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L13 last won the day on June 14 2018

L13 had the most liked content!

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  1. Well, that's not entirely true. Anecdotally, I know of a person who did a terminal master's in classics there and enrolled in their PhD program immediately afterwards. From what I understand, the faculty got to know them as a master's student and that gave them a (potentially unfair?) advantage in admissions. Not sure if their rec letters were from the faculty there, but they might have been. I imagine there are other cases like this across the humanities. That said, I agree you shouldn't do a master's if you can't afford it comfortably, and second the observation that top graduate programs that offer terminal master's degrees tend to assign them secondary importance, which puts the students in a strange position in terms of social and professional networks. But, as I said above, that can be overcome.
  2. First and second years are always overflowing with advice and information but tend to know way less about the department and academia than they think they do. People in their fifth year and above tend to be extremely cynical about the department, academia and the world, which may be warranted but often results in unhelpful/inaccessible advice. In conclusion, ask third and fourth years.
  3. If you can afford the application fees and have a strong ~20-page section of your thesis/past paper you could use as a writing sample, apply to a few well-chosen programs now. There's no reason to wait if you have everything lined up already.
  4. Some older monographs that virtually every medievalist will read in grad school include Holy Feast and Holy Fast by Caroline Walker Bynum, From Memory to Written Record by Michael Clanchy, and The Formation of a Persecuting Society by R. I. Moore. These have all been superseded for one reason or another by now, but they’re still considered foundational texts. Same goes for The King’s Two Bodies by Ernst Kantorowicz, I guess. Re. more recent scholarship, telkanuru has given some good suggestions.
  5. Publication record is a proxy for research quality, but since the committee (or at least your POIs, hopefully) will be evaluating the quality of your research directly via your writing sample, having one publication won't really matter. If your writing sample is taken from your published work, they'll form their own opinions about it. If it's not, it will simply determine their interpretation of your publication record because they'll assume your writing sample represents your best work. In other words, the best it can do for you is reinforce a positive impression. Re. your GPA, it's fine.
  6. L13

    Applications 2019

    Big yikes, but in the interest of fairness, who said this? Was it a random faculty member/panelist/grad student or someone you would expect to mentor you or support your career directly?
  7. I second Sigaba's comment. I know of a couple of star scholars who can place students well but are borderline emotionally abusive in different ways and make their advisees' grad school experience a living hell. It's important to know if that's the situation you're walking into so you can make an informed decision about the environment you'll be in for the next several years of your life. That's one thing you need to know. The other is, as others have said, your potential advisor's placement record. I would include their dropout record here as well and ask for the reasons their former students who didn't graduate left the program. Often that happens because the student didn't feel grad school was for them, which is fine, but sometimes the advisor or department could play a role in pushing someone out of academia. You want to know if your advisor has a track record of turning administrative formalities like renewal forms or evaluations that no one else in the department takes seriously into massive trials, if they refuse to let students defend for years on end, if they frequently clash with students over conceptual questions pertaining to their dissertations, if they are inaccessible or indifferent, if they are liable to forget who you are in between meetings, if they have ever messed up handling a student's medical/mental health/pregnancy/parenthood/family/academic issues, etc. Frankly, it sounds like School B is a better fit, has more money for you and would make you happier, plus the warning that having a second advisor would be a good idea is a massive red flag re. School A. So I will give you different advice from some others and tell you that it's reasonable to lean toward School B at this point. If you were choosing between a mediocre advisor at a top-10 department and a great advisor at a top-30 department, assuming they were ranked by placement and not just by the USNWR's weird criteria, the latter would be harder to justify because of the massive placement advantage the former would be likely to have. But, frankly, both of your choices probably have a hard time competing for plum jobs/postdocs with top departments, so the difference in ranking is less significant. Again, as everyone else has said, do look at your advisors' placement record first, in particular in recent years.
  8. L13

    Applications 2019

    The fact that professors are nice to master's students doesn't make the program something other than a cash cow.
  9. When doing an Oxbridge doctorate, it’s harder to get teaching experience, especially in a group setting. People have mentioned this to me specifically when lamenting their chances on the US job market.
  10. UK universities will barely understand your transcript, let alone count the courses you took each semester, and neither UK nor US universities will care.
  11. As a counterpoint to some of the responses you've gotten... there's a person at my department who passed their dissertation defence while high and the whole department knows it. And people smoke marijuana occasionally at departmental parties (and, I'm sure, more regularly in smaller groups). It's not a big deal. Grad students are pretty open with each other about drug use.
  12. L13

    Applications 2019

    No one would tell that to an applicant just to fuck with them. If they said it, it's true. Hope it works out for you!
  13. L13

    Applications 2019

    You can DEFINITELY get rejected from a program even if you’re a ‘perfect match’ for a number of reasons. That doesn’t mean professors assess applications randomly or without care; it just means it’s a complicated process with many factors determining the outcome.
  14. L13

    Applications 2019

    This is certainly not the case in my department, and the information I was given when I was applying suggests it's not the case elsewhere either. Departments finalise their lists together. The only exception I can think of is when a certain subfield represents its own administrative unit, which is essentially what history of science departments are (no offence). In medieval history, I imagine schools with medieval studies programmes like Notre Dame and Fordham might have a more convoluted acceptance cycle, but that's it.
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