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16 minutes ago, generalstrike said:

"what a time to be a U.S. historian" 

Whether or not the acceptances are legit, I would love an explanation of exactly what this means.

I think they may be claiming that this admissions cycle was kinder to folks focusing on the US as opposed to other fields. Not sure if that's accurate, though I'm also an Americanist and was accepted to my top school. 

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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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3 hours ago, HRL said:

This is really encouraging to hear. I just finished my MA this fall at Chicago and have been of the mind that on the heels of finishing an MA is the most competitive I'm going to be for the PhD. As it looks increasingly more likely that I'm not going to get in anywhere this cycle (and this is my second attempt), I've been feeling discouraged (as if this is the outcome at my most competitive) and am somewhat at a loss for what I could do between now and next cycle - besides continuing to work on application pieces - that would make me markedly more competitive. I think I'm also specifically worried that if I take a non-history job (been considering paralegal work) it will look like...I'm not committed to this pathway? Would you mind sharing what you've done between finishing the MA and your successful PhD cycle (either on here or by PM)? Also any wisdom you could impart re what you felt you did differently on your application pieces to be more competitive this time around? 

Hi! I wanted to jump in here and encourage you not to worry too much about what you do in the interim. (I'm a full-time paralegal myself, and was throughout my MA.) According to both of my supervisors, having a "regular" job can be an asset. It shows that you know how to work with people, can stick to something, and have a more varied skillset. I'm certainly no expert and I don't have a ton of standing - this is my first application cycle and, so far, I have been (somewhat) successful. I also stayed in contact with people from my undergrad and MA and took any history-related/writing experience I could get on the side; I gave a virtual talk at a community centre, did some editing for a history-related non-profit, etc.

I know everyone is feeling super negative, but I think this year is just such an outlier that it should be considered a write-off. You may well have gotten in with this exact application package any other year.

Also, so many of you haven't heard from schools that you may well still get into! I'm lucky in that I got my one acceptance early, simply because that school releases their results early. But I'll quite likely get rejected from every other school I applied to. If it had been the other way around, I'd be sitting here feeling the same way, not knowing that my one admit was just around the corner! It also shows that it's not "about you." My application was strong enough to get me into my top choice, but I just wasn't the right fit for another place that I (initially) thought of as a "safety" school. (Also, for what it's worth, I never reached out to POIs at any school I applied to.) I think it's more about fit/who's taking students that year than I realized.

I guess this long post is all to say that nobody should lose heart yet. And, if you don't get in, consider this a write-off year and push on next cycle.

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22 minutes ago, generalstrike said:

"what a time to be a U.S. historian" 

Whether or not the acceptances are legit, I would love an explanation of exactly what this means.

FWIW, the sensibility has been addressed by @TMP a couple of times in this thread.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis theoretically makes completing the requirements for a doctorate more difficult to complete within the accelerated timelines departments may be using because of the financial uncertainties.

  • If you're an Americanist, you need one or two languages, one of which may be swapped for a skill. If you're  not an Americanist, one has to know the languages one needs to know.
  • If you're an Americanist, you likely find enough archival sources nearby or even on line to do a great deal of research. If you're not an Americanist, the ebb and flow of the pandemic may make necessary travel impossible.
  • If you're an Americanist, you can work as a teaching assistant in courses that may be more popular among undergraduates without needing to sacrifice time to get up to speed on a subject. If you're not an Americanist, and a department trims back on offering courses not centered around the United States, you are going to be behind the eight ball of a learning curve.

A comment. I understand that this is a period of extraordinary uncertainty for applicants and that there may be a strong sense of frustration, even disappointment, because events are not unfolding as one would like. This being said, I urge all to understand that posts at the Gradcafe don't go away, and that there are faculty and staff among this BB's members.

Now is as good as a time as any to work on one's personal professional comportment. It's not what one says or what one asks that can lead to issues down the line, it's how one says something or how one asks a question that can prove to be an issue. FWIW, I have learned the hard way that professional academic historians pay very careful attention to tone and temperament. Or, as one professor with whom I subsequently became close asked himself "Who is this asshole?" The question came after I said something that was meant to be an ironic / humorous statement of respect.

