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gughok last won the day on October 30 2015

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About gughok

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  • Birthday 03/10/1995

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  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program

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  1. Oftentimes personal reasons can factor into the decision in ways that an onlooker would have no way of predicting. At the end of the line my decision was between Harvard and UCLA, and I can tell you that a lot of people saw the former as the obvious choice. For reasons of fit, though, and perhaps more importantly for a host of personal reasons with no academic import whatsoever, I chose the latter. Unfortunately I don't know that there is a reliable method of predicting the choices admits will make beyond very holistic references to perceptions of quality and fit.
  2. For what it's worth, a plurality of the people in my cohort at UCLA (i.e. us current first-years) were on invisible waitlists. Moreover, the state funding situation means the department can only afford one international student per year. I was #2 and waitlisted without notice until the first person they gave the offer to turned it down... the Tuesday before decisions were due. It might end up being a long wait for some of you but it does happen, and not infrequently.
  3. I'm from the previous season, but I'm Iranian-Canadian and LGBT. The visa ban has me functionally trapped in the US for now - while dual nationals are ostensibly fine, the situation is too unstable for me to risk leaving the country. If conditions for me continue to deteriorate, though (there are rumours of a massive anti-LGBT executive order in the works, for example), I think it's genuinely possible I'll be forced to drop out for my own safety and go back to Toronto.
  4. Yeah, the most I can glean from this is that in addition to the two advil, you should take a few OTC reality checks. Sorry =/
  5. For what it's worth, I did no reading related to my AOIs outside of coursework and writing sample (which was basically an extracurricular activity for me). I don't think there's an expectation that you "do" philosophy outside the classroom all the time as an undergraduate. If you've taken enough philosophy courses that should be good enough, and if you take the "right" courses then you should be on the "cutting edge" (e.g. I took multiple seminars on contemporary issues in language and mind). Presumably it could help if you've done a lot of independent reading and can speak on a wide range of
  6. It's definitely common - just try and select a self-contained excerpt with a significant argument as the thing you choose to submit. Don't send something that's mostly exposition, or something that's far too long. If you do the latter, include instructions for which parts are important to read, and which parts should be skipped, where the former add up to whatever length limit the school has imposed. If you wanted to, you could mention in your cover letter that you're submitting an excerpt of your thesis, and that whatever position you're presenting there will ultimately be expanded upon (but
  7. Since people are throwing numbers around, I'll just quote what one of my professors here told me about the process: Good letters will get you into the shortlist of about 40 applicants. A good sample will get you to the last 20. Then things start breaking down into the details.
  8. I'm confident that GPA will never get you discarded out of hand from the admissions process. You will not be looked at any less simply because of your GPA. I also agree with dgswaim above that a committee will be forgiving with your math courses. The best evidence I can give you is of someone this season (not me, and I don't remember their username) who averaged ~3.5 and got into NYU et al. Not exactly the same situation as you, but you've also got a background you can (and should) explain - tell them how you started in community college and how your sense of direction toward philosophy h
  9. I'd suggest that UCLA edges out Berkeley in language, especially given that its linguistics department is absolutely top-tier. Of course, I may be biased since I'm going there. Would you be able to take classes at USC? That's also in LA. And if there are faculty at UCLA or USC who you may be interested in, maybe you could have them as external advisors? That would definitely be a leg up.
  10. Yes, I've accepted UCLA's offer (Rutgers rejected me off the waitlist)
  11. I've just declined Harvard in what has been the most difficult decision of my life. I hope one of you fabulous folk gets a nice Friday surprise.
  12. Hot potato! Got an email acceptance from UCLA just now. I will probably be turning it down within a day.
  13. gughok


    I tend toward existing as non being on Facebook but I appreciate every opportunity to exist more actively.
  14. Unfortunately, moving the deadline back those two weeks would most likely just move everything else back by the same. Departments will inevitably take as long as they can to arrange the visits, and students will similarly take their time to make their decisions. It's a self-bootstrapping problem.
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