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Are there any other college seniors here who know they're going to grad school (MA or PhD) straight-away? I'm still waiting on 5 schools but one acceptance has my senioritis in full-throttle. Just curious to see how you other seniors are doing!

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Are there any other college seniors here who know they're going to grad school (MA or PhD) straight-away? I'm still waiting on 5 schools but one acceptance has my senioritis in full-throttle. Just curious to see how you other seniors are doing!

If you have senioritis so bad, why do you want to continue with schooling.....? Just asking.

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Are there any other college seniors here who know they're going to grad school (MA or PhD) straight-away? I'm still waiting on 5 schools but one acceptance has my senioritis in full-throttle. Just curious to see how you other seniors are doing!

hey i'm a senior too. everyone jokes i'm a baby to be starting grad school so soon (newly 21). i too got into fordham's MA :) i'm waiting on 6 more though. did fordham give you any $? i'm not planning on attending.

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If you have senioritis so bad, why do you want to continue with schooling.....? Just asking.

I should have specified, I suppose. My senioritis is from having to fulfill my last (non-literature) requirements. And for getting out of my undergrad institution altogether! :)

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hey i'm a senior too. everyone jokes i'm a baby to be starting grad school so soon (newly 21). i too got into fordham's MA :) i'm waiting on 6 more though. did fordham give you any $? i'm not planning on attending.

Nope not a cent. But I'm prepared to take on debt if it means I can enter into graduate study! I know, call me crazy!

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Nope not a cent. But I'm prepared to take on debt if it means I can enter into graduate study! I know, call me crazy!

haha thankfully my other offer is phd track & funded! but i'm still waiting on so many:( hopefully a funded MA comes your way!

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Good luck, folks! Here's to more (and funded) offers to give Fordham some competition.

For what it's worth, I think it's *incredibly* difficult to apply successfully as an undergrad, especially to PhD programs. I waited two years before applying my first round, and did quite well. (I didn't spend the time in between doing anything academic-y...though the summer before apps were due, I did start studying for the GRE's/Lit exam and rewriting my writing sample, SoP, researching schools, etc). There's something about simply giving oneself a few years to mature--and for your undergrad training to "percolate" that seems quite effective. Looking over my papers from senior year (which I would have submitted had I applied back then), it was pretty obvious that no self-respecting PhD program would have taken me at "that level"...and for what it's worth, I was a straight-A student from a decent undergrad.

So I suppose what I'm suggesting is...while I can definitely understand the desire to pay for one's MA (and in some cases, this would indeed be a wise move), it may be to your benefit to simply take some time off, find a "real" job (in my case, I tutored, waited tables, and worked in a coffeehouse...nothing glamorous or particularly attractive on my CV/resume)...and try again.

This isn't to say, of course, that no one gets into strong PhD programs applying as an undergrad. It happens all the time. But I suspect that far more promising applicants benefited from taking time off than applying "straight." Certainly, most (90, 95%) of the students at the top programs that I know of (though this varies depending on the culture/preferences of different programs) took at least 1 year off.

Edited by strokeofmidnight

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Good luck, folks! Here's to more (and funded) offers to give Fordham some competition.

For what it's worth, I think it's *incredibly* difficult to apply successfully as an undergrad, especially to PhD programs. I waited two years before applying my first round, and did quite well. (I didn't spend the time in between doing anything academic-y...though the summer before apps were due, I did start studying for the GRE's/Lit exam and rewriting my writing sample, SoP, researching schools, etc). There's something about simply giving oneself a few years to mature--and for your undergrad training to "percolate" that seems quite effective. Looking over my papers from senior year (which I would have submitted had I applied back then), it was pretty obvious that no self-respecting PhD program would have taken me at "that level"...and for what it's worth, I was a straight-A student from a decent undergrad.

