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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/19/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point

    2019 Applicants

    Glad to see this thread still getting updated omg I'm still a ways away from UC Irvine starting but that September 26th start date is creeping up quick. I have two orientations next September (School of Humanities + Campuswide) and then a beginning of the year party. Also have an apartment, about to pick up keys in a few weeks' time and hopefully settle in by mid-September. It's a little bit surreal to call myself graduate student still (much less having a new institutional affiliation). I've been busying myself with MLA database deep dives as well as reading some books that are long overdue for me to read (all this time my UG library would have a full PDF of Cruising Utopia digitally lol). I don't have the jitters quite yet, but tbh once it hits September it'll definitely sink in for me. So excited for all of you!
  2. 1 point

    2020 Applicants

    Thank you so much for this. I'll keep this in mind while working on my applications, and I'll try not to let my anxiety swallow me whole.
  3. 1 point

    2020 Applicants

    Hello, Just wanted to tag in here and say that I am also an international applicant with an interest in Caribbean, transnational, and postcolonial lit!
  4. 1 point

    2020 Applicants

    @karamazov I can speak only from the BA-only side (though with the benefit of a gap year), and the one thing I can is that it definitely depends from program-to-program, and also, from individual-to-individual. I completely understand why you're nervous. I was in a similar position last year, wondering how I'd compete those holding MAs. I have seen that line of thinking floating around the forums and with some certainty, it does seem to be case. I believe there was one post that remarked that BA and MA applicants are either separated or are read with different lenses. As a BA-only applicant, it's fine if your project/research questions may need some ironing out (if there's one thing I've learned during graduate student recruitment, a program wants to also ensure that it leaves its mark on you). An MA applicant will most likely have the upper hand in terms of having a longer and more graduate palatable CV, but they've also had some years of experience in a graduate program already. Admissions committees (to my knowledge anyway) will be aware of what degrees you're bringing to the table and evaluate you accordingly. The one thing I can say for those applying with just BAs, I'd definitely make sure to try and point out your potential as a graduate student and make clear what kind of research trajectory you're on and how the department can help achieve your goals. A project and SoP (as well as a sterling WS) that is well-constructed, well thought out, exciting, makes an intervention/conversation within your field (and, I cannot stress enough, also one that the program can feasibly support) can and will catch an admissions committee's eyes, regardless if you're an undergraduate or graduate student. I also want to stress that it also depends on what priorities and what kinds of students does the program desire (do they want those they can mold a bit more? have they had equal success with both BA and MA students? is one field over-crowded and one field underpopulated? etc.). Admission rates (from what I've seen from spending way too much time roaming through available admissions data), can be very elastic and unstable for some departments. Of course, this does not at all diminish the incredibly hyper-competitive nature of PhD admissions. However, the composition of what kind of cohort they want can absolutely change, especially from politics within and beyond the department (funding cuts leading to smaller cohorts to a department aggressively recruiting to justify more funding lines, which can cause an admission rate spike). That is to say, there's a lot of insider info/dynamics can influence a department's vision of what their ideal cohort may look like, so it is admittedly within the realm of the unknown. To close off though, it is absolutely possible for BA-only applicants to be competitive in this tough environment. Cohorts are definitely mixed in with profiles of students who took varying and diverse paths to the program. I repeated this one mantra to myself when applying: present the absolute best version of myself as a literary scholar and leave no doubts to my capabilities, my potential as a graduate student, and my fit. After submission, it's out of my hands and it's up to the admissions committee to decide.

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