Is UPenn's international relations program good? Who are the best faculty members to study with?

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Barbara Bellesi, Writer, Editor, and Educator

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As one of the eight Ivy League schools, University of Pennsylvania offers many top undergraduate degree programs, including one in international relations. The best way to determine any college program's worth is to see what its alumni have gone on to do after graduation. Usually, a university website will list the names of companies, firms, and organizations that have employed its graduates, as well as to which graduate schools students have been accepted. If you have aspirations of joining a certain organization or company after graduation, it would be beneficial to have an alumni network in place.

Determining the best faculty members to work with is a very personal decision. Do you want to work with someone who has researched/published extensively? Someone who has worked for years in the field to which you aspire? Or is it someone who truly enjoys teaching the subject matter and will prove to be accessible as a mentor during your college years? Again, an Ivy League school like UPenn has its pick of top-notch faculty; however, it is ultimately your decision to find faculty members with whom you will enjoy working.

David H. Nguyen, Education Consultant, College Lecturer, PhD

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Is UPenn's international relations program good? UPenn is a top ten university in the USA, as ranked by US News and World Report. If you have the credentials to get into UPenn, then you won’t go wrong by studying international relations there. The secret is to strive to be a student who excels no matter where she goes. This means not just getting good grades, but doing research internships and gaining leadership experience.

Who are the best faculty members to study with? The answer is the one that has time to mentor you and who is supportive of your future success. World renowned researchers are often very busy with research, teaching, and mentoring graduate students. Your future success will require a letter of recommendation and/or phone calls from this person. Sometimes, the best mentors to do research with are ones who are not as well-known as others, since they have the time to mentor you. The way to find out which professors are the best research mentors is to look at track records. Great mentors will pump out many great mentees over time. Talk to older students in the department and the department counselors. Look at bulletin boards outside the department offices. Which professors are pictured with undergraduates at conferences, seminars, and poster presentations? Those are the ones who are likely used to mentoring undergraduates.

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