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Found 12 results

  1. Ive secured an internship at the United Nations in NYC but the dates overlap with the fall semester. NYU has said they'll give me course credit for the internship, whereas Oxford says apply next year with no guarantee of admissions. What is a better program in the long run? I'm interested in applying for PhD's in America after I've completed the masters. Is oxford as prominent for US PhD's? Thanks!
  2. I'm new around here, but I have not yet found any thread for NELC 2019. So, here it goes! I have applied to 4 programs: UChicago, Hopkins, Brown, UCLA. It's the first time I apply in the US, and I initially thought 4 programs was too much, specially when asking recommenders to submit LORs to multiple programs, but then I came here and saw that people are applying to 10+ universities! I hope my 4 applications are enough to get me in somewhere! In any case, the wait is killing me! Anyone else out there?
  3. I'm applying to masters' programs in Middle Eastern studies straight out of undergrad. I go to an Ivy League school and I'm going to graduate with at least a 3.2 GPA. I have some internship experience in my field and not much academic research experience, but I do have a lot of writing experience in my field. I have a strong SOP and good LOR (one of them is from one of the foremost professors in IR) and I am also fluent in Arabic with study abroad experience. My GRE scores are good (163V, 155Q, 5W) but I'm worried that my GPA will drag me down...what schools are considered 'safe', 'middle', and 'reach' for me?
  4. 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!
  5. Has anyone who was accepted heard anything further? I had some brief contact about the course but I've heard nothing about the open day - anyone got info?
  6. Hey everyone. I've recently been accepted into NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center, the University of Chicago, and the University of Texas at Austin as a master's student for the upcoming fall. I'm interested in studying the modern Middle East, and I hope to pursue a PhD after my master's. Professionally, I would like to go into advising on or developing US foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East (Perhaps a job in the White House or in a political think tank in DC). That being said, I have not completely ruled out the possibility of teaching in the future as well. Bearing all this in mind, I would like opinions from other people who are similarly in my position, who are currently studying at these schools, or even alumni, anyone who might be able to shed some light on my situation and give helpful advice, as I am torn between the aforementioned schools. I will also say that at the moment, it seems that UT Austin is the most financially feasible so far (lowest tuition, but I haven't heard if I will receive an TA position yet - I should find out in the next couple of weeks). Any thoughts/opinions on which school I should attend? Thank you all in advance.
  7. Hi everyone, I applied to mostly Sociology programs for fall '12 because I had this grand vision of myself incorporating Iranian Studies into Sociology (silly me), and now the denials are coming from all sides. Luckily, I applied to Middle Eastern Studies MA programs at a few schools - UT, UWashington, and UChicago. I got accepted to UT but I'm kind of leaning away from it because I did my undergrad there, although it seems I may not have much choice in the matter. Other than waiting and reapplying again for programs that start in the spring (I can't wait another year, my job is burning me out). I'm just curious as to y'all's opinions on these programs, or what y'all might do in this situation. Also if anyone is currently at UT in this or a similar program, I'd love to hear from you too. Thanks in advance!
  8. Hello all, I need your help! I am an applicant to Master's programs in Middle East Studies. I have been accepted to my top 3 programs - Georgetown's Master's in Arab Studies (MAAS), Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies (Harvard CMES), and the University of Chicago's Center for Middle East Studies (Chicago CMES). In addition, I am currently waiting on the second round decision for a Fulbright full grant to Jordan. My research interests lie mostly in modern Middle Eastern politics. The majority of my undergraduate work has centered on Syria and Lebanon in particular. I am in my fourth year of college level Arabic study, and have traveled extensively in the region. I anticipate pursuing a career in government (foreign service, intelligence, etc.), but academia remains an option. The various offers look like this: Harvard: No funding. Will not allow deferral for Fulbright. Deadline (04/16). University of Chicago: 1/2 tuition funding. No deferral. Deadline (05/01). Georgetown: Waitlisted for a tuition scholarship. Likely deferrable. No information on deadline yet. Fulbright: No decision yet. However, my university has an excellent track record with the program, and the primary advisor seems to think that my chances are good. Will hear back anywhere from late April to mid May. Note that I need to decide which university I am attending before I hear about Fulbright. Here's the rub: I need to decide between these three programs. Georgetown has a net benefit over Harvard and UChicago in that it would likely allow for deferral if I received a Fulbright. The extra year would allow me time to apply for external sources of funding. Since I am on the waitlist for a tuition scholarship, there is some chance of funding right now. UChicago is clearly the best option if I'm looking to avoid debt. According to the website, second years in the program frequently receive full tuition funding. My impression is that UChicago's program is not geared towards the modern Middle East, but instead to the ancient Near East. Harvard is my first choice, but is accompanied by serious disadvantages. First, if I accepted their offer (on their rather early deadline), I would have to turn down Fulbright if I got it. Second, since they do not fund A.M. students, I would need to go into >50k dollars in debt to attend the program in the first year. With this said, it is a top notch program, and its branding may be important in the long run. This is especially true in the Middle East, where Harvard has made an excellent name for itself. Finally, Fulbright is very important to me. In this field, experience and language proficiency is critical. My grant would give me an opportunity to accelerate my language ability while making connections in the region. In other words, I would be heartbroken if I received the grant and was obligated to decline it. Summary: What would you do if you were in my position? Would you take Harvard, forgetting about the Fulbright and going into debt? Or Georgetown, hoping for the Fulbright and funding, but missing out on Harvard? Or finally, would you "follow the money" to UChicago, passing up on Harvard and Fulbright? Thank you all in advance for your opinions!
  9. I started hearing back from MES MA applications last week. The results so far - a win (Chicago, w/ 1/3 funding), a loss (Harvard), and a draw (UTA). Still waiting on news from Arizona, G'town and AUB. Even if I go 0 for 3 on the remaining apps and don't get in to UTA I'm thrilled to go to Chicago, but does anyone know if UTA delves into its waitlist pool? And on that point, how much agency do I have in this position? I remember hearing/reading about how to get off a waitlist when I was applying for undergrad but that was a long time ago. Generally speaking, is letter writing/visiting/calling de rigeur, and is it likely to bost your position? If writing a letter, would it be good form to mention an acceptance at another school or not? Thanks and good luck to all who are sweating it out.
  10. I have an interview in Beirut for the CMES Masters program in a few weeks....and I have very little tangible, specific intel about the program. Can anyone with first-hand experience help me out? Something as basic as a faculty list and their specializations would be a great place to start. Shukran!
  11. I'm looking at a range of MES masters programs right now. Judging from the posters here, it looks like lots of people who enrolled in MES programs in the new semester are people who didn't get in to their top-choice PhD programs. Is this a safe assumption to make? For all intents and purposes, I'm looking at the MA as a terminal degree (assuming I get accepted somewhere, insha'allah). Am I in the minority here? Do schools orient their programs as either PhD prep or professional prep? Would this affect the program's competitiveness? Thanks all, good luck.
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