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On 11/7/2019 at 9:36 AM, telkanuru said:

Eeeh, those grades and GRE would be a pretty immediate desk reject at most places. Grades are one of those things that don't matter except if you don't have them.

Like money 🥴

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I've been taken off the waitlist at Indiana! Just received my formal offer today and I have to say that I'm relieved/emotional/over the moon. I'm going to get a PhD! I'm still on the waitlist at

quite a lot to unpack here. you assume that I’m not using this as a way to put a better application forward next year which is quite a big assumption to make. I’d like to recontextualize: I said I was

sorry but why do you feel the need to be such an asshole about this? the poster didn't get into a program they really wanted to and are upset about the way the rejection was dealt with. sounds perfect

On 11/7/2019 at 9:21 AM, OHSP said:

It's really all about how you sell your project--grades are not so important. Can you be more specific about your research interests? And why not apply to NYU? 

I'm working hard on it. 

 

I did not applied to NYU because the professor I e-mailed from there did not answered me. I'm only applying to schools whose professors answered my e-mails. 

 

My research interests spins towards intelectual History within the Habsburg empire between 1580-1640. Why this timeframe? As my focus is Early Modern Portugal, this period has extreme political importance. Portugal, between 1580-1640, was absorbed into the Spanish empire as one of its autonomous parts (like Catalunia and Holland). My idea is to study political debates held between Portuguese, Luso-Brazilian and Spanish intellectuals in order to legitimate their own points. Portuguese intellectuals rose between 1580-1640 in defense of the Portuguese independence in relation to Spain. Spanish intellectuals, however, responded the Portuguese intellectuals' arguments with their own. Those debates were mostly, as far as I know, on what was a just rulership, the source of legitimation of kings and governments, etc. 

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On 11/8/2019 at 1:34 PM, OHSP said:

Yes, this is correct. To be really honest, I didn't look at the grades. Just wanted to stress the importance of actually having a project (and leading with your project rather than a list of stats). It's not enough to say you focus on x region in y time period. 

I will explain what I pretend to do in my dissertation throughout my SOP.

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On 11/7/2019 at 11:36 AM, telkanuru said:

Eeeh, those grades and GRE would be a pretty immediate desk reject at most places. Grades are one of those things that don't matter except if you don't have them.

Yes, but if my applications do not work within this cycle, I can try again next year. 

 

Update: Just received my TOEFL scores - 103 (25 - Reading; 28 - Listening; 26 - Speaking; 24 - Writing). Do you think that such TOEFL scores could help me about my low GRE scores?

Rice has a minimum of 90 on TOEFL, Notre Dame has a minimum of 80 with at least 23 on the Speaking section.

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I might be wrong, but doesn't TOEFL just measure your English ability? That isn't going to make up for the GRE/grades.

It sounds like you're approaching things the right way in any case. If you are unsuccessful this year, be sure to practice for the GRE so you can retake it before the next application season. When I first took practice tests I did horrifically and really despaired, thinking myself a complete idiot, but a few months of practice fixed up my issues.

Finally, if you have a reason for low grades (like you had to work during your undergrad), mention that in your SOP, but market it as a strength, not a sob story. Some people disagree with this - with good reason, under no circumstances do you want the people reading your application to think that you're trying to guilt them into accepting you - but I didn't have great grades and was pretty honest with the reasons why in my application(s), the majority of which were successful, so it can in some circumstances be beneficial. You mention good MA grades though, so place emphasis on that along with your other strengths & your capacity for original research.

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:48 AM, LucasL said:

Yes, but if my applications do not work within this cycle, I can try again next year. 

 

Update: Just received my TOEFL scores - 103 (25 - Reading; 28 - Listening; 26 - Speaking; 24 - Writing). Do you think that such TOEFL scores could help me about my low GRE scores?

Rice has a minimum of 90 on TOEFL, Notre Dame has a minimum of 80 with at least 23 on the Speaking section.

 

On 11/9/2019 at 2:57 PM, Nicator said:

I might be wrong, but doesn't TOEFL just measure your English ability? That isn't going to make up for the GRE/grades.

