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Ramus last won the day on October 1 2016

Ramus had the most liked content!

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About Ramus

  • Rank
  • Birthday 02/19/1990

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  • Location
    Columbus, OH
  • Interests
    Early modern literature/culture, Milton, Spenser, Shakespeare
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Early Modern Lit

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  1. You should be good. Funding details aren't populated in the application portal.
  2. For all of you attending the OSU Open House on Monday, feel free to send me a DM with any last minute questions or concerns! I'm happy to help in any way I can.
  3. I genuinely sympathize for you. It's shitty feeling like you've gotten wins in this arduous process but that those wins might not be enough to position you well for your end goal (presumably, a TT job). As one of those commenters ragging on the odds of getting a decent TT job from a lower-ranked school, I'll just say that I hope it's clear my remarks are not designed to make readers feel like shit. I get no satisfaction from that. My concern is with the consequences of the well-meaning optimism on this site. I'm all for celebrating, but the back-slapping and congratulations can obfuscate the realities of graduate education in the humanities today: those coming out of lower-ranked programs are very unlikely to get good, well-paying jobs that allow graduates the time to think, write, and teach well. The national TT placement rate is something like 60%; it will be considerably lower than that for lower-ranked programs. If you're comfortable playing those odds, that's on you. I wish you good luck. It literally makes me sick to my stomach, however, to think that applicants are not undertaking such a big decision without considering the stark reality of the job situation. I hope it is obvious to all applicants that they should seek a range of opinions on these topics. The only caveat I would add is that you should take the opinions of your professors—especially if they graduated with their PhDs before 2008—with the same grain of salt you would apply to other pieces of advice. While I hope for your sakes that you have perfectly well-informed professors who can be painfully blunt with you about the relative merits of your prospective programs and the job market, you unfortunately cannot assume as much. Let me give two examples. While a baby undergrad way back in 2012/3, I got word that I had been admitted to the University of Arizona with a "fully-funded" package. My recommenders were ecstatic for me: "this is well-deserved," they told me, "a great offer," "proof that you have what it takes to be a professor," and on and on. But their enthusiasm was misplaced. They didn't know that UA had a heavy teaching load, a wimpy stipend, and, most importantly of all, a poor placement record. (If memory serves me correctly, UA had only placed one student in my subfield into a TT line in the prior five years.) If I hadn't pressed to find this all out on my own, and had simply listened to my professors, I may well have ended up in a program that would have left me unhappy and poorly positioned to secure post-graduate academic employment. Fast forward a few years: I'm now at Ohio State, working under smart, well-connected faculty. You'd think they'd be in the know and honest with me about jobs and the like, right? Wrong. My advisor has repeatedly expressed to me his belief that "those with the good ideas are the ones that make it" and good ideas simply "get out there"—regardless of the conditions required to create and refine good ideas, the connections needed to "market" those good ideas, and the institutional pedigrees that enable the kind of required connections to be made. This kind of pollyanaism borders on professional malpractice. Even someone like my advisor, who is closely attuned to the present job market, can indulge these habits of thought, either because they help him sleep at night or because he genuinely (if mistakenly) believes in the righteous meritocracy he espouses. TL;DR: GradCafe doesn't have all the answers, but don't assume your professors' words are gospel, either.
  4. You're right -- this is GradCafe, which is worse. As one of my mentors once joked to me after reading some of the advice on this site, 90% of the material on here is just the blind leading the blind. That includes any advice that describes online PhDs in English as "perfect" for anyone. For anyone who wants to teach at the college level, the online PhD is right up there with attending the Chicago MAPH in the category of dumpster-fire-bad ideas. On this topic there are no caveats, no "but...if"s, no "it might work for some." Just don't do an online PhD.
  5. This is half wrong. The prestige of the MA program generally doesn't matter all that much. In fact, a terminal MA program's prestige needn't even correlate with the prestige of the same institution's BA or PhD programs. (I'm looking at you, UChicago, Columbia, and NYU). But you are absolutely, 100% dead wrong to think that BA prestige doesn't matter. Don't believe me? Check out grad student CVs and departmental pages at Berkeley, Harvard, or Yale. You're not going to see a bunch of people listing Central Michigan, or Truman State, or Montevallo as their alma maters. Instead, you'll see a lot of people with degrees from Berkeley, Yale, Michigan, Oberlin, Reed, et cetera. Think that's purely a coincidence? Of course, that's not to say that you won't see exceptions to the general rule that prestige trumps most things. But don't let the exception trick you into missing the main point: a BA from Western Michigan (my alma mater) or a comparably unprestigious program puts you at a steep disadvantage for getting into top programs.
