Hello my friends. I am currently considering applying to UChicago's MA programs. However, I am hesitant about which one to apply to. A bit of background: I previously studied political science in the US but want to transition into early Chinese history. I am a Chinese natioanal, have been reading Chinese history my whole life, and am capable of using Chinese sources in my own writing (I am currently a columnist). However, I did not take a single class on Chinese history in my undergraduate years because I thought they were simply too easy. The consequence is that I have no way of proving my knowledge of the subject. I previously applied to UPenn's MA program of Chinese studies and was rejected because, it was explained to me by the program director, that I did not have years of training in the field (everything else was just fine, he so assured me). My questions are:
1. Which program do you think is of higher quality, MAPSS or MAPH? Even if there is only a marginal difference.
2. Which program is perceived to be of higher quality in academia?
3. Which program is most likely to offer me admission?
Specifically on Question 3, I have planned out three strategies:
3.1 Apply to MAPH honestly, saying that I wish to study early China despite not having a previous training. This feels like a reenactment of my failed application.
3.2 Apply to MPPSS honestly, saying that I want to major in History and study early China.
3.3 Apply to MPSS by saying that I want to major in Political Science and study modern Chinese politics but take courses on early Chinese history after getting in.
I cannot apply to both programs at the same time because one of my recommendors said he would provide letters for no more than four programs and I have to balance my choices. I am sure you guys will have some brilliant ideas to share. Thank you all for reading this.