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  1. 6 points
    Sigaba

    2020 application thread

    The objective of this thread is to serve as a catch all for aspiring historians seeking graduate degrees. IME/IMO, these annual threads work better when interested parties pose their questions in a single catch all thread rather than starting individual threads across multiple fora for each question, concern, complaint, and gripe. YMMV. For this year's thread, I am going to recommend two changes of pace. First, when you write your introductory post, focus on your areas of interest/fields of study, and language skills rather than your numbers.If you've written a senior thesis and/or honors thesis, share your findings either generally or specifically. Articulate what you want to do as a professional academic historian beyond where you want to work. That is, spend time writing about what kind of historian you want to be. (A way to accomplish this task is to write about the work or historians who have greatly influenced you.) If you've already identified historiographical trajectories you want to alter slightly, redirect, or shatter, let us know. The second recommendation is for those members of the BB who attend top schools and typically lurk throughout the season until after receiving notification of getting into all of one's programs of choice. Please consider the value of sharing the information you're receiving in person during office hours from professors and graduate students at your current institution. Do not violate any confidences. However, if you get a nugget on how to tackle a SOP or writing sample, you can do others a solid by passing that information along. (And you can be highly confident that sharing such tips isn't going to diminish your chances of going seven for seven.)
  2. 5 points
    Maybe this is just at my school, so ignore me if this isn't how your school is set up, but department chairs here don't have time to "mediate" relationships between students and professors unless it's a big deal (e.g. someone in conflict with their dissertation committee chair or retaliation for a sexual harassment complaint or something). I'm not saying I agree with this approach in academia, but it's kind of the way it works, at least at my school. I understand feeling hurt when a professor you cared about didn't respond in a way that was helpful (I've had that happen; it stinks!), but from your description, it doesn't sound to me like she did anything professionally wrong. Professors often don't have time to respond to emails, and she went out of her way to respond and tell you that she couldn't help with a project that wasn't even for a class you were taking with her. Not responding to the follow-up to that (which again had nothing to do with being enrolled in a current class) is hardly a reportable offense. It's also important to recognize the context in which your complaint was made. Women have historically had an immensely difficult time getting tenure in academic institutions that have historically been dominated by men, and are often labeled "moody" or something similar (over-emotional, bossy, etc.). If I were her, I certainly wouldn't appreciate the exchange you described turning into a matter with the dean that could tarnish her record and make future employment challenging. I'm glad you apologized for that, but I just wanted to lay this out so you can better understand why the relationship might have gone downhill. As the poster said above, moving on sounds like a good plan. I would also reconsider your approach if a situation like this happens again. If email isn't working, maybe ask to talk to the professor in person during office hours or even over the phone. Tone is hard to convey in email, if the professor has time to reply at all. Just recently, I found out during office hours that a professor who was ignoring my letter of rec request emails was actually thrilled to write me a letter, but just missed the emails in her inbox. She wasn't trying to be cold; she was just busy. I'm pretty bad with office hours, but I have to admit that face-to-face or verbal contact is super helpful, even if email is more convenient and comfortable. I hope this helps clarify some things for the future. I wish you luck in forging new relationships with other professors. ❤️ P.S. Just to add, as a student who has anxiety and has had the experience of telling professors about my situation and not getting a response, my heart does genuinely go out to you on that front. Even though I maintain my opinions above re: whether what she did was actually something she should get in trouble for, I realize that opening up to someone about personal problems is hard, and not getting a response feels bad after making yourself vulnerable. Not everyone is good at handling anxiety and other mental health stuff. Hopefully you'll find good support people who are able to work with you and respond to your situation. I finally did, but it took a lot of time and disappointment. You'll get there!
  3. 4 points
    AP

    2020 application thread

    Hello new applicants! I used TGC when applying for graduate school back in the day and now I hold a TT position. I'm not serving in committees yet, but I am working "on the other side". I hope you find my insight useful. In addition to the sound advice you've already receive, I'd recommend planning your field with a global perspective. Even if you focus on 19th century US, what would your research bring to the discipline as a whole? You don't need to answer this, but the fact that you are asking these questions might entice the AdComm (conformed not only of US historians) to make you an offer. In addition, more and more US history courses are being taught in relation to global issues. I often sit back and listen to what @telkanuru says in these cases as the semi-official resident medievalist. In addition to the language comment, which is not minor, I'd steer away of lists like this. Admission to history programs goes beyond the numbers you provide, it's about the questions you ask, the insight that you offer, and your potential to develop those questions and those insights professionally.
  4. 4 points
    psstein

