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About Mischief

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  • Application Season
    2021 Fall
  • Program
    Philosophy PhD

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  1. Hi Mike, You haven't said where generally you intend to apply, and there may be differences between the North American and UK/European reception of your application. I don't understand the UK system, so I can't comment on the LSE side of things specifically or how your situation will play in the European/UK system. Here are my comments in the North American context. It seems unlikely to me, however, that you will find a place on your applications to list the grade you received on your thesis. In most Canadian schools, for example, we do not receive a thesis mark--it simply shows up on
  2. I'm doing something similar with the writing sample I used this time around. I've workshopped it for so long that I don't think there's much room left to make a noteworthy change without simply writing a follow-up paper, but it's clearly not working as a writing sample at the places I've applied to. It's on tap for one more workshop (so long as it isn't cancelled), after which I'm going to start sending it out to journals. The plan now is that I'll keep reviewing broadly successful writing samples and try to reverse engineer what's working in those. Then I'll write a chapter of my MA thesis in
  3. Hey all, Now that I have officially been rejected from all of the programs that I applied to, I wanted to start a thread for people who are going through the same thing (both at the MA-level and the PhD-level). I'm hoping that we can use this thread for a few different things: Vent about being shutout specifically--I take it this has a special character Talk about what we're going to do for our health in light of this Raise what we hope to do next year now that we know we will not be attending a program in the Fall Talk about what we plan to do to prepare for next
  4. Interested in this question (more generally than the specific questions above) as someone (presuming to be) shutout in my first year of PhD apps, though I am applying from the second year of my MA.
  5. Good afternoon Dr. O'Keefe, A quick question that you might have an answer to. What would your admissions committee make, at first blush, of an applicant to your MA program who already held an MA in philosophy from another North American university? I have some sense that students occasionally do this when making a shift from one area of the discipline to another, and this might apply to me. Thanks for any comment!
  6. Hey Sisyphus, I absolutely recognize this feeling and feel it most days, if not a few times a day (even in my MA, where I frequently wonder when everyone will catch on that they made a huge mistake by admitting me). My undergraduate cumulative GPA was about a 3.2, and I have an F and a mix of ILL and INC marks in one year that I had health problems peak. My view of myself when I'm feeling down is basically as you describe: why would any committee pick me rather than people who have no grade lower than an A (4.0) on their transcript? How could anyone on admissions committee take a chance on
  7. That's really tough, I'm sorry to hear you're in this position! If it's any consolation, you'll find that there are a non-negligible number of people on this board (and in the profession) that have been shutout, done an MA, applied again, and had great success.
  8. Hi Cheesy_cheese, A few things I'd like to echo from previous comments: Your application as you've described is not noteworthy with respect to GPA and honours. As is often repeated on this board, people with higher GPAs and more distinguished awards will be rejected and people with lower GPAs and no awards will be admitted to the schools you've applied to. These are not predictors of success, though a deeply low GPA could be a defeater (a good discussion of this is found on Eric Schwitzgebel's blog The Splintered Mind, both in the body and comments--https://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.c
  9. This is a drastic difference. Are you meant to pay your fees out of the 27 or out of the 15?
  10. I think my first post was a bit gruff, I'm sorry. On the cut-off: this would be a good thing to ask departments about. If this is the case, you are right it should be made obvious to applicants and people advising in your program should be able to talk honestly with students about needing distinction to apply to American schools On being competitive/"getting into the mix": wow, that is a significant difference in success that people ought to be talking about and be able to get some clarity on!
  11. I'm not sure which way to read you here. Do you mean (1) that the departments you've applied to do not accept a high pass as meeting a minimum cutoff (say, a minimum A-/3.7 average in graduate coursework), or that (2) having a high pass or distinction from one of the Cambridge MPhils does not guarantee admission to any of the top 20 program? If you mean the latter, one would hope this is already obvious to any applicant, regardless of their pedigree. The received wisdom is that there are no sufficient conditions for admission to graduate programs in philosophy, marks included (though the
  12. In the second year of a two-year MA with thesis, applied this year and will apply next year if things don't work out this year.
  13. 1. I did not apply to Waterloo. 2. Sorry to play coy on this but I don't want to share specifics--part of the question is also just whether the GRE and MA numbers can be thought of as offsetting other things (i.e. whether there is a threshold at which they can do that work). My MA grades are high. On the GRE: higher than what many posters have usually called the "can only help you application" range, though I have wondered if it would be worth aiming for a 337-340 to make the point. As far as the reputation of the department goes, not one of the Tufts/TTU/Brandeis set.
  14. Real question that is going to come off as alarmist (hence, not asking in the FB group), but has been on my mind for a few years. I should also say upfront that I have heard and understand the "writing sample, writing sample, writing sample," advice--let me bracket that for a moment to discuss a specific aspect of the application that has haunted me. Question: Just how much work can an MA (thesis, great letters, high grades) do to assuage a problematic undergraduate transcript? I ask this because my undergraduate transcript is highly inconsistent all the way through (I have a health expla
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