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On 6/1/2020 at 6:09 PM, TsarandProphet said:

Just because other comments have encouraged you to find a way to combine both, you don't have to. My undergrad was history and Islamic studies/Arabic philology -- my dissertation is Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian Empires. I have, then, several languages I had learnt without using them properly in grad school like Arabic and Persian. It's much more important to find a question you're genuinely interested in and not just a bridge between two undergrad choices you made.

Yeah, this sounds about right. I have no desire the actually combine them, because they're totally different periods with completely different context (and I don't think the link is particularly strong). It's just a similar set of questions about diet and nutrition applied to two different moments (I basically just study hunting and wild boars in Imperial Rome. There is absolutely no link between that and 19th/20th century US. None. Though I appreciate the creativity of other commenters) because at some point I got talked into learning greek and latin and it really seemed like a shame to put the years of language skills to waste. Especially since it seems like learning both of them was, to a certain point, a complete waste of time. I was just hoping there was some angle to justify that research and make it seem relevant or topical and justify my choices!

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8 minutes ago, bakeseal said:

There is absolutely no link between that and 19th/20th century US. None. 

This is the kind of statement that will turn you into a chew toy in a graduate seminar as the professor doodles on a Styrofoam cup.

All someone has to do is find one example and it is off to the races. (I am presently looking at document from 1910 right now.) 

Or,  someone will look up and ask innocently "What sources have you examined to support this finding?" Unless the answer is "everything," your credibility is going to take a hit.

"I am not interested in exploring the links between..." is an example of how to say something without stepping on your own tusks.

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How have y'all been planning out PS writing?

I am starting to think one of the biggest mistakes we make with writing PSs/SOPs is we pick life events or a narrative structure to use as the centerpiece of our essays, and then try to sprinkle in the points we are trying to make around those.

It's not exactly rocket science, but I read an interesting piece about FIRST PICKING the personal/professional attributes you want to demonstrate as the centerpiece of the essay and THEN picking the anecdotes to use around those attributes

https://www.graduateadmissionsinsight.com/post/the-art-and-science-of-personal-statement-writing-part-1

I know this makes sense when you think of it, but I realized that I never have planned so deliberately what characteristics I am trying to demonstrate, I've been WAY too general. 

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55 minutes ago, how15 said:

How have y'all been planning out PS writing?

I am starting to think one of the biggest mistakes we make with writing PSs/SOPs is we pick life events or a narrative structure to use as the centerpiece of our essays, and then try to sprinkle in the points we are trying to make around those.

It's not exactly rocket science, but I read an interesting piece about FIRST PICKING the personal/professional attributes you want to demonstrate as the centerpiece of the essay and THEN picking the anecdotes to use around those attributes

https://www.graduateadmissionsinsight.com/post/the-art-and-science-of-personal-statement-writing-part-1

I know this makes sense when you think of it, but I realized that I never have planned so deliberately what characteristics I am trying to demonstrate, I've been WAY too general. 

Try not to conflate Personal Statement with Statement of Purpose as some schools use these labels interchangeably.  It's important to read the instructions what they are asking for.  Follow the instructions. It's fine to open up with a personal story but get to the point quickly-- what are the questions you want to explore? What historians/ideas out there are you interested in engaging with during your doctoral study? Why, specifically, is that department and school the best fit for you? That's it.

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On 6/3/2020 at 3:42 PM, bakeseal said:

Yeah, this sounds about right. I have no desire the actually combine them, because they're totally different periods with completely different context (and I don't think the link is particularly strong). It's just a similar set of questions about diet and nutrition applied to two different moments (I basically just study hunting and wild boars in Imperial Rome. There is absolutely no link between that and 19th/20th century US. None. Though I appreciate the creativity of other commenters) because at some point I got talked into learning greek and latin and it really seemed like a shame to put the years of language skills to waste. Especially since it seems like learning both of them was, to a certain point, a complete waste of time. I was just hoping there was some angle to justify that research and make it seem relevant or topical and justify my choices!

