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Bschaefer

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Bschaefer last won the day on August 13 2018

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About Bschaefer

  • Rank
    Latte
  • Birthday 10/28/1992

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  • Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Interests
    Bioarchaeology, Forensic Anthropology, Palaeoepigenetics, Human Rights, Palaeopathology, Andean Peru
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Bioarchaeology

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  1. Hi @LocationQuotient I will say that you don’t necessarily need a background in anthropology to be accepted to anthro PhD programs. Of course, check the program website because some will explicitly say that you need a degree (BA or MA) in Anthropology or that it is preferred but you will get a solid training during your core classes. For my cohort, only two of us have a BA and MA in anthro, the rest have BAs or MAs in psychology, environmental sciences, sociology, or archaeology (these are from Unis outside American Anthro so it is a little different). These candidates were selected due to the diversity of their backgrounds and educational experiences so everything is useful so long as you can effectively convey why you are applying for an Anthro PhD - this goes for those even with degrees in anthropology. I don’t think that LoRs from those fields would put you at a disadvantage. I would sit down with them and discuss the programs you are interested in and why you seek the anthropological training and how your research fits well within the program. The linguistics background will help as well since it is part of the four-field approach to American anthropology, but maybe not much outside the US. Again, it really depends on how you market yourself. I would reach out to some professors who you would like to work with and send your CV as an attachment and possibly some questions etc. From there you could ask to get in touch with their students and see what their specific advice would be as well. Hope this helps!
  2. TL:DR - Look at the fit w/ the PI, then the stipend (and location of school/cost of living), and what you want in a program. Also, it is very acceptable to give your decision on 15 April - they hold your place in the program until then unless otherwise stated. For me, the biggest factour was the fit with the PI. Since you’re going to be in the program for at least 4 years, this is a huge commitment to study with someone so if you fit better with one over another PI then put it at the top of your list (or at least I did). Overall, you will be forever connected to the person (unless you switch subdiscipline or projector schools) so you should think how their tutelage is going to help you post-PhD. For example, if you got into a program for anthropological archaeology in Africa and your PI did work there once or works in Middle East area whereas another program your PI actively does research in Kenya and has other students doing research throughout East Africa, then that might influence your decision. For me, I’m an Andeanist so ultimately I decided on a PI that does work in the Andes in a program with a specific research focus in the Andes as opposed to a program where I was told doing Andean is fine but I would have to figure everything out on my own and they would be there to “loosely guide” me which did not sound appealing. The next thing I would consider would be the stipend, how much they are going to ask in fees (some school tariff international students more than domestic so be sure to get an idea of what you are expected to pay), and where the school is. Some schools have higher stipends and are located in the city whereas schools located in rural areas have somewhat lower stipends. I don’t see this as ‘better’ schools having more money for students, but that the cost of living is higher in NYC than say Binghamton, NY. I’m not sure of the specific stipends for different programs but they seem to vary starting around 17K to 36k at some of the Ivys. Additionally, some schools do not let you work outside of the PhD program so you are only getting the stipend with no additional income. I marked this second on my list last year because I was between moving to Chicago, rural Connecticut, staying in Atlanta, or moving back to Western Massachusetts. Each school offered different stipends but I had to factour the cost of living. I think it would be worth asking the current graduate students about this becuase they are actually living with this reality as opposed to the professors who are actually salaried. Every school is going to have pro’s and con’s and the strength in my opinion is debatable becuase everyone values something different. I study Biologial Anthropology and so the programs that have 1 Bioanth or none - to me - are not strong becuase I would not apply or get accepted. That doesn’t mean that they are strong in sociocultural theory or linguistics, just that the department is not really applicable to me. So for this, I would think about what is important in the program, the school, and they types of support you can receive from them. Plus, theoretically, every anthropology program in the United States (with a few exceptions) are 4-field but if they are absent on one of the 4, it’s not necessarily a disadvantage - just a different organization of the program/school/department. I would also look at nearby universities with Anthro departments or similar depts. to your research. Usually they will have an agreement for you to be able to take courses and maybe use lab facilities once you’ve developed a rapport with other Anthros. Hope this helps.
