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Found 15 results

  1. Hi there! Anyone out there who is going through the selection process for the WFP FIT Pool?
  2. Hello, everyone! I have been accepted at Harvard (Master of Theological Studies in Hebrew Bible - 2 years) and Yale (Master of Arts in Religion in Second-Temple Judaism - 2 years) Divinity Schools, my end goal being to gain admission to a top Ph.D. program. The deadline to decide is fast approaching, yet I am still so unsure... I strongly feel that Harvard would be a better fit for me in terms of its atmosphere, but the specific program to which I applied is a bit in flux (there is currently no Hebrew Bible professor, in the traditional sense. The search is on to find one, and other professors pick up the slack, but who knows how long that will take?). Additionally, both of the two primary professors with whom I would be working in the Divinity School will be on sabbatical at some point during my time there (one will be on sabbatical this fall, and the other will be on sabbatical for the entirety of my second year, after which time he may retire). Granted, I would be able to take classes and work with professors outside the Divinity School, as students are able to move fluidly between departments (primarily in the Near Eastern Languages & Cultures department, in my case). Yale, on the other hand, boasts a significant cohort of professors in my field within the Divinity School. At this point in time, the program there is more stable than the one at Harvard; however, I feel less drawn to its atmosphere, and less excited about it, to be honest. So, how heavily should I factor fit into this decision? Obviously, I know it would be hard to go wrong with either school, and I realize how lucky I am to be able to choose between the two. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated!
  3. Any advice for choosing between a better fit, but 5-10 hours from home and a school that is a good fit, but very close to home and close to where you went to undergrad (people in the area you know)? Looking to gauge the value of being close if anyone has experience with that one way or the other. Thanks!
  4. Current graduate students, what would you say are the upsides and downsides of working with a professor who has the exact same specialty as you, versus a professor who maybe isn't exactly in the same niche but has a similar approach or outlook? For instance, as someone interested in microhistory/social history/gender in early modern Germany, would it strongly behoove me to find a faculty advisor with that exact same combination of specialties? Might that actually limit and hinder me? Might it be better to work under a faculty advisor with a slightly different geographic focus (say France or Holland), or with a slightly different subject focus (say religion or diplomacy), but who has a similar approach to social history? Would the latter option perhaps take me slightly out of my comfort zone and strengthen/enrich my work? Or would my work suffer because of my advisor's lack of knowledge about my preferred specialties? Thoughts?
  5. I visited Alabama, and I thought to myself, I could really see myself making this work. The conference budget is huge, the gender and sexuality classes are interesting (if still in their early stages), and I have at least one big name, Trudier Harris, to make my mentor/recommendation letter, even though she studies something different (African American lit and southern lit). Best of all, my girlfriend got in. Then I got into Purdue. In the last two years all of their MA students got into top 20 PhD programs, there are 15+ well known faculty that teach my interests, and they have wonderful resources that help with publication. On paper, the choice seems obvious. I'd be happy with my girlfriend at UA, and they have the resources to help me make something of myself, if I'm hard-working and self-driven. But Purdue increases my odds in a very tangible, real way, of succeeding in a terrible job market. Can I afford to take the risk? And am I a horrible person for being angry that UA is perfect for my girlfriend's interests (southern studies), when it's so risky for mine? She doesn't even want to be a professor!! I felt so sure about UA, but Purdue seems so perfect, so tailor-made for me in ways I didn't anticipate. Can I really get into a great PhD program from UA? I hate myself for entertaining the possibility of risking my future career for a relationship. I need impossible guarantees. Fuck, I need for this to be over. Maybe this belonged on the vent page. I'll probably regret writing this, but I don't really have anyone to talk to, and I really need input. Tell me I'm an idiot for considering turning down Purdue. Or tell me UA has a good record or placing students in top PhD programs, outside of the south. Tell me something.
