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About lkjpoi

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    United States
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
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  1. Fall 2018 Applicants

    I think it's best to treat the MA application as if it were a PhD application in that you should demonstrate in it your seriousness and the depth of interests as well as your understanding of the particular department in which you want to study. I believe the application should be explicit in saying that the MA will serve as preparation for the PhD. By doing that you will prove that you know what you are doing and are not idly stumbling into the profession, but rather that you are attempting to take careful steps towards developing intellectually and professionally before embarking on your doctoral research. That said, as far as I know from friends in the field (which is a small number of people), it is not absolutely necessary to get in contact with POIs and name them in your statement of purpose when applying to the MA. But I think it is a good idea and it is better to err on the side of overdoing your effort in the application. And, the writing sample, LOR, and SOP are just as important as in the PhD application, especially if you hope to get some kind of funding. You should always be aiming to impress the committee as much as you can!
  2. French Renaissance/Early Modern France MA (in Paris?)

    The Warburg Institute and the Courtauld Institute of Art offer excellent MA programs in Renaissance studies. They are both based in London.
  3. How to narrow field of interest?

    Also, to address the more particular concern of this thread, I would say that the best way to pick a field is to just go for it. I know different people make decisions using different methods, but I have always believed in the shoot first, aim later way. Deciding on grad school, and more generally choosing a life path, is never going to be wholly rational. It's an illusion to think it can be. So choose what your intuition points towards, what seems interesting and follow it until you can't anymore. For one thing, your intuition, whatever vague preferences you have, likely have deep roots, and, for another, decisions can change. You can shift interests in grad school and after. But the important thing is to be dedicated to the topic for a while first. Acquire some definite experience and proceed from there.
  4. How to narrow field of interest?

    I also followed the break and MA trajectory before beginning my PhD. I have met many students who have done this as well. Most, if not all, of my classmates in my PhD program have a MA. From the break I gained just what ctg7w6 said, perspective and a deep appreciation for academic work. I realized that the 9-5 was not for me and that I really liked school and I felt highly motivated to devote myself to study. From the MA I figured out my research interests. I got a fair bit of experience delving into various related historical problems which together formed my current academic subfield and proposed doctoral dissertation topic. And, equally important for one's success, from the MA I learned how the academic field works: who are the big current scholars, who works on what topics, how do PhD programs vary and how do people get into them. And I also got letters of recommendations. I highly recommend doing a MA if you can. It seems to me that the competition in the field of history has increased so much in the past decade (or more, I don't know), that the skill requirements and the necessity of networking to enter the field have sky rocketed in tandem with that increase. The need for the MA is symptomatic of the increased competition, I think. I suppose you can circumvent the MA by having a good undergrad record, being impressive and lucky, and having good professional connections. To find an appropriate MA program I suggest asking professors for advice as well as researching the possibilities online.
  5. Fall 2017 applicants

    Sounds super promising! What is your field, if I may ask? UChicago is my top choice as well. I study early modern European history.
  6. Fall 2017 applicants

    I don't think it's a lack of information, but a lack of programs. There are far more doctoral candidates in the sciences than in the humanities. Look at this fun table.
  7. Language training

    It might be helpful for you to identify what kinds of sources you are interested in studying and to decide on the languages you need from there. Are the 16- and 17th-century texts on prostitution, witchcraft, etc. you're interested in written in Latin or the vernacular? The language requirements exist, at least essentially, to demonstrate your ability to execute the particular kind of research you want to do. For the intellectual history of early modern Europe, Latin is typically crucial. I imagine beginning there might be best given the scope of your interest. But perhaps your focus on social history leads you more often to German and Italian language texts, so maybe those languages would be more useful to you. I agree with xypathos that it is a good idea to reach out to a professor with this question about how best to prepare yourself for your research interests.
  8. Fall 2017 applicants

    Are there other active grad school forums out there? I am curious about the drop in interest in this year's application forum (I've been following this site for two years) and am wondering whether the current applicants have shifted to a different website or whether these kinds of forums are just becoming less popular generally. In any case, I'm definitely hoping we've all gotten lucky and there are fewer applicants this year!
  9. Statistics on gender ratios

    Does anyone know of any good research on gender ratios in the field of history? I would also be curious to see studies on gender stats in different specializations within history. Just for fun. I made a calculation at a conference on early modern art history and found that of the speakers there 26% were women.
  10. I'm looking for short-term (less than one year) positions to fill my gap year. Can anyone recommend websites that have listings or tell me general methods of seeking out opportunities? I have applied to a couple of fellowships but I haven't been able to find very many that are open to non-doctoral students. I'm imagining there are openings like internships, research assistant positions, library jobs, and perhaps more substantial research project stuff available for postgrad students, but I'm struggling to find them. If it's relevant, my field is medieval and early modern European history. I can maybe do early modern art history too. P.S. Thanks to everyone who has replied to my recent posts. It's helpful to hear of other students' experiences.
  11. How to decide on backup schools

    What is the best way to determine your chances when applying for PhD programs? I'm using the US News rankings to create my list of schools to apply to, but I'm not sure how far down the list I should go. I'll be applying to top-ten schools but I don't know what would be reasonable "safe" options for me. I'm sort of thinking of applying to schools in the #30s ranking as my backups. Any thoughts on this question?
  12. How common is it for PhD applicants to have publications on their CV already? Are publications important to get into a top-ten program? Does it vary by field? Is age or experience relevant? I mean, would a committee be more likely to expect someone older or someone who has a master's degree already to have publications? I'd be grateful for any personal experiences, anecdotes, or insights! Thanks.
  13. Rejected for PhD... now what?

    Is it common for Ph.D. applicants to be rejected from the Ph.D program but admitted to the MA? I'm especially curious about how it works in History.
  14. Whatcha reading?

    Konrad Lorenz's On Aggression, which I have almost finished and is now one of my favorite books. I dream of writing as well as Lorenz and I also love studies on the social behavior of animals. I'm looking forward to finishing my grad school applications so I can stop reading (and editing) my own writing and especially so I can stop staring at the computer screen all day. I've been mentally creating the list of books I'm going to read after January, and boy is it gonna be amazing.
  15. Thank you for posting this! I was really worried there for a second.