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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/19/2017 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    Another data point, if you want it: If you are looking at the MA mainly as a credential--a degree that will qualify you for a teaching job in TX, for example--then the online MA program at Liberty may be fine. Before you invest the effort and money, it's worth doing a bit of research in the particular districts you're interested in to see if they make any distinctions between MA degrees depending on accreditation, online v. in-person, and so forth. Most public systems I'm familiar with do not make these distinctions, but it doesn't hurt to double-check before you enroll. If your ultimate goal is to apply to a PhD program, an online degree from Liberty is likely to be useless, or worse than useless. I'm on the admissions committee at a slightly-better than average R1, and over the years I've learned to be very, very skeptical of online graduate programs. So much of the intellectual growth in an MA program comes as a result of face-to-face seminar discussion, and that can only be approximated in an online program. I've seen very smart applicants with online degrees (due to life circumstances, deployment, and so forth), and there is something absent from their work that I've concluded is the result of missing out on the give-and-take of discussions with the faculty and on the academic debate that unfolds in seminar settings. I've also begun to suspect that many online graduate degrees are not always using their best faculty members to lead the online classes, and based on my admittedly small sample of graduates, I have some questions about the overall rigor of the online programs I've seen. In the case of Liberty, those concerns are doubled. I don't hold the politics or worldview against the applicant (some faculty members might, I suppose, though I think only to a small degree.) A greater concern is the quality of the faculty, very few of whom appear to have published significantly and some of whom don't hold the PhD. A recommendation letter from a tenure-line faculty member who doesn't have a doctorate means nothing to me: How can someone accurately gauge an applicant's readiness for doctoral work when they haven't done it themselves? At best, we're likely to take an applicant with an online degree from Liberty and invite them to join our MA program and to reapply to the PhD program in two years' time. Most of them take this invitation (to put it nicely) very, very badly. At worst, listing an online Liberty MA on your PhD application is like waving a large flag to the admissions committee that reads I do not understand this process very well.
  2. 9 points
    I don't think anyone here is worried about YOUR beliefs and whether they'll hold firm throughout a PhD program. We're more reacting to your suitability for graduate work in history. If you dismiss scholars in the same way you've dismissed them here--because an author has an Arabic name--then doing critical historical research might not be a good fit for you. And though you might want to avoid the debate over Liberty's politics right now in this forum, you won't be able to escape the question when you apply for a PhD program. I can guarantee you that, as others have pointed out here, many of the professors on an application committee *will* care where you went to school and may indeed be turned off by a degree from a university such as Liberty. Especially if it produces scholars who dismiss wholesale the authors of historical research solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender ... or "whatever."
  3. 9 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    ALCON-- September has been turbulent and is racing to a close. October will have surprises of its own. Do what you can to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Keep working to finalize your list of schools. At least institution on your list should be a dream school. Focus on areas of overlapping interest among faculty members. Focus less on POIs--professors move on, retire, decide not to take additional students, end up being disinterested in graduate students, or just end up not liking you. Trust but verify information that you receive from the schools to which you're applying. Keep developing relationships with confirmed and potential LoR writers. Go to office hours if possible. Have intelligent, informed conversations about the craft, your interests, and your goals Make sure the conversation demonstrates that you're genuinely interested in the person to whom you're talking. If you're not, she will absolutely know. Keep your letter writers informed of your deadlines WITHOUT being a nag. Some (many) professors will wait until the last minute to submit your letter. Figure out a way to touch base without being a nuisance. Keep banging away at your SOP. Fine tune versions for specific programs. Edit for clarity and concision. Stay within proscribed page/word limits. Demonstrate that you'd be a good fit in the program. (If you focus too much on how the program fits your needs...yikes.) Express an appropriate level of interest in potential research projects. If you're an undergraduate and you indicate that you know exactly what you want to do a a professor, you're putting the horse in front of the cart. If you're currently a graduate student, you should have a clear idea of your fields, preferred methods, and (somewhat) likely area of focus for a dissertation. Unless you're an Americanist, you should be working on your language skills. Keep working on your writing sample. Stay within the page limits. Make sure that it demonstrates your ability to connect your research interest(s) with the existing historiography. Stay focused on your current classes. If you're currently in a graduate program and working as a TA, remember that undergraduates are counting on you to do a good job. If you're working in the private sector and haven't told your bosses that you're applying to graduate school, start developing your exit plan now. There are many threads on this BB in which different perspectives and tactics are discussed that may be helpful. To the extent possible, put aside the concerns of the external world. Yes, things are going badly in the world, but when has it ever been otherwise? Keep in mind that you're competing against applicants who are so focused on their goals that they have zero idea what's happening outside their fields of vision. have never heard of this BB because they can go to a professor or a graduate student and ask questions directly, and will get into their top choices. It's your mission to kick ass and take names this application season and then in the following years (in a professional not bitter in the least kind of way, of course).
  4. 8 points
    As somebody from a family of Arab Christians, who have been Christian since the days of the Byzantine empire, I'd like to object to the conflation of "Arab" and "Muslim" that "go figure" implies. Are all people with Arabic names biased in favor of Islam? Surely not. I don't want to take away from the more important point here, which is: don't dismiss authors because of their religion! At the same time, I wanted to note that my heritage exists.
  5. 6 points

