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Found 137 results

  1. Hello everyone, As get closer&closer to graduating from my MA, I am starting to worry about my prospects for a Ph.d and would like to hear your opinions on whether I can get into a Ph.d programme in English that is worth doing with my terrible gpa. I got my BA from a university outside USA that is not particularly well know but hugely respected country-wide with a 3.37 gpa, and continued into an MA in the same university, of which I will be graduating with an even lower 3.26. The reason why my BA gpa was not very high was that I was only successful in courses that I was really interested in (and I was consistently successful in them) , but did not believe in the necessity of studying very hard (A level) for other core classes that were not my thing, and I cannot say I regret it very much. And later when started my MA, I came to realize that the programme' s structure and content did not fit my needs at all ,and thus being depressed I decided to do the minimal amount of coursework just to finish the degree and ended up receiving a few bad grades. However, one of the reasons why my gpa got even lower was that I attempted to take a completely irrelevant foreign language course with credit (because having a second language is important, right?) and finished it with a very low grade due to the great amount of coursework that it lay on me along with my other courses. To cut a very long story short, I got bad grades in my MA from courses that were not even in the area that I want to specialize in (which yet still fall into the category of "English" studies) and I do not really have other merits to compensate for this fact, either; I have not published yet (though I might), did not attend conferences (because I was not sure whether I finally wanted to do a phd) , yet I find that I am still hugely interested in the area I want to specialized in and I also know that I can be a good student when I want to. Do you think the the wrong path I took during my MA would completely bar me from a Ph.d that is worth doing ? I do not aim very high but I'd like to be in an institution where I could really flourish. And finally I'd like to add that while my MA dissertation is not (whose is?) brilliant, some people find it at least interesting. Any discouragement or encouragement is welcome, and thanks !
  2. This one is for all my "literature & language" folks. I'm currently teaching two recitations for introduction to literary theory. We've gone through structuralism, deconstruction, and psychoanalysis thus far. In the next couple of weeks, we are tackling feminist and queer theory. I really want to get my students to engage--especially with a topic that is so important and prominent in our current lives. Does any one have any advice for how to approach this?
  3. I’m applying for an MA in English for spring entrance, and I have a question. The app says academic writing samples should be between 10 and 20 pages long. All my academic samples (lit analysis, not creative writing) are 8 pages at most. Should I submit two? Try and extend one? Or submit one as is and hope for the best? Any advice would be lovely!
  4. Does this exist? I felt like there should be a place where we can post on here (I know about the MFA draft facebook but that thing stresses me out.) So far I've been rejected by Ohio State and I still have pending: Michener, New Writers Project, Michigan, UMass Amherst, NYU, Brown, Houston. What about y'all?
  5. It looks like the program is fully funded, but I can't find any info on stipend amount, etc. I really wish some of these programs would improve their online presence! Anyway, any knowledge or insight would be appreciated!
  6. Haven't seen any threads on grad school applications to McMaster. Thought I would start one so we could get a sense of what's going on. Applied to the English & Cultural Studies Dept (PhD in English). Waitlisted, so waiting patiently to hear back from the Dept.
  7. Hi all, I'm new to this and only just learned about gradcafe today! I'm a 2nd year MA student currently working on my thesis and have applied for a PhD in English starting fall 2019 at 4 Canadian universities. I've already heard back from 1 of the universities (University of Ottawa) and am anxiously awaiting others (University of Toronto, Dalhousie, and Memorial University). I found an American thread and thought I would create one for people waiting to hear back from Canadian schools!
  8. "Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. The following argument is flawed for numerous reasons. Just because there has been an increase number of skateboarders does not mean that is why the sales of Central Plaza have decreased. There are many things that need to be taken in account in order to make this a valid argument. Things change greatly in the result of two years. The assumption that the number of shoppers has decreased in two years because of the skateboarders is too vague. What was the economy like two years ago? The economy might have been better two years ago than it is now, resulting in fewer shoppers. If the shoppers of Central Plaza are not making the same money they were two years ago will decrease their shopping. If, the argument states that the economy has not changed or has gotten better would give this argument more validity. The author made another vague statement discussing the increase of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. With no evidence to back up this statement does not result in it being the fault of the skateboarders. If the customers are the ones that are littering or vandalizing the plaza, then that is not because of the skateboarders. Also, has the town that the Central Plaza is in, has had increased crime rates? If so, that would be a possible explanation to why there has been an increase in litter and vandalism. By making the assumption that the litter in the plaza is because of the skateboarders and that is resulting in decreased sales, weakens the argument. Also, how much has the number of skateboarders increased? With no statistical data, it does not show how ‘drastic’ the increase of the skateboarders was. If it turned out to not be that big of an increase it would further weaken the argument. Finally, another possibility to take into account is if the demographic has changed in the last two years. Has there been an increase in young residents in the area? If so, that could result in the plaza not having as much business. If the stores within the Central Plaza are not intriguing to the residents, they will not want to shop there. Also, another risk to take into account, is if there have been any new plazas built in the area. With that being said, may result in the shoppers at the Central Plaza to travel to the new shopping plaza. The authors assumption that the increased number of skateboarders is what has caused the decreased number of shoppers at the Central Plaza is too vague and does not provide any support.