    2020 application thread

    I partly agree with you. I think the demise of the SLAC has been greatly exaggerated; the oft-quoted figure of "50% of colleges will close in the next 10 years," based on speaking with SLAC faculty and staff, just doesn't seem true. What will happen, IMO, is that colleges with fewer than 1000 students will encounter significant issues. It's tough enough for those colleges to keep the lights on/pay faculty/pensions/etc. as it currently stands. I don't see SLACs, writ large "ceasing to exist as a concept." As for the meat of your post, yes. One of the major reasons I left Wisconsin was the vanishing job market. I couldn't justify 7+ years for a degree with dubious value outside of academia. (Yes, yes, I know about alt-ac jobs, but I have a very strong, probably idiosyncratic belief about the whole "alt-ac" push). I do agree that the job market is bad, and I'd add that students at 90% of programs have no chance at TT academic jobs. Even in the top 10% of programs, you probably have a 50% chance at best. My solution is simple: 75% of all graduate programs should suspend admissions. The remaining 25% should cut intake in half. There's also a more targeted, less brutal way to do this, but it would require having the AHA serve as an accreditation agency.
  5. 4 points
    telkanuru

    2020 application thread

    I don't think this is unfortunate, I think this is quite wise! I know that, coming straight from undergraduate, there is an sense of immediacy with respect to every part of your life. As someone who started his MA at 27 before continuing to the PhD, please believe me when I say this is not the case with grad school. This is even more true if you look at the current horrible no good very bad state of the academic job market. Something that's not precisely on topic, but which I should state at some point: were I considering doing a PhD now, I would under no circumstances do it, regardless of the quality of the program that accepted me or my enthusiasm and interests. And I am not burned out on graduate school. I love graduate school; it is the best experience of my life. There is just no hope on the job market. It is worse than it was in 2009-2011. In a decade, SLCs, which formed the overwhelming majority of job listings, will almost certainly cease to exist as a concept. R1s will persist, but academia is going to be unrecognizable. That's not a thing to dive into.
  6. 4 points
    psstein

    My interests have multiplied -- help?

    To add onto this, just reading an article or two in any given area may completely destroy whatever interest you have. I ever so briefly had an interest in history of chemistry. Two articles cured me of that interest.
  7. 4 points
    MARTINt

    2020 application thread

    If you're interested in the actual Middle Ages (c. 600-1500) - and not the Middle Ages as in "everything before 1789" - I find it hard to believe that a top program will admit a student without a decent knowledge of Latin. It's basically impossible to start doing research without it. French could maybe get you through the sixteenth. seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, not before that.
  8. 4 points
    OHSP

    Overwhelming Readings in Cousework

    Also I don't really know anyone who didn't find the first semester difficult (for so many reasons). Take the advice above re reading, talk to other people in your program, trust that you'll get the hang of it. I did too much of the reading in my first semester, not realizing that a) skimming is expected and normal and b) pretending you've read the whole book even though you skimmed most of it is also normal.
  9. 4 points
    OHSP

    My interests have multiplied -- help?

