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I'm applying for Spriong 19 PhD Education program. It's been 10 years since I did my MA. I've been teaching at a university since grad school. I submitted my application, and it's been under review for the last week and a half. I'm stressing out and compulsively checking my email and portal. The program I applied has rolling admissions, I'm unsure of how long that process takes vs. a traditional admissions process.

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On 9/25/2018 at 3:14 AM, lit-TARDIS said:

^THIS! I started looking at places and trying to organize myself months ago, and still feel like the last few weeks hit me like a ton a bricks (pardon the rhyme) with the amount of stuff that I have to do/research/figure out that I didn't think of previously. Plus my WS is nowhere near finished... Good luck with the SoP! And everything else.

SAME SAME SAME. I have none of my SOPs written. Taken the GRE, have my WS ready, have my schools picked, my LORs are requested but profs haven't submitted yet. But writing the SOPs has me stressed!

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Hi everyone! Perhaps not the place to post this, but: I am just starting a 1-year MA program and my plan was to finish the program and apply next fall for the 2020 cycle. However, a faculty member at my program is encouraging me to apply to 3-4 programs this fall and re-apply to 10-13 next fall if I don't get in. He thinks it would be a valuable exercise to practice applying and that there's a possibility I could get in.

My problem is that while I've been compiling lots of research on programs and I know exactly what applications entail, I had planned to do everything over a 1-year timeline. So I don't have a firm list of programs, I haven't started on SoPs at all, and I don't have a WS to use (I would be rushing to finish a seminar paper I'm just starting now a month early and using this). I would have one strong LoR from an undergrad professor not in my field, one enthusiastic letter from this faculty member who is very supportive here but who I have only known for 2 weeks, and 1 letter from another faculty member here who will only have known me for a short time and whose class I hope to do well in and whom I hope to get to know but is less enthusiastic by nature (read: British).

My professor is pushing hard for me to do this this fall and thinks it would be good for me but I'm worried it would be a waste because I don't know my field or interests nearly well enough to write a strong SoP (I was planning to start SoPs 11 months from now after having written a dissertation) and I don't think my WS would be strong since I'll be writing it over about a month and a half and won't have much time to research or revise. I also won't have time to read the work of faculty members at programs I'm interested in; if anything, I'll have time for a quick skim of some articles or book chapters. I very much want to listen to his advice but I don't feel it's the right choice for me and I'm worried cramming PhD application work into the next 2 months will take away from time I could be spending getting to know my field and writing strong papers for my classes. He says it wouldn't be very much work to put together applications for 3 programs. I have been given advice from professors in the past that I have ignored because I thought I knew better and I have always regretted ignoring it.

Any thoughts?

Edited by indecisivepoet

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23 hours ago, indecisivepoet said:

Hi everyone! Perhaps not the place to post this, but: I am just starting a 1-year MA program and my plan was to finish the program and apply next fall for the 2020 cycle. However, a faculty member at my program is encouraging me to apply to 3-4 programs this fall and re-apply to 10-13 next fall if I don't get in. He thinks it would be a valuable exercise to practice applying and that there's a possibility I could get in.

My problem is that while I've been compiling lots of research on programs and I know exactly what applications entail, I had planned to do everything over a 1-year timeline. So I don't have a firm list of programs, I haven't started on SoPs at all, and I don't have a WS to use (I would be rushing to finish a seminar paper I'm just starting now a month early and using this). I would have one strong LoR from an undergrad professor not in my field, one enthusiastic letter from this faculty member who is very supportive here but who I have only known for 2 weeks, and 1 letter from another faculty member here who will only have known me for a short time and whose class I hope to do well in and whom I hope to get to know but is less enthusiastic by nature (read: British).

My professor is pushing hard for me to do this this fall and thinks it would be good for me but I'm worried it would be a waste because I don't know my field or interests nearly well enough to write a strong SoP (I was planning to start SoPs 11 months from now after having written a dissertation) and I don't think my WS would be strong since I'll be writing it over about a month and a half and won't have much time to research or revise. I also won't have time to read the work of faculty members at programs I'm interested in; if anything, I'll have time for a quick skim of some articles or book chapters. I very much want to listen to his advice but I don't feel it's the right choice for me and I'm worried cramming PhD application work into the next 2 months will take away from time I could be spending getting to know my field and writing strong papers for my classes. He says it wouldn't be very much work to put together applications for 3 programs. I have been given advice from professors in the past that I have ignored because I thought I knew better and I have always regretted ignoring it.

