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Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.75

Philosophy GPA: 3.73

Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences.

Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help.

No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all.

Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.

What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?

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Agh, I think I posted this to the wrong part of the site. I'm a new user and extremely confused as to how to navigate this site.

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1 hour ago, jackb97 said:

Agh, I think I posted this to the wrong part of the site. I'm a new user and extremely confused as to how to navigate this site.

I've gone ahead and moved this to the Philosophy forum for you. In the future, feel free to message me if you've posted in the wrong forum. :)

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On 10/19/2018 at 1:32 PM, jackb97 said:

Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.75

Philosophy GPA: 3.73

Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences.

Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help.

No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all.

Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.

What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?

It's hard to say exactly; the most important components are the strength of your writing sample, your letters, and your grades/GRE scores. Your grades are fine, and your letters sound like they're coming from philosophers who know your work. That's good. Things like volunteer activities or conferences don't matter. If you can take the GRE, you'll be able to apply more widely, which is usually a good idea.

Are you interested in continental philosophy? Some of the PhD programs you mention are more continental (Oregon, Penn State), but the MA programs you're looking at are primarily analytic.

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On 10/19/2018 at 1:32 PM, jackb97 said:

Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.75

Philosophy GPA: 3.73

Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences.

Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help.

No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all.

Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.

What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?

Hi jackb97,

I am glad to hear that you have interest in UMSL. I am currently a graduate student at UMSL. One helpful note about our program is that funding is usually only given to people who take the GRE test. So if you would like to go to UMSL with funding(tuition remission and stipend), I would strongly suggest that you take the GRE. I know of someone who applied and was accepted, but because that individual didn't take the GRE, the individual was not given a full funding package. Also, in regards to the programs at San Fran and LA, there is no official funding that they will give. However, they will typically hire students to work as TAs and such, but they don't offer tuition remission packages that UMSL, NIU, Georgia state, and other programs do. Funding may not be an issue for you, but for many students including myself, funding is important.  I hope this helps you, feel free to ask me specific questions about UMSL if you have any. 

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On 10/19/2018 at 2:32 PM, jackb97 said:

Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.75

Philosophy GPA: 3.73

Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences.

Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help.

No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all.

Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.

What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?

Hey OP, you should definitely consider applying to Brandeis (though I believe they do require GREs). I'm a current MA student, happy to answer questions if you PM me.

Unrelated: I'm SUPER interested in reading your writing sample if you're willing to share!!

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On 10/22/2018 at 1:04 AM, hector549 said:

It's hard to say exactly; the most important components are the strength of your writing sample, your letters, and your grades/GRE scores. Your grades are fine, and your letters sound like they're coming from philosophers who know your work. That's good. Things like volunteer activities or conferences don't matter. If you can take the GRE, you'll be able to apply more widely, which is usually a good idea.

Are you interested in continental philosophy? Some of the PhD programs you mention are more continental (Oregon, Penn State), but the MA programs you're looking at are primarily analytic.

Yeah, that's one of the issues I'm having. I'm interested in BOTH continental and analytic, which makes it quite difficult to pinpoint exactly where I want to go. Cal State LA, according to their site, seems to provide training for both continental and analytic. I mostly intend on pursuing a masters first instead of going straight into a PhD because I'm still trying to decide what exactly I want to focus on.

Happy to hear my grades are in order! I've been told my GPA is good enough for the programs I'm applying to but I'm always stressing about these kinds of things and wanted to get some outside perspective. Thank you very much for responding to my post!

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On 10/23/2018 at 12:06 PM, Kantian Heretic said:

Hi jackb97,

I am glad to hear that you have interest in UMSL. I am currently a graduate student at UMSL. One helpful note about our program is that funding is usually only given to people who take the GRE test. So if you would like to go to UMSL with funding(tuition remission and stipend), I would strongly suggest that you take the GRE. I know of someone who applied and was accepted, but because that individual didn't take the GRE, the individual was not given a full funding package. Also, in regards to the programs at San Fran and LA, there is no official funding that they will give. However, they will typically hire students to work as TAs and such, but they don't offer tuition remission packages that UMSL, NIU, Georgia state, and other programs do. Funding may not be an issue for you, but for many students including myself, funding is important.  I hope this helps you, feel free to ask me specific questions about UMSL if you have any. 

