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Found 97 results

  1. Hey all, Some people have told me that, before applying to PhD programs, it's a good idea to contact the faculty members with which you wish to work. I was just wondering what types of things people generally say or ask while reaching out to potential faculty. Thanks in advance!
  2. I'm curious what are the backgrounds of students in either MIT or Harvard's philosophy PhD programs? Are there any students with non-philosophy, creative, or interdisciplinary backgrounds? MIT is consistently ranked as a top Feminist Philosophy program, however I did not see many students working in that field on their website. Thoughts on the climates of both of these departments?
  3. Heya, folks. I've been lurking for a couple weeks, but I couldn't seem to find a 2018 acceptance/rejection thread specifically for Philosophy M.A. applicants, so I figured I'd start one myself. I applied to four programs: NIU, UW-Milwaukee, Virginia Tech, and Western Michigan. I was admitted to NIU early this month--2/7, I want to say?--but am still awaiting news on funding. I've not yet heard back from any of my other three programs, but, of course, the deadlines for those applications have only recently passed, so I imagine I'll be waiting some time yet... Any others admitted to NIU?
  4. Hello there! My problem is that I don’t know how I should present myself to adcoms in the statement of purpose and CV when applying to PhD programs in philosophy in the US, Canada, and the UK. Your responses will be greatly appreciated. I believe there are many people in the world who were or currently are in the similar circumstances. As a senior, I wrote a thesis on Plato’s Timaeus. Since then, I’ve been writing articles and sending them out to journals. I even managed to get one of them published in a semi-professional journal, but they were all on the Timaeus. I was hoping my enthusiasm would get me into a top PhD program this year, but I was wrong: I was rejected from everywhere. I graduated in 2017 by the way. When he shared his thoughts on the letters of rejections with me, my advisor told me that I should use the space of the SoP to explain how my interests (basically, Plato) will allow me to benefit from the strengths of the departments I am applying to. I gather that analytical philosophy and philosophy of mind is big in the philosophy departments now. Considering that my transcript lists as much as three courses in these fields I also gather that just saying that my coursework qualifies me to write papers on Plato for the rest of my life won’t do. I think that the whole idea of studying Plato itself for itself comes under attack even though I can clearly see gaps in the scholarship that I could fill with my work as I am doing it now with these papers on the Timaeus. I guess departments are looking in their candidates for something other than skills for becoming an author of philosophy articles, right? I am assuming throughout that I have an excellent writing samples by the way. My question to you is, what other factors should I bring in to my profile to make my research interests be an asset, rather than a liability? How do I ward off the adcom’s fears that once I get into the diverse academic environment I won’t be able to keep up the pace? As I am seeing it, the problem is that I don’t have any other achievements to show off except my work on the Timaeus which very little people ever heard of in the first place and, therefore, cannot say anything conclusive as to its quality. I hope a new piece that I sent for peer-review in Phronesis will remedy this, if it’s accepted for publication of course. Likewise, I am planning to take classes for credit next fall in some other field than ancient philosophy to convince the adcoms that I intend to bring my research interests to bear on relevant topics. Which do you think I should take? Other than that, do you have any other suggestion?
  5. One of the phd programs I've been accepted to is offering me a TA stipend that's well below $15,000 a year, and that's before fees (which sound like they will be in the neighborhood of $1500 or so). The TAship would be normal, involving like 20 hrs a week. The letter didn't mention anything about additional opportunities for financial aid. Federal minimum wage (assuming full time work) is about $15,000 a year, and the school is in a high cost of living area. There's no way anybody could live on this stipend alone - they would have to get a part time job, take out loans, or apply for a heck of a lot of scholarships or grants (and hope that you manage to get them every year!). A part time job might not be so bad if you didn't have to spend 20 hrs a week on teaching assistant stuff in addition to classes, but I feel like there's no way anyone could put in the research, work, and sheer energy required to essentially work a full time job (I feel like a TAship + a part time job on the side would amount to that much), take classes, and churn out a dissertation all at the same time. Normally, I think of funding offers as being, on average, somewhere around $23,000 (plus or minus like a couple thousand). But I've heard of funding offers getting as low as like, 15-16,000 for cash-strapped departments (I think typically these schools are lower ranked, too), and as high as the lower to mid thirty thousands. The weirdest thing is, this school is a top 20 PGR program, so you'd think they'd be able to pay their students enough to live on, or at least pay them at or above annual federal minimum wage. Does anyone else think this is weird, or gotten offers like this themselves?