    Give it time! It's very natural for interests to expand like this before they narrow. My advice is to be patient with your brain. As you do more research your interests will refine. If you're not applying to PhD programs this round then just try to put them aside for a moment and don't worry too much about closing doors on potential interests etc.
  10. 4 points
    Your SOP should do a few things: 1. Outline your specific research interests 2. Explain what skills you have to make you successful in graduate school 3. What experiences you have that make you a good fit for this program 4. What about this program specifically stands out as being a good fit for your interests. 1 and 2 are pretty standard, 3 requires some tweaking per essay, and 4 should be unique to each essay. You can essentially create an SOP where certain paragraphs are the same and others need some adjustments or need to be swapped out entirely.
  11. 4 points
    Pace yourself, and don't try to read too much at once. Start with 10 pages a day, and work up to twenty. Keep an eye out for the main claim, and make a note of it once you find it (highlight it too!). Highlight the reasons offered in support of the claim, and make a note of those, too. But don't highlight too much! As you're reading, write down the questions that occur to you. Also make a note of any thoughts or observations you have. When you're done, go back over your notes and see how it all fits together. Try to answer your questions. And then, when you're done, write a brief summary of the chapter/article. Explain the main claim and its supporting premises, so that you can just read the quick summary later. For books, reading book reviews can be helpful, since they're usually good at condensing the point and identifying flaws. But I suggest reading those only after you've read it, too, or once you're pretty far along. Best not to colour your views with someone else's!
  12. 4 points
    https://psychology.unl.edu/psichi/Graduate_School_Application_Kisses_of_Death.pdf
  13. 4 points
    This article is yet another disturbing example of blunted and unhelpful reporting in the CHI on the collapse of the profession. Kramnick and Cassuto frequently appear in the pages of the CHI and they both have asinine and clueless perspectives on the state of the profession. Kramnick looks out from the protection of his New Haven Tudor castle to offer commentary on the state of the job market that is about as informative as groundhog day. And Cassuto keeps deluding himself that misinformed ideas about work outside of academia have any currency or relevance to the various industries and institutions that he feels confident to pontificate about. It's all nonsense, and it's all an example of the lazy ease with which privileged academics assuage their guilt and culpability when they watch the young starve. Here's the situation as it currently stands: there are virtually no tenure-track jobs in English that a young scholar can obtain. Even the adjunct positions in literary studies are drying up. You wouldn't know it from the foolish nonsense posted on this web forum by uninformed people who are struggling to gain entry into these deluded places. But it's clear that people who have suffered these realities can admonish prospective students until they're blue in the face, and it will just make them feel that an opportunity--that doesn't exist anymore--is being denied to them. If Columbia was serious about addressing the fact that most of its prized PhDs will no longer find gainful employment in the academy, it would have to dramatically curtail the resources it puts into graduate education. And that's something that will continue to be met with deep resistance by the likes of Kramnick and Cassuto and their colleagues who will do anything to convince themselves that their genius can only be realized (and worshipped) in the graduate seminar full or eager disciples furiously studying for their under(or un)employment.
  14. 4 points
    Just so you know, there are no jobs at all. Nobody wants you: research schools think aesthetics is a joke (they shouldn't), and teaching schools think it's a luxury subfield (they shouldn't). That's changing, but very slowly. That's the bad news. The good news is that the ASA and BSA are great organizations, and very proactive in securing opportunities for their members. Currently, for example, both associations are sponsoring postdoctoral fellowships, as well as graduate studentships. There are so many conferences every year that it's easy to build that part of your CV, and the community is great and very supportive. I doubt you could cultivate such strong research connections so easily in any other subfield. As for where to attend: with a particular focus on film, CUNY is the obvious choice because of Carroll, but you'll want to have a chat or two with students there about the funding situation, supervision, etc. For aesthetics training in particular, I think that CUNY, McGill, UBC, NYU, and Maryland College-Park are the strongest options in North America (though Santa Cruz will be pretty fearsome once their new hires are tenured). For Maryland, you'll want to ask around about Levinson's availability. But of those, I really think CUNY is far and away the best place for film-related stuff. Weirdly, I think that UBC might be my next choice for film-y things, just on the strength of film-y things usually being more about aesthetics proper than ontology or philosophy of art in particular, and their strengths in epistemology, mind, and philosophy of science seem nicely complementary. Aesthetics is thriving in UK departments, but getting hired in the UK is horribly difficult (it's horribly difficult everywhere, but the UK has some additional barriers for non-nationals). From memory (I don't have the time/internet access to check more thoroughly at the moment), Kent would be my obvious choice for film stuff, because Murray Smith is there. As far as aesthetics in the UK goes more generally, however, Manchester, Nottingham, York, Birkbeck, and Durham stand out to me as the strongest programs, depending on your particular interests. My advice to you is that if you go into aesthetics, cultivate a second, highly respectable, high-prestige area of specialization, preferably in a subfield with half-decent job prospects.
  15. 3 points
    Just make a note of the auditing in your letter of interest, and plug Greekinto your CV. That'll count, and should suffice. You could have a reference mention it, too.
  16. 3 points
    Adelaide9216

    Day 1 - Ph.D

    The professor emailed me today to tell me that my last summary was excellent. I did not ask for it. So it's reassuring.
  17. 3 points
    Nicator

    Writing an MA Thesis - Should I?

