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ListlessCoffee's Achievements


Decaf (2/10)



  1. That's fair! You likely know far more about the program than I do. That's just my personal take on it -- but I am also a bit of student-debt phobic person. I'll always caution someone against taking on significant student debt to get a degree that does not realistically offer a direct path to a well-paying career. And I don't think a history MA at any program realistically offers its students that -- certainly not enough to justify taking on tens of thousands in debt just for a 1-2 year degree.
  2. On the results page an acceptance and a waitlist were posted earlier in February...I can also confirm that I know someone who has an acceptance there. In past years it does look like they released acceptances and rejections on the same day, but that might not have been the case this year...I suspect all of their acceptances have been sent out.
  3. I'm sure it places students. You probably get a good look at academia, can build relationships with quality faculty (and therefore get good references), and will turn out a piece of research you can use as a writing sample. A genuine congrats on the acceptance btw. But, it's a horrible idea to go into student debt for a history MA. For MAPSS, if you're paying 30k or 40k for tuition (and that's their generous rate?) on top of the cost of living in Chicago, you'll be possibly going into what, $50-60,000+ of student debt? Maybe you can cut it to a few tens of thousands of debt if you get a fellowship or scholarship or find the time to work 10-20 hours a week? All to get an MA? And then if you get into a PhD (which is the only reason you'd go to MAPSS) you enter a 6-7 year PhD (where you won't be making enough on your stipend to pay that debt back) to graduate after about 12 years of school (4 undergrad+1 MAPSS+7 PhD roughly)....only to enter a horrible job market and with significant student debt? Look, if you're funded by parents or have money saved up...knock yourself out. If not...there are many other MA programs out there that won't cripple you. I'm not trying to be confrontational here -- I just don't think MAs like MAPSS should ever be encouraged around here unless you have extensive financial backing from another source.
  4. Unless you have wealthy folks or have fallen into some inheritance, you shouldn't be attending one of those programs. You should not be falling into significant student debt for a history MA. I am sure the MAPSS program places a lot of students into PhD programs, but it is a cash cow for Chicago.
  5. Frankly, you're making a lot of assumptions before you have even tried...I think you're overthinking this. If we're thinking of the same Huntington Library, this is a pretty sizeable institution that probably has hundreds of researchers a year come through its archives (before Covid). They aren't greedily hoarding their archives, they likely just want to make sure they are treated well...a lot of their documents are probably pretty fragile. Private study spaces within the library to go through the documents are also likely pretty limited, so the application process also helps manage that. With that in mind, I'd say just fill out the form. If you're uncertain about that, then I'd personally go through their staff directory and email the appropriate person. I'd stress the fact that you are an educator and specifically teach history. Most libraries, in my experience, love the idea of helping teachers and contributing in same way to public/community history. Mention you're a private researcher, and mention exactly what your project is and exactly what box(es) you want. That'll establish that you're serious about this. I'd say the odds are high you'll have no problem getting a yes. And if you don't like either of those approaches...find the appropriate person in the staff directory who has a phone number. If they're working in-person, call them. My advisor has shared a few of his difficult stories accessing archives before -- his advice is that if you think they might say "no," always ask in person. If it's in person or on the phone they'll be less comfortable saying no. Better yet, there won't be any record of that "no," so you can always try again. Basically...just give it a shot.
  6. This is a good reminder -- I've similarly received several kind emails from POIs at this point explaining that while I was on their shortlist I wasn't accepted for X reason...and that they're certain I'm going to be accepted elsewhere. I think it's a good reminder to everyone, faculty and prospective students, that it's possible to be considered a qualified, highly competitive candidate at every single school you apply to, and yet also be rejected from every single school (especially with these small cohorts).
  7. I appreciate this post. With multiple rejections in hand, I think we're in the same boat (and subfields). Having spent the past three years consciously preparing for this (MA, great GPA, stuff for the CV, building relationships with Profs, strong LORs, tailoring my application to schools, getting feedback on my SOP, etc.) the prospect of having to go through the application cycle and all of its time commitment, stress, and uncertainty yet again is frankly exhausting. Doubly so since, as you said, it's difficult to get a sense of why the rejections keep coming -- in this difficult environment, it all feels a bit random, quite frankly. I think at least a couple years out to re-evaluate is needed. Each year applying to schools feels like a year where, due to the uncertainty of where you'll be in a year's time, you're putting your life and career on hold.
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