Any thoughts?

Your professor is right in saying that there is a benefit to trying it now. You might get in, and at any rate it will give you experience and probably reduce some of the workload for he next cycle. The question for you is whether that is worth the time and effort dedication. Only you can answer that. Submitting apps takes time, you need to work on your materials and evaluate the schools. Are you able to do this now? More importantly, are you able to do it without sacrificing the quality of your work on the apps themselves and at your MA? 

Tl;dr: the prof has a point but your personal situation dictates what’s the best course of action.

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I had previously applied to PhD programs in philosophy back in '10, '12, and '13.  I really didn't go about the process well, but since finishing my MA in philosophy, I have been adjuncting and will complete a second MA in English/literature this fall.  I'm interested in medieval and early modern conceptions of political power in the Arthuriana and Spenser's Faerie Queene

Programs:

Rutgers, NYU, Rice, CUNY, Temple, SMU, Houston, and North Texas. 

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Applying to the 2019 cycle of PhD programs, first-time applier. Writing an M.A. thesis at the moment, and have completed my course requirements.

SoP still in work, but has gone through a few drafts, and pretty near finished except for the program-specific paragraphs and some touching up. I have a pretty solid list of programs that I need to finalize; currently looking at 14, but want to narrow this down to 10-12. WS in poor shape, but I have a schedule for completing this, and I hope to get feedback from at least 3 people. Have taken the GRE and TOEFL, and this was by far the easiest for me to actually get done. SoP has put me in an existential crisis (WHO AM I? WHY DOES MY EXISTENCE MATTER?) and WS has brought me to the verge of tears. Not taking the subject test. Will need to get feedback on my CV. So still a long way from being ready to apply...

My interests are theory-centered, focusing on feminism, queer, and disability. Concerned with 20th/21st American/Brit representations of bodies in both poetry and prose. I'm a bit worried about this, because it runs counter to how many departments frame the field/subfield, geographical, and generic divisions. Will have to think how to fill the field/subfield categories in the applications.

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On 9/27/2018 at 11:20 AM, indecisivepoet said:

Hi everyone! Perhaps not the place to post this, but: I am just starting a 1-year MA program and my plan was to finish the program and apply next fall for the 2020 cycle. However, a faculty member at my program is encouraging me to apply to 3-4 programs this fall and re-apply to 10-13 next fall if I don't get in. He thinks it would be a valuable exercise to practice applying and that there's a possibility I could get in.

My problem is that while I've been compiling lots of research on programs and I know exactly what applications entail, I had planned to do everything over a 1-year timeline. So I don't have a firm list of programs, I haven't started on SoPs at all, and I don't have a WS to use (I would be rushing to finish a seminar paper I'm just starting now a month early and using this). I would have one strong LoR from an undergrad professor not in my field, one enthusiastic letter from this faculty member who is very supportive here but who I have only known for 2 weeks, and 1 letter from another faculty member here who will only have known me for a short time and whose class I hope to do well in and whom I hope to get to know but is less enthusiastic by nature (read: British).

My professor is pushing hard for me to do this this fall and thinks it would be good for me but I'm worried it would be a waste because I don't know my field or interests nearly well enough to write a strong SoP (I was planning to start SoPs 11 months from now after having written a dissertation) and I don't think my WS would be strong since I'll be writing it over about a month and a half and won't have much time to research or revise. I also won't have time to read the work of faculty members at programs I'm interested in; if anything, I'll have time for a quick skim of some articles or book chapters. I very much want to listen to his advice but I don't feel it's the right choice for me and I'm worried cramming PhD application work into the next 2 months will take away from time I could be spending getting to know my field and writing strong papers for my classes. He says it wouldn't be very much work to put together applications for 3 programs. I have been given advice from professors in the past that I have ignored because I thought I knew better and I have always regretted ignoring it.

