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2020 Rejection Thread

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Just now, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

Rejected from Yale via email. Not too disappointed; the program wasn't a good fit, and I'm not really sure why I applied.

Same. After I submitted the application, I realized I only applied because I had stars in my eyes for faculty members whose primary work isn't even in my AOI. Thus, easier to shrug off my first rejection than I thought it'd be!

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Just now, sisyphushappy said:

Same. After I submitted the application, I realized I only applied because I had stars in my eyes for faculty members whose primary work isn't even in my AOI. Thus, easier to shrug off my first rejection than I thought it'd be!

What's your AOI?

This isn't even the case for me. I think I just applied because it's well-ranked on the PGR, even though I've only heard of a few people there. And because 'Yale' sounds prestigious. 

Edited by Coconuts&Chloroform

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5 minutes ago, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

What's your AOI?

This isn't even the case for me. I think I just applied because it's well-ranked on the PGR, even though I've only heard of a few people there. And because 'Yale' sounds prestigious. 

Social, moral, and political philosophy; additional interests in critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and social epistemology. What are yours?

Edit: and 20th century continental lmao

Edited by sisyphushappy

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4 minutes ago, Ikari Gendo said:

Rejected from Notre Dame. Feels so fucking good to finally hear ANY news.

That's the spirit--we're really in a state of suspended animation here! Here's to hearing any news

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7 hours ago, Ikari Gendo said:

Rejected from Notre Dame. Feels so fucking good to finally hear ANY news.

The first news I get!!!!!!!!! I am so release that I finally get something.

Also reject from Notre Dame, it seems that there is NOtre Dame for me.

0a/1r/7p

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Looks like Pitt HPS has sent out its first round of acceptances. Anyone have any insight as to why they haven't sent out a ton of rejections by now, given that they must have already decided on which applicants did not make it past the 1st cut?

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1 hour ago, 711fanatic said:

Looks like Pitt HPS has sent out its first round of acceptances. Anyone have any insight as to why they haven't sent out a ton of rejections by now, given that they must have already decided on which applicants did not make it past the 1st cut?

guessing here - the acceptances that have gone out seem to be 'unofficial' notices from certain professors, with 'official' offers being sent out later by the administration, so perhaps the rejections need to be 'official' (i.e. from admin) as well

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A word of warning to any future PhD applicants from the Cambridge MPhil: a high pass on the MPhil is not sufficient for getting admitted to any of the top 20 US programs to which you apply. Neither is a distinction.

Source: Personal experience (and in the case of the distinction, experience of others on the course) more sour and raw than raspberries in March 

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1 hour ago, Prob said:

A word of warning to any future PhD applicants from the Cambridge MPhil: a high pass on the MPhil is not sufficient for getting admitted to any of the top 20 US programs to which you apply. Neither is a distinction.

Source: Personal experience (and in the case of the distinction, experience of others on the course) more sour and raw than raspberries in March 

I'm not sure which way to read you here. Do you mean (1) that the departments you've applied to do not accept a high pass as meeting a minimum cutoff (say, a minimum A-/3.7 average in graduate coursework), or that (2) having a high pass or distinction from one of the Cambridge MPhils does not guarantee admission to any of the top 20 program? 

If you mean the latter, one would hope this is already obvious to any applicant, regardless of their pedigree. The received wisdom is that there are no sufficient conditions for admission to graduate programs in philosophy, marks included (though there may be necessary ones, e.g. many Canadian schools expect an A- or better in graduate coursework). See, for example, the comments about GPA in the comment section here: http://dailynous.com/2016/03/24/getting-in-next-time-ought-experiment/ and elsewhere on Daily Nous, Leiter's blog, and the various guides to PhD applications in philosophy. See also various results posts for both fancy places and lower/unranked departments ranked--people with 4.0's are routinely rejected across the board, whether they have a graduate degree or not.

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18 hours ago, Mischief said:

I'm not sure which way to read you here. Do you mean (1) that the departments you've applied to do not accept a high pass as meeting a minimum cutoff (say, a minimum A-/3.7 average in graduate coursework), or that (2) having a high pass or distinction from one of the Cambridge MPhils does not guarantee admission to any of the top 20 program? 

If you mean the latter, one would hope this is already obvious to any applicant, regardless of their pedigree. The received wisdom is that there are no sufficient conditions for admission to graduate programs in philosophy, marks included (though there may be necessary ones, e.g. many Canadian schools expect an A- or better in graduate coursework). See, for example, the comments about GPA in the comment section here: http://dailynous.com/2016/03/24/getting-in-next-time-ought-experiment/ and elsewhere on Daily Nous, Leiter's blog, and the various guides to PhD applications in philosophy. See also various results posts for both fancy places and lower/unranked departments ranked--people with 4.0's are routinely rejected across the board, whether they have a graduate degree or not.

So I think a high pass may very well be below the grade cut-off for some top 20 schools. The conversion is particularly hard for the MPhil because it’s marked differently to other UK master’s degrees, but I think it’s roughly a 3.7.

