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2021 Application Thread


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Just a reminder to everyone who is applying this year. You had a difficult first half of 2020. We, faculty, did too. Grad students did too (many lost summer stipends, many doing international res

Hey folks, I have gotten a bunch of messages since posting my one acceptance, asking about my application process, etc. and I am happy to provide any feedback and answer questions whenever I can (as l

Hey there, I imagine that you must be very disappointed right now. My suggestions are 1. Take some deep breathes. 2. Disconnect from social media/your phone/the internet for a while. 3. Do something t

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14 hours ago, automatic_peas said:

So is it safe to assume all Yale acceptances have been sent out? Welp. 

Did anyone happen to hear approximately how many Yale was looking to admit this year? 

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Just now, HRL said:

Did anyone happen to hear approximately how many Yale was looking to admit this year? 

Their website says they usually enrol 22 students per year. I don't know how many offers they give out. There's 6 acceptances on the results page. Of course not everyone accepted will post on GradCafe, but would be interested to know if anyone accepted is for American History or if those offers have yet to come out 🤷‍♀️

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15 minutes ago, HRL said:

Did anyone happen to hear approximately how many Yale was looking to admit this year? 

 I have heard that Yale was cutting its class by 1/6 for the next six years; if they admit 22 usually that's still a class of 18 or so (though that's assuming 100% yield so idk) 

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6 minutes ago, potatoes999 said:

Does anyone happen to know how many students Northwestern admitted this year? 

I don't, but I'm certainly curious about the answer to this question.  I'd guess probably half the normal number.

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59 minutes ago, potatoes999 said:

Does anyone happen to know how many students Northwestern admitted this year? 

Hi everyone, I'm one of the Northwestern admits. I spoke with one of my POIs last week and was told that the department is expecting a cohort of 8-10 this year.

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58 minutes ago, BJL2021 said:

Hi everyone, I'm one of the Northwestern admits. I spoke with one of my POIs last week and was told that the department is expecting a cohort of 8-10 this year.

Congrats on getting in! I’ll be applying there next year if things don’t work out this year with any PhD offers (I’ll be heading to Cambridge to get my MPhil instead). Hopefully the cohort size will increase again slightly next year. I regret not applying there this year but I was led to believe they might be pausing admissions this year so I applied for Pol Sci there instead but I wish I hadn’t 😂 Do you know how many Americanists they took this year? 

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1 minute ago, scarletwitch said:

Congrats on getting in! I’ll be applying there next year if things don’t work out this year with any PhD offers (I’ll be heading to Cambridge to get my MPhil instead). Hopefully the cohort size will increase again slightly next year. I regret not applying there this year but I was led to believe they might be pausing admissions this year so I applied for Pol Sci there instead but I wish I hadn’t 😂 Do you know how many Americanists they took this year? 

Thank you! It was my top pick, given my specific research area, so I'm thrilled. I'm waiting to hear back from Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin-Madison, and Rutgers. I've been advised to hold off on accepting until I find out about those, but the only other one I think would consider at this point is Michigan. I'm a Europeanist, so I'm not sure about how many Americanists they took. Good luck to you! An MPhil from Cambridge, expense aside, is super exciting and something to be really proud of.

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8 minutes ago, BJL2021 said:

Thank you! It was my top pick, given my specific research area, so I'm thrilled. I'm waiting to hear back from Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin-Madison, and Rutgers. I've been advised to hold off on accepting until I find out about those, but the only other one I think would consider at this point is Michigan. I'm a Europeanist, so I'm not sure about how many Americanists they took. Good luck to you! An MPhil from Cambridge, expense aside, is super exciting and something to be really proud of.

That’s fantastic! 😁 I have a couple of POIs who I previously communicated with at Northwestern in the US field who are really nice and I think would welcome my application in the 2022 cycle - it looks like a great department. Michigan and Wisconsin-Madison are my main hopes now for this cycle due to departmental and POI fit. I know Wisconsin is coming out this week for sure (graduate coordinator said so) and hopefully Michigan won’t be too far behind! 