    Liberty University Masters in History

    Unfortunately, aspiring graduate students in history do not get to determine what is and isn't off limits when talking about the craft of history, where it is learned, or how it is taught. It is equally unfortunate that over the past sixty years or so, it's become the received wisdom of the profession that contemporaneous ideological and political views are intertwined with, if not inseparable from, the way institutions and individuals practice the craft. So, to answer your question, you might benefit from a masters program that challenges your views. When it's time to apply to a doctoral program, you're going to be competing against applicants who have the demonstrated ability to step outside their comfort zones, don't ask questions so they'll only get answers they want to hear, and have the situational awareness not to take a dismissive tone when addressing emotionally charged issues of the time.
  6. 6 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    Hi, @VAZ De-emphasizing one's interest in a particular POI in your SOP does not rule out building a relationship with said SOP. Keep in mind always that a department is a black box to outsiders. You may like Professor Xavier. He may think you're the next Jean Grey and want you to be admitted. But Professors Eisenhardt and Richards may have other ideas They may hold a bit of a grudge over something, and have more pull. "We have plenty of X types already, let's be fair and balance things out a bit. Starting now," they say as putting your application in the stack of "no." Your guy may not be up to the trask. He may not be interested in standing sentinel over your application. He might think his colleagues too green with envy as he considers a standing invitation of an endowed chair at the Imperium University. And it is exceedingly unlikely that he'd have told you. It's not like he can read your mind and know how trustworthy you are. In these kinds of scenarios, if your SOP is mostly about working with Xavier, you're exposing yourself to avoidable political risk. If you phrase your SOP in a way that simultaneously highlights what Xavier, Eisenhardt, and Richards have in common, then you're talking more about the craft and about fit than about departmental politics and personality clashes. (Did I stretch things too far in the examples above? Would I have been better served just mentioning the fallout between Genovese and Gutman?) Here's the part you and others may not like. A growing dynamic in the House of Klio is that more and more established professionals don't like teaching. Anyone. Should this dynamic alone deter anyone from applying to a program? Glah. I don't know. Most of what you're going to learn you're going to teach yourself anyways. You're not really going to get a sense of a professor's view of teaching and mentoring until you're actually in a program. And X factors like life changes and interpersonal chemistry can tip the balance one way or another. If you pick your programs carefully, present yourself as a great fit, and acquit yourself well enough when you get there, there will be other professors who will want to work with you. IRT the liking/not liking a professor and vice versa. I'm a big believer in chemistry. Yet which would you rather have--an advisor who snarls "That's Professor Logan to you, bub," doesn't like your jokes but finds ways to help you maximize your potential or a professor who says "Hey, call me Wade. Let's go to dinner," and let's you do what ever you want and doesn't motivate you to expend maximum effort? (That's the last one. For this post anyways.) (You're right, it's not either/or, but the two spectra overlap best for an individual is hard to know until one gets there. And eventually, you're going to want someone in your corner who is going to tell you to STFU from time to time and save you from yourself.)
  7. 5 points
    Someone is messing with your head, and if he's a permanent fixture in your life, you need to find a way to remove him. Not only was it an unhelpful and mean thing to say, it also doesn't sound like it's rooted in any fact. You have a good GPA and some prior research experience. You have two projects that two separate professors consider publishable and will presumably praise in their LORs. That should allow you to write a strong and targeted SOP. You should have a strong writing sample based on one of these papers. You should have strong LORs, from all I gather. If you write a focused SOP and choose your schools wisely based on fit (+ get a decent GRE score), I don't see any reason why you shouldn't aim high and be successful. Cut the hurtful person out of your life and look forward with confidence. No guarantees or promises, but no reason to be overly negative, either.
  8. 5 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    You might want to educate yourself about respecting women, yes. Why is it surprising that women want to be treated as human beings that have value beyond their reproductive organs?
  9. 5 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

  10. 4 points
    I wanted to thank you for this thread as it is always useful to hear a negative perspective to contrast your own desires (bath yourself with a bucket of reality), as well as hearing the excellents counter-points provided above. What I take from this discussion is that you cannot get an MPP and expect to get rich (even if Ivy League, etc.), so be very careful when taking on debt. Also, that there are opportunities but one should be very clear in the kind of jobs/direction you want to go (the more specific the better), and if not, you should take career counseling opportunities very seriously. Cheers,
  11. 4 points
    A few things: 1. If you're at the beginning of your third year, it's definitely not too late to buckle down and find a focus. If you want to do this, then seek out rigorous classes with good professors for your next semester's worth of classes. Think about doing a senior thesis or an independent study, if you're so inclined. 2. I don't know where you're getting the idea that funded terminal MA programs are rare. There are still plenty out there (though they are indeed growing rarer as funding structures keep changing). No, you won't find them at the top schools in the country. But you will find them at large state universities throughout the Midwest and South. I would recommend that you start looking at large flagships or other big universities in those areas. These English departments typically have large and well-developed rhet/comp programs, so they offer funding in exchange for teaching. They're in the not-so-glamorous places of Lafayette, Indiana, or Athens, Ohio, or Oxford, Mississippi, which is probably why people don't talk about them very much. But please don't think that your only options are to either pay for an MA or get into a funded PhD program. 3. In terms of the application materials--writing sample and SOP are most important. But this doesn't make GRE scores or grades UNimportant. The entire application has to be strong.
  12. 4 points

    What could I do with my program?

    If you choose to reapply, I would definitely think strategically and tread carefully. It will likely be difficult for you to gain admission to "a better program" without a letter of recommendation from your current school attesting that you are not leaving due to your inability to flourish in doctoral-level work. Staying in your current program may become more difficult -- as you very well might strain relationships -- if they hear that you are trying to leave. I wouldn't take the decision to reapply so lightly.
  13. 4 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    There's also the possibility that some people are less responsive in general, or else that it's an implied disinterest in working with you. I never got a response from a place that I thought would be one of my top choices. Because of that I decided to save my money and not apply at all. I recently had a chance to meet him. He was less than kind and I was happy to realize I'd dodged a bullet by not forcing the issue when I was applying. (He didn't remember me or my email, and I didn't remind him). Of course I'm not saying that this is always the case, it's true sometimes you just catch someone at a busy time and they accidentally overlook your email. Just something to keep in mind. Someone's responsiveness to an interested applicant's email might give a tiny bit of insight into their responsiveness as an advisor.
  14. 4 points

    What could I do with my program?