  9. Does anyone know when NYU will notify? I've been shut out from other schools. English PhD program.
  10. I was wondering if anyone that has been accepted to the English PhD program at Texas A&M received any information on fellowships nominations? I received an offer with stipend and all on Feb 4th, but I’ve received better offers and now I’m just waiting to see if they will offer a fellowship or not. This is a top choice for me because of location and faculty , but the stipend is half compared to another more prestigious offer I’ve received.
  11. Hello everyone! I've got quick question that you all may be able to help out with. I'm considering applying to Phd programs in English in the future. I have a B.A. in Religion, an M.A. in Business Management, and am finishing up an M.Div from a seminary/divinity school. Despite the fact that I do not have a degree specifically in English, would I have a chance at getting accepted into a Phd program if the school I apply to is known for their emphasis on literature and religious studies (e.g., University of Chicago, Baylor, University of Virginia, etc.)? Would this even be worth considering?
  12. Hey everyone! I am fall 2019 applicant for poetry MFA programs. I've seen that people have been getting acceptances back from Ohio State's program and I was just wondering... has anyone been rejected? I'm not sure how they do their send outs but I was just wondering why they wouldn't have sent out rejections if they're sending out acceptances! Thanks
  13. Hi all! I'm hoping to get some help here. I'm a first year masters student and I've begun looking into PhD programs to apply once I graduate. I know this might be somewhat early seeing as I'm not even close to finishing my degree yet, but I know that I'll have to apply by this time next year, so I might as well get a head start! My area of interest is 20th century American literature with an emphasis in feminist and ecocriticial analysis. I'm really interested/specialty in archival work. I've worked closely with texts that have been "forgotten" especially those written by women. I tend to lean more towards female writings and Native American writings of the West. So that's where I'm at with this. In terms of programs, ideally fully-funded and providing ample opportunities in either teaching or research. So far my list includes; UNL, University of Michigan, University of Texas Austin, Ohio State, University of Oregon. Does anyone have any other suggestions for me to look into? Thank you in advance!
  14. A friend of mine graduated from undergrad a few years back with her B.S. in Audio Engineering. Unfortunately, once she graduated, she realized she didn't want to work in her major field, and is considering going back to school. As an avid reader and someone who enjoys grammar and syntax, she's considering pursuing an MA in English, but unfortunately doesn't have the means to pay out of pocket for tuition. Are there any fully-funded MA English programs that accept students that don't already hold a BA in English?
  15. Hi Everyone! I'm applying to English/ Comp & Rhet programs for fall 2019. For my writing sample, I'm submitting a section of my Master's thesis and I'm wondering how to format it. Do I keep the cover page of my thesis so they know it's from a longer work? do I title it instead? Do I put my name?? for my SoP, I'm putting just my name and Statement of Purpose in the header--should I do this for the writing sample as well? I appreciate any insight--I've been out of school for several years and have no one to turn to for advice on small matters like these. Thank you!!
  16. I am wondering which professors I should mention in a particular statement of purpose. I already mentioned three professors, whose work is directly related to what I want to study. However, there is also another professor at the school, whose work I love in a different subfield area. I'd certainly want to take classes with him and his work connects to what I studied in college, but not to the focus of what I would want my PhD research to be. Should I mention him, too, or does that dilute things? Thank you so much! I have to submit this in a few days....
