2015 School of Social Sciences graduate Josh Thorp begins his PhD at the University of Michigan from September

9 Jun 2017

This September I’ll be heading to the United States to begin my PhD in political science at the University of Michigan. This is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started.

I graduated from UNSW in 2015 after finishing my honours year in the School of Social Sciences, where I completed a Bachelor of International Studies. During my undergraduate degree, I spent a year studying at Cornell University in the US in 2013-14, which solidified my interest in American politics, which I pursued in my honours year. My honours thesis focused on the role of racial ideology in the institutional development of capital punishment in the United States, from the era of Reconstruction to the present day.

My honours year was a great opportunity to consolidate everything I’d learned studying at home and abroad, and to begin to learn the methodological techniques involved in producing great social science research. It was the most challenging and rewarding year of my university career, and I thoroughly recommend it to any student looking to pursue higher-level research after they graduate.

I’m incredibly thankful for the training I received at UNSW. I learned to think critically and to construct a good argument (at least some of the time). Most importantly however, I learned to love the study of politics. Political science is a discipline that engages fundamentally with the struggle for human dignity and a just society, and I look forward to the opportunity to make my own contribution to this struggle.

If any students are interested in political science or pursuing an honours year in social sciences, feel free to email me  - I’d love to chat.

Josh Thorp