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Is Chicago MAPH actually BAD


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Got rejected from UChicago's PHD but am currently being considered for the MAPH program. I've read some less than heartening reviews of MAPH on gradcafe, but is it really as poorly received as people seem to indicate? What attracts me to the program is that my research is heavily involved with art, philosophy, and literature and Chicago would allow me to take courses across all these areas. My B.A is in English lit, and I would hope that MAPH would help give me the philosophical and artistic academic background to advance further in my studies/research. I'm hoping to do a very interdisciplinary PHD and I am wondering if this would help set me on the right course or if MAPH is just not well regarded and not worth pursuing. I've been accepted to more traditional english MA programs (NYU and UVA) but not sure if these would be better or worse options given my field of interest. NYU certainly has strong Philosophy faculty, but their english program is seemingly quite rigid, allowing only 2 courses to be taken outside the dpt. of english. UVA is more flexible and certainly a respectable choice but the philosophy faculty is not really anything to jump up and down about.  

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Will you have the opportunity to pursue your interests in an academically stimulating environemnt? Yes

Will you benefit from high quality advising? Depends on who you work with

Is it worth spending 60k plus cost of living so that you can do those things and maybe (but maybe not) have a more successful PhD application next time around? No way in hell

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I have a good friend who attended that program. He liked it - great courses and faculty - but he admitted having attended it with some embarrassment. I asked my adviser about some unfunded MA offers I had received, and he said he didn't know about the ones I had been accepted to (possibly worth accepting, possibly not). He said some are "notorious money making schemes" and used the Chicago program as his example. So, I would give it a solid "no", unless you have some sort of very large fund to draw upon.

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I highly recommend reading the article  Hiding It from the Kids (With Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel) (1999) by Gerald Graff and Andrew Hoberek (former director & assistant director). While it was admittedly written over twenty years ago, I found it really helpful in informing my thinking about the MAPH program as well as constructing strong statements for this round in general.  

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On 3/6/2020 at 12:58 PM, mcc1237 said:

I highly recommend reading the article  Hiding It from the Kids (With Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel) (1999) by Gerald Graff and Andrew Hoberek (former director & assistant director). While it was admittedly written over twenty years ago, I found it really helpful in informing my thinking about the MAPH program as well as constructing strong statements for this round in general.  

Can you elaborate a little?

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