  17. · A few weeks ago, I was asked to talk to first-year M.A. students about the Ph.D. application process. I prepared a list of what I figure to be key elements, and I figure it might be useful to many on GC who are preparing to go down this path as well. I'm quite certain that some of these points are purely subjective and open to discussion / debate, but having gone through the process a couple of times now, these items ring true based on my experiences and observations. ---------------- Others have surely told you about the state of the industry, so I’m just going to assume that you already know the “there are no jobs” spiel. · Others have also surely told you about how relatively difficult it is to get into a Ph.D. program—I have yet to hear of a program that admits over 10% of applicants. o Because of this, if you are committed to applying to Ph.D. programs, I strongly recommend considering applying to at least ten. Even though merit is a critical part of determining who gets in, there is a very real element of “luck of the draw” which pure numbers will help to mitigate. · With that in mind, NOW is a good time to get started on your program research · Your first consideration when entering the process should be to determine what era you would like to study, and ideally a general sense of methodologies you want to employ. These elements will be reflected in the two most important components of your application: the Statement of Purpose (or SoP), and your Writing Sample (WS). · Some basics: o The SoP and WS should ideally work together o When thinking about potential areas of study, avoid proposing transatlantic or transhistorical concepts: admissions committees are still very much set up by period, and your application should be easily sorted into a field group (i.e. you’re clearly a Romanticist, or you’re clearly a 20th century Americanist). o GRE scores, GPA, and other elements are important, but remember that the things you can control the most at this stage are the WS and SoP. o Given the importance of these two documents, you will want to get as many eyes on them as possible as soon as possible. § My SoP and WS were read and commented on by at least five professors and several fellow students, and ultimately went through at least six rounds of revision each—several of them top-to-bottom revisions. · There are multiple factors to consider when looking at programs. Some of the most important include: o Are there multiple professors actively working in your chosen field § I personally used a “rule of three”—if a program had three professors with significant research overlap with my interests, I would consider it. § By “active” I mean that you should be able to find publication credits from within the past five years—they need to be in touch with current scholarship. o What level of financial support do they offer—not just the annual funding, but whether they fund in summer, and how many years of funding are guaranteed o What courses have they offered in the past? What courses are they offering in the fall? o What is the teaching load like, and how do they prepare you for that load? o So-called rankings matter to a certain extent, but remember that those rankings are almost completely arbitrary. USNews rankings are helpful as a list of all programs offering Ph.D.s in English…and a very, very general sense of the strong programs vs. the less strong. But FIT with your interests trumps all. § (E.g. the Strode program at U of A is highly regarded, even though U of A itself is somewhat less so) o Location and cost of living. A 20k stipend will get you a lot further in Lincoln, Nebraska than in New York. And elements like small town vs. large city, cold vs. warm climate etc. are all perfectly valid factors when looking at programs. You’ll have to live in this place for 4-6 years, after all! · A few quick and random tips: o It can be helpful to contact professors ahead of time to determine research fit etc., but it can also be quite valuable to contact current grad students to get a sense of the program and the environment. o Remember that an important part of professionalization in a Ph.D. program is publication. More than anything, this means that before you go down the road toward application, give some serious thought to whether or not your writing and research inclinations have that kind of potential. And whether or not that’s something you really want to deal with at all. o Also remember that teaching is a huge part of your job, and always will be. If you don’t enjoy teaching (or the prospect of teaching), you’d better really love the other components of your position, because there’s not going to be any getting away from it for many, many years. o It might go without saying, but be very courteous in all of your communications with professors and other graduate students. And that courtesy should be sincere! o Consider the total cost of applications: application fees average about $75, sending GRE scores is $27 (more if you need the subject test), and if you have multiple transcripts, that can tack on another $10. In other words, each application will likely be upward of $100. Given that I recommend applying to at least ten programs, you’re looking at a commitment of over $1000. There ARE fee waivers you can find, however. o Forums like GradCafe are a good way to socialize with fellow applicants, and commiserate with people in the same situation. Just remember to take all advice you see on those forums with a grain of salt. o Finally, there are NO SAFETY SCHOOLS. Just to reiterate, rankings are arbitrary, and almost every program gets ten times as many applicants as they can admit (let alone fund). As a result, you want to look at the best overall fit for you.