    I was able to get 2 peer-reviewed publications out of my MPhil thesis, one of which served as my writing sample for my PhD applications. Obviously speak to your advisor to get their opinion, but from personal experience my Master's thesis did a lot for me personally and professionally and I'd heartily recommend it.
  18. 3 points
    TMP

    Writing an MA Thesis - Should I?

    I almost spit out my wine just reading that the thesis is considered "dead" in your program. Do investigate the outcomes of students who did the thesis and those who did not, and whether those who went onto the PhD did do a thesis. Do know that teaching does take up a LOT of time. If you're thinking of teaching instead of the PhD, find out the licensing requirements of your prospective state. Do know that not everyone is passionate about research as you are. Those who take the teaching internship are in the MA just to teach in 6-12, not much interest in the PhD. If the PhD is what you want, then who cares what other students do? Just find a supportive thesis adviser who will help you see this project through. One of the toughest things one has to learn in a PhD program is to move away from the pack of group-thinkers and fly solo.
  19. 3 points
    Maturenotwise

    Canada MSW 2019

    I also got an acceptance letter today via email for Wilfrid Laurier, January 2020 start!! Good luck everyone! It came earlier than I anticipated
  20. 3 points
    FWIW, I produced a master's report that ended up being, I'm told, longer than many thesis. (I've not had coffee this morning, I can't remember why I picked the report option over the thesis option.) The report served as a writing sample that helped me get into another program when I 'transferred' and (to @AfricanusCrowther's point) the job I currently have, which is bean counting and writing reports about beans. If you pick a good topic and frame it well, your thesis can help you get your head around what you want to do for a dissertation. On the other hand, you may end up with an advisor who may want you to pick a different topic for your dissertation for reasons that are vague, if not self serving. (But I'm not bitter.) (I am rambling. Coffee needed.) TLDR. The thesis can help you be a more competitive applicant for doctoral programs, provide invaluable experience performing research and crafting historiographically significant arguments, and help you in the job market if you leave the Ivory Tower. But I recommend that you pick a topic informed by the understanding that you may face obstacles if you want to use the thesis as a basis for a doctoral dissertation.
  21. 3 points
    Mjones

    Canada MSW 2019

    I just recieved an email that I got into sir wilfred laurier advanced msw program. It's a good day today. Good luck to everyone else on here that applied. I hope you get in.
  22. 3 points
    Sigaba

