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AP last won the day on November 20 2019

AP had the most liked content!

About AP

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  1. So? The more you practice talking/writing about your research, the most polished it will be in your application materials. @Sigaba invitation to think about that was useful advice. Also, I think this distinction is very important: This is good advice (starting with what you have and then look for the vignette that helps you the most): However, I would discourage people to use anecdotes. I am not saying that you won't be accepted because of opening with a life event (many here have), but I'd encourage you to open with a research vignette rather than a personal one. Like @AfricanusCrowther said, the SOP is about research.
  2. Exactly. And when someone at a conference asks you why you didn't talk about them, this skill comes in handy: "I think that is an important question/point that I will note to incorporate in my article/book" and then you don't.
  3. If you are applying for a PhD in US History, then steer the SOP towards that. Bring the second major in beyond the CV only as it serves you with your proposed research moving forward. So, I agree with @telkanuru, the way you've worded it, you seem confused. Re: languages. No, Greek or Latin are not "positive" for an US historian. Why would they? Languages and other PhD requirements, ideally, refer to tools you'll need to do and present your research. So, unless you can make a case for Greek and Latin serving you in your new research, then start a Duolingo course. Check your programs' admission requirements for more on that. The great news is that Spanish and French are easier to learn than Greek or Latin!
  4. For now, have everything ready so that when the embassies open, you can get an interview. Remember F1 visa interviews are a different category than the tourist visa so it is not unusual to get slots right away. In the meantime, direct this questions to the office in your campus dedicated to international students and scholars. They are the only people qualified to give you legal advice and inform you of university policy, like deferrals. In my experience, CCing the program administrator is always a good idea (consult with them beforehand) so that they are on the loop on your situation. Sometimes programs forget about international students' hurdles so it's always a good idea to keep your program informed of the conversations you are having with the International Students Office.
  5. Yes, because it is important to your research trajectory, not because you are defensive about the number.
  6. Re: Low GPAs and PhD applications Hello everyone and welcome to those new posters. I want to say something to be clear about low GPAs and your urge to explain your performance. The place that you would have room for doing this is your SOP. Do not explain your GPA. Your SOP is not a story about you and the difficult semester you had. Trust me, it took me six years to finish my BA. The SOP is about your research: the questions that move you, the topic that you are interested in, and how these questions and these topics fit with the school you are applying to. Now, and this is very important, if something that happened to you, if something you went through, speaks to, informs, underpins your research, then you might as well talk about it. However, talk about it not in the melodramatic tone of "this happened and I got this GPA" but rather "this happened and this is what I did". The first one is defensive, the second is assertive. You want to be assertive. I say this based on experience. My initial SOPs were a weepy complaint of how horrible my thesis committee had been in my defense. They truly had been vicious and tanked my GPA (well, I thought so, even though it went down just a tiny bit). Thanks to a mentor and a looooooot of work, I turned my whining into something along the lines of "I incorporated the comments from the thesis committee in three published articles" (articles were, of course, my proud moment in the CV). Sounds better, right? So, do not feel you owe anyone an explanation. Nobody is checking if your GPA went suddenly down in sophomore year Spring semester (actually, if someone is checking that, you don't want to work with that person). Just talk about your research, this is what get you in doctoral programs. My two cents.
  7. Semester ended, grades submitted, students graduated. *cracks fingers* I think you are wasting too much space with all the verbose sentences. "As a doctoral student at..." can simply be "At the U of P, I will study this, this, and that". Also, get rid of passive voice. I may be alone in this but do not ever justify your relevance by "filling the gap". You are not a filler. No one will read that much into the CV. Just list "Known languages". You will still have to sit for an exam. I understand what you are getting at, NoirFemme. However, I think @Sigaba was saying something else. I'm sure you did not go to a PhD program to improve your writing skills? A PhD, I think this is what @Sigaba was getting at, is supposed to challenge you intellectually, to open your horizons, to make ask more questions, and seek more answers (hence, the dissertation). True, many people improve their writing skills, their public speaking skills, or they discover what they want to do (or not to do for that matter) for the rest of their lives. But I don't think anyone sacrifices six years of their lives to improve some writing skills. And on the topic of rumor, to all applicants. Pay attention to the grapevine but do not make decisions based on what you hear. Prepare, just in case they are true, but that's it.
  8. Is it worth it for what? I'm a foreigner, so of course I didn't come with any knowledge of what Honor Societies are or what they are for. I don't know anyone in my graduate program who was part of it (even though they all came from ranked programs). I got a TT job.* My friends got TT jobs. My understanding is that Honor Societies foster community building and networking. Just to be clear, networking is a very fundamental part of our profession. So, if you feel that you could benefit from a network, I'd take that chance. If you had to choose between PAT and a professional organization, I'd choose the latter. [* that said, because I came to the US with absolutely NO network, I had to work hard to build one --being very active in big conferences, attending events and mingling, being active on Twitter, etc.]
  9. It doesn’t hurt not having a Twitter profile. however, those of us who have and are active, we have greatly benefitted in different ways. As an international student, I didn’t have the network so many of my fellow graduate students had from undergrad or MA. For me twitter helped me make up for that. I es invited to talks, be commentator for conference panel, and several events because people saw me on Twitter. no one will penalize for not having Twitter, ever. Also, if you are on the job market, keep Twitter/social media to a minimum. I mean it.
