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Fall 2021 Applicants


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I noticed we haven't started the Fall 2021 Applicants thread yet, so I wanted to get it rolling! I've been working on my statements of purpose and just finished emailing my professors for letters of recommendation. I had to take Columbia off my list because Classics isn't taking students for Fall 2021. I hope everyone is having good luck with their applications so far! I'm waiting for some of the other apps to open. I'm mainly focused on interdisciplinary programs and Art/Archaeology.

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So, while it's a bummer I didn't get into any of the PhD programs I applied to, I did have one other thing I was waiting on: I officially got the acceptance offer for the UPenn Post-Bacc! This year th

Guys, I did it!  I applied to three programs and was rejected by one, accepted by one and still have not heard back from the last one. Today I got an offer of an assistantship at the school that

My two cents about applying to or accepting offers from Columbia: I am a current 2nd year PhD student at Columbia. The majority of grad students are currently on strike for a living wage, better

Best of luck, @ClassicsCandidate and all else applying!

I’ve been in a program for a few years now, and am happy to share my (naturally limited) perspective on the application process (which I had to go through twice) with any and all applicants — though since I’m a philologist literature programs are my forte. Consider this an open invitation for DMs, if y’all wish.

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On 9/8/2020 at 12:02 AM, suntaliquidmanes said:

Best of luck, @ClassicsCandidate and all else applying!

I’ve been in a program for a few years now, and am happy to share my (naturally limited) perspective on the application process (which I had to go through twice) with any and all applicants — though since I’m a philologist literature programs are my forte. Consider this an open invitation for DMs, if y’all wish.

Thank you! I just finished my second (of ten) statement of purpose last night. I'm very nervous. Thanks for the open invitation, too :3

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I'm new to the graduate admissions process (first in my family to consider going) and I was surprised to hear someone say recently that I should contact advisors and talk to them on the phone even for taught MAs in the US if there is a thesis/dissertation component.  I knew you had to do this for research degrees like PhDs or MPhils in the UK, but I didn't think it was standard for MAs.  Admittedly, I probably should have done more research before hand on this, but here we are.  Any thoughts?  Some of the programs I'm looking at expect the thesis to come from a seminar paper written within the program and give you a year to choose an advisor.  So I surmised from this that I'd have time once in the program to fully confirm that professor was a good fit for me and to work out the details of my research plan.  I certainly have advisors in mind at every program, but I just didn't expect to have to get on a call with them yet.  Should I contact the professors I'm thinking about?  Is this expected or normal in the US? Thanks. 

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Contacting professors at a program before applying is not at all expected in the US, as far as I'm aware. Some people do, but I don't think it gives them an edge in admissions. That sort of time is generally better used polishing the writing sample.

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7 hours ago, Marcus_Aurelius said:

Contacting professors at a program before applying is not at all expected in the US, as far as I'm aware. Some people do, but I don't think it gives them an edge in admissions. That sort of time is generally better used polishing the writing sample.

Co-signed. Definitely doesn’t give an edge. The only advantage to this is if a professor is nearing retirement and you’d like to work with them — in that case it can’t hurt to make sure they’ll still be available to advise you.

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Hey all! I'm applying to MA programs and am interested in Hellenistic philosophy and poetry, as well as foundational epic and silver age literature. I know this is somewhat of a big ask, but would anyone be willing to share what a typical statement of purpose and personal statement look like?

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Hello, everyone!

I am applying to programs for fall 2020, as well. This will be my second time applying - I think I almost got funding for this year, but then there were pandemic-related issues and I can't really afford graduate school without funding. Unfortunately the number of programs that I can apply to is somewhat limited, as I don't have the experience with classical languages that a lot of other people do (I'm currently trying to teach myself Latin to rectify this). The programs that I am interested in have an M.A. in Mediterranean/Classical Archaeology, as I would like to eventually pursue museum work as a curator. Best of luck to all of you during this process - it has been a rough year and I know we could all use something positive.

