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About Glasperlenspieler

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall

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  1. Applying to master's and PhD in same department

    Yeah, I'd say this is definitely a case where it would be worthwhile to contact the department and see what they recommend.
  2. Advice for Applying: MA or PhD?

    It seems like you already know this, but don't bother applying to MA programs that don't offer funding (tuition plus some stipend). There should be a list of those somewhere on this forum. My sense is that the reaction to a theology MA could vary wildly by department. Some would be fine with it and perhaps even see it as an asset especially with certain interests (are you doing phil religion?). I fear some programs might see it as a liability, which may be assuaged by the addition of a strict philosophy MA. I know someone who did a Theology MA followed by a Philosophy MA and is know at a top 10 program (I think his BA was in theology). So this is definitely a possible route and depending on your philosophical training, may be the best option. I think I'd second @fuzzylogician's advice. Apply to those PhD programs you would love to attend and then apply to have a few MA programs. I'm not sure if 50-50 is the right ratio. I might lean toward more PhD programs, since you seem like a strong applicant for MA programs, but PhDs are (always) a crapshoot. Also, if possible, I might suggest not using a philosophy of religion paper as your writing sample, especially for PhD programs. I think if you can show that you can do philosophy proper outside of philosophy of religion, a PhD program might be a lot more willing to take you on than if they think you have limited philosophical breadth.
  3. Drop in Graduate School Applications

    Which is probably good news for the profession even if it sucks for individual applicants.
  4. GPA and GRE

    Of what I could quickly find online: University of California, Riverside (PGR Rank 28): "During the last few years, average GRE scores (verbal and quantitative combined) for students admitted to the Ph.D. program have been in the range of 310 to 330 (1250-1500 by the old scale). (If a student’s combined scores are below 300 (1100), their chances of being admitted are minimal unless there is a special explanation, for example, that the student is not a native speaker of English). Typically a score below 310 (or 1250) is a strike against an applicant, whereas a score above 325 (or 1450) is a bonus." Notre Dame (PGR Rank 17): "There is no automatic cut-off based on GRE scores, but average scores for students admitted recently are: 93rd percentile in verbal; 84th percentile in quantitative; and 87th percentile in analytic." University of Michigan (PGR Rank 4): No GRE required. Rutgers (PGR Rank 2): "On average GRE scores tend to be very high, around 96% or above, and GPAs tend to be 3.7 or above. But we have accepted students with GREs and GPAs that are significantly lower when other factors are taken into account. You should not be discouraged from applying solely on the grounds that your GREs or GPA is below these markers." Many programs don't list this info on their sites, but I also didn't see any data too far off from this. I think the moral is that perfect GRE scores won't get you in if you don't have a writing sample and proposed research interests that get the faculty excited. As long as your GRE isn't alarmingly low, however, it will really come down to the other aspects of you application. What counts as alarmingly low, of course, may depend somewhat on the program in question. The key is to make sure that your GRE and GPA are high enough to guarantee that your file gets a close look. My suspicion is that once your verbal is at the 90th percentile or so and your other scores aren't too low, you're up against the law of diminishing returns and your efforts are best focused elsewhere. To be clear, this is not meant to give a rosy, "everything will be fine" outlook on graduate admissions. The odds of getting in to a top PhD program are astronomically low, but to think that you can predict this based on the numerical components of the application is a rabbit hole.
  5. PhD in French Studies / Comp Lit / French Lit

