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Hello,

I  have been accepted to a partially funded MA at Boston College, a PhD at UConn with full funding, and a PhD at UOregon with full funding (all in English Literature). Would it make sense to take the MA as a way to up my chances at a better school for a PhD later? What do you think of the placement records of UConn and UOregon? How much do you think ranking matters in this process? I see the UO is ranked higher, but to me, it looks like UConn might have better placements. Any advice is greatly appreciated! 

thank you,

Lindsey

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What are your interests? Are UConn or Oregon placing in schools that you're interested in? Are the locations placed you'd see yourself being for the next 5-6 years?

I'd personally advise against accepting any offer that isn't fully funded because I don't think the additional debt is worthwhile.

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Thank you so much for your reply! My interests are in 20th century poetry such as Elizabeth Bishop and James Merill, and in poetry during the aids crisis. I am also interested in queer studies, gender studies, and Virginia Woolf. UConn seems to have a lot of faculty in the areas that I am interested in, but I worry because it is ranked 77th, which seems fairly low. I lean towards it because the placements look good and the faculty shares my interests. thoughts? 

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27 minutes ago, lindseybuck95 said:

Thank you so much for your reply! My interests are in 20th century poetry such as Elizabeth Bishop and James Merill, and in poetry during the aids crisis. I am also interested in queer studies, gender studies, and Virginia Woolf. UConn seems to have a lot of faculty in the areas that I am interested in, but I worry because it is ranked 77th, which seems fairly low. I lean towards it because the placements look good and the faculty shares my interests. thoughts? 

USNews rankings for English are determined by 14 percent of respondents who were department heads or director of graduate studies. As such, it's hard to take rankings those seriously when a lot of the rankings are based on "name brand". There are some schools (like Notre Dame) who don't rank highly on the list but is arguably the school to go to if interested in Early Modern/Renaissance. 

UConn has a nice collection of faculty interested in 20th Century American Literature. As long as you can see yourself living in the area and are content with their recent placements in that subfield, I think it would be a very strong decision. 

UOregon has most recently been known for its ecocriticism. When I last spoke to the department, it seemed to be trying to grow this program more but they were still trying to expand their other specializations.

Both programs are ones I've had very positive interactions with and faculty were more than happy to talk to me about my projects and goals. I think that support is crucial to pursuing an advanced degree. I wouldn't place much focus on overall ranking but would place a lot of focus into how well the faculty shares similar interests and how well they place into areas you're interested in.

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