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politics 'n prose

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About politics 'n prose

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  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    English PhD

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  1. Just got the ol’ heave-ho from Cornell, too. Not unexpected, but still a bummer because it seemed like a pretty strong fit. I’m now just waiting to hear from one more school (come through quick, Chapel Hill!) before the fun part of actually making a decision starts.
  2. Looks like it's about time to dust this thread off again... So, I know there are a few Ohio State and Penn State admits 'round these parts. Anyone planning to attend either school's open house? I have some familiarity with OSU's set-up since I went there for my MFA (though I was accepted off the waitlist, so I didn't actually attend the open house for my cohort year), but I'm not sure what to make of Penn State's multi-day affair. Looking forward to it, though!
  3. Congratulations to the Yale admits--what incredible news! My news of the day is that I've finally received the ol' heave-ho from Carnegie Mellon, which I'd been expecting for a while. Hoping the CMU waitlists on the board (I know there are a few of you) get some good news from them soon--it seems like a great program, and PIttsburgh is an awesome city.
  4. Also just got the Chicago rejection (after having to reset my password on the applicant portal because I could not for the life of me remember it). Alas!
  5. Just received a voicemail from the DGS at Penn State extending an offer of admission—totally unexpected, man oh man. (Life has been busier than usual for me over the past few weeks, and I’ve been remiss in keeping up with everyone’s good news, but congratulations to all who’ve been accepted and waitlisted—and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all those who are still waiting to hear back!)
  6. Congrats on the Duke acceptance, @poeticdweller—certainly starting things off on the right foot! As for me...I just got an acceptance email from Ohio State? At this point I thought at best they’d give me a slap on the wrist for double-dipping since it’s the same institution where I got my MFA, but wow wow wow, I’m excited! Taking a course with Jim Phelan is what convinced me I wanted to study narrative theory and pursue an academic PhD in the first place, so this is all very nice and poetic and all that—but mostly it’s just unexpected and I plan to be freaking out about it for quite some time!
  7. Congrats on the interview requests, @Tessjane77! I’m assuming you’ve applied to English/Lit programs, in which case two interviews out of six schools is a pretty great yield—especially considering the fact that the healthy majority of English PhD programs don’t conduct interviews at all. To offer another comparison point to @Rrandle101‘s: I applied to seven English/Lit programs and only one of those schools traditionally does interviews. So, unless the six schools you applied to all happen to be ones that interview—and, hell, even if that is the case—I’d say you’re in pretty good shape.
  8. Congrats on the Northeastern news, @karamazov! Also, for those of us left high and dry by Chicago, I came across the following just now in the results search: Spoke with DGS; all interview requests have gone up. Not everyone will be interviewed, but everyone accepted in recent years has had an interview. Not too much of a surprise for me (Chicago was absolutely my one-in-a-million, snowball’s-chance-in-hell school), but I just wanted to share this here because I know a number of folks have been wondering what’s up. Congratulations and good luck to those who are in the running for an interview!
  9. I take it the chat with UMD went well, @merry night wanderer—glad to hear it! Also, I’ve been remiss: congrats to you and your partner on the Chicago and Notre Dame interview news, @Indecisive Poet!
  10. To add to @Dogfish Head‘s point re: OSU... Ohio State has historically updated the portal prior to official acceptance emails being sent, so there’s nothing so anomalous about this. Department secretaries also tend to speak in generalities when asked questions about the status of the app review process, so I would just take what you were told at face value: Applications are still being reviewed and nothing has been made official yet (an “official” acceptance would presumably be one that is confirmed by both the applicant portal and by email, phone, or letter). I’d say the odds are in your favor here, but I can definitely understand your confusion and concern. If it helps, based on last year’s results, there were only a few days in between when the portal was updated and when acceptance emails went out, so you’ll likely know by early next week what your official status is. Fingers crossed that the news remains good, @brownjournal!
  11. Congrats, @pinkfruit (and congrats again, @Rrandle101)! OSU is a great school—as I mentioned in the other thread, I did my MFA there. If either of you have questions about the program generally or the city of Columbus, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message! OSU has historically been one of the few (possibly only?) schools that updates its portal before sending out notification emails to acceptances. I’m guessing our lucky admits will be receiving some correspondence from the DGS (a real character of a guy!) within the next few days.
  12. Heh, yeah, I’d had it in the back of my mind while applying that the unstable (though nominally “good”—like, what does that even mean?) economy might result in a greater number of applicants this cycle, as tends to be the case. Ah well, so it goes...
  13. Congratulations, @Rrandle101! As the first admit of the season, I think the honor is yours to open the 2020 Acceptances Thread... (Also, I did my MFA at Ohio State, so if you have any general questions about the English department or Columbus itself, just let me know!)
  14. Agreed. This shouldn’t be a problem, especially because transcripts uploaded to the application are generally understood to be unofficial (i.e., subject to change for those students whose final semester coursework is still in progress), with acceptance contingent on students furnishing a final, complete transcript. Think of it this way: If one of the courses you’d scheduled for the spring semester wound up being canceled by your school between when you applied to grad school and when the spring semester started, that would create a similar discrepancy between your unofficial transcript and your final transcript, through no fault of your own. Don’t sweat it!
  15. Agreed. At the end of the day, the content of your SOP--how you present your academic history and research interests, how you locate those interests in the larger discipline, and how you articulate your professional goals--will matter far more than the stylistic flourishes. (Also, not to throw shade at academics, but there's certainly plenty of phraseology in published articles in English/Lit that could generously be described as, shall we say, "a bit clunky." 😉) Try not to sweat it, @HPurple! Ooo, yes, I am also curious to hear more from folks on this. I only applied to one school that seems to do interviews--and said school (Chicago) is so far out of my league anyway that the odds of me getting an interview to begin with are close to nil--but I still have no idea how to approach or prep for a hypothetical interview. (I had a dream last night--my third app-related dream of the season so far, for those of you keeping score at home--that I had a phone interview with a made-up POI at a made-up school, and it was stressful.)
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