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  1. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Hi tigla, Thanks for your insight! Right now I am just focusing on a masters at Oxbridge rather than a DPhil/PhD but if I ever proceed to doctoral level I will certainly take your advice. At my home university, you must demonstrate knowledge of a foreign language before undertaking the PhD so I am well aware of the need. Just curious though, how well-versed do you have to be at another foreign language? Just well enough to read primary sources?
  2. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Hi glycoprotein (cool name btw!) I thought there were no interviews for Oxbridge masters? Maybe it is a HPSM thing? Do you have any advice for getting good research experience? What did you personally do? (Sorry if I am asking a question LS might have already answered but I always had it in my head that research experience was like RAing or working in a lab with profs as the science kids do.) Will just a good senior thesis cut it then? Regarding LOR, it is of course better to get a prof that knows you well but does their background of the prof also matter? All things being roughly equal, a LOR from a prof who went to Cambridge looks better than a prof who went to Florida State right?
  3. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Thanks for your suggestion For now, how "specialized" should I get or rather, how specialized is too specialized for someone like me who is still going into 3rd year of undergrad? Right now I know for sure that I like British/Imperial history from the Victorian era to Thatcher. I chose this time period because I like working with primary sources that are a bit more accessible plus I just like this period in general since it played a pretty important part in the development of modern Britain today and the first half of this period was when Britain was pretty much the most powerful and influential country in the world, so that's interesting. I am really interested in, I guess, British Conservatism, the monarchy (especially), the military, and the British Empire. Aren't you applying directly to PhD from undergrad? I think you probably got it harder than me then! For stuff like your senior thesis and research proposals, how did you personally come up with something new to argue or research about? My GPA is great so that doesn't worry me but after hearing about the emphasis on putting out original research for things like writing samples, it is really daunting.
  4. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Hi L, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer all my questions. Knowing what's coming really helps ease the anxiety. By original research, I mean coming up with a completely new idea or angle that no other scholars have already argued whereas for using primary sources well, I meant just being able to find them and use them properly to back up your argument (which may be something previous scholars already talked about). Thanks for your advice. I will probably be taking the senior thesis next fall and I will try to use as many primary sources as I can. Also, will getting an RA position also demonstrate good research potential as well? Since I am interested in modern British history, English is pretty much all I need right? Although as I mentioned before, I've done Latin/Greek and coming from Canada I can read a bit of French as well. It seems a bit counterintuitive but why avoid specializing early? I know research interests can radically change on a dime but isn't it good to be focused on a particular area? Or are you trying to say that I should leave room to explore? By the way, in your application to Oxford, was your stated research interest the same as for Cambridge or did you propose two different ideas?
  5. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Thanks a lot for your answer! Although you make a good point that you shouldn't shape your interests based on the current faculty, wouldn't it be wise to check (just before you apply) that there are potential supervisors for your interests? And then if not, try to change your interests up a bit? Can you also explain more on purpose and "fit?" Like fit with the program / supervisor? Why do UK admissions care more about it? For your writing samples, what do you recommend submitting? A revised highly graded essay from a course? What they are looking for is not primarily original research but more like the ability to use primary sources well? What makes you say that getting into an Oxbridge masters program isn't that hard? High acceptance rates? Also, if you don't mind me asking, how did you show that you had research potential? And why did you turn down Cambridge with funding? Lastly, going into 3rd year, do you have any advice for me? Anything I should start doing soon (or now)?
  6. MotherofAllCorgis

    How can I strengthen my application to Oxbridge?

    Hi everyone, This might be early to ask given that I am just finishing second year of undergrad but I just want to know if there is anything I should do now or soon to strengthen my grad application to Oxford and Cambridge for their MSt and MPhil in history. I also have a bunch of questions as well! So I currently study history and minor in political science at a highly reputable Canadian university (if that matters). I have a 3.8 GPA right now and I expect I can maintain this if not raise it a bit by the time I graduate. I don't really have an history related ECs or work experience. In terms of awards, I have been on the Dean's List every year so far and received a huge entrance scholarship to the university I am currently at. Also got a few small monetary scholarships thanks to my GPA. Although it isn't related closely to my historical period of study, I also do have some training in ancient languages (Latin and Greek). I haven't really narrowed my historical interests just yet. I am mostly interested in British history from the 1800s to the 1990s. I plan on using the summer of my 4th year to apply so that I have lots of time. I have some questions below! 1. Do I need research experience to be a competitive applicant? By that I mean publications or to work under a prof and help them with their research. 2. How important is it to do a senior thesis? Okay so I have been told that in giving their conditional offers, Oxford often specifies a grade you have to get on the dissertation. But what if I did not or cannot do one (for any reason)? A related question is, how "original" does this senior thesis have to be? Brand new perspectives/research? 3. What would you say is the most important part of the application? LOR? GPA? Personal Statement/Research Proposal? Writing samples? 4. Do they heavily consider the GPA in your history major or do they care way more about your cGPA? 5. Given my research interests are still very wide, is it a dumb idea to look at some of the history faculty at Oxbridge and tailor my interests to theirs? Like, you probably don't want to get heavily invested in studying medieval depictions of the Black Death if there are no faculty with similar research interests. That's it for now I think. Thanks!

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