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bigdgp

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bigdgp last won the day on May 18 2012

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About bigdgp

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    New York, NY
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    English

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  1. Sorry to get so late to the party on this, I just saw the thread this morning. I'm a 3rd year PhD medievalist in the English Dept. at Fordham right now, and I live it here! I can't really speak to the Romanticism stuff, but the Medieval Studies program is robust and active. As far as time to degree goes, it's been rather high at Fordham in the past. I think part of that is because Fordham does a really good job of securing funding for students beyond the 5th year if that student hasn't found a job yet. Fordham English has excellent placement rates (especially for medievalists...one just got a TT job at UCLA!), but every school has students who test the waters and end up having to wait for a second round the following year. Other schools will often force those students to defend their dissertations and finish up, leaving them high and dry financially. Many 6th and 7th (and even some 8th and 9th) year students at Fordham have finished their dissertations, but are just waiting to defend until the land a job, and Fordham has been good at hiring those students as TA's, TF's and postdocs. The new DGS is really big on lowering time to degree, but not at the expense of the placement rate.
  2. Does anybody know when one should expect to hear about getting accepted to speak at the Kalamazoo medieval conference? The deadline for submissions was only a week and a half ago, but I'm anxious. I already know of one person who got accepted, although it was in a different session.
  3. Saecla Vincere, I studied in the UK, had the chance to stay at a hallowed institution to do my PhD, and chose to return to the US for my doctorate instead. First of all, you don't get to teach during your PhD in the UK, which makes it hard to get a job back in the USA. Second, the cards are stacked against you as an American. You can try and be as worldly as you like, but there is a competitive spirit that you just aren't going to overcome. Finally, the way things are done in English departments--the assumptions you are and aren't allowed to make regarding theoretical approaches, academic lines of inquiry and the definition of "conservative" scholarship--are very different. I'm not saying don't go, for I never stopped being enamo(u)red of the history and beauty I got to experience daily during my year studying in the UK. I just want to warn you that there are difficulties that you can't yet anticipate.
  4. Aztecson, as I said to transcendental, feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'm a PhD student at Fordham right now.
  5. Yeah, even those who have already received calls don't have "official word." I was called last year by my POI about 2-3 weeks before I received the official word. I think this is because after admissions decisions are made, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences receives a list of admitted students from the various departments in order to determine to whom they will offer competitive supplemental funding.
  6. Hard to say how many admits there will be this year. Last year was a smallish class (8 I think), but that is mostly because the year before was quite big.
  7. For those who have not heard yet: because Fordham is dedicated to offering personal interaction with profs., they have POIs notify. It's very sincere, but can take a little while. Last year notifications came out over the course of about a week. Don't lose heart yet.
  8. Transcendental, I'm currently a 1st year PhD at Fordham. It really is a wonderful place to study. I'm amazed by the support that profs are willing to offer! Feel free to PM me if you have questions.
  9. TryingAwfullyHard, I went to a state flagship university, but it is ranked just outside the top 100 nationally. I had similar numbers (although you did a few percentile points better than I did on the Verbal GRE). I applied to 10 schools and got into 4, one that is in the top handful in the world (overseas), two in the USNWR top 35 and one (where I ended up accepting the offer) that isn't terribly high on USNRW, but that has a very strong reputation and placement record in my field. I did an MA with students who had an Ivy league degree who didn't get as many admits. This is partly because these students applied almost exclusively to top 25 schools, so take that for what it's worth. I think the success of your application season depends on how you define "top-tier." If this means top 25 or bust, then it might be tricky. The difference between a student getting into a program in the top 25 and one in the top 50 often can be dependent upon such fickle factors as which professors have space to take on an advisee in any given year. A better approach than "top-tier" thinking is to consider the strength and reputation of a department in a particular subfield. For example, Purdue isn't terribly high in the USNRW rankings, but the English dept. at Purdue has a very strong track record in digital humanities. Thus, some may not call Purdue's English program "top-tier," their digital humanities sub-topic is "top-tier." Digital humanities is not my field, I'm just trying to provide an example. In my case, I got into three programs ranked fairly high on departmental ranking lists and another that isn't as high but has a better reputation in my particular field than any of the other three. I accepted the latter because it will prepare me for what I want to do better than the other schools will and it has professors more established in their field who have better connections and more impressive names.
  10. Don't worry too much about the subject test. Many of the school who require it do so merely because it helps the department's ranking in lists like USNWR. I scored a 570 (approx. 60th percentile) on the test and was really worried about it. I ended up getting into four very competitive programs, three of which required the subject test, and one of those that required it (where I ended up accepting the offer) also gave me a GSAS competitive supplementary assistantship in addition to the stipend offered to every PhD student. I'm not trying to brag (believe me, the rest of my numbers were middling compared to other students in my field; I think it was my SOP and writing sample that made the difference). I just want to give you some real world perspective on the subject test.
  11. I had a glaring grammatical error in my SOP for the school I'm currently attending (which was among my top choices from the start). I emailed the DGS at the school and explained the situation. They let me email a corrected SOP to the department and it replaced the old one before the adcom ever saw it. It's only Jan. 5, and UT is not known for making early decisions. I highly doubt that the adcom has even convened yet, and they certainly haven't started reading SOP's. Email the DGS for the department or a departmental secretary and request to have the error corrected. Maybe call the department when it reopens. This isn't even your mistake, the people in the department will realize that- and even if it were your mistake, as it was in my case, you'd be surprised by their understanding.
  12. People, I have been there! I experienced the daily fluctuations between thinking I would get in somewhere and being sure I would not get in anywhere- all the while nursing the hope that I would get into my dream school. I have felt the frustration, shame and destabilization of my identity that comes with not getting in anywhere. I've worked a job I hated for extra years, questioning whether or not I deserved to do a PhD and, finally, I have felt the exquisite joy of getting into a program that really hoped for. Here is my advice, don't let your fears run your life. You are all more than a potential graduate student! You have spent the last five months being little else as you have worked on your applications, so go be whatever else you are for awhile...and enjoy it! Trust me, getting in is just the beginning and the program will provide you with enough pressure. You don't need to put more on yourself right now. If things don't work out, try again next year. Don't let the rejection define you. I applied the second time with almost the same application as the first (I did contact potential advisors the second time, an action I was too scared to take in my first round of applications) and my zero acceptances turned into four! This is a tough, fickle process, so find yourself somewhere else and let "graduate student" be just a potential aspect of who are.
  13. From what I understand, most schools have an adcom made up of a handful of professors (some schools also include a few PhD students who are about to graduate). This does not necessarily mean, however, that these are the only people who will see the applications. In three out of the four cases of my acceptances last year, I was contacted by a potential advisor who was NOT on the adcom but who had looked closely at my application before the decision was made on my application. I assume that the adcom decides which applications make it to the desks of potential advisors, but that more do than we might think. In one case, I was sent a personal rejection email from my potential advisor (which was very thoughtful and sincere) who, once again, had not been on the adcom but who had read my application and apologized that circumstances at the university did not allow for her to approve my application. I assume that at least one of these circumstances was that there were too many stronger applicants (lol), but the takeaway is that a non-adcom potential advisor had the last call on my admission decision.
  14. I had lower scores and I was accepted two four fairly competitive programs. Focus on your writing sample, SOP, and contact possible POI's prior to applying!
  15. bigdgp