  6. Hi, Has anyone heard from McGill's MA in Bioethics yet?
  7. Hello Everyone, I am currently waiting to hear back from all my applications, but I have been accepted into King's College Ma conversion degree in philosophy. I'd like to ask you a few questions regarding the experiences of those who attended King's: 1. When did you apply for other postgrad programs while at King's? I would like to go directly from King's Ma program into my next program without taking another year off. Since their program is only a year, I don't know how this is feasible (I am an American. So, this may just be a cultural misunderstanding of applications/semesters.) 2. Were you offered any type of funding? If not, did you find scholarships outside of the school? I wasn't offered any type of funding, but I don't believe this style of Ma offers funding. If you're from the UK, you may not have looked since the disparity of cost for UK students to outside of the UK is substantial. 3. If you were a conversion student, do you feel as though the program adequately prepared you for your future postgraduate goals in the broad scope of philosophy? How well did the program prepare you for your specialization in philosophy? 4. Did the school offer support for students who wish to publish some of their work? Is there a Ma in philosophy community in which students present papers, whether or not they met publishing standards? Thanks for your time!
  8. For all their flaws (the fact that they are timed, the fact that the verbal reasoning section is at least 50% a vocabulary test, etc.), the verbal reasoning and analytic writing sections test for skills that you actually do need to be a good philosopher. Vocabulary aside, the verbal reasoning test does test your ability to analyze complicated prose, identify faulty reasoning, discern author intent, etc. Verbal reasoning/logic stuff, basically. The analytic writing section also tests your ability to do those things (although less so than verbal reasoning), and on top of that it tests your ability to explain and synthesize information and make structured, organized arguments. It seems to me like the analytic writing section should be the most relevant of the GRE scores for evaluating philosophy candidates, which is strange because most departments basically don't care about AW at all since they have your writing sample. Basically this is all just me leading up to complaining about the quant section. Why is it relevant at all? (Gah, angst) I think the idea is that hey, math is kind of like logic (esp. formal logic), so your quant score might give us a rough indicator of how good you are at logic. Admittedly, it does seem pretty similar to formal logic, so I could see reasonable people using the quant score when evaluating philosophy applicants who want to specialize in formal logic or mathematical logic or something similar. But most philosophers don't use formal logic in their papers, and even when they do, they make their reasoning explicit verbally (or at least, most of them do). You don't necessarily need to be good at formal logic to be good at philosophy - you just need to be decent at discerning the informal logic implicit or explicit in people's arguments, which are usually written in such a way that even people who are bad with symbols can understand them, and you need to be good enough at logic in general to make coherent, logical arguments. So just use the quant score to evaluate applicants who want to study formal logic (or something like it), and ignore it for the rest of us. But wait! People who like the quant section will argue that the quantitative reasoning test measures some sort of general logical ability, an ability that is relevant to being a good philosophy person in general regardless of whether you do formal logic or not. But this 'general' logical ability, if it is indeed relevant to doing most philosophy at all, starts sounding an awful lot like verbal reasoning and analytic writing. I seriously can't imagine how being good at math could be related to doing philosophy in general (except maybe formal logic and closely related subjects) without basically telling myself that it measures some sort of very general logical ability that ends up looking a lot more similar to the other portions of the GRE. If this ability looks more like verbal reasoning or analytic writing insofar as it is related to most philosophy, then why not just focus on VR and AW scores? Why the hang up on Q? Also, it strikes me that all the same arguments for why AW are not important should also apply to Q and VR. Either your GRE scores reflect some of your inherent ability or potential to be good at philosophy, or they don't. If they don't, then obviously we should trash them and stop making applicants pay a ridiculous amount of money to take the GRE, prep, and send in their scores. If, on the other hand, your GRE scores DO reflect some of your inherent ability/potential as a philosopher, then presumably it's because they measure your ability or potential to engage with the literature on complicated philosophical topics, interpret arguments, analyze arguments, and construct arguments (I'm taking it as a given that being good at this stuff is basically what makes one a good philosopher). So either this ability is reflected in your writing sample, or it's not. If it is not, then writing samples shouldn't matter. If it is, then all the arguments for basically completely dismissing analytic writing scores apply, and admissions committees should dismiss Q and VR scores just as much as they dismiss AW scores. I think if anything they should be even more dismissive of quant scores because philosophy majors are way more likely to be in practice with analytic writing (since they actually have to write on a regular basis, which means that they can't just let their analytic writing skills atrophy) than they are at Q. The Q section measures something totally irrelevant to doing well in philosophy (except, perhaps, formal logic) and it seems completely ridiculous to suggest, as most admissions committees seem to, that it is more important than analytic writing. Anyway, you can probably tell from this that my quant score is abysmal (alas, 43rd percentile). *sigh* Apparently when I'm stressed out about the admissions process (have only heard back from one school, and it was a rejection) I just angrily analyze the idea that the weakest part of my application should be given any weight at all.