  6. I need some advice. I got into a great school and everything is pointing me to go there except I'm not sure if there is a great research fit. I want to start not attached to a group so I have time to try out a few groups. The school has a good variety of research but only one professor that is doing research I originially thought I was interested in. How many people change their research focus after starting school and then also has anyone had bad experiences or heard of bad experiences going into a school not in a lab yet?
  7. So I have been accepted to a few programs that would be wonderful. Have narrowed it down to two and am now trying to decide. I dont have to ask questions to impress faculty, more to genuinely get to know the programs and make the best decision but of course I would really like to not get off on the wrong foot. I have visited one but was vastly unprepared for the visit and was knocked off by the implication of some faculty that perhaps I chose the wrong department(ECE rather than CS where my current knowledge and interests is) so made terrible use of the visit day. Later I got accepted anyway and thinking it through I might have applied to the correct department after all. Theres seems to be a wide variety of interesting things and I dont know who I would want as my advisor there, which can be kind of scary but also gives me time to explore. The one thing I dont want is to go there only to discover that there is no one for me to work with. Also this is so far out of my current range of knowledge I am afraid of what if it turns out I am bad at/ or don't like this kind of research after all or that the culture really doesn't work for me.This school is well ranked and well known, I think around top 20 definitely top 50. In the other school the research they are doing aligns exactly with the system I am actually familiar with and have already a strong interest and fairly good background in, and I think they are doing cool stuff. Its a far lower ranked school. I am visiting soon and trying to get a feel for the school. There though I feel like I would be pigeonholing myself and while I dont worry that I wont find someone to work with, if it turns out we dont work well together I am in bigger trouble. Its hard to figure this out from limited contact. Being a smaller less regarded school I worry that I would have to fight more for my career as well. This school is probably not in the top 100 maybe not even the top 200. Though they do seem to be publishing in decent places just not often, small school, few students. Both have their own "risks" I feel like the first highly ranked school might be a "smarter" option but I also feel that the second program has a lot of resources for the particular problem that I could potentially do good work there. The first program has given me the option to conduct an additional skype interview with a member of its faculty and while this would be very helpful I am having trouble choosing and figuring out how to not step on feet. I am also not entirely sure what would be most helpful for me to know that I can present without making myself look bad. Same applies to the second program. I will get to visit a lab meeting and get to know potential lab mates as well as speak with the potential advisors but what else should I be doing/ asking to make best use of my time to gather information? Again without potentially stepping on any toes.
  8. Okay folks, I need some help from the more seasoned among you (ie current grad students, or professors). I am down to two schools that I am considering attending, and cannot decide. I will briefly outline some of the details about each, but please ask me for more details if needed. First program (P1) is gonna give me a lot more money than the other program (P2), while also having a lower cost of living than P2. They are also a smaller department, implying a closer relationship with advisers. Additionally, P1 places better than P2, and has better NRC rankings on all measures. The only issue I can find is that they have only two or three faculty who kind of do research on what I want to do, and one of them will be leaving the country after my first year. P2 is in a preferable geographical location, and has three professors whose research interests are extremely related to mine. Two professors are assistant profs who are actively publishing, and the third is tenured while actively publishing. However, my overall purchasing power, conference participation capability, ranking, and placement appear to be worse in P2 than in P1 (obviously these factors are not only a function of the program's capability, but also my diligence). In short, I think that my research and location interests are better met at one program, while financial, placement, and guidance needs are better met by the other. Does anyone have any insight into what to weight more heavily in my considerations, or your own experiences with a similar situation? If you require further info, please ask. Thanks in advance!
  9. There are a ton of different ways to see schools. Prestige (department, specialty, school), presence of PoI, proximity to X, financial aid, TA-ships, sports titles, faculty recommendation, because they have cute squirrels on campus... How did you choose where to apply? Or, for those of us with an eye to this upcoming cycle, how will you choose?