    Overwhelming Readings in Cousework

    Exceptions to this rule of thumb will include books that are described as "works that one ignores at one's peril." Or "essential reading." Or works that generate significant scholarly debate. Sometimes "the standard work on..." Pay attention to how your professors roll through reading lists/bibliographies. Make eye contact. Pay attention to the body language. More often than not, non verbal cues are being given as to the level of effort one should give to reading it. (The most helpful verbal cue is any mention of a book being used as a "reference." That descriptor means that one is only expected to read every word of it if it's directly in one's historiographical wheel house. And even then, lots of skimming will be in order._ Notice how they can summarize 800+ page books in two sentences, if not one. Did they read every word and every footnote? Even if they did or didn't, the challenge you face is learning how to get what you need from a work with the least amount of effort and then move on to the next work. (Four additional tactics. First, find articles by a historian that were published before a major work. Often--but not always--articles serve as blueprints for ongoing projects. Second, read book reviews written by the historian whose work you're reading. This can sometimes help you kill two birds with one stone. Third, start making a habit of reading all relevant short book reviews in the top journals in your field. Fourth, if you come across a book that really moves you, give yourself permission to read it at a more leisurely pace -- even if doing so sets you back a bit with your other reading and/or leads to some longer nights.) A caveat. The tactics presented in this thread (and others in this forum) entail risk. Eventually, you will get something wrong and/or someone will want to pull your card and play stump the band. Under such circumstances, know what to say and how to say it. Phrases like I think I missed that point or I will have to circle back to that argument will work well enough. Under no circumstances should you fib. If you get feed back like "sometimes [insert name] seems under prepared" then it is probably time to switch up your reading tactics and to work much harder.
  23. 3 points
    Honestly, with those numbers your best bet is probably to apply for (funded) MA programs. Because there are so many strong applicants, you will likely have a very hard time getting admitted to a PhD program, even if all of your application materials are stellar. However, admissions committees are more apt to forgive a less than stellar undergraduate records if you have completed an MA with high marks and good letters of recommendation. It won't necessarily reset your numbers, but I do think it would give you a much stronger chance. It's increasingly common to earn an MA at another institution before moving on to the PhD and is a good way to develop the skills necessary for success. You would also probably benefit from a GRE prep course, or at least a study book. To some degree high test scores can mitigate the impact of a low GPA (though not entirely). But if you have both a low GRE and a low GPA, your application is unlikely to get a close look. Finally, it may be important to address your grades in your statement of purpose. If you can provide some explanation for why they are low, that might cause an admissions committee to be more generous in reading your application. You need to be careful here though. Explaining your grades doesn't mean giving excuses. You still need to demonstrate that you take responsibility for them. A "woe is me" narrative is unlikely to be read sympathetically be an admissions committee.
  24. 3 points
    One thing to keep in mind with respect to your undergrad transcript is breadth. It sounds like you've already taken plenty of courses in your primary interest (ethics/moral philosophy) and perhaps fewer in other areas, so it might make sense to keep branching out a bit and take another course in an area that is unfamiliar to you (language or perception). This has the advantage of making you more a more well-rounded applicant, and--who knows--you might discover a new interest. Having more options for letter-writers and writing samples is also always good, and in that respect a seminar on language or perception would probably also be the more useful option.
  25. 3 points
    The advanced logic class probably wouldn't add anything to your app unless you write that you're interested in logics in your statement. And if you don' take the logic class, the adcoms will still see your app and think: "Okay, so this student has taken logic. Twice." Also: take the classes you want to take. Of all the things in an app, the particular spread of classes that you took in college are not going to make or break a decision. People will probably only pay attention to your particular classes once they're already sold that you're a competitive applicant anyway. Even then, this is probably not where the decision will get made. (At that point it will be about fit with faculty, program, and the other students they're considering admitting.) Last thing: don't take too much of what I suggest as the law. Adcoms work in mysterious ways and they are all different.
  26. 3 points
    Read the introduction, conclusion, beginnings and ends of chapters, and, if time permits, one middle chapter in full to get a sense of narrative style. If you’re totally lost, try reading reviews. Graduate seminars exist to discuss ideas and train future historians, so make it’s more important to have an understanding of and opinion on a book’s general significance and usefulness than it is to be able to recite any particular detail. But you occasionally will get a nutcase who will cold call students about trivial details or demand in-depth knowledge of tertiary aspects of books, so ask around before you take any class. My general (though not universal) experience is that professors are so relieved that someone else is willing to state a reasonable opinion about a book that they will forgive you if you missed something, so long as you approach seminar with the spirit of honest inquiry.
  27. 3 points
    TMP

    Overwhelming Readings in Cousework

    This is an EXTREMELY common issue!! Ask your peers who are ahead of you in the program. The most important chapters to read are the introduction and conclusion. Listen to your professors' guiding questions for patterns (i.e. "So, what is X arguing here? What sources is X looking at and how do those sources shape that argument?" etc.). The key is to think very broadly about how the books in your course connect to one another and why they're important enough to be assigned. Also, read at least 2 book reviews to get a sense of what the book's about and what to look out for when "reading" it. Truthfully, to take a graduate seminar, one simply needs to be very well versed in content covered in survey courses. Everything else is just details and historiographical debates. If you've never taken ,say, an undergraduate survey course on China and you're taking a graduate seminar, you'll want to really beef up your knowledge and take the time to learn from others. If you're a an ace in Modern European history (from Enlightenment onward), you should be able to grasp the content and focus on the argument and specific supporting examples. However, say, you're in a seminar focused on a theme/concept such as postwar, know it's just a concept and you do not need to be an "expert" on the aftermath of American Revolution if you're a 20th century US historian. My $.02 on for a Friday night...
  28. 3 points
    dilby