  9. What do you think is the best way to go about soliciting application feedback from departments? I was wondering how best to reach out to universities in order to minimize the intrusion and maximize the possibility of getting useful information. (e.g., do you consider it better to write directly to the department, or instead to the graduate admissions office? Do you have opinions as to the best time to ask for feedback? etc, etc.) At this point I'm planning on a second admissions cycle, and even if I get accepted somewhere last minute, I'd like to open the discussion for any lurkers who may be facing a shutout in the next few weeks.
  10. Hey everyone, I’m new to the forum so apologies if this thread is in the wrong section. I’m currently applying to the following schools and just wondered if any of you have also applied to any of these programs, and if so, have you heard anything back yet? Or if any of you have previously applied, what time-frame did you receive your answers by? As of right now, my primary concern is for Princeton, Yale, and Cornell. I’ve read a lot of theories on whether or not hearing anything by late February is a good sign or a bad sign— but I’m not sure if these theories hold any water. I’ve only heard back from NYU so far. Princeton: PhD Phil - Logic & Phil of Sci track Yale: PhD Phil Cornell: PhD Phil Columbia: MA Phil NYU: MBE (Masters of Bioethics) - Accepted with Scholarship on Feb 15th UPenn: MBE Johns Hopkins: MBE Stony Brook: MA Med Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics Temple: Dual MA Phil/ MA Urban Bioethics
  11. Hi all, I was wondering if any of you had any experience with interviews for philosophy PhD programs? Thoughts on how they serve the admissions committee? I had a strange one last week and got my rejection letter today. I was actually looking forward to it since it seemed like the only interpersonal interaction I'd get with a school, which I took meant they were interested. The program didn't say on its site that it would interview students, and my interview email told me to save the date for a campus visit, so it seemed very eager. I expected it to be rather informal but it was in fact very formal. Four professors in a board room asked me precise questions about my paper, one related to his field of study... I now wonder if this was a chance to "redeem" myself but the whole procedure was very unclear. They mostly wanted to know where I was applying-- this is where they really pricked their ears and put their pens to paper. I told them the few schools, and they were surprised about how selective I was and made clear that they wanted me to inform them ASAP about those other schools. I didn't want to be dishonest so I told them I already had an offer from another (much better) school-- but the grilling didn't seem fair. What's more, it seems like that's all they wanted to know. They read my paper but asked me about my language skills and coursework in a way that seems like they didn't look at the application (I did an MA at a francophone institution and had to remind this of them). I would have been happy to attend the program, but the interview seemed surprisingly shady.
  12. Hey all, I was wondering if anyone here had any insight on how admissions committees work w/r/t assigning accepted students to individual faculty members. First question I have is whether most people name a POI or several in their applications. I didn't, partly because it seemed risky to tie my fate to the choice of a single professor if others in the department I might have overlooked liked my application. What is the general opinion on this? Also, did you contact professors before applying? I didn't, also because it seemed more risky than the potential benefits: risk irritating a professor for the small chance he'd see my name on the application and fondly remember exchanging a couple of emails with me. Second question: in a situation where no POI is named in the application, do the committees still 'unofficially' associate students with advisors based on their interests? Do acceptance decisions generally depend on having a member of faculty being really taken with your application, or do they accept students on a more general 'high ability' standard where everyone agrees the student is good without anyone expressly saying they want to work with them? Thanks for any info and good luck getting through the next few weeks!