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Hello guys, I am applying to anthropological archaeology PhD programs for fall 2021. I want to specialize in the quaternary studies, especially pleistocene archaeology. I am working on my writing sample now as I have done my education up to my Masters(will graduate in july 2021) in India where we don't have written assignments as a part of our course only tests. I have also started working on my SOP and truth be told, it's a daunting task. Best of luck to all of you guys and I hope that all of us get admitted to the programs we are aiming for

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On 10/8/2020 at 11:49 PM, suntaliquidmanes said:

Co-signed. Definitely doesn’t give an edge. The only advantage to this is if a professor is nearing retirement and you’d like to work with them — in that case it can’t hurt to make sure they’ll still be available to advise you.

*Going to necro this a bit, since deadlines are upcoming.

There is a definite caveat here. While contacting potential advisors might not give you an advantage, in the sense that it strengthens your application, applying out of the blue is not something I would recommend either. The departments I am familiar with absolutely recommend reaching out to the faculty, at the vary least the DGS. Sure, some "old school" professors might act like they are too busy for your inquiry, but in my opinion this is the exception to the rule. If anything, it helps you get the lay of the land. Will your potential advisor actually mentor the research you are proposing (their bio really means nothing to this effect - research interests change faster than university websites in some cases)? Do they have a sabbatical or fellowship year upcoming? Or, is there merely an internal hierarchy where junior faculty admit students less often, thereby making it more difficult to admit you - in my experience faculty are quite honest about this. However, in most cases, you will usually receive a polite response suggesting you look elsewhere with tips on the search, a positive reply with an invite to chat over Zoom/Skype, some other helpful piece of advice, and most of all, s/he now has an awareness of your application as it comes through the system. This, if anything, is worth the short time investment to send an email. 

NB: written from the perspective of an archaeologist.

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On 10/7/2020 at 11:14 PM, K G said:

I'm new to the graduate admissions process (first in my family to consider going) and I was surprised to hear someone say recently that I should contact advisors and talk to them on the phone even for taught MAs in the US if there is a thesis/dissertation component.  I knew you had to do this for research degrees like PhDs or MPhils in the UK, but I didn't think it was standard for MAs.  Admittedly, I probably should have done more research before hand on this, but here we are.  Any thoughts?  Some of the programs I'm looking at expect the thesis to come from a seminar paper written within the program and give you a year to choose an advisor.  So I surmised from this that I'd have time once in the program to fully confirm that professor was a good fit for me and to work out the details of my research plan.  I certainly have advisors in mind at every program, but I just didn't expect to have to get on a call with them yet.  Should I contact the professors I'm thinking about?  Is this expected or normal in the US? Thanks. 

I'm super late to this, but for me, contacting the professors helped me get an idea of how they treated their potential students. For example, only one professor congratulated me on finishing my MA - not that I expected it from anyone at all, but that stuck out to me. For me, reaching out to each professor before I applied made an impact on how keen I was to apply to the programs at all. One of my potential schools was struck from my list entirely because a professor who I would have had as my advisor at that particular school said certain things at a conference round table to me that made me sure we wouldn't mesh well. So, in my opinion, reaching out to the professors was more for me to know which professors would be responsive (I still haven't heard back from one I wrote to in January), their candor, and so on. I'm not sure how much that will help you now, but I wanted to weigh in, in case it would help you or anyone else.

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On 11/1/2020 at 4:40 PM, TaciturnTales said:

Hello, everyone!

I am applying to programs for fall 2020, as well. This will be my second time applying - I think I almost got funding for this year, but then there were pandemic-related issues and I can't really afford graduate school without funding. Unfortunately the number of programs that I can apply to is somewhat limited, as I don't have the experience with classical languages that a lot of other people do (I'm currently trying to teach myself Latin to rectify this). The programs that I am interested in have an M.A. in Mediterranean/Classical Archaeology, as I would like to eventually pursue museum work as a curator. Best of luck to all of you during this process - it has been a rough year and I know we could all use something positive.

Best of luck! My first M.A. is in Museum Studies and I'm planning on pursuing a similar path, maybe ours will cross!

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I've finally finished applying to everywhere today. I've applied to Cornell, NYU, Princeton, Rutgers, the University of Delaware, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Yale. Every program I applied to is a little different (University of Delaware is Art History, for example, with a focus in Antiquity), and unfortunately, Brown and the University of Pennsylvania, two of my top choices, weren't taking students for Fall 2021, so my list changed a lot in the last year. My top choice is Cornell because I applied specifically for the Interdisciplinary Classics. How's everyone doing with their apps?