So I suppose what I'm suggesting is...while I can definitely understand the desire to pay for one's MA (and in some cases, this would indeed be a wise move), it may be to your benefit to simply take some time off, find a "real" job (in my case, I tutored, waited tables, and worked in a coffeehouse...nothing glamorous or particularly attractive on my CV/resume)...and try again.

This isn't to say, of course, that no one gets into strong PhD programs applying as an undergrad. It happens all the time. But I suspect that far more promising applicants benefited from taking time off than applying "straight." Certainly, most (90, 95%) of the students at the top programs that I know of (though this varies depending on the culture/preferences of different programs) took at least 1 year off.

sounds like some sound advice strokeofmidnight. in my case, i will probably take the funded MA/PhD offer I have on the table and then once I complete my MA (the school delineates btwn the MA and PhD-- you continue onto the PhD after the MA contingent upon success), i will apply internally to continue (informal, most go on) and probably to a few higher ranked schools to try my luck. the program i'm planning on attending (thus far) has a lot of people in my field though and seems like a great fit so we shall see.

good luck to you stroke, i hope this is the week as your status begs!

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sounds like some sound advice strokeofmidnight. in my case, i will probably take the funded MA/PhD offer I have on the table and then once I complete my MA (the school delineates btwn the MA and PhD-- you continue onto the PhD after the MA contingent upon success), i will apply internally to continue (informal, most go on) and probably to a few higher ranked schools to try my luck. the program i'm planning on attending (thus far) has a lot of people in my field though and seems like a great fit so we shall see.

good luck to you stroke, i hope this is the week as your status begs!

Oops. I haven't changed my status in over a month. I have several offers that I'm quite happy with...and am largely relieved to be DONE with this entire process.

This sounds like a really good plan, especially since the program seems to be a good fit for you! I'm curious, though...do the MA/PhD students reapply (elsewhere) after completing the MA portion of their program? I ask because I was also accepted into an MA/PhD program two years ago, and had considered that possibility. When I (delicately) inquired into this, I was rather abruptly told that students *don't* use that opportunity to "fish around" (and in any case, it may not be easy to do so without jeopardizing one's relationship with the current program--since you'll need LoR writers). Of course, there's no guaranteed that this applies to all programs with a similar, or even that the person I spoke to knew exactly how things worked in her own program (I didn't dare ask more students after that incident), but it may be worth considering if you're hoping to transfer out. And briefly...rankings are quite mythic, not to mention outdated and not sufficiently tailored to one's particular field/interests/etc. I definitely wouldn't reapply just to scamper up the (imagined) totem pole. While there are programs that are better regarded than others (particularly for certain fields), those don't necessary correspond with the rankings.

Good luck either way!

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Good luck, folks! Here's to more (and funded) offers to give Fordham some competition.

For what it's worth, I think it's *incredibly* difficult to apply successfully as an undergrad, especially to PhD programs. I waited two years before applying my first round, and did quite well. (I didn't spend the time in between doing anything academic-y...though the summer before apps were due, I did start studying for the GRE's/Lit exam and rewriting my writing sample, SoP, researching schools, etc). There's something about simply giving oneself a few years to mature--and for your undergrad training to "percolate" that seems quite effective. Looking over my papers from senior year (which I would have submitted had I applied back then), it was pretty obvious that no self-respecting PhD program would have taken me at "that level"...and for what it's worth, I was a straight-A student from a decent undergrad.

So I suppose what I'm suggesting is...while I can definitely understand the desire to pay for one's MA (and in some cases, this would indeed be a wise move), it may be to your benefit to simply take some time off, find a "real" job (in my case, I tutored, waited tables, and worked in a coffeehouse...nothing glamorous or particularly attractive on my CV/resume)...and try again.

This isn't to say, of course, that no one gets into strong PhD programs applying as an undergrad. It happens all the time. But I suspect that far more promising applicants benefited from taking time off than applying "straight." Certainly, most (90, 95%) of the students at the top programs that I know of (though this varies depending on the culture/preferences of different programs) took at least 1 year off.