  18. I am applying to English PhD programs. I have a 145 in math, 163 in verbal, and 4.5 in the analytic writing. The math I am helpless in, but I've been told that they don't care about math. I thought I could do a little better on the verbal and on the writing based on practice tests, but under the pressure of the real exam, this might not be true. I am also struggling with the SOP, if anyone has any advice. thank you
  19. I am applying to English PhD programs. I have a 145 in math, 163 in verbal, and 4.5 in the analytic writing. The math I am helpless in, but I've been told that they don't care about math. I thought I could do a little better on the verbal and on the writing based on practice tests, but under the pressure of the real exam, this might not be true. thank you
  20. Hello. I'm freaking out a little bit, so it would be really helpful if someone with relevant knowledge could help me. I'm a foreign student (and non-native English speaker) applying to Columbia's graduate program in English and Comparative Literature. I just sat the GRE and got 162 (91 percentile) for the verbal section (my quant score was 159, but I have read that's basically irrelevant, right?). The program's website states that successful candidates "trained in the U.S" have "almost always" verbal scores in the 95 percentile. As previously stated, I'm not a U.S. trained applicant; however, I'm freaking out that not having reached the 95 percentile would disqualify me from such a competitive program. Have any of you have or know of someone admitted to that program with verbal scores below the 95 percentile? This is my first choice and my dream program and I want to be realistic about my chances, which I might have overestimated. I have a GPA equivalent to 4.0/4.0 both from my alma mater (which is not a top university, but the best one from my country and one of the five best from Latin America/Spain, and certainly recognized worldwide), as well as the highest grades possible from a semester abroad at a top university in the UK. I have relevant work experience, (non-academic) publications, merit-based scholarships, academic translations published by one of the most important publishing houses of the Spanish-speaking world, very strong recommendation letters from professors from the two universities I attended, and I strongly believe I'm a good fit (I also think my SOP clearly illustrates that). I'm I delusional or I might have a chance even with the subpar GRE scores? Thank you in advance!
  21. I am struggling to get the statement of purpose done for an English PhD program. I was planning on retaking the GRE, but now I wonder if given my time constraints - full time job, deadline of the application - I'm better off working on my SOP. I have a 145 in math, 163 in verbal, and 4.5 in the analytic writing. The math I am helpless in, but I've been told that they don't care about math. I thought I could do a little better on the verbal and on the writing based on practice tests, but under the pressure of the real exam, this might not be true. As I mentioned, I am really having a hard time with the SOP. It seems like you have to do so much in such a short space. I was wondering if anyone had advice about that too. Thank you,
  22. Hi all! I've been scouring the forum here, and decided to get over my disinclination to participate in online activities as I'm in dire need of application-anxiety camaraderie. Non-American, from a non-English speaking country--this makes applications doubly crazy. My home university is good in relation to the region, but really a no-name internationally. My entire faculty have PhD's from top tier American/British uni's (Berkeley, Stanford, Oxford, etc), but since they rarely have students from our department apply to American grad schools, they are hard-pressed to really guide me through this insane process. But, before I list my reasons for being on the brink of blowing a fuse, my application materials: B.A. in Psych and English, GPA 94/100 (no 4 pt. scale here). M.A. in English (have finished required courses, but still writing the thesis), GPA 96/100. GRE: 167V/164Q/5W TOEFL (computer based): 117 I refuse to take the GRE Lit (money+time+unlikely to score well=not worth it). LoR: going to have very strong recommendations from my two advisors plus another professor who's been incredibly enthusiastic about what he considers my exemplary academic abilities. They've also all known me for a good few years, as I've been in the same department for both B.A. (3 years) and M.A. (2 years). Downside is, my advisors--one is an emeritus prof. and the other a young associate prof. Not the best, but there's nothing I can do about it. SoP: this is going ok, I guess, considering that however well-meaning they may be, the faculty members helping me have little insight into what the adcoms are looking for, or what the SoP should really be. I've done substantial research on this, but like nearly everyone else, I'm not very confident in what I'm doing. I have, though, given significant thought to the somewhat undefinable issue of "fit" and am applying only where there is some or significant research in my areas, and where there are at least two faculty members I'd be happyto work with. WS: this has, somewhat weirdly, become a slight problem. I plan to use one of my thesis chapters, but since none of them are completed or have been thoroughly revised, and because I'm currently suffering a mild bout of anxiety-induced writer's block, it's not shaping up as well as I hoped, and I'm not as far along as I planned to be. Need to buck up and get at it, I know, but this whole process has touched the very core of my insecurities. Extra fun stuff: Awards/Scholarships: 2 departmental awards in English Full funding for my MA (tuition+stipend) Faculty of Humanities and Soc-Sci Dean's Prize (given 1% of thesis-track MA students in the faculty) Scholarship for undertaking research in American Lit-Culture program abroad (in Germany, where I'll be spending three months) Research/Teaching: 3 years TA for undergrad English courses 2 years RA for English department 6 months RA for Psych department Conferences: 2 small, regional conferences Waiting for response to abstracts