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52 minutes ago, Oklash said:

Has anyone else heard from SMU? I just got an update about my application status and was offered a visit. But its only made me even more nervous! I will be doubly hurt if i’m rejected after a visit 

SMU does a visit/interview before making their final decisions. You can DM me if you have any questions, but I am not sure how they will handle it this year since it will be on Zoom?

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In at Davis!!! My first English acceptance of this cycle. Really exciting and particularly validating since I was rejected from their program in my last app cycle. I'm so happy! Funding details to com

Anyone else getting this weird message on their pending applications or is it just me? Guessing this is a hint from the adcoms that I should refresh a few more times

I got into my first MA program!!! I know most of y'all are PhD applicants, but this is so huge for me!! I got offered a teaching assistantship for two years!!!! This means I can move out of my parents

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2 hours ago, Oklash said:

Has anyone else heard from SMU? I just got an update about my application status and was offered a visit. But its only made me even more nervous! I will be doubly hurt if i’m rejected after a visit 

I got this update as well. Equally nervous! I wonder how many applicants they invited? PM me if you'd like!

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10 minutes ago, MaoistTowelette said:

That Vanderbilt rejection letter is getting roasted on the results page. 

I didn't think it was that bad--probably the kindest of the three I've received from them. Then again, maybe I'm used to being treated like a rug, so you figure it out.

What did it say?????

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Vanderbilt’s rejection language: Thank you for your interest in our English graduate program. I am sorry to have to inform you that our review of your application and credentials did not lead to a recommendation of admission. If you have applied to more than one Vanderbilt program, you will receive a separate communication regarding your application to each program. The Graduate School at Vanderbilt University receives applications from many outstanding candidates. Unfortunately, limited resources and competition among well-qualified applicants preclude our offering admission to all who seek it. Please know that your application and supporting materials received a close and careful review. Admissions decisions are difficult, both for faculty who review applications and for applicants who await notification. I regret having to send you this disappointing news, but I wish you every success in the pursuit of your educational goals.

Edited by EffervescentMoon
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2 hours ago, Rose234 said:

I got this update as well. Equally nervous! I wonder how many applicants they invited? PM me if you'd like!

They invite roughly 12 people. You can DM me if you have any questions!

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10 hours ago, TheorySchmeory said:

I have to wonder if English grad program admissions committees are more sensitive to the hermeneutics of their rejection letters than committees in other subjects, since they know their recipients will put their letters under the analytical microscope...

Perhaps some are, but I think part of the problem is that it seems many of these rejection letters (like Vandy's) aren't even from the English department, but from the "vice provost for graduate education," and just talk about the graduate school in general recieving many apps. So distant... especially when we put our hearts and souls (and paychecks) into these applications! 

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Yeah, as someone who has gotten a fair number of rejection letters so far, that Vandy letter is pretty typical. There is a lot that is actually rude, cold, and unethical about this process (exorbitant fees, emphasis on institution prestige, LORs, access privilege, etc.), so I feel like the form letters aren't exactly the best place to focus our energies! 

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10 hours ago, EffervescentMoon said:

Vanderbilt’s rejection language: Thank you for your interest in our English graduate program. I am sorry to have to inform you that our review of your application and credentials did not lead to a recommendation of admission. If you have applied to more than one Vanderbilt program, you will receive a separate communication regarding your application to each program. The Graduate School at Vanderbilt University receives applications from many outstanding candidates. Unfortunately, limited resources and competition among well-qualified applicants preclude our offering admission to all who seek it. Please know that your application and supporting materials received a close and careful review. Admissions decisions are difficult, both for faculty who review applications and for applicants who await notification. I regret having to send you this disappointing news, but I wish you every success in the pursuit of your educational goals.

I can see why it is a bit rude. There’s very little consideration for the applicant and their materials. And the entire focus is instead on the committee themselves and thier rather defensive and distant perspective. This letter talks way more about themselves than they do the applicant in particular and yet (!) I don’t even know if this if from the english department?

Not to say that a self centered approach is *wrong,* but in a rejection letter, it’s probably not the best time. This letter also seems incredibly generic and its 2021?! This is one of the first application cycles of its kind and if this is the only part of the letter, the lack of awareness for social circumstances and covid is pretty sus. And I really only say this because I applied to Vandy 3 years ago & this was the exact same letter! You’d think they’d update it a bit given *gestures at everything.*

But anyway, this letter says way more about how “busy and sad” Vanderbilt is and almost nothing about the quality of applicants.