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35 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

FWIW, the sensibility has been addressed by @TMP a couple of times in this thread.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis theoretically makes completing the requirements for a doctorate more difficult to complete within the accelerated timelines departments may be using because of the financial uncertainties.

  • If you're an Americanist, you need one or two languages, one of which may be swapped for a skill. If you're  not an Americanist, one has to know the languages one needs to know.
  • If you're an Americanist, you likely find enough archival sources nearby or even on line to do a great deal of research. If you're not an Americanist, the ebb and flow of the pandemic may make necessary travel impossible.
  • If you're an Americanist, you can work as a teaching assistant in courses that may be more popular among undergraduates without needing to sacrifice time to get up to speed on a subject. If you're not an Americanist, and a department trims back on offering courses not centered around the United States, you are going to be behind the eight ball of a learning curve.

A comment. I understand that this is a period of extraordinary uncertainty for applicants and that there may be a strong sense of frustration, even disappointment, because events are not unfolding as one would like. This being said, I urge all to understand that posts at the Gradcafe don't go away, and that there are faculty and staff among this BB's members.

Now is as good as a time as any to work on one's personal professional comportment. It's not what one says or what one asks that can lead to issues down the line, it's how one says something or how one asks a question that can prove to be an issue. FWIW, I have learned the hard way that professional academic historians pay very careful attention to tone and temperament. Or, as one professor with whom I subsequently became close asked himself "Who is this asshole?" The question came after I said something that was meant to be an ironic / humorous statement of respect.

^^The very real support this forum has afforded me during this difficult time has been negated by this truly gargantuan mountain of condescension. I'm out, guys. Still pulling for all of you.  

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2 hours ago, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

Yeah that comment is pretty strange. And given what @history202- said he heard from Yale and Harvard, those timelines (especially Yale) doesn’t really seem like they’ve sent results out yet. Did anyone in the forum claim either a Yale or Harvard acceptance? (Sorry I’ve been away a few days and haven’t been keeping tabs)

i can vouch for the yale decisions--just waiting on the specifics of the offer package. but have been notified of admission. 

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7 minutes ago, wfchasson said:

i can vouch for the yale decisions--just waiting on the specifics of the offer package. but have been notified of admission. 

Ah okay, congrats! It is strange they’re taking so long to notify those who are getting rejects because it looks like they usually release all decisions over the span of 1-2 days in typical years. 

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9 hours ago, scarletwitch said:

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. 

Sorry about the extremely tough cycle. The GRE is so intensely meaningless when it comes to hist application that when depts keep it I assume it has to do solely with the university. If it's optional and you can avoid it, then avoid it -- it's a waste of time and money and says nothing about your abilities as a historian. 

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1 hour ago, generalstrike said:

"what a time to be a U.S. historian" 

Whether or not the acceptances are legit, I would love an explanation of exactly what this means.

I know it really, really sucks to not be getting anywhere on your second try with a MA in hand.  I applied 3x in a row shortly after the Great Recession began when it seemed like everyone was applying to PhD programs to find some security for several years (and I was applying because I truly loved what I do and long wanted to get a PhD). i was exhausted after my second cycle (and one year after I got my MA). I wanted to take a year off but my (new) work colleagues encouraged me to try again one more time. With their help and bit of luck, I got in on the third try.  Yes, I was wiped, depressed, and broken after I got the acceptances and made a decision. The recovery to feeling like myself was very long. I encourage you to seek help if you can.

I don't disagree with @Sigaba's assessment of why PhD programs may be favoring US historians in this climate We don't know whether this result poster is a troll or what their work is actually on. As I mentioned a few pages back, PhD programs are being more self-conscious about who and what projects they're accepting as a result of BLM protests last summer. But what we do know is that the PhD programs are following the lead of the current academic job market, which is, frankly, strongly favoring folks doing race and ethnicity in US history, especially African Americans. Frankly, I am astounded by HOW MANY schools still do not have African American history specialists and this particular absence had to be pointed out by students and some faculty.

