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Everything posted by SmugSnugInARug

  1. I don’t know if any of the schools are up your alley philosophically, but some schools have joint Phil. MA/Law degree programs (including Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, Boston College, Duke, and Duquesne and i’m sure plenty more).
  2. My undergrad degree was in analytic philosophy, my MA was in a music department (at an analytic-ish school), and I got an MA in a very heavy continental program and now I’m at a heavy duty continental PhD. I’d certainly agree with @HomoLudens: they care more about expressed interest, a general background in philosophy writ large, and potential than they do about expertise.
  3. However, it is worth noting that a second MA in a related field does offer benefits. In my own cohort, 2/4 have two MAs. One is philosophy + one is political theory, for myself I have an MA in Philosophy and one from a music department. Several people in my 2nd MA (Philosophy) came into philosophy with MAs in Psychology or equivalent degrees from Divinity schools (M.Div, I think is what its called?). However, in all those cases it has been degrees that contribute to their primary interests (Psychoanalysis, Religious Phenomenology, Political Philosophy, etc.) the returns on the same degree, however, are quite limited except, as mentioned above, if you are going to the States from not a well-known (by American faculty) program, trying to get into the US system.
  4. At Duquesne the TAs largely sit in on the virtual classes, hold office hours via zoom (either by appointment or by a set time), occasionally cover a class, and do the grading. Fortunately it’s been relatively straightforward.
  5. The stipend is fine, largely because Pittsburgh is cheap enough. Its neither a pro nor a con. Faculty are all pretty great, but with one or two worth avoiding. Selcer in particular is spectacular. Evans is retiring, but will continue to teach one grad class/yr, and can still be on committees. We get to know the profs pretty well. I got in off the top of the waitlist. It feels like an academic island in a Catholic sea. The students are great and there’s a definitely a feeling of community, but the school at large runs into the usual problems Academia and Catholicism run into. If you want more specifics, DM me.
  6. I’d be happy to talk with anyone about it. (Current Duq PhD)
  7. Given the cancellations, I just want to put it out there that I’m more than happy to talk to anyone who wants to learn more about Duquesne and Boston College.
  8. For whatever it’s worth, I had a similar experience of a very personal, warm waitlist email from Duquesne, because I was #1 on the waitlist (and because faculty at most Pittsburgh schools are lovely people).
  9. As of right now, no idea, but I’ll keep an ear out.
  10. Congratulations! As a current PhD at Duquesne, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
  11. As far as I understand, Continental interviews are usually about fit with the program more than anything. Its usually some time devoted to your interests, your writing sample, and why you think it would be a good match. And my discussions with a few of the DePaul PhDs generally seem to confirm this as being true there as well. So prep is largely having some questions prepared for them about how DePaul Specifically could help YOU, as well as taking some time to review the faculty/their research interests/the interests of the other grad students, etc.
  12. Some of the Continental programs have interviews, though not all. Villanova certainly does, I think DePaul and Penn State do too. Check the master list for confirmation.
  13. Schools like Villanova, Boston College and Fordham would certainly be welcoming to this kind of background. Most of the Catholic Continental schools usually have space for students with your background and professors who would definitely be interested in math + religion (especially if your okay with it being stuff in the history of mathematics).
  14. Hi @MarcHarold, what exactly do you mean by specializing in ancient/modern? Is there a particular distinction at your undergrad that you are referring to (like, are they two different majors?) or are you thinking more generally about the kinds of classes you want to take? Fortunately, if you are thinking generally, in most philosophy undergrads you don’t really ‘specialize,’ you just take classes your interested in (and in some cases, take a language that will help you read those particular texts you are interested enough in that you want to read them in the original language). I tend to recommend to my students who want to go to grad school in philosophy think of it like this: 1. Get a good, well rounded education in philosophy. Take courses from every topic plus the ones that interest you the most. ‘Specializing’ in a field in undergrad doesn’t really exist except if the school has distinct majors, but I suspect even then they wouldn’t look too different to grad committees. And realistically your interests are going to change. I started off in undergrad doing analytic philosophies of language and now my focus is largely on continental readings of Plato. 2. Learn a language you want to read that is related to philosophy you actually want to read (Ancient Greek, Latin, French, German being the big four). If you fall in love with Greek/Latin, consider double majoring in classics. 3. Take at least two or three classes in a particular topic you are really interested in, to give you a few chances to produce a solid writing sample on a subject you’ve looked at repeatedly.
