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Any chance to get into funded MA programs?

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I am a junior (international student) at a public ivy league institution, double majoring in math and philosophy, minoring in psychology maintaining a 3.6 overall GPA.

I am contemplating about graduate school in philosophy, but

I have relatively low grades in philosophy - all of my grades in philosophy are A-, and I withdrew from a seminar in ethics this semester.

I have yet to take the GRE, but based on the practice test that I took recently, I am probably going to be in the 315-320 range.

I am wondering at this point, is it still realistic to consider some good funded masters programs in philosophy?

What should I do in the coming semester and in the summer to make my profile more competitive? 

many thanks. 

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1) what is a public ivy league institution??

2) funded masters programs are hard to get but theyre out there (see: http://dailynous.com/2015/11/18/ma-programs-in-philosophy-fund-students/ )

3) some programs are generally unfunded but you can luck out and get random merit funding (my case at the moment)

4) no its definitely not too late just:

-get good grades next term

-perfect your writing sample

-obligatory <dont go into academic philosophy>

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14 hours ago, Prose said:

1) what is a public ivy league institution??

 

A public university judged to have the same standards for and provide the same quality of education as prestigious Ivy League universities.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Ivy

Edited by Cogitodoncrien

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On 12/31/2018 at 10:00 AM, dqz1213dqz said:

I am a junior (international student) at a public ivy league institution, double majoring in math and philosophy, minoring in psychology maintaining a 3.6 overall GPA.

I am contemplating about graduate school in philosophy, but

I have relatively low grades in philosophy - all of my grades in philosophy are A-, and I withdrew from a seminar in ethics this semester.

I have yet to take the GRE, but based on the practice test that I took recently, I am probably going to be in the 315-320 range.

I am wondering at this point, is it still realistic to consider some good funded masters programs in philosophy?

What should I do in the coming semester and in the summer to make my profile more competitive? 

many thanks. 

Hello! I'm a fellow international applicant, who also applied to MA programmes last year. One quick word of advice I'd offer is to really research the costs of living at your targeted institutions and compare this with the typical funding packages that successful applicants receive, and make sure well in advance what kind of funds you'd be expected to contribute yourself. When doing this, keep in mind that full funding at MA programmes tends to be a rarity, and when schools say something like 'successful applicants receive on average scholarships covering X% of tuition', that can often mean that that's the maximum possible funding available (rather than what's averaged out when considering big and small scholarships). Most US students who go to MA programmes, as far as I know, either (i) have some savings set aside, (ii) take out federal loans, or (iii) work part-time on weekends. As you're aware, most international students on a student visa don't have (ii) or (iii) as an option, so make sure to compare expected contributions with your savings well in advance. Anecdotally: I got into Tufts last year and was on the waitlist at GSU, only to discover that MA funding is more limited than I had realized, and had to withdraw my application from both places. So plan in advance so that you don't end up like me!

That said, from what you've said it doesn't sound like getting into MA programmes is unrealistic. On what you can do next semester + in the summer: in addition to what Prose said, try and get together to have some substantial conversation with your philosophy professors - especially your probable letter writers - to realistically assess whether you'd enjoy grad school, and what sort of places would be good for you to look at. They'll know better than us (and probably you) what your standing is. Your writing sample and letters are often the most important parts of your application, and can sometimes offset weaknesses in other areas.

Good luck! :)

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10 hours ago, Kantattheairport said:

Hello! I'm a fellow international applicant, who also applied to MA programmes last year. One quick word of advice I'd offer is to really research the costs of living at your targeted institutions and compare this with the typical funding packages that successful applicants receive, and make sure well in advance what kind of funds you'd be expected to contribute yourself. When doing this, keep in mind that full funding at MA programmes tends to be a rarity, and when schools say something like 'successful applicants receive on average scholarships covering X% of tuition', that can often mean that that's the maximum possible funding available (rather than what's averaged out when considering big and small scholarships). Most US students who go to MA programmes, as far as I know, either (i) have some savings set aside, (ii) take out federal loans, or (iii) work part-time on weekends. As you're aware, most international students on a student visa don't have (ii) or (iii) as an option, so make sure to compare expected contributions with your savings well in advance. Anecdotally: I got into Tufts last year and was on the waitlist at GSU, only to discover that MA funding is more limited than I had realized, and had to withdraw my application from both places. So plan in advance so that you don't end up like me!

That said, from what you've said it doesn't sound like getting into MA programmes is unrealistic. On what you can do next semester + in the summer: in addition to what Prose said, try and get together to have some substantial conversation with your philosophy professors - especially your probable letter writers - to realistically assess whether you'd enjoy grad school, and what sort of places would be good for you to look at. They'll know better than us (and probably you) what your standing is. Your writing sample and letters are often the most important parts of your application, and can sometimes offset weaknesses in other areas.

