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Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Program

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HOW DO I APPLY TO THE PROGRAM?

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1. You can find the graduate brochures for the Politics Department and the Economics Department online. Applicants to the political economy program must file a standard application to one, but not more than one, of these two academic units.

See:

Economics Department

Politics Department

2. The Graduate School web page has general information about admission to the Grad School along with an email form that can be used to request application forms. See: Graduate School Office

3. Application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School, which does the preliminary processing. Materials are then sent by the Graduate School to the appropriate department for evaluation. Regardless of which academic unit you apply to, be sure to indicate on your application that POLITICAL ECONOMY is the field you wish to pursue.

4. There is only one round of application and admission each year, and you must start the program in the Fall semester (i.e., there is no possibility of starting the program in the Spring semester).
Go to the official Graduate School details about deadlines.
We inform applicants about their admission around the middle of March.

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IS FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?

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Financial aid is available to cover some or all of graduate tuition, as well as stipends for living expenses. The amount of financial aid is determined on the basis of merit and need. To apply for financial aid you must complete the appropriate forms and submit them with your admissions material to the Graduate School.

You are also encouraged to apply for outside fellowships such as those awarded by the National Science Foundation (for U.S. citizens) or the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (for Canadians). These require application directly to the granting agencies.

In addition to fellowships, students can earn money as teaching or research assistants. Besides providing extra income, these assistantships can be an important part of graduate training. Working as a teaching or research assistant is subject to the rules and procedures of the department in which you enroll. Some fellowships may require that you do some work as a teaching assistant as a condition of the fellowship.

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IS THE PROGRAM QUANTITATIVELY ORIENTED?

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Yes, the methodological emphasis is quantitative. If you enter the Political Economy Program via Economics, then you would face essentially the same requirements as any other Economics doctoral student. Similarly, if you enter via Politics, you would face the general requirements of that department. In each case, you would also follow the requirements specific to the Political Economy program. The track via Politics is somewhat less demanding than Economics in its quantitative emphasis, but significantly more quantitatively oriented than the usual doctoral program in political science.

Regardless of how you enter the Political Economy Program, it is important to have some basic math background: multivariate calculus and basic matrix algebra, as well as familiarity with probability and statistics at least at the introductory level. Without this background, you will not be able to handle the material in many of the courses required for completion of the program.

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DOES THE PROGRAM HAVE ANY PARTICULAR SUBSTANTIVE EMPHASIS?

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The Program is designed to allow students a broad range of possible substantive areas: both micro- and macro-political economy as well as domestic, comparative, and international political economy are available topic areas. Some students may wish to pursue purely theoretical approaches, while others may conduct empirical research or a blend of theoretical and empirical investigation.

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WHAT IS THE PROGRAM'S PLACEMENT RECORD?

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The program is fairly new, so there is a relatively short record of placement for the program per se. Students associated with the program have obtained positions at the following institutions: London School of Economics (Econ. Dept.; Government Dept.); World Bank; International Monetary Fund; University of Rochester (Pol. Sci. Dept.); IBEI Barcelona; Institute of Political Science at the Academia Sinica (Taipei); Stockholm University (Econ. Dept.); Hebrew University (Econ. Dept.); Haverford College (Econ. Dept.); U. of Warwick (Econ. Dept.).

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WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET IN?

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Applicants are required to take the verbal and math GREs and to provide samples of written work. There are no hard-and-fast rules on GRE scores or GPAs. Successful applicants to the doctoral programs of Politics and Economics have typically been in the top decile on math and verbal GREs. We look especially carefully for evidence of ability to do serious, original research.

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