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onerepublic96

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  1. that definitely makes me feel better about my MA... thanks for the info!
  2. I wouldn't worry about this... when students apply to PhD programmes straight out of undergrad, they're not yet finished with their BA degrees at the moment of application, either. It's implied that you will finish your present course of study before moving on to whatever programme you're applying to.
  3. Hi OP, I'm currently finishing up a 1-year MA in the UK, and prepping for PhD apps. Like the poster above me, I can't really comment on differences in application since I did not apply to any PhD programmes in parallel with the MA ones, but if you have any questions about the experience of doing an MA here I'd be happy to help out! As has already been mentioned, funding is going to be an issue when applying. There are some scholarships available from what I've seen and heard, but in my experience they have been quite scarce and very competitive, so relying on that will definitely not help. If money is not an issue, however, and you're able to self-fund, that's a different story. I decided to do an MA because I had switched majors quite late in my undergrad degree and wasn't quite ready to jump into PhD study, so the year I've had here has really helped me. It may not seem like much, but the programme I'm in has been very rewarding and I feel much, much more prepared to embark on PhD study. It is a good point that if you're going to want to start a PhD right after finishing your MA, you won't really have much time to get to know your postgraduate faculty or form the kinds of relationships that will give you a better chance at a better reference letter, but if you're fine with a gap year, applying after you finish your MA will help with that problem, since you will have had a year to form those strong connections. On the other hand, however, I've found the environment quite different here in terms of submitting assignments, receiving marks, etc., and - at least for me - it has been rather more difficult to form relationships as strong as the ones I had with my professors at my undergraduate institutions. This may be more of a personality issue on my end, however, so take that with a grain of salt. As for the quality of reference letters in the UK (less enthusiastic, more generic, etc.), from what I've gathered, many US institutions will be aware of the stylistic differences and may be likely to factor that into their review of your application. Universities are all different, as are students, as are admission committees, however, so this too is not necessarily always true. In my opinion, it ultimately comes down to a cost/benefit review... for me, the rank of the institution, the opportunity to specialise, and the brevity of the programme (I did not want to spend 2 years in an MA) were the main factors, in which case a UK MA programme made the most sense.
  4. Hello! I took the subject test in April and it seemed fine but I didn't budget my time well at all and ended up not getting to the last 30 questions 😫. Hoping for a better experience in September!
  5. Hi all, I'm beginning to prep for the upcoming PhD application cycle this fall/winter and have run into a question that's frankly starting to give me a lot of anxiety: that is, what's the relative value of Masters-level LORs vs undergrad ones? I went into my MA straight after undergrad, and it's a 1-year programme in the UK. I found the teaching & marking style quite different here, and perhaps this contributed to me not really making any strong connections with my few professors. I've done very well in all of my modules and my professors will know me/my abilities from my work, but beyond that, none really have a relationship with me (aside from my dissertation supervisor, of course, who I know will be able to write me a strong letter). Meanwhile, in undergrad, I had taken several courses each with 2 professors who know me very well, had a good relationship with me, and will be able to write strong letters (in fact, have already written strong letters for me when I applied for MA programmes). Since most of the PhD programmes I'm interested in require 3 letters of recommendation, I was hoping to have my MA dissertation supervisor write one, and ask my undergrad professors to supply the other two. In terms of the quality of letters, I think this would be the best scenario. There is another professor, however, in my MA, in whose module I did very well and who would be able to write a decent letter based on my work but I don't think it would be very strong, as we don't really have any relationship outside the two papers I've submitted to him. Am I in the wrong for thinking like this? Would having 2 undergrad letters and only 1 postgrad one reflect poorly on my application, overall? Part of me feels like because it's only been 1 year since I left undergrad, there wouldn't have been any drastic changes in my work, and if I provide my undergrad professors with a sample of my recent (MA) work, their letters should still be quite accurate reflections of me as a student. On the other hand, I can't really shake the feeling that somehow, I'm losing out by not having more graduate-level feedback... Have any of you dealt with this whilst applying? Or has anyone had any advice on similar situations? Would love to hear from you! -A very stressed applicant
  6. Sounds great! I'm midway through my MA, trying to finish up term papers so I can focus on dissertation ... whilst also trying to wrap my head around what's going to happen in the fall. I took the GRE subject test to be done with it but had a terrible experience and didn't finish the exam so will probably have to brush up a bit for that in Sept. Basically a total mess right now! I bought Simon Sebag Montefiore's The Romanovs to read over Easter break but... 🤣🤣🤣
  7. A bit of context here: I'm currently completing a 1-year MA programme in English literature, and will be applying to a number of PhD programmes, one of which is at the university I attended as an undergrad. I have a pretty good relationship with one of the professors there from my undergrad days, and in fact he would be my POI there for the PhD. Any ideas on whether it would it be awkward or frowned-upon to ask for a LOR from him, given the situation?