  10. So here's the deal: I applied to 17 PhD programs, many of which were well out of my league, and 1 MPhil studies (at Univ. College London). I was accepted by two PhD programs and also got into the MPhil program at U College London. The two PhD programs I got in to are top 25 programs, and are fairly focused in their strengths. Recently my interests have expanded to contain other areas of study -- areas that these PhD programs don't cover well. U College London, on theother hand, has an extremely great fit and encompasses my major interests along with my burgeoning interests which aren't covered as well by the two PhD programs. Here's some background: My undergrad was in polisci, and I just graduated with an MA in Humanities from UChicago and took all philosophy courses. If any of you are familiar with the program, it's a bit of a streamlined process and so my writing sample, while I believe it was fairly strong for my lack of a philosophy background, could have been better (especially since my paper was so limited in scope and negative in its conclusion). In addition, UChicago has some very idiosyncratic grad courses, which some schools might not necessarily see as providing me with the necessary, broad grounding in philosophy. Would it be best to go to the MPhil program and reapply to PhD programs afterward, since it would give me a much more solid, more well-rounded philosophical education (defining my interests for myself mainly) and, to boot, allow more time for a better writing sample? Or am I insane to even consider turning down a PhD from a top-25 program, even if it does not entirely mesh with my interests (mind you, there's some good strong areas of fit, but my areas are broad and changing and I'm young to philosophy)? Another question I have, for anybody familiar with the MPhil program at UCollege London, is about finding: Is getting funding a challenge? Some of the scholarships/fellowships are only open for me after I got accepted, which means I have to apply now and I probably won't hear before I have to make a decision on the PhD offers. I waver between thinking funding isn't the biggest issue (as long as there's some funding) and thinking it's dangerous to have to cough up some cash for something that won't guarantee me a job in the end. Thoughts?
  11. I am trying to make a decision between two philosophy PhD programs (sort of.. the lower ranked school has me at the top of the waitlist). As a little background, my interests are (and these are in no meaningful order because they're all so interesting to me): epistemology, mind, modern philosophy, language, aesthetics, philosophy of religion. The first program is a top-15 program according to Philosophical Gourmet and is extremely strong in analytic philosophy and the philosophy of mind, language, and aesthetics; yet they are truly very weak on modern philosophy, philosophy of religion, and epistemology. A big plus is that it's located in a metropolis (I'm a thoroughbred city-boy). The second is a top-25 program according to the Gourmet. It is very strong in modern philosophy, moderately strong in philosophy of religion, and, to a slightly lesser extent, moderately strong in mind, language, and epistemology. It's located in Notreallyurbanville, and there's not much to do there, despite a small-to-moderate college town. If they accept me eventually, I'll likely get more money than the first school would grant me (not really a chance of negotiating that either). But it wouldn't be that much more and it's not my biggest concern right now. I'm so excited to have gotten into a top-15 program and I'm tempted to just accept their offer. But I'm worried that I won't have the flexibility in the program in case my interests change, e.g. if I decide I want to study Kant or philosophy of religion primarily. Do you think if I decided to study something only one or two people in the department focused on that on the job market I would be seen as weaker than most of my colleagues who study within the school's main strengths (all else the same)? I find myself thinking the answer is yes. And I also find myself thinking I would be seen as weaker than somebody who studied the same things I did and came from a lower-ranked PhD program with more peeps who studied in the area of his dissertation. Since the lower-ranked school has more fit generally, if, e.g. I decided to study Kant or philosophy of religion, I would have more people with similar interests to choose from for my committee. Conversely, if I decided I wanted to study mind, it would still be fairly easy to do so (althought not as easy as in the first program). But then again, it's lower ranked, and in the middle of no where. Any advice? I'm freaking out.... existential crisis here