  15. Sure. By sense of cohesion, I mean something like this: Does your AOI relate to courses you took in undergrad or an MA program? Can you give examples of this area consistently across two programs, or even from several years within undergrad? @Glasperlenspieler definitely put it in the right tone: show that your interests are stable, but without being too hyper-specific. (A balance you won’t strike on your first draft, it requires getting someone else to review your draft to tell you where you are in that balance.) You are not building a grand narrative that connects everything together, just a sense of definition or cohesion. Thing of it more like smoothing our rough edges than giving fine details. For example, if you have an MA is psychology, but are now trying to do a PhD in philosophy, you need to be able to explain why this MA would be an asset and you understand how they relate, and not that you are just jumping from one field to another. An area of interest at the intersection of the two fields would help immensely in a case like that. Mentioning specific courses you took that give a sense that you are prepared for your areas of interest is a great tactic. If you wrote papers on that topic specifically, great, mention it once or twice. Interested in Nietzsche and Kierkegaard? It would be good for them to know: you took a course on Nietzsche, and a course on German Idealism, you wrote a phil. of religion paper on Kierkegaard, and that you’ve taken German for two years (or whatever! Fill in your background). Don’t tell them that you started reading Nietzsche when you were 16. Don’t give reasons why one class led you to the next, the listing of them will suffice. This isn’t about how you ‘think deep’ or some story about how nietzsche moved you, its about making clear that you have real, material proof that you have done work that would prepare you for the next degree.
  16. I found that the more important thing is a coherent narrative about yourself, to emphasize @maxhgns its not the number but rather that you convey a sense of cohesion between the AOI you mention and your personal background. They aren’t looking for sincerity or authenticity, but rather more that you have a sense of what you are interested in, and that the level of focus you have is appropriate to where you are in the process (if you have a BA going for an MA it should be more open, going for a PhD should be more refined, and with an MA into PhD it should show even more specificity and a clear narrative connecting your BA and MA experience into those exact AOI).
  17. So, one of the big issues with the GRE is that the analytic writing section is notoriously unreliable. This may (or may not) be true, but that is a commonly held perception. At best, higher writing scores usually correlate to higher verbal scores. As a result, the actual treatment of the AW is sidelined in favor of the more 'reliable' (at least apparently) verbal score. On average, graduate applicants to any program try to score a 4 or higher on the AW. A high verbal plus a 3 wouldn't necessarily hurt you, except in the more competitive programs. With respect to the verbal score, I will repeat advice I gave elsewhere in the forum: I have been explicitly told by members of committees that verbal scores are used in the sorting process and prospective students with particularly high scores have an advantage. Often applicants in the 98th percentile (varies by year, usually 167+) and above are given preferential treatment in the process (this varies from department to department, but is far more prevalent than reading this forum might suggest). This doesn't guarantee acceptance, but is quite helpful. While the writing sample is the most important, if you can afford it, a higher GRE score is a good thing and really does help. And, fortunately, repeated attempts at the GRE do usually lead to better results (fewer careless errors, a better understanding of the pacing of the test, etc.)
  18. I’m gonna just try to run a bit against the grain, if only because you mentioned BC and Continental programs. The short version is this: I know for a fact that some members of continental program acceptance committees DO use the verbal GRE score in deciding whether your application goes to a single professor to read, or to every professor. A high score doesn’t guarantee entry, but it can drastically increase your chances when you are being reviewed by several professors rather than one. I have been specifically told by faculty who work in these committees that top verbal scores are absolutely important. Regardless of how indicative they actually are. The recommendation I received was to try to get a 167 or higher (depending on the year).