  8. Hi all, I'm currently working on a 1-year English Literature MA programme in the UK. I'm due to complete it in the fall of 2019, and hopefully will then apply to PhD programmes in the US, to begin in the fall of 2020. I just had a question about LORs, and how much weight they have in relation to all other application components (GRE scores, transcripts, writing sample, programme fit, etc.). The thing is, as this is a one-year MA programme, and I'm already basically halfway through, I'm realising that I haven't really formed any strong or close professional relationships with my module convenors. I've always had issues with participating much in seminar discussions (not a shyness issue; I've just learned to take a lot of notes and then think about the material/research on my own outside of class, then write papers) and this year has not been much different. At this point, I'm starting to get very anxious about whether I'll have anyone to write any solid LORs for me. There is one professor with whom I'm planning to meet regularly in the next month or so to discuss a paper I'm working on, so I expect that afterward, he would be in a position to provide a solid LOR. I'm also hoping that my dissertation supervisor (who hasn't been assigned yet) would be able to do so, as well. The problem is - for most of the PhD programmes I'm planning to apply to, the requirement is for 3 LORs, and here we come to my question: I don't think there's anyone else here who will know me well enough to write a good LOR, but there is a professor at my undergraduate institution with whom I developed a very good relationship, and who I know will be able to write a great LOR (and actually already did so whilst I was applying for MA programmes). Would it be acceptable to use him as my 3rd reference? Or is there any way in which having an undergraduate reference would reflect poorly on my application? Also, how relatively important are LORs in the grand scheme of all other application elements?
  9. Hi there! Would you mind elaborating on why you're looking at American schools for your PhD? I'm in the opposite position - an American student about to begin my MA in the UK and hoping to do my PhD in the UK as well. Just curious as to your preferences/motivations... ?
  10. Hi! I'm an American student about to start an MA in modern and contemporary literature at one of the top universities in the UK. Since it's a one-year programme, I'm also starting to make plans for transitioning to PhD (hopefully entering in the fall of 2020). I'm researching universities both in the US and in the UK, and so far I'm finding UK programmes to be more attractive for me (a major factor is the shorter completion time due to the ability to specialise right away instead of spending 2 years studying a broad range of periods and disciplines). However, I'm a little confused as to how a UK PhD (or DPhil) will look, as opposed to a US one, when it's time to apply for jobs in the US. I'm painfully aware of the current state of the academic job market, of course, but it would be nice to maximise my chances of employment (and perhaps the quality of said employment)... My main concern is whether US universities may consider the relative lack of breadth of the UK programmes in any way a detriment to my application. Does anyone here have experience with navigating this transition between UK training and US employment?
  11. I'm applying to 11, all in the UK initially seemed like a lot but now I'm just paranoid about not getting into *any* of them... my constant nightmare
  12. Been lurking on this thread even though I'm not applying for PhD in the next cycle (shooting for an MA first; I'm coming out of a science-based undergrad experience), and oh my goodness I've got a lot to learn...
  13. As an interesting anecdote that I think perfectly captures the universal reaction to PhD study from non-PhD': I let my mom read a paper I wrote recently discussing marital power dynamics and Irish culturalism in Joyce's Dubliners, and her only comment was "and you want to do this for the rest of your life?"
  14. My goodness! Thankfully, I don't have to deal with the "oh how will you ever have kids?!" issue... yet. I'm only about finishing up undergrad, and I'm planning to get my MA first, but I've already approached the topic (cautiously) with my mother, as she has always been under the impression that I will become a doctor. To be honest, I had been going along with her since about middle school, but halfway through my undergrad, I realized literature was my passion. Now that she knows I'm considering ditching med school, she's always coming up with little quips: she'll have a migraine and casually mention "well when you're a doctor you'll fix me," or she'll get a dean's list letter from my uni and say "oh I always tell everyone how smart my daughter is and how she's going to be a great doctor." They're not very rude or very forceful comments, but they do rub me the wrong way, and after a while it really starts getting on my nerves... Her biggest issue is the money. She's horrified that I'll be earning as much as she does (as a nurse), and keeps insisting that I'm going to be poor/never buy a house/never drive a nice car/never go on vacation/etc. The funny thing is, I'll be earning just as much as her, and sure we're not rich, but we do pretty well for ourselves–just came back from a Caribbean vacation, no less!
  15. I love your style! Oh man, my books are unrecognizable by the time I'm through with them. That's partly why I have to have two copies of the things that truly make an impression on me–by the time I'm done circling/scribbling/underlining in one book, the mass of text is too overwhelming to read!
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