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On 2/24/2020 at 6:28 AM, 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.

This is unlikely. Most philosophy programs have no cutoff for GPA, and will seriously consider any application so long as the GPA isn't anomalous (below ~3.50). The application mostly comes down to the writing sample and the letters of recommendation. GPA doesn't add or detract much from your application, at least for US programs.

*My sources are various professors, some of whom take part in the Leiter rankings, as well as department websites, online blogs, etc. There's some ambiguity over many parts of the application process, but that the writing sample and letters of recommendation are the most important factors is uncontroversial.

Edited by PolPhil
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@originalcoconuts I am glad you are not coming to my department. I like how people are getting shut out and you come on here to whinge about getting into multiple programs. I wish admissions had yeete

Rejected from Baylor via email.  It's an honor to be the first rejected person in this thread. I'm sure you'll hear from me again soon.  

Local philosophy department posts status update - STUNNED applicants cannot believe it. Click the link for this SHOCKING revelation

Rejected from all PhDs, offered two M.A. positions but without funding or insufficient funding opportunities I need to figure out, admitted into one M.A. I applied to but with insufficient funding, and waiting on Georgia State's decision. Really, really hope I get into GSU. The decision should be coming soon.

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40 minutes ago, you'll_never_get_to_heaven said:

Rejected from all PhDs, offered two M.A. positions but without funding or insufficient funding opportunities I need to figure out, admitted into one M.A. I applied to but with insufficient funding, and waiting on Georgia State's decision. Really, really hope I get into GSU. The decision should be coming soon.

That's really tough, I'm sorry to hear you're in this position! If it's any consolation, you'll find that there are a non-negligible number of people on this board (and in the profession) that have been shutout, done an MA, applied again, and had great success.

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16 hours ago, Mischief said:

That's really tough, I'm sorry to hear you're in this position! If it's any consolation, you'll find that there are a non-negligible number of people on this board (and in the profession) that have been shutout, done an MA, applied again, and had great success.

I actually initially planned only on applying to MAs, as one of my advisers suggested. He teaches at his/my alma mater, and said that entering into a PhD program out of a small liberal arts college is difficult, because students from the Ivies, etc. have a more well-rounded background than you and so on. But the chair of my undergraduate dept and a friend who graduated a year after me said that I should definitely apply to PhD programs and that I had a very good chance of getting into my top choice programs. My good friend is currently in her first year in an excellent PhD program and has said she thinks a terminal MA might've been a better decision for her in retrospect. So, I'm not dismayed at the prospect of attending an MA, but I do require better funding than I have been offered as of now. I'm trying to think of ways to negotiate better offers, hopefully I'll get some emails/letters out this weekend. All of the MA offers I've gotten are programs that would be great for me, it's all a matter of money now. 

Edited by you'll_never_get_to_heaven
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Hi to all, new here and long time lurker. Still haven't heard from NYU Columbia or CUNY and am wondering whether I should take that to be rejections at this late stage? Don't have Facebook so it is unclear to me whether all offers are out

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1 hour ago, Beckenbauer said:

Hi to all, new here and long time lurker. Still haven't heard from NYU Columbia or CUNY and am wondering whether I should take that to be rejections at this late stage? Don't have Facebook so it is unclear to me whether all offers are out

Also haven't heard from any of these programs. I don't have much hope for NYU or CUNY anymore, but it looks like many rejections from Columbia are out. So if, like me, you haven't heard from Columbia, then it could be a (moderately) good sign.

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58 minutes ago, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

Also haven't heard from any of these programs. I don't have much hope for NYU or CUNY anymore, but it looks like many rejections from Columbia are out. So if, like me, you haven't heard from Columbia, then it could be a (moderately) good sign.

I haven't heard from Columbia either, but I suspect that those who have already received their rejections are those who, among the rejected applicants, had asked to be considered for the MA program.  The deluge will come later....

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Well, I've officially been rejected from NYU and Columbia. This was a pretty bad applications season. I have three acceptances from my three lowest-ranked schools, but not so much as a waitlist from any of my top 10 schools. I know it silly to complain about this, but given my GRE scores, grades, letters of rec, and pedigree, frankly I expected to do better than this. I'm pretty sure that my writing sample is what sunk me at those programs.

During my MA I have become increasingly bored with formulaic collegiate papers, where the introduction consists of some stupid preview of the sections of the paper (in Section 1, I do this, in Section 2, I do that - is there anything more boring and useless to read?), the body of the paper consists of a taxonomy of 25 different interpretations of the thesis to be criticized, every single sentence is either a definition of a claim or some numbered sentence that's a candidate analysandum for some other sentence (does anyone ever really remember why (3) followed from (17) if (42) is true?), etc. I've been trying to write papers that I like to read. That's not to say that I'm abandoning rigor and writing continental papers now or anything, but I want my papers to succeed as works of prose. I don't want them to be a chore to read. However, it seems pretty clear to me (and this is confirmed by feedback that I've received from one program that rejected me) that the style of my paper made it less appealing than other samples this year. So for future applicants: don't write the writing sample that you want to read. Write the writing sample that the adcom will want to read. Don't submit your best work; submit what you think they think will be your best work. Of course this should be the obvious approach, and I'm kicking myself for not taking it. But I had some naive thought that people would be interested in my personality even where it conflicts with what is currently trendy in philosophy. 

