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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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7 hours ago, generalstrike said:

Congrats to the Wisconsin admits! Man, with things as tough as they are, getting that letter has got to feel good.

Wondering if all the admit emails from DGS went out yesterday or if there’s still a chance for some of us since there’s only 2 acceptances on the results page? I’m not overly optimistic though.

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46 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

Wondering if all the admit emails from DGS went out yesterday or if there’s still a chance for some of us since there’s only 2 acceptances on the results page? I’m not overly optimistic though.

Not looking good. Much more likely other people accepted are simply not on grad café. 

With Harvard, Wisconsin and Yale basically done, I am only waiting on BU still, which is the university I was least excited about. I also can't afford to take another year out (finished second Master's in September 2020), so this one stings. I have some options in Europe, but unfortunately the funding packages are meagre.

Good luck everyone!

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9 minutes ago, brownrose95 said:

Not looking good. Much more likely other people accepted are simply not on grad café. 

With Harvard, Wisconsin and Yale basically done, I am only waiting on BU still, which is the university I was least excited about. I also can't afford to take another year out (finished second Master's in September 2020), so this one stings. I have some options in Europe, but unfortunately the funding packages are meagre.

Good luck everyone!

Yeah, I’m pretty bummed too. I really find it disappointing how long we have to wait for some official rejections. Berkeley was very good in terms of getting decisions out in a short window. I’m also wishing places had advertised in advance how small their cohort was going to be, similar to the notes provided on the Wisconsin and Berkeley websites. I really wish now I hadn’t applied to so many places as it was really expensive and it looks like none of the PhDs are going to come to fruition. Already planning where I’ll apply for the 2022 cycle. 

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6 hours ago, brownrose95 said:

Not looking good. Much more likely other people accepted are simply not on grad café. 

With Harvard, Wisconsin and Yale basically done, I am only waiting on BU still, which is the university I was least excited about. I also can't afford to take another year out (finished second Master's in September 2020), so this one stings. I have some options in Europe, but unfortunately the funding packages are meagre.

Good luck everyone!

do we know that the harvard admits have been notified? just saw a rejection and waitlist in the results.

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12 minutes ago, beorn1968 said:

do we know that the harvard admits have been notified? just saw a rejection and waitlist in the results.

It could of course be someone messing around with rejection/waitlist, but if the waitlist notification were true, it would make no sense for Harvard to not have notified those admitted. Moreover, with such a small class of admitted History PhDs, it would make sense none of them would be on here. I think someone delved deeper into this earlier in the thread.

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Just now, brownrose95 said:

It could of course be someone messing around with rejection/waitlist, but if the waitlist was true, it would make no sense for Harvard to not have notified those admitted. Moreover, with such a small class of admitted History PhDs, it would make sense none of them would be on here. I think someone delved deeper into this earlier in the thread.

oh sorry missed it. keep fighting and solidarity

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Just got official rejection from Wisconsin...this cycle is brutal 😞 no hope for the rest, so already planning for next year. Hoping that having an MPhil from Cambridge will make my application more competitive next cycle.
 

What do people think is going to happen in terms of certain schools keeping the GRE optional or not required for the 2022 cycle? There’s at least 10 I know I want to apply to next year which don’t require the GRE at all but a further 8 which made GRE optional or didn’t require it this cycle. 

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22 hours ago, scarletwitch said:

Feel like Princeton will probably be this week - historically it’s always been second week of Feb and their own website says mid-February for decisions, so Thurs or Fri would be a good guess? 

Also waiting for this.... but thinking it will be monday/tuesday of the following week (as frustrating as the wait may be). Art history seems to always get notified ahead of history admits, and the former have not come out yet.

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56 minutes ago, thisisnew said:

Also waiting for this.... but thinking it will be monday/tuesday of the following week (as frustrating as the wait may be). Art history seems to always get notified ahead of history admits, and the former have not come out yet.

I think someone in the art history forum reached out to a Princeton administrator who said that results are not expected until late Feb/early March, so it might be a while longer...

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1 minute ago, tulips23 said:

I think someone in the art history forum reached out to a Princeton administrator who said that results are not expected until late Feb/early March, so it might be a while longer...

Princeton’s website for history says mid-February, so I think it’ll be this week or next, but of course for me it’ll be another rejection. 

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40 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

What do people think is going to happen in terms of certain schools keeping the GRE optional or not required for the 2022 cycle?

Seems the general trend the last few years has been to eliminate the requirement, but my guess is that some schools will still want it.

My scores expire this year – will add that one to the "reasons to not bother applying next year" column. First in that column is that I really feel like we got played with these ridiculously small cohort numbers, about which there was very little transparency. True, a few schools – a few – warned about reduced cohort size before applications were due, but even then, did anybody here really think that meant *five people*?   

