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brown_eyed_girl's Achievements


Mocha (7/10)



  1. It's always best to ask the professor directly whether they are considering taking new students -- there could be any number of reasons they are not, so you don't want to waste the money/time/energy working on an app if the professor isn't taking students for whatever reason. By the way, it's a bit unclear whether you mean next year (17-18 academic year) or this year (16-17 academic year, as stated in post name, in which case the professor would presumably be back by the time you matriculated)?
  2. Yes, this. It would be deviating from the norm to put a school you transferred from on your CV, so there's not a good reason to do it unless you really wanted to mention it because you'd been awarded some prestigious honor there or something.
  3. Most current students don't have bios up; further, not everyone who is admitted attends. My admitted cohort had at least 3 or 4 with only BAs from public schools, though they did tend to be very good publics.
  4. I got in with a 4.0 undergrad GPA from a public university, some work and internship experience, and a 166 V on the GRE (and an embarrassingly bad math score). I expect my rec letters were very good as well (and I tended to get in the places where recommenders knew profs). Did not talk with advisor prior to admittance except to email and ask whether they were taking students. I disagree with Betsy -- most of the other admits I met were not "older with MAs" or Ivy Leaguers -- yes, some were, but I found a mix of people. About half of my prospective cohort came with just BAs, the other half had MAs; of the BA-only group, some of us had some work experience and others came directly from undergrad. Also saw a mix of private and public schools, low-ranking to high-ranking.
  5. If you're deciding between a #1 and and #2 school, I don't think you can go wrong, and it sounds like you have sound reasons for preferring Davis. If it's feasible to meet both advisers and visit both schools, however, I would strongly encourage doing so before you make a final decision. And talking to grad students from each department/lab and looking at PhD placement records. You also don't mention the funding situation/cost of the programs, which would be another considerable deciding factor. Ivy League schools are generally pricier when looking at sticker cost, but also may be able to offer more funding and resources to their students (and the UC system is particularly struggling right now, as you probably know). In terms of the name of the school, I imagine it really depends on whether you want the MA to be your terminal degree or whether you definitely plan on getting the PhD. If you're going for the PhD, faculty reviewing your app will know that Davis is highly ranked in animal studies, so I don't see how that could negatively effect you PhD wise. This will also probably be true if you go into an industry directly related to what you study. But outside your direct field, people will probably see the Ivy degree as being more impressive, which only matters (and again, only marginally) if you plan to apply for jobs outside your field instead of pursuing more graduate work, or if it's important to you to say you went to an Ivy League school, which it doesn't sound like it is.
  6. Hmm, I can see why you don't want to continue, and I agree that spending more money on a for-profit school is unwise. If you were in a low-ranked accredited non-profit university, I would stand by my previous advice, but a for-profit school is a totally different ballpark. Since you don't have much experience in art history and have missed most deadlines, my advice would be to enroll in some art history courses at a local, accredited nonprofit school (like a community college or university extension course) to get some basic undergraduate art history courses on your transcript and build connections with professors in an in-person course environment, and see if you can find some other internship or work experience in the art world to beef up your CV in the meantime until reapplying.
  7. I agree with northeastregional. Without knowing the specifics of your program, it's hard to know whether it's as ill-respected and lacking as you seem to think it is, but I wouldn't let one weekend at CAA lead you to suddenly drop out when you're already half way through! It seems like a very sudden decision and you don't mention any of the specifics of why the school is a poor fit, but you did decide to go there initially so presumably it had something that you liked. While there may be better programs out there for your needs or in terms of prestige, it's unlikely that they'll accept late applications, meaning waiting till Fall 2017, and they will be competitive so there's no guarantee of getting in. It also won't help that you've dropped a program halfway through. Then the issue of transfer credits -- schools want you to complete their own program, and usually accept very few if any transfer credits. In my MA/PhD program, for example, those who entered with MAs have to do the exact same amount of coursework as those entering with just BAs. That means you would basically be starting over. Whether that is worth it to you is a personal choice, of course, but you'll also have to figure out what you're doing between now and fall 2017. All this makes me think your best bet is to finish the program you're already in. What areas do you think it's lacking? If it's just that your program is less prestigious than you'd like, rest assured that a lot of people get into very good PhD programs with MAs from low-tier schools. If it's that they don't have faculty or courses in areas you're interested in, I would meet with the program director/DGS in your department and see if you can tailor something to your needs through independent study classes, interdisciplinary work, doing coursework at other affiliated institutions, or internships. You can also ask professors to recommend readings on subjects where you'd like to improve your knowledge base. There are lots of ways to beef up your in-class experiences, so don't throw out the baby with the bath water unless you're really sure you can't get value out of your current program AND you're willing to start from scratch.
  8. just a note: pretty sure moxey is retiring soon/not taking on new students.
  9. My preference is to err on the formal side until they explicitly correct me and say, "Call me X." I'm in the first year of my PhD program, and I still address emails to my adviser "Dear Professor X." I was taught that these are general forms of respect, and while it is totally normal for my adviser to write "Hi X" and use my first name, I wouldn't feel comfortable returning the same degree of informality with him... maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'd rather be safe than sorry, and academia tends to be old fashioned. Especially at the POI stage, I don't think there's any point in risking offending someone with an informal address.
  10. If they have a minimum cutoff, you won't be considered at all without meeting it. If it's just a recommended score, there may be wiggle room. Call the administrative office of the graduate school if you're not sure which is the case. If you don't meet the cutoff, your choices are to apply to other schools without cutoffs or give yourself time to retake it and apply next year.
  11. This. My advisor is a top scholar in my field and has been great to me so far - they have advocated for me, gotten me perks like extra travel funds, introduced me to people I should know, been engaged with my work, etc. My advisor is kind, helpful, and makes time for me despite an extremely busy schedule. They were also one of the least responsive POIs I contacted during the application cycle, and I kind of assumed I had no chance of getting in because of how disinterested they seemed at that point. I'm so glad I didn't let that stop me from applying, because I now think we are a great match (methodologically and personality wise) and I realize that my advisor had no reason to prioritize me when I was one of many prospective students deluging their inbox. My advice is to apply, see where you get in, and then weigh advisor fit and school fit when you have your admittances in hand.
  12. Agreed with the above. I would aim for submitting something that is your best written work and also your best researched. It should be an Art History paper if possible, but doesn't need to be on your subfield (bonus if it is). I would not submit anything that has only one or two citations, as to me one of the biggest aspects of a writing sample is to show that you are capable of writing a grad school level research paper and conducting independent research. Being able to find solid sources, structure a research paper, use proper footnotes, etc are important skills that they don't want to have to teach you in grad school, so your writing sample is your proof that you've mastered them. Also, as you've been advised already, you will want to edit and revise your writing sample before submitting, so you can always add more research to one of your papers or improve the writing quality in a well-researched one.
  13. You have very good scores, and I highly doubt they will be the deciding factor in your admissions.
  14. Williams is another that comes to mind.
  15. I agree that it's probably wise to leave it out. As to your other question -- how to integrate your accomplishments without it sounding like boasting -- my mentors told me not to be afraid to "toot your own horn" a bit, but to do so in a way that demonstrates the relevance of your accomplishment and how it has impacted you or will impact your future studies. You shouldn't go point by point through your CV, but achievements like your conference paper might be good to mention, followed by a brief line or two about what you learned from the experience. Highlighting one or two academic achievements like this is much stronger than listing a five or six things without explaining their relevance. Hopefully this doesn't require restructuring your whole SOP.
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