Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by LittleShakespeare90

  1. 9 hours ago, WildeThing said:

    My first recommendation for you will be to read through these forums a bit. There is a lot of wisdom and advice in these forums and many of these questions, and future questions you will have, have been discussed and answered in depth already. Taking the time to go through some past threads will be useful.


    2. If the GRE is necessary for the schools you're applying to, yes, re-taking it might be good. Some schools use it to make initial cuts and some don't pay attention to it, but if they do, you probably need at least 90 for verbal to make sure you're kept in the running. Again, go back and read threads on the GRE because there have been a lot of debates about this.

    6. Any topic can be a good topic, the question is if it fits the department you're applying for. Some topics can be a harder sell than others for various reasons, but if you're invested in the topic and have a good SoP, there's always a chance.

    7. Again, there have been many discussions on selecting LoRs here. My advice is to go with the people who know you best. If you have two letters from people who value your work from a prestigious university, having a 3rd from a different institution with someone who knows you well is probably fine. There are a lot of factors here but without knowing what adcomms think, it's all conjecture, but it's probably safer to go with someone lesser known who will sell you than someone who is well-known but will write something lukewarm.


    Thank you so much for your help!! 😍

  2. Good day, everyone!

    I hope everyone is staying safe and having a wonderful Friday. I've been doing some digging and researching. I actually am planning to visit my professor at NYU next week to discuss my Fall 2022 application. I was just wondering if I could hear your thoughts.

    I was kind of a mess before, going back and forth between wanting a second MA and directly applying to the PhD. I even went so desperate as to think an online PhD would suffice. I'm going to work really hard and shoot for a fully-funded, reputable PhD program. My heart is kind of set on Rutgers University's PhD in English since they have a wonderful faculty that specializes in Hemingway. 

    At this point in time, I decided against going for a second MA. There are some wonderful, fully-funded options, but they aren't close to where I live. I know this sounds silly, but I truly cannot afford to move out of state right now. 

    I want to enhance my PhD application, but I would love some tips. Here is some information about me:

    1. I graduated from NYU with an MA in Humanities and Social Sciences. I had a 4.0 GPA.

    2. I scored in the 72nd percentile on my GRE and 98th percentile for Analytical Writing. My Verbal score is abysmal, so I was thinking of retaking the GRE.

    3. I have a solid writing sample from one of the classes I took on American Modernism. My writing sample is about the femme fatale and middlebrow Modernism. My NYU professor encouraged me to use this as my writing sample since it was relevant to my intended field of interest.

    4. I have been teaching high school for five years and at the community college level for two years. 

    5. My personal statement parallels with my writing sample and discusses my work as a scholar. Would anyone want to take a look at my personal statement to see if it's good? 

    6. For my research, I am deeply fascinated by American Modernism and masochism. There's something alluring to stories of the broken heart within Modernist texts. I want to study why the broken heart is a representation of feminine empowerment in American Modernism. I just don't know if this is a strong research topic. :(

    7. For my letters of recommendation, I have two from strong scholars at NYU, but my third one is from a women's studies professor at my undergrad college. She knows me best and supervised my undergrad thesis, so I figured she should write my letter. But should I try to get someone else to write me a letter? Like an NYU professor? 

    What can I do to enhance my application? I am willing to do whatever it takes. Thank you so much for reading and listening! 

  3. On 4/1/2021 at 3:21 AM, queenofcarrotflowers said:

    This is a crowdsourced list of funded MA programmes, I think it’s pretty up to date: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XZ7ejtJETaRH7ufh2O1S21HOeTTy9EYgi7Z5vUHCRLI/edit#gid=0

    I think an MA (PROVIDED ITS FULLY-FUNDED!!) could benefit you in your particular situation, so if you’re applying to PhDs in the next cycle (although I thought you were putting it on the back burner?) maybe consider putting in some applications to funded MAs too. However, I think in a previous post someone mentioned other options (something like a free program for teachers to take classes in lit?). Spending time researching and reading to strengthen your app is really what’s going to help you the most. 

    What a lovely list! This is such a valuable resource. I'll think it over, but I think you're right. Strengthening my app will definitely be more beneficial. Thanks so much for all your help! :)

  4. 10 hours ago, Ramus said:

    With all due respect, you have been advised many times to turn down partially funded offers, virtual programs, cash cow programs, and other really bad options. What makes you think a worse option would warrant a different response?

    Call me a grumpy old timer, but it seems to me that the responses to all your other posts aren't getting through. So let me put this as simply as possible: do not apply to, let alone consider an offer from, a program that will require you to pay anything out of pocket. Full stop.