    How much time have you spend in France/French-speaking countries? My sense is that for foreign language departments time abroad is, if not a prerequisite, then at least highly desired. One option, as you mentioned, is to do an MA abroad, which can also be helpful for clarifying your research interests. However, given your uncertainly, I might suggest finding a way to spend some time abroad in a less academic setting. I think spending some time away from academia can be a great way to figure out what it is that really interests you and you'd be willing to pursue in something as intense as a graduate program. One way to do this is to teach English abroad. For France there is both TAPIF and Fulbright, which would give you an additional year to consider your options. So, I'd suggest taking a look at these programs as well as the graduate programs you're looking at.
  6. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Certainly! I mainly wanted to point out that it's possible that a paper you're proud of at the moment might not be something that you want publicly associated with your name down the line. My suspicion is that the odds of this are much higher for a paper you wrote during your senior year of undergrad than late in a PhD program or afterwards. There are, however, almost certainly exceptions on either side of this equation. This consideration coupled with the possibility of further refining an idea through added training should, I think, give reason for caution about publishing too early in one's academic career. Obviously though, this is a personal decision and there are a lot of factors that can tip the balance in one direction or the other. Should everyone be polishing until they get into Nous? Depends on what you mean by 'should'. I happen to think it would be better for professional philosophy and intellectual inquiry for people to publish less frequently and more polished pieces. I also recognize that contemporary hiring and tenure policies make this a naive suggestion. Not publishing is simply not an option after a certain point in your academic career. I just happen to think that that point occurs somewhere during a PhD program and not before. There are a number of interesting discussions of publishing on Leiter and Daily Nous. Here are a couple for what it's worth: I'd be happy to continue a discussion on publishing if people are interested, but at this point it might make the most sense to create a new thread for it and leave this one for more general applicant discussion.
  7. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Take a look at the essays you wrote five years ago. How many of them are you proud of, that is, you would be happy to show them to your current professors as a quality piece of work? The fact of the matter is you grow a lot over the course of your undergraduate career and what you though was a great idea at the beginning maybe doesn't look so cool now. I think it's fair to assume that the sort of growth you will experience over the course of a PhD program is equal if not greater. So five years down the line, that cool paper may not be something you want associated with your name, especially when it comes to tenure review. Now, if you get the approval from a top-notch journal, then perhaps that's a good reason to think you're really on to something. Otherwise, you're probably better of holding onto those ideas and developing them as your skills as a professional develop. What's currently belongs in a mid-tier journal, may belong in Nous is you're patient enough.The other issue with publishing is the amount of time it takes to publish and go through the process in comparison to the actual reward (whether valuable feedback or a publication). At this point the math usually doesn't work out in favor of publishing. If your advisor thinks that you have produced something that is worth trying to publish, then by all mean, go for it. Otherwise, I think publishing just for the sake of publishing is unhelpful at best and counterproductive at worst. I agree with this, but that doesn't mean you should discourage people from applying to top-tier programs. You can apply to both. It's certainly silly to apply to top-tier programs just because they're top-tier, but if they're the best fit for your interests, then so be it. Besides, if the goal is to get an academic job, I think there's something to be said, for limiting your search to top programs (in your field). The fact of the matter is, that with some exceptions, is much harder to get a job out of a low ranked program. This is simply not true. Chicago is currently just outside of the top 20 on the PGR and as far as I'm aware, it's never been in the top 10, nor has UT-Austin, where he was at when he started the PGR. Yes, there are problems with the PGR. In my opinion it's not perfect, but a useful too. There's plenty of reasons to criticize it, but please don't use blatant falsehoods to do so. (Edit: crosspost with ThePeon, who gives a more comprehensive response to this point)
  8. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    I largely disagree with this advice, or if not disagree, then I would at least emphasize things a little bit differently. The odds of *anyone* getting into a top 15 program are low. I don't think that means you shouldn't apply. I wouldn't worry much about your GPA. If you can keep your MA GPA up that should more or less mitigate concerns about undergrad GPA. Your GREs are fine. Nothing spectacular but not bad. I wouldn't bother retaking it if I were you. I don't think publications really matter. Hardly anyone has a publication applying for PhD programs. If you can get something published in a top journal, that's great and you'll probably be successful in applications, but that's not the norm. Don't try to publish just to publish. At this point in your career, you're probably better off not publishing than publishing in a mid-tier or worse journal. In terms of MA prestige, it certainly doesn't hurt coming from a top program, but you can't do anything about that at this point and people do get into to top programs from unknown programs. All this is to say that your stats shouldn't keep you out. You're odds of getting into a top 15 program are low, but that goes for everyone else too. What it will come down to is your writing sample and how strong of a fit you are for the program. If someone on the admissions committee takes a particular liking to your writing sample, you're in. You don't have a lot of control over this and a lot of it is luck. All you can do it produce the best sample you can that showcases your skills and interests, asks intriguing questions that are likely to catch someone's eye, and apply to programs that are the best fit for you. Good luck!
  9. Oops, totally missed that. Sorry! I certainly didn't mean to imply that ASL would never be a viable research tool, only that which languages count as a viable research tools depends heavily on what field you're in. I would hope that any department with strengths in disability studies allows ASL and if not I suspect your diagnosis is correct.
  10. Doesn't this sort of depend on the purpose of the foreign language requirement? If it's just to prove that you have the ability to communicate with/learn another language, then certainly it should count. However, I think most departments in the humanities view the language requirement as a research tool. Xhosa is unquestionably a different language, but it's probably not going to be very helpful if I want to study ancient Athenian tragedy. So, I suspect that most departments that disallow it do so not because they don't think ASL is a language, but rather because they don't see it as a viable research tool. (note: I'm not trying to take a stand on the issue here, but this does seem to be what's at stake)
  11. Chapel Hill, NC

    Thanks! Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I'm glad it's manageable.
  12. Chapel Hill, NC

    I second this question. Also, does not living on the ground floor minimize/erase this problem or not necessarily? Ants I can deal with, but I'd be very happy if I could avoid roaches during my time in North Carolina.
  13. American Historical Association Jobs Report

    Popping in from elsewhere in the humanities, where the job market is similar (or worse?). By this logic, it's equally irrational to pursue a career in the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc. You're odds are probably even worse if you want to be a fighter pilot. And major positions of elected office in competitive districts? Forget it! By the way, have you looked at the success rate for start-ups lately? Then there's acting, the music industry, or creative writing. Are all of these (and many other) career pursuits irrational? I don't know, maybe. That doesn't mean they're not worth pursuing though. Obviously, people should go in with their eyes open, lots of information, and realistic expectations, plus a plan B and maybe a plan C and D too. But I think it's not unreasonable that for the right sort of people, the calculus works out such that pursuing academia is a real option. (Whether that's the case for everyone in graduate school is another question.) For what it's worth I really like the baseball-academia analogy. Most TT jobs are the equivalent of the numerous no name players in big leagues. The handful of R1 or equivalent positions are the Derek Jeters and Randy Johnsons of academia (I know my baseball references are outdated; I haven't really followed the sport for a while). Most baseball players, however, wash out after careers in minors or college ball of varying degrees of success. These are the adjuncts of the world. The disanalogy here is that I suspect most baseball players are better at determining when to cut their losses.
  14. Language for a Victorianist?

    What genre(s) do you work in? If it's the novel, that might be another reason to consider French. Given the richness of novelistic output in France during that period, it could be a useful area to have open to you for the sake of a comparative context. Russian could provide this as well but would probably be more difficult to learn. As much as it pains me to say it, German probably makes less sense if you're doing the Novel in this time period. (Also not a Victorianist)
  15. Turning down all your PhD offers?

    Given that, I think an MA could make sense in your case. But do remember that PhD admissions are a gamble and there's no guarantee of anything. It's not impossible that you don't get in anywhere after the MA. Also, I'm assuming the MA is adequately funded. If not, go with the PhD, no question.