I sent to a graduate conf. in Europe, and a big int'l conf. in Europe Some of the problems: Since I'm not a US resident, I'm very hesitant to apply to State schools (although I will be applying to 2), as I gather they'll be less likely to accept me (it's not economical for them). Since I'm not taking the GRE Lit, this narrows down the list . I'm very wary of applying to schools that have only changed from "requiring" it to "highly recommending" it during this application season (e.g. Notre Dame and Rutgers). I'm also only applying to programs that offer full funding, with TAships etc. guaranteed. Though this is true in the U.S. as well, I feel like to be able to find a job back home after completing the PhD, I really need to go to a good, reputable school. Considering the life changes (moving across the world, uprooting my SO in the process, making it very difficult to start a family for 5-7 years, which is shitty, because if I get accepted, I'll start the program at 29, etc.) and the financial burden this whole process is incurring on my life, it also feels like the school/program needs to "justify" it. I've been working toward this goal since the second year of my undergrad, and I need to feel like if I take this leap toward a PhD in the States, I'm also giving myself the best chance for a future career in academia. I want to pursue a PhD in any case, just because I love what I do, but if I do it for fun then I'll stay at home to do so. So, bottom-line, I'm only applying to places in the U.S. that I think will increase my chances jump-starting an academic career. I'm terrified that adcoms will glimpse at my application, see that my school is completely unknown to them, and put my file aside. Especially coming from a non-English speaking country into an English dept... So, these are the schools I'm applying to: Columbia, UPenn, Brown, UT Austin, Emory, NYU, U of Virginia, Rice, George Washington. On the "maybe" pile I have Rutgers, Duke, CUNY, and Chicago--which I cut down for various, and sometimes arbitrary reasons. I'm also applying to AmStudies at Yale (although I am a little nervous that, since my research focus would still be lit, they'll immediately chuck my app and wonder why I didn't apply to English). Broadly, my interests are queer theory, feminism, gender and sexuality, disability, and race--all in terms of how bodies are formed and represented; 20th/21st American/Brit women's writing, with a particular penchant for modernism (Woolf, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, Radclyffe Hall, etc.) Any recommendations for good programs with a decent focus in these areas that I may have overlooked? This has all been very lengthy, but it feels good to organize my thoughts. Does anyone have any advice? Is there anyone out there in a similar situation? And good luck to everyone else who's applying! May the odds be ever in our favor (I do feel slightly too old for this reference, I have to say, but I couldn't help myself).
  23. What are some good interdisciplinary PhD programs that will let you study English/Cultural Studies along with other disciplines such as history or political science? I did my undergrad AND master's in English/cultural studies, and while I'm still interested in literature and film, over the years I've been more and more drawn to the political and economic history behind these cultural texts. I want to find a PhD program that will let me work on cultural studies as well as other disciplines such as economics, history, geography or urban studies. People have suggested I look at American Studies programs as well as the History of Consciousness at Stanford, but does anyone here have any other suggestions for interdisciplinary PhD programs that would allow me to do this?
  24. I'm planning to apply for a PhD in English (Literature) and I'm wondering about the foreign language component. All of the schools I'd most like to apply to require 1 or usually 2 foreign languages examined by the end of the second year or so. Yale also mentions on its admission requirements that they want 'preparation in languagessufficient to satisfy the language requirement' and Harvard says that 'While there are no specific prerequisites for admission, a strong language background helps to strengthen the application'. None of the others seem to mention languages at all in their admissions sections, only in the details of what's required during the course. Does anyone know how important the language background is relative to other elements of the application? My personal situation: I have a UK A-Level in Latin and a GCSE in German. I've been working on my German online (duolingo etc.) but I have no new qualifications to show evidence of progress. I did an informal assessment at the Goethe Insitut in London, and they reckon I could probably handle a B1 exam, which the internet reckons is about equivalent to a UK AS-level, halfway between GCSE and A-Level, but I don't know if it really counts for as much on an application. If I did take the exam, it might show that my German is ongoing and improving, but I have relatively little time to prepare for the exam, it's alarmingly close to the application deadline, so if my results don't come on time it might count for nothing anyway, and I think it might be a better use of time to work on my writing samples/preparing for GREs etc. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  25. Hi all! Apologies if this has already been asked and answered, but I am wondering if anybody knows how common it is for departments to automatically consider rejected PhD applicants for their masters programs. I came across this while perusing Boston College's English PhD program, but I can't find other institutions that share this practice (or at least publicize it). Is this often done at other universities? If so, where would one look to find out this information? Short of directly emailing program directors, I can't think of a quick way to know whether or not an institution does this. Is there a list out there of programs that automatically consider 'promising' PhD rejects for an MA in the same department? Thanks in advance for reading
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