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N0rd

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Everything posted by N0rd

  1. N0rd

    Am I Being Too Ambitious?

    My standard advice for people trying to narrow down a selection of graduate schools to apply to is to always apply to a mix of "ambition" programs and ones you feel you have a higher chance of getting into. This is the approach I and several of my friends took when applying to schools and most of us were admitted to more than one university. Looking at your ambitions, being a mid-range university curator or gallerist says to me that you don't need a degree from a top range school to be competitive in the job market. Yes, those degrees would be nice to have but a degree from a big state school such as the University of Texas, Kansas, or Iowa would also make you a strong candidate. My field is early modern so I can't recommend any specific programs for Contemporary or African Diaspora. It's hard to say for certain what your chances might be of getting into those "ambition" school but the fact that you have a high major GPA helps you. As for the value of your museum experience it would depend on the program. I would recommend looking at the jobs the alumni have of the schools you're interested in. Some schools tend to view themselves as museum prep schools while others want to create professors and more traditional academics. Having experience in a museum would obviously be more beneficial at a school that trues to create museum professionals. And for your concern about registration vs curatorial I don't think that would matter too much, experience is experience and the fact that you have 2+ years in field at this stage in your career is impressive. A final thought: A lot of the admission process rests upon a strong statement of purpose/personal statement and your writing sample. Graduate schools like to see students who have a clear idea of who they are and why they want to continue in the field. This is also a place for you to make up for other "weak points" in your application. This is where I would focus a lot of your energy during the application process, especially if you have concerns about aspects of your application that you can't change.
  2. N0rd

    Anybody else applying to a PhD straight out of undergrad?

    It must vary a lot by field then. I'm in the humanities and it's quite difficult to get direct admissions to a PhD program.
  3. N0rd

    Anybody else applying to a PhD straight out of undergrad?

    In the United States you can become a PhD student without first getting a Master's degree although that's definitely the less common route. My brother graduated with a BA then took a year off then applied directly to a PhD program. He did a little extra coursework to "catch up" but did not have to pursue a Master's degree as an intermediate step. I, on the other hand, am attending a combined MA/PhD program in which I'll spend two years working for a MA, then petition for continuance in the PhD program. I know there are a lot of other schools that offer both and MA and a PhD where students finishes the MA and then must apply for admittance to the PhD program.
  4. N0rd

    SOAS/Courtauld?

    The best advice I can give you is to definitely pick interest over prestige (especially because both of these programs have solid reputations worldwide). Grad school is an intense experience and being in a spot where you don't like your coursework/professors/etc will make it a hellish experience. Reflect on your past experience in courses you didn't like or felt neutral about compared to those classes you loved, I know I personally burn out so much quicker in courses I don't like I can only imagine this becomes exaggerated in a grad school setting.
  5. N0rd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I got similar advice as this. One of my undergrad advisors told me there was some opinion that the Courtauld doesn't adequately prepare students for later study in the US as it's a 9 month degree versus a two year degree for US based MA programs. It is worth remembering that the structure of the Courtauld MA program is very different from that of a US based MA. While the Courtauld is an rigorous program, you have a very narrow field of study and generally MA programs stateside have an emphasis on a general understanding of art history. That being said, I do believe that the name of the Courtauld carries a lot of weight and it would be beneficial if you apply to a PhD program later. As a side note I was admitted to the Courtauld this cycle but ultimately decided to accept an offer of a funded MA/PhD program in the US so I've spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of the Courtauld.
  6. I applied to a mix of top ranked programs and "safety schools" and got into one of each. I decided not to attend the top ranked program for a number of reasons. Primarily the funding I received at the other institution, but also I knew I would be much happier at that institution. It was much closer to friends and family, had a wonderful environment to study in, and I felt like I could see myself being friends with the current students I met. I know there is a great deal of pressure to attend the highest ranked program you can get into (I definitely felt that during my application/decision period) and it's hard when you see so many people on here attending top ranked programs. I think you've already addressed your own concern though. If you have the option to go to a school in a location you like, with a good advisor fit, and that will make you happy school ranking should not matter. The most important thing is that you're comfortable with your decision, no one wants to spend 5+ (very intense) years at a school they don't like. Also, take a step back and look at what you've accomplished. You got into a grad program!!! More than one by the sound of it. This is an accomplishment very few people achieve and you should be proud! Not only do you now get to attend grad school but you also now have a choice in where you go.
  7. N0rd

    Need help!!

