Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About museum_geek

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Sociocultural Anthropology

Recent Profile Visitors

2,790 profile views
  1. That's great! Focus on this - everything is else is just noise. Use all the resources at your disposal during your time at MAPSS and I'm sure you'll get some great PhD offers next cycle. Also, for what it's worth, there's definitely some positive posts about MAPSS floating around the anthro forum that you might want to check out.
  2. @Comparativist makes a great point re: finding programs. I'm finishing up my MA at a no-name, interdisciplinary program at a big state school and I managed to get several funded PhD offers. When you're applying with an MA I think the quality of your work (mostly the thesis/writing sample/SoP) outweighs the name on the diploma.
  3. I'll be graduating from my MA institution in a couple weeks and starting my PhD in the Fall, and I agree about how stressful and demoralizing the PhD application process can be. At several points throughout the process I found myself wondering if I was making the right choice, but in a way I think that's natural - I'd be more worried about someone who had zero doubts about pursuing a PhD. Regarding the collective enmity for MAPSS: I think they get more heat for a couple reasons. First, because both MAPSS and MAPH are funneling applicants from multiple departments into the same program, it becomes an easily identifiable target that is universally recognized as a cash cow across disciplines. Deserved or not, it's kind of become the go-to example of a "cash cow" MA because it applies to folks from anthropology, economics, poli-sci, psych, sociology, etc. I think another reason that it really gets demonized is the name of the program - MA in Program in the Social Sciences is so broad and ill-defined that at first glance the degree's applicability only appears to be training for getting into a PhD program. While Columbia and NYU certainly have terminal MA degrees which operate similarly to MAPSS, calling the degree an MA in Anthropology serves to legitimize the program. It sucks, but them's the breaks. As for paying for a MA, that's really going to depend on your personal circumstances. When I applied to MA programs two years ago I was willing to go into a little bit of debt, as I had finished my BA with zero student loans and had some money saved from working a full time job for two years after graduating. I ended up getting a fully funded spot in an interdisciplinary MA, which was fortunate, but my other offers were similar to yours: half tuition without a stipend. Even if you don't get offered funding right out of the gate, it doesn't preclude you from finding some down the line. I know people in my program who weren't initially offered funding, but were able to find some through the Graduate Life Center or one of our area studies programs, and others who ended up getting funded for the second year as TA spots opened up. What it boils down to is this: ignore the noise, and do what's best for you. If you can realistically take on some loan debt to gamble on yourself, then go for it, but keep digging around for funding opportunities everywhere you can.
  4. I got in to UVA! Looks like I'm bound for Charlottesville!
  5. That's awesome, UF has a really great program! I didn't end up applying there but as a Brazilianist in training I'm a big fan of Mike Heckenberger's work. Best of luck!
  6. Congrats on accepting an offer, exciting stuff! If you don't mind me asking, where will you be headed in the fall? As for which classes to take, I think your advisor will be super helpful. It also depends on your prior training and what your project will look like. For instance, my project and proposed field site is in an area where I'm not super familiar with the language, so my first semester I'll probably take a more introductory language course. On the other hand, I'm taking an Ethnographic Field Methods course right now as I finish up my Master's, so I'll probably take something more topically focused instead of just "Foundations of Anthropological Theory" or something along those lines. But yeah, in general I think your advisor will be able to help your sort this out.
  7. I'm going to echo RepatMan and say that you can get pretty much any type of museum job with an MA, and you only need a PhD if you're looking for a curatorial or admin role at an elite institution like the Field Museum, the Hearst Museum, Peabody, etc. If you're interested in collections management, though, you can get a job at one of these elite institutions with just an MA. I interned at a high level anthro museum last summer and while all of the curators held PhDs (and some had joint appointments as faculty in the anthro dept), most of the keepers of collections, conservators, exhibit designers, etc had BAs or MAs. So yeah, it really depends on what aspect of museum work you're interested in and what your career goals are. Have you volunteered or interned at an anthropology museum? Getting some hands on experience might help to determine what type of degree you're going to aim for.