- WE recieve so many applications 

- WE reviewed all materials (even though there were sooo many!)

- WE made a decision 

- YOU are disappointed, but back to ME, because WE do wish you luck. (No seriously we do!) 

And to exemplify: here is cornell’s rejection letter to contrast.

Your application for admission to the Graduate School at Cornell University has been given careful consideration by the Department of Literatures in English.
 
I'm very sorry to say that we are unable to offer you admission to our PhD graduate program for Fall 2021.  This was a very difficult decision.  We received hundreds of applications for very few places in the program, and we've had to turn down an enormous number of talented people with very impressive records, many of whom no doubt will go on to distinguished careers.      
 

This email will serve as your only notification of your application results.  We appreciate your interest in Cornell's Department of Literatures in English and wish you success in your graduate studies.  Thank you for sharing your work with us. We also wish you good health and much support during the ongoing pandemic.

 

It expresses gratitude and then condolences. It also acknowledges the talent of all applicants and seems to genuinely believe in the future success in their careers. I’m not saying you HAVE to do something like this. But this is a rejection letter and the fact that forums like this even exist says a lot about how stressful the process is. A little kindness goes a very long way. 

But idk, it’s not that rude. I just think it leaves a lot to be desired. 

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Is anyone else still waiting to hear back from Notre Dame? I'd assume they won't send waitlists out until after their event if we look historically. That's the last school I'm waiting on now. Since I've only been waitlisted at places, I think I'm going to try to log off from gradcafe until I actually hear concrete news back. I do have notifications on, so if anyone has any questions about UConn or anything just send me a dm. Good luck everyone and congrats to those who are having success this cycle!

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2 hours ago, Oklash said:

I can see why it is a bit rude. There’s very little consideration for the applicant and their materials. And the entire focus is instead on the committee themselves and thier rather defensive and distant perspective. This letter talks way more about themselves than they do the applicant in particular and yet (!) I don’t even know if this if from the english department?

Not to say that a self centered approach is *wrong,* but in a rejection letter, it’s probably not the best time. This letter also seems incredibly generic and its 2021?! This is one of the first application cycles of its kind and if this is the only part of the letter, the lack of awareness for social circumstances and covid is pretty sus. And I really only say this because I applied to Vandy 3 years ago & this was the exact same letter! You’d think they’d update it a bit given *gestures at everything.*

But anyway, this letter says way more about how “busy and sad” Vanderbilt is and almost nothing about the quality of applicants.

- WE recieve so many applications 

- WE reviewed all materials (even though there were sooo many!)

- WE made a decision 

- YOU are disappointed, but back to ME, because WE do wish you luck. (No seriously we do!) 

And to exemplify: here is cornell’s rejection letter to contrast.

Your application for admission to the Graduate School at Cornell University has been given careful consideration by the Department of Literatures in English.
 
I'm very sorry to say that we are unable to offer you admission to our PhD graduate program for Fall 2021.  This was a very difficult decision.  We received hundreds of applications for very few places in the program, and we've had to turn down an enormous number of talented people with very impressive records, many of whom no doubt will go on to distinguished careers.      
 

This email will serve as your only notification of your application results.  We appreciate your interest in Cornell's Department of Literatures in English and wish you success in your graduate studies.  Thank you for sharing your work with us. We also wish you good health and much support during the ongoing pandemic.

 

It expresses gratitude and then condolences. It also acknowledges the talent of all applicants and seems to genuinely believe in the future success in their careers. I’m not saying you HAVE to do something like this. But this is a rejection letter and the fact that forums like this even exist says a lot about how stressful the process is. A little kindness goes a very long way. 

But idk, it’s not that rude. I just think it leaves a lot to be desired. 

I'm glad someone broke this down for me. I didn't feel offended by it--probably because, let's be honest, I'm socially awkward--BUT I did think the writing was trash. And I judged them for that.

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Can anybody confirm the interview from Cornell's comparative literature on the results page?

I am also one of those applicants the program put in suspense. It seems weird that only one interview is posted though, given that they would also send interview requests to those whom they will waitlist and reject eventually. So, I guess, the number of interviews posted should have been a bit higher than one? Or, I am just deceiving myself with the possibility that I am not rejected.

I would appreciate it if anybody can confirm the interview or has an insider knowledge about the program's admissions process.

Good luck to all! 

