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socanth

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    Sociocultural PhD

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  1. I've had an unsuccessful cycle (also very rushed application, which yours will not be given you're preparing now!) and this time round a successful one, and one of the most important things I learnt was that there were things that I felt very strongly about that shouldn't necessarily be expressed in what is essentially a research objective/significance pitch. Unless talking about teaching explicitly strengthens your pitch as a promising scholar - and for my issue I had to rely on other readers to judge it, as it was so important to me that I couldn't really see it clearly - then it shouldn't be there. That said, if the programs you're applying to involve a certain amount of teaching, then it would be entirely appropriate to bring up teaching there, linking it into why you want to go to that school's program in particular.
  2. For the purposes of applying to programs, sounds like a good idea to me.
  3. Also Harvard has a center in their department, run by Lucien Taylor. NYU has a formal certificate that I understand Faye Ginsberg runs. USC might also be helpful, and there's an MA program at San Francisco State (I think!) It might also be worth looking at Goldsmiths, Manchester and Oxford.
  4. Also writing this on an ipad (3) refurb - the other thing to remember is that refurbished apple products come with the same warranty as new products, and are also still eligible for AppleCare, so it's not too much of a gamble!
  5. Hi ceazaro! Culinary school and working as a baker is in my view not a negative at all, especially if you want to go into the anthropology of food. I would have thought it would in fact make your application far more appealing! Especially if you link your training and work there with your MA plans - I think in many ways that would be a logical step in your overall transition arc from management and marketing to anthropology, in fact. I don't know too much about Masters programs in the US, so others can speak to that. In the UK, applying with a 2:1 to Masters programs is not an issue at all (as I guess you know). The one thing you'd want to do is make sure that you make clear in your statement that you got a First for your dissertation, as of all your undergraduate work that is the most indicative of your potential as a graduate student. The most important part of the application that you can control is your statement of purpose. Make sure it's clearly well thought out, demonstrates that you have made yourself familiar with the field, lays out your reasons for wanting to do the program and addresses your field change, shows how you're prepared for it and gives an idea of your future plans stemming from it. With that, you would be in with a very high chance of being accepted. Good luck!
  6. Hi Londonite, I did do an MA and have been working for a few years. Presuming you've got decent marks for undergrad, (very) generally speaking it's much more about fit with the department than ranking, so I would apply to a range of places. Unfortunately the California schools are really difficult to get into at the moment because of funding cuts. At least in my field (anthropology) there are more opportunities with funding in the US at the moment. I'm actually heading to a private university, which will be quite a change of gear! Best of luck.
  7. I'm assuming it's UK applicants going for the US (or at least elsewhere) - survived my cycle this time round but it certainly took a lot! Let me know if you have any questions...
  8. I believe you need to show the money available for the first year at least in a bank account. So no, property wouldn't count, it needs to be liquid.
  9. Hello, Generally the best way to go about finding programs is to look at all the different departments' websites - you'll come across different people whose research interests intersect with yours in various ways. While some people might be able to give you suggestions on here, ultimately you're best placed to find a program that fits you. An easy way of finding a list of anthropology departments is through the AAA's eAnthroGuide - https://avectra.aaanet.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?webcode=AAAGuidListDir. You can see through the departments' websites the different funding options available. As far as applying from abroad, in some cases there are earlier application deadlines but generally it is largely the same as applying from the US. You need to make sure you allow enough time for official transcripts to arrive (if required), and still need to arrange taking the GRE exam. If English is not the principal language of instruction for your degree you'll also likely need to take the TOEFL test. As a US citizen you'll still be eligible for various funding options that generally aren't open to international applicants. Good luck
  10. Ah fair - good point! For some of them it is just the PhD though. You can often find the statistics on the university's website - much more reliable.
