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2021 Application Thread


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2 hours ago, Boarskin said:

I applied to the MAPSS in 2018 and got accepted with 1/3 tuition covered. I ended up declining the offer but I know people who have 1/2 tuition covered or even more. So I would say that the MAPSS usually offers generous funding for its applicants. But the MAPSS is a very intense program (three terms in one year) and you would not be able to apply for PhD again until fall 2022. The cost of living in Chicago is expensive too, but maybe not as much as that of UK. 

Thanks for this information about the funding - I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what pans out but I’m glad I have Cambridge for sure (and the tuition, living costs there is not so expensive). I guess what you say about having to wait for PhD applications seems true in that their website talks about helping you with PhD applications post-degree, so that would have to be a consideration as well as I was planning to apply this fall if I end up going to Cambridge as their term starts later (October) and thus I’d have more time to complete applications. I guess with MAPSS you could always take a year off while waiting for PhD decisions to work and hope to earn some money though? Best wishes ☺️

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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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8 hours ago, scarletwitch said:

Thanks for this information about the funding - I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what pans out but I’m glad I have Cambridge for sure (and the tuition, living costs there is not so expensive). I guess what you say about having to wait for PhD applications seems true in that their website talks about helping you with PhD applications post-degree, so that would have to be a consideration as well as I was planning to apply this fall if I end up going to Cambridge as their term starts later (October) and thus I’d have more time to complete applications. I guess with MAPSS you could always take a year off while waiting for PhD decisions to work and hope to earn some money though? Best wishes ☺️

FYI UChicago is on the quarter system, so it starts much later than most US schools. I think next year's start date is September 27, which is decently close to the Cambridge term start date, so I think you'd have approximately the same amount of time to work on applications for the next cycle. 

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4 minutes ago, nws said:

FYI UChicago is on the quarter system, so it starts much later than most US schools. I think next year's start date is September 27, which is decently close to the Cambridge term start date, so I think you'd have approximately the same amount of time to work on applications for the next cycle. 

Oh okay, that's good to know, so potentially I could still go for the 2022 cycle like I would be doing with Cambridge, the only difference in waiting is essentially having different LORs and being fully finished with the MA, but I'm not entirely sure that I want to take a gap year between MA & PhD anyway. Thanks! 😊

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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 long as people know that this is not like a magic potion. I'm very lucky to have gotten in, but I don't pretend to know the secret to applying that nobody else knows). I have long felt that the nice thing about this community is that it's a group of wishful scholars supporting each other and providing a little clarification where possible to the more mysterious parts of this grad application process. 

That being said, I got an message this morning asking me if I was admitted to a particular program because it was the only program the writer had applied for and they stated that they hoped to "influence the outcome any way I can." This is so unbelievably inappropriate. It makes me sad to think that members of this community are going around trying to talk others out of attending programs that they were admitted to in the hopes of clearing their own way. Deciding on a program is a hard and intimate decision, and nobody should be trying to influence each other in any direction, let alone out of a good placement. 

I am going to step back here, and won't be reading any new messages. Please everyone try to be good to each other, and supportive rather than covetous when it comes to others' admissions. I know we are all desperate for good news in a hard year, but just be kind.

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46 minutes ago, aco2 said:

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 long as people know that this is not like a magic potion. I'm very lucky to have gotten in, but I don't pretend to know the secret to applying that nobody else knows). I have long felt that the nice thing about this community is that it's a group of wishful scholars supporting each other and providing a little clarification where possible to the more mysterious parts of this grad application process. 

That being said, I got an message this morning asking me if I was admitted to a particular program because it was the only program the writer had applied for and they stated that they hoped to "influence the outcome any way I can." This is so unbelievably inappropriate. It makes me sad to think that members of this community are going around trying to talk others out of attending programs that they were admitted to in the hopes of clearing their own way. Deciding on a program is a hard and intimate decision, and nobody should be trying to influence each other in any direction, let alone out of a good placement. 

I am going to step back here, and won't be reading any new messages. Please everyone try to be good to each other, and supportive rather than covetous when it comes to others' admissions. I know we are all desperate for good news in a hard year, but just be kind.

Hi, folks.

I'm sorry that it seemed as though I was doing something untoward. In cases where someone was admitted to multiple schools, I've regularly seen members encourage each other to decline offers or wait lists swiftly.

