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I was accepted to the history MA program at CU Boulder and the history PhD program at UNC Chapel Hill. I study pre-modern Japanese military history (to put it simply) and either path I take, I intend on pursuing a doctorate, with the ultimate goal of tenure track position down the road. I know in academia, your pedigree does have a (rather unfortunately strong) affect, and graduating from a prestigious university can help stack the cards in your favor for such a competitive job market. Of course, it doesn't guarantee anything, but being fully aware of how unemployable a pre-modern Japanese historian will be, I would like to have as many aces up my sleeve as possible. With that in mind, I've been debating whether or not it would be better to go with the (fully funded) MA program and try for a more renowned school for PhD later on? Or is UNC, as a public Ivy with a strong history program, enough? The stipend isn't fantastic, but it would be great to go straight into a PhD program and avoid the hassle of an MA, funded or not. Both schools have excellent professors who have already agreed to be my advisers. I do feel like I would have a decent chance of getting into UPenn or something once I've gotten an MA (they were impressed by my application, but I'm still lacking in some academic experience, even if I've been living in Japan for the past two years and have a good handful of internships and study abroad under my belt). I'm just not sure if I'd be passing up a perfectly good path for it, though. I'd be grateful for any advice!
First off, I understand that the MAPH is, at best, a controversial program. I'm not trying to get people riled up or to step on anyone's toes. I applied to the MAPH at UChicago, initially, because I didn't realize UChicago had a continuous MA-PhD program in their East Asian Languages & Civilizations (EALC). So I ended up applying to both. I was rejected soundly from the East Asian Languages & Civ. department at UChicago but offered partially (1/3) funding for the MAPH program. I was also admitted into the University of Washington's (UW) Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) Japan Studies program for a full MA. No mention of funding. Now, to be honest, I'm still waiting on Stanford to reply, but I know that I'm not top-pick priority stuff here. I love Chicago's program. The EALC was my top choice. I wasn't overly surprised to be rejected. Course-wise and academic-wise, Chicago fits my goals and ideas for my research. That all being said, I'm very intimidated by the prospect of living there (Chicago), and the cost of the MAPH is like 17,000 more than UW since I live in-state--even after the 18,000 tuition waver/grant/thingy! That all being said, I love Seattle, and the JSIS would fit me reasonably well and allow me to study abroad. No, the courses aren't as perfectly tailored to my goals, but I would be able to accomplish my goals without incurring so much debt (and live in a place I'm comfortable and happy in). As far as Asian Studies, UW is a fantastic school. It also might potentially allow me TA work, though that's not guaranteed. First question: What's your opinion? Second question: Would it be rude/stupid/impertinent/etc. to approach the head of Japan Studies at UW with the information that I've been offered $18,000 tuition waver at UChicago in the hopes that I might earn myself some help and that maybe they might throw a bone my way? If no, why not? If yes, what would be the most tactful way to do that?
So I'm not sure how to interpret this. I am applying to several Asian Studies (Japan Studies) programs this fall for my MA. University of Washington, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. I have received one acceptance (woo!) and one rejection from the two programs I've applied to at University of Washington. At least I'm going somewhere! During the last few days, though, I did not receive an e-mail from University of Chicago's East Asian Languages and Civilizations department, but, rather, my personal application page at the website changed. Suddenly it had an envelope icon that said "decision documents." My heart stopped. I clicked through and a message that said "there are no documents available" popped up. Confused, I continued to check the application page rather obsessively for the whole day. Next morning, the icon has changed. Now it's in bold and has a red "1" on it and now says "Unread Decision Documents." I click through and yet again it says "there are no documents available." After an hour or two I e-mail the people in charge of the application page saying what was happening and, within an hour or two, the icon and the contained message were totally gone. The page, back to normal, has no indication of decision documents or anything related to them. Note: I did not get a reply e-mail. Just silence. And the icon suddenly disappeared. I'm not even sure my e-mail is related to the icon's disappearance! I don't know how to take that. What does that mean? And how should I feel about it? I mean, I know I have to keep waiting now. I get that. But that was a hell of an emotional rollercoaster. Just wanted to share.