  10. As from now, keep track of all your entries AND exits of the US. You are going to need them for visas and tax purposes. Go to your I94s (found online) and keep records.
  11. @DenverSun16 You've received excellent feedback and I will add my two cents. I understand the almost unconscious urge to outline your (great) statistics, getting scholarships, family history, and the like. But in respond to: a list of stats, grants, and achievements is not the same as an application. (I'm not saying you said that, just want to friendly remind you of that since it has been said multiple times over the years). You are right in ticking things off the list: Having a masters, having a research project, having good numbers, "being" diverse, as you put it. However, your application should not be a picture of yourself, that's you CV*. Your application should be a narrative of how all these pieces fit together and have prepared you to (undoubtedly) become an excellent scholar. How does an education at MSU Denver and abroad prepare you to develop your research interests? I will talk a little bit about the diversity thing since I am also "diverse". Diversity is not the same as being a diversity stat. How has your background shape your research questions? What can you contribute to the student body at Northwestern? Why would people benefit from having you at the table? The answer is not "because I went to an unranked school". The answer is "At MSU Denver, I began developing questions about X and Y as I observed the diverse, mostly Hispanic, student body around me. These initial wonderments underpinned two research projects in M and L, one of which received X grant/award". Do you see what I'm getting at? This is for everyone: You don't want your application to be "look at me I did all this". You want your application to be "I have very interesting questions because of all this things I did and I am prepared to try to answer them". Does that make sense? I'm a little foggy today. Anyway, hope this helps and good luck! * (which you need to craft strategically so that all your accomplishments stand out. What I did when I was applying was search for grad students CVs online to get the gist)
  12. 1) Immigration orders do not affect (or should not) decision-making. Most AdComms are not following the news on immigration that closely. 2) The immigration tweet and subsequent clarifications affect applications for residency and citizenship, not temporary visas. 3) However, as @joysii mentioned, international students cannot have visa issued because centers are closed worldwide. That has nothing to do with this announcement, visa services were suspended world wide. 4) Most importantly, this is not a legal forum and should ALWAYS, ALWAYS check with the office of international students at your institution for up-to-date information on your particular cases.
  13. Right now and through May, universities will be deciding on their budget for next year and how to cut it as EVERYONE is anticipating losses in staff, funding, and enrollment. Simultaneously, as there will be less jobs in general, more people will apply to funded graduate programs. My advice is: 1) Communicate with potential POIs early on, probably during the summer. Do not -I repeat, do not- e-mail us now. We are in the last few weeks of a very difficult semester caring for our students and our families. We are all holding our breaths waiting to hear about furloughs, cancelled research funds, indefinitely postponed leaves, and layoffs. Now is absolutely not the right time to contact your POIs, but it is the right time to do the appropriate research. I doubt anyone will be doing much traveling during the summer so most faculty would be available to respond relatively promptly. 2) Consider that most programs will be highly competitive so prepare excellent applications. To be clear: your application is NOT your GPA. Also, if you have questions about GRE or TOEFL/IELTS, e-mail the graduate administrator or the graduate school, they will have updated data. Do not email POIs about that. 3) Do not imagine possible scenarios but prepare for them. In other words, do not speculate with “do you guys think they will take less students?” Because there is no way for anyone here can answer that and speculation can lead to unnecessary hysteria and anxiety. However, do prepare for the possibility of all programs admitting less students. Prepare applications that illustrate your resilience and your ability to work across disciplines, as you would likely TA for a course outside your field. Also follow @Sigaba´s advice on contingency plans (and I would always advice that regardless of the situation, design plans B, C, and D.I come from a country where there is always a crisis so I’m used to contingency plans). 4) Psychologically, it’s very healthy to project into the future. I’d argue that it’s healthy to acknowledge the crisis while working towards your goals in the best way you can control. I have to write a book and I can’t go to the archives this summer, so I will write it with what I have. but I will write it. Similarly, I urge new applicants to continue to project your careers (in grad school or not) while maintaining an informed perspective. As historians, we are aware of the deep, rapid changes this pandemic is forcing on the world while we can also appreciate the continuities. While I’m sure you are all re-evaluating your life now, remember that faculty are working hard to keep programs open and provide continuity. my two cents.
  14. Several (doctoral) program have done away with this requirement, I seriously doubt many would require it given the testing limitations.
  15. I (somewhat) disagree. While revising your personal finances is, of course, urgently important, a MA can help you build more academic capital than taking the year off, especially since you were admitted to two excellent programs. Together with your finances, make sure to weigh in your professional goals with each school’s resources beyond your potential POIs. Do they offer the possibility of working elsewhere? Do students typically stay for the PhD? What resources do they offer to support graduate students? Eg, both are in expensive cities, who do MAs deal with expenses? Do you need/would have access to language training that you would otherwise be unable to complete? What internships do they offer? Etc. I’m all for not mortgaging your future if you can avoid it. I’m also all for getting a job before doing a PhD. But as faculty, and with colleagues in both programs, I’m also convinced that sometimes the MA prepares you for the doctoral program in ways that only you can discern. All I’m saying is weigh in everything.
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