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About Onthenahar

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    2018 Fall
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  1. PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    I want to second this, but also add some unsolicited advice based on my own talks with schools. Statistics are hard to get. More often, even when you are frank about it, professors don't normally have hard numbers. From my interviews, I've discovered that there are actually better ways to get answers than asking for job placement rates. One question I lean on now is this: "How normal is it for students to stay on as adjuncts or in some other capacity after graduation for a few years?" I was really surprised by the answers I've gotten to this. Far more common than I ever thought. I've also realized that professors will lump together post-docs and visiting lectureships under the heading, "We placed so-and-so at such and such." I don't think it is to be dishonest, but if what you want to know is about placements in post-docs, ask that. If you want to know about placements in non-tenure track faculty positions or tenure track, ask that. The more general you are with your question(s), the more general the response will be. It's also common for professors to highlight a single success story. Cool, but that's not quite illustrative of broader placement rates. Be shrewd in all of this. A few more things I am keeping in mind. First, I am concerned with the type of places graduates do find jobs. That is, Stanford graduates probably will not be placed in the same types of places Wheaton grads go on to teach. Some of the best conversations I've had with professors have centered on this. I learned a ton about the schools this way. I know that I want to teach at a research institute, preferably a state school or larger private university. Second, ask about the publishers who routinely publish their graduates' dissertations--or if their dissertations ever make it to print. I discovered that a school I have been accepted to (competitive program with some fanfare) has graduates who are adjuncting at the school (or sticking around for an extra year of teaching though the dissertation is complete). The same school eventually places them in non-academic settings (i.e. the pulpit [not a problem for many, I realize]) and occasionally back at the student's alma mater. The death blow for me was that it does not have a record of dissertations being picked up by the major academic publishers (e.g. Mohr Siebeck and the like). This aside it is otherwise a competitive school to gain admission into with good senior professors (I would say that before all of this I had a false equivalency between competitive and happily ever after). On the other side, I have been accepted to a program that is not as well-known (still known) but is just as competitive. They have a good, broad placement record with mid-tier private universities and a few state schools. They also have some post-doc placements (competitive ones). Their most recent graduate is under contract with YUP for a revision of their dissertation. Before questioning, it was lower on my list (almost the lowest). Now it is near the top, and I might just end up there when all is said and done.
  2. PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    That makes sense about Meier. I assume he'll take on a seminar or two in the coming years though. I'm interested in 2nd/3rd century, so Notre Dame is a good fit for me, but I can't decide on their CJA or History of Christianity tracks. I'm also planning to apply to Virginia for the added strength of their classics department. I can add that from personal experience of emailing professors at various programs, some programs emphasize working with X (e.g. UNC) while others want to see a broader appeal to how you'll work with all of the faculty in your track (e.g. UT). Distinguishing the two has been helpful to me while working on SOPs for schools.
  3. PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    If you know for sure you will apply to programs with faculty exiting, you want to be forward thinking about your potential fit. Does the school intend to hire a similar candidate or go a different direction all together? It's also helpful to inquire about contacting current students. They tend to be more open about spreading unofficial news than professors are willing to do. I've not seen a call for applicants from Yale or Emory for NT, but maybe for next year? That would mean your incoming year of courses would be unchanged by a new hire. Notre Dame has posted a CFA for OT and NT. Who knows what direction they are wanting to go in, but it seems they will add 1 NT faculty member your incoming year. Historically, they have kept 4-5 NT professors on board. They still have Meyer, Fitzgerald, and Lincicum plus two professors in classics who focus on Greek/Latin of the first couple of centuries CE--Plutarch, Pliny, Heliodorus, the Shepherd, etc. Without knowing your detailed interests, I would still recommend looking into Florida State University, Fordham (Arts and Sciences), and Chicago Div to see if you would fit there and if the stipend would be enough for you to live on.