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Duns Eith

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Duns Eith last won the day on December 8 2019

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  1. Duns Eith

    Low GPA

    You're right the optics don't look good for undergrad. But it is possible to get accepted. It needs to be balanced against everything else. Your grades in grad school are not bad, not the best, but it is possible to get accepted. Again, all things considered. Your letter writers, though, should mitigate against this. They should be able to say that your grades put you in the 85 percentile or 90 percentile, or ideally, >95 percentile. Make sure you have excellent letter writers with plenty positive to say about you. The things you need to work on: writing sample should be immaculate. It should have an argument. It should have support for that argument. It should be clear, with linear flow and headers and verbal signposting. It should handle a topic that shows you did research outside of the course syllabus. It should be readable by someone who has never read the author you are dealing with, or has never even read the topic being handled. In order to accomplish this, seek advice about the best paper you can put forward. Ask your letter writers for advice. Be open minded about re-writing the paper from scratch. Ask friends who have never touched your topic to read it for clarity. Flag everything that they said was not clear. Ask your philosopher friends whether you've given a good argument. Ask the professor you wrote the paper for what you need to fix to make it a competitive writing sample. Fix everything they tell you is wrong. In case it is not obvious: your writing sample can't be co-authored. In other news, if you do everything right, you can still get shut out while applying for 20 programs. It is extremely competitive. It has a lottery-like aspect to it.
  2. To add to what @you'll_never_get_to_heaven said, if you have very distinct interests and it pigeonholes you in the department, this could work in your favor. All the faculty will know who you are, because you're that guy. All the grad students will give you an opportunity to be the butt of jokes and take it with grace or respond with wit. When opportunities arise for your interests, they will tend to get forwarded to you. The opportunities would be there, but you've got to have the right personality and character to make the best of them.
  3. You're welcome In all seriousness, I sometimes wonder if I should've taken warnings a little more seriously. I went into this with eyes wide open as a newly married guy. But now I have a child. And the idea of gainful employment and security increase in their value to me personally each day. This is doable to some extent with an MA. There are plenty of applied philosophy programs. For example, if you're into ethics, there are programs that are intentionally interdisciplinary and geared toward application. Medical humanities, business ethics, engineering ethics, etc. Some are philosophically light, though. You'd have to look deeply into the program's faculty. Likewise, there are programs in ontology. Some are more philosophically oriented than others. There are some who work in ontologies and the department of defense (see, for example, Barry Smith's work on defining terrorism, an ontology of territory (and borders), as well as information systems. There is a similar program at his school with bioinformatics (information ontologies for healthcare). Depending on the think tank, I know people who have gone into terminal MAs and gone to help with environmentalist causes, religious causes, etc. Almost all these options seem to be in-person. But I can't say there aren't any online options. As my personal plan B or plan C -- I hope to teach on the side even if I have a full-time job elsewhere. There are plenty of opportunities for part-time adjuncting. Community colleges almost always have an open pool for those who have at least 18 credits of at a grad level, with preference to MA and PhD conferred. Not only community colleges, but also smaller schools too. That's great to hear. Except that last sentence, lol.
  4. Hi, @JesusFdz What are your long-term goals? I saw elsewhere that you were thinking of going into philosophy in order to teach. I hate to be the Donny downer, but you realize that this is not the kind of thing you just go into. Teaching jobs that pay more than rent, clothing, and food are hard to come by. If you go into a PhD program, you need to accept the possibility that you never get more than an adjunct position. Adjunct pay right now is somewhere between $1,600 and $3,000 per class (from where I have seen in large metro areas/big state universities, not cities like NYC, LA or Chicago). That means if you teach two classes at one "well-paying" school at $2500 each and two classes at another "average" school for $2000 each, you're looking at a very full load (probably 120 students), and only making $9,000 a semester, or $18,000 per year (not including summers). Famous article, now 15 years old, and the prospects even worse: "Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go" https://www.chronicle.com/article/Graduate-School-in-the/44846 Anyone who aspires to a PhD needs to have the absolute determination that you will consider it worthwhile to complete, even if you don't get the tenure track job. Setting aside 6-10 years of your life making low income must be worth it to you for other reasons than becoming a professor. As for MA programs, don't pay for a program. I think you said you can do tuition assistance via GI bill. I dunno how that works, especially for international stuff. As for Edinburgh, I have had friends go to Edinburgh in different departments. All of them were happy there in person. I have no idea what you'd expect in doing remote work.
