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xolo

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xolo last won the day on September 27 2014

xolo had the most liked content!

About xolo

  • Rank
    Mocha
  • Birthday 01/08/1916

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  • Location
    Aztlán
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    PhD Spanish Linguistics and Translation

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. xolo

    Spanish Fall 2018

    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!
  4. xolo

    What now?

    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.
  5. The waiting part really got on my nerves. Fortunately, a professor gave me a heads-up in late January, which made everything easier.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. xolo

    Writing Sample Advice??

    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.
  11. xolo

    Ph.D. in Spanish/Portuguese

    Your different languages will help you, but if you are interested in Spanish you should be going for C2 certification. It is not that hard! The Cervantes Institute wants you to pass. Spanish Literature is, of course, the traditional route to a PhD in Spanish. You need to eloquently express a research interest that will grab an influential professor's attention. I worked on my writing samples and letter of intent for a year and ran out of time (I'm not that good of a creative writer).
  12. xolo

    PhD in French Studies / Comp Lit / French Lit

    Where you have been/lived is not that important in my experience, nor is the level of your language proficiency, given that your written application submissions are excellent academic language (in your target language). For me, the bigger factor was ability to articulate a research interest that has something in common with a professor on the admission committee, which is what got me admitted to a top-50 worldwide program. That was my experience a couple of years ago. Anyway, I did have a lot of Spanish-language country living, so perhaps I am being one-sided. If you want to reside in France for a while, it certainly can only help! My point is don't be so hard on yourself, do what you want and aim at want you aspire to. You will succeed if you keep at it, probably sooner rather than later!
  13. ^^^^^^ agree all WS and SOP rule. Everything else seems to tend to be boxes that must be checked.
  14. xolo

    MA after 10 year hiatus?

    I went back after a long break in a completely different field, a total change. Just seconding the suggestions for finding letter writers, I took courses for a couple of years at the local university, then applied. That gave me some coursework and my letter writers. It worked, I got into a great program at a prestigious state school.
  15. I don't think I could keep up with you. A thesis in one semester? wow! If your PhD program is anything like mine, your coming 2/2 plus 3 courses(?!) I guess is doable but do you also have a dissertation topic in mind? That would be the problem for me because in my program the next year, the second year of the PhD, requires an approved dissertation topic and also at the end of the second year qualifying exams. I would need a lot of time to prepare for those things (ie during the first year).
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