- steinein

 

For context:

2 hours ago, steinein said:

Hi, aco2.

Did you happen to apply to CHSS? If so, may I ask whether you were accepted or wait listed? I only applied to CHSS, and so I am quite interested in influencing the outcome any way that I can.

- steinein

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3 minutes ago, wfchasson said:

U of M acceptances seem to have gone out--got one via email a moment ago. congrats to others as well. 

Congratulations on your acceptance! A rejection for me. I appreciated that they let us know how many applicants they had (~300) and how many they took on (~3%). It was a nice touch to put the rejection in context. And not make us go to the portal!

So you made it in during an extra competitive year - that must feel pretty good. Enjoy the glow!

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4 minutes ago, history202- said:

Congratulations on your acceptance! A rejection for me. I appreciated that they let us know how many applicants they had (~300) and how many they took on (~3%). It was a nice touch to put the rejection in context. And not make us go to the portal!

So you made it in during an extra competitive year - that must feel pretty good. Enjoy the glow!

Thank you ! Won't be accepting, so I hope they take someone off of the waitlist and give them that spot.

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17 hours ago, Boarskin said:

I applied to the MAPSS in 2018 and got accepted with 1/3 tuition covered. I ended up declining the offer but I know people who have 1/2 tuition covered or even more. So I would say that the MAPSS usually offers generous funding for its applicants.

Calling even 1/2 tuition on $60k without stipend "generous" stretches credulity. 

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1 hour ago, Boarskin said:

There are quite many MAs out there without any kind of funding or stipend. 

Unless you have wealthy folks or have fallen into some inheritance, you shouldn't be attending one of those programs. You should not be falling into significant student debt for a history MA. I am sure the MAPSS program places a lot of students into PhD programs, but it is a cash cow for Chicago.

Edited by ListlessCoffee
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1 hour ago, ListlessCoffee said:

Unless you have wealthy folks or have fallen into some inheritance, you shouldn't be attending one of those programs. You should not be falling into significant student debt for a history MA. I am sure the MAPSS program places a lot of students into PhD programs, but it is a cash cow for Chicago.

I was accepted into a PhD program this year. All I was saying is that if a person is determined to attend a MA or equivalent degree, then he/ she might consider the MAPSS a good choice. 

You are right to say that a person should not be falling into significant student debt for a history MA, and I encourage everyone who is about to enter a MA program this year to weight the cost and the benefits. 

Edited by Boarskin
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4 minutes ago, Boarskin said:

I was accepted into a PhD program this year. All I was saying is that if a person is determined to attend a MA or equivalent degree, then he/ she might consider the MAPSS a good choice. 

I'm sure it places students. You probably get a good look at academia, can build relationships with quality faculty (and therefore get good references), and will turn out a piece of research you can use as a writing sample. A genuine congrats on the acceptance btw. But, it's a horrible idea to go into student debt for a history MA. For MAPSS, if you're paying 30k or 40k for tuition (and that's their generous rate?) on top of the cost of living in Chicago, you'll be possibly going into what, $50-60,000+ of student debt? Maybe you can cut it to a few tens of thousands of debt if you get a fellowship or scholarship or find the time to work 10-20 hours a week? All to get an MA? And then if you get into a PhD (which is the only reason you'd go to MAPSS) you enter a 6-7 year PhD (where you won't be making enough on your stipend to pay that debt back) to graduate after about 12 years of school (4 undergrad+1 MAPSS+7 PhD roughly)....only to enter a horrible job market and with significant student debt? 

Look, if you're funded by parents or have money saved up...knock yourself out. If not...there are many other MA programs out there that won't cripple you. I'm not trying to be confrontational here -- I just don't think MAs like MAPSS should ever be encouraged around here unless you have extensive financial backing from another source. 

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8 hours ago, ListlessCoffee said:

Look, if you're funded by parents or have money saved up...knock yourself out. If not...there are many other MA programs out there that won't cripple you. I'm not trying to be confrontational here -- I just don't think MAs like MAPSS should ever be encouraged around here unless you have extensive financial backing from another source. 

I wasn't even going this far! A MAPSS with 1/2 tuition is something that one should consider; the MAPSS program is really good as these things go. Chicago is much better than, say, Columbia, when it comes to just taking MA money and running, although this is also a difference between the MAPSS and MAPH. 1/2 tuition is just not a good deal. 