    Although you're disappointed with the response you received, in the long run you may be better off where you are without the credit transfer. Based upon my own experience--I "transferred" from one program to another--it's my guess that your department at A wants to make sure that you're taught to their standards rather than the school where you earned your MA. I recommend that you stay where you are and use the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and to avoid "double dipping" on the work you did at your previous school. Insofar as communicating your sense of disappointment with the timeliness of the decision, I recommend that you think carefully before saying anything. In a perfect world, you should have gotten the information sooner. In the Ivory Tower, your discontent could get you read as someone looking to game the rules.
  15. 4 points

    Schools and Controversies

    Don't do that. If you've taken the time to look up the grievances against Manning, then you've seen that she uses feminine pronouns. But, I understand your point and I tend to think in the same way. It makes a difference if it's an institutional issue or if it's a smaller division of the university.
  16. 3 points

    advisor problems :(

    Frankly it just sounds like he's busy and under a lot of pressure, and isn't handling it terribly well. It's probably got nothing to do with you. I understand that you don't like his tone when he's in this mood, and I can imagine that I would be the same. So that much I think is justified. That said, people aren't always good at taking criticism in real time, and especially when they're under pressure. Sounds like your conversation just pushed his buttons at a time when he wasn't ready to listen. Just like in other types of relationships, there are people who want to work things out immediately as they happen, and there are people who need to calm down and think things over before they have a conversation about what happened. If he's the latter type of person, you insisting to hash things out when he is telling you to let them go might cause this kind of blowback. I don't know you or him, but I think that it'd probably be best if you ease off and try to have this conversation again at a later time, hopefully when whatever is on his mind is over. Meh, I don't know what led up to this and what he meant exactly, but again, things that are said in the heat of the moment might be things we later regrets. You might also not be in the mood to interpret him generously, given your interaction. In any event, the fact that he would be okay with you working with someone else does *not* mean he doesn't respect you. I think that good professors should always be happy to have their students meet with other profs, and if a student ends up choosing to make someone else their primary advisor, a good professor can understand and accept that and not be offended. Unless he told you he is no longer interested in working with you, I'd avoid over-interpreting anything. Wait, there's a long time between qualifying exams and graduating. And usually an even longer time between graduating and no longer being dependent on one's advisor (as in, unless you get a job immediately out of grad school, you'll need LORs from him for a while longer). I don't think suffering from a non-functional relationship over years is advisable. For quals, I think you don't want to touch anything at this point. I guess there are practical questions about the track record of this person and the department, but unless you have some specific concerns, I'd just leave it and concentrate on prepping for the exam. After that, when it's time to concentrate on your dissertation, there are ways of gently rotating people off the committee or replacing the chair. But I think this may be entirely premature. This sounds like out of character behavior, so why don't you give your advisor the benefit of the doubt and trust that there may be outside Life factors (or Work factors) affecting him that have nothing to do with you. It's a shame that he's not better at handling it, but this can happen to anyone, and maybe at this point you should just wait a bit to see what happens.
  17. 3 points

    Alliant university?

    Alliant is not reputable. Do not waste an application there and do NOT waste your money going there. In fact, it's advisable to avoid professional schools altogether. You do not need to attend a program that focuses entirely on LGBTQ mental health to study/practice in that area. Look for universities with a faculty member who does research in that area, and apply to those faculty members' labs. There are TONS of programs with faculty that specialize in LGBTQ mental health.
  18. 3 points

    selecting the right supervisor

    In terms of research misconduct (e.g. fake results, etc.) then I would say that the number of "good professors" far outweigh the number of "bad professors". I don't think any special actions is necessary to determine who are the "bad professors". Typically, when you are deciding on an advisor, you will talk to a lot of people about it. You might talk to profs/mentors at your undergrad school, your fellow grad students in your program, etc. Usually people do this to find out who is a good "fit" for them, such as whether the prof micromanages or not, work expectations etc. However, sometimes, if you are talking to the right people, you'll find out other "red flags" about the prof as well. Unfortunately, this "whisper network" method isn't great and plenty of cases of harassment by faculty members that have come to light in the past few years show that many people, especially those most vulnerable, aren't "in the know" about these bad actors. I would agree with @_kita that public forums aren't a good way to "name" these bad actors. Our grad student organization used to run a "rate my advisor" type service where graduated students can leave feedback on their advisors. However, even this doesn't work well because 1) anyone can say anything, and 2) even if we withheld reviews for 5-10 years and then released them, advisors who find these reviews can probably figure out who wrote them. I am not sure what the best action would be. I am in favour of formal investigation by an appropriate body (for the appropriate offense) and public announcements of persons found guilty of inappropriate action. For sexual harassment/misconduct, the school's Title IX office should be the appropriate body, however, some schools have Title IX offices that mostly exist to cover up and protect the University. In addition, these results are always confidential and if the offender moves to a different school, no record is transferred. I would like to see expansion of Title IX policy to include a publicly accessible database of investigations that lead to disciplinary actions. However, the current US Government is leaning towards reducing the scope of Title IX. Another possibility is through the national societies for our discipline. Other professionals, such as doctors, have national regulatory bodies that report on professionals who have violated policy. At this stage, most academic national societies can't really function as regulatory bodies because academics are not regulated and they are not compelled to be a member of their national society. But, I think we can change that. In one of my fields, the American Astronomical Society is the main national society for Astronomy. Almost every faculty member is a member and you need to be a member to vote in their elections and give input which are used to drive national level policies that affect our research. So, it would be pretty strange for a faculty member at a research-oriented school to not be a member. If these societies have the resources to conduct investigations and maintain a database of offenses, that would help keep everyone in check. However, these societies are often reluctant to do such things because they don't have the staff, resources and they are concerned about liability (i.e. they need legal protection in case the offender decides to sue, and in the case where they come to the wrong conclusion about one of their members). Although I am not sure how to provide these resources to the national societies, I think this is a possible solution. One society (the American Geophysical Union) took the step of including sexual harassment as a form of scientific misconduct (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/scientific-society-defines-sexual-harassment-scientific-misconduct). I think this is a step in the right direction and I hope the other societies I interact with do the same. Another way might be for funding agencies to develop their own code of conduct enforcement/investigation team. There could be one single body to regulate all federal public funds for all the public agencies. Private funders would have to set up their own system or perhaps they could contract the federal team to do the work. This would require some significant investment from the national government though.
  19. 3 points
    I suggest looking into writing skills-based resumes or functional resumes. That's the best way to make a career direction change. Consider key skills needed in the professional job, and write down how your skills align for the position. For example, I have a resume for teaching skills, one for policy evaluation skills, and one for counseling. All of the same jobs are listed, but my description is tailored to the professional experiences I want the interviewer to see. For the same job (Behavioral Health Clinician) the resumes might look something like this: Evaluation: Evaluated and developed recovery treatment plans Evaluated treatment efficacy through analyzing group data Counseling: Facilitated individual and group psychotherapy sessions Therapeutic techniques included cognitive restructuring, motivational interviewing [...] Teaching: Conducted recovery staff training sessions to increase treatment efficacy Interviewed and trained new hires You really need to figure out what skills you want to highlight and tailor your CV/resume to those skills.
  20. 3 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    Without knowing more about your writing sample, the following guidance is spit balling. Shift the focus of the paper so that it centers around the contemporaneous debate(s)/initial historiography in English. Beginning Event A happened in 18xx in Egypt. Summary of historiography. Pivot to earliest discussion of Event A in English and how that discussion shaped subsequent views. Summarize why understanding earliest discussion is important. Middle Primary source-based discussion of Event A (it sounds like you have this already.) Primary source-based discussion of initial interpreters of Event A (letters and papers of English-language interpreters) In depth discussion of influence of initial interpretation over time. Some secondary works are now primary sources End Tie in your piece with broader conversations of the lasting influence of initial interpretations upon historiography and history. Historiography as knowledge, knowledge as power. You can go big here. 30K, 60K 100K views. Avoid jargon. Avoid getting too wrapped up in various theories unless you really know the theories and you believe in those theories enough to not get an offer. A disinterested Joe Friday "just the facts" approach will do. If possible, make an elegant pivot to your current research interests. A cluster of well phrased questions. Speculation on how you would use your new interests to address the broadest of the questions. The linkage between this revised piece and your SOP should be clear to anyone who reads both. #HTH.
  21. 3 points
    If you email within the same thread: Dear Professor X, I'm writing to follow up on our email exchange a few weeks ago. I know it's a busy time of year, and I'm just making sure my email wasn't lost in the onslaught. I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Y
  22. 3 points

