I came to the University of Chicago to broaden my horizons in the social sciences. MAPSS was an ideal program to achieve this goal because it allowed me to discover different disciplines and to interact with students and experts in many fields. MAPSS helped me get to where I am today by putting within my reach many exciting academic and professional opportunities that I may otherwise not have had, or of which I may not have been aware.
I am currently a second-year PhD student in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. My MAPSS background has been a vital resource as I continue my graduate studies.
I am a global business and academic researcher using both quantitative and qualitative methods. I came to MAPSS in order to investigate the relationship between people’s social origin and their future prospects.
I used skills from MAPSS to build a career in progressive political data analysis, an entire field dedicated to using smart data-driven research to answer important questions and build a better country through political change.
I attended MAPSS with the intention of gaining a firmer grounding in foundational social theory and anthropology, as well as to advance my long-term research interests on youth in Rwanda. Through MAPSS, I took several excellent courses that challenged how I was thinking about my intended research.
My thesis, entitled “Behavioral Effects of Providing a Choice for Outdoor Access to Captive Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)” investigated the effects of giving gorillas the choice to use the outdoors, even when they chose to stay inside. MAPSS gave me the connections to the research and zoo world I needed, and set me on the path to the career I want.
During MAPSS, I took methods courses in the political science and sociology departments, as well as at the Harris School of Public Policy. My training at MAPSS helps me daily in my work with the world’s best journalists.
I have been able to make contacts with professors who have offered invaluable advice over the years, been supported by a wonderful staff at MAPSS, was welcomed into an extremely global cohort, and received an excellent foundation for understanding both the American academic system and American sociology.
The most important courses I took during my year were scattered among several departments. In political science, Linda Zerilli’s class on feminist political theory was crucial; in the history department, Dipesh Chakrabarty’s class on postcolonial studies moved my interests towards the history of political thought; and in philosophy, I took Candice Vogler and Jonathan Lear’s class on psychoanalysis, which was exhilarating.
With the hands-on guidance of MAPSS faculty at every turn, I applied to PhD programs in Sociology and returned to school in 2014 as a student at Johns Hopkins University, where I just completed a successful first year.
After graduating from MAPSS, I moved to Turkey for two years where I studied Turkish intensively, volunteered as a translator, and worked as a language instructor and research assistant. I am currently a PhD Candidate in Government at the University of Texas and a 2014-2015 Boren Fellow. I am grateful to the MAPSS program for helping me to hone my academic interests and for providing me with a valuable analytical skill-set that has served me well in my doctoral studies.
MAPSS helped me clarify my academic interests and achieve my goals because of the sustained commitment and support I received during and after my time at Chicago.
MAPSS provided a very solid foundation for my current work, and the support of my preceptor, MAPSS faculty and office staff, was vital to the application process for doctoral study. Finally, friends I made in the program continue to provide thoughtful discussion, support and company.
I am now finishing my PhD studies at the University of Oxford, where I examine language ideologies and speaking styles of members of the Polish transnational community in London and Oxford. I still go back to the notes I made at Chicago, very often to my preceptor’s, Elina Hartikainen’s, incredible comments, and consider MAPSS a year that grounded my knowledge in multiple ways.
I’m using everything I learned in MAPSS to help brands understand why we buy what we buy, and how we use products to express ourselves and relate to each other. I wouldn’t have gotten hired, or even considered for the job, without my MAPSS experience.
With the writing samples, skills, and public history experience I gained at the University of Chicago, and with recommendations from the excellent faculty, I was accepted into the History PhD Program at Loyola University of Chicago, where I am beginning this fall.
I found that my dedication to mixed-methods psychological research was positively received in Business School compared to traditional psychology departments. As such I applied to PhD program in Business Schools, and with the kind help of the Faculty in the MAPSS programs I was accepted to Harvard!
My MAPSS year helped me not only to focus my ideas and research interests, but also to acquire some valuable methodological skills for the craft of research itself, skills that are bound to be valuable during my coming PhD studies.
Presently I am studying in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for eight months on a Boren Fellowship researching the 2015 Tanzanian presidential and parliamentary elections, energy policy, and conspicuous corruption. This fellowship opportunity would not have been possible without access to the University of Chicago’s invaluable institutional and faculty support and guidance.
MAPSS teaches its students the “language” of social science, and my University of Chicago MA has taught me to master new “dialects” and pursue new opportunities for research which never could have otherwise been open for me.
The intellectually stimulating environment offered through the MAPSS program helped me develop the analytical tools to be a successful doctoral student. These skills, along with the resources provided by MAPSS, undoubtedly helped me reach this point in my academic career.
MAPSS improved my academic profile by giving me the opportunity to learn from faculty like Kristen Schilt and Andrew Abbott. I am currently in the doctoral program for sociology at UT Austin.
I went on to earn an MA in political science from Indiana University in order to sharpen the methodological and theoretical chops I began developing in MAPSS. This methodological sensitivity, together with the commitment to creativity and interdisciplinarity that imbue the education at University of Chicago, were integral to my intellectual development, and in Fall 2015 I starting working on my PhD in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.
I came to MAPSS in the fall of 2008 to study the political thought of Marx and Foucault. To this end, I benefited greatly from courses such as “Punishment and Social Theory” (Harcourt), “Inclusion & Exclusion” (Muthu), “Frankfurt School Critical Theory” (Postone), and “Interpretive Methods in Political Theory” (Cyrenne).
I went to MAPSS to train myself as a historian specializing in political history and women’s history of early modern China, and I turned out to be a historian, but focusing on social and economic history of late imperial China.
MAPSS helped me articulate my professional goals as well as hone my research interests and methodology. I now live in Southern California and attend the University of California, Irvine as a PhD student in the department of Anthropology.