No, they are entirely different exams. TOEFL “measures” level of English and GRE “measures” how you reason in English. I took the GRE twice but prepping for GRE helped with TOEFL. Remember the scores are just to pass the graduate school threshold of minimum requirements.

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:36 AM, LucasL said:

 

I did not applied to NYU because the professor I e-mailed from there did not answered me. I'm only applying to schools whose professors answered my e-mails. 

 

I strongly advise against this as a policy--some professors receive an enormous number of emails from prospective students, as well as managing classes, current students, whatever else they have going on in their lives etc. People who did not respond to my emails while I was applying have turned out to be great advisors. Given your interests I would think more carefully about nyu.

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8 minutes ago, OHSP said:

I strongly advise against this as a policy--some professors receive an enormous number of emails from prospective students, as well as managing classes, current students, whatever else they have going on in their lives etc. People who did not respond to my emails while I was applying have turned out to be great advisors. Given your interests I would think more carefully about nyu.

I agree. Some faculty might be on leave or simply busy. You can reach out to them, politely. I'd also suggest contacting the DGS and/or graduate students. The DGS will give you an idea of the program and graduate students will tell you how the program "really" is. 

Additionally, @LucasL from foreigner to foreigner, I would run your e-mails by someone before sending them. I doubt this is the case, but you want to make sure you are writing them according to the way it's done here. I learned the hard way there is a format of formality that professors expect. 

Good luck!

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On 11/11/2019 at 9:04 AM, OHSP said:

I strongly advise against this as a policy--some professors receive an enormous number of emails from prospective students, as well as managing classes, current students, whatever else they have going on in their lives etc. People who did not respond to my emails while I was applying have turned out to be great advisors. Given your interests I would think more carefully about nyu.

@OHSP I have decided to apply a little bit late this year, so only two professors answered my e-mails (the professors I thought would not responding me). If I did not succeed this year, in the next I'll seriously consider take a look at more schools. 

At NYU professor Sibylle Fischer would be a great fit for me.

 

On 11/11/2019 at 9:18 AM, AP said:

I agree. Some faculty might be on leave or simply busy. You can reach out to them, politely. I'd also suggest contacting the DGS and/or graduate students. The DGS will give you an idea of the program and graduate students will tell you how the program "really" is. 

Additionally, @LucasL from foreigner to foreigner, I would run your e-mails by someone before sending them. I doubt this is the case, but you want to make sure you are writing them according to the way it's done here. I learned the hard way there is a format of formality that professors expect. 

Good luck!

@APThank you for the advice!! Actually I'm receiving advice from several people who are already attending graduate schools in the US. My e-mails are being carefully written accordingly with the formal demands that are current in the US. Maybe I did not email professors that would be a perfect fit for me. I confess that I did email professors whose research object is Hispanic American colonial societies. There are not so many professors in the US working with Early Modern Portugal and/or colonial Brazil. 

I'm sure being a foreigner studying in the US is a challenge. Where are you from? 

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Hi all! 

May I ask you another trivial question? At this stage of my application, I am starting to think about how I should format my statement and writing sample. In the document that you upload as your statement, do you put your name on the upper-left corner? I am thinking about naming my documents as "statement / writing sample, my name," is it alright? 

Thank you for your time. Sorry this is really not an interesting question -- just wanted to make sure that I am doing things right! 

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56 minutes ago, anbri said:

Hi all! 

May I ask you another trivial question? At this stage of my application, I am starting to think about how I should format my statement and writing sample. In the document that you upload as your statement, do you put your name on the upper-left corner? I am thinking about naming my documents as "statement / writing sample, my name," is it alright? 

Thank you for your time. Sorry this is really not an interesting question -- just wanted to make sure that I am doing things right! 

Hi, @anbri 

FWIW, I put my name in the upper right corner, with the document type after a colon. Like this. SIGABA: Statement of Purpose. And while I'm neither paranoid nor #OCD, I would number my as Page 1 of x, Page 2 of x, so that readers would understand if pages were missing.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sigaba said:

Hi, @anbri 

FWIW, I put my name in the upper right corner, with the document type after a colon. Like this. SIGABA: Statement of Purpose. And while I'm neither paranoid nor #OCD, I would number my as Page 1 of x, Page 2 of x, so that readers would understand if pages were missing.

