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When to start looking at/for programs?



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I recommend that you focus on being "in the moment" of your first year of graduate school, at least for the fall term. If you focus on getting a sense of the debates driving the historiography of your fields of interest, you will probably start to see certain names (rarely to frequently). From there, you may find intellects that you're drawn to (and repelled by) as well as styles and approaches to the past that resonate. After that, during the spring term, you might start digging deeper into the backgrounds of the historians that piqued your interest.

I urge you to be patient and deliberative your first term--if not the entire year. Your immediate tasks (preparing for the comprehensive exam, your coursework, and the language requirements) should be at least as important to you as getting your ducks in a row to apply for doctoral programs. An emphasis on the immediate tasks will help you develop your skills. In turn, your developing skills will help you to figure out how to assess the merits of doctoral programs and potential advisors.


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I had originally thought of starting looking this spring, after my first term is over, but some people I know in that application season have already started looking, so I was concerned. 

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