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About bonesandbakes

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  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Interests
    Ancient DNA; Bioarchaeology
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  1. When I was applying to programs, I found it most helpful to identify potential advisors by searching the authors of papers that I liked. This can be good not only because it connects you to potentially good advisors, but also gives you something to talk about with them (referencing their prior work is a great way to show you're serious). Another sure-fire way is to ask current anthropologists you know (could be professors, grad student friends, or undergrads at other institutions) if they know anyone doing work related to what you're interested in. Having a common connection is a great way to get your foot in the door. I am a biological anthropologist so can't say much about specific cultural anthropology methods. However, I would suggest that you consider the benefits of different types of advisors. For example, one that specializes in the methods you are interested in will obviously be able to help you learn the methods. However, an advisor that works in Colombia and Honduras will likely be able to connect you to many more people who do research there. I would say reach out to both types! There is certainly plenty of time to decide, and you will likely sadly talk to a decent number of people who just aren't interested in working with you and/or you realize your personalities aren't a good fit. Reach out to a lot of people and narrow from there.
  2. I got accepted at Penn last year and I believe all of the people who are eventually accepted get interviewed. However, each individual POI sets up the interviews and some take more time to do it than others. We just started the second semester here, so I'd give it more time before assuming it's a no. My DMs are open if you want to ask more specifically about Penn or your application.
  3. If you are applying for a PhD, I would say don't worry about the department not reading your application because of your GRE score. If you have established relationships with POIs (and hopefully done a phone/skype call), email them after you submit your application letting them know that it's submitted and thanking them for their help and support. With that reminder, they should be on the look out for your application specifically, and it should get read. Generally professors don't have a correspondence with that many potential PhD students, so they'll want to look at your application. That being said, I don't know of any PhD programs that have a GRE score cutoff so your application should be read regardless. If you have (a) great SOP/LORs/writing samples then that'll help, but contact with the POI will really be one of the most important pieces for getting in (at least it was for me, as a biological anthropologist. If you are cultural, it may be slightly different). However, if you are just really similar to another candidate they're considering and the only significant difference is that they have a great GRE score, that might lead to them picking the other person. Basically, what I'm saying is that if you're applying for a PhD, there shouldn't be any cutoffs for getting your application read. And at the end of the day, if you don't have the funds to take the exam again, then that's that. Grad school is cool and all but you shouldn't go into any sort of debt just applying. Focus on your application materials and your relationship with the POI. At the end of the day, there's no perfect recipe for getting in, and I can say I know there are people in my competitive PhD program that got GRE scores around yours. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  4. If I were you, I would honestly retake it if you have the funds. While a lot of people will say they don't matter, I know when I applied that I didn't want to take that chance. Especially if you're applying to master's programs, where GRE scores are often used to consider students for funding/teaching opportunities.
  5. If you are interested in things like ethnographic filmmaking, I would check out programs at UPenn and Columbia. The hot term for this right now is "experimental ethnography". Also, I good route to go for finding programs is to find research you would like to do (be that articles, films, etc) and find out who did that research. Finding programs is not a quick or easy thing, but they're out there! Good luck!
  6. In my graduate cohort, most of us have prior degrees in anthropology. However, this is not the case for all of us, and I don't think it's necessary. I would just focus on explaining in your application why you became interested in anthropology and how you think a background in urban planning will be helpful (especially if you want your future research to be urban planning adjacent).
  7. It was advised to me when I was applying that it is important to have a good GRE score if you are applying to any larger terminal master's programs. In these larger programs where not everyone is funded, there may be cutoffs for who gets fellowships/TA opportunities based on GRE and GPA. For that reason, I took the GRE a second time when I was applying. I do think its also a good intro for when you reach out to PIs, as it unfortunately does make PIs believe more in your academic abilities. It is also sadly true that especially if you're applying from undergrad, a lot of applicants have similar backgrounds. If the decision is between you and someone who's very similar with a higher GRE score, odds are they will be offered the position. The first time I took the GRE, my scores were around yours, and I was able to get them higher by taking the GRE a second time, which I do think helped me get into the programs I did. That said, I know there are people in my cohort that got scores around yours who did get in (but several of them were accepted off the wait list). @j_anna, I am currently at UPenn, so if you want to talk about the anth department/program here feel free to PM me
  8. @amylynn I would say try to reach out every few months, if you have something relevant. In your case of seeing the lab, that may be something good to work into an email letting this PI know that you submitted your application (which is always a good idea so they'll keep an eye out for it). If you feel like it'd be helpful to try to see the lab before you apply, definitely ask. It's also important to know that if this is for a PhD, they'll probably arrange for you to come visit once you're accepted. So you'll get to see the labs then. Hope this helps!
  9. I personally don't think it would be best to say you accept but provide conditions. In by opinion, I would call/email your contact there and have an open conversation explaining that you don't want to make a commitment while you are still hearing back from other universities. They still might say they need you to decide by Wednesday and then you'd have to do that, but from my experiences dealing with universities most committee members still remember what it was like to apply and will try to help you out if they can. They'll appreciate you being honest and I'm sure you're not the only one who has ever expressed concern with them expecting a decision from you so early. Then again, this advice is all based off my experience with US universities, and may be different in Canada.
  10. So I got an email from my PI at School A a few weeks ago, telling me I got in. Since then, I've started working with them to plan a visit and they've sent me a funding offer. Then on Friday, I got an email from School B, saying that though this was an unofficial email I'd been approved by the department and the dean for admission. Now if I'm getting an offer from School B, I definitely won't accept at School A (here my research would have to focus on a secondary interest, where I could focus on my primary at School B). Nothing has been paid for yet for my visit to School A, and I feel like I should not go visit now so they don't spend their time and money on me if I'm not going. My question is, should I trust the unofficial acceptance from School B enough to turn down School A before I get School B's official offer? It might be important to note that School B has a huge endowment, so I don't think it's likely they'll back out at the last minute due to funding. Thanks in advance for any advice!
  11. For clarification, I do think all public schools have to observe President's Day - they just don't have to observe it ON President's Day. I know my school gives staff the day off after Christmas Day by saying that's the day they're observing President's Day. And they give staff Christmas Eve off by saying that's the day we observe Arbor Day.
  12. Hi! I just got an offer at UPenn and will probably accept. I'm from the midwest and at this point have never lived in a city larger than 150,000 people. Most of my family are the same way and are really worried about me being safe living in Philly. My parents seem to think that everyone in such a big city gets mugged at least once a week, and are really pressing me to live on campus at UPenn for a year while I learn which neighborhoods are "safe" to live in. Does anyone have any experience with on-campus grad housing at UPenn, know of any nearby neighborhoods, or have tips to make safety midwest-parent approved? Thanks!
  13. P.s. Thanks for the advice @Mofanthrooo!
  14. I feel you. I went through this literally today with UPenn. I followed the advice someone else gave me here though and emailed my POI. Looks like the situation was each professor was individually notifying students of acceptance, and mine just hadn't gotten the chance to write the email yet. So I'd say yeah email and just ask if they have any idea when notifications will be made. Or if you'd rather, you can call the program's office. They might give you info and not ask for your name.
  15. Thanks for the advice, everyone! I ended up emailing one of the schools and my POI replied saying he was planning to email me later today letting me know I've been accepted! Don't give up on your dreams!
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