    2018 Applicants

    How is everyone doing? Today is a Korean holiday kind of like Korean thanksgiving so happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I got some great news today - I've been recommended to the graduate school for acceptance to BGSU! They are my number one choice. Once I receive the actual acceptance email, I will be accepting! I'm ecstatic!!
  23. 3 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    LOL I've been putting far too much time into thinking about this, but I think I figured out why I feel like the term "female" (as a noun) is subtly demeaning: because so much of the world is constantly trying to either infantilize or objectify women. Women have so many fewer fair representations in the media; women have difficulties finding equality and respect in many, many relationships throughout our lives; our experiences in scholarship are "feminist scholarship" whereas men's perspectives are "scholarship;" etc etc. I mean, I get that to most of the world, my main characteristic is "female," but I also know that I am not just my plumbing and someone to sell cosmetics to, and I'd really like everyone else to catch on. Maybe other women here have similar or different opinions.
  24. 3 points

    Liberty University Masters in History

    Good luck surviving in a PhD program with an attitude like this.
  25. 3 points
    I've written and published fairly extensively in a wide variety of avenues-- from white papers for policy organizations, to articles in prestigious magazines, to blog posts/web articles for different outlets, in addition to a peer-reviewed journal article I coauthored. All of these publications are useful signals for adcoms and potential employers, but they signal different things. In academia, the most important type of publication is peer-reviewed journal publication, but the other things make a difference too. I worked for a year for a well-known magazine with similar standards for publication as the New Yorker or The Atlantic. Most of the articles published therein were by academics (including very well known academics). That is a valuable signal. I separated these things into separate sections on my C.V. So, Peer Reviewed Publications: blank blank blank journal of blank. Other Publications: I listed here a couple of selected articles, plus "other articles appearing in blank, blank, and blank."
  26. 3 points
    So you can ask, but be aware that no one here will be able to tell you exactly what adcoms are looking for/your exact chances of getting into a program. In addition, there aren't really safety schools at this point in your academic career. People all over this forum have been accepted to Ivy league and rejected from lesser-known programs. Instead of trying for easy to get in programs, make sure that each program you apply to is a great fit for your research interests/theoretical framework/methodology. The best chance you have for getting in a program is by being a strong candidate who they feel will fit in perfectly. That being said, there are never any guarantees.
  27. 3 points

    When you've got no psych background...

    @KevinG I wanted to touch base with you on the clinical psychology piece and licensure because you mentioned acquiring a counseling license as an end goal. You really need to check out the requirements for the state you'll want to practice in. This is a useful guide: http://www.counselor-license.com/ I'm letting you know this because depending on your state, a clinical psychology masters is useless. There are 2 main accrediting bodies CACREP (more about CACREP) and MPCAC (more about MPCAC). CACREP is currently winning the battle because it holds higher standards overall. They require 60 credit hour master programs and believe that psychology and counseling are two different fields with different specialties. Therefore, they are not accrediting clinical psychology programs any more - only counseling based ones. For more on that here: http://www.cacrep.org/for-students/student-faqs-2/ Several states require CACREP accredited programs over MPCAC ones. Additionally, a lot of other states require a 60 credits. So they mean a CACREP program even though it's not expressly identified. I know a lot of students who graduated a MPCAC program only to find out they had to pay for the additional 12 credits after graduate to get licensed! If you look at this and thing "oh good, my state is safe" I say go for it, but be warned that the ACA is really trying to push for concrete CACREP across the board. You also run the risk of more problems than it's worth if you move into a state with CACREP requirements (or decide to start telecounseling in other states). The CACREP programs line up for a PhD Counseling or PsyD Counseling.
  28. 3 points
    I'm not sure why a lack of knowledge of critical theory is preventing you from forming a research focus. A research focus in literature, at least when it comes to graduate admissions, is usually a literary period, movement (by which I mean, like, the Beat poets rather than the Vienna circle), or author. It's fine if you also have a favorite critical lens, but it's not required. If you don't have any exposure to critical theory, it is strongly recommended that you take a class rather than try it on your own: critical theory is written in a difficult style, especially the earlier stuff, and if you're not experienced in philosophy, can be difficult to (mis)understand, so it's better if a professor is there to guide you the first time. That, or have fun reading the Norton anthology. Humanities master's really aren't very competitive. Funding is, however. If you're looking for funding, the simple answer is to apply to programs that give a lot of it to many people. People get funded at Chicago MAPH too, but like 1-2 in the entire cohort, and nobody can tell you ex-ante where you'll get funding and why. Most important criteria are writing sample, SOP, and letters. Fit is important in PhD admissions, but in master's, while it should be very important to you, it's not going to be a huge deal to the admissions committee. These programs aren't competitive enough for that. You don't need research experience. Extracurriculars don't matter.
  29. 3 points
    Some points in no particular order: Although I hold my AB from Harvard Extension, I wouldn't recommend it for a AM if your goal is a humanities PhD for a variety of reasons. Yes, an online MA will be looked down on. But more importantly, the reasons why you would need an MA in the humanities go well beyond the simple credential. Consider not only what admissions committees will think of that online MA, but also if it will actually help you acquire the skills you need to be competitive in a PhD program. You don't need a PhD to teach high school. In fact, a PhD is entirely useless if you want to teach high school. If your interest wanes over the next five years, that's not a bad thing. As you get older, you change. That's a fact, not a failure or a missed opportunity. One of my friends started his PhD in Byzantine history at Harvard while in his mid-30s. I wouldn't worry about your age.
  30. 3 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    I haven't had the time to support everyone on here as much as I would have liked (this will likely be the worst semester of my academic career). I wanted to wish everyone the best of luck and not to stress the details too much. You can only prep your application so much, and it is likely that events and considerations outside of your potential will largely play into your acceptances or denials. Try to roll with the punches.
  31. 3 points

