view of the history faculty at Oxford.

You see, the detail really matters in this, what kind of graduate studies would you want to do. Furthermore, I just think that if you haven't done your undergraduate studies yet, I just wouldn't really bother thinking about grad school; it's not worth the stress. I mean, how can you even know that you want to pursue graduate research before you have even done undergraduate studies? People need to think seriously and maturely about these choices; trying to work it out before you have even started undergraduate studies is just not really possible. Wait a bit, in a couple of years time, then ask yourself if you want to go to grad school and where you might apply to.
I am going to study International Relations and History in undergraduate school. I am sure I want to go to grad school, I have many programs that are in my mind already. That's why I was asking whether St. Andrews or Georgetown would be better to reach those elite schools like Oxford.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Caromaher)
So you think it wont make a difference getting into grad school in Oxford coming from Georgetown or St. Andrews?
;
i believe that most top British universities (especially Oxbridge) do not accept US degrees as equivalent because they are too broad - US degrees are extremely intense and hard work, but liberal arts degrees mean your major will only be MAX 40% of your total credits, which wouldn't be enough for Oxbridge, who would argue you haven't studied your subject in depth enough to apply to the grad programme

it is very true about independent teaching. i think it was you i gave a UK vs US uni comparison list to, but i can send if i didn't - US degrees are work hard, UK degrees are read-hard
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StDave
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(Original post by LaBoetie)
I don't mean to sound confrontational but there is absolutely no basis for your first claim. As a current grad student at Oxford, there is a very wide variety of students who have come from Unis across the world including US unis. The point is that I am not sure it matters much whether it is a US or UK uni as far as grad admission tutors are concerned.
Sorry, if I didn't make it clear, but I was referring to the OPs learning style. I.e. the extra support given to undergraduates in US universities may be more complimentary to the OPs way of learning.

As you know, Oxford / LSE will be looking for a top grade of undergraduate degree, so if its easier for the OP to get that in Georgetown, then maybe that would be preferable. But as I said above, that's just a gut feeling about the OPs learning style and I may be wrong.
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username5203706
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(Original post by Caromaher)
I am going to study International Relations and History in undergraduate school. I am sure I want to go to grad school, I have many programs that are in my mind already. That's why I was asking whether St. Andrews or Georgetown would be better to reach those elite schools like Oxford.
Like I said, it's not the Georgetown or St. Andrews that will get you to Oxford. It is YOU, so go to whichever uni you feel you're going to be most comfortable at, the uni that offers a course structure for you, and has academic that you believe will get the best out of you. No one here can answer that question for you, it's ultimately you who knows what the right answer to these questions.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Caromaher)
I understand. I'm an American and I don't know whether to go to St. Andrews or Georgetown Uni. Because eventually I want to get to LSE or Oxford
Both of those will get you into LSE or Oxford, if the rest of your application is strong enough ie grades, references, research proposal etc. Georgetown is stronger than St A, unless your favourite academic is at St A. St A is very good at IR, but its cachet, particularly in the US, is purely because the Duke of Cambridge went there, it was nothing special at all before that.

But Georgetown > Oxford/LSE is a very well trodden path.
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StDave
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Both of those will get you into LSE or Oxford, if the rest of your application is strong enough ie grades, references, research proposal etc. Georgetown is stronger than St A, unless your favourite academic is at St A. St A is very good at IR, but its cachet, particularly in the US, is purely because the Duke of Cambridge went there, it was nothing special at all before that.

But Georgetown > Oxford/LSE is a very well trodden path.
You would think being the third oldest university in the Western World would give it enough cachet, but no, people only sรจem to know it because Prince William and Kate went there!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by StDave)
You would think being the third oldest university in the Western World would give it enough cachet, but no, people only sรจem to know it because Prince William and Kate went there!
It's not even close to that! Besides which, there was a university in Northampton in 1261, about 150 years before St Andrews (1413) and no-one is going to claim Northampton uni has any academic merit, except in leather sciences.
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StDave
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
It's not even close to that! Besides which, there was a university in Northampton in 1261, about 150 years before St Andrews (1413) and no-one is going to claim Northampton uni has any academic merit, except in leather sciences.
Sorry, i should have said third oldest in the UK and the English speaking world.

As you know, Northhampton did not last as a university for long as banned a few years after it was established in 1261.

A new higher educational establishment was created in Northampton in the 20th Century. So no, the University of Northampton us not older than St Andrews - its not even 100 years old yet.

However, that is not the point. The point is that some people can't get over the fact that a Prince went there many years ago and constantly bring it up in an inversely snobbish kind of way.
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