It is that time of year again, when folks get into PhD programs and start to give up five to fifty years of their lives to academia. This is a sharp entry at the Duck from a current grad student. I have little to add since I have to grab a plane, but I have blogged repeatedly here that a PhD in Political Science should only be for those who are passionate and curious and do not care where they end up living. And that they need to be aware that the job market can be pretty challenging and stressful.
Then again, I spent the past week at Universal and Disney and Gatorland, using frequently flyer points and hotel points (most major conferences are at or near a Hilton), so the job can have some perks.
Anyhow, my advice to grad students is to only go to places where all the incoming students are funded for four or five years, where the funding includes most, if not all, tuition covered, and where the program is good, not just a prof you happen to like. Your interests may change and the prof may leave.