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1 minute ago, potsupotsu said:

Does it have sufficient enough resources to support you in studying Italian history (and possibly language)? I know little to nothing about the program, so I'm sorry if this is a stupid question!

Thankfully, I'm already fluent in Italian, so I'm not too worried about the program not having Italian language. The main thing I want to do at an MA program is learn other languages (French and Latin, most likely German). The main thing I like about this program is that it has great access to archives, and has special training for interpreting these sources. It's also in reach of other countries and their archives, which I could get a stipend to go explore.

The main thing I'm worried about is the price, though.

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1 hour ago, historygeek said:

Thankfully, I'm already fluent in Italian, so I'm not too worried about the program not having Italian language. The main thing I want to do at an MA program is learn other languages (French and Latin, most likely German). The main thing I like about this program is that it has great access to archives, and has special training for interpreting these sources. It's also in reach of other countries and their archives, which I could get a stipend to go explore.

The main thing I'm worried about is the price, though.

That's my concern too; 20% is nice and all, but damn.  If they make me a decent offer though, I'm definitely going.  It fits in perfectly with my research interests and I need to improve my French anyway.  I can pass for French when I speak but my written grammar is atrocious!  😃

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2 hours ago, historygeek said:

It wouldn't be crazy to turn down HiLi, right? I advocate for not paying for grad school, but...

Are you crazy to turn down a cash cow program that looks great on paper, but may not provide you the resources to become the scholar you want to become?

Unless you're independently wealthy, there's no persuasive reason to take it.

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10 hours ago, historygeek said:

It wouldn't be crazy to turn down HiLi, right?

Is it possible to visit some Hili faculty in person and talk with some current students to get more information about this program? Columbia MA programs are indeed really expensive, but there might also be internal funding opportunities out there. (I'm in a different field and doing a PhD, and there are a number of internal funding opportunities for both MA and PhD students, and in the case of PhD students, these internal funding opportunities come on top of the stipend we get) Also, if you already officially accepted the other offer, you might want to think twice before you turn it down for an only partially funded Columbia offer. My impression is that the field is really small and we don't want to burn bridges too early in our career, or ever in our career, unless absolutely necessary...

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18 minutes ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

Is it possible to visit some Hili faculty in person and talk with some current students to get more information about this program? Columbia MA programs are indeed really expensive, but there might also be internal funding opportunities out there. (I'm in a different field and doing a PhD, and there are a number of internal funding opportunities for both MA and PhD students, and in the case of PhD students, these internal funding opportunities come on top of the stipend we get) Also, if you already officially accepted the other offer, you might want to think twice before you turn it down for an only partially funded Columbia offer. My impression is that the field is really small and we don't want to burn bridges too early in our career, or ever in our career, unless absolutely necessary...

A good reason not to accept offers until you've heard back from everywhere. 

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Thanks for the input everyone! I think I was simply just worried that turning down an Ivy that's geographically close to archives, but I feel like turning down a fully funded offer would be even crazier.

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Texas rejections are in. Obviously quite the disappointing application cycle, but you know what? I am in Disneyland. So for the next little bit, I am going to celebrate that I applied, got rejected, and still want to apply again next go-around. Happy weekend everyone!

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I also just realized that doing a one year Masters would pretty much be throwing me back into the PhD application cycle right away, which isn't something that I want to do right now, especially given that my interests are changing. I'm going to go to 'Nova, though the bragging rights for my non-academic family members and friends is really nice! 

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20 minutes ago, historygeek said:

I also just realized that doing a one year Masters would pretty much be throwing me back into the PhD application cycle right away

It's funny, that's one of the appealing things about the program for me!  😃

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14 minutes ago, fortsibut said:

It's funny, that's one of the appealing things about the program for me!  😃

If you want to do a 1 year MA without a gap year after, you're asking your new MA profs to write for you after they've know you for maybe 6 weeks. 

If you want to come out of a 1 year MA with a stronger application, plan on applying the following year. 

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Posted (edited)

General comment here for anyone feeling down about this cycle. It will be OK!! When I was finishing undergrad in 2010,  I applied to 5 prestigious PhD programs with what I thought was a great research topic. It was not a great research topic at all. I was rejected by all 5 schools and then had to tell my letter-writers about my failing in person, and see them on a weekly basis. It was disheartening to say the least. I went home, took a year to think about my future and then ended up applying to an MA program at my state school, which is a great research university, but not a high-prestige school. I got in, and during the program my real interests became much clearer to me. When I finished, I entered the nonprofit sector to work for 4 years, but kept developing my research interests. When I felt I had a new, solid, and more informed topic, I decided to apply to PhD programs. Fast forward to the present moment and I have 3 well-funded offers from departments eager to support a project that I feel extremely passionate about. This is not to brag, but to say that what feels disappointing now may be part of a much larger journey you are on without realizing it. If I had been accepted somewhere right out of college, I know for a fact that I would not have ended up going down a research path that is as rewarding as my current one promises to be. So, chin up! It will be OK! Thanks to everyone for all the insights and support this cycle.

Edited by sickeagle

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On 2/28/2019 at 8:44 AM, OHSP said:

I personally think it's appropriate to cave, email the main POI who interviewed you, and ask when you can expect to hear back--and express your interest, how great it was to speak with them, etc. 

Looks like the wait list for me. I’m happy I got that far, Penn has a small and great program and the faculty I interviewed with were just so great. Looks like it’s Temple for me now! Anyone else going to Temple?

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3 hours ago, telkanuru said:

If you want to do a 1 year MA without a gap year after, you're asking your new MA profs to write for you after they've know you for maybe 6 weeks. 

