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xolo last won the day on September 27 2014

xolo had the most liked content!

About xolo

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/08/1916

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Atlacomulco, Estado de México
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Spanish, Language Ideologies

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  1. xolo

    Spanish 2020

    You guys rock! I felt the same way a couple of years ago while working up to my MA. I don't study literature, I'm in a linguistics program and at the time I was writing about the fonetics of a Mexican tonal language. I thought I was going to fail! I never want to write about phonetics again. ever. I can remember how my MA chair "strongly encouraged" me to work harder. Now I'm here where that language is spoken but I'm working on cultural aspects. I'm good. Good luck to everyone.
  2. xolo

    Spanish 2020

    Hi SlyManuel. You're already done with your applications? Wow, that is efficient! I wasn't done nearly so quickly back at the end of 2014 when I submitted my 9 applications. But, extremely stressed is normal, most people feel that way, and that's exactly how I felt back then. I'm now in my fifth year of a PhD program and I went ABD in June 2019. I'm doing fieldwork now to "finish" my PhD (as if the dissertation isn't much of anything!) I wish everyone great success!
  3. I didn't have any interviews out of 9 applications (4 acceptances). But, the conversations I had with professors before being accepted were mostly in English. I find my department favors English in internal matters, but it does vary depending on who is talking and which is their strongest language. But, the Spanish classes themselves are 99% conducted in Spanish. Oops, I mean the undergraduate Spanish classes. For graduate classes, it really varies. Some of the professors are native in Portuguese. Good luck to everybody!
  4. I applied to 9 programs and no one interviewed me. I ended up going to a tier-1 public research university. The most important aspect of the application, at least for me anyway, was research fit with a professor who was on the admission committee. That was just dumb luck, I had no idea what I was doing. Other than that, the written material you submit, like SOP and writing samples, are also important. The GRE and GPA I don't think are that important, more like technicalities. The application deadline for the program I joined was in December and I was officially accepted in Februrary (If I recall correctly), but a professor let me know via email in January. That professor became my MA chair and is now my PhD chair. Good luck to everyone.
  5. I applied 4 years ago and got into my top choice. It was really just dumb luck as I didn't have any idea what I was doing. I didn't have any degree in my field. I got my MA Spanish in 2017 and now am trying to go ABD (All But Dissertation). I'm planning to be in Mexico all of next year and thankfully stop teaching undergrad Spanish classes (they take way too much of my time). Anyway, one thing I've learned and as many of you know, you need to create a relationship with a professor who shares your interests. That's the only reason I've made it this far since there is so much nonsense that transpires in an academic department, some of it pretty petty and some of it pretty ugly. I'll go even further and say you need to have friendlies and support on your committees, both MA and PhD, that point cannot be overstated. So it all comes down to building and maintaining good personal relationships. Good luck to all of you this year.
  6. I'm an engineer and am now in a PhD program in an unrelated field. It can be done. Is that "no second bachelors" across the board at all schools in California? I didn't know that. You could look at undergrad CS majors and see how your completed coursework compares. That maybe should be a topic in your SOP (if those exist for MSCS). Also, talk to professors at potential schools and ask them. It seems that not all universities have the same policies.
  7. xolo

    PhD in the US

    In my department the record to PhD was 2.5 years, which is singularly exceptional. As has been mentioned, if you come in with a MA in your field, then maybe 5 years is typical to PhD, without the MA, then maybe 6 years. It takes 2-3 years to finish coursework. But keep in mind that only about half the incoming students finish. And there are some that take longer than 6 years. It just depends on you. I'm at a tier-1 state research university. I look at it this way (for me): years 1-2 MA work, years 3-4: finish coursework, write dissertation proposal (no minor task) and pass qualifying exams, years 5-6 (ABD) write the dissertation. I don't expect to be able to significantly compress this schedule (my personal viewpoint about me). I find that I am working full time or even more just to keep up. At my school I teach undergrad Spanish and that is rather time consuming. If you are worried about starting at 34 years old, you really shouldn't be. You'll be around 40 when you finish and I don't see that as any big issue (my personal opinion).
  8. Just to try to help, many programs do not interview. So don't worry too much about that. I did not interview with any of the 9 programs I applied to. I do think there is a tendency to send out rejections at the end of the application cycle. Sometimes you even have to ask (otherwise they would never tell you). Hope that helps!
  9. It was impossible for me to stay off of thegradcafe! Good advice though, if you can do it. I'll just reiterate TeaOver and say it really depends. One professor sent me an email in late January with advance notice, which officially came through in February. On the other hand, a different school never notified me. I finally asked in April and after several emails the department chair sent me an blunt email saying I had been rejected. So it all depends. Try to keep in mind they are only human, they are really busy, and there is quite a bit of bureaucracy.
  10. The waiting part really got on my nerves. Fortunately, a professor gave me a heads-up in late January, which made everything easier.
  11. Just a thought to keep your options open. I didn't have any degree in Spanish and was accepted into a few MA programs and one MA/PhD program. I took the MA/PhD program and am really glad I did. I am super non-traditional and can't imagine going through an entire application cycle just two years out at the same time as finishing my MA (which was extremely stressful in itself and I certainly didn't have any time to prepare applications again). So most of the programs were funded but I'm glad I took the one that covers at least six years.
  12. I'm going to offer an alternative opinion. The LWs might be able to advise you, but what you really need to know is what the admission committee members think. If you can communicate with or at least professors in the department, that would be great. I'm of the view, since it is what I did and it worked (more like dumb luck in my case), is that the SOP, WS, and any other important documents, all support themselves with a common theme viewed from different perspectives. And, ideally, they should coincide with the interests of at least one professor in the department, that professor will be your "champion". Anyway, that was my strategy.
  13. I wouldn't worry too much. Most of my fellow grad students study literature so they are in the humanities and many of them are not native speakers of English. Their GRE scores can be pathetic and it doesn't seem to matter much. BTW, your scores are pretty impressive I would think, a combined 320, where the cutoffs I've seen have been around 300 if I recall correctly.
  14. I applied to (9) schools. All but one wanted (3) letters, I sent them each three letters (the same three). One school, where I was accepted as it turned out, wanted (3), but allowed (4) (it was specifically in their instructions). For that school I submitted (4). So yes, I believe following the rules in this case is better. It's hard to believe the sheer amount of material submitted all gets read, so why push it?
  15. I have no knowledge of your field, but I was successful in applying to PhD programs (4 out of 7). In my opinion, the Writing Sample ideally should be consistent with your Statement of Purpose and should align with the interests of a faculty member, especially one who is on the admissions committee. It's sort of a semi-random alignment of the stars type situation. I would say the Writing Sample should show that you have potential to do independent research. Your MA thesis should show basic independent research, and the dissertation should show in-depth independent research.
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