Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

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jme55104
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Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby jme55104 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:36 pm

I want a list of good top well known/recognized programs where I can earn a J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science preferably in the least amount of time. I would like to see about getting it done in 5 or 6 years.

I want to practice education law and go into politics to change the education system.... I was abused by teachers and didn't like to see how the government system dealt with it. I want to learn about politics because I don't have a major and will be a senior next year and can't change a major. I don't want to waste time on a Masters, but I do want a Ph.D.

Also, I was looking at a competitive fellowship offered through the U.S. Dept. of Education:

http://www.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits

I think I would need to be able to get the J.D. and the last year start the Ph.D. for that fellowship. OR, if you know a school that provides a fellowship to J.D./Ph.D political science candidates, let me know!

My major is Legal Studies; Social Justice, concentrated study in Child Advocacy and Education Adequacy with a Minor in History and ABA-Approved Paralegal Certification, and I also think I will earn the Certificate in Conflict Studies, with Socio-Cultural Concentration.

Thanks for your help!!! I just don't have any background in Poli Sci. and am also a first generation college student.

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teaadntoast
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby teaadntoast » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:45 pm

If you want to go into politics then you most certainly shouldn't be planning to get a PhD in Political Science. Your best course of action is to go to a good law school, preferably in the state where you intend to run for office, and network like a crazy person.

A PhD is an expensive, time consuming degree to earn (approx. 8 years for most people), and prepares you to do exactly two things: write or teach. Moreover, it's unrealistic to expect to be accepted to a top program when you haven't majored in or otherwise received extensive exposure to a subject. PhDs are specialists in their field, and a high level program will demand that you have in-depth knowledge of your area of inquiry and specific scholarly questions that you intend to address prior to entering.
Last edited by teaadntoast on Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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StCuervo
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby StCuervo » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:45 pm

I'm a political science PhD drop-out. I was on fellowship at Virginia for 3.5 years. I left because I got married and had a baby and had to get a "real job." I have A LOT of advice for you but PM me and we can talk.

Like the other poster -- I actually think a JD/PhD is probably a BAD idea for most people. You really should choose one or the other.

jme55104
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby jme55104 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:02 pm

What would you recommend then?

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Pathfinder
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby Pathfinder » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:03 pm

you said you don't wanna waste time with an MA, but many places don't offer an MA and just give it to you after two years of working on your PHD, so its not really a choice of either or. that being said, some school have great jd/ma programs that you can complete in 3.5-4 years

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teaadntoast
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby teaadntoast » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:06 pm

jme55104 wrote:What would you recommend then?


Unless you have a sincere academic interest in Poltical Science, skip the MA or PhD and concentrate on law school. An MA/PhD won't do much to help and may even hurt you if your ultimate goal is elected office, but the connections you make while in law school can be the foundations of yourfirst run for City Council, State Attorney General or whatever.

Again, depending on your political aspirations you want to go to either the best law school that will take you or the best school in your state.

jme55104
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby jme55104 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:19 pm

Wouldn't it look favorable to have a Ph.D. and J.D., especially for government office?

I looked at Northwestern Law and they have a J.D./PH.D. program that would be completed in 6 yrs and give me much greater knowledge of political science. They provide a fellowship.. Georgetown also has a J.D./Ph.D. http://www.law.georgetown.edu/joint_degree/jdgovt.html I am also looking at some programs offered by state schools and I see they also offer J.D./Ph.D. degrees.

If I only get a J.D. degree, how will I know about government? What place teaches government basics to J.D. folk?
Last edited by jme55104 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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StCuervo
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby StCuervo » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:20 pm

The only people who should get a PhD are people who want to spend their lives researching and teaching. You should get a PhD if you want to be a college professor and that is about it.

Since you say you want to go into politics, I don’t see how a PhD will help you. With the exception of Senator Moynihan and Representative Price, politicians are not known for conducting original research into social or political problems! Politicians are the problems that academics study.
Being a PhD student is more like having a job than going to school and being a student. You have to conduct your own research and present your work at conferences. You have to teach classes and grade papers. And, yes, you take classes but anyone will tell you (quite the opposite of law school actually) that grades don’t matter and classes don’t matter. The only thing that matters is your original research.

Also how is your math? Political science is very math oriented now. Most undergraduates don’t realize this but when you sign up for graduate school, it is a whole other ball game. I took eight graduate level courses in statistics and game theory. Almost half of the classes I took were math-oriented.