I'm going to second the whole take a year off approach. Of course going straight from undergrad to grad school works for many people (I have a few friends who took that route and are perfectly well-adjusted socially and academically) but I'm sure I would personally have been a wreck. This isn't to say I didn't try. I was universally rejected and had no other choice but if the option to defer had been available, I think I would have done that. This year off has solidified my interest in my field and this discipline in general. I've had the time to reevaluate where my life has been/is/will be going and everything has just clicked.

I also didn't do anything academic this year other than work on my applications. I only had to take the GRE Lit exam (and performed pretty poorly) because I had taken the general GRE the year before. I'm quite aware of the class privilege inherent in my ability to live at home with my parents for an extra year while I worked a rinky dink part-time job at my local Staples (aside: I got the job b/c in my interview I told them I was an english major and had become passionate about pens, paper clips, etc. LOL) but I exploited that capital as best as I could and, thankfully, I have something to show for it.

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I should have specified, I suppose. My senioritis is from having to fulfill my last (non-literature) requirements. And for getting out of my undergrad institution altogether! :)

I, too, have major senioritis and it is awful. Like you, all of my classes this semester are non-literature/gen-ed requirements. I thought it would be an easy last semester....and it is, but these classes are boring and full of busy work. Yick.

I have been accepted to the UW-Madison M.A./Ph.D. program with a fellowship and will be going to grad school straight from undergrad--I'm still waiting on six of my eight schools, but I am 99.9% certain that I'll be going to UW in the fall.

Good luck to everyone! It's good to hear from some other "babies" applying straight from undergrad!

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I'm quite aware of the class privilege inherent in my ability to live at home with my parents for an extra year while I worked a rinky dink part-time job at my local Staples (aside: I got the job b/c in my interview I told them I was an english major and had become passionate about pens, paper clips, etc. LOL) but I exploited that capital as best as I could and, thankfully, I have something to show for it.

*grins* For my coffee-house job, the only application was to submit a short essay discussing why I wanted that job. I "cited" Avenue Q's "what do I do with a major in English..." and that was what did the trick. Either that, or my mad dish-washing skills....

Edited by strokeofmidnight

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I'm going to cast a vote for the "applying while still in college" side. It's what I did this year, and I'm quite pleased with my results. Of course, there are drawbacks to this—it's possible that you won't get in anywhere without that year of preparation (it's certainly what I was expecting to happen this round, and I feel very lucky), or that you would have done better had you waited to apply.

Even so, I think the benefits are immense. You get to apply while still in an academic environment, which often means better access to library/archival materials, immersion in scholarly debate while refining your research interests for your SOP, and continued proximity to professors. As a current undergraduate, I saw my advisers frequently enough that they were more than happy to help me revise my materials; many people who take time off find that the intervening years have weakened their relationships with previously enthusiastic professors.

So, with all that said, here's my advice, shamelessly based on what I chose to do this year: if you are absolutely sure that you want to go to graduate school and don't need time off to refuel, then apply—but, keeping in mind that many people do much better when they apply after having taken time off, don't apply to "safety" schools (by which I mean schools to which you wouldn't be thrilled to go). Be ambitious. If it works out, then you can happily go straight through and never look back. If it doesn't, then you can strengthen your application and reapply to a wider range of schools with a better idea of the process. Either way, you won't find yourself trapped in your last-choice school, wondering what would have happened if you'd only waited.

Also, to the rest of the still-seniors: hooray for us—we get to live the academic dream AND escape the economic nightmare!

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I'm going to cast a vote for the "applying while still in college" side. It's what I did this year, and I'm quite pleased with my results. Of course, there are drawbacks to this—it's possible that you won't get in anywhere without that year of preparation (it's certainly what I was expecting to happen this round, and I feel very lucky), or that you would have done better had you waited to apply.