Any thoughts?

this is basically what i did last year, and i don't necessarily regret it (i got a couple of offers and was shortlisted for funding at two UK universities, although didn't get it in the end) - but i do think it distracted me from the first term of my MA and made it a lot more stressful than it already was. if it were me, i think i'd devote myself fully to the MA and apply when you intended to - my research interests have changed so much throughout the MA and although i do think i would really enjoy carrying out the research project i wrote my personal statement around, i have SO many more interests and ideas and approaches coming out the other side of the MA. 

it sounds like it would stress you out more to work towards an application that will always feel 'incomplete', and not one you could throw your full confidence behind. that's just my perspective though and i think there is a good argument for giving it a go, so good luck for whatever you decide!

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Thanks, @WildeThing and @dangermouse!

I know definitively that I wouldn't feel confident about my applications this fall and that I'd be treating it as a practice run rather than expecting to get an offer. I am also unsure of how helpful a practice run would really be for me because I've been researching programs, writing up statements that describe and re-examine my interests every couple of months (just for my own benefit) and thinking heavily about how I'll work on my papers for writing sample purposes, etc anyway. Essentially, regardless of whether I apply this fall I will still be prepping my applications for next year this whole year -- just over a very long timeline that ensures I'm spending about an hour or two a week on this rather than half of my week each week.

The real benefit to applying this year, I think, would be that from my understanding, programs are open to different applicants depending on what they need from a given cycle or who's on the adcom. So theoretically, I could submit applications this year and be accepted because they happened to be open to a British Romantic/philosophy person this year, whereas next year I might be competing with Romanticists that fit better than I do and be denied even though my application is objectively stronger than this year's. So I guess what I need to ask myself is if it's worth spending my time and a few hundred dollars on this on the chance that that happens.

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Guess who's going to be taking the GRE subject test at 8:30 AM on Homecoming Day ? And had that realization occur mid-class the day after registering for the test.

At least the testing center is on campus so I don't have to get up too early for travel time. I do feel sorry for the others who are coming in off campus because the campus is going to be a mess that day! I have no idea where they'll park and the usual route to the testing center posted on the school website will be inaccessible on the day of the test.

A plus is that I'll have no shortage of drinking buddies that night to help me forget about bombing the Literature GRE. It got me out of work that weekend too so that's nice since I was originally meant to work the Friday night before Homecoming Day then during the day on Saturday again.

I'm tempted to ask my letter writers to put that fact in the letters for the programs that require the subject test because HC at my school is a very big deal.

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31 minutes ago, GlacierPoint said:

Guess who's going to be taking the GRE subject test at 8:30 AM on Homecoming Day ? And had that realization occur mid-class the day after registering for the test.

At least the testing center is on campus so I don't have to get up too early for travel time. I do feel sorry for the others who are coming in off campus because the campus is going to be a mess that day! I have no idea where they'll park and the usual route to the testing center posted on the school website will be inaccessible on the day of the test.

A plus is that I'll have no shortage of drinking buddies that night to help me forget about bombing the Literature GRE. It got me out of work that weekend too so that's nice since I was originally meant to work the Friday night before Homecoming Day then during the day on Saturday again.

I'm tempted to ask my letter writers to put that fact in the letters for the programs that require the subject test because HC at my school is a very big deal.

In undergrad, I was very involved in Greek life, and I was the president of the presiding body which essentially put on recruitment. I had to take the subject test on the morning of the final night of sorority recruitment, which I had to put on. I stayed up until 3 the night before to do numbers matching and then woke up at 5 to get ready for the test. It was crazy stressful but hey, you get through it (and you get alcohol at the end of it!). I personally wouldn't worry too much, I don't think the GRE subject is really going to make or break your apps. If you have a strong SoP and WS, you'll likely be fine. 

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37 minutes ago, Cassifrassidy said:

In undergrad, I was very involved in Greek life, and I was the president of the presiding body which essentially put on recruitment. I had to take the subject test on the morning of the final night of sorority recruitment, which I had to put on. I stayed up until 3 the night before to do numbers matching and then woke up at 5 to get ready for the test. It was crazy stressful but hey, you get through it (and you get alcohol at the end of it!). I personally wouldn't worry too much, I don't think the GRE subject is really going to make or break your apps. If you have a strong SoP and WS, you'll likely be fine. 

Yeah, I'm not overly concerned about doing well on the subject test since the programs that I'm looking it that require the subject test say they don't really care about the scores. Just annoying that they still require it even when they say the score doesn't matter but probably an easy way for them to narrow down the field.

It might be for the best though as I have a scar on my chin from a previous HC. Around five stitches, I think. Good times.

