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About beardedlady

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

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  • Location
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    English PhD

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904 profile views
  1. From the fact that they told me it's unranked, I'd venture the longlist. I don't think removing myself will be much help to you, but I hope some good news will come your way soon!
  2. Withdrew from the GWU waitlist. Crossing my fingers for movement this week for all you waitlisted out there!
  3. Turned down a fully funded spot at Fordham's PhD program, hope this helps someone out! The campus was gorgeous and the DGS honestly couldn't be any more helpful.
  4. And apparently Emory's not done stringing us along, as I have yet to hear a peep from them since applying. Same with NYU... It'd be nice to just have some closure. BTW I'm also waitlisted at GWU; have you heard anything from them besides the form letter on the website? Wondering how the waitlist works etc.
  5. What do you consider as "fit"? How do you determine it? I ask just because I think people may be able to give more specific, or just better advice depending on the answer, as this already nebulous term is used differently by different people If it were me, I wouldn't place too much of an emphasis on research fit (but again, my advice may be different depending on how you determine research fit). Unless the other programs have literally nothing of interest to you research-wise (which I can't imagine being the case), I'd suggest following the money, especially when talking about a nearly 50% higher stipend. Considering similar CoL, more money would relieve financial stress and allow you to focus on your courses and research, to attend conferences etc.
  6. I just wanted to say that I think your perspective seems very level-headed, which is a feat in itself and just amazing (I think I'd be bouncing of the walls with nerves and stress). I truly hope the visits help you with this difficult decision! In any case have fun, and sending you good vibes and lots of luck.
  7. I'm reviving this old thread (and chose this one specifically a little at random and also because some of the responses seemed to make interesting points) because maybe it'll be helpful for next year's applicants to hear our experiences. FWIW, I didn't take the test and applied to 5 schools that "recommended" it in some way; I was accepted to one school that "highly recommends" it and even set a benchmark score, and was wailtisted at two others that vaguely "recommended" it. I honestly don't think that this in itself would have been the reason I was waitlisted rather than admitted, but who knows. I'm an applicant with an MA who has had little in the way of a well-rounded course selection--i.e. the vast majority of my courses focused on 19th & 20th century (but my stated focus on apps was 20th & contemporary, so at least it matches. If I were applying as an early modernist I guess my situation would be different). My advice would be: don't let department's statements on recommending to take the test deter you from applying if you haven't. This probably isn't going to be the reason you do/don't get a spot. (Of course, this is just my opinion, based on completely anecdotal evidence.)
  8. Got some meh news from WUSTL--that they're not "encouraging" waitlisters to visit this year since they took a smaller cohort and are unsure how much they'll need to dip into the waitlist pool if at all. This does not seem to bode well for me. I'm trying to gauge if this is a general thing with the waitlist or that maybe they know I personally won't be likely to get off the waitlist. Has anyone had any contact with them? Has anyone got in and know they'll be declining the offer? PM would be great if you don't want to go into it here!
  9. What's your future goal with a PhD? Look at Rutgers' placement rates, they're pretty damn solid and I think they are very well regarded. But is it either/or? Apply to Rutgers as well as a couple of top-10's and some lower ranking programs that are strong in your AOIs. There are no guarantees in this game anyway. You should definitely be aware of yourself, your academic record, and your strengths (and weaknesses), but don't unnecessarily discount your ability to get into a top school. You should definitely not apply to ivies/to-10 schools alone, since even if you're a perfect candidate you could easily not get admitted. This is a little bit of a numbers game, and luck factors in big-time imo. Also, it's unlikely that all ivies/top-10 schools would be a good fit for you. But some probably would be, so why not take a chance? If your professors think you have the potential to get accepted to a top-ranking school, I'm sure they know what they're talking about.
  10. Oh of course, this is a very good point! I should have added that one should look at placements of people in their subfields and whether POIs get their students into good positions. Though this still assumes that one would remain in the particular subfield, which isn't always the case. BTW I didn't mean to suggest anything negative about Rice--I think it's an amazing school and I'd have been lucky to have been accepted (but was instead unceremoniously kicked to the curb!) Oh that is a tricky one! I'll just say that IMO very open communication about the future is absolutely imperative to making a choice. There is no right or wrong--both Yale and Rice are fantastic options. Do you know where you stand on the waitlist?
