Jump to content

Asking some advices for choosing MA programs.


TomKatze

Recommended Posts

Hi,
 
I'm an international student who is majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate.  I intend to apply a MA program this fall. Based on the information from Philosophical Gourmet, I have got a general idea about several programs. But I know very little about which program fits my interest and at the same time can prepare me for high-quality Ph.D. programs.
 
Here are my questions:
1.My academic interest mainly in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, especially). Which MA program is best at these fields or one of them?
 
2.I notes that SFU, SFSU and Cal state LA do not require GRE, that is attracting because I will have much more time to learn philosophy, but I'm not sure whether the three programs are appropriate places to develop my interest and prepare me for a competitive Ph.D. program.
 
Hoping some well-informed guys could give me some advices.
 
Thank you all so much!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brandeis has big strengths in Metaphysics  (Eli Hirsch) Kant (Kate Moran is here and Jens Timmerman is here for a semester each year, he regularly advises students), Professor Hirsch teaches a course of philosophy of religion and Palle Yourgrau teaches courses and supervises theses on the Ancients! Brandeis might be a good fit, though -- of course -- as a current student I'm biased. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It might be difficult to find an MA program that is strong in all of those areas. It might be helpful for you to rank your interests. If, for example, it is more important to you to be able to take seminars on Plato, Aristotle, and Kant than it is to find a place that has seminars on metaphysics or philosophy of religion, you’d likely find some programs more attractive than others. But the opposite would be true if you ranked your interests the other way around. Speaking from a placement perspective, NIU seems to be on fire lately compared to some other MA programs. On the other hand, you’d have to live in DeKalb, Illinois. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/27/2018 at 6:05 AM, TomKatze said:
 
1.My academic interest mainly in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, especially). Which MA program is best at these fields or one of them?
 

An MA and a PhD are different beasts, and your interests matter differently to each enterprise. They're much less important for the MA, which is an introduction to the academic world and is supposed to end with you having mastered the subject (and begun to specialize). You want to attend a program that can support your interests (e.g. through an independent study course), but don't need a program with several faculty members working in your area(s).

Like machineghost said, it'll be hard to find an MA program that's strong in all of those interests (but easier to find one which will support them, which is all you need). NIU, SFU, and SFSU are all very strong programs with a very good record of placing students into PhD programs. You might also consider Toronto, Georgetown, and Georgia State University.

On 2/27/2018 at 6:05 AM, TomKatze said:
2.I notes that SFU, SFSU and Cal state LA do not require GRE, that is attracting because I will have much more time to learn philosophy, but I'm not sure whether the three programs are appropriate places to develop my interest and prepare me for a competitive Ph.D. program.

SFU and SFSU are fantastic programs. CSU LA is a very small program that doesn't look like it will really support your interests. Its recent placements look pretty good, but the tendency has been for so-so placements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2018/2/28 at 7:32 AM, episteme7 said:

Brandeis has big strengths in Metaphysics  (Eli Hirsch) Kant (Kate Moran is here and Jens Timmerman is here for a semester each year, he regularly advises students), Professor Hirsch teaches a course of philosophy of religion and Palle Yourgrau teaches courses and supervises theses on the Ancients! Brandeis might be a good fit, though -- of course -- as a current student I'm biased. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thank you! I've heard of the reputation of Brandeis. Yet it's hight tuition scares me. My family only could support me $20000-30000(including the cost of living) at most per year, I even don't know whether it is enough even if I could get financial aid from Brandeis.

Edited by TomKatze
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2018/2/28 at 7:33 AM, prtrbd said:

I audited a class at Brandeis while at Tufts and can confirm that Hirsch is both friendly and involved and that he is an important figure in metaphysics.

Thanks for your confirmation. I didn't know much about specialities of Brandeis, the information from you and episteme7 helps a lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, machineghost said:

It might be difficult to find an MA program that is strong in all of those areas. It might be helpful for you to rank your interests. If, for example, it is more important to you to be able to take seminars on Plato, Aristotle, and Kant than it is to find a place that has seminars on metaphysics or philosophy of religion, you’d likely find some programs more attractive than others. But the opposite would be true if you ranked your interests the other way around. Speaking from a placement perspective, NIU seems to be on fire lately compared to some other MA programs. On the other hand, you’d have to live in DeKalb, Illinois. 

Thanks! Yeah, it's difficult I guess so. Metaphysics, Aristotle and Kant are more important intersts, philosophy of religion is less so, among them, metaphysics maybe  the most. Ideally, I merely want to find a program support one of them, not all.

Do you mean Dekalb is samll and sparsely populated? Or it has some other defects? I know little about this city...But personally speaking, I perfer to live in a small town compared to big cities, only if it's actually quiet and convenient for basic needs of life. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, maxhgns said:

An MA and a PhD are different beasts, and your interests matter differently to each enterprise. They're much less important for the MA, which is an introduction to the academic world and is supposed to end with you having mastered the subject (and begun to specialize). You want to attend a program that can support your interests (e.g. through an independent study course), but don't need a program with several faculty members working in your area(s).