Good luck! :)

Thank you! This is very help!

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I go to Texas Tech's terminal MA program. The funding is enough to cover rent, groceries, a health cooperative payment, gas, utilities and the tuition remnant left over from the tuition remission. If you want to pursue graduate school in philosophy without taking out a loan, I'd certainly recommend Texas Tech. I live quite comfortably.

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17 hours ago, The_Last_Thylacine said:

I go to Texas Tech's terminal MA program. The funding is enough to cover rent, groceries, a health cooperative payment, gas, utilities and the tuition remnant left over from the tuition remission. If you want to pursue graduate school in philosophy without taking out a loan, I'd certainly recommend Texas Tech. I live quite comfortably.

I’ll definitely look into it! Thank you!

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On 12/30/2018 at 11:28 PM, Prose said:

1) what is a public ivy league institution??

2) funded masters programs are hard to get but theyre out there (see: http://dailynous.com/2015/11/18/ma-programs-in-philosophy-fund-students/ )

3) some programs are generally unfunded but you can luck out and get random merit funding (my case at the moment)

4) no its definitely not too late just:

-get good grades next term

-perfect your writing sample

-obligatory <dont go into academic philosophy>

I was thinking about your suggestion that it is obligatory to not go into academic philosophy. I want to know more about this -  what is the current situation in academic philosophy?  

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41 minutes ago, dqz1213dqz said:

I was thinking about your suggestion that it is obligatory to not go into academic philosophy. I want to know more about this -  what is the current situation in academic philosophy?  

You should definitely not be thinking about applying if you haven't talked to a philosophy professor about this yet. The short of the long is: it's terrible. It's not something you do just because you think it'll be a good thing to do after you graduate, or because you don't know what else to do. Just talk to an actual philosophy professor about it. It's well known how bad the situation is in academic philosophy.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Prose said:

You should definitely not be thinking about applying if you haven't talked to a philosophy professor about this yet. The short of the long is: it's terrible. It's not something you do just because you think it'll be a good thing to do after you graduate, or because you don't know what else to do. Just talk to an actual philosophy professor about it. It's well known how bad the situation is in academic philosophy.

Amen!

It is easy to understate how going to grad school in philosophy can mess up your life. Economically, socially, psychologically, emotionally.... spiritually. Seriously. Many of those who do well don't really do well.

Edited by Duns Eith

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3 hours ago, Prose said:

You should definitely not be thinking about applying if you haven't talked to a philosophy professor about this yet. The short of the long is: it's terrible. It's not something you do just because you think it'll be a good thing to do after you graduate, or because you don't know what else to do. Just talk to an actual philosophy professor about it. It's well known how bad the situation is in academic philosophy.

Thanks for the warning! The professor with whom I talked last semester just informed me that I might have to move to undesirable places if I wish to continue my study, but I will investigate further with other professors next semester. 

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14 hours ago, dqz1213dqz said:

Thanks for the warning! The professor with whom I talked last semester just informed me that I might have to move to undesirable places if I wish to continue my study, but I will investigate further with other professors next semester. 

You will have zero control over where you live for the rest of your life. That's because for every job to which you apply--and you'll be lucky to apply to apply to about 50 TT jobs and 50 non-TT jobs worldwide each year--you will be competing against 650-1200 or so other applicants (although sometimes it's as low as 300, or even just 100 if it's a job that requires you to teach in a language other than English). 

Unfortunately, you probably won't get a TT job at all. Instead, you'll be working for peanuts and no benefits and teaching way too many classes as a visiting assistant professor or adjunct until you decide that enough is enough, and you want a job outside the academy. IIRC the average pay per-course for adjuncts in the US is about $1700 (and remember, adjuncts end up having to teach at several different institutions to get their ten+ courses a year). VAPs are paid much more, but it's still pretty low--from what I've seen, it's about 30k-40kish, for teaching loads that are usually 3-3 or so. The trouble is that those contracts end after a couple of years, and then you have to move again.

That's the obligatory "don't go into academic philosophy" speech. There's nothing wrong with getting a PhD in philosophy (provided it's funded), as long as you're aware of the job prospects. If you decide to do a PhD, just remember that (1) you're not special (you really, really aren't; everyone you're competing against for jobs is more or less every bit as good as you are--that's the tragedy), and (2) you should start planning your exit strategy ASAP. Enjoy your time in grad school, but use it to acquire skills and experiences that are marketable and useful outside university settings.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, maxhgns said:

That's because for every job to which you apply--and you'll be lucky to apply to apply to about 50 TT jobs and 50 non-TT jobs worldwide each year--you will be competing against 650-1200 or so other applicants (although sometimes it's as low as 300, or even just 100 if it's a job that requires you to teach in a language other than English).