A JD is very different from a PhD. A JD is a professional degree it takes exactly three years to finish. A PhD can take anywhere from 3 to 10 years to finish. You are only done with the PhD when the faculty judge you “worthy.” I’m serious – you can take all the classes and pass all the tests, but if your original research is not judged a major contribution to the established literature, you will not get the PhD.

The other difference is that you will go into debt for law school but a PhD should be free. DO NOT GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL UNLESS YOU HAVE A FELLOWSHIP. DO NOT TAKE OUT LOANS TO GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL AND GET A PHD. It is not worth it. Your first job will be $50K a year tops! If you are 100K in debt you will never get out. Also the awarding of fellowships is a sign of the faculty’s confidence in your skills. If you don’t get offered a fellowship, that means they don’t really think you have the chops to finish and they just want you for your labor.

Anyway – PM me for more thoughts.

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teaadntoast
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby teaadntoast » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:30 pm

First, I want to be clear that I'm not in any way trying to discourage you, but it seems as though you're a bit unclear as to what a PhD is actually good for and how it would or wouldn't be of use to you in becoming an elected official.

jme55104 wrote:Wouldn't it look favorable to have a Ph.D. and J.D., especially for government office?


It's not necessarily going to hurt you, but it's a lot of time and money to spend on something that likely won't help much either. Check out the webpages of most U.S. Congressmen and Senators, as well as your represenatives in the State Legislature, and you'll see that lots of them have JDs but very few have PhDs.

jme55104 wrote: I looked at Northwestern Law and they have a J.D./PH.D. program that would be completed in 6 yrs and give me much greater knowledge of political science. They provide a fellowship.
I am also looking at some programs offered by state schools and I see they also offer J.D./Ph.D. degrees.


Keep in mind that six years may be the ideal, but people often take longer to finish the PhD.

Again, the PhD is a specialist degree - you will not be "taught" about government. Doctoral programs are where you go once you've been exposed to at least the fundamentals of your subject and have mapped out a series of scholarly questions that you intend to answer via independent research in conjunction with high level coursework.
Last edited by teaadntoast on Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pathfinder
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby Pathfinder » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:32 pm

well you make it sound like you are looking for a basic civics course... which is def not a phd in poli sci. many schools allow you to take 4 courses outside of the law school, use them on some basic government courses. you don't need a degree in poli sci to run for public office, and sarah palin proves you don't even need a basic understanding of government.

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Pathfinder
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby Pathfinder » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:34 pm

teaadntoast wrote:First, I want to be clear that I'm not in any way trying to discourage you, but it seems as though you're a bit unclear as to what a PhD is actually good for and how it would or wouldn't be of use to you in becoming an elected official.

jme55104 wrote:Wouldn't it look favorable to have a Ph.D. and J.D., especially for government office?


It's not necessarily going to hurt you, but it's a lot of time and money to spend on something that likely won't help much either. Check out the webpages of most U.S. Congressmen and Senators, as well as your represenatives in the State Legislature and you'll see that lots of them have JDs, but very few have PhDs.

jme55104 wrote: I looked at Northwestern Law and they have a J.D./PH.D. program that would be completed in 6 yrs and give me much greater knowledge of political science. They provide a fellowship.
I am also looking at some programs offered by state schools and I see they also offer J.D./Ph.D. degrees.


Keep in mind that six years may be the ideal, but people often take longer to finish the PhD.

Again, the PhD is a specialist degree - you will not be "taught" about government. Doctoral programs are where you go once you've been exposed to at least the fundamentals of your subject and have mapped out a series of scholarly questions that you intend to answer via independent research in conjunction with high level coursework.



excellent points. a phd is really about your own research. you've learned the basics in undergrad and now you are being trained to contribute to the field. that does not sound like what you are looking for

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takingmytime
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby takingmytime » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:46 pm

StCuervo wrote:Also how is your math? Political science is very math oriented now. Most undergraduates don’t realize this but when you sign up for graduate school, it is a whole other ball game. I took eight graduate level courses in statistics and game theory. Almost half of the classes I took were math-oriented.


QFT

Math is super important for research.

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StCuervo
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby StCuervo » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:27 pm

I think you should think about a JD/MPP program. Maybe someone else who has experience with those can opine on that but, it seems to me, that would get you the law degree and some policy knowledge which is what you want....

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kurla88
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby kurla88 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:42 pm

If anything, you should be looking at a M.A. in Public Administration. Political Science (if it is about anything at all...sometimes I wonder) is about analyzing politics in a scientific way that will teach you little about what to do in elected office.

But really, a J.D. should be enough for what you want to do.

Rule11
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Re: Seeking J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science

Postby Rule11 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:48 pm

MPP or MPA is definitely what this person is looking for.




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