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results search says someone has heard from northwestern for an interview (history phd)-- can anyone speak to this?

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I tell you this. If you get interviewed, that means you’re probably very high on the list or at the very least, you’re in the running for candidature for your field. That means your app impressed someone (most likely your poi). However, the place I got into and accepted didn’t interview me.

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Eh, not all places interview, and the results reporting doesn't distinguish between a formal process and a PI calling a person up to chat - some like to do this. What it means is that the person in question is interesting to a PI at that school. Nothing more, nothing less.

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10 hours ago, fosgfp said:

results search says someone has heard from northwestern for an interview (history phd)-- can anyone speak to this?

This is not a standard part of the admissions process at NU, as far as History goes.

Edited by AfricanusCrowther

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:31 AM, exitiumax said:

To address your first point, I think you know it's obviously untrue that socioeconomic background plays no role in attaining prestigious awards. You're making a meritocratic argument, which, of course, implies that academic success happens in a vacuum. The opportunity to even get to the position where you are vying for prestigious awards is often derived from prior socioeconomic circumstances (i.e. where you went to school, how much time and energy you can put toward your education, etc.) 

I'm not saying that your socioeconomic status has no bearing on your opportunities in your early life and opportunities for undergraduate admission, but as I said I'm talking about *equally-qualified candidates* (e.g. students from similarly ranked schools with similar GPAs/test scores) applying to graduate programs and awards.  If you have any evidence indicating that there are lingering effects from students' pre-undergrad years that link directly to a higher failure rate in graduate program and/or awards won I'd be interested in seeing it.  I was only speculating about the direct admission process and the information requested by/provided to the program.

I'll concede the point that if you have to work your way through school while dealing with a full time job and family your path will be harder and your grades may suffer, although there was a student in my graduating undergrad class and primary major that did that and ranked right up with me so it's certainly possible to overcome a lot if you have the work ethic.

On 1/11/2019 at 12:57 PM, Sigaba said:

Because academics often try to replicate themselves, members of departmental admissions committees and graduate schools, may read applications with a keen eye for the sublte cues.

What types of cues are you talking about, specifically?  This is interesting.

-----

Sorry, I guess this is getting a bit off topic so I'll stop derailing at this point.  ?

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19 hours ago, TMP said:

Very few, Usually the History of Science programs do.  Don't even worry about them. If you want to look more, go back to last year's thread around this time of the year a year ago.

Only Penn, Hopkins, and MIT interview. All three are tiny programs who want to see how well potential applicants get along with faculty and other graduate students.

1 hour ago, fortsibut said:

What types of cues are you talking about, specifically?  This is interesting.

Often similar academic preparation, similar background, etc.

Edited by psstein

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6 hours ago, fortsibut said:

I'm not saying that your socioeconomic status has no bearing on your opportunities in your early life and opportunities for undergraduate admission, but as I said I'm talking about *equally-qualified candidates* (e.g. students from similarly ranked schools with similar GPAs/test scores) applying to graduate programs and awards.  If you have any evidence indicating that there are lingering effects from students' pre-undergrad years that link directly to a higher failure rate in graduate program and/or awards won I'd be interested in seeing it.  I was only speculating about the direct admission process and the information requested by/provided to the program.

I'll concede the point that if you have to work your way through school while dealing with a full time job and family your path will be harder and your grades may suffer, although there was a student in my graduating undergrad class and primary major that did that and ranked right up with me so it's certainly possible to overcome a lot if you have the work ethic.

What types of cues are you talking about, specifically?  This is interesting.

-----

Sorry, I guess this is getting a bit off topic so I'll stop derailing at this point. 

That you've got the grit just like them.  Can your passion, persistence, and work ethic show themselves in your application? They're looking for deep commitment to the discipline and to work with students who ask similar research questions as they do.  They want to be able to run their graduate seminars and expect their students to enroll and enjoy the questions and readings being engaged. Remember, a significant portion of your exam list readings will be "suggested" by the POI and the rest of the committee.  To make through the grueling process leading up to the exams, the students better enjoy reading and studying many of the works that their professors find valuable.

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10 hours ago, AfricanusCrowther said:

This is not a standard part of the admissions process at NU, as far as History goes.

I just wanted to echo this statement. Interviewing at Northwestern is an exception, not the norm. 

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I'm looking for some advice, preferably from those already attending grad school.

Writing my SOP, I began to realize that the project I am offering for the dissertation is not actually one I would be interested to pursue. By the time I figured this out, it was too late to change it and write a whole new SOP. Without going into too many details, while my SOP talked about a project within early medieval political-culture history, I came to realize that I actually want to study the history of cultural encounters, and that I prefer to do so in the time frame of the higher Middle Ages. IMO it's not a major change, it isn't like I decided that I want to study economic American history, but it is still a change of focus. 