Even so, I think the benefits are immense. You get to apply while still in an academic environment, which often means better access to library/archival materials, immersion in scholarly debate while refining your research interests for your SOP, and continued proximity to professors. As a current undergraduate, I saw my advisers frequently enough that they were more than happy to help me revise my materials; many people who take time off find that the intervening years have weakened their relationships with previously enthusiastic professors.

So, with all that said, here's my advice, shamelessly based on what I chose to do this year: if you are absolutely sure that you want to go to graduate school and don't need time off to refuel, then apply—but, keeping in mind that many people do much better when they apply after having taken time off, don't apply to "safety" schools (by which I mean schools to which you wouldn't be thrilled to go). Be ambitious. If it works out, then you can happily go straight through and never look back. If it doesn't, then you can strengthen your application and reapply to a wider range of schools with a better idea of the process. Either way, you won't find yourself trapped in your last-choice school, wondering what would have happened if you'd only waited.

Also, to the rest of the still-seniors: hooray for us—we get to live the academic dream AND escape the economic nightmare!

AGREED.

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Even so, I think the benefits are immense. You get to apply while still in an academic environment, which often means better access to library/archival materials, immersion in scholarly debate while refining your research interests for your SOP, and continued proximity to professors. As a current undergraduate, I saw my advisers frequently enough that they were more than happy to help me revise my materials; many people who take time off find that the intervening years have weakened their relationships with previously enthusiastic professors.

So, with all that said, here's my advice, shamelessly based on what I chose to do this year: if you are absolutely sure that you want to go to graduate school and don't need time off to refuel, then apply—but, keeping in mind that many people do much better when they apply after having taken time off, don't apply to "safety" schools (by which I mean schools to which you wouldn't be thrilled to go). Be ambitious. If it works out, then you can happily go straight through and never look back. If it doesn't, then you can strengthen your application and reapply to a wider range of schools with a better idea of the process. Either way, you won't find yourself trapped in your last-choice school, wondering what would have happened if you'd only waited.

Also, to the rest of the still-seniors: hooray for us—we get to live the academic dream AND escape the economic nightmare!

I think the advice to aim high if one is going to apply as an undergrad is spot-on--particularly if going to a top-program is important. (Many people apply with geographic limitations in mind, which might compromise the application of this advice). Exactly as you noted, the key seem to be avoiding that sense of entrapment. While that last-choice school might actually prove to be a great fit and a wonderful place for your research, it's hard to go to grad school enthusiastically if you felt that you were stuck there--and grad school is hard enough without that additional frustration to kick things off.

Still, I do have to challenge the bit about resources and academic atmosphere. It was precisely the time *away* from academics...and the chance to return to it with a different perspective that really helped. While some undergrads--and you're a prime example--do attain the intellectual and personal maturity to put together a very impressive application, far more (who would otherwise be successful given some time) do not. (But then again, if they followed your advice to aim high that first round, while it might be a longer and more expensive process, I think they might be less likely to find themselves "settling" prematurely). As someone who moved 3,000 miles away from my alma mater during my first round of applications, I had a relatively easy time with revising/advising. Between the internet, borrowing the online library resources of friends, and the public library, I was able to gather all the library resources that I needed--though admittedly with a bit more trouble than if I was still in undergrad. My professors were very helpful with advice and revision...if anything, they made *more* time and effort for me, because I was no longer a student. It certainly helped that I knew I was going to grad school while still an undergrad and kept in touch with my professors. Had I sent them an email out of the blue 8 years later asking for LoR's, I suspect that I might have been met with a less warm reception.

And (somewhat) in hindsight, I've never met anyone who regretted taking time off. (Most of my colleagues took between 1 and 10 years off...we probably average 3 years). It seems that many who didn't felt that they could have benefited from waiting a year or two. Many of the current grad students that I know of who went "straight," even those who ended up at very good programs, felt overwhelmed and burnt out after their first year or two. Every single of the half-a-dozen students that I know of (at various top programs) who dropped out went straight from undergrad. They were certainly more than bright enough... but the adjustment process can be exhausting on so many levels. Obviously, this isn't to say that those who went straight can't be successful (some of the absolutely brightest and most well-adjusted students that I know of took this route), but I do think that they tend to be especially vulnerable.