  11. Great thread, Platysaurus! This was my second time applying for US PhD programs, and after only deciding six weeks before the deadline last year, I had a year to prepare for the whole process this time round. That I think is the most important thing to realise - applying takes time. I got into four places this year out of eight, and ended up at my top choice. In the past year I haven't got any more qualifications than I already had and I haven't added work/research experience that I didn't already have in sufficient amounts on my CV. I basically just worked on my application as a whole, particularly my project and by extension my statement of purpose. What follows is rather universalizing and prescriptive. Rather than saying each time "I found," "my experience was" etc etc, I am just putting it all out there. Obviously it's all my opinion and take it with a pinch of salt. Hopefully some stuff will be relevant to you though! Books One book recommendation is Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice by Donald Asher. It demystifies the process and gave me a lot of confidence in understanding what was expected and how I could make produce a statement that reflected myself and my interests while still hitting each of the key marks that are necessary and show that you know what you're doing. It walks you through the whole process of applying, not just the essay part, and I found it invaluable. ("Invaluable," interestingly, is not a word that Donald Asher would appreciate appearing anywhere on your application! And neither is "interestingly.") Project First and foremost, you need to have a very strong sense of what you want to do in the graduate program. How much education you've completed will impact how formed a project will be, but overall you need to know what interests you, be able to articulate what you want to study, and show why it's significant - what impact it will have. Being able to broaden it out to be of interest to faculty who don't share your narrow research interests will also help. Of course projects change, but having a rough idea of the sort of work you want to do and how you want to go about it is I believe very important. My understanding is that if you're still completing/only have up to an undergraduate education then it need not be particularly developed, but if you're applying with a Masters it should be more sophisticated. Finding where to apply Having a clear idea of a research project that interests you - and will hold your interest and enthusiasm for the 5+ years you're in graduate school and 10+ years you'll be publishing different aspects of it - really helps when it comes to choosing schools to apply to. I found it really helpful to have a few keywords in mind that I was looking out for as I went through all the anthropology (and some related) departments that I knew of. I looked closely at over 60 departmental websites, using rankings and the results pages on gradcafe to build a list of universities to look at. I read the about page, the departmental strengths etc and then scrolled down the faculty's interests. If it seemed promising I spent a little more time on this stage, if not I whipped through it and crossed it off the list quickly. This left me with about 20 departments, and I looked more closely at each one, further refining my list each time. I ended up with 14 schools (that I asked my letter writers to submit to) and found that when properly preparing the application several of these wouldn't in fact work. I ended up applying to 8 schools. (Run this approach by your letter writers - mine very much didn't want a last minute submission request, so instead I gave them plenty of notice and sent them the link really early on in the process. They expected me not to apply to several of these places.) Once you've got your list, have a look at the acceptance rates for the various departments. If money's no object then you probably want to apply to everywhere you feel you could thrive; if money is a consideration, it's good to know where you've got a 2% chance and where you've got a 22% chance, and then picking schools accordingly. It doesn't make sense to apply only to places where a very small percentage get admitted. www.petersons.com can give you a rough idea of this. The top programs vary wildly - Duke is reportedly a 5% acceptance rate, NYU 4% but Columbia 17%. EDIT: Note coffeeandmilk's comment below - not a good example! Contacting faculty I see many mixed messages about this, and for sure some people who have developed what seems a strong rapport with a potential advisor don't get accepted and others who apply cold do. One thing seems sure - a respectful, well thought out, engaged and enthusiastic e-mail will never hurt. (Unless it says explicitly not to contact faculty.) Of the eight places I applied, I had developed a personal connection at four of the places, and they were the four I received offers from. If you're not sure what to say to someone then you need to really think why you are interested in gambling $100 (give or take) on the opportunity to work with them. You need to read some of their work and should highlight the areas of overlap you see in your initial e-mail. Given that everyone you're interested in working with will have significant overlaps, you're already starting networking that will be necessary in graduate school and in your career. It can also save you from applying somewhere where the people you'd like to work with are leaving... Application Materials Creating a fantastic application packet takes a lot of time. The statement for sure, but also perfecting your CV takes time. I have been working for four years, and last year submitted a two page, distilled version of what I'd been doing. This time it took five pages and was modeled after academic CVs. (Having looked through where to apply, you'll have a strong idea of what makes a strong and a weak CV.) The statement of purpose deserves its own thread. The most important things? Perfect spelling and grammar. Compelling. Gives a clear idea of who you are and what you would bring to the project and the university without being dominated by you and your talents. Tailored to the school! I think that'll do. Best of luck...
  12. Oh perfect! Thanks for putting my mind at ease.
  13. Does anyone have any experience of applying for an F1 visa after being in the States a lot? I will have spent almost 6 months in the US in the previous 12 month period (under the VWP). I'll be applying for a visa for a fully funded PhD (will need to show 1.5k of personal funds) but slightly worried that having spent so much time in the US they will doubt that I'll leave after the program finishes. (Which I fully intend to do.)
  14. Another British MA here who's off to the US for a PhD. (I'm also a British undergrad though.) An Oxford MA will really help with PhD applications, and getting an MA outside the States will mean that most likely you won't be doubling up when you do the PhD coursework. Exposure to a distinct approach to anthropology, another education system and another culture generally will strengthen your application and probably your scholarship. The fact that it's cheaper and will make a Columbia PhD more of a possibility is a bonus. Good luck with your decision!
  15. Congratulations! You must feel fantastic. Have fun celebrating!!
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