<p>I graduated with a degree in IR from a Cal State University. I was second in my class or should I was the second fish in my pond. I'm wondering where I might even have a shot at getting in for a Ph.D. program in Poli Sci/IR. The thing is, I know my education was truly inferior, I tried to add things like research and extracurriculars to make up for lost prestige, so how important do you think my CSU degree will be?</p>
<p>what makes you think your degree is inferior?</p>
<p>The problem with CSU`s as far as I can see is two fold. I dont not mean to come off as rude or snotty but what you will hear over and over is.
1) While it does matter a bit but I tend to think its kinda over blown, there is a view that CSU`s are an extension of community college in California since your guranteed a spot at most if you even hold a 2.0 for 60 units at CC.</p>
<p>2) CSU`s are not research based, they have really no power in this field and are based on creating the nations workers not its graduate student researchers.
- If you look at places like Fullerton even their graduate program is not research based, it is based on creating a CC professor.</p>
<p>With this said, have you thought of doing your masters at a research institution? This might help you narrow your focus, get letters of reccomendation and prepare for your Ph.D. By showing you can cut it at a higher researcher level for your masters you can surely shake off any graduate committees misgivings of a CSU degree The truth of the matter is msot 21 year olds regardless of their B.A School are not truly focused on what they want to do or research.</p>
<p>I did my undergrad at a UC, great name really when it comes down to it to alrge to narrow my focus, meet professors or get letters of rec. I am now at a smaller private university doing my M.A in IR - Comparative Politics which has allowed me smaller classes, a ton of face to face professor time, graduate assistant positions and excellent letters of reccomendation from people known in my area of interest.</p>
<p>All things I would consider if I were you.</p>
<p>PS: sorry for the spelling / grammar I was on my way out the door.</p>
<p>I agree with fitzgerk. The problem with the CSU's is the lack of research focus. If you plan on going for a PhD, you'll want to consider an MA as a bridge. Not only will it help you narrow your focus, it will show adcoms that you're capable of handling research based training.</p>
<p>After all, PhDs aren't really about learning stuff (that's what books are for.) They're for learning tools.</p>