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@dr. telkanuru

I just noticed the "dr." part added to your name! If it means what I think it means, then congratulations! 

I joined the GradCafe when I was applying for the first time (and didn't get in anywhere) and now I am third year into my program and preparing for orals while applying for dissertation fellowships (and mostly just lurking)... It's so surreal to see things change a bit (though more than often they stay the same) here! O_O

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Jumping on the Duke bandwagon of questions to ask/plead/whine: has anyone heard anything from Duke? From conversations with my POI, decisions should have been made in December. They mentioned they typically waste no time and let people know early. Based on results from last year, it looks like that's typically the case. 

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1 hour ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

@dr. telkanuru

I just noticed the "dr." part added to your name! If it means what I think it means, then congratulations! 

I joined the GradCafe when I was applying for the first time (and didn't get in anywhere) and now I am third year into my program and preparing for orals while applying for dissertation fellowships (and mostly just lurking)... It's so surreal to see things change a bit (though more than often they stay the same) here! O_O

I join this congratulatory message. We've known each other for far too long!  

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18 minutes ago, SAM311 said:

Jumping on the Duke bandwagon of questions to ask/plead/whine: has anyone heard anything from Duke? From conversations with my POI, decisions should have been made in December. They mentioned they typically waste no time and let people know early. Based on results from last year, it looks like that's typically the case. 

On the results page an acceptance and a waitlist were posted earlier in February...I can also confirm that I know someone who has an acceptance there. In past years it does look like they released acceptances and rejections on the same day, but that might not have been the case this year...I suspect all of their acceptances have been sent out. 

Edited by ListlessCoffee
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3 minutes ago, ListlessCoffee said:

On the results page an acceptance and a waitlist were posted earlier in February...I can also confirm that I know someone who has an acceptance there. In past years it does look like they released acceptances and rejections on the same day, but that might not have been the case this year...I suspect their acceptances have been sent out. 

Ah, this is great. I mean...not great because it looks like I am adding another rejection to the list but great to have the slightest feeling of closure. Alas, it's not over til it's over? ha. 

Thank you! 

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6 minutes ago, cryloren said:

I applied to 10+ programs, didn't get in anywhere. 

 

What do I do now?

This happened to me in 2019. I came out of undergrad at Berkeley with a STEM and a humanities degree, graduated with highest honors, doing research with Nobel laureates, etc. All the rejections were devastating at the time and my ego is still suffering a little bit but it ended up a blessing in disguise–I found a really amazing job and can move forward into graduate school with two additional years of solid work experience and a number of skills I wouldn't have learned otherwise. That work experience is very valuable to me now as I've come to better understand how dismal prospects are for historians in academia. It also helped me to formalize what I want to study and encouraged me to look for programs and start conversations with people that I wasn't aware of the first time around. I now know that even though I don't necessarily need graduate school to get done what I need to get done, I want to be surrounded by people as invested and engaged in the study as I am. I applied again this cycle and have had some modest success (two offers, seven rejections, one still in the ether) which I count as a win given that the history of certain sciences is so hyper-specific.

Let me know if you want to talk through it with someone who has been there. I don't know if there is anything I can say to make the present feel any better, but I can give support as you move forward :)

 

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17 minutes ago, cryloren said:

I applied to 10+ programs, didn't get in anywhere. 

 

What do I do now?

I'm in the same boat. Two years ago when I applied to programs and didn't get in anywhere, the obvious answer to "what do I do now" was get the MA. Now that I have the MA, it's less clear to me how to proceed to best position myself for next cycle (and if I even should apply again next cycle). 

Do you already have an MA? 

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6 hours ago, dr. telkanuru said:

I wasn't even going this far! A MAPSS with 1/2 tuition is something that one should consider; the MAPSS program is really good as these things go. Chicago is much better than, say, Columbia, when it comes to just taking MA money and running, although this is also a difference between the MAPSS and MAPH. 1/2 tuition is just not a good deal. 

That's fair! You likely know far more about the program than I do. That's just my personal take on it -- but I am also a bit of student-debt phobic person. I'll always caution someone against taking on significant student debt to get a degree that does not realistically offer a direct path to a well-paying career. And I don't think a history MA at any program realistically offers its students that -- certainly not enough to justify taking on tens of thousands in debt just for a 1-2 year degree. 

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