  12. Hello ~~ I've already matriculated into a PhD program in August, but I'm thinking about reapplying to one school for F2012 that I was wait-listed to for F2011. My reason for doing so is that my current program has no one I can work with. I focus on IR and CP in the Middle East - no one in my department does any work on this region and the department has a heavy theorist and Americanist (quant) layout. Thus far, I like all the faculty - they're collegial, smart, and nice, though I'm not sure that these traits will help me advance my research and my career. Anyways I'm just looking for some advice from those who have been in a similar situation, i.e., dealing with a bad fit. Or, even if you haven't been in a similar situation, do you think fit is vital? You may be thinking to yourself, "why would Atua accept a bad fit offer?" Long story short, I accepted my best financial offer because all of my acceptances were backups with bad fits. Why did this department accept me? The person who accepted my cohort picked a few of us with Middle East interests (maybe to build cohort camaraderie?), but I'm not sure why this was done given the lacking IR faculty. Thanks~~ Atua
  13. I've glanced around here briefly and this looks like a great source so I humbly beg you all for some guidance. I'm applying to get my PhD in English, already got an MA. I've went through two drafts thus far. The first was the typical "here's motivational stories about me" tripe. The second is better but is still missing something. I want some feedback on it but have heard it's best to PM it so the adcomms can't Google it to see that you got help. So I guess consider this an open call that I'd like someone to give it a read-through and tell me what they think. A more general question though. I'm having an EXTREMELY hard time working on the "fit" portion. I think I've gotten down how to explain my focus and how to highlight my projects, research, etc. to bring that out and even to mention what I want to study in the future, but I just am awful at explaining the fit. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Okay, I have a few assorted questions that I thought I'd group together here. I'm sure there have been threads on some of these things (actually, I'm positive about some of them), but as most of my questions are fairly specific I thought I'd start a new thread. New threads are more fun, anyway! First and foremost, in terms of researching programs and finding a good fit, I'm realizing I'm increasingly drawn towards schools that have multiple professors in my major areas. That's a no-brainer. However, even when I do, say, find a program that has 9 rather than 4 or 5 professors I really find interesting, how do I really go about getting information on them? I know I can check into what research they've done and what courses they've taught in recent years, but how do I get a sense of how often they take on grad student advisees or whether they'd rather work with a more or less focused incoming student? I'm guessing this information is, by its inherently individual nature, most likely only garnered through asking either current students or the faculty themselves. I guess I could take a look at dissertation topics/advisors from recent years, but other than that I don't really know where to look. Though I guess that's something we wouldn't necessarily know at this point in the game, huh? Finally, what are your takes on honors theses? I was SUPER close to doing one this year, had started research my sophomore year, talked to professors about advising me, and finally decided I didn't want to. A professor advised me not to do it, as I'll qualify for honors without it, we have a capstone requirement anyway, and I'd just be taking on way too much along with my applications this fall. My thesis topic fell WAY outside the interests I'll be including on my SoP, anyway, (as well as the interests of the dept faculty) and it just felt a little irrelevant at this point in the game. I'm not really asking for advice as to whether I should have gone with it. What's done is done. I would be interested to see, however, what people on here think about honors theses. Are they, say, on par with conference presentations--nice to have but not really necessary in terms of the app as a whole?
  15. Greetings All, I am applying to Ph.D. programs in English this fall. The most useful knowledge I've gained from these forums thus far has been in the form of specific experiences with programs and knowledge of individual departments. I would really appreciate some input on the programs I am considering, but more importantly on other programs that I should consider. Here is my interest in a nutshell: My undergrad background is in Shakespeare, Joyce and Renaissance Italian works. I want my graduate work to focus on critical theory and the idea of authorial identity, particularly as it relates to the conveyance of a message from source to audience. I want to focus on literature, drama and film. The latter field has made program selection interesting. So far I have "definitelies," "probablies" and "maybes." Feel free to re-prioritize on my behalf and, more importantly, to suggest different schools. Definitely: U Chicago, Cornell, NYU, Brown, Rice Probably: UNC, UC Irvine Maybe: WashU, Yale, UCLA, Northwestern, Duke, UVA I am starting this as a resource for my own search, but I certainly have no problem with others using the thread to find their own "fit." I would also appreciate any advice on locations to find scholarly articles, as those tend to be great measures of "fit" with a given professor and I am a year removed from that wonderful undergrad JSTOR membership. Much obliged!
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