    Varying WS length requirements

    I had the same problem as @Cryss during my app cycle (apologies OP; this will be a little less helpful to you). All of my programs wanted 20-25 except for one (Yale, ironically) which wanted no more than 15. The thesis chapter I wanted to use for the WS came in at 29. I tried various cutting/condensing strategies, but ultimately what worked best was completely rewriting the chapter. I created a new document and just started writing again, occasionally copying and pasting passages but for the most part trying to express every idea with fewer words, fewer sentences, better and more efficient moves. It was hard as shit, but also sort of fun and I ended up getting it down to exactly 20. At this point I did not have the energy to do another rewrite and get it down to 15 for Yale, so I said "Fuck it" and cut it at a section break 14 pages into the paper. I ended up writing a bolded, bracketed summary of what I did with the rest of the chapter. It felt reeeeally slippery at the time and I was positive that I would not get in, but here we are. hopefully this will come as some relief to all who aren't sure what approach to take just yet.
  29. 3 points
    E. Natalie Rothman, Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012). David A. Frick, Kith, Kin, and Neighbors : Communities and Confessions in Seventeenth-Century Wilno (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013). Michael Dietler, Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, 2018. Roni Ellenblum, Crusader Castles and Modern Histories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Gillian Lee Weiss, Captives and Corsairs: France and Slavery in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011). Joyce E. Chaplin, Subject Matter : Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-1676 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001). Martin Gravel, Distances, rencontres, communications: réaliser l’empire sous Charlemagne et Louis le Pieux, 2012. Warren Brown et al., eds., Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). Seems a pretty good list to be getting on with.
  30. 3 points
    @playingstats Thanks for the clarification. As others have mentioned, your biggest hurdle for PhD admissions will be convincing adcoms that you can handle the rigorous mathematical coursework. Apart from possibly some applied regression, categorical analysis, and statistical computing classes, the majority of classes you take in your first two years of a Statistics PhD program will tend to be very mathematical and proof-intensive (particularly classes like advanced statistical inference, measure-theoretic probability theory, theory of linear models, and large sample theory ). Later when you do your dissertation research, you can choose to focus on something more methodological/applied, but to get to that point, you have to pass written qualifying exams on proof-intensive courses. And even if your research is more applied, you still need to have advanced knowledge of the math behind it (and some basic knowledge of theory is also helpful). Just as an example, if your research is on Bayesian nonparametrics (say), you could write applied papers that use a Dirichlet process (DP) prior without any theorems/proofs, but you still need to understand the mechanisms that make the DP prior work. Since you are currently employed by a university, I assume that they give you some sort of benefits to take courses there at a reduced tuition? In order to strengthen PhD applications down the road, you could take a few advanced undergraduate math classes and get A's in them. For example, you could retake Real Analysis and take an Advanced Linear Algebra (with proofs) class. If you can get A's in these courses, that would greatly assuage Statistics adcom's concerns that you cannot handle the math, particularly the mathematical proofs component. Masters degrees at reputable universities are also something to look into, and strong performance there would certainly help your profile a lot. Since you are a veteran, you may be able to get some educational benefits and not go into a ton of debt to obtain a Masters degree. If you are unable to retake Analysis or take advanced LA now, you should definitely retake Real Analysis in a Masters program (it can be real analysis at the undergrad level, it does not have to be the PhD-level measure theory class) and maybe a few other upper division math classes. As the others above me mentioned, you need to get A's in these courses to have a chance at some Statistics PhD program. In your case, a Masters in *Mathematics* may actually boost your profile more than a Masters in Statistics for admissions to Statistics PhD programs, because this would prove that you can get A's in math classes and partly mitigate the B's from your undergrad. And Mathematics MS programs are more likely to be funded than Stat ones, since they often need TA's for large college algebra/trig, pre-calc, and Calculus courses. So this is something to also consider.
  31. 3 points
    I have been told by potential advisors that posters and articles that have been submitted (even if they haven't been accepted or published yet) are still valuable and demonstrate important experience milestones. So I guess it depends on what you mean by "competitive programs". If you're applying to work with professors who are a great fit for the work you're interested in doing and you have the grades, test scores, LOR's, solid research statement, and pubs/posters in the pipeline, I don't see why you wouldn't have a shot. On the other hand if you're just going after 'top' programs, regardless of goodness of fit, then I don't think it's a matter of how many publications you have.
  32. 3 points
    maxhgns

    Ethics?