Hang in there. I know it's all very hard to take if you're not an Americanist or waited so long to get into a PhD program. THis pandemic definitely sucks but I've learned that there are always silver linings. Sometimes these silver liinings don't show up right away.

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3 hours ago, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

Yeah that comment is pretty strange. And given what @history202- said he heard from Yale and Harvard, those timelines (especially Yale) doesn’t really seem like they’ve sent results out yet. Did anyone in the forum claim either a Yale or Harvard acceptance? (Sorry I’ve been away a few days and haven’t been keeping tabs)

Can also vouch for the Yale acceptances. They went out last Friday.

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3 hours ago, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

And given what @history202- said he heard from Yale and Harvard, those timelines (especially Yale) doesn’t really seem like they’ve sent results out yet. 

When you reach out to a school asking when decisions are going to be released they will tell you something like "late February" even when they have sent out all acceptances and waitlists, it's just how it works. 

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1 hour ago, Sigaba said:

Or, as one professor with whom I subsequently became close asked himself "Who is this asshole?" The question came after I said something that was meant to be an ironic / humorous statement of respect.

Pretty sure that was my first impression of you as well 😶

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15 minutes ago, OHSP said:

When you reach out to a school asking when decisions are going to be released they will tell you something like "late February" even when they have sent out all acceptances and waitlists, it's just how it works. 

Shhh I’m trying to delude myself into thinking there’s still a chance at Yale because I really hit it off with my POI in the fall and they were really interested in my project and how it fit with the department and other current students’ work 

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Just now, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

Shhh I’m trying to delude myself into thinking there’s still a chance at Yale because I really hit it off with my POI in the fall and they were really interested in my project and how it fit with the department and other current students’ work 

You'll find the right place! 

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1 hour ago, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

Ah okay, congrats! It is strange they’re taking so long to notify those who are getting rejects because it looks like they usually release all decisions over the span of 1-2 days in typical years. 

I just checked the admission results for English and some people got rejection letters while others received nothing. It seems that the graduate school of Arts and Sciences has been slower than previous years due to work remotely. My guess is that although the History Department has sent the results to the graduate school of Arts and Sciences, the Arts and Sciences is too busy in updating the results for English department and has no time to update for History. If this is the case, we should see the results in the next few days instead of the end of February.

Edited by d1389jjch
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1 hour ago, Ryan_The_Grogu_Fan said:

Shhh I’m trying to delude myself into thinking there’s still a chance at Yale because I really hit it off with my POI in the fall and they were really interested in my project and how it fit with the department and other current students’ work 

Im also trying to delude myself into thinking there’s hope for US History at Yale. I do know that admissions for each subfield is independent so admissions to Europe would have no bearing on admissions to US history. I spoke to a professor for an interview the second week of January. He told me that I should hear back by the second week of feb regarding decisions. As long as I don’t know of anyone in US history that’s been admitted, I think there still might be some hope for us 

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4 hours ago, 2545 said:

Im also trying to delude myself into thinking there’s hope for US History at Yale. I do know that admissions for each subfield is independent so admissions to Europe would have no bearing on admissions to US history. I spoke to a professor for an interview the second week of January. He told me that I should hear back by the second week of feb regarding decisions. As long as I don’t know of anyone in US history that’s been admitted, I think there still might be some hope for us 

Yale doesn't usually release acceptances sub-field by sub-field, not many schools do. I feel like I keep chiming in and being a bummer but it's just good to get a sense early on of how brutal these processes are. 

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1 hour ago, hibbiejibbies said:

Anyone knows or has inquired from the grad office at U Michigan when they will announce results?

I spoke with my POI over the weekend and seems like they're not that close to announcing decisions yet and also that this year's cohort will be quite reduced. Hoping for a more "normal" admissions cycle/cohort next year. 

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