  13. Hi all, I am preparing to apply for an MA program this year or 2019. I had an undergrad degree in economics and a master one in logistics/industrial engineering. I have been working in a logistics company for 3 years since my graduation. In recent years, I became really passionate about philosophy and started reading a lot about it and going to philosophy meetups. I want to have a systematic education on it, so I think starting with an MA program is my best shot. I hope to eventually get a PhD in philosophy. My GPA is 3.7 for my grad degree and 3.6 for my undergrad. I don't have a Phil background. Is it still possible to get in a good program? Can you please give me some suggestions on choosing programs? Thank you so much for your help!
  14. Hello everyone, my name's Colin and I was a 2016 applicant. Now, my M.A. is almost done, and it's time to reapply for Ph.D. I've been through this process once, made some mistakes, hopefully learned from them, and am happy to offer you any help, advice, or assistance you need! But first of all, who all is applying in 2018? How far along in the process are you?
  15. What are some notable American/Canadian Philosophy PhD programs with Accelerated Tracks for those with a Masters degree in philosophy.
  16. Hi Guys, I'm going to apply in an European MA program in Continental Philosophy. Someone can show me some examples of WS and PS (SoP) related to this area? Thanks for the replies, Stefano
  17. Hi, I am an undergraduate student who attends a decent public university and has a good enough GPA & LSAT score to get into a top law school at my state. I am in a fortunate enough position to not be concerned with how much money I make as long as I make above $40k (as a freelance tutor, I've been making decent amount without much time commitment). I like and am good at writing, reading, speaking, analyzing, teaching, and presenting/defending arguments. Coming from a teaching background, I know that I would love to be a Philosophy professor as well as tackle the challenging process of becoming one. Another aspect of being a professor that appeals to me is not having to be in a service sector where I may experience a lot of stress due to my clients. The only thing that shies me away from this career path is the dismal job prospect, which is between 4~15% for receiving a tenured-track position. Compounding this issue is the fact that I do not want to leave my home city, which makes this 4~15% even slimmer. As for pursuing law, I understand that this process is tough and that the job prospect is not high either–although it is better than that of pursuing professorship. So the question is, should I pursue law or becoming a professor? If law, which field should I pursue or avoid and why? I am open to any field as long as it has a reasonable job prospect and does not entail agonizing stress level (i.e. having to deal with unreasonable customers who refuse to pay or put you through mental hell). Thank you for your insight.
  18. Greetings, Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I figured it might be worthwhile to get a reality check from some of my peers on here, as you all would know better than many of the real-world people I know about the MES world and what their admissions processes look like. I could really use some perspective and context about this matter, so some feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am in an unconventional situation where: a) I am adamant about transitioning into academia/the humanities to study the Middle East with a focus on the intellectual history of the Levant and Ottoman Empire. b ) I have a B.Sc. in Business Administration from a top 50 public school in New England, where I double concentrated in Finance and Production Operations Management, and double minored in Statistics and English (GPA 3.20). c) my work experience in the four years since graduation has been at a tech start-up that has no relation to my academic interests. d) I do not have a thesis or any worthy research papers to provide as writing samples, (although I do have some critical analyses from somewhat pertinent (i.e. post-colonial studies) classes that I could tidy up and submit instead). On the other hand, these are the merits and motivations that compel me to pursue education in MES: 1) I quit my job a few months ago to focus on making this transition and explore my academic interests. That has involved me traveling throughout Turkey and the Arab world, as well as studying a lot of pertinent academic and literary texts on my own (Said, Massad, Ahmed, Soueif, Saleh, Hafiz, Darwish, etc). 