 

 

That is very thoughtful. Thank you! 

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:58 PM, LucasL said:

At NYU professor Sibylle Fischer would be a great fit for me.

I think she only has affiliated appointment in history (not even joint or associated). 

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On 11/13/2019 at 8:49 AM, VAZ said:

I think she only has affiliated appointment in history (not even joint or associated). 

Yeah she's in Spanish and Portugese. I think people have her on their committee but I don't know of anyone who has her as their primary advisor. In a SoP you should say you want to work with someone who's in the history department (perhaps stating the obvious). 

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:00 PM, OHSP said:

Yeah she's in Spanish and Portugese. I think people have her on their committee but I don't know of anyone who has her as their primary advisor. In a SoP you should say you want to work with someone who's in the history department (perhaps stating the obvious). 

It's okay to mention but as long as you mention the core faculty first, you're fine.  Departments do like to know that you have identified areas of resources on the campus to help you achieve your goals!

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Hi all, PhD hopeful here applying for programs in Modern British History. Looking to study material culture, general cultural history, history of fashion , history of welfare with a focus on Swinging London.

Applying to:

1) NYU

2) Columbia

3) University of Washington

4) Boston College

5) CU Boulder (master's for this program)

Undergraduate degree in English literature with a minor in British History (including independent study courses with my undergraduate advisor) and study abroad stint at Queen Mary University of London

Intermediate reading level in French, possibly taking summer course in German next year before entrance

Undergrad GPA of 3.83

GRE Verbal 162 and Analytical Writing of 5.0

Research experience for local non-profit analyzing potential historical significance of Denver properties

No thesis experience (graduated in 3 years to save that $$$)

Will have very strong letters with primary letter written by British historian who was my undergrad advisor

I realize that 3/5 of my choices are ultra competitive. Any recs for last minute programs to apply to? I'm only interested in applying to a small numbers of programs with high possibility of funding because of my socioeconomic situation. Thank you!

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5 hours ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

Hi all, PhD hopeful here applying for programs in Modern British History. Looking to study material culture, general cultural history, history of fashion , history of welfare with a focus on Swinging London.

Applying to:

1) NYU

2) Columbia

3) University of Washington

4) Boston College

5) CU Boulder (master's for this program)

Undergraduate degree in English literature with a minor in British History (including independent study courses with my undergraduate advisor) and study abroad stint at Queen Mary University of London

Intermediate reading level in French, possibly taking summer course in German next year before entrance

Undergrad GPA of 3.83

GRE Verbal 162 and Analytical Writing of 5.0

Research experience for local non-profit analyzing potential historical significance of Denver properties

No thesis experience (graduated in 3 years to save that $$$)

Will have very strong letters with primary letter written by British historian who was my undergrad advisor

I realize that 3/5 of my choices are ultra competitive. Any recs for last minute programs to apply to? I'm only interested in applying to a small numbers of programs with high possibility of funding because of my socioeconomic situation. Thank you!

Save yourself the money and time and don't bother with Boston College or Univ. of Washington. I can't speak directly for Washington, but Boston College's outcomes are not good, especially, if like most people, you have a goal of becoming a TT faculty member. Have you considered Duke or Chicago? I recall them having strong faculty in British history, but they may be early modern focused... it's been awhile since I've looked at their faculty. Also check out Hopkins.

About your lack of thesis experience: do you have an appropriate length writing sample that showcases your knowledge of historiography and is driven by primary source research in English and French?

I do have to say that I find a lot of what you're describing very interesting. History of material culture in London alone is a decades-long project. It's great to have a lot of interests-- that said, you'd benefit from some focus. What, specifically, do you want to investigate about cultural history of 1960s London? If you haven't already, I'd strongly recommend reading Roy Porter's history of London. Porter was a bizarre character, as people who knew him told me, but he was a masterful writer and social historian. 

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Seconding @psstein on Washington, but for a different reason—  their British historians are both amazing, but I have heard it is a harder place to study modern European history, which will likely be your major field. I'd still apply, because again, amazing British historians, but it's worth keeping in mind that there won't be as many Europeanists there for you to be in conversation with.

