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psstein last won the day on September 15 2019

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About psstein

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    History of Science

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  1. That's pretty common in the US, sadly. This is one of the several elements where I think the UK system far superior. US letters have to gush with enthusiasm about how the student in question is truly the next Popper/Kuhn/Feyerbrand/whatever. UK letters are much more terse and will often say something like "this student was at the level I expected of a graduate student."
  2. If you drink scotch, I recommend an appropriate dose of any of the following: 1) Laphroaig 10 2) Glenfiddich 3) Glenlivet 12 4) Johnnie Walker Double Black (the black is decent, but for the $5.00 difference, this is markedly better) 5) Teacher's Highland Cream (for the bargain minded!) I'm also happy to recommend bourbons.
  3. It varies by university, and it's also incredibly political. Dr. Schneider on the admission committee might say that Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. has taken a graduate student each of the last 5 years and it's not fair to the other faculty members. Therefore, Dr. Jones won't have any graduate students for the next 2 years. (Yes, I watched Indiana Jones recently) At some (predominantly state) universities, admissions can also take current and future TA needs into account. My program accepted several students in one subfield after having a significant problem filling TA slots in that subfield earlier that semester.
  4. Same is true with Wisconsin, for any applicants on this board. I'm on leave, but I still check my emails pretty regularly, so I'll tell you guys as soon as I know.
  5. This will help you. Wisconsin, like most state systems, has a funding crunch.
  6. That's really, really interesting, and there's a lot of really good scholarship, as well as some areas that desperately need attention, in that field. Have you read Robert V. Bruce, The Launching of Modern American Science: 1846-1876? If not, I'd strongly recommend it. You could really do a lot with a transnational US-Britain approach.
  7. I applied, was accepted, and attended for two years (I'm currently on leave for multiple reasons, including managing a deceased relative's estate). Wisconsin's admissions focus heavily on fit, as @OHSP mentioned, and whether you have a viable project interesting to multiple members of the department. The acceptance letters usually come out around Valentine's Day, though that always varies. I usually make an announcement when I know, as the department has students with relevant interests in contact with accepted students. Regarding number of applicants, you can take a look at past years' data through the department's website. It used to be there, at least. That said, keep in mind that the number of grad school applications is down a bit over the last few years, in part due to the economy and in part due to the widely known grim outlook for humanities PhDs.
  8. What you said about Harvard is, unfortunately, true. Most of their assistant professors don't get tenured. Associate is tenured, so it's a bit different. I think what you should do is approach this with an eye towards building a committee. Find someone who specializes in the history of oceangraphy (D. Graham Burnett at Princeton comes to mind, maybe Simon Schaffer or someone else at Cambridge) and try to find another E. Asia specialist you can work with at the same time.
  9. I have to confess that I've never read anything or even heard about anyone who focuses on Korea. Most historians of science with a non-Western focus look at either the Middle East, Russia, or China. You should probably try to find someone who works in East Asia more generally, like Victor Seow at Harvard or Projit Bihari Mukhaji at Penn.
  10. I'd be more than "a bit concerned." In the US, 65% of tenured/TT faculty come from 10 institutions, and something like 90% come from 20. https://www.umass.edu/history/phd-recipients-2000 The above is a list of placements for one of the programs you've mentioned. Take a look at it. Some of them are very good, others fair, and several outright terrible. I know this is an unpopular thought, but history PhDs (and humanities PhDs, more generally) aren't tremendously useful outside of academia. That's not to say that non-academic jobs are a sign of failure, quite the opposite. It is, however, a reality that you can get the majority of those jobs without holding a PhD.
  11. As I say all the time, I'd recommend looking at these programs' placement records and outcomes. Bluntly, I don't see any of these programs setting you up for future success. Remember, getting in somewhere isn't the goal. The goal is to get a job after you complete the PhD; most people who pursue the PhD track will want an academic job and probably not get it. I would also tell you that Univ. of New England doesn't have a PhD program.
  12. They usually go out in late December.
  13. psstein

    GPA woes

    MA grades are usually (not always) taken into a bit more account than undergraduate grades. I had a 3.44 (3.8 in history) and still got into an excellent program. I wouldn't worry too much. Upward trends are a good thing. When I interviewed somewhere, my PoI told me "your grades really went up after you got out of science courses." As I've said elsewhere in this thread, grades are probably the least important element of the application. They do matter, but you should focus disproportionately on things you can control, like the quality of your SoP and writing sample.
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