Funding is absolutely important for me, thank you for letting me know. I've been considering applying to NIU as well, both my letter writers recommended I apply for the program. I'll be sure to message you if I have any questions about the program, and thank you for responding to my post!

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On 10/24/2018 at 7:35 PM, Spinozian said:

hi @jackb97

if you've got any sfsu questions hmu.

Sending a message your way now! :) Thank you!

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On 10/26/2018 at 9:09 AM, akraticfanatic said:

Hey OP, you should definitely consider applying to Brandeis (though I believe they do require GREs). I'm a current MA student, happy to answer questions if you PM me.

Unrelated: I'm SUPER interested in reading your writing sample if you're willing to share!!

I am willing to share! It is still a bit of a work in progress but I will make sure to send it your way when it's done.

I was interested in Brandeis, but I've heard that funding can be a bit tricky there. I'll make sure to send a message your way and we can talk!

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Connect four! (four posts in a row)

Don't let the Continental/Analytic divide force your hand. Many good departments have flexibility in both, even if they are not reputed in both. Consequently, you can do a PhD in continental at a high ranked Analytic program if you see faculty who are exceptional in your particular interests (even if not Continental broadly)

 

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You should consider adding VT to your list of MA programs. I'm a second year student there now, and I'm happy to answer any questions that you have. In regards to funding, every person in the program this year is fully funded (tuition plus stipend), and last year all but two students received full funding. I believe we do require the GRE, but I may be wrong. It certainly isn't the most important aspect of the application, but it may be required by the Graduate School. 

As for where you should go for a Masters. As much as it shouldn't be this way, PhD programs do care about the strength of the program you came from. Given that your interests may change, so you can't really say for certain where you want to go for a PhD, I definitely recommend trying to get into the best MA program possible. Coming from a continental undergrad university and being at a highly analytic program now, I feel like it is easier to go from an analytic school to a continental school than vice versa, so if you aren't entirely sure or want to do a combination of both, I recommend going to a strong analytic program.

Best of luck! 

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Two thoughts:

(1) You may have done this already, but if you want a PhD eventually, you may want to look at placement rates, what sort of school each MA places to, etc. (Can confirm what was said about Brandeis at least anecdotally, since I got in there last year and did not get good funding at all, at least not off the bat).

(2) Don't overestimate the "gap time" that an MA will give you to explore interests. For one thing, even a 2-year program goes by fast; before you know it you'll have to produce a thesis and start the application cycle again. Also, your fellow students may not be as much of an "incubating" community, as they will all either be fresh or leaving. Finally, some PhD programs knock a year off if you have an MA; but that could mean (as it does at my institution) that you have to submit both your qualifying papers your first year (and have a year less to decide on your AOS). One of the QPs can be your MA thesis, of course, but there's a gap between MA-level work and PhD-level work, and it could be stress you don't need.

This is, of course, just one point of view, and everyone's different. Personally, I'm glad I didn't do the MA first. Good luck! :)

Edited by Rose-Colored Beetle

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I'm in a similar situation. I've done quite a lot of research on this very subject. From what I've gathered, the vast majority of admissions committees are primarily concerned with your writing sample and your letters. For a masters program I think your grades are solid and will not count against you. I am currently sitting on a 3.0 undergrad gpa and a 3.5 major gpa and am attempting to get into outlying PhD programs not on the PGR. I've also heard from a few admissions committee members that GPA is far less important for masters acceptance. Good luck 

Edited by lth

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On 11/9/2018 at 7:20 AM, TomKatze said:

Hi~

Anyone knows funding information about U of Houston and UWM? Do them provide full funding?

Yes, both UWM and U of H fully fund you, although keep in mind that MA stipends are pretty low--lower than PhD stipends--and may not be sufficient to pay for everything you need.

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