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hector549

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hector549 last won the day on September 25 2021

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    Philosophy

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  1. I think it depends. What you've written is a little vague, but I gather that you have people that you can work with. That's the most important thing--that you have a good, supportive advisor, and can put together a committee. You're also in your first year. Things may change. Your interests could evolve. You probably don't know all the faculty in your department yet. You've barely started your program. My advice is to give it some time before thinking about jumping ship. Whatever programs you're thinking about trying to transfer to will have other issues. Every program does to some extent. Make sure that whatever issues your program has are really going to be a problem before you spend a lot of money and time starting over somewhere else.
  2. My guess is this might vary by department and application year, but I've heard anecdotally that more students are going into PhD programs with an MA than in the past. It's so competitive that it makes sense. I'm a few years into my PhD at a mid-ranked program. For whatever it's worth: my cohort at my program has 7 students. All but one came in with a master's. The year after me has 4 students. Two have previous graduate work. The first year cohort has 5 students, 4 have an MA. The cohort in front of me has 5 students, two of whom have an MA. At my program, then, it's more common than not.
  3. I agree with all of this. Your MA helps demonstrate that you can succeed in doing academic philosophy, and getting your letter writers to explain your bad semesters is the right strategy. Black marks like this on your transcript aren't ideal, but they won't necessarily sink your application, especially provided that you have a strong writing sample and good recommendations. So make sure your sample is as strong as it can possibly be!
  4. I would email some current students there, and find out how long it generally takes students to get to ABD status and how long it takes them to finish. How involved are the coursework requirements? Are there qualifying exams? Does anyone finish in four years? Only four years of guaranteed funding is probably not enough regardless, but it would be good to find out from current students how they make it work, if they're able to. Is it just that students aren't guaranteed funding after 4 years, but can usually get it, or is it the case that students pretty much always just have to go adjunct for a year or two while they finish dissertating? I would find out from current students the answers to these questions and go from there.
  5. I'm going to say something stronger here: even if NYU gives you a full tuition remission (something which I very much doubt!), it's still not worth going, for two reasons. First, NYU is in in Manhattan. NY is an expensive town. Even if you live in a cheaper area of the city and commute, you'll still be borrowing a significant amount for living expenses. Secondly, and most importantly, the MA isn't going to set you up to be successful with PhD admissions. Just for kicks, I emailed NYU and asked for their placement record. They told me that they didn't have that data. Either they're lying, which would have to be because their admissions record is so bad they don't want anyone to know about it, or they don't care enough about how their MA students do in admissions to bother tracking it. Either way, this doesn't look exactly speak well to their program. Could you go to NYU for an MA and get into a decent PhD program? Sure, but there are much better funded options.
  6. They're not competitive. Those programs will take pretty much anyone, because they're cash cows meant to generate revenue for the department, not to prepare students to apply for the PhD. My advice: don't apply to unfunded MA programs, especially at schools that have highly ranked PhD students.
  7. Most funded MA programs in philosophy have low funding. Mine paid me something like $8000/year USD. Unless you're totally unfunded or your program is particularly mediocre, I doubt that it's worth trying to transfer to another MA. Don't forget that you need to get letters to apply out, and you'll only have been at your program for a couple of months before needing to start the application process. It's tough to get good letters, because you won't have even written anything for anyone yet. My advice: tighten your belt, cut your expenses, and apply in your second year. Your application will be stronger then, and you can focus on applying to PhD programs. I had to borrow a little bit in government student loans to make ends meet both years of my MA. It's something to avoid if you can, but something to consider as well as an option if necessary. If you do take out student loans, my advice is to keep them as small as possible. Some students in my MA department also worked part-time, so depending on how demanding your TA duties are, that's an option. A couple of nights a week bartending, waiting tables, or the like can go a long way.
  8. I don't think you'll be at a disadvantage coming from a European university. People here have heard of Leuven and LMU Munich. Those are schools with some prestige here, at least in philosophy. As @Marcus_Aureliussays, focus on your sample and getting strong letters from faculty. If you want to work on 20th century German and French philosophy, though, Virginia and Missouri aren't going to be a good fit for you, so make sure you're applying to programs that make sense given your interests and the topic of your writing sample.