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4 hours ago, scarletwitch said:

That’s fantastic! 😁 I have a couple of POIs who I previously communicated with at Northwestern in the US field who are really nice and I think would welcome my application in the 2022 cycle - it looks like a great department. Michigan and Wisconsin-Madison are my main hopes now for this cycle due to departmental and POI fit. I know Wisconsin is coming out this week for sure (graduate coordinator said so) and hopefully Michigan won’t be too far behind! 

Yes. Hold off until you hear from all schools.  If you get into Michigan, which has, arguably, one of the best funding packages of ALL PhD programs, you'll want to take it very seriously and mention that you've been accepted at Northwestern.

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1 minute ago, TMP said:

Yes. Hold off until you hear from all schools.  If you get into Michigan, which has, arguably, one of the best funding packages of ALL PhD programs, you'll want to take it very seriously and mention that you've been accepted at Northwestern.

Interesting--everything I've seen on program funding spreadsheets suggests Michigan offers between $20-30K for 5 years. Can anyone say more about this? 

Btw congrats @BJL2021 and everyone who has shared an acceptance so far. Cheers to you all! 

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1 hour ago, coffeehum said:

Interesting--everything I've seen on program funding spreadsheets suggests Michigan offers between $20-30K for 5 years. Can anyone say more about this? 

Btw congrats @BJL2021 and everyone who has shared an acceptance so far. Cheers to you all! 

Something to keep in mind is that the cost of living is a bit less in Washtenaw County than it is in Cook County, though.  $20-30k in Ann Arbor will go a bit further than the $32ish stipend out of Northwestern will in Chicago.

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1 hour ago, coffeehum said:

Interesting--everything I've seen on program funding spreadsheets suggests Michigan offers between $20-30K for 5 years. Can anyone say more about this? 

Btw congrats @BJL2021 and everyone who has shared an acceptance so far. Cheers to you all! 

 

10 minutes ago, TagRendar said:

Something to keep in mind is that the cost of living is a bit less in Washtenaw County than it is in Cook County, though.  $20-30k in Ann Arbor will go a bit further than the $32ish stipend out of Northwestern will in Chicago.

Another thing to keep in mind re: UMich admission/funding is that the program overadmitted its history cohort in the 2019 cycle. This, in addition to the COVID situation, is probably placing financial strain on the department and influencing admits. I don't know how they will end up handling it, perhaps it just means they significantly slash the size of this year's cohort.

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8 hours ago, TMP said:

Yes. Hold off until you hear from all schools.  If you get into Michigan, which has, arguably, one of the best funding packages of ALL PhD programs, you'll want to take it very seriously and mention that you've been accepted at Northwestern.

That's good to know that they have stable funding packages. I'm hoping that even if I don't get in this year due to COVID and not having a masters, I'll get in next year when things are somewhat more "normal" and I'll have my masters. 

I think the message re Northwestern is intended more for @BJL2021 - I didn't apply to Northwestern History this year, but will next year if this cycle is a bust! 

I'm kind of hoping that Michigan will get back to us this week - the past 5 years decisions have always come out 2nd week of February, so feel like this could be the week! 

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13 hours ago, mercuetio said:

Another thing to keep in mind re: UMich admission/funding is that the program overadmitted its history cohort in the 2019 cycle. This, in addition to the COVID situation, is probably placing financial strain on the department and influencing admits. I don't know how they will end up handling it, perhaps it just means they significantly slash the size of this year's cohort.

100%! The department is under a lot of strain from the 2019 cohort, but also because the graduate school has refused to help fund extensions for years 5-7 which means the department is picking up the bill. The last 2 cohorts were cut in half and this upcoming one is cut even further due to funding issues caused by a sudden graduate school change to funding.

 

(Sorry, I have been the bearer of bad news from U-M for quite a while on this forum. I promise I'm a happier person in real life. =p )

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5 hours ago, Tigla said:

100%! The department is under a lot of strain from the 2019 cohort, but also because the graduate school has refused to help fund extensions for years 5-7 which means the department is picking up the bill. The last 2 cohorts were cut in half and this upcoming one is cut even further due to funding issues caused by a sudden graduate school change to funding.

