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2020 application thread

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7 hours ago, starshiphistory said:

Hi all.

This is a slightly uncomfortable question, but does anyone have any insight to what the environment regarding sexual assault now is at UBC's history department?  I've contacted current grad students to chat about the program in general, but it's a bit of hard subject to bring up and easier I'm sure here, online. In 2015 they had issues -- a grad student assaulted and harassed other students, it took a long time to expel him, and from what I can glean from the media some profs really stuck up for the students but the head of the department (who is now someone else) took awhile to actually do much and possibly deterred students from reporting.

Just ask the students how safe they feel within the department and interacting with others.  Ask how women are treated.

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18 hours ago, historyofsloths said:

Just for some clarity: I'm currently on two waitlists right now and have been in correspondence with both programs and have been assured that I'd receive an update as soon as they have one (said in the positive about being taken off the waitlist). My question is, if everyone accepts their offers, will they contact me to say that they can't offer me admission once they find out or will I have to wait until April 15th?

From my reading of this and personal waitlist experience, they will likely update you before April 15, so long as they know before April 15. 

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So the University of Pittsburgh said that they would be announcing admission & funding decisions around March 15th. I’ve heard nothing from them so far and I really would love any kind of an update but I don’t want to bother them or come off as disrespectful considering all of the chaos going on with the Coronavirus. When would be an appropriate time to reach out about an update, maybe closer to the end of this week or early next week?

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2 hours ago, historyofamanda said:

So the University of Pittsburgh said that they would be announcing admission & funding decisions around March 15th. I’ve heard nothing from them so far and I really would love any kind of an update but I don’t want to bother them or come off as disrespectful considering all of the chaos going on with the Coronavirus. When would be an appropriate time to reach out about an update, maybe closer to the end of this week or early next week?

This is an unique situation because of COVID-19.  Most schools are thinking about how to finish the semester without harm to the student body.  It's a fluid situation and my guess is that when Pitt made the announcement they didn't anticipate that the virus would spread so quickly.  It's a good probability that most departments have delayed decisions until they get a handle on setting requirements for the remainder of the semester first.  At my school, they already extended Spring break past this week until the end of next week, so they can establish online teaching protocols.  My advice is to wait until next week to give them a gentle reminder.  Good luck!

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Ooof. Brown must be doing something right, because we had double the yield we wanted. Those planning on applying for the next few years beware, as the number of slots is going to go down for a little while. 

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32 minutes ago, ltr317 said:

This is an unique situation because of COVID-19.  Most schools are thinking about how to finish the semester without harm to the student body.  It's a fluid situation and my guess is that when Pitt made the announcement they didn't anticipate that the virus would spread so quickly.  It's a good probability that most departments have delayed decisions until they get a handle on setting requirements for the remainder of the semester first.  At my school, they already extended Spring break past this week until the end of next week, so they can establish online teaching protocols.  My advice is to wait until next week to give them a gentle reminder.  Good luck!

Thank you!

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Does anyone have any insight or personal experience with the European History, Politics, and Society MA program at Columbia? Had an interview with the program yesterday that went extremely well.

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11 minutes ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

Does anyone have any insight or personal experience with the European History, Politics, and Society MA program at Columbia? Had an interview with the program yesterday that went extremely well.

Columbia's MA programs fund their PhD programs. I wouldn't expect to get the sort of attention and advising you need to successfully transition into a PhD.

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1 hour ago, psstein said:

Columbia's MA programs fund their PhD programs. I wouldn't expect to get the sort of attention and advising you need to successfully transition into a PhD.

Thanks for your thoughts. The person who interviewed me actually said I should probably expect to receive a significant amount of funding, so I guess I'll wait and see what they offer. This is a standalone program through the European Institute that just offers an MA, no PhD, so I'm guessing that may be why.... 

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6 hours ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

Does anyone have any insight or personal experience with the European History, Politics, and Society MA program at Columbia? Had an interview with the program yesterday that went extremely well.

During my application cycle (2016), this program was send out a ton of emails to faculty at my undergrad asking for "promising students" to submit applications. I had received a few rejections in a row, so my advisor asked me if I wanted to throw my hat in the ring for this and sent them an email inquiring about funding. They replied that they didn't really have any and that tuition/fees were $60k/per year. My advisor politely told them to stop spamming her with a program that would be harmful to her students. 

It's been said before, don't go into debt for an MA. 

Unsure if it's a one year program, but I was also advised to stay away from those. If you're intending to reapply for PhDs, you'd barely start relationships with your professors there before asking them to write recommendation letters. 

A final uplifting comments. I was at my bachelorette part recently, surrounded by 7 other women also pursuing PhDs in various fields (apparently my friends are all nerds). Almost half of the women there got rejected across the board on their first attempt, came back the following year with a stronger application and a better understanding of themselves and the programs to which they were applying. Literally every one of them says that they are so happy they didn't get into some of the places they thought they wanted that first year, because they ultimately ended up exactly where they needed to be. 