  5. Expect to have the flexibility to move your work load around. You call the shots. It is in your hands. No one is going to force you to work 11 months of the year. How often do you have flexibility to go places over summer? Every year. During semester? Probably ABD (all-but-dissertation). Financially and professionally, it is wise not to take more than a month off. But you are given freedom. I know grad students who have 4 months per year off (3 mo. in summer, 1 mo. in January). I think it is foolish to do so, but this just tells you that you have a lot of wiggle room if you want to take it. Some students will say "Don't run the rat race. Take your break as long as you want! It is good for your mental health!" Sure. You can. And there may be seasons when it is necessary. But lemme say that advice to make it the norm to take months off usually comes from people who end up dropping out before they finish. Why? because they didn't take their work seriously. Lacking excellent work habits. Failing to make and stick to a long-term goal of getting a tenure-track job. They don't work on research or writing over summer or take advantage of the various short breaks to get caught up on work; they just fall further behind. When they realize they have wasted their time and they need to finish major milestones in their PhD, they just drop out. The truth is, for better or worse, you must work significantly harder than average to remain competitive on the market. But is any department forcing you? No. A month a year is more than reasonable.
  6. You don't need to worry. There are people who are accepted into programs having little more than Critical Thinking. Expect to kick it up a notch though. Graduate level logic courses are significantly harder, as they resemble more analysis in math departments than philosophy. Depending on the program, they might have you take a remedial logic course, accept what you've got as fine as long as you can pass a standardized exam (which you may have a semester to prepare), or they may have a very high bar and you will need to sort out your remedial logic chops before you attempt the grad level. Really, each program is different. You shouldn't worry too much. That's funny
  7. Haha. Wow. That's funny. And intense. How far did it you edit it down? 30 pages? 20?
  8. How much later, like December and January? jk jk I kid I kid
  9. Yes. Definitely a chance. Work on your writing sample.
  10. I am just now realizing this is your first post on GradCafe. Welcome to the forum! Feel free to tell us about yourself, check out our different sub-forums. Are you a philosophy major?
  11. Wouldn't it be better to just have a google form or an open spreadsheet? I'd rather not provide all that information (some of which might be sensitive) associated with my username here. I'm not opposed to making this information available. I'm opposed to providing it in this manner (a way that does not promote useful data organization for analysis;a way that may reduce significantly one's anonymity). Make only a few fields required for submission.
  12. Many, many programs do this. I doubt there is any document/site that keeps track in one spot. As I understand it, often programs will accept 8-30 credits, but the credits cannot go toward another MA at your PhD-granting institution and it often consumes credits that fall into categories like classes taken credit/no-credit, or classes transferred, or classes taken outside department. Also, some programs determine student progress by the credits they earn. So this might change dates like when your comp exams or papers are due, or when you are expected to get your prospectus. As such, I encourage you to collect that information on a case-by-case basis. As for me, I was able to transfer 24 credits. This meant a whole year of difference. It did not affect my deadlines for major milestones because I transferred at the end of my 2nd year rather than when I entered. [edit] P.S. Save every syllabus and major paper for your classes you hope to transfer. Your department might have a complicated approval process.
  13. I am vehemently opposed to paying for an MA in the humanities. Pick a program that pays you, not costs you.
  14. For those who are applying again next year, make sure you look into application fee waivers. You may qualify even if you don't think you would. If you're worried about funds, this may enable to you to apply to more schools than you originally budgeted for. My second time I applied out I was surprised I was able to save $200. One thing you gotta watch is the deadlines for these waivers. Sometimes they are only available two months before the app deadline itself. They need time to approve it before you hit "Submit" on your app. (E.g., give you a promo code)
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