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hj2012 last won the day on June 24 2014

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  1. https://sweduc.wordpress.com/2009/09/13/msw-and-phd-admission-rates/ Mind you, the data is somewhat dated so take it with a grain of salt. But this should give at least a general idea of program competitivity.
  2. Hi, While these samples are for anthropology, not sociology, you might still find it useful to read through for examples on how to organize a statement of purpose. A few thoughts: 1. Forefront your future dissertation research. Your introduction paragraph should give the reader a good understanding of the kind of research that you want to do, the methods you might employ, and why your topic is important. Why is the intersection of work/labor, gender, and mental health an interesting area of inquiry? 2. I wouldn't bash your undergrad education. Try to spin everything positively. Instead of stressing your dissatisfaction, say something like, "My undergraduate training in psychology at the University of X gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with A, B, C and furthered my interest in Z and Y. In order to strengthen my academic training and gain international experience, I continued my studies at University blah blah.." That you worked and saved up for two years to fund your grad studies is irrelevant, unless this work experience somehow contributed to your research trajectory (e.g. "After graduating from University of X with honors, I worked for two years as a health professional at Y hospital, an experience that furthered my interest in the intersection of gendered labor and mental health.") 3. You're changing fields from psychology to sociology. Why? This should be addressed. Why do you want to pursue a sociological line of inquiry instead of a psychological one? There's also very little in this statement that indicates that you understand the differences between the two fields, or how you might use your training in psychology to further an innovative interdisciplinary project in the field of sociology. Hope this helps.
  3. hj2012

    2018 Applicants

    Read earlier comments in this thread, and @complit cites the Columbia English dept website that advises students to have a 95% or higher on the verbal section. I'd say that is a good target for the other schools you've mentioned as well.
  4. hj2012

    No Education Department at University of Chicago

    You might be able to study education from a historical or sociological perspective, but I doubt that curriculum and instruction would be a good fit for any program outside of an Education department. Since Chicago closed their school of education nearly 20 years ago, it seems that education research is not the university's priority. I personally wouldn't waste the money to apply when there's absolutely no fit at all.
  5. hj2012

    Where to apply for an MA in English (US/UK)?

    I see. Yes, as an international student I think it might be especially helpful for you to enter an MA program first. If you're relying on outside funding, I think Columbia, UVa, Northwestern NYU, Georgetown and Wake Forest would be good places to consider.
  6. hj2012

    Where to apply for an MA in English (US/UK)?

    Well, it depends. Some of the more "prestigious" places to get a master's degree in English would be Oxbridge in the UK and Columbia, Georgetown, and UVa in the U.S. But these programs are very expensive and offer little to no financial aid, so you would have to be independently wealthy to pay for the degree. There's also the question of your preparation. Why do you want an MA in English? Is it because of poor undergrad performance, because you're switching fields, etc? These factors will also impact "suitability." Usually the recommendation is that an MA degree is not worth exorbitant loans, considering the limited functionality of the degree. There's a list of MA programs that give funding (usually through teaching assistantships) floating around here somewhere if you use the "search" function.
  7. hj2012

    Very low quant GRE

    I actually think a 143 -> 151 is a substantial improvement, though you're right that the scores will not likely be the strongest aspect of your application. I would go ahead and apply if you feel that UVA or UMD is a really good fit for your research interests and the application cost is not a serious burden.
  8. hj2012

    What Tier Schools Should I be Focused on (organic)?

    Are we talking Master's or PhD programs? I don't think your GPA and GRE will keep you out of the running for either level, but if you're applying to PhD programs I'm slightly concerned that you have two industry letters and only one academic letter. Really, it should be the other way around -- and only if your supervisor has a PhD in your field.
  9. hj2012

    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.
  10. hj2012

    What could I do with my program?