  6. All fair points. My advice for OP would be dramatically different if they were trying to split hairs over two programs ranked in the 20s ("Do I pick 23 or 26???"). One can certainly place too much stock in rankings. I'll only add that few programs publicly report their placement statistics as thoroughly as WashU. (As someone who's ditching academe upon graduation, I especially appreciate that WashU reports alt-ac placements as well. Too often those graduates are simply excluded from placement reports. ) For example, OP's two options don't post the kinds of placement information that one would need to really understand the likelihood each offers for securing a TT post. Miami reported their 2019 placements but nothing else. In lieu of comprehensive numbers/placements, Ball State offered only anecdotal "success stories," which forces one to guess about how representative these success stories are.
  7. As evidenced by this thread, you'll find examples of those who do well outside the top 20 as defined by US News (or top 30, or whatever your threshold is). That's not really the issue. The issue is whether a program consistently places its graduates into tenure-track lines. And, of course, we haven't even started the discussion about whether a program places its graduates into good tenure-track lines (with a livable wage, livable teaching expectations, etc.) But it sounds like you may have already made up your mind, OP. In all seriousness, I wish you the best of luck. I just don't want you to be disappointed if you put in the time for a PhD and don't find a tenure-track job waiting on the other side. That is the fate that will await most of us completing a PhD, but, fairly or unfairly, that is almost guaranteed to be the fate awaiting doctoral graduates of Miami or Ball State.
  8. That may be so—though I'd caution applicants placing too much stock in this kind of anecdotal claim—but it isn't especially relevant to the present discussion about Miami University of Ohio and Ball State University. As I've said elsewhere, the ranking systems are by no means perfect. My concern is that critiques of them, like yours, @Regimentations, might lead young applicants to believe they don't measure anything or that they can be outright ignored. In fact, they are especially important for cases like OP's. In the present case, the US News ranking system, even with its warts, helps support the conclusion that the two schools OP is considering would leave her/him/them with at or about a snowball's chance in hell of getting a tenure-track job. For the sake of OP, let's not have yet another quibble over the methodology of US News distract us for that reality.
  9. ETA: Now that I'm in front of my computer, allow me to elaborate. The most common (if much maligned) ranking system is the US News one: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/english-rankings. People like to grumble about it, but it's a decent approximation of prestige within our field. According to this list, Miami ranks #77 nationally. Ball State does not place in the top 153 programs surveyed here. Make of that what you will. I'll just say that if I knew the realities of the academic job market when I was applying for schools, I wouldn't consider programs outside the top 20. Here's some more information about the PhD placements at Ball State: https://www.bsu.edu/-/media/www/departmentalcontent/english/pdfs/graduateprograms/graduate program alumni.pdf?la=en&hash=B292055CC6E80F7A38700693FC0A09C595B4453D. The long and short: they've placed two Literature PhDs into professorships in the last ten years. Neither of those appointments was in the US. Here's some more information about PhD placements at Miami: https://miamioh.edu/cas/academics/departments/english/academics/graduate-studies/literature/lit-grad-achievements/index.html. There's little long term information listed on their site, but they Miami place someone into a high-teaching-load TT line last year, along with a couple of VAPs. That's better than Ball State, but not much better.
  10. With all due respect to you and others considering these programs, I wouldn't seriously consider either of them if you want a TT job teaching literature. Neither are highly ranked and neither will lead to a tenured position on the lit track. (The outlook may be slightly better for rhet/comp at Miami.)
  11. If by better or lesser "known" you mean more or less prestigious, go with option 1. As I've said elsewhere, prestige is the name of the game if you're looking for work in higher ed. That should be your priority over the other things you mentioned (including the money). I'll also add that "vibes" are usually a bad way to gauge a program, especially given that whatever vibes you can discern at this point in the application cycle are going to be superficial markers of faculty and program quality. If you go to an acceptance day at a program and the faculty members are total dicks to you and blow you off, that's one thing. But if you're just talking about the few sentence emails from faculty that you may or may not have received, then don't read too much into those one way or the other.
  12. Eek, I should have read your message more closely -- I somehow managed to skip over the part of your message that said you'd applied to the NELC program. Since that's an entirely different department, and individual programs determine how they run their grad admissions, I can't tell you how NELC conducts their admissions. I also don't know what their funding package is. I suspect it will be comparable to English's, but funding packages are set at the departmental level. Sorry for my screw-up!
  13. There is always a gap between when OSU sends out admissions and when it communicates funding info. You should get a phone call or email from the DGS a week or two after the first notification that you've been admitted.
  14. Congrats to all of you OSU admits! I'm happy to answer questions about the program in general, and I can provide more detailed information on the medieval and Renaissance faculty, programs, etc. in the department.
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