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About rock34

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    United States
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
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  1. I know in my sub-field of humanities, employers look for those who have had coursework at an advanced degree level in addition to the teaching experience that others have pointed out. Both coursework and teaching experience are required in the US PhD programs. For this reason, do you think that Canadian PhD programs that require coursework and teaching experience will be viewed equally with US PhD programs assuming that the the two are equal in terms of rank and reputation? I will be starting a PhD program in Canada that is considered top tier this fall where I would be required to take courses and gain teaching experience, so I am hoping that the answer to my question is yes.
  2. This is the question that I've been thinking about recently. So it sounds like the list includes: publications, conference presentations, funds/awards, networking, and teaching experience. (1) What about grades and recommendations? I'm about to start a PhD program this fall, and I'll be taking only a handful of courses for the coursework phase. Of course the courses that I select should be relevant with my research, but should I target certain scholars in my field for recommendation purposes? Do employers care about grades and GPA at this point? (2) And what about being involved in reputable conferences and societies? (3) Lastly, my field is humanities(!), so if you think that the above is only applicable to computer science, then I can start a separate discussion topic for the humanities.
  3. So I've been wait listed fairly early (about 6 weeks ago), but I haven't heard a peep since. I remember reading somewhere that when you are wait listed, it's better to not hear from that school until late in the application season--if you hear back early than it's likely a rejection, but if you hear back later into the application season, then there's a greater chance that you've been accepted. I'm not quite understanding the logic behind this, so my question is if there is any truth to this. Is there a correlation between earlier/later updates and acceptances/rejections?
  4. I have a question that might be very obvious to some of you: why are Canadian programs so different than US programs in terms of funding? I know that some US programs don't offer full funding, but I thought that most of them did. The only explanation that I received from various Canadian students and faculty is that the tuition rates are very cheap for domestic students, so the little financial package that is offered goes a long way for domestic students. On the other hand, for international students like myself, the financial package offered is actually more than what is offered to domestic students,but because the tuition rates for international students are so much higher, the financial package covers much less of the expenses. But most of the US schools with which I'm familiar not only cover the tuition, but offer a 15 to 30 K stipend on top of it, which is not even comparable to what Canadian domestic students end up receiving. Why is there such a discrepancy? (Sorry if this post belongs to a different forum; if so, then please let me know which forum and I'll gladly post there.)
  5. Hi, I've been wait listed at my top choice (X) a few months ago, but I haven't heard back since. Meanwhile, I was accepted into one of my preferred options (Y), but the funding is very limited. Y wants me to let them know by 3/31 (it is an international school and does not follow the 4/15 principle). In X's email regarding the wait list from a few months back, it mentioned to let X know if I want to withdraw my application in case if I hear from other schools; there was no mention of where I stood in the wait list even when I inquired further Should I email X, letting them know that I've received an acceptance but that X is still my top choice? Along with that, I'd like to ask if I could have a general timeline as to when they might know about my status since I need to make a decision earlier than the 4/15 deadline. Is this a wise move? If so, then could some of you help me phrase it? I'm having a hard time actually writing the email as I'm unsure if it might backfire.
  6. Those interviews in the results page were not part of the official admissions process at PTS; they were initiated by individual professors. At least this year, PTS does not do interviews. The closest thing that it does is host an "Admitted Student Visit Day" sometime in March for those who received acceptances. Based on the results entries, all notifications should be released on the last Friday of February (i.e., today).
  7. Has anyone received an automated message from Baylor that they didn't receive one of your required documents until today? I received this email just now and I'm wondering if I should contact them to make sure that my application is okay. Also, in my dashboard, it says that some of the items in my application are missing or that they were received on 12/16 (due date was 12/15). I never worried about it because I received a confirmation email on 12/16, and I was later waitlisted so I assumed that they were able to review my full application. Should I be concerned and contact them?
  8. I don't have any first-hand information on this, but you might be able to construct a rough timeline using the results search (though there aren't too many listings, and things could be different this year). For example: http://www.thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=rice+religion&t=a&o= http://www.thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=rice+religious&t=a&o= Others could probably answer this question better than me, but would it hurt to send an email to the program's admissions department? For all of my applications, they told me the general timeline via either their website or the confirmation email that was sent upon completing my application. Hope this helps, and good luck.
  9. I've been wait listed at Baylor via email today. Does this basically mean that I won't receive a decision until mid-April?
  10. Has anyone been accepted into a doctoral program in Religious Studies and been utterly surprised by it? Most that I hear about the admissions process is how competitive it is, and how unlikely one is to be admitted. Of course this is true, but I thought it'd be worthwhile to hear stories of some of you who have been accepted even though you felt like your situation was particularly improbable. Also, why did you think that your situation was particularly improbable--what aspects of your application process were most troubling to you? And in hindsight, what aspects of your application do you think were most appealing?
  11. Hi, I had a quick question regarding the admissions process for doctoral programs. I applied to a few programs for NT studies. For some, like Baylor, I haven't received any invitations to interview. Does that mean I'll eventually be rejected? Have any of you been admitted to a doctoral program without being interviewed, even though that program typically conducts interviews? I'm sure every school is a little different, but I assume that if I did not get invited to interview, then I'll either be rejected or I have a slim chance of being admitted, but only after being wait-listed.
  12. rock34

    PhD or ThM or MA?

