I have already completed two bachelor's degrees in law and social sciences. And a master's degree in political science. My field of study is interdisciplinary and focuses on social inequalities.

I want to continue my career as a teacher and researcher at the academy. But I realized that I need to improve my knowledge and techniques in methods.

What is not clear is the way in which to do this. What would be better? Another bachelor's degree in economics / statistics (to deepen model studies and econometrics) or pursue graduate studies with a doctorate?

It is important to say that here in Brazil we do not (usually) have sufficient training in political science methods, so I want to try another bachelor's degree that fills this gap.

Thanks for the help!!! Anyone could help with ideas and opinions, please I would be glad to read.

Edited An relevant aspect that I didn't mentioned: another bachelor's degree or the doctorate will are both funded.

  • 4
    If you're thinking about US grad schools, you should almost definitely go for a PhD. In the US system it's completely acceptable for PhD students to enter with just enough background to start learning what they need to know, rather than being already prepared for advanced research. Particularly for methods in PoliSci (which I'm familiar with), you should just take a look at the 1st year methods courses in PhD programs and you'll realize you won't need a bachelor's degree in stats for that.
    – nara
    Sep 12, 2020 at 19:44
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    That being said, it'll help a lot if you take some university level intro math courses if you haven't already (Calculus, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Probability, and ODEs, probably in that order of priority). Having a programming portfolio, or research experience (e.g. internship) in quantitative topics with substantial programming component would also help. But I don't think any of these is an absolute must and many 1st year PoliSci PhDs enter with no background in math and stats (it'd be a totally different story if you target Econ PhDs).
    – nara
    Sep 12, 2020 at 19:50
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    Needless to say, I assumed you won't be applying only to Stanford and Harvard. Apply to as many programs as you can, and spread your choices across different levels (not necessarily uniformly). Keep in mind that some quant-heavy departments, e.g. Caltech, might even require courses in at least some of the subjects I mentioned, but I doubt that there are more than a handful of those. You can always contact the department and ask. And anyways, I think it won't hurt applying if you don't mind paying the application fee (which is not cheap, but you can try asking for a waiver if you need one).
    – nara
    Sep 12, 2020 at 19:59
  • Thanks! Very useful! Just one thing, what did you mean with "different levels"
    – Rodrigues
    Sep 14, 2020 at 0:55
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    Sorry for the ambiguity. I mean different levels of competitiveness. A very useful proxy for that is the USNews grad school ranking for the topic(department) you want to apply for. You should weigh in the overall prestige of the school as well though to get a more accurate idea about which school is harder to get in (e.g. Harvard is still one of the most competitive ones even in fields where it’s not ranked among the top 20).
    – nara
    Sep 14, 2020 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


A third bachelors won't get you very far. Get yourself into a doctoral program, especially if you are interested in research and not just knowing lots of stuff at a relatively lower level.

I don't think a dozen BS/BA degrees will get you an academic job (post secondary) in very many places.

You can learn what you need as you go along, but don't procrastinate.

  • Thanks, I got it! But I mean if I do another bachelor before PhD --- Although I realized that seems useless
    – Rodrigues
    Sep 14, 2020 at 1:05

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