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I'm only sending the subject test scores to programs that require it. The ones that "recommend" it can deal unless if I get an amazing score (not happening lol). I don't think that's the case with the programs that I'm looking at, fortunately.

Kind of frustrating to see some programs openly admitting that they don't really care about GRE scores for either the general or subject tests but still requiring it.

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I am nearing the final push for this cycle. I have SoPs nearly ready for 13 schools: Columbia, NYU, CUNY, Rutgers, Penn, Boston College, UConn, George Washington, Emory, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Stanford. Need to polish my WS and personal statement and I’m pretty much done. Just wondering if I should apply to any additional schools if I have the time to get things sorted since a shut-out is the end of the line for me.

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Have one LoR writer who wants to see completed SoPs Friday. I have one almost done, sketches of the other 7/8. Whittled down programs based on funding/my interests somewhat shifting, and may apply to a few film studies depts rather than English but am also afraid of the job market afterwards. Oh boy. Good luck, WildeThing. You're my hero for being so on top of everything.

Edited by jadeisokay

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To be fair, I applied last year so most things were done and since I'm applying with the IRT, they make you do things in advance.

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On 10/15/2018 at 1:58 AM, WildeThing said:

I am nearing the final push for this cycle. I have SoPs nearly ready for 13 schools: Columbia, NYU, CUNY, Rutgers, Penn, Boston College, UConn, George Washington, Emory, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Stanford. Need to polish my WS and personal statement and I’m pretty much done. Just wondering if I should apply to any additional schools if I have the time to get things sorted since a shut-out is the end of the line for me.

Applying to more schools since you have the time (and if you have the money) -- sounds like something I would definitely do if I were you!

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12 hours ago, WildeThing said:

To be fair, I applied last year so most things were done and since I'm applying with the IRT, they make you do things in advance.

What is that?

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10 hours ago, jadeisokay said:

What is that?

I found out about the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers through Gradcafe actually. They're an organization that supports you through the application process so long as your goal is to become a teacher (at any level). They emphasize diversity and they have waivers for applying to a consortium of schools (about 40) and work with you on selecting which schools and on your SoP. Applications for support for the next cycle will be due in March I think.

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Hi all!

Just took the GRE and figured I'd start posting here now that major step is taken... My 'unofficial' scores are 159Q and 170V, and 720 on the GRE Lit.

Doing both comp lit and English apps. Some at the same place (I hope that's not frowned upon, lol). I just have such disparate SOPs. Still, my main fields will probably be Postcolonial Studies + African American and Afro-diaspora Literature + Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American/British Literature. One of my SOPs is about postcolonial historical fiction, the other about Edouard Glissant. And one random one (for Princeton English) mostly continuing where my undergrad thesis left off (on what I called 'reading for style')

For comp lit: NYU, Duke (Literature), Princeton, Harvard, Yale

For English: Penn, Rutgers, Princeton, Yale, Stanford

Contemplating Berkeley also but I've heard that the funding situation can be precarious... Anyone got input on that?

 

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2 hours ago, FiguresIII said:

Doing both comp lit and English apps. Some at the same place (I hope that's not frowned upon, lol).

I would carefully double-check the information provided by the Grad School when applying to multiple programs at the same school.

Princeton's page says the following:  
The applicant may submit one application per year only. This one application can be to one department, program, or combined program.

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2 hours ago, Warelin said:

I would carefully double-check the information provided by the Grad School when applying to multiple programs at the same school.

Princeton's page says the following:  
The applicant may submit one application per year only. This one application can be to one department, program, or combined program.

Good call, thanks. So I'll probably have to decide then, but that also means I can add other programs... oh man, back to scouring faculty pages

Edited by FiguresIII

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20 minutes ago, FiguresIII said:

Good call, thanks. So I'll probably have to decide then, but that also means I can add other programs... oh man, back to scouring faculty pages

Good luck! I'd heavily consider looking beyond T20 programs. There are a few programs that are stronger in certan concentrations that USNews doesn't account for because they base their opinion off of 11-14 percent of respondents. :)

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I recommend to everyone to do a quick check of faculty pages before you submit anything. I was working on my online app for CUNY and realized that some faculty I had mentioned in my app were no longer listed (I last checked a month ago). Maybe some places don't update their faculty profiles periodically, but it's worth checking even if just to make sure that the people you mention are actually still there.

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