    Thank you for your reply! I guess I was just worried. It threw me in for a loop. My professor thought it would be a good idea to get a second master's, but after doing a lot of research, I feel that it's going to be a waste of money. NYU already cost me so much. 😮 

  5. Hello, everyone.

    I hope you're all doing well and staying safe. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I think I'm just confusing myself, as I tend to worry a lot.

    I got my MA in Humanities and Social Sciences from NYU in 2014. For the last five years, I've been working as a high school English teacher. I've been feeling so guilty and sad that my MA wasn't in English. I took many classes irrelevant to my field of study, which is American Modernism. I wish I knew more literature. I wanted to broaden my scope of literature and possibly write a master's thesis that is relevant to my field of intended study. That's why I applied for a second MA at Rutgers in Newark some time ago.

    Unfortunately, the second MA will not be funded. It's crazy because I'm already so broke from NYU, so I was on the fence about going for this MA program. My ultimate goal is to get a PhD in English, one that is funded fully. (I also got an acceptance letter to Temple University's PhD in English last month, but it was an unfunded offer that I had to reject). 

    Would it be wise to spend two years getting a second master's? I could get better letters of recommendation, immerse myself in literature, find out who I am as a scholar, etc. Or should I just spend my summer strengthening my application for the PhD? 

    Thank you so much in advance. :)

  6. Hi, everyone!

    Apologies for the delay. It's been a hectic few days! :P I am so grateful for your help. To be honest, I think I will put the PhD on the back burner for now. In the meantime, I will focus my attention on becoming a stronger educator. I actually am thinking of getting a certificate in helping students with learning disabilities. :) Thank you so much for being so kind and patient with me! I am truly in great appreciation. 

  7. Hello, everyone.

    I feel a bit frazzled, and I was wondering if I could seek your advice once more. I have received such incredible feedback from the forum users here. It's just been so nice having other people to talk to that are in my shoes.

    I am a high school English teacher and adjunct professor. I do love my jobs, but I want to further my education. I actually got an acceptance letter to a university for a PhD in English. It was supposed to be partially funded, but I just received word this morning that I will actually be receiving no funding. They had to cut funding due to Covid. :( Of course, I don't want to attend if it's not going to be funded, so I rejected the offer.

    I've been thinking a lot about what other users have told me about academia and the job market. I know getting a tenured job as a professor is a long-shot, but I still wish to further my education. I spoke to my supervisor of humanities at my school, as well as my professor at NYU, and they both said that perhaps I should think about getting my doctorate in English Education. Perhaps it will help me better service my high school and college students. 

    I just feel so confused. I'm a little down in the dumps as well because of what happened with my funding offer, and I actually might not have a high school teaching job in September since my department is making cuts due to Covid. 

    If it helps, here are my main goals: 

    1. I would like to become more knowledgeable in literature, since my MA was in interdisciplinary humanities.

    2. I want to research and make significant contributions to academia.

    3. I don't mind teaching high school now, but in the future, when I'm older, I would like the chance to move up. 

    What degree should I pursue? Please help me out. Thanks in advance.

  8. On 3/2/2021 at 11:31 PM, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

    I have been watching your journey through posts for a while and feel very supportive toward you (perhaps that's because of your handle and the fact I'm an Early Modernist :) ).  I did want to ask, though - why do you really want a PhD?  It seems as though you're interested in doing a research project and maybe taking some more classes, but aren't interested in giving up your job (which sounds amazing, by the way).  I am wondering if you have considered that other options may lead to a better outcome, even though it seems like it will all be easiest through the "traditional" route.  Have you considered being a research librarian at night, perhaps at a university?  You wouldn't necessarily be able to research your interests right away, but it would allow you to be steeped in a more research-heavy academic environment for a bit as you perhaps take advantage of the courses available to you already.  Have you watched Dr. Garber's lectures on Shakespeare's later plays?  https://marjoriegarber.com/online-lectures.php  Have you tried out Dr. Greenblatt's open courses? https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog?keywords=shakespeare&op=Search  This would give you the freedom you're looking for, while also allowing you to get started on developing research ideas.  Then, you may want to go for a masters, where you can do a big research project and meet with advisors who can help you publish for the rest of your life.  It seems you also have a previous masters, and perhaps those people could help advise your project.


