Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good news on American University

I got tuition remission and a 19.2K assistantship for four years. I'm told the assistantships are officially teaching assistantships "which can involve anything from grading, to running discussion sections to (in 3rd or 4th years, but only if the student wants to do this) teaching their own classes," and that sometimes profs use TAs as RAs too. I'm managing my expectations about the other schools - not super optimistic. But I'm very happy for this great deal with American. Teaching in the third and fourth year? Maybe I'm being naive, but it seems like it would be a great advantage in the job market to have that. There are a few summer fellowships and some dissertation funding I'm looking into as well, but that'll be something to worry about in a little while - not now.

Still crossing my fingers on the others, but I think American University would be very good environment - lots of good history of thought, lots of good economic history, and still a place I can do the macro, labor, and monetary work I'm interested in.


  1. If you're going academic, that teaching experience is critical. If your field is anything like mine, you'll probably want to dive into TAing and teaching stats/research--those are the "best" for our field, at least :)

    As you know, the boy went to AU--it would be a pretty great place to go!

  2. Daniel, how are you liking American? My twin daughters are juniors in high school, and on keeps finding herself drawn back to American. I have a friend in econ (Robert Blecker), but her interest is anthropology.

    Any insight?


  3. Wait, sorry, I was thinking you were already there--but I would assume you've looking into it quite a bit, anyway.

  4. Ya - haven't started yet. I got a master's in public policy and took some additional math and econ classes at GWU, nearby.

    I am definitely attracted to the department, and I know two profs there - Bob Lerman and Bob Feinberg - that I like a lot. The major role that Keynesian analysis plays in ther department, the history of thought and economic history work, and the proximity to the policy discussion in DC are all icing on the cake for me. I plan on doing my dissertation work on more traditional macroeconomics of labor material, but I think it would be perfect to be in an environment where all that other work goes on.

    For the sake of my career trajectory, I'd have to seriously consider any offers from Georgetown or Maryland, for ranking reasons and because they have more people that work on the issues that I want to work on. But the funding is essential, and I'm not especially optimistic about the other two at this point, so American seems very very likely.

  5. I think that would be an excellent place to get an econ PhD, and unlike UMKC (which would be my first choice by a wide margin just in terms of the education), it isn't labeled as Post Keynesian so you will have the flexibility to get more mainstream jobs, too.

  6. Congrats, man. At least you know you've got some good backing, although I hear you on the options front.

    I'm in somewhat of a similar quandary myself... I wasn't able to apply to all of the schools that I wanted to (in particular those in the US), because those application deadlines were slap bang in the middle of my exam period. Didn't fancy quickly cobbling together a bunch of half-assed application in limited time (especially when my other marks were at stake!)...

    Anyway, looks like I'll be fortunate enough to get offered a generous stipend from at least one school here in Europe. I'm just wondering whether I should defer, take a private sector job in the meantime and then apply to ALL the institutions that I wanted to the following year... Or, if I should to do a PhD at all!


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