  8. @hantoo That makes sense. I accepted an offer from my current MA school without visiting beforehand and it turned out well, but two years isn't quite the same level of commitment as 5-7 years!
  9. Does anyone have any thoughts on accepting a PhD offer without visiting campus? I'm seriously considering accepting my offer from UW Madison and I feel comfortable with my POIs there, but I won't be able to do a visit before April 15.
  10. I think you're on the right track with regard to asking about funding, TAships, conference funding, etc. You might also ask about summer funding, and what kinds of resources/workshops the department has to help students prepare to apply for research grants and other outside funding sources. In terms of logistical stuff like where to look for apartments, you might ask your POI to put you in touch with a current grad student who can answer those questions. Something along the lines of, "I'm still keeping all my options open, but your school/program/department is near the top of my list and I'm excited about the possibility of attending in the Fall." Faculty members know the drill - they've heard different iterations of this phrase for years now, so I doubt your POI will take offense. Best of luck!
  11. I heard back from Wisconsin today, fully funded for four years, with two of those coming from a University Fellowship! Ahhhhhh I'm freaking out!!!!!!!!!
  12. What you're referring to is known as "yield protection," and though it definitely happens, I think it's something that's far more common in MD and JD admissions than in social science and humanities PhD admissions.
  13. @troikaparallel Congrats on the results! A waitlist at Columbia is impressive and of course the funded PhD offer is great. I don't know much about the UIC faculty, but I know the program has a deal with the Field Museum which allows PhD students to use their labs/archives/facilities and work with museum staff as committee members, which is a great resource. As far as funding goes, try to find out if what they've offered you is renewable, and if so for how long. I would also try to find out how the department helps out its students in regards to external funding. One of the schools I visited recently told me that they have workshops and lots of individual guidance for people applying to NSF, Wenner-Gren, Fulbrights, etc. @Konstantine Congrats on the acceptance! I'm not super familiar with the New School, but if I were you I would avoid going into debt for a Master's degree, especially if you're using it as a stepping stone to the PhD. You also have take location into account - NSSR is in Manhattan, which means your cost of living (even if you end up living in NJ or one of the outer boroughs) is going to be high. That's in addition to taking out loans for tuition. It might be a good idea to try and negotiate for some funding - it's possible that they might offer some $$$ if other people turn down funded offers closer to April 15.
  14. @ironshieldmaiden Based on everything I've read - which includes someone active on this thread who has an acceptance in hand - Rice has already done their visiting weekend and sent out acceptances and waitlists. If you haven't heard from them at this point then it's almost certainly a rejection
  15. Your stats are good and I'm sure doing a Master's will only help strengthen your profile. I wouldn't worry too much about pubs or teaching experience - having these on your CV isn't necessarily a prereq for doing a PhD, though you should look into presenting your work at some conferences between now and application season. Bringing your GRE scores up couldn't hurt, but as they currently stand they won't kill your chances. You should really focus on your fit both with faculty members and departments as a whole. You want to make sure that you're in the same theoretical ballpark as a potential advisor - for example, if you're a structural functionalist you probably aren't going to be a great fit working with a post-structuralist. Read articles by potential advisors, contact them to see if they're taking students, and try to find programs with at least two people you can see yourself working with. When you have a good handle on this, start working on your personal statement - you'll want to tailor it to each program you're applying to, and make sure that you have some faculty members at your current program read it over and give some feedback. You should also polish your writing sample, which will probably be one of your undergrad theses, and have your advisor(s) look it over. Fit is super important in anthropology PhD admissions, and your writing sample and personal statement are probably the two most important documents in your application packet as a result. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the admissions process is a roll of the dice. Sociocultural is especially competitive, so keep your head up and remember that a rejection is not a reflection of your value as a scholar or, more importantly, as a human being. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions as you move forward in the process - I'm finishing up this cycle and starting a PhD program in the Fall so I know how tough it can be. Best of luck!