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McMeg

History MA at CU Boulder or PhD at UNC Chapel Hill?

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I was accepted to the history MA program at CU Boulder and the history PhD program at UNC Chapel Hill. I study pre-modern Japanese military history (to put it simply) and either path I take, I intend on pursuing a doctorate, with the ultimate goal of tenure track position down the road. I know in academia, your pedigree does have a (rather unfortunately strong) affect, and graduating from a prestigious university can help stack the cards in your favor for such a competitive job market. Of course, it doesn't guarantee anything, but being fully aware of how unemployable a pre-modern Japanese historian will be, I would like to have as many aces up my sleeve as possible. With that in mind, I've been debating whether or not it would be better to go with the (fully funded) MA program and try for a more renowned school for PhD later on? Or is UNC, as a public Ivy with a strong history program, enough? The stipend isn't fantastic, but it would be great to go straight into a PhD program and avoid the hassle of an MA, funded or not. Both schools have excellent professors who have already agreed to be my advisers. I do feel like I would have a decent chance of getting into UPenn or something once I've gotten an MA (they were impressed by my application, but I'm still lacking in some academic experience, even if I've been living in Japan for the past two years and have a good handful of internships and study abroad under my belt). I'm just not sure if I'd be passing up a perfectly good path for it, though. I'd be grateful for any advice!

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