Southeast Penn Posted February 17, 2008 Share Posted February 17, 2008 This is my third time applying for Literature PhDs, and I've been fortunate/lucky enough to be accepted at several schools so far. I was wondering if anyone had a good sense of how to break down the decision of where to go. Here are the issues that are most troubling/confusing to me: 1) How much does reputation matter? How do you rank reputation? If I'm looking at a US News and World Reports ranking from 1999 and one school is 120th and another is in the top 20, should that weigh heavily in my decision? Or should I simply ask them how good they are at placing their grads in jobs and use that as my 'reputation' metric? 2) How important is it (in English) to have a faculty member you want to work with? When this process began I targeted several scholars who have published copiously in my intended area; is there any way I might be able to find out how well-respected/famous these people are in their respective fields? (Been out of the game a little while, so I haven't been to many conferences or have had much contact with other students). Is it better to attach yourself to a young up-and-comer or someone who has been around a long while? 3) Teaching. How much is too much? I've read that anything more than one class a semester is exploitation. If that is so, is one class plus tutoring work exploitation? At what point does the teaching load interfere with classes and research? 4) Foreign languages. Ugh. In principle, I agree that having working knowledge of foreign languages is a good thing for a scholar. But on the other hand, I'm scared to death of this requirement. Not really a question, just an observation. Some schools require 2, some 1, and others seems to have no requirement. Obviously, I'm leaning towards the latter, but I think it's a bad idea to base my decision on this characteristic alone. 5) Funding. As long as there is a tuition waver and some sort of stipend, the actual amount doesn't really matter to me. However, some schools have indicated that the funding doesn't start until the second year. Does this mean I need to pay tuition for the first year? Other schools indicate they fund years 1-4 (with year 5 added in on a conditional basis). Should I be looking for five guaranteed years? Six? Anyone have any idea what is customary here? Any insights or observations would be very helpful during this very confused time. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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