  11. I'm so happy for you that you ended up getting an acceptance--and Yale at that! It's absolutely amazing. You're coming out of undergrad, right? I'm asking because as has been said many times before on these fora, your research interests will change and shift, and this is especially true when coming with a BA as opposed to an MA (but really, also with an MA). The "fit" question therefore becomes somewhat different. If I were you I'd look at the faculty pages and try to see if, generally, there are people who interest you, without going into the nitty gritty of matching your current interests to a tee, with "laser focus". I agree with @sugilite that you should ask the Yalies about what made them think you were a good fit, and why they are a good fit for you. They don't know where else you got in, and at this point they should be trying to convince you why you should choose to attend their school--so press them on this. It might be that they have a better research-fit than is apparent from the faculty pages alone. But still, remember that the chances of you actually writing your dissertation on the topic that you proposed in your SOP is slim to none. I'd heavily lean towards Yale (even if the fit wasn't perfect, even with an MA), and I would recommend you do the same if your ultimate goal is a professorship at an R1. Of course, you should look at placement rates first (I didn't apply to Yale, so I have no idea what their placements are like). But between Rice and Yale the difference in ~prestige~ and ranking very significant. If you were choosing between Yale and Penn, for example, I think it would be a different story. I think there tends to be an over-emphasis on looking for research fit considering we really don't know how 2 years of course-work will change our trajectories. The SOP is more of a thought-experiment than it is an actual research plan. There are many things beyond the topic of my SOP that interest me, so what I end up researching will invariably be subject to fluctuations depending on the courses I take and the faculty--even though I come with an MA and thesis. You should see what the environment is like, if you like the cities, the departments, the people and so on, because you definitely don't want to spend 5-7 years being totally miserable. But barring any really awful fit on the personal level, I'd go to Yale even if I liked the ~vibe~ at Rice better, since it's virtually impossible to gauge what studying/living somewhere would really be like from a 2 day visit anyway. However, this is ultimately a very personal choice that needs to hinge on what you think would be best for you now, and what you think would lead you to where you want to be in the future--so my advice could be completely misguided. I will be prioritizing the future over the present (unless I know I'd be subjecting myself to a depressive vortex of suffering). Enjoy the visits and good luck! You're awesome, and I'm sure you'll do great wherever you choose to go.
  12. One of the reasons I didn't apply to UC programs is because, from what I know, they take on very few internationals due to the funding crisis. International students obviously can never qualify for in-state tuition, which makes them much more expensive for the departments to fund. Of course, this issue is relevant to state-schools at large, which is why I was very hesitant to apply to such programs. I think this was not justified as a general rule, and regret not applying to Rutgers and UVA (BTW, I ended up accepted to UT Austin, which I thought impossible). However, the UC system is under pretty significant stress with funding, which may impact their admissions practices in ways unique to them. You should look at the graduate schools' statistics on international students to get a sense of the situation, and of course of departmental statistics on the same if they're available. Schools like UCLA and Berkeley would be especially telling, because I can't imagine they have a shortage of international applicants considering their prestige and name-brand (compared to UCR, for instance, which may just have fewer int'l applicants to begin with as it's less known globally). Of course, you should take this with a grain of salt and do your due diligence. I gathered this information from professors who attended or are familiar with the UC system, but I'd be hard pressed to say to what degree this information is accurate. Good luck! Applying as an international comes with a unique set of issues, but these can be overcome. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. EDIT: oh, and this may be different in complit, where they generally take on international students more liberally since, obviously, international students will be on average fluent in more languages, and familiar with more cultural environments--all of which may be very relevant to their research.
  13. I mean, they can also learn from my CV about my research assistanship, that I wrote a thesis, and that I presented at conferences--all of which I included in my SoP. I would say that the point is to show how these experiences were significant in preparing you for the rigors of a PhD and/or have influenced your research trajectory. So, for example, I mentioned a research scholarship I received to study abroad; but I framed this not as an achievement in itself, but showed how my experiences as a researcher abroad have allowed me to gain new perspectives on the issues I'm interested in etc. I didn't include my TA position following advice from my professors, but I can't imagine that mentioning it (briefly!) would hurt, especially if it ties nicely with the narrative of the statement (it didn't, in my case). I wouldn't mention awards/prizes in the SoP; but discuss it with your letter writers and make sure that they do mention it. I would recommend not thinking of the SoP as a document in which you "sell/market yourself" as such, but an exposition of yourself as a scholar. Who are you as a researcher, how have your interests developed, what do you research/intend to research (and how? what methodologies/theories/etc), and why is it important/how does it intervene in previous and current discussions?
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