Where are you getting the numbers in bold?

By the way, @dqz1213dqz, mxhgns's post is precisely what I'm worried about. The fact that you might get tenure might be more based on social factors than on competence and merit. And a WHOLE lot of luck. And that isn't even the only thing.

There are other problems with academic philosophy aside from poor job prospects and the difficulty of getting hired. It is the explicit and implicit tribalism (analytic vs continental; contemporary vs history; virtue signalling for one's political problem of the day; etc. etc. etc.). The constant infighting within the discipline that isn't just about improving knowledge (everything Leiter-like). The accolades for publication and grants, but not for teaching and improving the lives of students or the public. The utter BS that is some of the publication process. The continued pressure administrations put on the humanities (including, to simply starve the department) which creates precarity even for those who have tenure. Not to mention the enduring power structure that enables people like John Searle and Trent Dougherty, to cite two recent examples.

 

Edited by Duns Eith

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3 hours ago, maxhgns said:

You will have zero control over where you live for the rest of your life. That's because for every job to which you apply--and you'll be lucky to apply to apply to about 50 TT jobs and 50 non-TT jobs worldwide each year--you will be competing against 650-1200 or so other applicants (although sometimes it's as low as 300, or even just 100 if it's a job that requires you to teach in a language other than English). 

Unfortunately, you probably won't get a TT job at all. Instead, you'll be working for peanuts and no benefits and teaching way too many classes as a visiting assistant professor or adjunct until you decide that enough is enough, and you want a job outside the academy. IIRC the average pay per-course for adjuncts in the US is about $1700 (and remember, adjuncts end up having to teach at several different institutions to get their ten+ courses a year). VAPs are paid much more, but it's still pretty low--from what I've seen, it's about 30k-40kish, for teaching loads that are usually 3-3 or so. The trouble is that those contracts end after a couple of years, and then you have to move again.

That's the obligatory "don't go into academic philosophy" speech. There's nothing wrong with getting a PhD in philosophy (provided it's funded), as long as you're aware of the job prospects. If you decide to do a PhD, just remember that (1) you're not special (you really, really aren't; everyone you're competing against for jobs is more or less every bit as good as you are--that's the tragedy), and (2) you should start planning your exit strategy ASAP. Enjoy your time in grad school, but use it to acquire skills and experiences that are marketable and useful outside university settings.

Thank you! This is exactly what I need to know! 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Duns Eith said:

Where are you getting the numbers in bold?

By the way, @dqz1213dqz, mxhgns's post is precisely what I'm worried about. The fact that you might get tenure might be more based on social factors than on competence and merit. And a WHOLE lot of luck. And that isn't even the only thing.

There are other problems with academic philosophy aside from poor job prospects and the difficulty of getting hired. It is the explicit and implicit tribalism (analytic vs continental; contemporary vs history; virtue signalling for one's political problem of the day; etc. etc. etc.). The constant infighting within the discipline that isn't just about improving knowledge (everything Leiter-like). The accolades for publication and grants, but not for teaching and improving the lives of students or the public. The utter BS that is some of the publication process. The continued pressure administrations put on the humanities (including, to simply starve the department) which creates precarity even for those who have tenure. Not to mention the enduring power structure that enables people like John Searle and Trent Dougherty, to cite two recent examples.

 

Thank you! This is daunting to hear, but it is necessary to know!

Edited by dqz1213dqz

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Duns Eith said:

Where are you getting the numbers in bold?,

From my rejection letters these last several years.

 

To be fair, the higher numbers are for Open/Open jobs. But other jobs still get 300+ regularly, and the bulk of the jobs you apply to are open/open, pretty much no matter your AOS.

Edited by maxhgns

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:15 PM, dqz1213dqz said:

I am a junior (international student) at a public ivy league institution, double majoring in math and philosophy, minoring in psychology maintaining a 3.6 overall GPA.

I am contemplating about graduate school in philosophy, but

I have relatively low grades in philosophy - all of my grades in philosophy are A-, and I withdrew from a seminar in ethics this semester.

I have yet to take the GRE, but based on the practice test that I took recently, I am probably going to be in the 315-320 range.

I am wondering at this point, is it still realistic to consider some good funded masters programs in philosophy?

What should I do in the coming semester and in the summer to make my profile more competitive? 

many thanks. 

Unless you absolutely cannot see yourself doing anything other than academic philosophy, you are better off going to grad school for your other major - Math. Your job prospects are going to be drastically better. If math is something you can see yourself doing at the grad or phd level, then go for that. Or, Carnegie Mellon has an amazing philosophy/math/logic grad program, you should look into that. They are very tough to get in but it might be worth it.

PS. Carnegie Mellon's grads get jobs all over the place and not just in academia.

Edited by Moose#@1%$

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