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2 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

Two rejections in one day... (and possibly more to come) have officially given up hope for this cycle! And now am even starting to feel pessimistic about my chances for the next cycle despite the fact I’ll be working on my masters... 😔

I'm sorry, I know this is such a demoralizing and difficult period. Just remember it only takes one good fit, there are more to come, and there is completely no reason to rule out anything next year. Don't give up hope--you seem passionate and enthusiastic, and things will work out one way or another. I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

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5 minutes ago, generalstrike said:

Seems the general trend the last few years has been to eliminate the requirement, but my guess is that some schools will still want it.

My scores expire this year – will add that one to the "reasons to not bother applying next year" column. First in that column is that I really feel like we got played with these ridiculously small cohort numbers, about which there was very little transparency. True, a few schools – a few – warned about reduced cohort size before applications were due, but even then, did anybody here really think that meant *five people*?   

Ok, well most likely I’ll reach out to some places this Spring which made it optional or not required this year to see what their plans are for next cycle. Definitely agree with you on the cohort size transparency - definitely would not have applied to so many places this year if I had known that information. Sigh. Really hoping next cycle will be somewhat more “normal.”

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9 minutes ago, tulips23 said:

I think someone in the art history forum reached out to a Princeton administrator who said that results are not expected until late Feb/early March, so it might be a while longer...

Just popping in to note that there is not a connection between the Princeton history and art history departments, so the decision time of one is not related to the other. (I'm sorry I have no other insight into when Princeton's decisions will be out!)

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5 minutes ago, tulips23 said:

I'm sorry, I know this is such a demoralizing and difficult period. Just remember it only takes one good fit, there are more to come, and there is completely no reason to rule out anything next year. Don't give up hope--you seem passionate and enthusiastic, and things will work out one way or another. I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

Thanks for this - I’m fairly sure I’ll have to go through another cycle to get accepted but c’est la vie! 

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2 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

Thanks for this - I’m fairly sure I’ll have to go through another cycle to get accepted but c’est la vie! 

If it helps, I am three years out of my MA and this is my second cycle applying before getting in anywhere! I think that applying multiple cycles allows you to really refine your research ideas and thus your application. I did some things differently this year that I think really helped me to make a better impression! I fully understand how much it sucks to wait and apply again, but I think your Cambridge MPhil will make a difference, and you'll be able to apply everything you learned from this cycle! 

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5 minutes ago, aco2 said:

If it helps, I am three years out of my MA and this is my second cycle applying before getting in anywhere! I think that applying multiple cycles allows you to really refine your research ideas and thus your application. I did some things differently this year that I think really helped me to make a better impression! I fully understand how much it sucks to wait and apply again, but I think your Cambridge MPhil will make a difference, and you'll be able to apply everything you learned from this cycle! 

Yes, for sure. I’m definitely going to concentrate it more in this next cycle and really give it a lot of thought over the Spring/Summer, then plan on applying in September before the MPhil starts in early October. Going to consult with some friends at my current university as well who are currently in the PhD program at my institute 🙂 If anyone has any tips for how to contact POIs at places I’d like to reapply to again next year, I’d be grateful. I think most likely I’ll start getting in touch with past and new POIs from March onwards and try to keep in touch over the Summer/next Fall.

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5 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

Yes, for sure. I’m definitely going to concentrate it more in this next cycle and really give it a lot of thought over the Spring/Summer, then plan on applying in September before the MPhil starts in early October. Going to consult with some friends at my current university as well who are currently in the PhD program at my institute 🙂

One of the best things I did this year was severely cut down the number of programs I applied to. I only applied to places that I thought were a truly perfect fit, and for which I could really effectively support that assertion. And applying to fewer places meant that I could dedicate my time to just those apps.

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Has anyone been able to find out how many applications all of these top schools (especially Northwestern, UW-Madison, Harvard, Princeton, UVA) received this year? I am very curious about what the total numbers look like this year. I also wonder if waitlists look different--it seems there haven't been as many waitlist offers extended this year (haven't seen any for Northwestern yet?) and I wonder if departments are just going to go with whoever accepts their initial offers. Wishing you all the best--it's not over until it's over, but man, this cycle is tough!

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39 minutes ago, aco2 said:

If it helps, I am three years out of my MA and this is my second cycle applying before getting in anywhere! I think that applying multiple cycles allows you to really refine your research ideas and thus your application. I did some things differently this year that I think really helped me to make a better impression! I fully understand how much it sucks to wait and apply again, but I think your Cambridge MPhil will make a difference, and you'll be able to apply everything you learned from this cycle! 

Second cycle applications definitely aid in refining research questions and polishing everything. At the same time though, the waiting, the rejections and mustering up the energy again and again to apply take their toll.

I have 2 master's degrees, one of them being a distinction in MSc International History from LSE where I won the prize for best dissertation in all MSc courses and I still have been rejected from all US universities I applied to. It is really tough out there at the moment and the lack of feedback is infuriating (yet understandable). Herein I realise, I need to look after my  mental health first and foremost, which most likely means not going through a third application cycle and resigning to the fact a PhD just isn't for me. It's tough to accept, but at some point one needs to cut their losses and move forward rather than being stuck in a loop of reaching out to POIs, applying, waiting and getting rejected.

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