    I understand you've always dreamt of getting a PhD.  But it seems like you're keeping one foot in two worlds, and you have to make a leap to live a dream.  Do you think the PhD is the leap for you?  If so, go out there and apply for fully funded, residential programs that will immerse you in that world.  But if you're holding back because you love your job, maybe that's the dream.  You said you want to stand up there and talk about books.  If you can already do that, what's missing?  If it's research that's missing, can you do that in other ways?  If it's just the title of PhD, I'm not sure that's as meaningful as being happy with what you do, rather than just the letters after your name.  You have to make a big decision here, and I absolutely think this forum is the right place to talk it out, but when the time comes you have to know you'll be happy with what you're doing.  If you won't be happy without a PhD, get that degree.  If you won't be happy to leave your job, then listen to that and stay.   

    Thank you so much for your response! That's so wonderful that you want to study Modernism as well! Hemingway is my main man! :D

    I guess I have to think more about it, but I know I would love to pursue a PhD program someday. I'm feeling a bit of pressure, too. My family thinks the distance-learning option would be best for me, but I don't think that Old Dominion University (in Virginia) is worth going into debt for. The degree doesn't seem to hold a lot of merit. Even my professor at NYU said it's a no-go. It's so complicated. 

    I do have an offer of admission now to a university in the USA, and it's partially funded. My dilemma is that I would need to keep my full-time high school teaching job so they can fund the remainder. I'm just scared because the classes take place during the morning, and I don't want to sacrifice my job. I was hoping I could take classes at night, but it may be difficult. I guess I just need to pray and think about this some more. 

    Thank you so much for all your help. I'm in great appreciation. :)

  9. 7 minutes ago, onerepublic96 said:

    There is, of course, always a grain of salt, but in my honest opinion this is not a very good road to go down for several reasons, some of which @harleth has already mentioned. First of all, deciding against the PhD offer you discussed in another thread is not silly nor counterproductive, because, for all the reasons discussed in that thread, along with the class scheduling conflict, it would put you in a rather risky position. However, this online UK PhD is not without potential problems, either. First of all, is it funded? I won't pretend to know which program this is, but funded PhD positions (especially for overseas students, which I assume you are) are very hard to come by in traditional residential programs. I would be super surprised to learn that there is an online program out there that will fully fund an international student. As others have mentioned, going into any kind of debt for a PhD is not a good idea. You've mentioned in some places that this is a purely personal goal, but at other times you talk about wanting to be an English professor, eventually. I would think very honestly about what my primary motivation is. You probably know how terrible the academic job market is right now (it is not likely to become any better in the foreseeable future). A "traditional" PhD from the very top program is not a guarantee of a job, and even though so much of the job market is about luck, "non-traditional" degree paths (like an online-only program) are more likely to harm one's chances. Aside from this, I would be concerned about how much support I'd have in my research as an online-only student. Will I be able to build the same kinds of relationships with my supervisor(s), peers, other members of my academic community as I would were I to attend in person? The point about UK PhDs launching straight into research is also a very valid one. I seem to recall from another of your threads that one of the reasons you considered an MA at first was because you felt like you had more to learn. A UK PhD is unlikely to give you that, as you probably won't be attending any classes. Moreover, to apply in the first place you need to have a pretty well-sketched research proposal (rather than the statement of purpose that is a US admission requirement). Do you at this point have enough of a research focus and a scholarly apparatus to construct a competitive proposal? I'm not saying that you don't, but this is one of the main questions I'd ask myself if I were in your position. 

    You’re so right. To be honest, I truly didn’t know that the UK degree didn’t provide classes. I didn’t realize how different it is from a US degree. But I would actually love to take more classes and learn more content before diving into the dissertation.

    After thinking about this for a long while, I think I’m going to stick with a US PhD. I really want a PhD in English as it has been my dream since I was a baby. I always wanted to stand up there and talk about books! :) I am happy working as a high school teacher, but I would love the opportunity to potentially move up if I ever want to. I know the job market is tough, but you’re right: an online PhD might not be received well.

    I cannot thank you enough for your help. It truly means the world to me! :D 

  10. 1 minute ago, queenofcarrotflowers said:

    The worry I have is you'd be pretty dependent on your job to fund this, which you might be very happy with at the moment, but a lot can happen in the years it takes to fulfil a PhD programme. Whether you would want to do a UK PhD is another consideration-- as @harlethhas pointed out it's a very, very different process. According to my friends completing UK PhDs, you're essentially left alone to work on your dissertation with the occasional meeting. The UK system in general is pretty isolating and highly independent/unguided, especially so with distance learning. If you're not 100% okay with that I personally would not do it-- really you should be completely invested in a specific project before doing a UK PhD.