    When you say "apply out," do you mean apply to different PhD programs? Considering that you're concerned with time to completion, I can't imagine shifting to another program (with all the adjustment that entails) would somehow help speed things along. Switching PhD programs based on this one factor alone seems a bit crazy, assuming you don't have other significant complaints about your department. FYI: there's nothing stopping you from making progress on your own. What are your program's qualifying exam requirements? Since you've already taken a significant amount of coursework, I imagine at least some of the work is review. Can you get a head start on putting together your lists and assembling your committee? In my department, there are always a couple enterprising individuals (many of whom come in w/ MAs) that take the QEs early.
  11. hj2012

    Art history PhD programs w/ focus on theory

    This is quite good. You'll have opportunities to brush up on French as a grad student, but you seem well-positioned to take a translation exam (and I would mention your French education in your SOP). I think you should definitely apply directly to PhD programs and throw in a few MA programs into the mix. Check out earlier threads for funded masters programs: https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/40233-funded-masters-programs-in-art-history/ https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/39410-funded-masters/ In your SOP, I recommend that you emphasize one area of the world over the another, and since your senior thesis was on Yinka Shonibare it might make more sense to talk about African diasporic art & visual culture, though of course you can mention your interest in drawing parallels to other British postcolonies throughout the world. The conversations emerging from South Asian cultural and visual studies are quite distinct -- though related, of course -- to conversations in African/African diaspora cultural and visual studies, FYI.
  12. hj2012

    Applying for Grad school

    Great! Would you be applying to start a PhD program during the 2019-2020 school year? If so... 1. You're a few years out from undergrad. You'll need 3 letters of reference from professors for most programs. Do you still have the connections to ask for strong letters that can speak to your research potential? If not, you might think about re-forging those connections. 2. Do you have an existing senior thesis or independent research project that you could revise into a writing sample -- ideally a sample that connects to your future research interests? This is a time-consuming task, and I recommend that you start early and get as much feedback as possible. 3. I'd also take the time to really think about what you want to study and why. In addition to demonstrating your preparation for doctorate study, your PhD statement of purpose should (loosely) indicate a possible research project and what you see as the proposed significance of your research. In preparation for this, you might consider browsing top journals in your field to see which conversations interest you and which methodologies you might want to use. You could also get a head start on studying for the GRE.
  13. hj2012

    Applying for Grad school

    Can you say a little more about your educational background/training and what your research interests might be?
  14. Grad school is all about the process of specialization. In fact, the whole point of PhD training is to become "a X person" with a deep, rigorous knowledge of a particular place, community, group, or way of life. You need to indicate in your SOP the rough outlines of a project that will entail site-specific fieldwork, and once you get in, you will need to build expertise in the area in which you will conduct fieldwork (through language, courses, etc) and prove it through qualifying exams. Most PhD programs will require you to do 3-4 fields in somewhat recognizable categories, one of which will likely be an area-focused list such as "Anthropology of China" or an outside list such as "History of Latin America & the Caribbean." If you can't commit to this process or you don't like the idea of specialization, an anthropology PhD is probably not right for you. Also, I wouldn't base your SOP on the cumulative work of senior scholars, because it's comparing apples to oranges. You'd be hard-pressed to find an anthropologist whose dissertation research was about India, Mexico, and England, though their career might later encompass multiple places. Think about it this way: you are learning a method (which includes specialization and a commitment to local knowledge) that you can later apply to other sites you may wish to study. But you will never be admitted to a PhD program without demonstrating commitment to a first project -- the dissertation is difficult enough to complete, even for those with single-minded focus! FYI -- multi-sited ethnographies are not usually comparative in nature. Building on @hats, they might compare the trajectory of a single group of migrants across multiple locales, track the production of commodity X, or explore the imagination and implementation of international governance code Y.
  15. It seems like you have some idea of the theory you'd like to use and the abstract questions you'd like to ask. However, from what you've posted, I don't get the sense that you know what your field site(s) might be, and that doesn't give confidence that you'd be able to successfully conduct an ethnographic research project. Do you have experience conducting fieldwork, perhaps for a senior thesis or through a field school? Check out these sample SOPs from Duke Cultural Anthropology: https://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/sites/culturalanthropology.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/2011-2012GradStmts_0.doc You'll notice that they all are able to articulate their interests within the context of a specific location or geographic site, and they are able to explain how their past training (language, study abroad, etc) and experiences might help them successfully carry out dissertation research. The growth of pet-keeping in Shanghai (which might deal with consumption, class, urban space, etc) will be very different from the politics of iguana consumption in Nicaragua (which might deal with environmental law, post-socialism, land tenure, etc). Both of these projects might let you approach some of the themes that interest you -- but explaining your interests through a specific problem or phenomenon will make you a more convincing candidate. If you are unable to explain your project contextually, then I would say that an MA would probably be best.

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