arslanty Posted August 14, 2020 Share Posted August 14, 2020 (edited) Hi everyone, I am glad to have found this website! I need some advice (or motivation) regarding my tricky situation, so I thought it would be a good idea to start a new topic. I am from Turkey, did both my BS and MA degrees here at English-speaking universities. I am currently preparing applications for a number of comparative literature PhD programs in the US. But I come from rather an unusual background as my undergraduate degree was in economics. Well, it wouldn't be that unusual if I were to propose a topic lying at the intersection of economics and literature. I have no intention to go back to anything economic in the near future though. Broadly speaking, I am interested in medieval mysticism in Islamic and European world. I will not go into the details of why I ended up studying economics but I did not like it and graduated with a mediocre GPA (3.05). I actually held this belief that I was just a mediocre student until I started to take elective courses from other departments. A's in those courses changed my mind, leading to a lot of research as to whether it was possible to make a smooth shift towards one of my lifelong interests, namely literature and philosophy. It turned out that it could be possible to do graduate studies in these fields. Long story short, since I was still torn between these two, I decided to go to a prestigious MA program in cultural studies where I wrote a thesis on medievalism in 20th century Turkey (GPA: 4.0). I just defended my thesis and am currently working as an assistant editor in a publishing house (I have been writing fiction myself for more than 10 years now -magical realist work set in medieval era). TOEFL: 110 GRE: Verbal: 162 Quantitative: 170 Languages: Turkish, Persian, German, Latin (beginner). Also a huge interest in digital humanities. Now, obviously my undergraduate GPA won't impress anyone in the selection committee. The question is whether it would be an excuse that I majored in economics. Some schools set a minimum GPA requirement that I don't meet. Would that mean they will outright reject my application? And overall, how would a degree in an irrelevant field affect my odds of getting in a Comp Lit PhD program? (Honestly, going through some departments' websites, I have not seen anyone with a similar background). Finally, what do you think I should highlight the most, particularly in the SOP? Thanks for any replies! Edited August 14, 2020 by arslanty Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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