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Everything posted by qualiafreak

  1. I've been accepted to GSU and UMSL for MA. As of now, the funding packages are identical (but I am on the short list for a fellowship at GSU). My interests are primarily centered around Philosophy of Cognitive Science and also Epistemology. I know that GSU is a great fit for these interests, especially mind, and also has better placement overall. However, there are some specifics to my situation that have me questioning whether or not GSU really is the obvious choice or not. The main advantage of UMSL is its proximity to WUSTL which is fantastic for the Philosophy of Cognitive Science. I know proximity by itself doesn't necessarily indicate the possibility of working relationships with faculty, but in this case it does. In fact, one of my favorite scholars at WUSTL e-mailed me saying they hope I accept the offer at UMSL so I can work with them and take courses with them. This would be very exciting for me. Another difference between the program is the required work for the assistantship package. At GSU, I will teach 5 sections of critical thinking my second year (while I am writing my thesis, AND applying to PhD programs, AND finishing up required courses - ah!). While this seems like a great opportunity for teaching experience, there's also the possibility it will take away from my research, studies, and time I can devote to applying to PhD programs. UMSL, however, just requires some grading for the assistantship. I'm not sure how important this consideration is but I thought I'd note it as another difference between the programs. I think I'm leaning toward GSU, but I'm really not sure at this point and would appreciate any input.
  2. I would choose one of the programs you are excited about and plan as if you are going there but do not officially accept until on or near the deadline. You can also plan a "what-if" scenario for if you get into University X. That way, come April 15th, you are prepared either way. There's no benefit or reason on your end for accepting another offer early. Might as well wait until everything is on the table.
  3. I've used individuals who are technically not philosophers for philosophical papers. However, some of their ideas were not really informed by the intricacies and distinctions of the philosophical debates at hand. In one particular case, I used a Neuroscientist. I didn't base my report solely around him, but instead used some of his evidence to argue against a different philosopher's view. His theories (the non-philosopher) didn't have enough "finesse" to be taken seriously in the philosophical community, by themselves. That just made my paper all the better, because I added said finesse and put his theory under a "philosophical lens," if you will. I'm not sure if that's the case with Pollen though.
  4. Has anyone still not heard from UC Davis or UC Riverside? I'm assuming rejection, but, c'mon, I feel like they notified the accepted people quite a while back, and I've seen rejection notifications too..
  5. Tough! I agree with Gnothi - UPenn, or LSE. I don't have firsthand experience or information, this is really just my gut reaction. Also I'm trying not to be biased, because I am wait listed at UConn, but it was never my first choice and I don't even know if I'll accept if offered. Just thought I'd mention the possible bias so you can take my opinion for what it's worth Are you able to visit any campuses? I feel like visits will be the deciding factor at least for me, since all my pros/cons lists leave me more unsure than before!
  6. I'm sorry. I do agree that subject of the writing sample might make a difference. One admissions officer specifically mentioned the topic of my writing sample and said it worked in my favor that someone there does work on the same thing. Good luck
  7. I would also say go with the funded offer. You could always apply out, and you might improve your application by having more Philosophy courses with high marks.
  8. Have you read Eric Schwitzgebel's advice for applying to PhD programs? He mentions this in part VII, saying: "Don't expect too much wiggle room in negotiations about funding. But if a comparable department is offering you a better package than the school that would otherwise be your first choice, it can't hurt to politely mention that fact to the chair of the admissions committee." I wouldn't be worried about them revoking the offer. You could just mention that it's a difficult decision because another school offered you more, and if they have the funding and really really want you, they may increase their offer. If not, they would probably say to just let them know when you've decided.
  9. You guessed it! Philosophy of Mind and Cog Sci are my primary interests. Also to a lesser extent Philosophy of Science and Epistemology.
  10. I haven't been through this, but I agree that it might be weird to ask for recommendations a couple months after entering a program. You could always apply out after two years instead, giving you more time to get to know the faculty, maybe teach some courses and build your experience to increase the likelihood of getting into the better school. Also would give you more time to develop the best possible writing sample and get a lot of feedback.
  11. Only wait lists in terms of PhD so far, so hard to plan and rank and decide based on 'maybe,' I'm losing my mind over here!
  12. All speculation. I did respond to the email from UW Madison to acknowledge receipt and ask if any more information was available, all she said was that she doesn't have any more information but should know my position on the wait list closer to April? Definitely not holding my breath.