I can't even begin to tell you how upset by all this I am. I had more success in my applications when I applied out of undergrad. I did an MA, and took three years to do so, and during those three years I became jaded with certain aspects of the field in such a way that I'm now less able to give adcoms what they want than I was as an undergrad, because I no longer want what I know they want. When I was fresh out of college I still had the zeal of the newly converted to philosophy, and nothing was cooler to me than writing 'rigorous' papers that aped journal articles I was reading. Now I'm older and philosophy is just my job, and I'm far less convinced that the best way to do philosophy is the way that it's currently done in journals. I should have taken the acceptances that I got back then and allowed myself to become jaded while comfortably funded at a top 10 program, rather than waiting to do even better and letting myself become less zealous about the current state of this discipline.

I'll probably end up at UT Austin or WUSTL, both of which are very good programs. In the end I'm sure I'll be happy where I end up, and able to pursue a fine career in philosophy. This is not the end of the world; getting into the #15 ranked program (or whatever UT Austin is) is pretty darn good. But it's upsetting, because I know I could have done better.  

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4 minutes ago, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

Well, I've officially been rejected from NYU and Columbia. This was a pretty bad applications season. I have three acceptances from my three lowest-ranked schools, but not so much as a waitlist from any of my top 10 schools. I know it silly to complain about this, but given my GRE scores, grades, letters of rec, and pedigree, frankly I expected to do better than this. I'm pretty sure that my writing sample is what sunk me at those programs.

[...]

I'll probably end up at UT Austin or WUSTL, both of which are very good programs. In the end I'm sure I'll be happy where I end up, and able to pursue a fine career in philosophy. This is not the end of the world; getting into the #15 ranked program (or whatever UT Austin is) is pretty darn good. But it's upsetting, because I know I could have done better.  

I was going to say that it was extremely silly and even bad form to complain about all of that, because, after all, I would gladly take your UTA or UMD or WUSTL over mine. But, in all fairness, I have been complaining too for the same reason in bold. I keep kicking myself. But in the end I should just be happy with the fact that I am funded to do what I want in life.

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Just now, Duns Eith said:

I was going to say that it was extremely silly and even bad form to complain about all of that, because, after all, I would gladly take your UTA or UMD or WUSTL over mine. But, in all fairness, I have been complaining too for the same reason in bold. I keep kicking myself. But in the end I should just be happy with the fact that I am funded to do what I want in life.

Yeah, I'll be happy at UT or WUSTL, but in some sense I just definitively lost a competition in a field about which I care a whole lot. If there were national rankings of philosophy students as there are for golfers or tennis players, it seems that I wouldn't be all that high on the list. That's reason to be upset whether or not I'm happy where I end up. I think UT Austin and WUSTL are fantastic programs, and that they're both under-ranked. Still, if you figure that each Top 10 program will have an incoming cohort of about 5, it's clear that I didn't make the Top 50 rankings this year. Anyone with a competitive bone in their body would be upset by that; so, with respect, I don't think it's that silly to complain about this. 

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4 hours ago, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

I can't even begin to tell you how upset by all this I am. I had more success in my applications when I applied out of undergrad. I did an MA, and took three years to do so, and during those three years I became jaded with certain aspects of the field in such a way that I'm now less able to give adcoms what they want than I was as an undergrad, because I no longer want what I know they want. When I was fresh out of college I still had the zeal of the newly converted to philosophy, and nothing was cooler to me than writing 'rigorous' papers that aped journal articles I was reading. Now I'm older and philosophy is just my job, and I'm far less convinced that the best way to do philosophy is the way that it's currently done in journals. I should have taken the acceptances that I got back then and allowed myself to become jaded while comfortably funded at a top 10 program, rather than waiting to do even better and letting myself become less zealous about the current state of this discipline.

So you chose to go to a MA program instead of going to the top-10 program when you applied out of undergrad? I am just curious; you just didn't like the programs that you were accepted back then?

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19 minutes ago, Cocnutshubris said:

@originalcoconuts I am glad you are not coming to my department. I like how people are getting shut out and you come on here to whinge about getting into multiple programs. I wish admissions had yeeted you off this continent. 

😢

I do wish that we could refrain from attacking others here.

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11 hours ago, Cocnutshubris said:

@originalcoconuts I am glad you are not coming to my department. I like how people are getting shut out and you come on here to whinge about getting into multiple programs. I wish admissions had yeeted you off this continent. 

tbh I'm here for this. Like what kind of understanding of the admissions racket must someone have to think admissions is a meritocracy in the first place.