Ancient historian here. Unfortunately, if you're not studying reception in some form the use is limited. But it's all how you spin it. You did research in food studies for the ancient world, is that what led to your interest in the topic for American history? You can still use your accomplishments as a way to show you're interested in historical research and have capacity for language, but it would have to be in a more indirect way. My research also ranges into reception, but because that's my angle my more classical training (although not with a classics degree) is more relevant. If you have any questions though about classics and history in the application process just lmk!

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21 hours ago, how15 said:

How have y'all been planning out PS writing?

I am starting to think one of the biggest mistakes we make with writing PSs/SOPs is we pick life events or a narrative structure to use as the centerpiece of our essays, and then try to sprinkle in the points we are trying to make around those.

It's not exactly rocket science, but I read an interesting piece about FIRST PICKING the personal/professional attributes you want to demonstrate as the centerpiece of the essay and THEN picking the anecdotes to use around those attributes

https://www.graduateadmissionsinsight.com/post/the-art-and-science-of-personal-statement-writing-part-1

I know this makes sense when you think of it, but I realized that I never have planned so deliberately what characteristics I am trying to demonstrate, I've been WAY too general. 

I am applying to both Anthro and History PhDs, but taking essentially the same approach: opening short anecdote that (1) shows my experience with fieldwork/archival research & (2) is directly related to my research questions (e.g. in my Anthro anecdote, I talk about how there was a rumor going around my field-site that I was connected to American intelligence agencies; I am studying surveillance and policing) -> go straight into the research questions and current literature (which seems to be more common in Anthro than History, but correct me if I am wrong) -> elaborate on your previous research experience and coursework -> why this school is a best fit and wrap it up. 

I also expect to re-write this thing at least once from scratch, based on my experience applying for Fulbright. Try writing multiple draft statements, using different structures and see what works the best. To that end, I would also recommend getting in touch with the fellowship department at your undergraduate/current institution. At my former university, at least, they are more than willing to assist people in editing their SoPs for grad programs. It is definitely worth reaching out!

I also second @TMP's advice. If you just need a SoP, focus on the project you are proposing above all else. If there is a personal statement included/that is what is being asked for, there you can talk about your personal history. Again, this is based on my experience (successfully) applying for a Fulbright, but I think they are very similar processes. 

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49 minutes ago, kapuzenernie said:

 I talk about how there was a rumor going around my field-site that I was connected to American intelligence agencies[.]

I would not include this disclousre in a SOP. It allows for interpretations that may undermine your candidacy. The statement can be interpreted to say any of the following.

  • You were such a controversial presence in the work place that you generated gossip.
    • At the heart of the controversy is a shared perception that you cannot be trusted.
  • That you would share gossip from a previous workplace indicates that you will do so again.
  • You do not take seriously the decades' old concern among academics that the American government has subverted elements of the Ivory Tower to advance anti-democratic policies.
  • You are not sufficiently concerned with the level of surveillance being conducted by the American government nor private corporations.

My $0.02

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8 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

I would not include this disclousre in a SOP. It allows for interpretations that may undermine your candidacy. The statement can be interpreted to say any of the following.

  • You were such a controversial presence in the work place that you generated gossip.
    • At the heart of the controversy is a shared perception that you cannot be trusted.
  • That you would share gossip from a previous workplace indicates that you will do so again.
  • You do not take seriously the decades' old concern among academics that the American government has subverted elements of the Ivory Tower to advance anti-democratic policies.
  • You are not sufficiently concerned with the level of surveillance being conducted by the American government nor private corporations.

My $0.02

The reason I include this incident in my SOP is because I later make the argument that American anthropologists who do research on vulnerable communities need to be attuned to these issues you listed -> leading in to an engagement with the extensive anthropological literature on the topic of surveillance, the role that anthropologists have played in conducting surveillance for governments, etc. It was also one of the early defining experiences of my fieldwork, so why would I not mention it? 