    Grad Admissions Help

    You'd probably be better off doing your own research by looking at stats on ASHA's website edfind. You can look at each school's past accepted students. Asking on here will not give you a full list of schools that might accept you. So many people tend to just google for a quick answer, and that doesn't really help you get in anywhere. Good luck!
  32. 3 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    It's sad funny just how many of these your post hits.
  33. 3 points

    HGSE 2018

    Hello, everyone! I am a devout gradcafe lurker, who has finally decided to apply to HGSE! I have attended two HGSE Diversity Recruitment evengs, and have talked to dozens of HGSE alumni, and I would like to share with you some of the info that I have collected over the years: - H is not "a perfect place but it is a special place" - Mohan Boodram, Assoc.Dean of Enrollment & Student Services - "H doesn't have outliners here. H has a home for everyone" - M. Boodram - Goal of HGSE Admissions office: fit is paramount. We want to make sure that you are at the right place - "Warmth of the community and authenticity of the people" -- Julia Deland -"Power of peer learning experience" -- Julia Deland - HGSE professors are easily accessible to students even before you enroll into their class. They want to make sure that their classes fit your interests -You can cross register at MIT & Tufts - Statement of purpose is VERY different from personal essay. Statement of Purpose is about your professional achievements & what you have done with your life & why you want to go to HGSE, and NOT about intimate/personal story - Go through 460 pages of HGSE course offerings to decide on which to take. It will blow your mind. - Your A.W. score is very important as most of the HGSE courses are writing intensive. - Get in touch with a student ambassador from your program. They give info on things that can't be found anywhere online. - Explore what you can do during J-Term (if you are planning on taking it). - Explore things that are unique to HGSE (J term, class with Sesame Street producers, class with Project Zero creators, for example). - Start your essay ASAP because most of the programs require lengthy, detailed answers. Essay for PSP, for example, is up to 1500 words. - Attend webinars. You get answers to questions you haven't even thought about it. - Sign up for HGSE Twitter and Facebook accounts to be updated on what the school is doing. - Message the alumni of the program you are applying to. They are super helpful. - There is actually no cut off GRE score or GPA.
  34. 3 points