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I am also done with my application process. I've applied to UC San Diego and Uni of Texas Austin, both for anthropological archaeology. These were the only Unis where I felt I could do Geoarchaeology as a part of anthropology as the other options were in Earth Sciences. I also have a question, I am an international student and had to give TOEFL where I scored 101. Is that a good score? I know that I meet the score requirements for both Unis, just curious

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Hey everyone, I'm super stressed about the admissions cycle with Covid and a lot of major schools not admitting anyone this year. Does anyone know if the programs that are still admitting people are going to be more competitive/ reduced admission? I'm just stressed and feel like I don't have any information about this, the departments have not posted anything on their websites. Idk. It would just really suck to be rejected just because of covid, and I don't know if I have it in me to try to apply again next year. Does anyone have any information or feel similarly? 

I oscillate between despair and thinking I'm basically qualified, with great undergrad gpa, multiple years greek and latin, great grade on my UK masters, good recommendations, interesting (I hope) research experience and goals. I just feel very powerless with covid and all these disruptions to the admissions cycle and no answers anywhere. :( 

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23 hours ago, PeppermintTea said:

Hey everyone, I'm super stressed about the admissions cycle with Covid and a lot of major schools not admitting anyone this year. Does anyone know if the programs that are still admitting people are going to be more competitive/ reduced admission? I'm just stressed and feel like I don't have any information about this, the departments have not posted anything on their websites. Idk. It would just really suck to be rejected just because of covid, and I don't know if I have it in me to try to apply again next year. Does anyone have any information or feel similarly? 

I oscillate between despair and thinking I'm basically qualified, with great undergrad gpa, multiple years greek and latin, great grade on my UK masters, good recommendations, interesting (I hope) research experience and goals. I just feel very powerless with covid and all these disruptions to the admissions cycle and no answers anywhere. :( 

This may not apply to other institutions, but not good news from my home dept. Admin is allowing us (R-1 Classics dept. on the east coast) to accept only 1 PhD student next year.  Yes, 1 -- across all Classics subfields.  Normally we take up to 6 or 7 PhDs.  Hopefully things will get better next admissions cycle. Good luck. 

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21 hours ago, DiomedesVIII said:

I don't know if this is the norm, but I was talking to one admin at a grad school in NY who said their program has an unusually low number of applicants this cycle.

Oh interesting! I would have thought the reverse, with more people going back to school in a recession. I guess Classics is a little niche for that then?

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13 minutes ago, PeppermintTea said:

Oh interesting! I would have thought the reverse, with more people going back to school in a recession. I guess Classics is a little niche for that then?

I guess we'll have to wait and see. Some programs still have deadlines in January.

Overall, I don't expect that there will be a significantly larger demand for Classics than in previous years. I could be wrong, but I doubt there will be a wave of applicants like in other fields (e.g. Psychology). 

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To address a lot of things already posted in this thread: I've been worried as well about the idea of more people applying to schools they may not have considered originally (as I said in a previous post, a couple of the schools originally on my list had to be taken off and I added one I hadn't originally planned on myself), but on the flipside, as someone else said, a lot of people might be less inclined to apply to graduate school in the midst of the pandemic. I know there was a lot of chatter on Twitter about people saying they'd rather wait until things had leveled out/gone back to a closer-to-normal pre-COVID environment before they applied. So I wonder if a lot of people are waiting for things like a vaccine before going (I was in undergrad when Swine Flu was going around, but it was honestly nothing in comparison to this), or just waiting until it's subsided for the most part. I wanted to apply right now because the 2020-2021 school year was my off year; I was keen on keeping to my plan and I luckily managed to get application fee waivers for most of the schools but I'm sure the cost of applying was a deterrent, too (my alma mater actually sent me a fee waiver unprompted, so that was nice). 

As for hearing back from anyone yet, I'm not expecting anything until mid-January at best and heard some people (last year or earlier) waited as long as April to hear anything at all. Worst case scenario I've heard is when people say they never heard back from some schools at all, which surprised me! So I'm hoping for mid-January but I'm bracing to wait as long as March/April for answers. 

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