    New York, NY

    r_sam, I will also be doing a PhD in the English department at Fordham this fall! Nice to virtually meet you and I look forward to actually meeting you in August. I'm also looking to move to the city, although I lived there for five years until my current 1 year hiatus in England working on an MA. In my opinion, Brooklyn would be a pretty awful commute. I lived in Astoria for a year while I taught at a high school near Fordham, a commute comparable to even the most convenient parts of Brooklyn, and it was utterly draining. At the end of the year I had to find another job in order to keep my sanity. If you don't particularly want to live in the Bronx, you could check out Long Island City. Apartments near the Vernon-Jackson, Hunters Point and Court Sq stops on the 7-train are certainly as affordable as much of Brooklyn, and far more convenient. The neighborhood has been experiencing a complete overhaul and has become quite trendy. My wife lived there until we got married, and at the time it was NY's best kept secret. The secret is out, so the prices are starting to rise, but they're not too bad. The 7 train is one of the most reliable and most frequent trains in the city and it literally only takes 8 minutes tops on the train to get from Court Sq to Grand Central Station (that's a REAL 8 minutes, not the kind of 8 minutes that a broker would claim in a craigslist ad). Two more minutes gets you to Bryant Park, where you can hop the D train up to Fordham! The bridges into the Bronx are heavily trafficked and have notoriously poor bike lanes, but my cousin is currently working on a new Willis Ave. bridge, so maybe that will be changing soon. Happy apartment hunting and I will see you in the fall.
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