 

(Sorry, I have been the bearer of bad news from U-M for quite a while on this forum. I promise I'm a happier person in real life. =p )

Do you know when Umich will announce results? Also, any idea which subfields are more likely to be read favorably? I heard there were too many Americanists and Europeanists in the last two cycles, not sure how accurate that is. And how many students in total will they take, I'm assuming 4-5 people?

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On 2/6/2021 at 12:31 PM, potatoes999 said:

Does anyone happen to know how many students Northwestern admitted this year? 

The usual cohort size is 12-14, and the break down is typically Americanists ~6-7; Asianists ~1-2; Africanists 1; Europeanists ~2-3; Latin Americanists ~1-2; Medievalists ~1-2. The incoming cohort will be smaller than usual, but not drastically cut down like other programs have done.

The department is either more confident in the capacity of the program or hoping that keeping up similar numbers shows confidence in the program to administration. 😕 For those admitted but are weighing options: if your research is going to involve language training and international research, I advise you to get in touch with your prospective advisor to ask how they/the geographic field is adjusting expectations during the pandemic. There's been some irritation over the "business as usual" and "we can't drop standards" from some corners of the department.

Also, I strongly advise to do a deep dive into local archival holdings in Chicagoland (also research centers--like those at the Newberry Library) to determine if there could be enough in the area to tide you over in the event of the pandemic continuing to affect travel and research into 2022/23. (in fact, everyone should poke around to determine what is available in the immediate vicinity of their potential program. Far too many mid-status grad students [not yet writing] are having to adjust their projects to address the lack of access to materials they said they would consult in their prospectus.)

22 hours ago, TagRendar said:

Something to keep in mind is that the cost of living is a bit less in Washtenaw County than it is in Cook County, though.  $20-30k in Ann Arbor will go a bit further than the $32ish stipend out of Northwestern will in Chicago.

Chicago is significantly more affordable than Ann Arbor when taken holistically (rent, utilities, food, etc)--and there are more neighborhoods you can choose from based on your lifestyle because it isn't built around a university. The stipend is generous enough to live comfortably without roommates. Also, the public transportation is marvelous compared to A2.

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6 hours ago, hibbiejibbies said:

Do you know when Umich will announce results? Also, any idea which subfields are more likely to be read favorably? I heard there were too many Americanists and Europeanists in the last two cycles, not sure how accurate that is. And how many students in total will they take, I'm assuming 4-5 people?

No. No. Americanists and Europeanists have been a high proportion at U-M for quite sometime now, which might change as some profs are retiring in the coming years.

Lastly, numbers are difficult. The joint PhDs and solely graduate funded students did not change (about 5-6) while the dept funded students did change (anywhere between 2 and 6, but this changes almost every convo). The major issue with numbers remains the sudden change at the graduate school. Support for incoming students and precandidates was announced at the expense of candidates, so it is a real toss up at the moment.

Basically, U-M is going through some major structural and financial changes so it is really hard to figure out what is going on besides general trends, even for us on the inside.

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3 hours ago, Tigla said:

No. No. Americanists and Europeanists have been a high proportion at U-M for quite sometime now, which might change as some profs are retiring in the coming years.

Lastly, numbers are difficult. The joint PhDs and solely graduate funded students did not change (about 5-6) while the dept funded students did change (anywhere between 2 and 6, but this changes almost every convo). The major issue with numbers remains the sudden change at the graduate school. Support for incoming students and precandidates was announced at the expense of candidates, so it is a real toss up at the moment.

Basically, U-M is going through some major structural and financial changes so it is really hard to figure out what is going on besides general trends, even for us on the inside.

Based on a conversation with my POI at U-M, it does look like admissions this year will be particularly difficult due to the internal restructuring as @Tiglasays and also due to COVID challenges. 

They said for Americanists, it'll be a struggle to get more than one postwar/modern Americanist admitted this year, which is really tough to hear. They said that next year should hopefully be better so reapplying next year if needs be may be a better proposition. 

Also, it doesn't seem like decisions are imminent - odds are we'll hear back at the end of the month/early March.

Edited by scarletwitch
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