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About Galoup11

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  1. I honestly have no info about hard cutoff numbers or anything like that, but my entire cohort is not summa cum laude with 99th percentile GRE scores, as far as I know. There is a pretty diverse background among students--I was a psychology major, for example--and I've come to a general conclusion that "fit" is the most important at the end of the day. At PSU we teach from Day 1, though, so if you have or can get any experience tutoring or T.A.'ing, that would probably be a plus for your application. Professionalization is another trait the department emphasizes, so a career-oriented statement would also be a good approach. This doesn't necessarily mean knowing exactly what you want to study and write your dissertation on (of course), but you really don't want to come off as though you're totally unsure of what your interests are or why you want to go to graduate school (beyond education for its own sake). Hope that helps. Hmm, "traditionalist" is difficult to unpack, so I'm not sure exactly what your professor meant. I had heard of PSU as a relatively "conservative" institution before, but then English departments are generally one of the more liberal wings of universities anyway. Comparing PSU to other schools I visited, nothing jumped out at me. If you could interpret a little bit more of what your professor meant, I might be able to be more helpful. I'm just unsure of the proper connotation of "traditionalist." Obviously from my original post I have a positive appraisal of the program, though.
  2. My personal statement process for each university I applied to was to briefly discuss the professors I was most interested in working with and why. I've known others to go more in-depth about who they want to work with, but I don't think it's a problem if you're not announcing who you'd like to direct your dissertation (plus, this can be problematic if that professor is leaving or not really interested in overseeing graduate research).
  3. Only one person in my cohort came in with an MA in English, but I know at least a handful of older students, so I'm guessing 1-3 per year, though I'm guessing it's largely contingent on the qualifications of the application pool and so forth. This might be a better question for folks who are farther along, as I haven't experienced the cynical malaise you sometimes hear about. In terms of the application process, I would have liked to have started preparing sooner (not great advice for folks applying this Fall), but I am truly happy at Penn State so far and so I don't really have any lingering regrets.
  4. I recall there not being a ton of current grad students on the forum (gradcafe alums, so to speak) when I was active last fall, and I pledged to at least do an open thread for questions if I got in. I'm studying 20th-century/Contemporary American Literature and Film. I teach a freshmen Composition & Rhetoric course as well. Feel free to ask if you have any questions whether it's about the application process or graduate school itself. Good luck to the incoming '13 cohort.
  5. I used "English Graduate Application" without much thought...
  6. Early in the process I emailed a few schools pretty soon after getting rejected. 3 of 3 responded: 1 with constructive criticism about my SOP, 1 saying it was just truly a competitive year and there were no recognizable "flaws", and the 3rd went above-and-beyond by calling me and explaining how competitive it was and that I might have gotten in any other year, as well as that they were looking for more MAs than BAs for their grad program. My point being that I think you should certainly go for it as you have pretty much nothing to lose, and just don't necessarily expect a fast response. Especially in your case, where you might very well be re-applying next year, which will be good to mention as they'll recognize your genuine interest and probably be more willing to give feedback.
  7. Not sure I'd classify it as that, either. If the bunnies did not yet exist at the beginning, yes, but it sounds like it's just a matter of gradual exposition...
  8. Congrats! MA/Ph.D? Lit/Rhet? Hope you aren't in an urban area of CA because State College is the most happening thing in about a 150-mile radius.
  9. Trying to continue to make the google docs link easy accessible from each page: https://docs.google....WHAxMkh4MldZMEE
  10. Thanks Trip--hope you get into Rutgers, they were among my top schools, seems like an awesome program.
  11. 112 replies later, I finally get to join you guys =P! I'm heading to Penn State's (non-terminal) MA program this Fall, after getting in yesterday. Was very happy and excited to be going to Kentucky, but am so impressed with PSU's job placement success, professionalization, and eclectic faculty. I know there's only ~4 days left until the deadline, but I encourage waitlistees to keep hope. To keep with theme, I'm interested in 20th century/contemporary literature and film, American studies (viz. post-WWII), narratology, and cognitive literary theory.
  12. If you believe you can go to a school significantly "better" than Washington for your Ph.D by going to Syracuse first, I suppose I would go with Syracuse. If you're at all unsure, I wouldn't pass up UW if it's a good fit and you'd be happy getting your doctorate from there. Take this with grain of salt, though.
  13. I'm in literature but also likely staying through the Ph.D. Really excited about the course offerings for the Fall. Do you know when orientation is yet?
  14. awesome, I recall you from another thread for a school we both applied to? (or, it was this one earlier on, not sure) you're going for MA?
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