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hi! i'm the one who posted about the cornell interview. i'm also equally bewildered by the lack of results for cornell comp lit. not sure what this means at all. cornell is also the only program so far who did not flat out reject me? very strange year

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3 hours ago, jjmcgu19 said:

Yeah, as someone who has gotten a fair number of rejection letters so far, that Vandy letter is pretty typical. There is a lot that is actually rude, cold, and unethical about this process (exorbitant fees, emphasis on institution prestige, LORs, access privilege, etc.), so I feel like the form letters aren't exactly the best place to focus our energies! 

As a nontraditional student, I'm learning more and more about the depth of access privilege. It doesn't end with admissions. 

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hi all!

I've been following this thread for a while, but just made an account to ask a question: has anyone been in contact with/ heard anything/ some kind of magic intuition about UCLA's timeline for the English PhD this year? Obviously everyone's been late this year, but I was just wondering if anyone knew of an updated timeline or anything... thanks!

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20 minutes ago, ketacat said:

hi! i'm the one who posted about the cornell interview. i'm also equally bewildered by the lack of results for cornell comp lit. not sure what this means at all. cornell is also the only program so far who did not flat out reject me? very strange year

Wait, were you interviewed by them? Or, just posted one of those "I have not gotten anything" posts on the results page?

Sorry for my lack of understanding. Best of luck to you. 

Edited by Appiah4
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1 minute ago, snorkles said:

As a nontraditional student, I'm learning more and more about the depth of access privilege. It doesn't end with admissions. 

It’s something that is still not only widespread and standard, but even flaunted by so many people, uncritically. 

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8 minutes ago, Appiah4 said:

Wait, were you interviewed by them? Or, just posted one of those "I have not gotten anything" posts on the results page?

Sorry for my lack of understanding. Best of luck to you. 

i was interviewed; they said in an email after that they would be finalizing results soon

Edited by ketacat
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1 minute ago, ketacat said:

i was interviewed by them

Oh cool, congratulations! I am sure, and hope, you'll hear the good news soon.

Did they tell you anything about the admissions process this year, how many people they will admit and whether they interview all the selected candidates? And I wonder if it was a formal interview with the admissions committee or some informal chat about the specifics of your application.

It is interesting that they rejected some of the applicants right away, conducted interviews with some, and still told nothing to some others.

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22 minutes ago, lunchbox said:

hi all!

I've been following this thread for a while, but just made an account to ask a question: has anyone been in contact with/ heard anything/ some kind of magic intuition about UCLA's timeline for the English PhD this year? Obviously everyone's been late this year, but I was just wondering if anyone knew of an updated timeline or anything... thanks!

A department administrator mentioned to me that applicants should be notified by the end of the month, though it was in an email conversation about another topic.

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Hi all, 

I'm new to this forum so just wanted to say a massive congratulations to all of you receiving offers and i have my fingers crossed to all of you awaiting positive news. I am in the latter camp ☺️ I have received quite a few rejections already and the only school I'm still waiting on is Princeton so I am not holding my breath, but I am eager to learn from this cycle and apply again next year. I'm an international student and don't know anyone from the US education system so I'm feeling a bit lost in this whole cycle and am trying to work out where to focus my energies next time. 

I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on... Do you think being an international student has any impact on admissions (positive or negative)? Do you think me not being able to speak/write another language may have an impact? Is there anything else you think I should be aware of when applying again next year?

Just for a bit of context, my background is: 

  • first class undergraduate and master's degrees from good universities (Cambridge and Oxford) 
  • GPA 4.0 equivalent 
  • GRE 95 - 99 percentile (subject and verbal) 
  • 1 publication (not a particularly well known journal!) + no conference presentations 
  • Strong references 
  • Contacted faculty in the schools I applied to and had positive email exchanges r.e. supervision
  • What I think is a well-researched SOP (but I have not had anything to compare it to, as over in the UK our SOPs are more like a thesis proposal) 
  • No facility in foreign languages 

Part of me is wondering whether I am in a position to make a competitive application at all and maybe I should not spend the money, hope and time again next year. I have a full time job and caring responsibilities so the thought of trying to get any more articles published in my spare time is a bit daunting for me.  So I'm so grateful for any of your thoughts! 

Please let me know if this isn't the most appropriate thread for this question - just looking for any insight from those of you who may know the US system better than me. Thank you so much! C

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1 hour ago, carakay said:

Hi all, 

I'm new to this forum so just wanted to say a massive congratulations to all of you receiving offers and i have my fingers crossed to all of you awaiting positive news. I am in the latter camp ☺️ I have received quite a few rejections already and the only school I'm still waiting on is Princeton so I am not holding my breath, but I am eager to learn from this cycle and apply again next year. I'm an international student and don't know anyone from the US education system so I'm feeling a bit lost in this whole cycle and am trying to work out where to focus my energies next time. 