    This is simply false, and Duns Eith has given you a good resource for starting your search. I think the problem might be that you're looking for the wrong credential. You're looking for a Master's in Ethics, as though that were a special credential. While a few programs may offer such a thing, what you're actually looking for is a Master's degree from a philosophy department. In the course of completing that credential, you can choose to specialize in ethics. So what you need to do is identify philosophy departments which will offer you a funded MA, and which have research strengths in ethics. There are also quite a few bioethics Master's degrees, if that's what you're after. These are usually aimed at people who want to continue into a clinical environment (these people often have or are hoping to get some kind of medical qualification too, although it's not necessary). As a result, it's a degree that usually skews more to the practical than the theoretical. But there are lots of them around, and the job prospects are OK.
  33. 3 points
    Casella and Berger is the core of your first year of courses in a MS/PhD program and will be theory-based. I'd recommend you take that because it will 100% help you in a PhD program. Machine learning is likely to be more of a survey course with some applications and coding. It might help you become familiar with some common methods and get some experience coding, but it's unlikely to provide that base of knowledge that will help you in a PhD program. On the other hand, it is always helpful to know the ML buzzwords if you want an industry data science job. I highly doubt an undergraduate ML course will go into much depth of the theory.
  34. 3 points
    I was one of those people who made what are my chances posts because I wanted other people's opinions. It definitely alleviates some angst that people may have about the application process. It's obvious that the users on gradcafe do not have the final say on your chances, but it is therapeutic to feedback from others especially if you don't have someone at your home institution to help guide you or even if you are a first in your family to make it this far. Everyone does not come from the same background or have access to the same resources. I like receiving feedback from people who have been in my position before and so far I have received great advice that I would not have gotten had I not published my post. Perhaps the moderators could make a section in the Application that is strictly for "Chances" inquiries.
  35. 2 points
    For the last two years I've used the spreadsheet to track acceptances, waitlists, and rejections after folks applied. This year I want it to be useful as folks apply rather than after all the applications are in. Here's the new spreadsheet: Philosophy Admissions 2020 Spreadsheet It has a list of schools (100ish PhDs and 30ish MAs) along with their respective deadlines, application fees (and fee waiver information), transcript type required (official/unofficial), GREs (yes/no/sometimes), and other info. You can also sort it by using a personal filter to look at only the schools you care about. If folks want to share the spreadsheet, feel free to do so using bit.ly/PhilAdm (this is so I can see how many folks access it but I just see a #). -L
  36. 2 points
    psstein

    2020 application thread

    If you're going to apply to St. Andrews, you ought to know that, while getting in will be easier than most top programs, getting a funded position will be damn near impossible as a non-UK/EU citizen, and is about equivalent to an Ivy. I also can't imagine that the outcomes from St. Andrews are all that great. I'd normally recommend you apply to Cambridge instead, but my understanding is that Schaffer is ailing and preparing to retire.
  37. 2 points
    “Old”? Bah, humbug.
  38. 2 points
    Sigaba

    Writing an MA Thesis - Should I?

    I think that in the specific case of the OP, a thesis could send a signal of intentions and capabilities as the other option centers around teaching -- an activity that many (arguably too many) established academics consider inferior to researching and writing.
  39. 2 points
    telkanuru

    Writing an MA Thesis - Should I?

    There's not much purpose to it these days, unless you're trying to figure out what you want to do with history. A vestigial appendage from when you didn't necessarily need the PhD to go into academia.
  40. 2 points
    If you want to continue to the PhD, it is in your best interest to do a MA thesis. The fact that the thesis is "dead" at Villanova is, in my view, very strange.
  41. 2 points
    maxhgns

    Advice needed: not feeling hopeless

    They fare just fine. And, as a Canadian, you took more philosophy courses in undergrad than most of your American colleagues. It's still a bit of a crapshoot, but focus on your writing sample and letter of interest, apply to good-fitting programs, and you'll be fine. Even if you don't get in this time around, there's no harm in trying again once you've got some experience with the process. Send your applications, and then bury yourself in stuff that will make you forget all about them for weeks at a time. It's when people are constantly thinking about them that they become very unhappy and stressed. What you should feel hopeless about are your job prospects at the other end. You can't really afford to hold out any hope about that, because it's crushing when you send out 100+ applications and never hear back from any of them, not even for a first-round interview. The lower your expectations on that score, the better--and hopefully, low expectations will see you cultivating possible exit strategies during the PhD.
  42. 2 points
    TMP

    My interests have multiplied -- help?