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22 hours ago, TMP said:

Try not to conflate Personal Statement with Statement of Purpose as some schools use these labels interchangeably.  It's important to read the instructions what they are asking for.  Follow the instructions. It's fine to open up with a personal story but get to the point quickly-- what are the questions you want to explore? What historians/ideas out there are you interested in engaging with during your doctoral study? Why, specifically, is that department and school the best fit for you? That's it.

Statement of purpose = how do I want to advance the field, what will I do to get there, and why is this university the best place for me to do it

Personal statement = What about my background/life story led me to apply to your PhD program

Personal statements are mainly intended to boost the diversity of life experiences in the graduate cohort.

Edited by AfricanusCrowther
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57 minutes ago, kapuzenernie said:

[W]hy would I not mention it?

I am recommending that you find a way to demonstrate to members of admissions committees that you will make an excellent professional academic historian that they would want to have as a colleague. Some academics do not mind the shifting sensibilities in which historians are their own "personal brand," there are others who consider such activities unprofessional and hold critical views of "editorializing." One cannot be all things to all people and there are numerous ways to bridge the gap between one's own personal style and the conventions of the profession.

Insofar as the need of American anthropologists to be aware of their responsibilities in the field, I have two questions. Is this need a recent discovery or has it been a focus of professional practice for decades?  

Second, is it the place of a less experienced anthropologist to tell established anthropologists how they should do their jobs? IMO, I think not. I do think that as an aspiring graduate student, it is your place to indicate that you intend to move the needle of existing conversations about professional responsibility and the ethics of fieldwork.

Also, I recommend that you discontinue the use of writing "etc" or any variation thereof. Pick words and phrases that indicate that you are familiar with a field of study, not bored by it.

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10 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

I am recommending that you find a way to demonstrate to members of admissions committees that you will make an excellent professional academic historian that they would want to have as a colleague. Some academics do not mind the shifting sensibilities in which historians are their own "personal brand," there are others who consider such activities unprofessional and hold critical views of "editorializing." One cannot be all things to all people and there are numerous ways to bridge the gap between one's own personal style and the conventions of the profession.

Insofar as the need of American anthropologists to be aware of their responsibilities in the field, I have two questions. Is this need a recent discovery or has it been a focus of professional practice for decades?  

Second, is it the place of a less experienced anthropologist to tell established anthropologists how they should do their jobs? IMO, I think not. I do think that as an aspiring graduate student, it is your place to indicate that you intend to move the needle of existing conversations about professional responsibility and the ethics of fieldwork.

Also, I recommend that you discontinue the use of writing "etc" or any variation thereof. Pick words and phrases that indicate that you are familiar with a field of study, not bored by it.

As I mentioned in my original post, I am not opening up my SOP for history programs with this anecdote. 

No it is not it is not a recent discovery and I would not attempt to suggest it is. There has been a shift in recent years to an ethnography of policing which warrants a discussion in my SOP. I am not telling anyone how to do their job and would never presume to do that. However, engaging with questions of the ethics of fieldwork is something that I have seen in successful SOPs from other Anthro applicants. I am not attempting to "move the needle", but show I am aware of existing debates. 

As for brevity, we're writing on a forum lol

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3 hours ago, kapuzenernie said:

The reason I include this incident in my SOP is because I later make the argument that American anthropologists who do research on vulnerable communities need to be attuned to these issues you listed -> leading in to an engagement with the extensive anthropological literature on the topic of surveillance, the role that anthropologists have played in conducting surveillance for governments, etc. It was also one of the early defining experiences of my fieldwork, so why would I not mention it? 

I work across history and anthro, I have a major anthro grant (and I get how central these qs are to anthro) -- I think it would be weird not to mention the qs of ethics that you write about here. I would talk about the rumor, it speaks to your experience w the realities of field work. Anyway feel free to DM! 