  3. I saw an acceptance at UIC - I’m currently a student there so let me know if you have any questions!
  4. When I applied last year at Penn, I had an informal skype session in December and then a formal interview in January for Bioanth.
  5. Let me know if you have any questions about GSU! I did my Anthropology and MPH there! Currently doing my PhD at UIC for bioanth!
  6. Oh gotcha, I would then try to separate the GPA for undergraduate courses and graduate course. Usually on the applications, they will ask for UG, grad, and cumulative GPA (All apps are different) so you could/would report all three. That way you can show that the grad GPA is better?-maybe?
  7. SInce you will have a MA, most programs will use that GPA as the main aspect of the GPAs. When I was applying for PhD, many programs mentioned that the MA GPA, coursework, and research was more important since I could already do graduate work. I also agree with @civitas and you should highlight your achievements. If they are curious about the low UG GPA, they will reach out to discuss further or during interviews (if the program/professor conducts interviews).
  8. Hey @Austin J., My masters program at Georgia State was funded and have a few faculty they have interests in visual culture but the general regional focus of the dept. is more Latin America. But, you could definitely do a thesis on SE Asia and would definitely add to the diversity of the program in terms of research focus. However, I will say - I’m currently at Univ. of Illinois at Chicago and the dept is divided between Andean Archaeology and SE Asia Critical Sociocultural Theory. I think that this dept. might be a better fit given the research interest. I would reach out to Mark Lietchy and Tarini Bedi who work in the area. A good portion of students in that area of the dept. are from India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal to name a few so it’s a great diverse bunch. If you wanna PM we can talk more but this gives you an idea of dept.
  9. I’m not sure that there are any programs that have an “article” only track instead of a dissertation. I will say that I know some grad programs allow for articles that you are first author on to be included as a thesis chapter(s). I this sort of what you are getting at?-I would check with the program’s handbook that you a interested in to see about specific policies.
  10. I think it would be best for applying with bioanth. Since you would be incorporating more theory into your project, and this should be reflecting in your proposal, then this field is probably better. Though it would be interesting for the evobio, they might hold it in the same regards to other proposals that are less theoretical just given the fields. I would reread your proposal and see which one it fits better with, but I think the bioanth would be better. Because at least with the bioanth section, you’re getting the panel that consists of people within your field compared to a much larger panel that could be doing anything within evobio
  11. Yeah, I agree. Check with the graduate school and the program and ask what is wanted. Once you open your official transcripts, they technically not ‘official’ - which is annoying. Some schools are okay with a scanned copy and only want official once you receive an offer. It all really depends. But take the time to check ahead because I spent too much money and time sending official first and then asking for a scanned copy and then not waiting any received through the post. It’s annoying but start now and save yourself the hassle.
  12. Hey Everyone, There was a great article on application advice for those getting ready for this application season. I would highly recommend following some/all to help get you prepared and ready so you’re not scrambling before the deadline. Also check out some of the other fora that more senior PhD students have done too. https://anthrodendum.org/2018/07/31/the-hiddencurriculum-of-applying-to-graduate-school-for-anthropology/
  13. @PMJ I think it’s pretty normal for doctoral students to learn a new language while in the program. For me, I’m learning Quechua and Aymara since I work in Peru and not many High Schools and Uni’s offer those courses haha. So for the most part, I’ve done some stuff in country and also have found workbooks that I go through to help keep it up. Sure, it’s not going from Spanish to Japanese, but I think even if you could audit the first few class sections to get down the characters, sounds, and pronounciations - then it will be much more easy than attempting this on your own. My MA advisor starting taking spanish courses in her second year of PhD. Sure, her accent isn’t the best buuuuut she’s fluent and actively conducts research in Peru. I would even suggest trying to get the critical language scholarship and study abroad in Japan - that way you’ll be forced to speak it. Also Duo Lingo in pretty good! I actually just started with the Japanese course and it’s really simple and enjoyable.
  14. Yeah I wouldn’t worry - A lot of professors are heading into the final period (as I am with my Intro course) and are terrible about emailing back. I just signed up for classes in the fall and just got an email from the DGS about my request that I sent about a month ago. Totally normal for them to be all over the place. Plus, there was a few conferences recently and that could be affecting them as well.
  15. Thanks! I’m going with University of Illinois at Chicago/The Field Museum of Natural History joint PhD program!
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