This was one of my biggest concerns, as well as not having adequate time to fix the mistakes of my first application cycle. I feel like it wouldn't be enough time to get good relationships with professors, language training, writing a really strong thesis, etc. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Inquisition historian said:

Looks like the wait list for me. I’m happy I got that far, Penn has a small and great program and the faculty I interviewed with were just so great. Looks like it’s Temple for me now! Anyone else going to Temple?

Don’t discount Penn yet, though. Some people will be trying to make a decision about schools right up until the April 15 deadline. I’m amongst the terrible people who’ve turned down offers on April 15 (and I know that, at Penn, when I turned down my offer someone else was offered a spot in my place). Ie if you’d prefer Penn over Temple, wait it out for a while, even though it’s painful, because you don’t want to be in a position where you accept Temple then get into Penn etc etc—it just becomes a mess. 

Also, to people weighing multiple offers, try to turn down offers you know you’re not going to accept as soon as you can. If you’re tossing up between two schools even after visit days, get in contact with as many relevant people as you can—grad students, potential committee members etc.

Edited by OHSP

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20 hours ago, telkanuru said:

If you want to do a 1 year MA without a gap year after, you're asking your new MA profs to write for you after they've know you for maybe 6 weeks. 

If you want to come out of a 1 year MA with a stronger application, plan on applying the following year. 

I’m applying for year-long programmes and and never even thought of that issue!

What would everyone recommend doing in the year between the MA and (hopefully) PhD then? Would it be a disadvantage to work somewhere that’s unrelated to history?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, elx said:

I’m applying for year-long programmes and and never even thought of that issue!

What would everyone recommend doing in the year between the MA and (hopefully) PhD then? Would it be a disadvantage to work somewhere that’s unrelated to history?

Since I already have a MA in history with good recs from that school (HiLi is an interdisciplinary MA so I think that'll really add another dimension to my skill set and applications) I'm going to apply to a few schools this fall regardless of whether or not I attend HiLi and use my old recommenders rather than ask someone I've only know for a month or so (which would be a bad idea, as @telkanuru pointed out).  I know that my fall transcript would be done in time to include with the applications so that along with me including the program in my SoP and my goals for doing so will be a solid addition to my applications.  Worst case, I don't get in, waste a few hundred bucks on app fees, and reapply with a much stronger app the next time around.  It doesn't make sense for me to sit out a cycle entirely just because I haven't finished the program yet (especially since it appears that I didn't miss by much at Cornell) but that's probably situation dependent.

If you have a few target schools and a solid application already, I'd think it'd be worth a shot with your fall grades from the program you attend and your past info, but that's really up to you!  I just hate to waste a year if I don't have to, personally.

Edited by fortsibut

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Something that I learned myself very recently: do research and don't get caught up on prestige for MA programs. 

A week after receiving (and accepting) an offer for a full-tuition scholarship for a Masters program (which is very rare), I was accepted into the HiLi program at Columbia with a fellowship. Given that the program was a Columbia program and located in Paris (closer to archives), I began to question if accepting my fully-funded offer was actually the right move. Spoiler alert: it was. The program at Columbia is a year, which would toss me right into the application cycle again with very little time. I also know that my interests are changing, so a two-year program would be better. Another big thing was the money. Even though I got a fellowship, it was only 20%. I would have to pay 80% tuition, living expenses in Paris, relocation costs, and a $1,000 enrollment fee. Even though Columbia is an Ivy, it ultimately wouldn't be worth it to go. 

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After a stressful application season, yesterday I found out I was accepted at UT Austin! As a Latin Americanist, I am ecstatic and just wanted to thank you all for your advice/encouragement throughout the process. 

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18 minutes ago, fordlandia said:

After a stressful application season, yesterday I found out I was accepted at UT Austin! As a Latin Americanist, I am ecstatic and just wanted to thank you all for your advice/encouragement throughout the process. 

How exciting! Congrats!

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10 hours ago, elx said:

I’m applying for year-long programmes and and never even thought of that issue!

What would everyone recommend doing in the year between the MA and (hopefully) PhD then? Would it be a disadvantage to work somewhere that’s unrelated to history?

Just get a job with a salary :) you just need something to tide you over..  Happens all the time!

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, elx said:

Would it be a disadvantage to work somewhere that’s unrelated to history?

No--I honestly think it's a good idea to take a year (or more) away from academia (even if you've already taken time off between undergrad and the MA). Keep up with scholarly conversations, keep thinking about your own research interests, maybe start looking through some comprehensive exam lists (some schools have lists posted online--I'd highly recommend the lists up on the Wisconsin Madison site), etc, but for your own sanity time off can be a good thing. I also found that after time off I was like, yeahhhh I'm ready to go back now. 

Edited by OHSP

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19 hours ago, fordlandia said:

After a stressful application season, yesterday I found out I was accepted at UT Austin! As a Latin Americanist, I am ecstatic and just wanted to thank you all for your advice/encouragement throughout the process. 

Congratulations fellow Latin Americanist! 

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5 hours ago, Inquisition historian said:

Congratulations fellow Latin Americanist! 

Thank you so much! Curious, are you planning on attending Temple?

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Could I have some feedback on this response re: the HiLi program? I want to avoid burning bridges with the school in general. 

I am writing in response to your offer of admission to the Masters in History and Literature at Columbia University. While I was delighted at the offer, I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. 

 

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1 hour ago, historygeek said:

Could I have some feedback on this response re: the HiLi program? I want to avoid burning bridges with the school in general. 

I am writing in response to your offer of admission to the Masters in History and Literature at Columbia University. While I was delighted at the offer, I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. 

 

Similar question to @historygeek - since this is my first application cycle, I'm unfamiliar with how one should let a department know that they are accepting/rejecting an offer. Is there a broader thread that is useful on this subject - the search topic for this particular forum is failing me?

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