2) I speak (and write/read, to a lesser extent) Arabic fluently, having lived in Jordan during my high school years (although US born, I am of Palestinian origin). I am currently in Palestine volunteering on a construction project, but my intention in the next few months is to relocate to Turkey (after finishing up with grad school apps) to learn and experience the Turkish language/society. 3) The more I study, the more interested I become in understanding the world through the intellectual lens of the Arab world, as reflected and informed by its cultural artifacts, society, and intellectual history. 4) I have long been interested in (and intermittently engaged) in the politics and affairs of the Arab world (ex: I founded and led a Students for Justice in Palestine coalition on my campus, attended the international Arabic debate tournament in Qatar on behalf of my university.) 5) I am privileged in the exposure and access I have been afforded in the Middle East over my lifetime: I have spent extended periods of time getting to know many villages/communities throughout Palestine, I know Amman and its society extremely well, and I have lived in two different emirates in the UAE. I have read literature from all over the Middle East. 6) I am in a fortunate situation where I do not need to go into debt to pay off a terminal MA 7) I have somewhat compensatory LORs in that they come from my more academic literature/humanities professors, and not from my quantitative/Business professors So, considering all of the above, what I need help figuring out is: 1. Considering my irrelevant academic and professional background, not to mention relatively low GPA, do I even stand a chance at getting into a reputable program in the US? From my research it appears that most academic (as opposed to security/intelligence)-focused programs are housed at the nation's most elite institutions, and thus I am looking to apply to the following programs (Columbia MESAAS, Harvard CMES, NYU, Princeton, UChicago) - Am I missing any programs, particularly ones with easier admissions? Are British universities (SOAS, Oxbridge, King's) more merciful in that regard? 2. Is there anything in particular about my profile that I should emphasize in my SOP - anything I already have that grad school admins love to see? - The way I see it, I am lacking in GPA (taking the GRE next month) and academic background (save for my English minor), but I do have the language skills and the regional experience in addition to a strong personal interest in the academics of it all (enough to be making a deliberate career pivot, as I am). After all, this is a passion-driven endeavor I am undertaking. Are any of these points particularly valuable? 3. Is a college essay entitled "The conflict of Afro-Islamic Spirituality and Western Modernity as depicted in “Ambiguous Adventure” going to cut it as a writing sample? Considering I do not have a mentor/professor to advise on the process, would it still be better if I wrote something more pertinent/up-to-date from scratch? - Frankly, I just do not have many papers from my undergraduate that are in excess of 10-15 pages, let alone ones that are of material relevance to the programs I am applying to. My hope was to edit this paper thoroughly and use it in lieu of a research paper or thesis. 4. Can my unconventional background as a Business major and tech industry member be regarded as a positive? If not, are there any obvious ways in which I could spin it as such? - I worry that I was incorrect in my early assumption that my background is not a serious hinderance to my prospects, and that it might in fact help me stand out as a truly interested/invested candidate. Is that baseless? Looking at this forum and the MES/poli sci undergrads wielding 3.8+ GPAs, three languages, and highly relevant experience... I begin to doubt the value of my earnestness to these grad admission boards. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading all of this. I look forward to getting some guidance from any fellow hopefuls or admittees - any context/perspective will help me evaluate how to best allocate and apply my efforts. Your responses are greatly appreciated!