Assuming, hypothetically, that I was to be admitted to one of the programs I applied to, how do you think the program would react to such a change? I am particularly concerned about advising; with my shift of focus, I think I would prefer having as my primary advisor a professor that, though I did mention in my SOP, was not mentioned as the primary potential advisor.

Edited by MARTINt

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3 hours ago, MARTINt said:

I'm looking for some advice, preferably from those already attending grad school.

Writing my SOP, I began to realize that the project I am offering for the dissertation is not actually one I would be interested to pursue. By the time I figured this out, it was too late to change it and write a whole new SOP. Without going into too many details, while my SOP talked about a project within early medieval political-culture history, I came to realize that I actually want to study the history of cultural encounters, and that I prefer to do so in the time frame of the higher Middle Ages. IMO it's not a major change, it isn't like I decided that I want to study economic American history, but it is still a change of focus. 

Assuming, hypothetically, that I was to be admitted to one of the programs I applied to, how do you think the program would react to such a change? I am particularly concerned about advising; with my shift of focus, I think I would prefer having as my primary advisor a professor that, though I did mention in my SOP, was not mentioned as the primary potential advisor.

It's not a problem. The SoP project is rarely the one you pursue in graduate school. I entered grad school wanting to work on early modern Jesuits. I'm currently working on the links between diagnostic technologies and human medical experimentation.

Changing advisors may be a bit more difficult based on program, but that's a program by program assessment.

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19 minutes ago, psstein said:

It's not a problem. The SoP project is rarely the one you pursue in graduate school. I entered grad school wanting to work on early modern Jesuits. I'm currently working on the links between diagnostic technologies and human medical experimentation.

Changing advisors may be a bit more difficult based on program, but that's a program by program assessment.

Thank you.

I applied to Brown, Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton. Does anyone happen to know how would changing advisors be in any of these programs?

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5 hours ago, MARTINt said:

Assuming, hypothetically, that I was to be admitted to one of the programs I applied to, how do you think the program would react to such a change? I am particularly concerned about advising; with my shift of focus, I think I would prefer having as my primary advisor a professor that, though I did mention in my SOP, was not mentioned as the primary potential advisor.

 

You should be all right as long as you can articulate reasons for the transition and those reasons remain more or less constant. However, if you're doing a Diane Chambers (a character in Cheers) you could develop a reputation for being a bit flakey. However, that reputation will go away once you demonstrate your commitment to your new area of specialization.

Perhaps the best way to address the transition is to make the argument that your original focus and your new focus really aren't that different after all. (Although there are examples of historians screwing up such efforts so badly that they set off decades' long historiographical brawls that end up impacting the public perception of eggheads and the Ivory Tower so much so that an orange colored clod ends up winning the American presidency. No pressure on you, though.)

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11 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

You should be all right as long as you can articulate reasons for the transition and those reasons remain more or less constant. However, if you're doing a Diane Chambers (a character in Cheers) you could develop a reputation for being a bit flakey. However, that reputation will go away once you demonstrate your commitment to your new area of specialization.

Perhaps the best way to address the transition is to make the argument that your original focus and your new focus really aren't that different after all. (Although there are examples of historians screwing up such efforts so badly that they set off decades' long historiographical brawls that end up impacting the public perception of eggheads and the Ivory Tower so much so that an orange colored clod ends up winning; the American presidency. No pressure on you, though.)

 

Thank you very much, I think I could pull it off. My SoP proposed the research of political encounters (AKA diplomacy) and their influence on political culture.

However, what the heck did Diane Chambers do?

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7 hours ago, MARTINt said:

Thank you.

I applied to Brown, Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton. Does anyone happen to know how would changing advisors be in any of these programs?

@telkanuru has first hand experience with Brown and Harvard and is a better resource than I would be.

 

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12 hours ago, MARTINt said:

Assuming, hypothetically, that I was to be admitted to one of the programs I applied to, how do you think the program would react to such a change? I am particularly concerned about advising; with my shift of focus, I think I would prefer having as my primary advisor a professor that, though I did mention in my SOP, was not mentioned as the primary potential advisor.

Programs anticipate these changes. The other day an advisor was like "what did you say you were going to do in your SoP again" and then we laughed together about how terrible an idea it was--honestly just worry about these things once you're in the program. You can't know in advance what you're going to end up doing and/or who'll you end up working with, and if the issue is as minor as preferring to work with a person you mentioned by name but didn't specifically mention wanting as the primary advisor, you'll be fine. 

