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About museum_geek

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    PhD Sociocultural Anthropology

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  1. I think sending out an introductory email with some basic information about yourself is a good start. Briefly explain your project and your interest in the site, and let them know who the other committee members are. If they're interested they will probably want you to send along a CV and a copy of your proposal, but I wouldn't include those in your first email. It might also be worth asking your committee members and/or anyone else in your department if they know this archaeologist - they might be able to introduce you via email which would be better than contacting them out of the blue. Best of luck!
  2. If you're applying with a BA you don't need to have written a thesis to apply. Just make sure you have a solid piece of writing from one of your anthro courses in the 10-20 page range to use as a writing sample. When I applied this past fall my thesis was still in its infancy so I used a conference paper as a writing sample instead and still got several funded PhD offers, so I wouldn't sweat it too much.
  3. Yeah, I waited until after Labor Day to send out my first emails. Also, don't get discouraged if you don't hear back from people at first. Out of the ~25 professors I emailed, only about 1/3 ever got back to me. And while I had some meaningful and insightful correspondence with those who wrote back, emailing POIs is not a make or break aspect of the application. In fact, at the PhD program I ended up committing to, I didn't have any contact with any of the professors I mentioned in my application until I was invited to campus for an interview.
  4. One thing to note: regardless of whether or not a department is four field or focuses solely on sociocultural, it's likely that you will be required to do 2-3 years of coursework. Even if you enter with a Master's, departments want to train students in their particular methodological and theoretical grounding. What I'm saying is, if you're looking at sociocultural focused departments in order to cut down on time to degree, you might be out of luck. All the aforementioned programs are certainly strong and worth an application, but I don't know if I would recommend limiting yourself so early in the application process.
  5. Princeton is known for being a sociocultural department. I believe Duke and UC Davis (S-Wing) also have standalone sociocultural PhD programs.
  6. I would wait a little bit - it's the end of the semester right now and most grad students (myself included) are absolutely swamped.
  7. @Mugi Mila Congrats! I'm so happy everything worked out for you!
  8. 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.
  9. @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.
  10. 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.
  11. I got in to UVA! Looks like I'm bound for Charlottesville!
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. @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!