Just food for thought.

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18 minutes ago, wluhist16 said:

During my application cycle (2016), this program was send out a ton of emails to faculty at my undergrad asking for "promising students" to submit applications. I had received a few rejections in a row, so my advisor asked me if I wanted to throw my hat in the ring for this and sent them an email inquiring about funding. They replied that they didn't really have any and that tuition/fees were $60k/per year. My advisor politely told them to stop spamming her with a program that would be harmful to her students. 

It's been said before, don't go into debt for an MA. 

Unsure if it's a one year program, but I was also advised to stay away from those. If you're intending to reapply for PhDs, you'd barely start relationships with your professors there before asking them to write recommendation letters. 

A final uplifting comments. I was at my bachelorette part recently, surrounded by 7 other women also pursuing PhDs in various fields (apparently my friends are all nerds). Almost half of the women there got rejected across the board on their first attempt, came back the following year with a stronger application and a better understanding of themselves and the programs to which they were applying. Literally every one of them says that they are so happy they didn't get into some of the places they thought they wanted that first year, because they ultimately ended up exactly where they needed to be. 

Just food for thought.

Maybe the funding situation has changed, but the second portion of your advice really rings true to me. Thank you for the advice.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/18/2020 at 10:45 AM, psstein said:

Columbia's MA programs fund their PhD programs. I wouldn't expect to get the sort of attention and advising you need to successfully transition into a PhD.

Well, that's not entirely true. Anecdotally, I know of a person who did a terminal master's in classics there and enrolled in their PhD program immediately afterwards. From what I understand, the faculty got to know them as a master's student and that gave them a (potentially unfair?) advantage in admissions. Not sure if their rec letters were from the faculty there, but they might have been. I imagine there are other cases like this across the humanities.

That said, I agree you shouldn't do a master's if you can't afford it comfortably, and second the observation that top graduate programs that offer terminal master's degrees tend to assign them secondary importance, which puts the students in a strange position in terms of social and professional networks. But, as I said above, that can be overcome.

Edited by L13

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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 Michigan and will be sending them an email on Monday to check on my status there and to let them know that I've been offered a doctoral position at IU. Fingers crossed that I can make my final decision soon and start my journey to a PhD in the Fall!

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Just rejected from UCSB, but considering the COLA situation, I planned on taking another offer anyways. Congrats to those who were accepted!

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11 hours ago, histori041512 said:

Has anyone decided where they are going yet?

Nope, still waiting to hear from Michigan.

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I'm still waffling. I'm waiting on funding from Portland State (should hear this week) and and between it, UBC, and Simon Fraser. I need to make my decision by Monday though, because of Canadian deadlines.

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Posted (edited)

If a school has yet to notify you and has notified others, can you assume you’re on a waitlist? I’m sick of emailing them and of not knowing what’s going on.

Edited by hajjibaba

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2 hours ago, historyofsloths said:

Nope, still waiting to hear from Michigan.

The grad program lead emailed yesterday to say they are offering students the option to defer to next year with all of their funding. He said it might be a good option for international students to consider. That could potentially get the waitlist moving.

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38 minutes ago, histori041512 said:

The grad program lead emailed yesterday to say they are offering students the option to defer to next year with all of their funding. He said it might be a good option for international students to consider. That could potentially get the waitlist moving.

Oh wow! I wonder how many programs may do that and what that could mean for the next year’s cycle...

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1 hour ago, histori041512 said:

The grad program lead emailed yesterday to say they are offering students the option to defer to next year with all of their funding. He said it might be a good option for international students to consider. That could potentially get the waitlist moving.

Oh wow, I mean, given that they haven't sent me an email saying that I've been rejected, I assumed people were continuing to wait to make a decision, but now that they've sent that out, you're probably right, that may set off the dominoes needed.

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1 hour ago, hajjibaba said:

If a school has yet to notify you and has notified others, can you assume you’re on a waitlist? I’m sick of emailing them and of not knowing what’s going on.

Typically when they've notified people of acceptances they also send out emails to the waitlisters. You're not out until you're out, but it took weeks for UPenn to reject me, so who knows.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, historyofsloths said:

Typically when they've notified people of acceptances they also send out emails to the waitlisters. You're not out until you're out, but it took weeks for UPenn to reject me, so who knows.

Schools can also have unofficial/unannounced waitlists. NYU introduced an official waitlist recently but, before that, people would sometimes receive the news that they'd been waitlisted + an offer of admission as late as April 15. 

Edited by OHSP

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21 hours ago, hajjibaba said:

If a school has yet to notify you and has notified others, can you assume you’re on a waitlist? I’m sick of emailing them and of not knowing what’s going on.

I would assume you're rejected and they just haven't bothered getting around to letting you know, actually. Academia is often casually cruel like that.

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