  13. Thanks for the advice, tbb. Really helpful. I have a question about prospective visits. Is it appropriate to bring my SO to the scheduled functions and do I need to ask first? Clearly he will be moving with me and would like to see the area etc, but I'm just not sure the etiquette of bringing him to the scheduled grad student events for visitation day.
  14. Congrats, good luck! Keep us posted if he responds, I'm also curious how many are on the list.
  15. I think it will affect people's decisions, especially those who want to study metaethics. Keep in mind it's possible their wait list is grouped by AOI so if your field is unrelated to ethics, and a bunch of ethics people start declining, it may not have an effect on your position on the waitlist.
  16. I'd like to retain some anonymity, so if you're curious about the specifics feel free to PM me. By small university, I did not mean it wasn't respectable or was unselective; I should have been more clear. I think we admit ~30% of applicants. I transferred from a school that was larger in size so it was a change coming here. The first school I only went 2 quarters but it has a top 50 PGR Philosophy program. The school I'm graduating from has no Philosophy PhD or MA at all. It's a really small department, but I think part of that was good because it made me stand out to my professors. It was them who encouraged me to apply. I think it's likely my letters were strong, but they are not from well known philosophers. However, I think a couple of them may have had friends at a couple of the schools I applied to, so that always helps. The MA I got into is Georgia State. So not the best in the country or anything but I think it's a good fit for what I want to do. The PhDs I'm wait listed for (now 3) are all top 50 PGR, one is in the top 25. I'm not sure what made me stand out. It's probably a combination of little things. At some PhD programs I e-mailed the admissions coordinator during the application process and told him my name and situation to see if he thought I should apply. All the schools that responded said things like "we evaluate applications holistically," "a low GPA doesn't automatically exclude you," etc. I still thought it was possible my application would be discarded before my materials had the chance to be read, so I feel lucky in that regard. I think it's important to note that my 2.75 is from a STEM major, and I attributed it in my personal statement to Organic Chemistry and other upper level courses. I noted that my ability to memorize structures of molecules is in no way indicative of my philosophical ability. I suppose that the other components of my application were enough to prove that to them. Edit: on the link you sent, my university is ranked 51-100 National.
  17. Just to put in my two cents, I'm also interested in Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science and WUSTL was my number one choice, my dream school. If I got in there I would have accepted on the spot. I think it's absolutely perfect for what I want to do. I think fit (when it's this good) and placement records (which are also good for WUSTL) are more important indicators for success than PGR ranking, but that's just a feeling and I don't have the stats to back it up so take it for what it's worth.
  18. I sent the e-mail in the middle of the night last night and received a response at around 10 this morning. Hope that helps, good luck
  19. Waitlisted at UConn! I can't believe this I'm honestly so excited. He said I'm high on the wait list and he thinks it is likely for me to move up. Can anyone weigh in on UW Madison vs. UConn?? I'm wait listed at both but somehow, I just feel more excited about UConn even though it's lower on PGR... My AOI are Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, and to a lesser extent Philosophy of Science and Epistemology.
  20. I know this thread is very old, sorry, I just thought I'd respond in case anyone is reading this and losing all hope because of a low GPA. I have a 2.75 undergrad GPA from a small university with an even smaller Philosophy department, and my major is not Philosophy. So far I've been waitlisted with funding to two pretty good PhD programs and accepted with full funding into a great terminal MA, which I think will give me a springboard to get into a better PhD than I can get into now. So, all hope is not lost if even I can get waitlisted to PhDs
  21. Wait listed at Colorado Boulder, and from what I can see from the results page all the others who were wait listed were told the same thing: "Near the middle." The e-mail I received this morning said it was a 31 person wait list, I was near the middle and average of the past is that they make offers to 15 people from the wait list. Did anyone hear anything other than "near the middle?" Is it possible they told this to everyone?
  22. Can anyone claim that U Conn acceptance from a few weeks ago? There is only one and I'm still waiting to hear from them, not sure what to think..
  23. Haven't heard from Oregon, am I to assume that means I'm rejected? Have they sent out all acceptances and wait lists already?
  24. I second this question!!!! I would imagine it's AOI divided or else it would seem odd to have such a big wait list?? I have no idea how the minds of admissions committees work but if anyone has any insight into this at UW Madison, I think we're all curious! Also I've heard of the 3 people who are planning on turning down their wait list offers, but does anyone know how many people were actually accepted into the program and/or heard anything about those people turning the offer down???
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