    That said, I think you're in a particularly complicated situation and I'm not totally sure what I'd do in your shoes... I don't think a second MA is a bad idea, unless you're no longer considering that?

    Thank you so much for your reply! :) Oh yes. When I was doing some research about the UK programs, they seemed so wonderful, but to be honest, I'm a bit worried. I want some more classes in English literature first before going on to write the dissertation. I can see that the UK's PhD programs require much more discipline. I think I need some guidance along the way.

    I was on the fence about getting a second MA. It just seems so costly. I feel like I'm ready for a PhD, but I also want the flexibility of a distance-program. My mentor at NYU mentioned that it might be worth it to get a graduate certificate in English literature so I can become more well-rounded in literature. There are a few schools that offer this (I think University of Missouri was one that he mentioned). 

  11. Good morning, everyone.

    I'm so glad I found this website. It's been insanely helpful! I've been thinking so much about my goals for academia. I'll just tell you a bit about my background.

    I graduated from NYU with a master's degree in 2014. For the last five years, I have been working as a high school English teacher and adjunct professor. I've been so happy teaching high school, but still, I would love to earn my PhD. 

    I got an offer of admission to a university, but it's partially-funded. My school (where I work) is offering to cover the remaining fees, so long as I remain a full-time English teacher. The only downside is this: there are no night classes. All the classes take place in the morning, which conflicts with my job. I can't leave my teaching job because then I won't have funding for the remainder of tuition.

    I thought long and hard about this, and I decided against it. I know this may sound counterproductive or silly, but I think I want to engage in a distance-learning program. I know that online degrees are not given the same prestige as a traditional PhD, but I wonder if it's worth it for someone like me: I don't mind being an English teacher for the rest of my life, but I want to research as well. I want the best of both worlds, I guess. 

    I found a few distance-learning programs in the UK, like the University of Birmingham and the University of York. I know they're terribly expensive, but I think my school would be willing to help me cover the expenses. Would it be worth it to go for a PhD from the UK? 

    I do apologize; I know I've been posting many questions, but I just really wanted to analyze every angle and leave no stone unturned. I appreciate all the advice and feedback from the users here. Thanks in advance! 

  12. Hello, everyone.

    I got an acceptance yesterday for a PhD in English. I'm a bit nervous about something though. 

    I am a high school English teacher, and I do love my job very much. Still, I've always wanted a PhD in English, as it has always been a personal goal of mine. Someday, I also hope to teach at the college-level. 

    I have until April 15th to accept this offer of admission. It is partially funded, and when I talked about this with my school (where I work), they said they will pay for the rest of the tuition.

    I want to take it, but I'm scared because I want to pursue this degree part-time. The PhD program does offer the opportunity to pursue the degree part-time, but I'm just worried if the classes won't fit into my work schedule or if it's not a good idea to pursue the degree part-time.

    I look forward to hearing your advice. Thanks so much. 

  13. Forgive me, I might have posted this before, but I cannot seem to find the thread. :(

    Has anyone ever heard of the program for a PhD in English at Old Dominion University in Virginia? It's a distance-learning program, which means that classes are online in the evening. Also, according to their website, you would have to attend two summer doctoral institutes in Virginia. 

    It might seem terrible to say this, but it sounds like a nice idea, only because if you're working full-time, you can still pursue your dream of getting a doctorate. However, I'm not quite sure how this degree will be perceived.

    I guess it all depends on my goals. I do love teaching high school, and I wouldn't mind if I had to teach high school for the rest of my life. However, someday, I would like to be a professor, maybe at a small community college. I currently teach at a community college now as an adjunct, and I do love it. 

    What do you think?  

  14. Hello, everyone.

    I'm a full-time high school English teacher, and although I love my job, I still want to pursue a PhD in English. I was just wondering if you could provide your feedback and thoughts on pursuing a PhD part-time? 

    I have a master's degree in humanities from NYU, and I was on the fence about going back for a second MA. It seems really costly. Still, my ultimate goal is the PhD. I'm very interested in Temple University, which is in Philadelphia. It says on their website that the department does allow students to pursue the degree part-time, so long as the degree is completed within 7 years.

    What are your thoughts on this? A part of me was telling myself to go for it, but I feel a bit worried, too. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thank you in advance. 

  15. Hello, everyone.

    I have decided to apply for a second MA in English. My first MA was in humanities and social sciences. I just had a quick question about the statement of purpose. 