  19. I’m applying to a mix of Ph.D. programs, about half of which are in Philosophy and the rest are in English/Literature. I imagine these programs will likely emphasize the Analytical Writing score more than other sections of the GRE, even though they will also expect a very good Verbal score. I took the GRE 4 years ago before applying to Master’s programs and received 161V/149Q/4.5AW. After retaking the GRE last month, I received 159V/147Q/5.5AW. (I'm quite devastated that a month of studying didn't improve my V & Q scores.) I am tempted to submit the newest scores, as they will have a recent date and will demonstrate, along with my Writing Sample, the strength of my writing skills. However, I would be devastated if rejected from programs because the Verbal score from that retake is below 85th percentile. Which scores would you suggest I submit? Would it make sense in my case to submit both scores, or do you think that might hinder my chances? Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
  20. Hi all, First post, so apologies if I'm doing something horribly wrong. I'm considering applying to PhD programs + MA programs as backups - But the problem is, my ideal MA programs are, of course, housed in the same schools as my ideal PhD programs. Can I apply to both programs at once? Is this looked down upon? I assume the same individuals are reading both applications - Do I jeopardize my PhD application by submitting a Masters app? Thanks! C
  21. Hi, I am planning to apply for Philosophy PhD programs in the US and was wondering about the importance of GRE scores in admission. Oh and I'm not a native speaker in English. I didn't do my degrees in English-speaking countries. Just to let you know, if this turns out to be relevant... I just got my GRE score, which is V 170 Q 170 W 4.5. I'm happy to have these V and Q scores but ... I'm hoping to get into one of the top programs in philosophy, and from what I saw on this site, it seems like the absolute majority of the admitted students have writing scores of at least 5.0. (5.5 seems to be the average.) Some say that GRE works as sort of pass/fail and I'll be just ok if I pass the minimum. I've heard some schools take into consideration that the student is not a native speaker and that speed really matters in GRE writing. But I'm not sure about that. Maybe they could just take this a sign of weakness in language, won't they....? My GPA is almost perfect, but as everyone in the field knows, it's getting enormously competitive and almost everyone who applies to the top programs seems to have perfect GPA. So I thought a low analytic writing score could matter in the admission process. If it matters a lot, I think I should retake the exam. But if the effect is minimal, I would just take more time to revise my writing sample. If anyone knows about the importance of GRE in philosophy program admissions, please help me out. There are not many people here I can ask for advice, so I'll really, really, appreciate any tip or information you give me. Thanks...!! + Does it hurt to apply two or three times to the same program? Is there any disadvantage, formal or informal, for a person who got rejected last year and then applies again?
  22. My goal is to ultimately get into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program, but unfortunately, as I enter into my final semester of undergrad at UT Austin, I'm a philosophy major with hardly any psychology classes under my belt. It's too late for me to even squeak out a minor in it. I understand that it'll be an uphill battle considering my choices thus far and just how competitive the discipline is, but I'm looking for some creative solutions from anybody willing to help.More info: I'll be graduating with an est. 3.28 GPA, and I'll likely be able to volunteer for some psych research this coming semester. Also, let's assume I'll secure some solid letters of recommendation.Here were a couple options I was considering: Aim for a masters degree in Anthropology (perhaps psychological anthropology?) or even a religious studies masters program (would this help at all?) or any other masters degree that would facilitate the transition between philosophy and psychology as well as hopefully making me a more appealing candidate for the psych Ph.D. program.Thanks for your time.
  23. Dear All, I am a currently a junior Philosophy major at Reed College in Portland Oregon. I am extremely passionate about philosophy and very happy with my major. That being said, there seems to be a lot of theoretical overlap with the PolSci department as some of my favorite thinkers are Heidegger, Foucault, etc. I've taken many Political science courses at my college, but all of them have been focused exclusively on theory and philosophical ideas (for example, Hegel Marx, Being and Time, Foundations of Foucault, etc.). I want to pursue my Ph.D. in political philosophy and originally was going to apply to Philosophy programs but, I would apply to a Political Science program if it would be a more productive in reaching this goal. My questions are essentially: 1.Should I consider applying to a Political science Ph.D. program? 2. Does my undergrad major of Philosophy hurt my chances of application in any way? Thank you!
  24. I have two M.As. One in Philosophy of Science and another one in Comparative. Both are from institutions outside the United States. I did well in both of them and I participated in two summer schools and two conferences. Now, I want to do a Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature in a North American University (I have several options). However, I was wandering if the fact that I already have two master's degrees could diminish my chances of admission to a Ph.D. program. Does anybody know about similar cases? Thank you.
  25. Hello all, I am a M.A. student in musicology. I will apply to Individual PhD's in Europe (particularly Germany) for Fall semester 2018, but I couldn't find an answer on the internet for one particular question. My PhD project focuses on computer music and posthumanism. So, I am looking for a supervisor in both musicology and philosophy fields. I wonder if I find a supervisor in the philosophy department, would I face an obstacle when I am registering to the university. It would be a nonconsecutive PhD and I thought maybe they'll want a diploma in the same field. I want to know what is the standart expectation of the universities and learn if this change in the field is possible. Thank you very much.
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