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3 hours ago, Sigaba said:

Second, is it the place of a less experienced anthropologist to tell established anthropologists how they should do their jobs? IMO, I think not. I do think that as an aspiring graduate student, it is your place to indicate that you intend to move the needle of existing conversations about professional responsibility and the ethics of fieldwork.

For a long time, anthropology has been an extremely reflexive discipline, and the ethics of fieldwork are a major topic of scholarship. It would surprise me if this applicant aroused any suspicion for discussing this.

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6 hours ago, kapuzenernie said:

lol

So? The more you practice talking/writing about your research, the most polished it will be in your application materials. @Sigaba invitation to think about that was useful advice. 

Also, I think this distinction is very important: 

7 hours ago, AfricanusCrowther said:

Statement of purpose = how do I want to advance the field, what will I do to get there, and why is this university the best place for me to do it

Personal statement = What about my background/life story led me to apply to your PhD program

Personal statements are mainly intended to boost the diversity of life experiences in the graduate cohort.

This is good advice (starting with what you have and then look for the vignette that helps you the most):

On 6/4/2020 at 12:57 PM, how15 said:

I am starting to think one of the biggest mistakes we make with writing PSs/SOPs is we pick life events or a narrative structure to use as the centerpiece of our essays, and then try to sprinkle in the points we are trying to make around those.

However, I would discourage people to use anecdotes. I am not saying that you won't be accepted because of opening with a life event (many here have), but I'd encourage you to open with a research vignette rather than a personal one. Like @AfricanusCrowther said, the SOP is about research. 

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Hi everybody.

I will be applying to History MA and American Religion MTS -programs as an international student (I am from Sweden) this cycle. I am fully aware of the fierce competition that likely will be a result of the corona-crisis, but figured that I should still give it a try. Just reading these threads has been really helpful, as the application system in Sweden is very different which makes the process a little daunting. Basically, your undergrad-application here consists solely of your high school-grades, and most MA's only ask for you undergrad-GPA and a short letter, so I am un-experienced in creating a narrative about myself and my goals. 

Basic facts

-Bachelor-degree in Religious Studies from an Swedish university that is typically ranked top-100 in the world. However, I am not sure if this will mean anything for my application since I doubt that many American scholars recognize the name of it. 

-Currently finishing a 1 year exchange at an American R1-University. Most of the things mentioned below are things I did during this exchange. 

-GPA from home-university (as I understood the typical way to convert it): 3.8. GPA during my exchange year: 3.9. 

-I did an internship at a museum in the U.S during which I helped organize a finding aide for a collection of uncatalogued material. 

-I did a quarter of  research which I presented at our undergraduate symposium. 

-This is still in the process of happening, but one of my professors wrote me a very kind e-mail in which he praised one of my essays and asked me if I would be interested in publishing it as a part of an online-project he has where he is mapping out the history of his specific subfield. 

-I have been holding a scholarship at my home-university for two years. However, I do not think I can frame it as any kind of personal success, at it is basically granted on the basis of need and belonging to a certain student-society, not on grades or any other form of merit. 

-Swedish is my mother-tounge. Like most people from my country, I also understand Danish and Norwegian. The last few months, I been working as a proof-reader for a translator who works with traditional Swedish literature. 

Worries

-I had a really amazing exchange year, and I felt that the university-culture in the U.S offered so many more opportunities in regards to building relationships with professors and extra-curriculars. Right now, most of the things I plan to mention in my application is stuff I did during my exchange. In regards to recommendation letters, I have two professors from the U.S who have offered to write one for me, and I could possible get a third one. I am a little concerned that the application commitees will view it as weird that I have so little to show from my home-university other than my GPA. I still have one quarter left in Sweden where I will write a mandatory honors-thesis, and I could perhaps build up a relationship strong enough to ask for a recommendation letter during this time. 