    For the prompt, it's asking to clarify your background in literature, as well as explain why you want to attend the program. Would it be wrong for my statement of purpose to include my interest in American Modernism? I was planning on writing about how I'm interested in American Modernism and would like to continue probing modernist texts while exploring other multiple theoretical avenues. 

    Also, would it be wise to tell the ugly truth about why I'm going back to school? To be honest, I feel that my interdisciplinary degree made me miss out on so many works of literature, criticisms, and theories. I want a degree that focuses mainly on literature and allows me to solidify my research interests while fostering strong relationships with the professors. I did like NYU, but it wasn't the right fit for me, and I feel like I didn't have a close connection with the school and the professors. 

    At NYU, I took two classes relating on the Modern American Novel, and they really piqued my interest. I think that's what I want to study at the doctoral level, but I'm not 100% sure. 

    Thank you in advance! 


  16. 14 hours ago, cassidyaxx said:

    In my opinion, it wouldn't be wrong at all to go to a small state school for your MA! There are plenty of people who are able to get into PhD programs (fully funded ones, at that) after doing this same thing, and I think in your particular case, it would help you out in a lot of ways. You didn't seem to have a strong connection with NYU. You could build these connections during your second MA, and end up not only getting better letters of recommendation, but also strengthen your research interests and therefore, your application. Many people do apply for a second master's. If you desire it and truly feel you would get value out of it (are you pursuing because you're interested, or just for money? I don't think you'd be pursuing it solely for money from what you've explained) then it is not overkill. As for working on your MA while working full time, I think this would be possible if you did the MA program part time. I've worked about 15 hours extra a week while getting my master's full time, and it is HARD. This is coming from someone who worked full time and attended undergrad full time at the same time. I just don't think schedules would align enough for you to be able to do both full time simultaneously. 

    These are all just my personal opinions. I think if you're truly interested in programs like this, you should pursue them. However, I would take some time to reach out to the program. See if there are any part time options and if you'd be interested in those, or what student schedules tend to look like there. For instance, do they offer night classes? If so, it could possibly work. You can also perhaps ask to be put in touch with a current student, or see if there are any people working extra jobs and ask specifically to be put in touch with those students to see what their typical schedule looks like. 

    Thank you so much for your help. I think you're so right. I didn't establish good connections at NYU; I truly went there for the wrong reasons, thinking that the name alone would suffice. It just wasn't the right fit for me. 

    I would love to do this master's program at Rutgers. It's a 1-year program for working English teachers. It will help me learn more content, but maybe it can also solidify my research interests and get me better letters. I will definitely think it over.

    Thank you so much for all your help! :)

  17. Hello, everyone.

    Back in 2012, I graduated with a BA in English. I then went on to pursue a Master of Arts degree, but it wasn't in English. It was in interdisciplinary humanities. I had this wonderful opportunity to study English literature at Rutgers Newark (New Jersey), but instead, I went to NYU. Looking back, I realize that I went there for the wrong reasons. I just wanted the name. I took several classes that were irrelevant to my field of study. I also did not develop close relationships with the professors. I was a commuter and it was just easy to chunk together the classes that fit my schedule, not the ones that were relevant to my course of study. 

    I even wrote a terrible master's thesis. Looking back, I feel that it was just rubbish. I didn't have an advisor, nor do I even know how it was accepted, but I was lucky enough to graduate with a Master of Arts degree from NYU's Draper Program in 2014. 

    Ever since my graduation, I've been struggling to get into a PhD program. My ultimate goal is to get into a funded PhD program to study literature. However, I'm having a tough time, especially with this competitive job market, as well as my weak application. Perhaps my recommendation letters weren't strong enough.

    I just feel like NYU was a waste of money. I'm an optimist, so I will always look to the bright side; I did learn a lot about myself while I was there, and I did take away a lot from the classes I took. Still, I keep thinking that I should go back for a second master's degree. There are so many books I haven't read, so many theories and criticisms that I never learned. I would like a second chance at graduate school.

    For the past five years, I've been working as a high school English teacher. I love my job wholeheartedly, but someday, I still would like to go for a PhD. I want to go back for a second master's, but I guess I'm having trouble deciding. Can you help me out? 


    1. Would it be wrong to go to a small state school for my MA after graduating from the giant NYU? I was thinking of going to Rutgers Camden. They have a 1-2 year MA program for English teachers. Also, Seton Hall University has an amazing curriculum. Will a small university name hurt my chances of getting into a PhD program later on? 

    2. Is it overkill to go for a second master's? 

    3. I want to keep my teaching job while I study. Would it be possible to work on my MA while working full time? 


    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.