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About writeshere

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    English Literature

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  1. @snorkles Thanks! Oh, yeah, I definitely agree they each have amazing departments in their own right. Ultimately, it all came down to minute differences and where I could imagine myself the happiest for 5+ years because they all seemed like strong academic fits.
  2. Hi! I also applied during senior year (current undergrad senior) and will attend during the fall. In all honesty, I applied because I felt as if I was in the mental headspace for it --at least in terms of what I want to research, my guiding research questions, and writing sample. I started preparing my application well in advance during early 2018. Like you, I decided I wanted to go to graduate school relatively early in my undergraduate career, so I didn't think twice about it by the time I was eligible to apply. As someone who applied to nine schools this cycle while in undergrad, I can say it was incredibly difficult and emotionally taxing to manage alongside a full-time course load and a pretty time-consuming internship/research assistantship, so that's a serious downside. It's stressful. It takes a ridiculous amount of time and strategic planning. And I won't lie: it's a lot, so try to start the process as early as you can around the summer/fall (i.e., asking professors for rec letters, fee waiver requests, drafting/finalizing CV/resume, grants/fellowships, etc.). That said, I think it can both ways. Do you have a set specialization? Do you have set research ideas/questions? Do you have a general outline of what line of inquiry you want to pursue as a graduate student? Obviously, your interests might change (even marginally by the time you apply in the fall like myself), but if you already have a strong idea of where you're going in terms of interests, then I would consider applying. Even if my research interests were somewhat different over a year ago, enrolling in independent studies helped situate my research interests by the time fall came around. It sounds like you're definitely leaning on applying while in undergrad anyways, so personally, I would say: do it! But more importantly, you know yourself better, and if you think you would benefit most from a gap year, then this is a great option, too. Everyone's different. There are pros and cons either way you go. If you have the money, time, resources, support, and you're strongly leaning on applying, then it won't hurt to send out applications. As someone who attended multiple school visits, I soon realized students who apply straight out of undergrad are more uncommon than I initially thought. It seems like most people tend to take at least one year off before pursuing graduate study; at one institution, I think I was the only one accepted straight out of undergrad, too. Also, should you get into multiple schools, you'll have to juggle visits once you get to the spring semester if you're not graduating early (this isn't something I considered at all during the application process, so I thought I should mention it). And that can be quite hectic, though professors -- especially since they likely went through the same exact thing -- generally tend to be understanding! Good luck!
  3. Turned down WashU, UVA, UW-Madison, and a fully-funded spot in the MA program at Georgetown. I turned down a couple of these more recently than others, but hopefully, it helps someone out! ☺️
  4. In the end, I believe academic fit ultimately trumps rankings, especially considering lists like US News are not super reliable for an assortment of reasons (and, of course, does not consider individual departmental strengths). Something to consider is the fact that since the POI at the prestigious university is a big name, they might not have as much time to provide individualized attention (senior and/or big-name scholars might teach fewer classes or might not even take on new students). Plus, it would be different if you had several POI at this higher-ranked university--you only mentioned one, and to me, this is suuuuuper risky, because what if that individual retires, goes on sabbatical/leave, or decides to leave that institution in favor of another? Or, in the worst case scenario, what if you don't even like working with that person? What if they turn out to be super unreliable? If you welcome multiple professors to work with, then at the very least you can receive new insights and perspectives. Maybe ask the DGS at the prestigious university if they intend to hire any tenure-track with your specialization in the foreseeable future. Maybe even reach out to graduate students about affordability and/or "family-friendliness" in both cities/towns. Question where you can imagine yourself living for 5-7 years while still managing to do research with faculty. Schools with higher endowments and prestige clearly carry a wealth of resources to peruse (sometimes this manifests in higher stipends, more fellowship opportunities, more travel funding for conferences, etc.), but the ability to conduct research in the department with faculty mentors strikes me as equally important. And depending on what other factors you are considering, the pros and cons are limitless. I know someone at my current grad seminar who turned down a very prestigious, highly ranked English doctoral program in favor of her current program because the latter was more affordable and hosted multiple tenured faculty in her line of interest, even if her current program is not nearly as well-known. I'm in the same boat and I found this incredibly useful to consider.
