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Found 82 results

  1. Scoots

    Writing samples

    Hey folks! Would any successful applicants from previous years be happy to share their writing samples? There’s some useful advice online, but it’s fairly basic, and it would be interesting to see the kind of samples that do well. I’m particularly interested in samples that tackle more unusual topics. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats: GPA: 3.75 Philosophy GPA: 3.73 Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences. Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help. No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all. Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics. What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?
  3. Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats: GPA: 3.75 Philosophy GPA: 3.73 Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences. Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help. No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all. Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures, without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics. What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?
  4. sacralicious

    Philosophy of Art/Aesthetics programs?

    Phil 2018 grad school applicant here making an admittedly late turn to philosophy of art/aesthetics and wondering if there are programs that anyone wants to recommend as stand-out or under-the-radar considerations. My B.A. is in Philosophy, so I'm not without background, but I haven't spent a considerable amount of time doing targeted reading prior to now. My orientation is primarily continental, with some major love for American philosophy, but I'm thinking of framing my applications and research interests under the aesthetics banner, because I think (rightly or wrongly at this juncture) that it will give me some more freedom to (1) get generalized training and (2) work across areas of interest with aesthetics as the axis. Is there someone in a program doing aesthetics that they absolutely love? Anyone getting solid mentoring while doing aesthetics?
  5. ContractMonsterSlayer

    Scholarly Track-Record vs. Prior GPA (Grad)

    Hi ? I am Contract Monster Slayer of Purgatory, yet you're all free to truncate my name however you wish, so long as I know you're referring to me. Anyway, this is my first day here on Grad Cafe in what I hope is my first and only year as an applicant. Then again, I've got quite the story, so I could be here a while. But hey, you tell me. Here it goes... STORY TIME (Read on if you want more detail/Skip if you don't) I am a former M.A. philosophy student/TA. I departed from my program without graduating for two reasons: (1) Incompatibility with the program in terms of research interests; I was essentially training myself to be a professional philosopher to the extent that I was self-directing my entire thesis. As for (2), I got caught up in some political B.S. that occurred within the department walls. Long (vague) story short, I got reprimanded for defending myself against some violations of both the student conduct code and workplace harassment policy. To paraphrase the Dept. Chair, "I brought attention to the people that said these things" during a seminar and work hours, mind you. Simply said, I didn't want any affiliation with this program anymore. In the end, I left the department with an exacerbated anxiety disorder, insomnia, and a meager 3.0 GPA. I had to leave. POST-DEPARTURE Unconvinced that my GPA defined my talent level, I immediately began a writing project intended for (non-graduate) academic conferences. Consequently, and please let me know if none of this means jack, I garnered acceptances to two regional conferences and one more invite (2+1= 3) via an unpublished blog post submitted to the public philosophy workshop at UNC-Chapel Hill intended for early career philosophers (if I remember correctly). Thus far, then, it would appear according to my CV that I've been active in some corner of academic philosophy since leaving my previous program. Though, it's worth mentioning that I'm not done yet, as I've expanded and submitted my project for review at an open access journal (fat chance at this point in my development, I know) and I plan on writing at least one more project for more conference presentations, though hopefully more as I have a few projects on my mind. ADDITIONAL (QUICK) DETAILS I have three LOR writers: Two from my most recent undergraduate institution and one from my previous graduate institution. WHAT I WANT TO KNOW Have I improved or in some way restored any chance of moving onto the Ph.D.?
  6. Is is really that much important the reputation of the university? I have been accepted to the MALS Dartmouth, Queen's MA in Political Legal Philosophy, St. Andrews MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies and Sherbrooke University for the Master of Laws (LLM). So far, the advices I have received are really to go with the prestigious school - Dartmouth, Queen's St. Andrews and to not keep Sherbrooke University. However, I do believe there is a value in their degree -- LLM. It is normally quite impossible to enter in that degree without a prior law degree so I have to say that despite their lower reputation, I felt it was quite attractive to have this chance to study law at the graduate level. More particularly, if I had the chance to pursue a doctorate in law, I believe this program would be my only chance to pursue legal research or teach law later on.
  7. Fern_44

    Kingston's CRMEP

    Hi, all. What are current thoughts on Kingston's CRMEP? I know that Kingston has been in a bit of financial trouble lately, and I have some doubts about the school overall due to this. Furthermore, Kingston's CRMEP is not ranked highly for continental philosophy programs—as opposed to Essex, Sussex, Warwick, etc.. Despite all that, CRMEP absolutely has the best faculty (Peter Osborne, Catherine Malabou, Howard Caygill, Peter Hallward, and Étienne Balibar) for my purposes compared to any English-speaking school I've seen in the US and internationally. I am tempted to pick an MA program for its faculty over its ranking, but I don't want to hurt my chances down the line when I apply to PhD programs. Anyway, what are thoughts generally on the benefit of attending "prestigious" MA programs, and does anyone know anything about CRMEP specifically that may help me make this decision? I appreciate any help you can give, and congratulations to everyone who has gotten or is getting acceptance letters around now.
  8. Sailor April

    SJD VS PHIOLOSOPHY MA

    Hi, everyone! I'm an international student, and will apply for graduate programs this year. Now, I major in criminal law but I'm interested in political philosophy, and I've taken some philosophy classes to improve my philosophy background. I don't know which is more easy to apply, sjd or philosophy ma program. Hope you could give me some advice! Thanks! ps. I majored in law during my undergraduate time, and now I'm a graduate student in criminal law. And I have no plan to apply for LLM or JD.
  9. Hello, I had a couple of general questions about the writing sample requirements for PhD programs for philosophy. I know that the requirements can vary due to program, but in general I wanted to know if I should count the bibliography in the word count or page count of my writing sample. I was also wondering if a cover page and abstract are typically needed for writing samples, and if those also should be considered. I will most likely contact each of my schools about this in the near future, but I wanted to get an idea of what people had done in the past! Thank you for the information.
  10. I'm applying to philosophy MA programs. I got my BA in philosophy in 2005, and my JD in 2011. I have not written on philosophy since college, and have not retained any old college papers. I've been practicing appellate law (very research and writing intensive) for the past 5 years. Some schools say to submit my best writing, regardless of subject matter. Others say to submit a philosophical writing sample. Will a good legal writing sample give me a shot, or will it be disregarded?
  11. Esenabla

    Contacting Potential Faculty

    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!
  12. 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?
  13. 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?
  14. 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?
  15. bridgephil

    Accepted, but funding isn't livable

    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?
  16. TheCarbWhisperer

    McGill Bioethics

    Hi, Has anyone heard from McGill's MA in Bioethics yet?
  17. 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!
  18. bridgephil

    Some Thoughts on the GRE

    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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
  23. 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!
  24. 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?
  25. What are some notable American/Canadian Philosophy PhD programs with Accelerated Tracks for those with a Masters degree in philosophy.
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