-My main interest is the religious experiences of the European immigrant communities of the late 19th-early 20th century. The American University where i studied is in a city with a lot of Scandinavian history, and most of the achievements I have listed are centered around Scandinavian-American history in some way (like the undergraduate research). I am not sure if this will be perceived as me having to much of an narrow focus on the history of people from my own country. To me, it mostly was a result of the fact that I had access to a lot of primary sources in Swedish that my professors encouraged me to explore, but I am not sure how I should frame this to show that I am flexible in regards to interests.

I am still trying to figure out how important it is to define your area of interest and goals when applying for an MA or MTS. I know you are supposed to basically have it figured out when applying for a PhD, is is basically the same for an MA? 

This ended up a lot longer than I originally planned. Good luck to everyone! 

 

Edited by Sleepless in skellefteå
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3 hours ago, Sleepless in skellefteå said:

Hi everybody.

I will be applying to History MA and American Religion MTS -programs as an international student (I am from Sweden) this cycle. I am fully aware of the fierce competition that likely will be a result of the corona-crisis, but figured that I should still give it a try. Just reading these threads has been really helpful, as the application system in Sweden is very different which makes the process a little daunting. Basically, your undergrad-application here consists solely of your high school-grades, and most MA's only ask for you undergrad-GPA and a short letter, so I am un-experienced in creating a narrative about myself and my goals. 

Basic facts

-Bachelor-degree in Religious Studies from an Swedish university that is typically ranked top-100 in the world. However, I am not sure if this will mean anything for my application since I doubt that many American scholars recognize the name of it. 

-Currently finishing a 1 year exchange at an American R1-University. Most of the things mentioned below are things I did during this exchange. 

-GPA from home-university (as I understood the typical way to convert it): 3.8. GPA during my exchange year: 3.9. 

-I did an internship at a museum in the U.S during which I helped organize a finding aide for a collection of uncatalogued material. 

-I did a quarter of  research which I presented at our undergraduate symposium. 

-This is still in the process of happening, but one of my professors wrote me a very kind e-mail in which he praised one of my essays and asked me if I would be interested in publishing it as a part of an online-project he has where he is mapping out the history of his specific subfield. 

-I have been holding a scholarship at my home-university for two years. However, I do not think I can frame it as any kind of personal success, at it is basically granted on the basis of need and belonging to a certain student-society, not on grades or any other form of merit. 

-Swedish is my mother-tounge. Like most people from my country, I also understand Danish and Norwegian. The last few months, I been working as a proof-reader for a translator who works with traditional Swedish literature. 

Worries

-I had a really amazing exchange year, and I felt that the university-culture in the U.S offered so many more opportunities in regards to building relationships with professors and extra-curriculars. Right now, most of the things I plan to mention in my application is stuff I did during my exchange. In regards to recommendation letters, I have two professors from the U.S who have offered to write one for me, and I could possible get a third one. I am a little concerned that the application commitees will view it as weird that I have so little to show from my home-university other than my GPA. I still have one quarter left in Sweden where I will write a mandatory honors-thesis, and I could perhaps build up a relationship strong enough to ask for a recommendation letter during this time. 

-My main interest is the religious experiences of the European immigrant communities of the late 19th-early 20th century. The American University where i studied is in a city with a lot of Scandinavian history, and most of the achievements I have listed are centered around Scandinavian-American history in some way (like the undergraduate research). I am not sure if this will be perceived as me having to much of an narrow focus on the history of people from my own country. To me, it mostly was a result of the fact that I had access to a lot of primary sources in Swedish that my professors encouraged me to explore, but I am not sure how I should frame this to show that I am flexible in regards to interests.

I am still trying to figure out how important it is to define your area of interest and goals when applying for an MA or MTS. I know you are supposed to basically have it figured out when applying for a PhD, is is basically the same for an MA? 

This ended up a lot longer than I originally planned. Good luck to everyone! 

 

I think you have posted your situation before around here. (Yes, it's not often that we get Swedes here :) ).  I do think your project is interesting enough and you don't need to narrow your focus further.  What. you do need to articulate, however, are your goals.  Why the MA?  What do you wish to accomplish during the program?  What is your next step? 

