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L13

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L13 last won the day on June 14 2018

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. L13

    2019 Visit Days/Decisions

    No, don't do it.
  4. L13

    Applications 2019

    The fact that professors are nice to master's students doesn't make the program something other than a cash cow.
  5. L13

    Do top grad schools care about your course load?

    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.
  6. L13

    Do top grad schools care about your course load?

    UK universities will barely understand your transcript, let alone count the courses you took each semester, and neither UK nor US universities will care.
  7. L13

    420 Friendly in Graduate School

    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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. L13

    Applications 2019

    Re. the alt-ac resources stuff mentioned on the previous page, I wouldn't ask this particular question in an interview, especially if my interviewer is a senior academic at a department that considers itself 'elite.' Some older academics may view any mention of careers outside academia at such an early stage as a red flag; younger historians tend to have a more sympathetic and realistic attitude. Departments are working hard to destigmatise this conversation, and most faculty are fundamentally caring and decent, so they're trying to get with the times, but just in case I wouldn't bring it up in my first interaction with a potential advisor.
  12. L13

    Applications 2019

    No. Your tuition and fees are covered and you get 28K in addition to that. This is a standard funding package at the schools Berkeley competes for admits with.
  13. L13

    Interview

    My advice is to prepare some questions about the department (after looking through their website to make sure the questions aren't too basic and won't make you look like you didn't do any research). Also look through your interviewer(s)' CV(s) and make sure you know what kind of work they're doing right now and, if that info is publicly available, what dissertations they're supervising and what classes they're teaching. (If you can't find this info on the internet, it could be a good question to ask.) You don't need to actually read their work, but you may feel underprepared if you have no idea what they're up to, which is how I felt in one of my Skype interviews.
  14. I did not propose a model for others to emulate. I said nothing about my application process; what I mentioned were my circumstances at its outset, to illustrate the point that being clueless about the state of the field can change pretty quickly (unlike being ready for grad school, which I consider a different matter). As to the criticism you and others are making, what I tried to say is that if you don’t see enough evidence that someone on the internet deseves your advice, you’re free to disregard their request for it. Preaching about the importance of due diligence is performative, not constructive.
  15. I applied out of undergrad and knew absolutely nothing about the relative strength of/stand-out names at different departments when I started the process, yet I ended up with an amazing advisor at a great department. Your level of professionalization says little about your academic preparedness or your odds of acceptance and saying things like "if you have to ask, go away" is not helpful. Obviously applicants need to do their own research, but pointing them in the right direction, or even just a direction, when they have zero idea what to look for is not going to jeopardize the fairness of the application process or cause them to be accepted on false pretenses and flunk out or whatever. OP, I'm not in your field, but I've gotten the impression Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and Berkeley dominate job placement in the US, with Columbia being the most successful, though your specific subfield and interests should narrow that down considerably.
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