I wouldn't worry too much in your case. I suspect that your experience throughout undergrad (both within and outside of the "usual" college environment) will serve you well in grad school. But I always hesitate to tell my own undergrads to apply straight unless they have a comparable level of non-academic experience and maturity. And most--even my best and brightest--frankly, don't.

Btw, fingers crossed for you on NYU. For what it's worth, I think they made only as many offers as they had spots, and most of the NYU acceptees that I've run across on other visits have hinted that they'll probably turn down the offer, so I think the program will need to reach quite deeply into their waitlist.

Edited by strokeofmidnight

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To me, applying to grad school right out of college is like marrying your high school sweetheart. We all know people who have made it work, and it is so lovely when they do! If a couple can successfully marry straight out of teenagedom and continue to make it work in the years to come, more power to them, I suppose. Same goes for straight-to-grad undergrads. But I think most of us, even the ones who are in great relationships, can at some point benefit by gaining a little perspective on the other fish in the sea or what have you.

A main issue to consider when applying straight from undergrad is the influence your mentors and advisors have on you. I think it's a difficult thing to gauge until you have some intellectual distance from them. I know that for me, while my UG mentors were (are) brilliant and wonderful, they did inevitably color my interests because--let's face it--they were pretty powerful figures to my undergrad self. Now that I have a couple of years out of their orbit, they are still significant influences on my work but I'm less an aspiring copy of them and more my own kind of scholar. Also note here: if you take time off, keep in touch with your mentors and the professors with whom you really connected.

I will echo Strokeofmidnight--while a lot of folks will suggest that you take time off just to boost your academic profile, I feel that actual time off from academics can be as or even more helpful than undergoing a year or two of hardcore academic work outside of school. I know personally that after three years of work and experience almost completely unrelated to academia, I am a much better writer and scholar. The advantages of perspective are significant.

Edited by Pamphilia

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Yep, I'm a current senior who no longer wishes to be a current senior. Looks like I'll be getting my MLS starting in August.

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I think the advice to aim high if one is going to apply as an undergrad is spot-on--particularly if going to a top-program is important. (Many people apply with geographic limitations in mind, which might compromise the application of this advice). Exactly as you noted, the key seem to be avoiding that sense of entrapment. While that last-choice school might actually prove to be a great fit and a wonderful place for your research, it's hard to go to grad school enthusiastically if you felt that you were stuck there--and grad school is hard enough without that additional frustration to kick things off.

Still, I do have to challenge the bit about resources and academic atmosphere. It was precisely the time *away* from academics...and the chance to return to it with a different perspective that really helped. While some undergrads--and you're a prime example--do attain the intellectual and personal maturity to put together a very impressive application, far more (who would otherwise be successful given some time) do not. (But then again, if they followed your advice to aim high that first round, while it might be a longer and more expensive process, I think they might be less likely to find themselves "settling" prematurely). As someone who moved 3,000 miles away from my alma mater during my first round of applications, I had a relatively easy time with revising/advising. Between the internet, borrowing the online library resources of friends, and the public library, I was able to gather all the library resources that I needed--though admittedly with a bit more trouble than if I was still in undergrad. My professors were very helpful with advice and revision...if anything, they made *more* time and effort for me, because I was no longer a student. It certainly helped that I knew I was going to grad school while still an undergrad and kept in touch with my professors. Had I sent them an email out of the blue 8 years later asking for LoR's, I suspect that I might have been met with a less warm reception.

