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Bschaefer

Fall 2017 Applicants

792 posts in this topic

Hey All! 

Since the fall semester for some of us is going to be starting up soon and I thought we could start this forum for the next round of applicants looking for help, advice, exchange ideas, and so forth. 

For my interests, primarily I study Andean Bioarchaeology and complement it with Forensic Anthropology - and will be applying to Vanderbilt, Brown, Harvard so far. I'm sure I will add more schools as the semester goes. 

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I am also here, in social anthropology, and occasionally like to procrastinate by reading statements of purpose.

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I was here for the Fall 2015 round when I applied to MA programs, but this will be my first time applying to PhD programs, and the creation of this thread really makes this application season feel real!  I have a fairly solid list of schools worked up which hopefully won't need too many more tweaks before deadlines start looming - UT Austin, Notre Dame, UNC, WUSTL, and CUNY are the front runners at the moment.  I'm a socicultural applicant for the most part but my project will probably cross the boundaries of s/c and arch to a certain extent.  Looking forward to sharing this application season with you all!

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@museum_geek I felt the same way. I would be checking every day for the past week or so and finally just decided to begin it! 

 

*also this is open to those that are applying for Spring admission to programs too!*

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On 8/16/2016 at 6:18 PM, Bschaefer said:

Hey All! 

Since the fall semester for some of us is going to be starting up soon and I thought we could start this forum for the next round of applicants looking for help, advice, exchange ideas, and so forth. 

For my interests, primarily I study Andean Bioarchaeology and complement it with Forensic Anthropology - and will be applying to Vanderbilt, Brown, Harvard so far. I'm sure I will add more schools as the semester goes. 

One question...why Harvard? Do they have a bioarchaeologist on staff finally??? I know Cornell just hired one to start this year but I don't know who that person is yet. Waiting for them to announce it on their website. Lol.

Thankfully I have 2 years until I have to worry about applying for a PhD school now. Though I was told by my advisor this past week that we're going to meet this coming week to talk about thesis topics and I'm going to start my proposal right after that so I can do this in two years instead of the normal 3 for my program. Lol. Gonna be a rough semester with beginning my graduate career (more coursework at least), preparing for my thesis, AND working on a project to present something at the Paleopathology/Phys Anth meetings in April. Lol

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1 hour ago, bioarch_fan said:

One question...why Harvard? Do they have a bioarchaeologist on staff finally??? I know Cornell just hired one to start this year but I don't know who that person is yet. Waiting for them to announce it on their website. Lol.

 

Right now they have Bioanths rather than bioarchs but I was looking more at the MD/PhD. For Cornell, they hired and Andean Bioarch but he's listed under post-docs this year until next so his clock doesn't begin for review/tenure and that sort of thing.

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18 hours ago, Bschaefer said:

Right now they have Bioanths rather than bioarchs but I was looking more at the MD/PhD. For Cornell, they hired and Andean Bioarch but he's listed under post-docs this year until next so his clock doesn't begin for review/tenure and that sort of thing.

Oh ok...that's cool then. I looked at doing a MD/PhD but decided against it. And I still haven't found the Andean bioarch guy there. I was going to look more into Cornell when it was ready for my next application season. But I have time to figure that all out for now.

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3 hours ago, bioarch_fan said:

Oh ok...that's cool then. I looked at doing a MD/PhD but decided against it. And I still haven't found the Andean bioarch guy there. I was going to look more into Cornell when it was ready for my next application season. But I have time to figure that all out for now.

The guy at Cornell is a great guy ☺

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19 hours ago, Bschaefer said:

@bioarch_fan you're more into Roman Bioarch though, no? 

I am but I've been told by numerous professors to not dwell on regional similarities and to actually focus more on methodologies and research similarities because usually regions can adapt with methodologies. Plus there are very few Roman bioarchaeologists in the world. So I have to look at others too.

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I am applying this fall too, my main interest is human-animal relation studies with a specialization in horses. I did my BA and Research Master here in the Netherlands and I always knew I wanted to go for a PhD, but I was unsure about the topic. My university has almost zero opportunities for PhD's and after doing some online research (and another bad breakup that pushed me over the edge) I decided to go all or nothing and try my luck in the States!

My BA is in archaeology and my RMA in archaeology and anthropology of Mesoamerica and although I still think the topic is very interesting I just don't see a post-PhD future for me in this area of study. I came across human-animal studies here on this forum and I quickly realised this would be a great path to combine my interest in anthropology, animals, different cultures, the academic world, and hopefully a better future!

After about a month of research back in April/May I narrowed my search down to 4 universities: UCSB, MSU, University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Toronto in Canada. All unies have pro's and cons, for example UCSB has a professor that does extreamly similar research to mine, but I'm not sure if they can waive the 15.000 dollar fee international students have to pay. MSU has a great specialization in animal studies, but I might have to switch to sociology because there are few to none anthro profs working in animal studies. U of C has a sociology professor that I am interested in because she has done many studies involving horses, and Toronto has various animal study profs and a PhD there takes the shortest amount of time (I already spend 3 years doing a research master). 

I've had contact with professors and students from all four unies, and in the upcoming weeks I intent to learn as much about the application processes and funding possibilities as I can (I'm not from the States and I have some difficulties understanding how different schools arrange their funding). I also want to find one or two other schools to increase my chances of getting in, I don't think four is enough. These will probably be schools that have no profs working in animal studies, but with anthro programs with a focus on Latin America. 

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What are everyone's thoughts on an internship supervisor writing a LoR?  This person was my supervisor at an ivy league anthropology museum this past summer and I undertook a research project with their supervision.  They have a Master's degree but don't have a PhD and don't teach any classes at the university.  However, this person has worked at the museum for over 20 years and is a member of my MA thesis committee.  

