Department PhD Grads Get Great Jobs
The 2012-13 class of PhD’s from the department continued a tradition of providing faculty to an excellent mix of research and teaching oriented departments around the country. Each year we put an average of 10-15 students on the market, just a tad fewer than enter the program 5 years previously. The cohort on the market last year, who are just beginning their first year as young professors, included 10 students. Four got tenure track jobs: Will Winecoff is now assistant professor in international relations at Indiana University; Jonathan Kropko is a young methodologist in the Government Department at the University of Virginia; Mel Atkinson teaches American politics at UNC-Charlotte; and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield teaches comparative politics at Arizona State University. Four got positions as visiting assistant professors: Heather Sullivan at Hamilton College; Carl Najdek at UNC-Wilmington; Ellen Gutman at High Point College; and Kevin Banda at the University of Missouri. Two of our students got post-doctoral positions: Liz Coggins in American politics, at Washington University in St Louis; and Besir Ceka in comparative politics / EU studies at the European University Institute, in Florence Italy.
The academic job market is a tough one for young professors, so 10 jobs for 10 students is a good track record. And placing students at top research universities such as Virginia and Indiana is a sign of the respect with which our program is held by our colleagues on hiring committees around the country. In fact, a recent study (url: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/03/study-examines-trends-phd-programs-produce-political-science-professors) looked at the faculty of the 116 political science programs listed by US News and World Report as having a graduate program. UNC was ranked 12th nationally in the number of our own PhDs teaching in those top departments, with 91 faculty members teaching there. Among assistant professors, it was ranked 9th, with 25 of our former students on the tenure track in these PhD granting institutions. The fact that we were ranked higher for assistant professors as compared to all faculty suggests that our placements have been more common in recent years in this group of universities: we are doing better.
Why do we do well in graduate placement? Because our faculty work closely with the students. Because our students work in a collegial environment. Because we offer the full range of substantive courses, top-of-the-line methodological training, and are home to the other elements needed to make our graduate training on a par with that any other top US university. Click here to see what some of our recent grads have to say about their experiences. And, congratulations to our PhD students who have done so well!