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1 hour ago, AP said:

Yes, your most important task at hand is to do graduate work in Korean history. If you come to a PhD with an MA in a different field, you won't be as competitive, even if it's from Cambridge. From my understanding, that MPhil is British-oriented? or can you tailor it towards your interests? 

As you research doctoral programs, check current graduate students in your fields. Sometimes you can see where they got their degrees, sometimes you can contact them to ask questions informally, and those that are more advanced usually have their own webpages, so you can check their CV. This might help. 

The MPhil isn’t really geared towards one region or another. You are more or less free to research what you want (within reason). Though my dissertation itself is still on British History. Either way, I’ll be applying without much of the work from that degree finished so I’m not sure how much help that will be.

 

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22 hours ago, bakeseal said:

What has been somewhat unclear to me about the news I've seen out of Harvard (I heard they were aiming for 2 or maybe 3 Americanists from their cohort) is whether they are admitting 6 people, or are aiming for a cohort of 6 people. Are schools assuming, due to the competitiveness of apps this year, that almost no one-- or fewer students-- will turn them down?

No, my program at least is aiming for a smaller cohort this year.

I think they're doing this because they want to redirect funding for incoming grad students to dissertation completion fellowships and other forms of financial relief for current grad students, but they've been very tight-lipped about the specifics.

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1 hour ago, telkanuru said:

Not so much a red flag as May Day in Moscow. 

Ugh, tell me about it. The university’s response to the crisis facing its own grad students has been incredibly disappointing.

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Hello everybody I am coming fresh out of my undergraduate studies from a CUNY school this summer and looking to apply for History MA programs. As far as I understand I am late for most college applications for the Fall 2021 season as I only decided to pursue a masters about a week ago but a few still seem available. I've so far been very interested in Columbia's Dual MA/MSc in International and World History with LSE as well as Columbia's European History MA. I don't know much about NYU's MA in History other than that it's still open. If anyone could give me feedback on those programs and tell me about my chances for Columbia and other programs that are still open I'd be super grateful!

Grades
CGPA: 3.2 (Might increase to 3.3 soon b/c of a weird department problem I can't go into and probably over 3.5 by end of the spring)
BA in History GPA: 3.83
BA in English GPA: 3.56

Research Experience
Capstone Thesis: "Dissertation" for a course which criticized academics for embellishing the extent of religious tolerance and cultural assimilation in Medieval Spain.

NYC History Day: Participated in a group research project for the Museum of the City of New York in 2017 about the Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars. The theme was "Taking a Stand" and presented evidence of continental solidarity against Napoleon although this was a High School project.

Non-academic Experience
Congressional Intern: Worked on case files for local constituents on issues such as welfare, immigration, and citizenship acquisition

Potential Research Interests
I don't have a great idea for any of these yet as I have not had the opportunity to actually do research on these but two subjects I feel relatively strongly about but not had the chance to narrow down are:

1. Soviet Influence in the Middle East during the Cold War

2. European Balance of Power and Demographic Shifts during the 19th Century


I personally feel that my research experience is without doubt the weakest part of my CV and I regret not taking more opportunities to do research as I only recently have had the desire to pursue a Masters. Any advice and criticism would be greatly appreciated, especially for getting into Columbia!

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23 hours ago, eh1688 said:

The MPhil isn’t really geared towards one region or another. You are more or less free to research what you want (within reason). Though my dissertation itself is still on British History. Either way, I’ll be applying without much of the work from that degree finished so I’m not sure how much help that will be.

 

This is a good point. However, I'd invite you (and others who are finishing a degree) to think differently about where they are and where they are going.

In your SOP, you basically argue that you have the potential to become a cool scholar. By 'cool' I mean someone that has interesting questions and/or interesting methods. You don't present yourself as the "past" because people that admit you are looking into the future. So, when you outline your research trajectory, the current degree is very much part of that trajectory. I'd dare to say that the master's might be even more relevant than your first degree, because in an advanced degree you usually go deeper into the weeds of historiography and archival research (even digitally). 

I'm not picking on you specifically, @eh1688. For everyone in your position, I would encourage you to outline in the SOP how your current degree is equipping you and what skills, thus, you'd be bringing to PhD program. 

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38 minutes ago, AP said:

This is a good point. However, I'd invite you (and others who are finishing a degree) to think differently about where they are and where they are going.

In your SOP, you basically argue that you have the potential to become a cool scholar. By 'cool' I mean someone that has interesting questions and/or interesting methods. You don't present yourself as the "past" because people that admit you are looking into the future. So, when you outline your research trajectory, the current degree is very much part of that trajectory. I'd dare to say that the master's might be even more relevant than your first degree, because in an advanced degree you usually go deeper into the weeds of historiography and archival research (even digitally). 

I'm not picking on you specifically, @eh1688. For everyone in your position, I would encourage you to outline in the SOP how your current degree is equipping you and what skills, thus, you'd be bringing to PhD program. 

Well that's a good thing in my view. I'm confident that I can write a compelling SOP. My worry is mostly whether I tick the required boxes to get into top programs in the first place (which always exist, for all the importance of the SOP and the writing sample).