Like machineghost said, it'll be hard to find an MA program that's strong in all of those interests (but easier to find one which will support them, which is all you need). NIU, SFU, and SFSU are all very strong programs with a very good record of placing students into PhD programs. You might also consider Toronto, Georgetown, and Georgia State University.

SFU and SFSU are fantastic programs. CSU LA is a very small program that doesn't look like it will really support your interests. Its recent placements look pretty good, but the tendency has been for so-so placements.

It's very helpful! Thank you! I concern about interests out of a consideration for my future writing sample. I think if I could write a sample in a field I'm interested in, that might be much better for me to give some valuable points, and a professor who specializes in this field will help me a lot. After all, it would be very helpless if I can't find a suitable professor to advise me to write my sample paper. 

A question about SFSU. It's placement record seems not very clear, as someone says “The schools that students had been accepted into were aggregated into a list, so it was impossible to tell how many students were enrolled in PhD programs, and where they were enrolled. " Are there some other ways to see it's record is good?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, TomKatze said:

Thanks! Yeah, it's difficult I guess so. Metaphysics, Aristotle and Kant are more important intersts, philosophy of religion is less so, among them, metaphysics maybe  the most. Ideally, I merely want to find a program support one of them, not all.

Do you mean Dekalb is samll and sparsely populated? Or it has some other defects? I know little about this city...But personally speaking, I perfer to live in a small town compared to big cities, only if it's actually quiet and convenient for basic needs of life. 

If you like small towns, then I’d recommend applying to NIU. They have faculty working in the areas that you mentioned, and their placement has been incredible lately. Yes, my comment about DeKalb is that it’s a small town that is a couple of hours from any big cities. If I could do it all over again, I would go to NIU, if that’s any help. I went to another MA program that is also strong but the placement has not been very good the past few years for whatever reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2018/3/1 at 7:44 PM, machineghost said:

If you like small towns, then I’d recommend applying to NIU. They have faculty working in the areas that you mentioned, and their placement has been incredible lately. Yes, my comment about DeKalb is that it’s a small town that is a couple of hours from any big cities. If I could do it all over again, I would go to NIU, if that’s any help. I went to another MA program that is also strong but the placement has not been very good the past few years for whatever reason.

Many thanks^_^

NIU is one of my dream school, it's better to hear that it lies in a small town and has faculty working in these areas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2018/3/2 at 3:30 AM, Metanoia said:

You will find exceptional support for ancient philosophy and metaphysics at Tufts, but none at all for Kant and philosophy of religion.

Tufts is a bit unpractical for me, but it's nice to know more about it. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What advice would you give to someone who has been accepted to someone who has been accepted to a couple of 40-60 PGR programs and a funded MA offer from a school like NIU or FSU? Would it be better to go straight into a PhD program, or should I do an MA and aim for top tier schools once I have a Master's under my belt?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Theodore8 said:

What advice would you give to someone who has been accepted to someone who has been accepted to a couple of 40-60 PGR programs and a funded MA offer from a school like NIU or FSU? Would it be better to go straight into a PhD program, or should I do an MA and aim for top tier schools once I have a Master's under my belt?

Unless you are very excited about those PhD programs (for eg. if one of your philosophical idols teaches there, or the program has a niche strength in your AOIs), I'd recommend the MA route. Your PhD institution will be among the major determinants of your future academic trajectory, and given what is at stake here, you'd much rather take more time and enter a stronger PhD program. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Theodore8 said:

What advice would you give to someone who has been accepted to someone who has been accepted to a couple of 40-60 PGR programs and a funded MA offer from a school like NIU or FSU? Would it be better to go straight into a PhD program, or should I do an MA and aim for top tier schools once I have a Master's under my belt?

I second metanoia’s reply, and would especially recommend NIU, as their success lately has been incredible (I say this as someone at another MA program where the placement has not been so great lately).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Theodore8 said:

What advice would you give to someone who has been accepted to someone who has been accepted to a couple of 40-60 PGR programs and a funded MA offer from a school like NIU or FSU? Would it be better to go straight into a PhD program, or should I do an MA and aim for top tier schools once I have a Master's under my belt?

If you are serious about philosophy and want to start a professional career with it, I would recommend a MA program which can put you into a top PhD program. I think a high-quality discipline training and the good reputation from a PhD program is very crucial for a successful career.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/27/2018 at 10:05 PM, TomKatze said:
Hi,
 
I'm an international student who is majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate.  I intend to apply a MA program this fall. Based on the information from Philosophical Gourmet, I have got a general idea about several programs. But I know very little about which program fits my interest and at the same time can prepare me for high-quality Ph.D. programs.
 
Here are my questions:
1.My academic interest mainly in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, especially). Which MA program is best at these fields or one of them?
 
2.I notes that SFU, SFSU and Cal state LA do not require GRE, that is attracting because I will have much more time to learn philosophy, but I'm not sure whether the three programs are appropriate places to develop my interest and prepare me for a competitive Ph.D. program.
 
Hoping some well-informed guys could give me some advices.
 
Thank you all so much!

 Most of the advice given here is how to land in a top 20 analytic program. You sound like you might prefer working in the history of philosophy. If so, that might change your plans. Universities like DePaul and Villanova are stellar continental programs to land for a PhD. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use