    Tollelege, your response is helpful. If you're not too busy, I sent you a PM and I'd love to hear some more of your thoughts.
  13. rock34

    PhD or ThM or MA?

    newenglandshawn - thank you for your response. Looks like you are right on--our backgrounds are almost identical. I'm sending you a PM in case if you want to continue the dialogue.
  14. rock34

    PhD or ThM or MA?

    Thank you all for your responses--each of them is very helpful! Although I am concerned about how conservative my seminary is, I am more concerned that the only degree that I have is an MDiv. I presume that all of the other applicants have more advanced degrees, and that the applicants that do have only MDivs probably have exceptional credentials (e.g., higher GPA, near 99% GRE, publication(s), presentation(s) at SBL, stronger recommendations [or connections], etc.) that would make me look very ordinary. I looked briefly at various student bios at these types of institutions, and most of them seem to have a ThM. So I guess my main question is: is an MDiv enough to be a strong applicant for the top US NT PhD programs? trinitymatthew - yes, it is ATS accredited. It is a legitimate institution, but its strong ideological conviction casts a shadow over scholarship, especially biblical studies. diazalon - I think your distinction between writing sample and research paper is very helpful (but difficult for me to consistently apply!). I need to remind myself the scope of this sample, and how much I can cohesively fit within a ~20 page limit. sacklunch - my focus would be on NT exegesis with a more theological perspective, which is probably more in line with places like Duke/Emory/Princeton, than places like Yale/Harvard/Chicago. My primary historical background would be from 2nd temple Judaism to early Christianity, but I'm also interested in the history of interpretation throughout the development of the church. My main strengths are my language abilities. Although I haven't acquired too many different languages, I am very confident in my ability to acquire new languages quickly and to integrate them into my research; I've been very comfortable and effective with the (limited) experience that I've had exegeting with Hebrew and Greek. Methodology would be determined by the genre of the passage, and the particular question that needs to be addressed. So I've incorporated some historical-critical methods in my research when applicable, but I personally enjoy a more literary and narrative approach. I'm pretty flexible and very open to learning about as many different approaches as possible, which is why I am drawn to a non-conservative institution (in fact, I am passionate about anything even remotely related to NT). I know, my interests are pretty plain and traditional, making me feel like I need to stand out somehow even more. Your comments on questioning the wisdom of my topic are things that I've been mulling over throughout the summer. I'd love to share w/you more via a PM conversation if you are available. newenglandshawn - thank you for empathizing with me! I just lifted up a prayer for you--I hope God grants you success in all of your efforts. Quick question: why have you waited for 2 years? More specifically, what do you think you concretely gained during these 2 years that is making you a stronger applicant? In hindsight, do you think it would've been better to have completed an MA or ThM during these past 2 years? The reason for my questions is that I've been debating on whether I should wait a year to solidify my applications (I probably won't be able to apply this year because I am too busy with my classes and family), or if I should enroll in a ThM program which I hope would strengthen my CV. If you are not comfortable answering these questions, then I completely understand.
  15. Hi everyone, I am trying to get admitted to a mainstream NT PhD program in the US (see list below), and I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether or not I should apply now or if I should obtain further degrees. I am finishing up an MDiv degree at a pretty conservative, evangelical seminary. From what I've heard, the reputation of my seminary is not very positive among the mainstream institutions to which I'm applying--although my seminary has a positive reputation in regards to its academic rigor and emphasis on original languages among conservative institutions (in fact, I think I could get directly into a conservative PhD program). Here are some of my credentials: GPA=3.89 Undergraduate GPA= * I don't know, but it's not impressive * GRE=V161; Q163; Writing5.0 (I'm assuming that my V GRE score is too low to be competitive as only an MDiv graduate, but that it would be sufficient if I were a ThM graduate) Publications or conference presentations=none I was the TA for a few different courses, including a couple of the original language courses I am taking a PhD reading course on Judaism Languages=Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew All of my recommenders promised a solid recommendation, but none of them has any connections to the school to which I am applying (no surprise) Writing sample=this is in progress. It is based on a fairly controversial passage, and it will be well-researched as I interact with a wide spectrum of sources including Catholics, Methodists, Feminists, those focused on a more social-scientific approach, patristics, Judaism, etc. I'd be interacting very little with evangelical/conservative scholars. My biggest concern--outside of my V GRE score--is the little research experience that I have. To compensate, I'm trying to make my writing sample laden with as much research as possible, but this might backfire and I might be inflicting unnecessary pressure on myself. Should I seek a ThM or an MA degree before applying to these PhD programs? Also, will my undergraduate GPA be a significant factor? Lastly, will it make a significant difference if I learn a modern research language (e.g., German, French) before I apply? I checked the "Results Search" and some of my credentials appear to be comparable, but I can't tell to which degrees those GPAs are associated (e.g., ThM, MDiv). List of schools to which I hope to apply: Baylor Duke Emory McMaster (Divinity; I understand that this is a Canadian school, I'd be open to going here if it's not too conservative/evangelical--your feedback on how conservative this institution is would be appreciated) Princeton (Seminary) Toronto (Divinity; I understand that this is a Canadian school, but I'd be more than open to going here) Yale
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