The reeducation of an English major
June 27, 2013 5:23 PM Subscribe
Having spent the last few years as an attorney, I am contemplating returning to school, with the goal of eventually doing a PhD in Political Science. Potential issue: my background is not in Political Science. How best to fill in the gaps?
posted by sinfony to Education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, to be clear, I am not asking whether pursuing a PhD in Political Science is the right idea for me. That's a question I must, can, and will, answer for myself after doing the necessary diligence.
With that out of the way, let me explain my situation. Since graduating from law school three years ago, I have been an attorney (not yours, of course), and the time is approaching for me to move on to something I actually want to do. One avenue I am exploring is pursuing a PhD in Political Science. However, I am quite confident that my academic background (English major followed immediately by law degree) would leave me both a) not a particularly compelling candidate and, more importantly, b) not prepared to excel in a graduate program.
While I don't know precisely what academic background is considered ideal, I'm sure that I am lacking sufficient Political Science and math. I took a handful of Political Science-ish classes as an undergraduate, but neither majored nor minored, and took a handful more in law school. I haven't done any math of any kind since AP Calculus ten years ago. Clearly, I need to do some work to get ready (and, related to the question noted above that I am not asking, to make sure this is something I'm really interested in doing).
My assumption is that I'd likely need to do a master's degree somewhere in order to fill in those gaps in my knowledge/skill set. This is based on my awareness of the MAPSS program at the University of Chicago, which is a one-year masters in social sciences that would appear to offer me the opportunity to polish up my politics and math/stats, albeit at outlandish cost.
So, finally, my question(s): would something like that be enough? Too much? (Almost certainly not too much, but one can hope.) If that's the right way to go, who else offers a good program like that? If I need more, or something else, where best to go? Am I hopelessly far behind?