    You're only a month in already. It's normal to be so surprised by how many topics can be explored. That's the point of the coursework. But by the end of this semester or the beginning of next, you should identify several potential topics for your thesis. Read relevant literature for each and see what's most feasible for conducting original archival research.
  43. 2 points
    Most likely, you have to learn to process written information faster. Reading for argument is a skill, and no book should really take you more than 2-3 hours.
  44. 2 points
    Sigaba

    TA Problem-- Advice Requested

    You win every day you show up, do your job, and work on your craft. While it may be (probably is) too late for this term, going forward you may benefit from putting together a syllabus that includes rules of conduct that borrow attributed passages from your school's code of student conduct. Ideally, you'd get the professor to sign off on it.
  45. 2 points
    I think your list of schools sounds very reasonable, and I think you should be able to get into some of those Biostat programs, particularly the lower-ranked ones who will highly value your research and the fact that you submitted three methodological papers to reasonably good journals. I think the B+ you received in Linear Models I is partly offset by your A in Linear Models II. It may be worth applying to UW Biostat for good measure.
  46. 2 points
    Realistically, you're not going to be admitted to a top 50 statistics PhD program with a 3.3 GPA from an unknown school. Your coursework at Harvard Extension is unlikely to help. Most students get As in those sort of programs. An admissions committee will be seriously concerned about your ability to do the advanced math required for a stats PhD since you have Bs in linear algebra, real analysis and numerical analysis. I attended the visit day for Ohio State's stats PhD program this year. This seemed to be a typical admitted student: Attended a well known, but not prestigious university. Think something like UConn. Math or stats major with mostly As. Most had math or stats research experience. I assume the admitted students at the other programs you listed would be broadly similar. What is your goal? What are you hoping to gain from getting a PhD in statistics?
  47. 2 points
    I think I got really unlucky, one of the programs I applied to last year actually closed and didn’t take any students. One of my POIs got very ill last year and didn’t take students. One didn’t have funding for international students. It was super disappointing and the faculty from my alma mater was shocked that I didn’t get accepted last cycle. Anyway I recommend applying to several schools.
  48. 2 points
    Given that you are from one of the top 3 schools in South Korea and your overall grades in math/stat classes are pretty good, your list of schools is very reasonable. You do have a few B's, but most of your other grades are excellent. I don't think you need to worry so much about the fact that you switched from business to stats. I know people from South Korea whose undergrad major was business (they only took math courses in their last few years so they could apply to Stats graduate programs in the U.S.) UNC-STOR may be hard to crack, though. This department is tougher to get into than the others you listed, and furthermore, it is also more probability theory-focused than others. I would recommend you apply to NCSU.
  49. 2 points
    Averroes MD

    PhD funding

    You always give great advice and are a valuable presence on the forums. Thanks!
  50. 2 points
    The Hoosier Oxonian

    2020 Applicants

    So glad to have found this thread - thought I'd stop lurking and say hello! A bit about me: I'm heading into the fourth year of my BA (which seems to make me a bit of a minority as a PhD applicant?) I'm a Modernist, sort of, mostly interested in queerness across the first half of the twentieth century (predominantly in Britain and the US) and in the legacy of 20th-century liberal humanism in relation to contemporary turns in queer theory. I'm earning my undergrad at an enormous and not at all prestigious public school (a regional campus of a reasonably well-regarded state institution) and am, as far as I'm aware, the only student in my department who's applying for PhD programs. My profs have been very supportive, but I worry about lacking a sufficient support system for this process and missing out on things I really ought to know, so this site is a godsend! I also worry that my school's non-prestigious status will weigh heavily against me in applying to top 20 programs (though I did do a year of my undergrad as a visiting student at Oxford, which I'm hoping will counterbalance that a little bit.) Just took my first full GRE practice test today and scored 165V and 146Q, which a little worse than I was hoping (obviously the math score is absolutely abysmal and I've heard very mixed things about whether that matters.) Scored 740 on the practice version of the Subject Test, so I'm hoping that's a good omen, but hardly anyone seems to require it anymore... Anyway, greetings to all, and I would be enormously appreciative of any insights or advice from others who are currently undergoing or have recently undergone this process!


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