    Some Advice on Writing an SOP

    First, my credentials. Well. I can spell my own name, though I don't usually know exactly how old I am. I'm within a year or two, but I'm usually wrong until I've done some subtraction. I teach composition and like to write calculus equations on the board when I take classes in poetry writing. But, here's my real credentials: consider what is written herein in conjunction with what the various instructions on SOPs that you've read have said, with the requirements the program you are applying to has put forth, and with your own experience as a writer. Do you think I know what I'm talking about? Should you pay any attention to it? Is any of it useful? Second, I'm not going to give you a formula for what the standard SOP is like, or a list of things the various thousands of admissions committees will be looking for. There are plenty of prescriptions on the internet, many of them written by professors who have presumably gotten sick of badly written SOPs. Third, I'm not promising that SOP writing be easier after this. It'll be harder, actually. I'm not promising that you'll get in to any place you desire, or that there is any one best thing to put in the SOP to get noticed. That would be totally impossible. Each discipline has its own needs and values, as does each university, each department, and each faculty member on the admissions committee (adcomm). There is no one size and it doesn't fit most, let alone all. There are conventions (use Standard English, for one), but other than include your research interests, I won't advocate that any one thing is strictly necessary. I leave that up to the more knowledgeable. The advice: First thing is to deeply understand that you should write an SOP for each program. Most people take this to mean write one master SOP and then tweak as necessary to make the one SOP applicable to each university (U of A becomes U of B, Professor X becomes Professor Y). You can do that. You can be very successful doing that. You most likely, really shouldn't do it. The next thing to understand is the SOP's purpose. Why do the adcomms want to see SOPs? Shouldn't transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a writing sample do it? After all, transcripts and samples show the actual scholarship and the letters verify it. The SOP isn't for showing scholarship off, or to act like a resume, or anything. So why do the adcomms want an SOP? Why are the SOPs one of those make-it-or-fail things? What is the SOP's purpose? In job hunting terms, the SOP is like a cover letter. The cover letter is to make clear connections between the resume and the job ad. For you, its primary purpose is to make the adcomm offer you admission with full funding. For the adcomm, its primary purpose is to help them see how you would fit into their program (make connections between their program and you). By fit, I mean do they have faculty (or enough faculty) in your area of research interest that can advise, mentor, supervise, and/or committee you through the program to get your degree? Do you have the kind of understanding of the discipline, your research interests, and their program that would make you successful? Do they have something to teach you? Offer you? What can you offer them? They want to brag on you as much as you want to brag about them. If they offer you admission, will you be a good scholar? A good student? Here is the most basic question the SOP should answer: What is it about you that makes you a better prospect than everyone else who's applying? Understanding the SOP's purpose, in practical terms, means that you will know what to put into it and what to leave out of it. And how to phrase it. So, with the purpose in mind, there comes the question: what should you put into it and leave out of it? What format should you use? (MLA? APA? Is footnoting okay?! What about citation?!) Should I stick in a personal story that everyone seems to recommend, except for the half that don't? My research interests? The story about why I got on F in that one, very important class? I'm not going to answer those questions because I can't. Every discipline and department is different. I will give you an answer you won't like: research. Find out the requirements each program you're interested in has for the SOP, think of the SOP's purpose: and now research. Research is one of the basic keys to writing an SOP. It's no different than the writing sample you'll be including in your application packet. For each program you apply to, do some research. How much research you need to do depends on a lot of things, the least of which is your personality. More research does not automatically mean a better SOP. Less research doesn't automatically mean a better one, either. What makes the right amount of research? The ability to craft an SOP that is specific for the program that you're getting into. Here's some ideas (not an exhaustive, inclusive list of what to do) on what to research: The program itself. Look at the recent graduates and, if possible, read their theses and/or dissertations, at least in part. The acknowledgements can give you an idea about the program's culture. The introduction can give you an idea about what kind of scholarship the program produces and expects. It will also, and this is very important, give you an idea as to how the program uses language. If you speak to them in their own language, that helps your case. You've likely done this, if not, seriously, you should have done this. Look at the program's website and read it all. What kind of classes are offered for both undergrad and grad. Who are the faculty, the tenured, the assistant, the visiting, the emeritus, and the graduate students. What kind of ties to the community (both academic and their local town) do they like to talk about? Do they talk about how their graduate students are working with community partners? Do they host conferences? What happened at the last one? This gives you a taste of the program's culture. The faculty. All of them that might be on the adcomm and the ones that are relevant or somewhat relevant to your interests. Crack open JSTOR etc. and search for recent faculty publications. If you're basing your interest on a faculty member on the interests they've got listed on the site and a reference to them in an article from a decade ago, or worse, only their reputation, you don't have a strong basis to establish clear reasons why they have anything to offer you. Read their recent publications, see who they name drop in terms of theory, other faculty, and so on. Make a list of what each faculty member can offer you in terms of research, not just the ones that are directly related to it. If you're into studying apples, but Dr. V works with oranges, think about how Dr. V's work might help you out. Take notes when you research. Each program has a bunch of people, and you're likely applying to multiple programs. It's easier to refer to notes than to go back and look it up all over again. What's happening in the field with your current research interests, if necessary. This is so you can situate your research interests in the discipline, and then situation your research interests in the program. You can just tell them what you're research interests are and leave the situating to them, but you can lose that chance to sell yourself as the best amongst the rest. Research you. Yup. You. Scribble out some lists or paragraphs or whatever that inventories you. Who are your influences? Who are the theorists you keep coming back to? Who are the theorists you loathe, mock, and/or ridicule? What are your research interests in general and specifically and anywhere in between? Some SOPs will need to be more general, some will need to be more specific. Length restrictions, what you found out about the program, the faculty, the state of the discipline, and so on, can alter this for you. What kind of scholar are you? Student? What's the difference? How do you manage your time? Stress? Health? Do you expect to bring your dog? Do you have health issues? Do you have any academic things that are a negative? If you do, how negative are they? It's easy to see that as an either it's entirely bad, or it's somewhere in the huge good category, but some things are negatives that need to be addressed for certain programs, while other negatives can be ignored, or you should discuss with the one relevant letter writer so they can address it. While Sam ultimately received a C in the Research Methods course, the grade doesn't reflect the actual scholarship as Sam fell ill during the mid-term and consequently failed it; my course policies do not permit re-taking the test. What are the good things about you? Not just the grades, awards, publications, and presentations, but also the character traits. What are you weaknesses? Don't do the job interview baloney, my greatest weakness is my perfectionism. Of course, the important, probably ought to be on the SOP questions: why grad school? What will you do with the degree you want? Why are into the research you're into? Why that particular school? Why are you worth admission and funding? Research the assistanceships. Some SOPs will want you to write a bit about teaching or research with assistanceships in mind. So, do a bit of research on what these entail in the programs you're looking at. What do they do and how do they get it? Have you done assistanceships in the past? If so, what were they like? Do you have a teaching philosophy? If not, make one. Have you done anything that can be discussed in terms of the assistanceship? I taught kung-fu to white belt children, so I have teaching experience. I was part of the state herpetological society and went out to help them with their field counts twice a year. I learned that licking petrie dishes is always a bad idea, no matter how much they resemble pistachio ice cream. Research SOPs. You're doing that, right? Go on to forums (like this one) and read the SOPs people have posted and then read the responses. Look particularly at SOPs in your discipline or related disciplines. Psychology might look at other social sciences. Physics might tell the joke about the Higgs Boson and Sunday mass. Bear in mind that the people responding to and/or criticizing the posted SOPs are likely not on an adcomm. Some have been or will be, but it's not likely they'll be on the adcomm you're hoping will like you best. However, you can start to get a sense of what SOPs are like. What format is it in? Does yours look like everyone else's? Do you have the exact same opening sentence as half of the people hoping to get into a program in your discipline? I've always wanted to be a librarian since those wonderful, summer days I spent in my (relative of choice)'s home library. So, to take stock. First, understand the purpose. Second, research. A lot. Let the purpose of the SOP guide your research efforts. Next, get the specific requirements for the SOP from each program. Make a list of similarities. If they all ask for a statement of your research interest, score! One sentence fits most! Most of them will be of different lengths and will have different ideas of what specific information they want. Most won't tell you enough, aside from length and one or two "should have" things. They mostly won't tell you if you should use APA or if you should footnote, or how to format it. Single space? Double space? They will tell you whether it should be on paper or what kind of file format to use. I have only one suggestion: consistency. Okay, two suggestions: unless otherwise specified, don't include anything other than the SOP. No bibliography or footnotes. If you quote or paraphrase someone, cite them in the text the way they do it in the average newspaper article. As Scooby says, "Ruh-roh!" Now, start writing. Create something of a master SOP, or a set of master sentences for the SOPs. Some things should be in every one of them, like what your research interests are. Because length requirements are different for each program, you should work out more than one sentence or set of sentences for each thing you plan to put into more than one SOP. Have a more detailed explanation of your research interests and a more concise one. Even though this might be central and, perhaps, most important to the SOP, you don't want most of a short SOP taken up by one thing. Make these sentences do extra duties. If they can explain not only why you're into what you're into, but also why it's significant to the discipline/program, and how the program factors into it, bonus! The more functions one sentence can serve, with clear, readable logic, the more room you have in the length requirements to bring in other things. Think of this master SOP as more of a set of sentences you can hang on the individual SOP's unique structure. A flesh and skeleton metaphor can work here. You can order all SOPs at this point, you'll probably want to put research interests in the middle or toward the end, rather than in the first sentence, but the key here is that the skeleton of the individual SOP and most of its flesh will come from the needs of the program you're writing it for, not from some predetermined formula. No generically applicable, master SOP that has a few tweaks here and there. Here's the thing. The SOP is one of the most important documents you'll write in your life. It's not something that should be done in a few hours, after looking at the program website and spending some time on the net searching for a how-to-write-an-SOP-guide. It takes work backed by research. The readers can tell quite easily how much research you've done on them by the way you structure and write your SOP. They can tell if you're sending out a generic SOP to several programs because it will be too general. You can't change faculty names in and out, along with a detail or two that makes it seem tailored to the program. The individual SOP should be tailored from the beginning. Some sentences won't change much, so you can pre-write them. But how they fit into each SOP, the reasoning you'll use to try to convince the adcomm that you're the best applicant, and the perspective you'll take all the way to the words you use should be done with the program in mind. It shouldn't be generic. Even if it doesn't seem noticeably generic to you, that doesn't mean that the adcomm won't notice it. They read many, many SOPs every year. People who read SOPs develop a sense about the generic, the cut and paste work. How to name drop gracefully, or bring up the theory and histories and whatnot you're working with when there's only a teeny amount of space for everything? That's a bit easier than it might seem. It's not in the explanation; it's in the usage. If you can use the relevant theories and people and methodologies correctly in a sentence, you don't have to show the adcomm that you know how to use them, or how they're related, by explaining it. Trust them to have enough education to make a few connections for themselves when it comes to the discipline. Example: Novels such as Twilight exemplify how Marxist alienation can be applied to childbirth. My research interest lies in the alienation of women from the product of delivery in Modernist American fiction, such as Faulkner's Sound and the Fury. (Huh, I wonder if that would really work?) Two sentences and I've referenced theory, period, history, relevance for today, and some methodology (it's literature, not science). Use it, don't explain it. If possible, have a professor you know read the SOP to your preferred school and give you some advice. They know more than most other groups of people. If not possible, your current university's writing center can help, or other people who are familiar with the field, or with writing. Your high school English teacher or your English major buddy can probably say something about your grammar, but might not be as helpful as expected. Example, in English, the convention is to speak of historical people in present tense. Shakespeare writes, "To be or not to be," because he thinks it is the question. History has kittens. Shakespeare has been dead for centuries, he can't write! Past tense! Shakespeare wrote, "To be or not to be," because thought it was the question. Someone in the field is preferable! Finally, a word about my real credentials. The adcomm is going to do to your application what you've just done with this post. They are going to judge your credentials (your ethos, trustworthiness, veracity, credibility, knowledge, and so on) based on the impressions they get of you from what you've written. So, be knowledgeable about you, your field, and the program, and use that knowledge well.
  35. 2 points