  9. @Duns Eithhas already given you good advice. To add to the general air of negativity here: if there's something else that you'd like to do, and that you think you'd be good at, it would be preferable to do that if you can. There aren't really many good academic jobs at all in philosophy, more are disappearing every day, our society doesn't much value humanities education, and most public universities in America (the ones where you'd formerly have had a chance of getting a job) are struggling/going to struggle more (especially humanities departments at these institutions), thanks to the economic fallout from COVID and the enrollment cliff. If you're not familiar with the enrollment cliff, this is it. It's bleak. If you're dead set on trying philosophy, plan on doing something else other than teaching after (i.e., career change). This won't be an easy path either. If you're dead set on doing philosophy, an MA can be a good way to test the waters. My advice: don't do an unfunded MA. It's not a degree that's going to pay off, so it's not worth paying a bunch of money for it. If you can't get into a funded MA in philosophy, then you should probably just go do something else (being very blunt here). I'd also strongly recommend that you not do an online degree. I did my MA, and then COVID hit during the first year of my PhD, so I've gotten the normal in-person grad school experience, as well as the online substitute. Again, to be blunt--doing grad school online sucks. Part of what adds value to a grad program are your interactions with people in your department. You chat with other grad students before seminar, you run into faculty in the hall, etc. You feel like you're part of something. None of that happens if you're doing your education online. I know Edinburgh has a nice reputation, but I still wouldn't do it. Also, I'd imagine that it'd be harder to form the kinds of connections you need to get letters from faculty for PhD applications if you're only interacting online.
  10. Yeah, I think the class size they're shooting for will be a little smaller than normal, as it probably is at a lot of programs this year.
  11. Don't know about rejections, unfortunately. I'm at Riverside. If you have other questions about the department, feel free to ask them here or DM me.
  12. To my knowledge, all initial offers have been made. Not sure about waitlist notifications.
  13. I think that this is going to depend greatly on the MA program. At my MA program (not Tufts), almost no one was from an unknown school. Most students had a degree in philosophy from at least a reasonably well-known public or private university, and a number of students had gone to top institutions--both top in terms of PGR and also in terms of overall US News rankings. There were also a few of us who had turned down ranked PhD offers to do the MA first (I was one). There were, of course, some students from relatively unknown schools, and several from non-philosophy backgrounds, but they were the exception rather than the rule. This isn't to say that philosopuppy's general point is incorrect; I agree that MA programs are by-and-large less selective than top-50 PhD programs. However, the top MAs can still be quite selective depending on the program, and it's a good idea to apply to a spread of programs for that reason. Philosophy admissions can be very prestige-sensitive.
  14. Different institutions have different requirements for waivers. Some will ask for the FAFSA SAR report, some that you receive SNAP or other benefits, some that you have participated in certain programs, and a few will want your tax returns. For those schools that require the FAFSA SAR, they're going to look at your EFC (expected family contribution). If you're independent on the FAFSA, then your parents' income won't need to be included in the SAR calculation, so you'll likely be eligible since your EFC will be very low. If you're a dependent for tax purposes, though, then I doubt that you'll qualify for waivers for those programs that require your tax returns, though you might see if you can submit 2019 returns and file independently for 2019 (I know one school I applied to required the most recent return--i.e. I was applying for fall 2019 entry and they wanted my 2018 return).
  15. There are some major problems with this list. U. Penn is "strongly recommended" for studying continental philosophy? Western Michigan, Houston, and Rutgers are "recommended"? These are good programs, but are strongly analytic in orientation. Why are Houston and West Mich listed under the "recommended" PhD program list and then also under the MA program list? These departments only offer the MA, not the PhD, and are fully analytic programs. There are other issues as well. Why is Washington State Pullman listed? They have no grad program in philosophy at all. American U. is listed as a "strongly recommended" MA program, but Georgia State is merely "recommended". American doesn't even have a standalone philosophy department per se; it has a Religion & Philosophy department. A cursory look suggest that the department has maybe four TT phil faculty. Everyone else does religion or is a lecturer of some kind. Furthermore, there's no placement page, and the program doesn't appear to offer funding. GSU, on the other hand, has notable Nietzsche and Hegel scholars, and is fully funded with a strong placement history of getting students into continental PhD programs to boot. LSU and Cal State LA are not mentioned in the MA list at all, despite having TT continental scholars. UW Milwaukee isn't either, though they have someone who works on Hegel and Nietzsche.
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