Almaqah Thwn Posted November 11, 2019 Share Posted November 11, 2019 (edited) Alright, let's get this bad boy started. There's been a growing trend, year by year, of increasingly less posts for the NELC departments, which is kind of crappy because this is one of the few places early on where you can actually chat with people in your field that have your same interest, even if you feel like you're competing with each other sometimes. That being said, I'm in a department already and know how crappy the application process can be, so I'd just like to throw some bits of information and encouragement out there: 1. Your statement of purpose is important, but you're not chained to it. I remember spending so much time, cramming every bit of information I could into the statement, and then the professors just remembered nothing about it when I got here. Get someone qualified to look over it, but don't fret too much. 2. If you're in Bible, don't overlook Baylor or UT Austin. Baylor is considered a second-tier school by many, but the department knows you'll be fighting an uphill battle to get a job and their Bible department is exceptional in its preparation of students for jobs afterwards. That being said, they have an about 50% placement upon graduation, which is pretty good (and actually rivals some top tier institutions). As for UT Austin, it's at a crossroads: Hackett and Huehnergard, the former Harvard professors have retired, so they're going to get less students applying. However, they still have swag in the field, because everyone still considers them in light of Hackett and Huehnergard, even if they're retired. That being said, I've heard their stipend can be a little low, but chances are, they might not fill all their slots and you might be able to try negotiating for a better stipend. 3. Don't disqualify yourself before applying. I've met some decent students that could have gotten into higher-tier institutions, but simply didn't apply. Just apply to one at least. Sometimes, you'll be surprised where you get in, or at least wait/short-listed. 4. Also, I know how awful it is, but don't be afraid to take a year to enhance your application or do your own personal studies. Also, don't be afraid to do a masters, if you can find a funded one. Albeit, you may need to do it in a related field, like Jewish Studies or Archaeology. A year can make a ton of difference in your preparedness for a PhD. 5. Yes, the German language requirement is scary, but in reality, most students have to take some German when they arrive at their PhD program anyhow. Depending on the program, too, language exams can get backlogged until before comprehensive exams. So even though it says "Some knowledge of French and German," don't beat yourself up if your German isn't as strong as you wished, very few applicant's German is. Also, finish your dang German exam by the end of the second year of coursework. 6. French is easy. But also, be very conscious about your research field as it may push you to learn other languages you were not initially expecting. If you get too involved in archaeology, you might need to take some Arabic and/or Russian eventually, maybe after dissertation work. Unless your focus is Arabic languages. Then you'll probably take Arabic. Or, if your focus is Russian languages, but then why are you on this post? 7. Never move into an apartment before seeing the place. Bedbugs, crime, and crazy landlords may abound! 8. Yes, it does get easier to email professors. 9. Don't fret if a type or two makes it into your application material, the professors are going to give them a surface examination anyway. You don't want to have dozens, but they know you're human. 10. After you get into a program, you will never come back to this forum, never. Also, I am a darn liar that has too much time on a Sunday afternoon. So, just a few pieces of unsolicited advice. Hope the application process is going well, there's about a month left! Edited November 11, 2019 by Almaqah Thwn Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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