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More Grad School Decisions to Make

April 4, 2006

So I am not even applying to grad school until this fall, but I’m already freaking out about it (as anyone who has heard about my nightmares can attest to). I have so many decisions to make, where do I want to go, what exactly I want to study, do I want to get a Master’s first or go straight for the PhD, and lastly, how am I going to pay for it all???

My list of schools to apply to is an ever-growing list. What I want to study is fairly well decided upon, except I haven’t decided what I would write my dissertation on if I do my PhD. I know I want to study comparative politics and focus on North American politics and cooperation. I would like to do something basically concentrating on Canadian and US politics and how the two interact, but what would I research in specific? I want to go ahead and start working on my PhD because it would save me time in the long run, but all the Canadian universities I am looking at applying to require a Master’s before enrolling for a Ph.D. The last question is one that truly worries me. I don’t want to be in debt until I’m 60, and some programs that I am interested in are ridiculously expensive, and fellowships and stipends in social sciences are much lower than for natural sciences and engineering. Interestingly, the Fulbright Student Awards for study in Canada is for exactly what I would like to do. It would only pay for the first year, but that would be incredibly helpful. Only thing is, I don’t think I would even have a shot at getting it. There are 15 formal enrollment awards for Canada and last year there were nearly 60 applications (most likely from people much more qualified than I am). Oh well, it was a thought. I might look into it some more and maybe apply. Who knows? It’s still several months away.

Now I just need to figure out the rest of those questions and take the GRE. I hate applications for school! I just did this 2 years ago and the year before that. When will it all end???

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