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TMP last won the day on July 20 2016

TMP had the most liked content!

About TMP

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    Cup o' Joe

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    Transnational History

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  1. @angesradieux Your hesitation is absolutely normal! Once you submit your decisiosn to the program, try not to look back and keep looking forward. The feeling of "what ifs" will never, ever go away.
  2. Continue taking language classes; you never know. You can make connections between China and Latin America. Keep track of topics/themes/periods you're been interested in and a pattern will emerge. It took me a long time to realize that it did not matter which geographical field I wanted to study but rather it was these particular themes of belonging and migration that interested me. I was literally jumping from one country to another! Argentina one day, Germany, another, etc. Keep fostering relationships with your professors. They know the profession the best and offer you mentoring as you go about finding your interests. Listen to their advice first and foremost! If they see that you listen and follow through, they'll be excited to recommend you to their colleagues. Graduate advisers do want students who can listen, respect, and engage. Don't worry about publishing-- not even worth it on the long, long run. Focus on getting yourselves to the archives for your undergraduate research, which means finding financial support at your university (summer research programs may be helpful here). Doing archival research is the best preparation for the PhD-- you will spend anywhere from 12-24 months in the archives for your dissertation and you need to learn how to work efficiently and effectively. Learning how to write letters for funding for your research paper(s) will definitely help you develop important skills because you will be endlessly applying for funds to support your dissertation research. Best of luck!
  3. OP- I would step back and ask yourself, why a history PhD? Why NYC specifically? Why those schools in particular and why not CUNY (which is respectable) or Princeton? Also consider the fact that graduate stipends at those places aren't high enough to afford you to live in Manhattan unless you're willing to room with 2-3 other people in an apartment. You need to think of yourself as a historian and with whom you would like to learn from. Indeed, where you get your MA won't matter as much as making sure you that you graduate from a program as close to debt-free as possible. While it is a good goal to have those schools in mind, be mindful that if you are serious about the PhD, you will apply to 5-8 PhD programs including NYU and Columbia. Don't put all of your eggs in one nest (NYC). Get a solid MA degree and GPA and see where life takes you.
  4. I did. It helped to talk to my advisor and she listened to the way I talked about each program/visit and pointed out that I sounded more excited about working with this POI despite some reservations and that was it. If you think you'll do well in both programs all things equal, choose the one you're more excited about being part of... the people, the resources, the location. Remember, you're "married" to your adviser for 6-8 years.
  5. Grad school is what you make of it. Graduate students are your peers, first and foremost. You do have the option of joining the grad culture within your department and/or the university. If your family is more important, then that's okay. You will see your grad peers around the department and an occasional organized meet-up at a bar. You choose how personal you want to get with them. If anyone gives you a hard time about wanting to be your wife, ignore them. Seriously. You'll be taking grad school seriously as it is.
  6. Again, back to my earlier post about jobs. "Most" is incorrect. "Some" is a better word choice. Same goes with "little debt." That's relative as @Sigaba pointed out. Some of us are horrified by the thought of having more debt that we can handle while doing PhD. Some of us say "meh, it's $3K." Others say, "I just need $30K to complete my research abroad and then I'll come back to teach to make ends meet while writing." I'm in the first category. You might be in the second or third. But your life, your choice. Just make sure your 50 year old self won't regret this when you realize then what you would have done with $50K that you spent to pay off your loans when you could have used that towards something you'd like to do then. Like... retirement savings.
  7. @Reaglejuice89 I'd like to suggest something. You had applied to Duke. While I don't know if you've been offered decision or not... Nonetheless, Duke offers the best financial package anywhere in this country for History, next to Michigan. 5 years of solid stipend, tuition remission, access to pool of money for summer funding. Many, many programs do not have such a package. Would you take up this opportunity over another program that only offers livable stipend and tuition remission for 5 years but summer funding is offered on a competitive basis (not guaranteed). That's all other things being equal and you can be happy at both places. Which would you choose? Another thing to really think about but you can choose to learn this the hard way when you are in the PhD program in the fall. Do not one-up another graduate student, especially if you don't know the particular details of his/her budget. Ever. You can make assumptions but keep them to yourself. If you think your peer is doing "just fine," and you want to go out for a fancy birthday dinner, don't assume that you peer can afford it. Your peer may actually be