(That is to say, my main worry is that not having done a huge amount of previous study (especially at undergraduate) on Korean History will be a disadvantage I can't realistically overcome through doing everything else well, even if I pursue these historical interests more in my MPhil course.)

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2 hours ago, Dabosaurus said:

Hello everybody I am coming fresh out of my undergraduate studies from a CUNY school this summer and looking to apply for History MA programs. As far as I understand I am late for most college applications for the Fall 2021 season as I only decided to pursue a masters about a week ago but a few still seem available. I've so far been very interested in Columbia's Dual MA/MSc in International and World History with LSE as well as Columbia's European History MA. I don't know much about NYU's MA in History other than that it's still open. If anyone could give me feedback on those programs and tell me about my chances for Columbia and other programs that are still open I'd be super grateful!

Grades
CGPA: 3.2 (Might increase to 3.3 soon b/c of a weird department problem I can't go into and probably over 3.5 by end of the spring)
BA in History GPA: 3.83
BA in English GPA: 3.56

Research Experience
Capstone Thesis: "Dissertation" for a course which criticized academics for embellishing the extent of religious tolerance and cultural assimilation in Medieval Spain.

NYC History Day: Participated in a group research project for the Museum of the City of New York in 2017 about the Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars. The theme was "Taking a Stand" and presented evidence of continental solidarity against Napoleon although this was a High School project.

Non-academic Experience
Congressional Intern: Worked on case files for local constituents on issues such as welfare, immigration, and citizenship acquisition

Potential Research Interests
I don't have a great idea for any of these yet as I have not had the opportunity to actually do research on these but two subjects I feel relatively strongly about but not had the chance to narrow down are:

1. Soviet Influence in the Middle East during the Cold War

2. European Balance of Power and Demographic Shifts during the 19th Century


I personally feel that my research experience is without doubt the weakest part of my CV and I regret not taking more opportunities to do research as I only recently have had the desire to pursue a Masters. Any advice and criticism would be greatly appreciated, especially for getting into Columbia!

Unless you've got a huge trust fund, do not go to these MA programs. They are overpriced in their tuition and the cost-of-living in NYC *and* London are ridiculous for graduate students.  Yes, there are scholarships for Columbia/LSE but they are, from what I've seen on these threads, about 50% off.  Still pricey. Not worth going into debt when there are plenty of MAs with better (but competitive) funding.

What are your long term goals?

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46 minutes ago, TMP said:

Unless you've got a huge trust fund, do not go to these MA programs. They are overpriced in their tuition and the cost-of-living in NYC *and* London are ridiculous for graduate students.  Yes, there are scholarships for Columbia/LSE but they are, from what I've seen on these threads, about 50% off.  Still pricey. Not worth going into debt when there are plenty of MAs with better (but competitive) funding.

What are your long term goals?

I'm a little conflicted with my long term goals since I think I would certainly like an academic career and to pursue a PhD, I've heard quite a few stories about how a PhD in history is quite impractical and becoming a tenured professor nigh impossible. Currently my game plan is pursuing a career as a NYC High School teacher however I would not be opposed to taking positions in banking, finance or . I have lived in NYC my whole life so I'm no stranger to the living expenses and have the great fortune of living with parents that own the house that I live in. I probably could afford the cost of these programs without going into severe debt, but I'm definitely not looking to pay as much as these programs want either. What do you think are some good alternatives to these programs?

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Hello everyone! I'm applying for a PhD in history as well. Can anyone speak on what any of these programs are doing to be more diverse? I know Vanderbilt is making some really big pushes, but aside from that I've felt a lot of schools have very hollow diversity messaging. I'm applying to 8 schools and all of them have maybe one or two (if any at all) Black students. I think it's very weird considering all of the buzz around Black history and the ADOS movement. 

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16 hours ago, NoCapMoon said:

Hello everyone! I'm applying for a PhD in history as well. Can anyone speak on what any of these programs are doing to be more diverse? I know Vanderbilt is making some really big pushes, but aside from that I've felt a lot of schools have very hollow diversity messaging. I'm applying to 8 schools and all of them have maybe one or two (if any at all) Black students. I think it's very weird considering all of the buzz around Black history and the ADOS movement. 

This part is actually in the department's control in terms of admissions. It's up to the department to recognize the problem of lack of diversity within and be much more attentive to underrepresented groups in the application pool. The only way to know, for sure, is to contact graduate students (particularly those who are obviously underrepresented) and ask about diversity within the department.  They'll tell you.

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21 hours ago, NoCapMoon said:

Hello everyone! I'm applying for a PhD in history as well. Can anyone speak on what any of these programs are doing to be more diverse? I know Vanderbilt is making some really big pushes, but aside from that I've felt a lot of schools have very hollow diversity messaging. I'm applying to 8 schools and all of them have maybe one or two (if any at all) Black students. I think it's very weird considering all of the buzz around Black history and the ADOS movement. 

I've gotten the best sense of the state of diversity efforts by either directly contacting or simply following current students on Twitter. A lot of students have been quite vocal about the initiatives (or more often, lack thereof...) in that regard as well as in relation to the pandemic and academic jobs crisis. Their honesty has been hard to swallow but so appreciated throughout this application season...

