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ashiepoo72 last won the day on March 19 2016

ashiepoo72 had the most liked content!

About ashiepoo72

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  1. ashiepoo72

    Ending with Terminal MA

    It has happened, but PhD programs tend to frown on this as they don't want to invest already scarce resources into people who will then move on to another program. They'd much rather give those resources to people committed to completing their program. You'll have to play it carefully, as you will need recommendations from the PhD program you plan to leave, and professors there may not be enthusiastic about supporting you. I personally believe you should be upfront about it and see if the program still encourages you to attend, but I'm sure other people will have different advice. why not apply for a Fulbright or something instead? That way you can spend a year or 2 acquiring a language and experience that would set you apart when you reapply.
  2. There are plenty of people who enter a history MA or PhD without a BA in history. You just need to show the admissions committees through your SOP and writing sample that you can think/ask questions/write like a historian, understand what primary source research in history is, conceive of a historical dissertation topic and have some knowledge of historiographical trends. You should use your background to your advantage, making it clear to the committee how majoring in a different discipline can provide a unique perspective in your research (interdisciplinarity is a boon, and if you've done other things besides history that's an easy way to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to thinking and utilizing skills across disciplines).
  3. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    Good luck making your decision! A 6-year funding offer is rare, so I wouldn't hesitate to jump on that tbh.
  4. ashiepoo72

    Advice on deciding between schools

    The Other Slavery and God's Red Son are both gorgeous books and absolutely deserved the Bancroft imo. But I may be biased, as I'm a huge fan of both authors! Davis also has a really strong Latin American field, and there's a ton of dialogue between the different fields, which is one reason I love it. Good luck making your decision!
  5. ashiepoo72

    Advice on deciding between schools

    I'm at Davis now, so feel free to PM me. Davis has a good placement record, and they're transparent about where people end up (you can look at our placements on the website, but it hasn't been updated this year--we had two more TT placements, and have 2 or 3 people going to campus interviews this quarter. Davis grads also do well in getting postdocs). About half of our cohorts are people coming straight from a BA. I came in with an MA, and I can say the only difference I noticed between myself and my BA colleagues was that I've read more books. By the end of the 1st quarter, you can't distinguish between MA and BA students, and some of the most impressive people in our program never got an MA. I wish I had the skills to do a PhD right after my BA, but I wasn't a good student and didn't even know what historiography was. If you were admitted, then you have what it takes to go straight to the PhD.
  6. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    @TMP's "ladies comment" is alluding to women who wear heels. I agree 100%--as someone who wanted to look extra nice and professional at prospie visits, I brought heels and it was super uncomfortable as I never wear them. You will be walking a bit, most programs do a campus or library tour, some even do a tour of the area surrounding campus, so shoes that won't make your feet scream are good. My suggestion is to dress comfortably, in clean, undamaged clothes that are professional but not ostentatious. Most grad students wear casual clothes (I'm in jeans and hoodies 99% of the time) but it is dependent on department culture for sure so that's a good thing to look into. Bringing a set of fancier clothes is a good idea too, just in case. People tend to dress nicer at department dinners and whatnot.
  7. ashiepoo72

    How many applications are too many? - English Reformation

    I'd also recommend looking closely at the publication records of faculty, what sorts of fellowships and prizes their work is winning, are they still active (i.e. relevant) etc. Someone mentioned hiring, and I think this is an underappreciated factor as well. Is the department shoring up weaker subfields with new and exciting professors? Are they maintaining strong subfields by replacing the profs who retire? Always be suspicious of programs that either do not put up their placements or fudge them (as in, only include a list of the places their grad students end up, but do not specify which students ended up where and when. One program I was looking at had a long list of illustrious placements sans specific names and years; in reality, it had only placed a handful of people in the past 10-15 years--something grad students, not faculty, admitted to me).
  8. ashiepoo72

    Dropping out of PhD for an MA instead

    The only cases I've seen where a "pure" MA in history is beneficial is high school history teachers who want a boost in pay, which having an advanced degree does do (at least in CA). My MA program was made up of like half those types of people, nearly half hobby/late in life historians who could easily self fund and maybe 1-2 per cohort who intended to apply to a PhD program.
  9. ashiepoo72

    Best American Intellectualism PhD Program/Professors

    I know next to nothing about American Intellectual History except that you might want to look at Drew University's PhD in History and Culture. As to US history applicant profiles, it's quite variable. Programs expect a strong GPA, but a weak BA GPA can be overcome by doing well in an MA program. They all expect good historical writing and original research, which should be obvious in the writing sample applicants submit. Languages are important, even in the case where it's just checking off a requirement that won't be used in your research, because learning a language in grad school takes time most programs would rather be used on courses and research. Respectable GRE scores (which also varies, but most programs don't care much for the quant score unless it's so terrible it raises a red flag. I think my score was in the 55th percentile and it wasn't an issue. Aim for 90th percentile or above on the verbal/writing score). This isn't exactly CV related, but they expect a coherent Statement of Purpose that flows between broad and specific (as in, you know the field in which you want to work, but you also have conceived of a more specific project in that field and can formulate a grad-level dissertation topic). In the Statement, they expect to see that you have deeply researched PhD programs and have applied to ones with good fit for your potential research, which should be evident in some sort of "fit" paragraph. LORs are also important, so cultivate good relationships with several profs who can speak to your strengths as a scholar as well as show admissions committees that you're someone they wouldn't loathe working with. Tbh I'd be focusing less on CV stuff like GPA (unless you're still taking courses) and GREs and more on writing/editing a killer writing sample and SOP, which imo are the most important parts of the application.
  10. ashiepoo72

    Tips for negotiating packages

    Your adviser at Minnesota really matters. They have some heavy hitters there whose names will help you when you're on the job market, but I think @TMP's assessment of Minn grads having more regional job market recognition is probably correct. I want to reiterate that you should ask, explicitly for your POIs past grad student outcomes. Minnesota is a fabulous program with lovely people and I know I could've been happy there, but their funding situation contributed to my decision to turn down their offer. I especially don't like that, when the funding does increase (which is rare in and of itself), it does not apply to earlier cohorts who get grandfathered in at their lower stipends. If money had been no object, I likely would have gone to Minn because I absolutely loved the Twin Cities, my adviser, cohort members and the department culture overall. Definitely go visit and ask the hard questions about funding.
  11. ashiepoo72

    What is it like to be a grad student in history?