In this case I think my supervisor is well qualified to speak to my potential as a scholar and academic, but I see that a lot of programs seem to specifically ask for professors to write letters and this person is not a professor and hasn't supervised me in a traditional classroom setting.  Is it worth asking this person to write me a recommendation?

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I think so! This person knows about how you work and think and what you have to offer, and if he/she works in a museum like that, he/she must have an academic background! I think it might even be 'better' than the usual 2-3 professors, since this person has different insights to offer! 

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Oh, I think I was unclear! I got lost between the two cycles mentioned in the original post, which was my bad entirely. I'm not an applicant this time—I got in last year to a social anthropology PhD. Currently, I've moved into my apartment, none of my cohort is here just yet, and I do not want to finish unpacking! But to feel better about my laziness, I'd like to feel productive. As a writing tutor type, therefore, I'd enjoy reading any outlines or statements of purpose that you guys might like another set of eyes on. (I'll note that I didn't start writing until about two months before my first deadline, so I hope I don't make anybody feel weird or panicky if they haven't started. I hadn't either at the equivalent time!) My background is not in anthropology, so I do have some limits with my ability to advise on theory, but last year I got into my first-choice PhD program and have edited a lot.

So, if any of you want me to send me anything by the middle of this week, I'll send back some notes. Want to help me avoid unpacking these boxes?

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3 hours ago, museum_geek said:

What are everyone's thoughts on an internship supervisor writing a LoR?  This person was my supervisor at an ivy league anthropology museum this past summer and I undertook a research project with their supervision.  They have a Master's degree but don't have a PhD and don't teach any classes at the university.  However, this person has worked at the museum for over 20 years and is a member of my MA thesis committee.  

In this case I think my supervisor is well qualified to speak to my potential as a scholar and academic, but I see that a lot of programs seem to specifically ask for professors to write letters and this person is not a professor and hasn't supervised me in a traditional classroom setting.  Is it worth asking this person to write me a recommendation?

 

I think that would be fine. If you have worked closely, built a relationship, and they know your interests and such - it's not a bad idea at all in my opinion! 

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On 8/22/2016 at 5:19 PM, knp said:

Oh, I think I was unclear! I got lost between the two cycles mentioned in the original post, which was my bad entirely. I'm not an applicant this time—I got in last year to a social anthropology PhD. Currently, I've moved into my apartment, none of my cohort is here just yet, and I do not want to finish unpacking! But to feel better about my laziness, I'd like to feel productive. As a writing tutor type, therefore, I'd enjoy reading any outlines or statements of purpose that you guys might like another set of eyes on. (I'll note that I didn't start writing until about two months before my first deadline, so I hope I don't make anybody feel weird or panicky if they haven't started. I hadn't either at the equivalent time!) My background is not in anthropology, so I do have some limits with my ability to advise on theory, but last year I got into my first-choice PhD program and have edited a lot.

So, if any of you want me to send me anything by the middle of this week, I'll send back some notes. Want to help me avoid unpacking these boxes?

One of my letter writers was my supervisor at my job. He had an M.A. but had been working in the field for 25 years or so. It want an issue at all.

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Appreciate the advice everyone - I will definitely ask my internship supervisor for a letter!

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How are you guys doing? I am prepping for the GRE, looking for two additional universities, and contacting secretaries to ask additional information (such as how long a programm ususally takes and if there are ectra fees for international students). 

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I have my list finalized, I'm done with the GREs, and I have all my letter writers squared away.  Now I need to figure out which paper to use for a writing sample, start writing my personal statement, and contact POIs.  Progress!

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I'm still finalizing my list but so far what I have right now is pretty solid. I took the GRE 2 years ago but I think I'm going to take it again once I get paid in early October or so, my deadlines are early 2017. Otherwise everything else is on its way. I'm also preparing for my Comps this semester so I'm trying to be as proactive as possible haha

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Good for you for being so advanced in the process, Museum_geek! I am going to take my first GRE around the 20th of September and I'm at my old uni now, gathering up the courage to ask two professors if they will write me a latter. I haven't figured out who I'm going to ask for my 3rd LOR since I don't have a lot of options (its either going to be a professor I worked with during my semester abroad, of the prof who was my second reader for my RMa thesis). 

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It's not a bad idea to ask both of those professors for a letter.  I think it's good to have more than three letter writers if possible in case one of them has issues getting letters submitted for whatever reason - I have four letter writers for exactly that reason.  I'm also applying to about a dozen schools though so I also wanted a fourth letter writer just to make things more convenient for everyone involved.

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Then maybe I will, thanks for the advice! today I was able to locate another professor who works with animals which brings my total to 5, and I think I'm also going to apply at Davis (Native American Studies), a uni with a strong environmental studies program, and perhaps a smaller university or a uni where there is a strong focus on Mexico, brining my total up to 7-8. If I can afford that.

Why did you decide to apply to so many schools? To spread your chances? 

Oh, my dissapointment of the day happened when I found out that I cannot apply for a Fulbright, because starting this year they won't fund the first year of your PhD anymore (in The Netherlands). Talking about just my luck :P 

Edited by EvelynD

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On 8/31/2016 at 11:26 AM, EvelynD said:

Why did you decide to apply to so many schools? To spread your chances? 

That's a small part of it but mostly I've just found a bunch of people I want to work with and have found it difficult to cut schools from my list.  I'm going to start contacting POIs this week so hopefully that will help me to cross a couple more programs off the list.

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I had my list at around 12, cut it back to 5-7 and it has since crept up a wee bit--looks like I will be sending out 10. I read something here that made a lot of sense to me, applying to more programs doesn't increase your chances but it does decrease variance which made a lot of sense to me.

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