  19. As in ‘Seale intended to be a sexual predator’.
  20. That’s incorrect. First off, the ‘cash cow’ bit is only mildly true, but not any more than any other unfunded MA programs. Which, granted, should all be free, but to lay that at the feet of U. Chicago is to blame an instance for a trend. Additionally, as someone who DID pay (and still is paying) for MAPH, its worth it. Seriously. Secondly, the resources provided to U. Chi MA students are incredible, I still get weekly emails of potential jobs. Not only do you get the full support of the MAPH/MAPSS faculty, but you also get the immense resources of U. Chicago itself, which is a massive global network. As for direct attention for MA students: it varies mostly by professor, but the vast majority of them are extremely helpful and do actually have time for MA students. I met with most of my professors regularly, including people like Marion and Pippin. And, if that attention isn’t enough, you have 1. A post-doc, in your general area, who has been hired literally to help your small group (6-10) succeed. Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, the community formed by each cohort is incredible. I’m still incredibly close with many of the people from my year, and at my current job, 6 of the 18 people who work in my department are MAPH alums. Placement rate into PhDs in Philosophy is also NOT poor. Of the 11 philosophy students in my year, 7 decided to apply in the year following the MA program. One is at Riverside, one is at U. Chi (in Social Thought), one is somewhere in Tennessee, one is at Western Ontario, and three of us didn‘t get it (But I have gotten in since to Duquesne). 4 out of 7 is not a bad placement rate. The issue is, in part, that the numbers get skewed because of the varying sizes of philosophy students in each class. Now, I will admit, there is some tension between MAPH and the philosophy department, but this is mostly for two reasons: 1) MAPH students are often much more interested in continental philosophy and the history of philosophy than analytic. (I think my year was 7/4 Continental/Analytic.) Obviously this causes some tensions between the two departments, as some of the Phil. faculty are less than helpful as a result. However, the Divinity School just does Continental stuff, so for those students who wish to pursue that, there isn’t actually any issues on the ground. 2) Some of the older Philosophy faculty look down on students getting MAs, basically assuming that if you didn’t get in to the PhD you are an idiot and will never get in anywhere. There’s not a whole lot you can do about this other than to just ignore those professors, which is super easy. On a day to day level, those problems really don’t exist though. The vast majority of the faculty are not like this though.
  21. Yes, that reputation as a cash cow is certainly true, but that’s also a reputation that most largely unfunded MAs have. However, I was largely speaking about the reputation of those programs re: quality of education, value of degree compared to other institutions (both for getting hired and for acceptance into other degree granting programs). Because the reality is when you walk away from a program, other people don’t see your financial situation, they see your degree. And the op was asking about the reputation of the institution, not about evaluating the financial elements of it.
  22. So, MAPH and MAPSS are quite different. MAPH is primarily filled with students in the following fields: art history, philosophy, English literature, linguistics, political science (theory), classics, music, cinema studies. MAPSS is much more social science oriented: anthropology, sociology, history, political science, communications, etc. If you are more focused on the social science part of things, MAPSS seems far more to fit your stated interests. Both programs are well respected by academia, largely because of U. Chicago’s reputation. Just be honest with MAPSS, you have a background in pol. sci, but want to transition to history. Your background sounds just like why interdisciplinary MAs exist.
  23. Thank you! Yeah, they have been incredibly responsive and the people seem just really respectful of the difficulties that applicants are going through in the process. I’m really glad you’ve been successful this cycle, its heartwarming to see people in this forum do well.
  24. I have accepted my offer at Duquesne University, with a final score 2a/1w/4r. AOI - Phil. Music, Plato, Deleuze, Aesthetics. Extremely excited to work at a program with like 4 scholars who all work on large portions of my interests. Basically been my top choice since I started applying.
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