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10 hours ago, TMP said:

I think you have posted your situation before around here. (Yes, it's not often that we get Swedes here :) ).  I do think your project is interesting enough and you don't need to narrow your focus further.  What. you do need to articulate, however, are your goals.  Why the MA?  What do you wish to accomplish during the program?  What is your next step? 

Yes, I do not mean to spam but earlier I have only written shorter questions so I figured that I should write a real introductory post :). My main goal is to go into academia and contribute to the larger knowledge-base about the period of migration I mentioned. In regards to why I am applying for MA's instead of a PhD, I do not have such a clear-cut answer. I guess that I want  methodological training to feel prepared enough. 

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On 6/7/2020 at 1:56 PM, Sleepless in skellefteå said:

Worries

-I had a really amazing exchange year, and I felt that the university-culture in the U.S offered so many more opportunities in regards to building relationships with professors and extra-curriculars. Right now, most of the things I plan to mention in my application is stuff I did during my exchange. In regards to recommendation letters, I have two professors from the U.S who have offered to write one for me, and I could possible get a third one. I am a little concerned that the application commitees will view it as weird that I have so little to show from my home-university other than my GPA. I still have one quarter left in Sweden where I will write a mandatory honors-thesis, and I could perhaps build up a relationship strong enough to ask for a recommendation letter during this time. 

-My main interest is the religious experiences of the European immigrant communities of the late 19th-early 20th century. The American University where i studied is in a city with a lot of Scandinavian history, and most of the achievements I have listed are centered around Scandinavian-American history in some way (like the undergraduate research). I am not sure if this will be perceived as me having to much of an narrow focus on the history of people from my own country. To me, it mostly was a result of the fact that I had access to a lot of primary sources in Swedish that my professors encouraged me to explore, but I am not sure how I should frame this to show that I am flexible in regards to interests.

I am still trying to figure out how important it is to define your area of interest and goals when applying for an MA or MTS. I know you are supposed to basically have it figured out when applying for a PhD, is is basically the same for an MA? 

This ended up a lot longer than I originally planned. Good luck to everyone! 

 

I have a couple of comments, 

1) I think you still need to ask a professor at your home institution. They are the ones that know you as a student for the longer time. You can help them to this. I am not familiar with the Swedish system, but I can assure the US American system was very foreign to all my letter writers. However, I found some resources online for them to use and guide them into how to address LORs. It is very important that you use people that know you well. (In my case, I had a professor from my institution, my thesis advisor from another institution, and my boss at my then current job). If I received your application from X University with not LOR from that University, I'd be puzzled. 

2) I'm reading your second point as if you are trying to excuse yourself for having done Scandinavian history. Remember that at a graduate level you don't need to please anybody's interests or fit into them (I know this is different in many parts of Europe where you apply for a spot in a project). When you craft your application, think about the larger questions. religion and migration are two very important human experiences, frequently intertwined. What interests you about this? What are you curious about? How does your experience in archives brought you to this moment? How has your experience in the US equipped you for answering this questions in a US American institution? You don't have to show you are flexible with your interests. You have to show that you have really cool, interesting questions worth pursuing. 

MA and PhD applications are different because there are different things a stake. For PhDs, you usually compete for a determined number of spots while MAs are more "open" (if you don't apply for funding). (I know this as a member of a department and through grad school friends, I haven't applied for a MA myself so do follow other people's sage advice on this forum).

Finally, I'd also strongly advise you to reach out to students you have met during your year abroad. Ask them to read your SOP. That was a game changer for me!

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On 6/7/2020 at 10:56 AM, Sleepless in skellefteå said:

(I am from Sweden) this cycle. I am fully aware of the fierce competition that likely will be a result of the corona-crisis, but figured that I should still give it a try

-My main interest is the religious experiences of the European immigrant communities of the late 19th-early 20th century. 

I am still trying to figure out how important it is to define your area of interest and goals when applying for an MA or MTS. I know you are supposed to basically have it figured out when applying for a PhD, is is basically the same for an MA? 