    Career Plan in PS

    I wouldn't waste the word count. If you say you're looking to be a TT professor, you're not saying anything that couldn't have been intuited by the fact of your applying. If you say you're looking for some kind of non/post/alt- academic job, you risk being read as unambitious or less committed. No, that is not necessarily the case. Yes, people are warming up to the idea of careers outside of the academy. But in my experience, the academy is still seen as the normative plan A, and alt-ac is the necessary but unfortunate plan B. So you risk presenting yourself as someone who's willing to "settle" for plan B right out of the gate.
  36. 2 points

    GRE Date

    Update: unofficial score of 168V/149Q. I'm ecstatic!
  37. 2 points
    I graduated a few years ago from one of the top 5 master's programs that gets a lot of attention here at Gradcafe. I had a better than average outcome - I got a job within 2 months of graduation, and have a solid salary (~80k after two raises) with benefits. Still, I would strongly caution anyone considering one of these programs to think long and hard about it, unless you have a trust fund and are 100% certain that you could never want to live anywhere but DC. These IR/MPP programs open a few doors, sure, but they close a lot of them too. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten an MBA or tried to climb my way up without the over-priced master's degree, and a lot of my friends from grad school have expressed similar things in the past few months, now that we're sick of our first job or two out of grad school but feel trapped with constrained career prospects and lots of debt in most cases. Why I regret it: Even after scholarships and some limited help from my parents, I still graduated with about 70k in debt. That's about half of what some of my classmates have, but it still sucks having to make $600+/month payments until I'm in my late 30s. Some of my friends with bigger debt loads are barely covering interest and will be lucky if they've paid down the loans by their 50th bdays. Less than half of people at my prestigious program got any aid whatsoever. Debt is a frequent conversation topic at all social events these days. Most of the highest-paid gigs in IR/policy go to people with MBAs or JDs. If you manage to, say, scam your way into federal consulting at Deloitte you'll be getting paid 30-50% less than your similarly-credentialed colleagues with MBAs. A lot of the most prestigious-sounding jobs for pure IR/policy people have crappy salaries (most non-profits or working on the Hill) or no benefits (STCs at the World Bank and IMF), and the only ones who can take them are the rich international types and some Americans whose parents subsidize their lifestyles. Most everyone else gets some boring office job that is vaguely policy-related, but no more interesting in practice than working at Dunder Mifflin or wherever the dude from Office Space worked. Your fancy degree does not get you out of cubicle hell. And your dreams of changing the world will be crushed when you realize the reports you're writing on healthcare policy are being sold to private companies and financial investors so that they can make even more money. Though I couldn't have predicted this when I enrolled, federal hiring is an absolute shitshow right now, or at least more so than usual - mass hiring freezes, extreme uncertainty about future staffing levels, long backups with security clearances. That's assuming you want to even work for this administration. Most people I know who are working for the federal government are contractors, which means no loan forgiveness. DC is insanely overpriced, and the culture here is pretty boring, even though people tell me it has massively improved from 10-15 years ago. But if I never see another soulless luxury apartment building with a fancy spin studio and an overpriced trendy but bland restaurant in the ground floor retail space...it will be too soon. When you inevitably decide you want to leave DC, you will find that these degrees do not confer nearly as much prestige as the admissions' offices will have you believe. And before someone accuses me of being bitter....well, I kind of am. And so are most of my friends, even the ones with jobs they could probably brag about if they felt so inclined.
  38. 2 points
    (For the purposes of this discussion, it's worth noting that OP's undergraduate is *also* online, a combination that is sure to throw up even more of @Professor Plum's red flags.)
  39. 2 points

    Questions about PhD requirements.