Edited by OHSP

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2 hours ago, OHSP said:

Programs anticipate these changes. The other day an advisor was like "what did you say you were going to do in your SoP again" and then we laughed together about how terrible an idea it was--honestly just worry about these things once you're in the program. You can't know in advance what you're going to end up doing and/or who'll you end up working with, and if the issue is as minor as preferring to work with a person you mentioned by name but didn't specifically mention wanting as the primary advisor, you'll be fine. 

My advisor told me she didn't think the ideas in my SoP would make for a good dissertation while I was choosing between programs. Sometimes they use the SoP solely as a measure of your historical abilities and understanding even without particularly liking the arguments or proposals.

Edited by AfricanusCrowther

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16 hours ago, MARTINt said:

I applied to Brown, Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton. Does anyone happen to know how would changing advisors be in any of these programs?

 

8 hours ago, psstein said:

@telkanuru has first hand experience with Brown and Harvard and is a better resource than I would be.

Did you apply to work with Conant, Kosto, McCormick, and Reimitz, or with Remensnyder, Smail, and Jordan?

As others have said, I don't think anyone's going to care overmuch that your projects change (that's what projects do), but you may have had easier prospects one way or the other, as some of these professors have adjusted the kinds of students they accept with the job market in mind, etc. PM me if you have any questions!

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I'm actually losing it with the whole 'waiting it out' thing. I thought I'd surely get rejected from at least one place by now, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I was so at peace with probably getting rejected from everywhere when I submitted, but the longer I wait the more I think ahhh! No news must be good news, I'm still in the running -- but then, History results are so far and few inbetween on this hellsite's results page that it's a false sense of security, probably. I feel like getting one rejection would give me an understanding of how it's going to affect me (am I going to need a week in bed to mourn? Am I gonna need two pints and then be ok? Am I gonna need alone time, or friend time?) so I'm just constantly on edge. 

anyway - how is everyone else getting along? 

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I have not been particularly stressed out as to whether I'll be admitted or not (I've decided to be zen about that, because there's nothing I can do about it at this stage anyway, whatever is going to happen will happen regardless of whether I drive myself crazy about it or not), but I'm getting incredibly impatient to know what the future holds for me!

I'm sorry you're both so anxious, and I'll spare you the clichéd advice of trying to think about something else, but I hope you find some way to distract/occupy yourself in the coming weeks and find some peace of mind. Also, I wouldn't get too worried about not having heard anything yet, it is my understanding that most History programs don't send out decisions this early. That still leaves us in limbo, but at least we know it's nothing out of the ordinary. I'm hoping to have heard from most schools by mid-February, but that may be a little optimistic.

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2 hours ago, Karou said:

I have not been particularly stressed out as to whether I'll be admitted or not (I've decided to be zen about that, because there's nothing I can do about it at this stage anyway, whatever is going to happen will happen regardless of whether I drive myself crazy about it or not), but I'm getting incredibly impatient to know what the future holds for me!

I'm sorry you're both so anxious, and I'll spare you the clichéd advice of trying to think about something else, but I hope you find some way to distract/occupy yourself in the coming weeks and find some peace of mind. Also, I wouldn't get too worried about not having heard anything yet, it is my understanding that most History programs don't send out decisions this early. That still leaves us in limbo, but at least we know it's nothing out of the ordinary. I'm hoping to have heard from most schools by mid-February, but that may be a little optimistic.

I think early to mid February is a realistic timeline based on the results search for most programs.

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21 hours ago, MrPurple said:

I think early to mid February is a realistic timeline based on the results search for most programs.

Yes, it certainly seems like it! l 'm also accounting for those late rejections that seem to be a thing every year as well, you know, the ones that programs send out weeks after they've sent out their acceptances. Hopefully we won't have to deal with that, because honestly those are just kind of mean.

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51 minutes ago, Karou said:

Yes, it certainly seems like it! l 'm also accounting for those late rejections that seem to be a thing every year as well, you know, the ones that programs send out weeks after they've sent out their acceptances. Hopefully we won't have to deal with that, because honestly those are just kind of mean.

Ah, the stories from people who get their Dec deadline rejection in August are the worst, that must be terrible!

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Just thought I would jump in on the whole "nervously waiting" thing. I've applied to a good number of programs for medieval history--broadly, I'm hoping to study medieval monasticism next year--and somehow the stress levels have been slowly ratcheting up.

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34 minutes ago, joebobthebumbo said:

Just thought I would jump in on the whole "nervously waiting" thing. I've applied to a good number of programs for medieval history--broadly, I'm hoping to study medieval monasticism next year--and somehow the stress levels have been slowly ratcheting up.

Nervously waiting here too! Curious, where have you applied?

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