And yes, I was indulging in a little hyperbole. Of course it’s not going to be sufficient on its own. But I think there was a sense among the grad community when I was there that a high pass would, other things being equal, get you into the mix for top 20 US schools. But, admittedly anecdotal, data seems to suggest otherwise. No one I know who got a high pass has been admitted to a top 20 US program. And I think generally, there is a lack of understanding amongst the non-US students of just how competitive those programs are. I know several people who were admitted from the MPhil to either Oxford or Cambridge with funding for the DPhil/PhD, but admitted to no top 20 US programs. So I just wanted to warn future MPhilers that top US programs are far more competitive than I think is generally acknowledged in the grad community there. And a high pass is no guarantee, all else being equal, that you’ll be in the mix for the top 20 programs.

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22 hours ago, Prob said:

So I think a high pass may very well be below the grade cut-off for some top 20 schools. The conversion is particularly hard for the MPhil because it’s marked differently to other UK master’s degrees, but I think it’s roughly a 3.7.

And yes, I was indulging in a little hyperbole. Of course it’s not going to be sufficient on its own. But I think there was a sense among the grad community when I was there that a high pass would, other things being equal, get you into the mix for top 20 US schools. But, admittedly anecdotal, data seems to suggest otherwise. No one I know who got a high pass has been admitted to a top 20 US program. And I think generally, there is a lack of understanding amongst the non-US students of just how competitive those programs are. I know several people who were admitted from the MPhil to either Oxford or Cambridge with funding for the DPhil/PhD, but admitted to no top 20 US programs. So I just wanted to warn future MPhilers that top US programs are far more competitive than I think is generally acknowledged in the grad community there. And a high pass is no guarantee, all else being equal, that you’ll be in the mix for the top 20 programs.

I think my first post was a bit gruff, I'm sorry.

On the cut-off: this would be a good thing to ask departments about. If this is the case, you are right it should be made obvious to applicants and people advising in your program should be able to talk honestly with students about needing distinction to apply to American schools :(

On being competitive/"getting into the mix": wow, that is a significant difference in success that people ought to be talking about and be able to get some clarity on!

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7 hours ago, Kantattheairport said:

Two quick ones can make it seem worse than it is - don't be disheartened! Even if it doesn't work out this year. :) 

I am not feeling anxious and being super emotional. It is just that all this does not seem very promising :)

Thanks for the sentiment though, much appreciated.

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On 2/25/2020 at 11:43 AM, Mischief said:

I think my first post was a bit gruff, I'm sorry.

On the cut-off: this would be a good thing to ask departments about. If this is the case, you are right it should be made obvious to applicants and people advising in your program should be able to talk honestly with students about needing distinction to apply to American schools :(

On being competitive/"getting into the mix": wow, that is a significant difference in success that people ought to be talking about and be able to get some clarity on!

No don’t worry about it—‘tis the season to be gruff!

I think that most of the UK students on the MPhil don’t apply for US PhDs. I got a high pass. I was advised to apply to (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘a few of the lower ranked ones just in case’ by a professor I (continue to) trust and admire deeply. I’ve had two offers, one from an unranked program and one from a 40-50 program. I’ve been waitlisted for a 30-40 program. I’ve been rejected from five 1-40 programs, and still waiting to hear back from two (although I’m not holding my breath). But in my case, all else might not be equal. I got a pretty low quant score on the GRE (156). But, as far as I can tell, it’s really hard to know what effect this had on my application.

The MPhil intake also expanded the year I started (2016) because of the introduction of means tested master’s loans for UK nationals by the government. So it might be that lots more people who wouldn’t have taken up their offers before (because they didn’t get funding) now take them up with the loan (like I did), but aren’t the stellar top candidates for PhDs (hence the High Pass and not the distinction).

But I just want to warn future MPhils: if you want to get into a top 20 US program, you’re almost definitely going to have to get a distinction.

It’s different for Cambridge undergrads. I know two people who were undergrads at Cambridge while I was there who are now in top 20 programs. Although they got firsts (4.0 GPA), were well supported by staff who were trying to get them into top programs and were *insanely* intelligent people.

Sorry for the long digression rant! It’s just insanely more competitive than I realised and than I think is generally acknowledged. But maybe I just didn’t do my research properly.

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On 2/27/2020 at 6:11 PM, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

Rejected from Stanford. Another unsurprising one since the fit is minimal. I'm now wishing I hadn't spent so much money applying to poor fits just because they're highly-ranked on the PGR.

I think this is a regret commonly felt. It is basically "hey, I wanted to subsidize your program!" They give you a thank you email for your donation (application fee)?

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Hi all,

So far, I've been rejected by: University of Michigan, Arizona State University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison for philosophy PhD entrance. I'm still waiting to hear back from my three remaining hopes. I will share those programs then.

- Waiting game contestant #7528656

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