Judith Walkowitz is retired now which makes Hopkins a harder sell. Why not UCSB? Not familiar with the program as a whole, but Erika Rappaport does history of consumption (she just wrote a book on tea) which could fit nicely with material culture. 

Edited by gsc
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15 hours ago, psstein said:

Save yourself the money and time and don't bother with Boston College or Univ. of Washington. I can't speak directly for Washington, but Boston College's outcomes are not good, especially, if like most people, you have a goal of becoming a TT faculty member. Have you considered Duke or Chicago? I recall them having strong faculty in British history, but they may be early modern focused... it's been awhile since I've looked at their faculty. Also check out Hopkins.

About your lack of thesis experience: do you have an appropriate length writing sample that showcases your knowledge of historiography and is driven by primary source research in English and French?

I do have to say that I find a lot of what you're describing very interesting. History of material culture in London alone is a decades-long project. It's great to have a lot of interests-- that said, you'd benefit from some focus. What, specifically, do you want to investigate about cultural history of 1960s London? If you haven't already, I'd strongly recommend reading Roy Porter's history of London. Porter was a bizarre character, as people who knew him told me, but he was a masterful writer and social historian. 

Thanks your your insight! I do have an appropriate length writing sample, but unfortunately not one that includes both English and French sources. I do have a couple of weeks to expand on my sample, however, so a decent rewrite is definitely possible for me.

In terms of cultural history, I do have interest in race and "What is Britishness" on film, i.e. examining film such as Zulu and Zulu Dawn. This is the subject one independent study focused on and actually more or less the topic my writing sample is based in. I've also done some research on broader popular culture on 1960s London, specifically focusing on the program Ready, Steady, Go! I agree that my topics need to be narrowed quite a bit. Hopefully I can make up my mind before applications are due. 😄

I'll check out Roy Porter. On a quick glance, he seems like an incredibly interesting fellow--no doubt much of his work is the same. 

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12 hours ago, gsc said:

Seconding @psstein on Washington, but for a different reason—  their British historians are both amazing, but I have heard it is a harder place to study modern European history, which will likely be your major field. I'd still apply, because again, amazing British historians, but it's worth keeping in mind that there won't be as many Europeanists there for you to be in conversation with.

Judith Walkowitz is retired now which makes Hopkins a harder sell. Why not UCSB? Not familiar with the program as a whole, but Erika Rappaport does history of consumption (she just wrote a book on tea) which could fit nicely with material culture. 

I'm definitely still keeping Washington on my list... after conferring with my POI there, her research is too compelling and relevant to my own. I have felt that it has been hard to find a decent number of schools with British historians related to my interests.

I've apparenty looked at Rappaport's page before, not sure why she dropped off my radar. I think UCSB scared me a bit with "competitive basis" funding, but I'll have to contact the graduate assistant for just how many have received packages.

Thank you for your suggestions!

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8 hours ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

Thanks your your insight! I do have an appropriate length writing sample, but unfortunately not one that includes both English and French sources. I do have a couple of weeks to expand on my sample, however, so a decent rewrite is definitely possible for me.

I am doing precisely this as we speak -- I think it is really important that the writing sample showcases your ability to work with your second or third languages.

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Hi all - 

I'm editing my writing sample atm, and I am trying to decide whether or not to translate the passages and quotes in my thesis to English. The paper itself is in English, but per my department instructions, all quotes were kept in the original language. Any thoughts? 

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It's probably fine either way; what matters is that you demonstrate your ability to work with these sources. I included both translations & the original language(s) in mine as a means of saying "yoohoo, look what I can do" but haven't the foggiest idea whether it actually mattered.

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8 hours ago, DeNovo said:

Hi all - 

I'm editing my writing sample atm, and I am trying to decide whether or not to translate the passages and quotes in my thesis to English. The paper itself is in English, but per my department instructions, all quotes were kept in the original language. Any thoughts? 

You should translate - this is the standard for contemporary academic writing and its bizarre that your department told you not to. If you think it will help showcase your language abilities, you can include the original language in footnotes. But the ability to produce clear translations of the sources you work with is an important skill, and one that should be apparent in your sample.

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