    I would definitely recommend talking to a counselor, and consider meeting with a counselor one on one and looking into couple's counseling. My current university offers both of these services and maybe yours does as well, or they might be able to refer you somewhere affordable. If you love her like you say you do and she loves you it's worth working on your relationship to see if there's ways you can improve it. I am also not a relationship expert, nor am I married but I can tell you right now that no one should feel like their significant other is ashamed of them or should be made fun of their abilities. Having a strong support system is incredibly important, whether or not you're in grad school. I would recommend reaching out to trusted friends or family members who know more about you and your wife to get their perspective on the subject and also just to get general emotional support from them. I wish you the best and hope that no matter what you remember that you absolutely 100% deserve to be happy and healthy.
  8. N0rd

    The Positivity Thread

    I got my final decision letter today and was finally able to commit to the program I've chosen to attend. Officially a grad student!
  9. N0rd

    The Positivity Thread

    I'm visiting the program I'm planning on attending and all of the current students and faculty are incredibly nice and welcoming.
  10. N0rd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    It must vary by school. I'm on a waitlist and they told me they hoped to have an answer for me before April 15th but could make no promises.
  11. N0rd

    Grad. School Supplies?

    I love my Swissgear laptop backpack! It's a pretty sleek design and it has a professional feel to it. It also has a doctor's bag style hinged opening which makers it really easy to fill with books, notebooks, snacks, etc. I carry all my course materials in it for 10 hour days and have plenty of room. It's a really durable fabric so I think it will hold up well over the years. I also have a long term shoulder issue (one of my shoulder blades doesn't sit in the right place) and this one doesn't cause me any pain (provided I don't over fill it).
  12. N0rd

    Note-taking Help

    I use a laptop when taking all of my notes (I like that digital notes can be searched quickly), I think a lot of this ability comes down to self discipline and practice. For hard days/long study sessions I also use a browser extension called Cold Turkey. It's a free download and lets you create customized lists of websites you want to block and will stop you from being able to access them during whatever window of time you set (which could be 5 minutes or all day). There's a free version and a paid version depending on how flexible you want your blocks to be. I just use the free version which lets you pick what websites to block and for how long. In the paid version I think you can set break time so if you want to allow yourself an hour to watch Netflix during the day you can.
  13. N0rd

    Is this a reason to get two MAs before a PhD?

    Really I think this is up to your personal preference. I don't think it's weird to get two MAs before a PhD, however I also don't think it's entirely necessary. I think your decision should come down to the amount of time and money you really want to invest in this. If you're concerned about your ability to get into a PhD program I think the fact that you're pursuing a BA in Art History and would get an MA in either Art History or Medieval Studies would more than prove that you're dedicated to the field and are qualified for admission. Getting two MAs definitely won't hurt you and the dual emphasis on Art History and Medieval Studies would provide you with a broad background and allow for a lot of interesting interdisciplinary research. Have you looked into MA programs focusing on Medieval Art History? You may not find a program that focuses specially on France but this may be a way to blend the two MA options you're looking at. Personally, if I were in your shoes I would do the Art History BA and then either an MA in Medieval Art History or Medieval Studies then followed by the PhD in Medieval French Visual Culture/Art History. I think any combination (or all of) of the degrees you mentioned would qualify you for research and writing it just comes down to how much you want to commit.
  14. I second this wholeheartedly. If you're hoping to be admitted to the Master's program if you're rejected for the PhD there may be a way to indicate this elsewhere on your application. I would recommend looking into the structure of the program and how they make their admission decisions. Is it common for the school to refer rejected PhD applicants to the Masters program? Or could you potentially submit your application to both programs?
  15. N0rd

    The Positivity Thread

    I was accepted to a combined MA/PhD program fully funded!! This school would also let me stay close to my friends and family and has strong faculty across multiple departments with interests in my field of study!
  16. N0rd

    Anybody else applying to a PhD straight out of undergrad?