    Hi! It's totally normal to be nervous, but I hope some of that is nervous excitement I love my program. Every day I am reminded that I made the right choice, even on the days where I'm stressed out. Most of grad school is both fun and filled with anxiety. Every time I'm in panic mode, I remind myself that I get paid (and have benefits!) to read and write about things I love reading and writing about. I also love to teach, so when TAing overwhelms me, I remember students who wrote excellent papers or said cool things in section or started out struggling but made the effort to get support and left my class in a better place. Not everything is positive, I realized early on that not every student cares about their grade beyond passing by the skin of their teeth, and learning to accept that has been great for my anxiety. I do wish I had to teach less so I could finish more work, but I knew what I was getting into so now it's about making time for everything and not spending 3 hours grading each paper or exam. Basically, learning that teaching and grading shouldn't take 8 hours of your day is very important. After my first term as a TA, I became really good at prepping as much as needed but no more, grading quickly and protecting my time outside of the classroom rather than letting the classroom take it over. Balance is so hard for grad students, I think, so as you're entering your program try to be vigilant about it. I'm no expert...I fluctuate between working on having a healthy balance between personal and professional, pleasure and scholarly reading, sleep and work etc. vs. holing up in my apartment, working so much my fingers cramp, sleeping so little I'm miserable and not leaving my house until there's so little food I can't avoid it. Don't do that, it's hell on your body, mind and emotions. I've started setting goals each quarter, broken up into "progress to degree," "research," and "personal" sections, then laying out week by week what I want to accomplish. I don't beat myself up if I don't accomplish everything every week. Reshuffling things is inevitable, and it's no use to hate yourself for some perceived failure that only you notice. This brings me to my next point. Your professors won't be over your shoulder, yelling at you when you don't finish a section of your comps reading when you thought you would. They want to see the final product. So I make sure to have the reading done that I need for a specific meeting, and if I fall behind I adjust until I get back on track. Professors aren't going to fail you if you don't complete a draft on the day you intended, so if things come up and you need an extra day, don't freak out. Just make sure you have the final product done when it's due. It's funny, but grad school has really taught me the importance of letting go. I live by the mantra of "it'll get done because it has to," and try to be kind to myself when my internal timeline has to be scrapped and rethought. If I was giving any advice to new grad students, it would be to really think about when it's okay to let go and when you need to stay firm. This applies to everything: teaching, research and service. Also, cultivate a support system. It can be family and friends, but I think finding members of your cohort who you can commiserate and exchange drafts with is important, especially in the first 2-3 years.
  12. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    I'm glad you brought this up. I've cautioned more than one grad student against having a committee made up entirely of assistant profs. Not because they're not great and you shouldn't have any as mentors or committee members, but because full profs have had more time to establish themselves. Personally, I really appreciate my assistant prof mentors because they're closer to the PhD process and job market, on top of being very active in their fields. The whole structuring a committee is quite strategic though.
  13. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    This is why it's important to ask your adviser about their placements. I asked mine point blank before I chose a program. For some reason admits tend to shy away from this, but in my limited experience professors don't get offended by it because they know how troubling the job market is. Beyond that, you want someone who will go to bat for you before and on the job market as they will be writing you recs for years and years. I've heard horror stories from people whose advisers are not excited about their work. Conversely, I've heard of advisers who go above and beyond (to the point of one even flying out and having meetings with job committees--this blew my mind tbh), and it should be apparent which works out better for new PhDs.
  14. ashiepoo72

    2018 Admissions, decisions, interviews, and the like

    Doesn't matter what they call it as long as they have it! Summer funding makes doing a PhD so much easier. However, a studio averages nearly $1400/month in Princeton according to Google, which is more than the average cost of a 2-bedroom in Ann Arbor. I think that probably makes a $23k/year stipend in Ann Arbor comparable to the $30k in Princeton.
  15. ashiepoo72

    Rutgers or re-apply

    In the case of programs that are MA/PhD it's more common than programs that admit people straight to the PhD. My program, for example, doesn't have a discrete MA component, everyone is admitted to the PhD but students without an MA have the option to get one along the way. They essentially submit a form after their 2nd year, but it's not required or expected and is more of an honorary thing with the expectation that they will finish the PhD. MA/PhD programs expect some students to go there only to get an MA. If your program is MA/PhD, I'd be upfront with your adviser that you plan to get a terminal MA then apply to PhD programs elsewhere. Edited to clarify: if you are at a PhD program and NOT an MA/PhD program, leaving after receiving an "honorary" MA and applying elsewhere is generally frowned upon. If you don't have recommendations from your original PhD program, programs to which you apply will view that as a negative, and professors at the original program likely won't be enthusiastic about writing recs for someone who was admitted to their PhD (most likely with funding, so they invested time and resources into you, expecting you'd complete the program) then decided to jump ship. Of course, some people work it out with their original program and successfully transfer, but it's generally not done.

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