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About MattSolo

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall

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  1. As someone who got into 7/9 top schools applied (including Yale) but was from an obscure small Christian university, I'm gonna have to agree with the majority here. Where you go for undergrad does not matter as much when applying to Masters programs. Rather, if you're at a small school, try to use it to your advantage. Can you take multiple majors (looks like your a double major, good)? Do it. Because of the crossovers in the differing degree programs and the fact that my school counts different majors as separate degrees, I was able to graduate with a number of distinct bachelors degrees in a host of interrelated subjects (Religion, Archaeology, Philosophy, etc). I'm convinced that played a positive role in attracting certain schools. Likewise, get published. Submit a paper to a journal (and then submit some more) before your apps for Masters, and in doing so you will not only impress them somewhat more than people from better schools with no publications, but you will also have your writing sample (kill two birds with one stone). Join national honor societies at your school (and not just their general honors program) and use your small school to your advantage in order to keep a strong high gpa. Become involved in whatever opportunities you can find. And most important: create very close relationships with professors who will bend over backwards in their LOR to praise you in-detail about all of your accomplishments. All of that means far more than anything a mere transfer of schools could offer.
  2. MattSolo

    YDS vs. HDS

    I've never found that at my own school, handbooks can be trusted for such issues. lol Sometimes they just don't know whose teaching it and leave the old name from the automatic system if its a regular course offering. But maybe Harvard has their act more together... maybe...
  3. MattSolo

    YDS vs. HDS

    Thank you for sharing. Yes, it makes me wonder (with a goal of being competent in HB and NT) if a MAR in STJ requires both an extra year in the program and a STM/ThM so that you can take enough classes to be competent in both fields... hmm... Are you leaning more toward HDS or YDS yet?
  4. I'm not sure there's much you can do. You were waitlisted at YDS right? I hope you get in and we can be classmates! However, you should be skeptical about the chances that people will reject Yale's offer, opening a spot. So, stay sane. Here are some things that you can do. 1. Contact YDS and ask whether you are in the first waitlist group or the second (if they have more than one) and to honestly ask what your chances are. One person somewhere did this at another place and was told he was in the second group, so he knew his chances were slim. 2. Apply to any other schools. Certain schools may still be accepting applications and so you should submit immediately if you want other options. Some of the top schools still have applications open (just without promised scholarships). So if money isn't a huge factor, you may still get into a big school or you can pursue some smaller but respectable options elsewhere. 3. Pray. Otherwise, aside from this, I'm not sure what other options you have. Maybe request to interview with YDS to talk and explain your passion and situation? Don't know what else I can tell you. Good luck!
  5. I applied for Oxford's MPhil in Judaism and Christianity in the Graeco-Roman World (basically, the UK Second Temple Judaism program), and I'm interested in hearing back from them. Last year they alerted a lot of applicants to their decisions by March 17. So maybe Monday?
  6. MattSolo

    YDS vs. HDS

    It's actually not too late at all. In your first semester at YDS, you can speak with Joel Baden and your advisors and explain your interest in transferring. They will easily do it for you. There's no limit on the number of students in a program, so you can switch with ease. However, there is no HB concentration. They have a BIBLE MARc which covers both Old and New Testaments which you can transfer to, but then that would be less attractive to a broad Second Temple PhD such as at Notre Dame. However, I'm not sure that you would want to. As Collins explained it to me, the STJ program is a combination of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple (including early Christianity). He advised me not to apply to either the Bible or the general MAR if my interest was broad. And there's more languages in the MARc for STJ, which probably appeals to any PhD more than the Bible MARc. As for your last comment, I don't think a MARc in Second Temple Judaism would hurt you at all. If it comes from YDS, it basically tells any PhD that you are broadly skilled. The STJ program is a "make it yourself" degree sort of. The classes you pick and choose will determine how good a fit for a PhD you are. Done optimally, you could apply to PhD programs in both Old and New Testament (and of course STJ) and be qualified to pursue either (which is quite unusual). And remember, you'll have the ability to extend a 3rd year and then another option to pursue a ThM (or at YDS, an STM) for another year in order to concentrate further or broaden your studies however you want.
  7. MattSolo

    YDS vs. HDS

    I've heard from several people that Levenson is retiring and will be leaving HDS. So you may want to check up on that if Levenson is someone who is drawing you toward HDS.
  8. MattSolo

    YDS vs. HDS

    If you are seeking to get a PhD in Second Temple and Hebrew Bible, I think YDS's highly selective and specialized degree would be key (along with Collins recommendation and guidance). If you're seeking a different field in Jewish thought for a PhD, then HDS might better serve your future. My 2 cents of thoughts.
  9. OMG! I GOT IN! I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT! I GOT INTO MARc Second Temple!!!!! *Tries to breathe* No emails were sent weirdly. The application page has been updated, that's all. So everyone go check there!!! CONGRATS!!!!! Crossing my fingers that you get in!!! NOO!!! I'm so sorry! I was hoping you'd get in!
  10. Congrats! This anticipation is literally murder. In past years, it appears that YDS sent out their updates by 9am and 10:30 (PST)... but this year... its clearly going later. 11am here we come...
  11. Oh God. This is definitely a tough night. So nervous. Glad to see some fellow Yale-hopefuls here. Maybe, God-willing, some of us will be classmates soon... I applied to the MARc in Second Temple Judaism, which I believe is also a highly competitive program. I think it only accepts 5 students? YDS is THE place to study the subject and one of the only to offer a concentration (Oxford also offers an MPhil in it). My life, as I'm sure its true for others, will change forever tomorrow.
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