 

40 minutes ago, AP said:

Remember that at a graduate level you don't need to please anybody's interests or fit into them.

As an Americanist, I respectfully disagree. Because of the level of turmoil in the United States today, I think that @Sleepless in skellefteå would benefit from submitting application materials that reflect an understanding of the current relevance of the religious experiences of immigrants from Northern European countries towards the end of the long nineteenth century, an interval of U.S. history that saw the spreading and deepening of racism.

 @Sleepless in skellefteå, this isn't to suggest that you need to change your intended course of study / fields of interest or take a teleological view of the past. I am suggesting that you may benefit if you prepare your materials with the understanding that a wider range of factors beyond an applicant's interests, skills, and potential can come into play--especially when a season is intensely competitive. How can you demonstrate that you will make a positive addition to a program in an era of turmoil that may soon match the late 1960s?

Please consider the benefits of considering some "big picture" questions including:

  • Why is religious history important today?
  • How does your take on religious history align or differ with the way social and/or cultural historians view matters of faith?
  • How did the religious experiences of Northern European immigrants help them to endure the intensifying grind of everyday life in modern America? 

My $0.02.

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21 hours ago, Sigaba said:

 

As an Americanist, I respectfully disagree. Because of the level of turmoil in the United States today, I think that @Sleepless in skellefteå would benefit from submitting application materials that reflect an understanding of the current relevance of the religious experiences of immigrants from Northern European countries towards the end of the long nineteenth century, an interval of U.S. history that saw the spreading and deepening of racism.

 @Sleepless in skellefteå, this isn't to suggest that you need to change your intended course of study / fields of interest or take a teleological view of the past. I am suggesting that you may benefit if you prepare your materials with the understanding that a wider range of factors beyond an applicant's interests, skills, and potential can come into play--especially when a season is intensely competitive. How can you demonstrate that you will make a positive addition to a program in an era of turmoil that may soon match the late 1960s?

Please consider the benefits of considering some "big picture" questions including:

  • Why is religious history important today?
  • How does your take on religious history align or differ with the way social and/or cultural historians view matters of faith?
  • How did the religious experiences of Northern European immigrants help them to endure the intensifying grind of everyday life in modern America? 

My $0.02.

Well, as usually happens @Sigaba, you are far more eloquent and effective in wording what I meant :) 

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On 6/11/2020 at 5:36 PM, AP said:

Well, as usually happens @Sigaba, you are far more eloquent and effective in wording what I meant :) 

Yeah I'm jealous too.  I feel like a klutz reading @Sigaba's post sometimes... 😄

Edited by TMP
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I just attended an online panel discussion hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education and sponsored by Deloitte. The topic was "Sustaining the Private College Business Model in a Global Crisis". 

The discussion was recorded and I will post a link when it becomes available.

For me, the key take away is that COVID-19 has accelerated the time of reckoning for smaller colleges and universities. These institutions have to figure out simultaneously how to reopen campuses for in person instruction and how to make the transition towards sustainable business models.

Overall, there is no change to my previous guidance. When developing a list of programs of interest, spend a significant amount of time doing your due diligence on  the parent institution's financial health and strategic plan.

However, I would add that if you are considering master's programs at a smaller school, expand the scope of your due diligence to include the risks involved in attending a school that may be in severe financial stress within the next five years. Will "guaranteed" funding really be available in year two? Will POIs be able to give you the support you need when they themselves may be under profound stress about their jobs?

I would also recommend that anyone making the decision to attend on campus classes the coming academic year take a long hard look at @TMP 's post here

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Thank you all for your help. I will work on trying to highlight the relevance of my field of interest in our time. I will also try to build a relationship strong enough for a LOR during the last quarter. We do not have any concept such as office-hours or undergrad-research at my institution, so I have found it hard earlier (I really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with professors more closely in the U.S), but I will be writing my senior thesis this quarter so hopefully it will work. 

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