    I've been pretty absent from Grad Cafe for a while butI wanted to share this experience with all of you. One night I was talking with a friend who is also applying to grad school and we were both lamenting how difficult it is to get into a program straight out of undergrad and worrying about anything and everything related to the process. That night I convinced myself that I should just assume that I wasn't going to get in anywhere and build a backup plan from there. Better to be prepared for the worst than devastated at a surprise right? The very next day I got an offer of admission and full funding from a PhD program (which came way earlier than expected). I know this time can be beyond stressful for so many reasons but in all of the stress and worry don't lose sight of the fact that you are capable of great things.
  17. I was sitting at work when I got an email alert for both of my emails (personal and academic). I expanded the push notification and saw the word "Congratulations!" At the beginning of the email! I raced to my computer to read the full acceptance letter on a bigger screen and only processed about every 3rd or 4th word as I went through the letter. Fully funded, I was ecstatic! Immediately after texting my family and emailing my undergrad advisor I got another email from them that said they had made a mistake in my acceptance letter and they had just attached the correct one. My heart sunk thinking they had mistakenly offered me full funding or something else equally devastating, only to realize they had unnecessarily repeated a word, which I hadn't even noticed on the first read through.
  18. N0rd

    2019 Waitlist Thread

    Was waitlisted at one school that only accepted 3 total applicants to each of their graduate fields this year. Once I found that out I wasn't too upset about it, being on a waitlist for one of three spots seems like a pretty good outcome to me. Still waiting to hear back from all the other schools though...
  19. N0rd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I'm right there with you, I've had brief communication with a few professors but that was a while ago. I'm trying to remind myself that many people get admitted without an interview and it's still fairly early in February but that doesn't mean I'm not stressed.
  20. N0rd

    Post here to get your worries off your chest

    Worries: I'm applying as a BA applicant to top ranked MA/PhD programs in an already highly competitive field. I haven't had any interviews. I have a backup plan but obviously it's not the ideal plan and it would make me reassess a lot of what I'm planning for the next few years. I could stick around at my current in-field position and work on finding other ways to improve my application for a cycle in a later year. Excitement: I've been communicating with a POI at one school and from the conversations we've been having it seems promising that I might be offered admission. I'm presenting at a research symposium next week.
  21. N0rd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I haven't applied to Emory but I've noticed a trend in results that the sciences get acceptances far before the humanities. Several of the schools I've applied to have been admitting to science programs for a month but don't seem to have even started interviewing for the humanities. We must just operate on a later timeline.
  22. N0rd

    How to decide a field for Ph.D study?

    Definitely make sure you sure you select a field you're passionate about, graduate work is an intense experience and PhDs in particular take a lot of time to complete. I would recommend you start thinking about a career/s you can see yourself in for the rest of your life and then decide if that career requires a graduate degree. The decision to pursue a PhD isn't one that should be taken lightly and if you don't love your field it probably isn't worth it. Have you looked into Master's degrees? This might be a strong option for you especially if you're looking to change fields. You would get experience in the field, see what graduate study is like and not have to commit to 4-5 years of a field/program that doesn't turn out to be the right fit for you. If you decide you want a PhD after this there are many programs that would grant you advanced standing due to the work you have already completed.
  23. N0rd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Congratulations on your interview! I don't know if you've done the interview yet but I would recommend refamiliarizing yourself with all of your application materials, and be ready to talk about why you believe the school/POI is a good fit for you. Also have some questions ready to ask them. My field is early modern as well, if you're open to it it'd be nice to chat about our specific interests and where we applied.
  24. N0rd

    What are your hobbies?

    I've gotten really into cooking lately! I also like listening to podcasts while on walks or embroidering. I took up embroidery because I needed a physically productive hobby to balance out all the paper writing and reading I was doing on the computer. I'm also intermittently into yoga, when I have time. I've also been loving The Great British Baking Show lately!
  25. You could ask questions centered around your application: Do you have any hesitations about my application for the PhD program? How do you think I would be able to improve my work/abilities in the PhD program vs the MS program? Etc. Since they know you already know the department well this would show that you're actively engaged with this process instead of applying to your current school as a "fall back."
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