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About Procopius

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  • Location
    Greater Boston area
  • Interests
    Early modern world
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Comparative history

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  1. I was in the same exact situation as you were in in 2018. Emory was also one of my dream programs and I got waitlisted there. Other posters already answered your question, but to add on, I think I waited until the last couple of days before the deadline before moving on and what I had heard was that if only a few more people had declined their offers, I probably would have made it in. I think I was basically at the top of the waitlist, but things didn’t work out
  2. In terms of a MA, school name won’t be as important as having a good advisor and just enough resources to complete your project. Obviously, it would be a boon to get into the big name places like Yale or Harvard, but try looking into places that give you the best financial opportunities to succeed, whether that means low tuition, tuition waver, or scholarships.
  3. Yes, definitely learn French and Latin. I will also say though that you should take other language courses you’re generally interested into because sometimes those languages can come in handy for the future. For example, learning Arabic may sound out of left field, but if you’re interested in it and eventually learn some Arabic, you may even be able to utilize it somehow in your research, or at the very least, have an extra skill that could make you more marketable.
  4. Damn it telkanuru I can’t disagree nor agree with you at the same time.
  5. I absolutely agree with this. If I, as a (relatively?) young grad student in my mid-20s is doing a PhD purely for passion, then someone who is as equally passionate as I am who is in his or her “later years” (whatever that is) should also be given that opportunity. While grad school is like a job, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun endeavor. I wouldn’t take that away from someone who truly wants to do it either as a hobby or just post-retirement education.
  6. What era and place do you study? I second the earlier posts who said that pre-modern is really good there, particularly early modern.
  7. It has solid placements. Overall, pre-modern is really good at UVA.
  8. I tell you this. If you get interviewed, that means you’re probably very high on the list or at the very least, you’re in the running for candidature for your field. That means your app impressed someone (most likely your poi). However, the place I got into and accepted didn’t interview me.
  9. I feel like, logically, adcoms only read the first few pages of the sample because they don’t have time to read it all. That’s what one of my professors told me and he recommended that the first few pages need to wow the judges so to speak. However, I’ve also had professors tell me after that they read my entire writing sample. Perhaps as they finalize the candidates, the samples start to be read more closely.
  10. SFSU may not have the reputation of Berkeley, but it’s still a solid program. I may be extrapolating from the history program, but I know that SFSU has pumped out excellent candidates for phds in the past. Plus it’s cheaper than Berkeley. But if you can get funding for UCB or USF, I’d recommend those routes too.
  11. Here’s the thing, I never cold emailed any graduate students either. I only cold emailed prospective advisors. Looking back now I probably still wouldn’t do it, but it was a personal preference. Honestly graduate students are more than happy to respond to your emails. I certainly would gladly answer any questions sent my way. Just know that every student has a different view on things depending on their respective fields and class level.
  12. So I had two similar experiences at two different schools. At one school, my advisor was good friends with my poi there. He wanted to read my masters thesis before I applied and expressed great interest in my project. I felt confident and applied there, but I never got in. The poi who I had exchanged a lot of pleasant emails with didn’t even send me an explanation email. I will say however that before I applied he had mentioned that his school lacked a second professor with my particular interests who could help guide my project (he’s a French historian and I needed a Chinese historian who was
  13. I find this to be the best positive aspect of a PhD in history, that you can still do a handful of other stuff even after attaining a phD. The doom and gloom talks only exist to keep students’ expectations in check. Personally, i think if you can get into a solid program (preferably among the usual suspects), and have no debt, the PhD is not so terrible of an idea. But you need a crazy amount of passion for it. I like that you have a backup plan. I’m still formulating mine.
  14. I feel like although this doom and gloom talk is really disheartening and negative, it serves the purpose of warning people that there’s nothing rosy about becoming a history professor. A PhD requires the dedication of a monastic monk or a starving artist. As my professor says, you should only do a PhD in history if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else. Start contemplating other career options before you embark on a PhD. Hopefully you’ll find something that matches your passion for history.
  15. I’m in the exact opposite situation you’re in. Great funding, but no placements for my field and young advisor. Would money and time away from ta-ing actually overcome a program’s lack of placements?
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