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On 1/19/2021 at 1:32 AM, NoCapMoon said:

Hello everyone! I'm applying for a PhD in history as well. Can anyone speak on what any of these programs are doing to be more diverse? I know Vanderbilt is making some really big pushes, but aside from that I've felt a lot of schools have very hollow diversity messaging. I'm applying to 8 schools and all of them have maybe one or two (if any at all) Black students. I think it's very weird considering all of the buzz around Black history and the ADOS movement. 

This is a good question that you can ask in the interview/admitted students (digital?) weekend. 

Also, diversity is a vast term that different departments might address in different ways depending their audience and their resources. In some departments, their initiatives led to admit and retain students of the LGBTQIA community. In other cases, their commitment might be oriented to admitting students from non-traditional backgrounds (like students who started their education at CCs or that are first gen). In other departments you might find a strong international component and, thus, a robust support system for students whose first language is not English. And some others, as you hinted, might focus on diversifying their student body in terms of racial and ethnic identity.

Ideally, of course, we want all of the above. 

At my graduate institution, initiatives came from the school. There was a diversity office, who would listen to our grievances, several scholarships for the study of race and justice (which typically attract minorities), the library had a dedicated librarian for Af-Am studies, etc. 

In terms of department-wide initiatives, I would suggest (in addition to what you've been suggested) to look at past/future events. Who are they inviting? Who are the recent hires? Who got a prize recently? Why? How do faculty engage in public? Do they write Op-Eds?

 

 

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On 1/20/2021 at 6:40 AM, scarletwitch said:

Does anyone know around when we will start getting decisions back this year? My thinking was that the first couple weeks of February seem likely? Thanks in advance 🙂

Well everything is different this year, but yes, typically February is a busy time, though some decisions will take until March. Generally acceptances are sent out before rejections. This tends to lead people to freak out a little when they haven't heard anything, however, a good bit of advice is to not consider yourself rejected until you have the rejection in hand.

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Hopkins acceptances have gone out. There's a waitlist too, but IDK if waitlisted applicants have been notified yet.

(This is for the history department only. History of science and history of medicine have their own timelines and procedures.)

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On 1/19/2021 at 7:32 PM, NoCapMoon said:

Hello everyone! I'm applying for a PhD in history as well. Can anyone speak on what any of these programs are doing to be more diverse? I know Vanderbilt is making some really big pushes, but aside from that I've felt a lot of schools have very hollow diversity messaging. I'm applying to 8 schools and all of them have maybe one or two (if any at all) Black students. I think it's very weird considering all of the buzz around Black history and the ADOS movement. 

Don't look at messaging, talk to students. What schools are you applying to and what's your field? Don't trust lists of current students to work out who's in the department, they're not always up to date. 

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11 hours ago, scarletwitch said:

Saw on the results a rejection from Berkeley (via email from POI) guess we can expect decisions from them fairly soon!!! 😳😬

I’m not quite sure why that person got an email rejection first but I saw that on the results yesterday - I’m guessing if their POI let them know that most likely the rest of us will be hearing one way or the other in the upcoming week or so. Good luck to all!

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26 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

I’m not quite sure why that person got an email rejection first but I saw that on the results yesterday - I’m guessing if their POI let them know that most likely the rest of us will be hearing one way or the other in the upcoming week or so. Good luck to all!

I saw that yesterday as well, and like you, I'm hoping it means that results will be posted for everyone who applied to Berkeley in the next week or so. It would be really nice to hear back from even just one school at this point!

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48 minutes ago, missamericana said:

I saw that yesterday as well, and like you, I'm hoping it means that results will be posted for everyone who applied to Berkeley in the next week or so. It would be really nice to hear back from even just one school at this point!

Just saw in the public results that someone has received an acceptance email from their POI! So looks like Berkeley is doing their decisions from now onwards! Surprised they’re giving out decisions on a Saturday. Ahh good luck all!! 

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On 1/23/2021 at 9:27 AM, scarletwitch said:

Saw on the results a rejection from Berkeley (via email from POI) guess we can expect decisions from them fairly soon!!! 😳😬

also saw a response (rejection via POI) from Yale. During my interview they said we'd likely hear late feb/early march but maybe there is hope we could all hear sooner.... 

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Just now, automatic_peas said:

also saw a response (rejection via POI) from Yale. During my interview they said we'd likely hear late feb/early march but maybe there is hope we could all hear sooner.... 

I'm guessing so! Maybe it is likely we could hear from POIs we have been in contact with in the next week or early Feb and then get the "official" response later in the month? I don't know what to think but based on results from previous years it looks like Yale acceptances generally come out early-mid Feb, so I guess it's not too wild to imagine we could hear back in the next couple weeks!! 

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What’s likely is that after some initial discussion within their departments some profs have learned they’re not going to be able to accept students this year even though the list of accepted students has not been finalised yet, so they’re starting to send early rejection notices to those applicants they’ve been in touch with/hoping to push for as a courtesy.

It doesn’t mean official acceptance emails are imminent.

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