paying off loans or has a different financial goal (i.e. going on a nice spring break trip). Each person-- grad student or not-- has financial goals and we must respect one another's choices whether getting a Starbucks latte daily or paying auto insurance just to have a car. Yet there are definitely certain limitations when it comes to making decisions about which funding package to get when all things are equal, which @telkanuru is trying to get at. What I mentioned above are day-to-day items but @telkanuru is focused on enormous financial commitment that affects your future standing with the financial industry. Banks, private lenders, and credit card companies generally want to lend money but leave to you to deal with how you're going to repay. They can place high interest rate to get you to repay quickly (or, if you can't, they profit) or knock down your credit score (which is important for getting big-ticket items like a house or immediate approval for rent). People who are aware of these repercussions may choose a path that may make them miserable because they just don't want to take the risk. If you want to be willing to deal with these costly repercussions in order to be happy, be my guest. FWIW.
  8. @betwixt&between Go ahead and ask how the procedure works. Keep your communication simple-- they know you're interested already. Ask if there's a clear set ranked waitlist and if so, whre you stand on it.
  9. Fairly. This is especially common at public institutions. Check out the Funding Spreadsheet thread to see variations in funding offers..
  10. Also consider how long you wish to stay in graduate school for.... remember, the MA (usually 2 years) is followed by the PhD (5-8 years, depending), for a total of 7-10 years. I took the MA route because I needed more language training and course prep in my chosen field that my undergrad didn't offer much of. It was the best decision at the end (although I did have some regrets when I was paying off loans).
  11. at MA Level, money. Do you really want to take out student debt? You don't really want to be paying off loans or accruing interest while in a PhD program. You'll get the fit at the PhD level where you need a really good group of scholars in your subfrield to guide your dissertation research.
  12. @DoraWinifred Go to the campuses, get a feel and come back to this. Campus visits usually make/break decisions. Is there any visit Option C? Have you been in touch with professors and grad students there? Remember, COL is the key, not the amount of the stipend. Which stipend will actually provide a decent quality of life in a given area? $20K in Palo Alto is pretty different from $20K in Durham.
  13. @Globex Grad students will be happy to have you in the program but their job is to give you a honest assessment of the program. The faculty members are doing the sales-pitch. Most grad students will be brutally honest. The DGS will put you in touch with people who are excited about the program or in your field who are open and responsive (and patient with questions!). It is actually best this way because these grad students are generally happy but they have-- like anyone else-- encountered bumps on the road. Wouldn't you want to be in touch with someone with a positive attitude rather than a cranky student? I have been in touch with both sides of the fence and it can be worrisome when you meet an unhappy grad student as a prospective. But you have to realize that their unhappiness is often their own making. Don't worry too much about grad students-- you're looking for overall consensus. So e-mail several, not just one or two. You can also ask your POI for all of their students' names, not just one.
  14. Some H-Net listservs have a monthly round up of new books (H-German does this). You can also subscribe to the e-mail lists of major university presses favored in your field. Honestly, book reviews are the best. There's no way you can read everything out there and book reviews fast-track you. Also, Go to conferences/read conference programs to get the most up-to-date on current trends in scholarship.
  15. @anxietygirl Also, consider the "crowdness" of US history. How large is the American history field in your department? The professors *may* also be thinking about the very difficult job market for US historians. I agree with @Sigaba and @Deadwing on "first impressions." I have done the same ("I've been interested in X") but have to follow up with a specific intellectual question. For example, I TA-ed for a Russian historian last semester and Russian history is my pet interest. At the beginning, I said, "If I had stuck with my Russian language training, I would be a Russian historian." That only made him nod and smile. The next time I brought up the topic, I said, "If I'm not doing my field right now, I would be doing Russian women's history. I wrote a paper on [a feminist] in undergrad and loved reading about her." He said, "Oh?" [invitation to say more] and then I explained the big topic I'd really like to investigate. Then we started talking and he said, if you had needed gender history books for Russian history, you should have come to me!" Now we can talk about all things Russia. Also, since you are a first year, please do talk to your older graduate colleagues. They have a much clearer idea of the faculty politics than you do. They have departmental collective memory of various committees and who played well with who and who would fight with who. See if you can find out if your adviser has sat on dissertation/exam committees with any of the Americanists and how that went. I would also hope that none of the Americanists you seek for an adviser is an assistant professor. If someone is, you'd need to find a tenured faculty to be your co-adviser.