  5. @roadrunner_33 I haven't heard back either! I keep checking my portal but it seems like all acceptances and rejections went out already...? It's weird!
  6. @Englishandteamakesahappyme @arbie @sugilite That's my post on the board from this morning!!! I am still in utter shock!!!!! Thank you! As for Brown phone calls, I agree with @santraash -- I don't think it's the norm (due to previous results and the info I received via phone, which was very specific to my application, but hey, who knows?). I also received a nice acceptance email from the DGS not too long ago, so maybe information will go out shortly if it hasn't already! Best of luck!!!
  7. @mwils15 @dreamumlifdon Hi, I'm the acceptance on the board! I was notified via email earlier today from the department coordinator and DGS. Not too much info yet other than the fact that I was awarded a funding package and will receive further details later this week via phone. It seems like they're notifying funding recipients first, though I'm still surprised I heard something back so soon. Best of luck to you both!
  8. Accepted at Johns Hopkins and I am freaking out!!!! ?
  9. @SomeoneAcceptMe Hi, long-time lurker here! To echo what @Warelin said, I received notification yesterday afternoon via phone (I was told I would receive an official acceptance email from DGS within the next couple days). I'm also a domestic applicant. It seems like last year they notified students well into early February, so don't lose hope. Best of luck!!!
  10. Hi, everyone! I'm an Americanist with a particular emphasis on constructions of racial identity in the American novel as well as literary history and its engagement with popular culture between the wars (1918-1939; Harlem Renaissance and Lost Generation writers tend to be primary figures I focus on).
  11. How much does the Analytical Writing section "count" for a student preparing to apply to a Ph.D. program in English Literature? For example, my scores were dismal: I received a V156 and a Q141. I'm a terrible standardized tester; perhaps my only saving grace is my 6.0 in Analytical Writing. That aside, I think I have no qualms with articulating "fit" in my applications, received positive comments regarding the strength of my SOP, and, lastly, a relatively decent writing sample I spent quite some time working on to bolster my application. I have a 3.82 GPA overall, a 4.0 in my major (English in the Honors Scholar Program), considerable research/teaching/editorial experience, and a couple of conference presentations. I am also applying straight out of undergrad from a top-20 public state university. My main question: how much do English graduate admissions look at AW? Does it somehow compensate for my shoddy Verbal score? Can my AW score still qualify me for top-30 programs? ? Please note that I don't have time to retake it again for the third time nor do I feel confident about my forthcoming Subject Literature scores (the latter of which I will probably only send out if required).
  12. I'm in a bit of a pickle. I have a 3.82 overall undergraduate GPA and a 4.0 in my majors (English and History w/Honors Scholar designation). I love reading, I have considerable undergraduate research experience (rare considering my major and interests), I have presented at two conferences, I have received awards from my department, I’m completing an Honors-level thesis, and I attend a decent public state university where I fostered great relationships with faculty. But I can’t get my GRE scores higher. I took the test once already and received a 153 V, a 140 Q (I realize this one is especially horrendous; this isn’t to say I don’t care about the Q section because it also detrimentally affected my cumulative score, but I’m applying for a doctoral program in English), and a 5.0 in Writing. I’m already scheduled to retake it in a couple weeks, but my practice test scores in Verbal have been stuck in the low-to-mid 150s (I think I can place my new essay scores in the 5.5 range, however). It’s humiliating, especially considering I’m trying to go to graduate school for English. And I can’t afford to retake them for a third time, considering next week I’m taking the GRE Subject Test in English. Many of the schools I’m applying to are in the top-30 range. I had no problem articulating fit, granted I started early in my junior year researching available archival holdings, faculty, department strengths, etc. But I know my scores will immediately put me at disadvantage especially considering the significance of reading comprehension for a person interested in an English Literature doctoral program. I’m not going to revise my grad school list anymore, but I feel as though I’m setting myself up for failure by applying to highly esteemed programs. How can I possibly improve my score? How closely do Humanities programs look at them? I’m prepared at this point to hold off grad apps for another year to apply for teaching jobs and study for the GRE tests again, but I’ve worked so hard on my applications already (including my professors writing my recommendation letters) I’m unsure what to do.
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