And then what, @Coconuts&Chloroform wanted to be recognized as a super special snowflake for having flouted philosophical norms in the writing sample? Huh? As if norms exist because people valorize not following them, ha. Also, who tf complains about hating mainstream philosophy and then also complains about getting rejected from the most mainstream places there could be, and then also complains about getting admitted to other super mainstream places. Yes, we're all so sorry you get to proceed with a little scratch on your ego. Poor you, that must be really, really hard for you. So, uh, check the entitlement. And don't make a self-pity post about being accepted on a fucking rejection forum when, clearly, you don't know what rejection is.

Edited by Olórin
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17 hours ago, Cocnutshubris said:

@originalcoconuts I am glad you are not coming to my department. I like how people are getting shut out and you come on here to whinge about getting into multiple programs. I wish admissions had yeeted you off this continent. 

Imagine making an account just to say this. I'm glad I won't be at your department, either.

6 hours ago, Olórin said:

tbh I'm here for this. Like what kind of understanding of the admissions racket must someone have to think admissions is a meritocracy in the first place.

And then what, @Coconuts&Chloroform wanted to be recognized as a super special snowflake for having flouted philosophical norms in the writing sample? Huh? As if norms exist because people valorize not following them, ha. Also, who tf complains about hating mainstream philosophy and then also complains about getting rejected from the most mainstream places there could be, and then also complains about getting admitted to other super mainstream places. Yes, we're all so sorry you get to proceed with a little scratch on your ego. Poor you, that must be really, really hard for you. So, uh, check the entitlement. And don't make a self-pity post about being accepted on a fucking rejection forum when, clearly, you don't know what rejection is.

1) That's an immensely uncharitable reading of my post (although it was admittedly a screed written in dejection). What I said is that my writing sample probably failed at certain programs because I flouted certain norms. I thought that people would be open to reading something that was written in a less collegiate style, and that maybe some would find it refreshing. I did not claim that I thought people would be impressed by my iconoclastic radicalism or whatever. 

2) Throughout your reply you suggest that I am complaining about being accepted. No doubt that would be absurd. But I am not doing that. I am complaining about being rejected. At worst, I am complaining about a state of affairs in which I have been both accepted and rejected. This does not imply that I am complaining about being accepted. This inference is fallacious; I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a counterexample to this inference-schema. 

3) Obviously my post was self-centered and is going to just rub that much more salt in the wounds of people who have been shut out. I didn't mean to do that, of course. I can't edit the post now, so it'll remain as a reflection of how I felt immediately after getting rejected from some of my favorite programs. I'm kind of a hot-blooded personality and I tend to react with strong passions immediately after hearing good or bad news. The internet isn't a great place for people like that when the relevant passions are negative ones. It allows you to express those passions to large numbers of people before the passage of time can intervene and return you to a more rational state.

In conclusion I'll just say: rejection sucks for everyone, whether or not you've been rejected to a greater or lesser degree. For the people who have been rejected to a greater degree than I have, I sympathize greatly. Obviously that was never in doubt. But it's entirely appropriate to be pissed about getting rejected even just to a lesser degree. Whether or not my post was a bit much, let's not gatekeep people who have just their dreams denied, whether those be some or all of their dreams. 

Edited by Coconuts&Chloroform
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59 minutes ago, Coconuts&Chloroform said:

Imagine making an account just to say this. I'm glad I won't be at your department, either.

1) That's an immensely uncharitable reading of my post (although it was admittedly a screed written in dejection). What I said is that my writing sample probably failed at certain programs because I flouted certain norms. I thought that people would be open to reading something that was written in a less collegiate style, and that maybe some would find it refreshing. I did not claim that I thought people would be impressed by my iconoclastic radicalism or whatever. 

2) Throughout your reply you suggest that I am complaining about being accepted. No doubt that would be absurd. But I am not doing that. I am complaining about being rejected. At worst, I am complaining about a state of affairs in which I have been both accepted and rejected. This does not imply that I am complaining about being accepted. This inference is fallacious; I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a counterexample to this inference-schema. 

3) Obviously my post was self-centered and is going to just rub that much more salt in the wounds of people who have been shut out. I didn't mean to do that, of course. I can't edit the post now, so it'll remain as a reflection of how I felt immediately after getting rejected from some of my favorite programs. I'm kind of a hot-blooded personality and I tend to react with strong passions immediately after hearing good or bad news. The internet isn't a great place for people like that when the relevant passions are negative ones. It allows you to express those passions to large numbers of people before the passage of time can intervene and return you to a more rational state.

In conclusion I'll just say: rejection sucks for everyone, whether or not you've been rejected to a greater or lesser degree. For the people who have been rejected to a greater degree than I have, I sympathize greatly. Obviously that was never in doubt. But it's entirely appropriate to be pissed about getting rejected even just to a lesser degree. Whether or not my post was a bit much, let's not gatekeep people who have just their dreams denied, whether those be some or all of their dreams. 

Bottom line, I think you gotta just "read the room" or people will get a n g e r y, as a general matter

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