I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on... Do you think being an international student has any impact on admissions (positive or negative)? Do you think me not being able to speak/write another language may have an impact? Is there anything else you think I should be aware of when applying again next year?

Just for a bit of context, my background is: 

  • first class undergraduate and master's degrees from good universities (Cambridge and Oxford) 
  • GPA 4.0 equivalent 
  • GRE 95 - 99 percentile (subject and verbal) 
  • 1 publication (not a particularly well known journal!) + no conference presentations 
  • Strong references 
  • Contacted faculty in the schools I applied to and had positive email exchanges r.e. supervision
  • What I think is a well-researched SOP (but I have not had anything to compare it to, as over in the UK our SOPs are more like a thesis proposal) 
  • No facility in foreign languages 

Part of me is wondering whether I am in a position to make a competitive application at all and maybe I should not spend the money, hope and time again next year. I have a full time job and caring responsibilities so the thought of trying to get any more articles published in my spare time is a bit daunting for me.  So I'm so grateful for any of your thoughts! 

Please let me know if this isn't the most appropriate thread for this question - just looking for any insight from those of you who may know the US system better than me. Thank you so much! C

You seem competitive to me! I wouldn’t give up hope—this seems to have been an unusually intense cycle with schools getting far more applications than usual. From my quite limited experience, international students don’t seem to be at a significant disadvantage, besides a lack of familiarity with the US system (though I’ve heard it may be trickier for international students to get into UC California schools, but don’t quote me on this).  I’d suggest perhaps trading SOPs with someone on here next cycle for feedback (I could probably look at yours) and reading some US examples—in particular I’d recommend making sure you make a pretty specific case for why the department faculty/ resources are a great fit for you. And if you wanted to beef up your CV a bit you could also consider applying to some (virtual) conferences—seems to be less work than publication. Feel free to dm me with any questions! I almost applied to some British programs this year, and was quite overwhelmed by the differences.

Edited by wildsurmise
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2 hours ago, carakay said:

Hi all, 

I'm new to this forum so just wanted to say a massive congratulations to all of you receiving offers and i have my fingers crossed to all of you awaiting positive news. I am in the latter camp ☺️ I have received quite a few rejections already and the only school I'm still waiting on is Princeton so I am not holding my breath, but I am eager to learn from this cycle and apply again next year. I'm an international student and don't know anyone from the US education system so I'm feeling a bit lost in this whole cycle and am trying to work out where to focus my energies next time. 

I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on... Do you think being an international student has any impact on admissions (positive or negative)? Do you think me not being able to speak/write another language may have an impact? Is there anything else you think I should be aware of when applying again next year?

Just for a bit of context, my background is: 

  • first class undergraduate and master's degrees from good universities (Cambridge and Oxford) 
  • GPA 4.0 equivalent 
  • GRE 95 - 99 percentile (subject and verbal) 
  • 1 publication (not a particularly well known journal!) + no conference presentations 
  • Strong references 
  • Contacted faculty in the schools I applied to and had positive email exchanges r.e. supervision
  • What I think is a well-researched SOP (but I have not had anything to compare it to, as over in the UK our SOPs are more like a thesis proposal) 
  • No facility in foreign languages 

Part of me is wondering whether I am in a position to make a competitive application at all and maybe I should not spend the money, hope and time again next year. I have a full time job and caring responsibilities so the thought of trying to get any more articles published in my spare time is a bit daunting for me.  So I'm so grateful for any of your thoughts! 

Please let me know if this isn't the most appropriate thread for this question - just looking for any insight from those of you who may know the US system better than me. Thank you so much! C

What are your interests? I think your application is competitive but it's likely that universities might have felt that they did not think they had someone free who could currently advise you. It's possible that they might have someone free next year and it's also possible that they won't. Unless you're applying in specific subfields, most universities won't require you to have a working knowledge of foreign languages from the start. It is likely that they'll request you to either take a course or test out of a language at some point during the program. I don't think you need to spend time on more publications.

@wildsurmise- I've heard the same things about several California schools as well as some other state universities. I think state schools generally tend to be harder for international students because of how much tuition waivers are for public schools. There is no cost difference in tuition waivers for international student at private schools.

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