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Procopius

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About Procopius

  • Rank
    Decaf

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

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  1. Procopius

    Which languages should I focus the most on?

    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.
  2. Procopius

    Too Old for History Phd?

    Damn it telkanuru I can’t disagree nor agree with you at the same time.
  3. Procopius

    Too Old for History Phd?

    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.
  4. Procopius

    Applications 2019

    What era and place do you study? I second the earlier posts who said that pre-modern is really good there, particularly early modern.
  5. Procopius

    Applications 2019

    It has solid placements. Overall, pre-modern is really good at UVA.
  6. Procopius

    Applications 2019

    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.
  7. Procopius

    Applications 2019

    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.
  8. 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.
  9. Procopius

    Emailing Graduate Students

    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.
  10. Procopius

    Applications 2019

    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 wasn’t there), but he encouraged me to apply anyway. So I think I didn’t get in probably because of fit. At the other school, one of my mentors was really good friends with my poi there. In fact, at the first mention of my mentor my poi was instantly interested in me. Our interests were also extremely similar, so he thought I was a perfect fit for the school. Two months after I applied there, I got an interview request with him. We interviewed over Skype, and he was throughly impressed with our interview. At that point, I felt that this school was pretty much gonna be my top choice. Fast forward another month, and the school informed that I was waitlisted. I was pretty hurt and still am since it wasn’t that long ago. The poi personally emailed me and told me that I was their top candidate for my field and I still got beaten out. He said there was a possibility I could still get in and i tried to maintain my optimism. Ultimately I never made it out of the waitlist and they didn’t take one person in my sub field. I was really disappointed because the stars seemed to align for me so well and I still didn’t get in. I inquired to my poi why I wasnt admitted and he said it was just competition. I felt like politics or the numbers game may have factored in too, but I truly have no idea. @urbanhistorynerd my point is that even if a poi has great interest in you, you still need to deal with forces you can’t foresee. However, it’s still a terrific first step and it’s better to have someone fight for your application than to not have one. Do the very best you can on your applications and impress both that poi of yours and the committee. You have a tremendous shot here.
  11. Procopius

    Is getting a PhD worth it?

    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.
  12. Procopius

    Is getting a PhD worth it?

    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.
  13. Procopius

    Reconsidering Applying

    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?
  14. Procopius

    Where historians work

    https://www.historians.org/wherehistorianswork This was on the gradschool reddit page. I’m not sure if this was already posted before, but I don’t recall this ever being put up. This details the career outcomes for history phds produced from 2004 to 2013. It’s interesting stuff because you can also search the outcomes by individual departments. I only have two comments about the data. One, it largely confirms the consensus that if you want to have a greater shot at a tenure track job, you should attend a top ranked school. The usual suspects (such as Harvard, Yale, or Princeton) have the highest percentage rates at 60%-70% of placing people in 4 year tenure track programs. This doesn’t mean your chance of getting a tt track job is the same percentage if you attend one of these school but just that your chances are higher as compared to another school. My second point is that you should peruse the data cautiously because it doesn’t the reflect the current job market (since it got worse) and that just because a school’s placement percentage for a four-year tt job is low doesn’t mean it’s a bad school. For example, smaller schools like Brandeis have lower placement percentages because their population is lower. I would love to hear your guys’ thoughts on this data if you have any!
  15. Procopius

    History Graduate Program Funding Package Spreadsheet

    Ah i see now. After digging through the unc graduate funding website, they explicitly say that their city’s lower cost of living is a significant advantage for graduate students. They even compare their funding with other schools. I realize now that most grad programs will provide you with just enough or more than enough money to survive. Of course, some packages will be better than others, which seems inevitable in some cases. Like notre dame can afford to give their students six years of funding or Stanford will pay for four summers at $7000 a piece. I think, ultimately, it pays to go to a top school at a high COL location. But ymmv.
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