    Thanks, xypathos, I think you're right. When I was applying 6 years ago, the chair of Syracuse's department did tell me my project was "too theological" in my initial conversations with her (which is funny since Caputo was a member of their department for years and they produced people like Jeff Robbins and Clayton Crockett, but I digress...) So you're right that they are definitely not that interested in projects or prospectives that are seen as too confessional. Busut, I think you'd be fine at a top div school. I would honestly just apply to all the top div schools/seminaries (Chicago, Vandy, Princeton, etc.) if you can afford the app fees. Then you can pick the school that gives you the most money. Some of the schools on your seminary list would be fine for PhD applications, but others not. I wouldn't bother with Talbot for instance or anything in that ballpark. TEDS is probably on the edge of being too conservative to be able to get into any RS PhD programs. I went to Fuller Seminary for an MAT and ended up in a secular department for my PhD, but that degree likely kept me out of other programs I applied to (at least in part.) You would be much better off going to a major div school or Princeton though because 1) You'd simply be more competitive in PhD applications and 2) There's a good chance you would end up paying far less than at an evangelical seminary or maybe even nothing at all.
  40. 2 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    Back when I applied—a season which included a couple history programs—I mentioned about three books in my writing sample. It went something like: My work is inspired by/along the lines of Big Name, sort of like what Emerging Scholar has done, except my own focus would be on this interesting and quite different aspect of the problem. It worked out for me okay. Did you guys really not mention any other scholars' work in your statements of purpose? Based on my experience, I would recommend @Tigla not dwell on the book, but is the standard advice not to mention any books, not even the few that pass the "three most important books for this proposed research" test? That said, historians put a lot more weight on the writing sample than anthropologists, so I'd believe it if you told me history SOPs don't usually have scholars because you rely on your WS to show your chops. (In anthropology, the writing sample is usually optional and I don't think most committee members read much of them, so that would not be as wise a strategy.)
  41. 2 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    I also prefer the term "woman" to "female." I'm a female human being, i.e. a woman. I don't think anyone I've met is purposefully trying to demean me by calling me "a female," but it is strangely, subtly dehumanizing. It doesn't feel right.
  42. 2 points

    How to give notice to boss?

    This response is for you in particular. Accept the promotion. You have earned it. You owe it to yourself to put yourself in the best position to succeed. Do the job to the best of your abilities and in such a manner where you can train your successor and hand off your work when it is time to go to graduate school. In the event you earn admission to a graduate program, then you can start to figure out how to handle your departure knowing that you've already done your level best to put your organization and your team in a position to succeed. Above and beyond all else, do not feel badly about opportunities that you've earned.
  43. 2 points
    Quite possibly, but not always. You are definitely cut from schools with a minimum GRE score. However, other programs are more holistic. I was admitted to a top ranked school with a v (160) but q (140). I illustrated the quantitative skills else where on my application such as tutoring stats and acing other research/quant classes. But that only worked on a masters level. Honestly, I suggest studying and investing time into retaking the GREs. It would cost less money than sending either more applications or a second year!
  44. 2 points
    NYU is supremely difficult to get into so you might as well apply to both programs.
  45. 2 points

    2018 Applicants

    I applied to one MA program last year (mostly due to timing/ location restraints) but am applying to both MA and PhD programs this year since I didn't get funding. I recently retook the GRE and got 161 verbal (158 first time around), and though I'm definitely happy with it I can't help worrying that being below 90th % will keep me out of some programs. 161 would be 88th so I feel a little silly worrying about such a little difference but its such a frustrating part of this process!
  46. 2 points
    I wouldn't mention something from so long ago, especially when you have more recent, relevant coursework that you've done well in.
  47. 2 points
    Similar to others have posted, I got admitted into my first-choice Ph.D Clinical Psychology program that provides full tuition funding and stipends with a 151 Q, 156 V, and 4.5 AW on the GRE, plus similar GPA and research experience as you. I was also invited to an interview at Wayne's State Ph.D Clinical Psychology program with those stats back in 2016 too!
  48. 2 points

    Adviser Retiring

    If it were me, I would go with option (2) in the sense of finishing the MA at the current institution, assuming that your advisor will still support you through it. At that point, I would leave and either get a job, or apply for a PhD at another institution. Doing that should allow you to have a stronger profile applying to a PhD, with the support of your current institution, as opposed to if you dropped out and reapplied this year, though in your case it also shouldn't be terribly hard to explain why you're switching. But I do think this would save you a year that I don't see why you'd want to spend starting over at this point. If you do leave academia, this MA should be good enough, and if you go into another PhD program, you'll be in a strong position to do so, although depending on your field and target programs, you may end up having to repeat some coursework (which I personally don't see as a huge minus, but some people do, so there you have it.) I would also take this as a learning experience and look for a place with *at least* two, preferably three, potential advisors. People retire, move institutions, get sick, etc. more frequently than you might think, and you really don't want your entire future to be in the hands of just one person. Any future program you consider should really have more breadth and more ability to support you. In any event, I don't think that continuing without any support makes sense, so (3) is out; I think (1) wastes a year right now, where as later that time could be put to better use; and (4) is a little premature, since it doesn't sound like you can make that decision now. That leaves (2) as the winner.
  49. 2 points

    Applying to UPenn with an MA

    Not entirely sure but for what its worth, I've seen people say this about Penn State but not about University of Pennsylvania.
  50. 2 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    If you were a colleague, I'd take you out to coffee and have a serious conversation with you about implicit bias and the obstacles I've encountered in my career that you probably don't even see. Since you're not, I'm going to simply hope that someone else will perform that service. Edit: Don't message me about this. I have exactly zero interest in having private conversations with oblivious men. I posted my comments for the silent majority that reads these posts, in the hopes that some of them will actually learn something, and for the women who might not feel empowered enough to interject themselves.