And (somewhat) in hindsight, I've never met anyone who regretted taking time off. (Most of my colleagues took between 1 and 10 years off...we probably average 3 years). It seems that many who didn't felt that they could have benefited from waiting a year or two. Many of the current grad students that I know of who went "straight," even those who ended up at very good programs, felt overwhelmed and burnt out after their first year or two. Every single of the half-a-dozen students that I know of (at various top programs) who dropped out went straight from undergrad. They were certainly more than bright enough... but the adjustment process can be exhausting on so many levels. Obviously, this isn't to say that those who went straight can't be successful (some of the absolutely brightest and most well-adjusted students that I know of took this route), but I do think that they tend to be especially vulnerable.

I wouldn't worry too much in your case. I suspect that your experience throughout undergrad (both within and outside of the "usual" college environment) will serve you well in grad school. But I always hesitate to tell my own undergrads to apply straight unless they have a comparable level of non-academic experience and maturity. And most--even my best and brightest--frankly, don't.

Btw, fingers crossed for you on NYU. For what it's worth, I think they made only as many offers as they had spots, and most of the NYU acceptees that I've run across on other visits have hinted that they'll probably turn down the offer, so I think the program will need to reach quite deeply into their waitlist.

I'm also very lucky in that I live in NYC so getting those academic resources merely required a trip to the library. I still have friends who are either in undergrad or are going to graduate school in the area and so the only thing missing from my academic experience this year is having to schlep to a classroom on a regular schedule (I do sometimes drop in on my friends' classes). It's really a personal thing, this question about when it's most appropriate to apply to grad school but, unfortunately, it seems like it's these faceless adcoms that decide for us. If we get into a school straight out of undergrad, then it's been a positive experience. If we get into school after taking a year or more off, then it's been a positive experience... wouldn't want it any other way. Basically it boils down to you doing you. I agree, it's my friends who went straight from undergrad but have somehow found the time to have real life experience outside of the academic bubble that have been most successful in graduate school.

So, basically I wrote all of that above so that my question about NYU didn't seem like a complete derailing of the topic. Why is what you're saying about the program so? As you probably know, there was a cocktail party and open house thing towards the beginning of last week that I was unable to attend so I don't know how it went but, because I live in New York, I as able to go to lunch with two of my POIs there and the Director of Graduate Studies. All three were very enthusiastic about their work and their students (and those students' job placement) and left nothing but the most favorable impression with me. When I was admitted, I immediately told the cohort of professors at my undergrad institution that helped me with my application and received overwhelmingly negative responses to that program, even from one of my favorite professors who got his MFA at NYU. Did you get a feeling from those acceptees why they didn't like the program? Is it that they all just got into better schools?

Edited by diehtc0ke

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Since many of the above comments call out my own experiences, I wanted to chime in with an important tidbit: If you take time off, you risk never coming back.

I'm not saying you'll lose interest. After 10 years, my interest is as hot as it has ever been. But after I left my first MA/PhD program with only an MA, I had every intention of reapplying to schools the next year and getting the ball rolling again. But during that time, I took a job that paid a seductive salary (having an additional degree in mathematics can be almost too good in this way) and met the girl who was to become my wife. So even though I only took one year "off" to finish my master's thesis (which I did), I was far enough removed that it made returning to school very difficult. The way I like to put it when people ask why I didn't finish the Ph.D. the first time is that "unfortunately, I'm good with numbers."

Now, ten years after submitting my first round of apps as an undergrad, I'm fighting to get back in a Ph.D. program - but without the mobility and general freedom that I once had.

One of my good friends, who is now a medical doctor, received a piece of advice from an older doctor that stuck with me when he was in school. He told my friend to finish his M.D. as top priority and not to worry with relationships or much of anything else until it's done. People that take time off, get married, have kids, and whatnot are far less likely to finish their terminal degree. The same goes for moving away from the school where you're doing grad study ... things to keep in mind.

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I'm a college senior who got the "We'd advise most people to wait a year or two, but you're ready" talk from my professors and also from one of my bosses who left his Ph.D. program. However, in light of all the rejections I've received (with implicit rejections on the way), I'm anticipating taking a year off. It's funny, because initially it sounded like the worst thing in the world considering that I know what I want to do, but now it's sounding more like what other people in this thread have mentioned - an opportunity to mature, to let things "percolate," as it were. I know I'll be a more focused applicant next year.

In the meantime, we'll see what sort of work I can find, and even if it's not "academic," it's still life experience. One of my professors worked in a hippie bar for 10 years before going to graduate school (this was way back in the day) and she advised that I find something like that... ;) (I'm not the right type to work in such an establishment, but still...)

Edited by lady_coffee

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Oops. I haven't changed my status in over a month. I have several offers that I'm quite happy with...and am largely relieved to be DONE with this entire process.

This sounds like a really good plan, especially since the program seems to be a good fit for you! I'm curious, though...do the MA/PhD students reapply (elsewhere) after completing the MA portion of their program? I ask because I was also accepted into an MA/PhD program two years ago, and had considered that possibility. When I (delicately) inquired into this, I was rather abruptly told that students *don't* use that opportunity to "fish around" (and in any case, it may not be easy to do so without jeopardizing one's relationship with the current program--since you'll need LoR writers). Of course, there's no guaranteed that this applies to all programs with a similar, or even that the person I spoke to knew exactly how things worked in her own program (I didn't dare ask more students after that incident), but it may be worth considering if you're hoping to transfer out. And briefly...rankings are quite mythic, not to mention outdated and not sufficiently tailored to one's particular field/interests/etc. I definitely wouldn't reapply just to scamper up the (imagined) totem pole. While there are programs that are better regarded than others (particularly for certain fields), those don't necessary correspond with the rankings.

Good luck either way!

More sage advice. Yes this particular program seems very strong in my field. I mentioned the whole jeopardizing your relationship thing to one of my younger profs whose gone through this more recently and she said it shouldn't be a problem. Because the programs are delineated as "terminal MA" and phd even though I can continue, the protocol might be different/easier than I thought.

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Are there any other college seniors here who know they're going to grad school (MA or PhD) straight-away? I'm still waiting on 5 schools but one acceptance has my senioritis in full-throttle. Just curious to see how you other seniors are doing!

I'm a college senior and I'm on my way to South Bend to start a Ph.D. in the fall. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who isn't taking time off. Even though I do have some very nice classes and great professors this semester, I know what you mean by 'senioritis'. I'm just ready to move on to the next phase in my life, and I'm becoming increasingly bored of Austin.

It's interesting that someone equated this to marrying your high school sweetheart. Maybe there's a connection there in personality type because I'm also still with the guy I started dating at the end of my senior year of high school and we plan on getting married soon. Many people question my decisions both because I have never had a real job and because I never shopped around in the dating department after high school. While I feel very confident in my choices (and wouldn't change my life for anything), I know plenty of people who would be miserable being where I am at 21.

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I'm a college senior who got the "We'd advise most people to wait a year or two, but you're ready" talk from my professors and also from one of my bosses who left his Ph.D. program. However, in light of all the rejections I've received (with implicit rejections on the way), I'm anticipating taking a year off. It's funny, because initially it sounded like the worst thing in the world considering that I know what I want to do, but now it's sounding more like what other people in this thread have mentioned - an opportunity to mature, to let things "percolate," as it were. I know I'll be a more focused applicant next year.

I'm in much the same boat. I'm a senior writing my undergrad thesis, and between the time I sent out my apps in December and now (and the rough completion of two more chapters), I feel that I would have approached the application process--namely my statement of purpose--much differently. While my interests have not changed, I feel like I have a much better handle on my methodology. I had trouble succintly describing that for my SOP, and I honestly believe that's one point of weakness in my apps. I, too, thought a year off would be the worst thing, economically and academically, that could happen, but now I'm starting to change my tune much in the direction of lady_coffee.

One thing I am concerned about is the accessibility of scholarly material for a year off. I would like to keep reading and keep up on the work of potential POIs. Any suggestions for this?

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