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Fall 2021 Religion PhD


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On 3/15/2021 at 12:19 PM, sayf said:

Anyone here get into BU GSAS Religion?

Yes, I received phone call/interview in January, and received the phone call of notification from my potential advisor at BU on Feb. 18. On Feb. 19, I received the official letter. I hope the information I provided helps. 

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On 3/17/2021 at 1:47 PM, Chicago Guy said:

Hi all, I've been actively primarily on the 2021 MTS thread, but for this question your expertise here is more applicable.

I've been accepted to Notre Dame and Yale Divinity's MTS/MAR programs in moral theology/ethics. Funding is similar. I was many years ago an undergraduate philosophy major at the University of Chicago but have been working in investment banking for a decade and am now in my mid 30s. When my masters work is complete, I'm planning to apply for PhD programs.

All of this said, can you please help me weigh Notre Dame and Yale against one another? Which in your mind would position me best for doctoral applications?

I'm an MDiv at Yale Divinity School now, happy to answer any questions. The answer really depends on what you will be studying as a PhD student specifically. If you want to study Catholic moral philosophy, for example, then you may study with professors at Notre Dame that carry more weight for the professors at the PhD programs to which you will apply. Vice versa if there's a specific professor with which you want to study at Yale. You definitely don't need to know that at this point, but if you intend to apply for PhD down the road, it's never to early to begin thinking about it. I would suggest thinking about your interests and making a decision based on which school has professors specializing in your interest as closely as possible.

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On 3/17/2021 at 1:47 PM, Chicago Guy said:

Hi all, I've been actively primarily on the 2021 MTS thread, but for this question your expertise here is more applicable.

I've been accepted to Notre Dame and Yale Divinity's MTS/MAR programs in moral theology/ethics. Funding is similar. I was many years ago an undergraduate philosophy major at the University of Chicago but have been working in investment banking for a decade and am now in my mid 30s. When my masters work is complete, I'm planning to apply for PhD programs.

All of this said, can you please help me weigh Notre Dame and Yale against one another? Which in your mind would position me best for doctoral applications?

You clearly have the credentials to go far regardless of the decision you make. Even just on the merit of being a University of Chicago undergraduate you will do well (where one does their undergraduate degree matters more than one might think - i.e. while most Top Tier Divinity Schools have high admissions rates, the same is not true of those same schools at the undergraduate level, so it will speak to your ability). 

For you, I think the question will be where you want to do your PhD. If you want to go to Notre Dame, they have a strong propensity to prefer their own internal candidates, though outstanding external candidates also do well. As long as you perform strongly in your MTS/MAR by earning high marks, acquiring strong letters of recommendation, and working early to produce a stellar writing sample, the difference may honestly be negligible since you already have a very strong profile. Also, I would advise you to pick your top three schools where you want to do your PhD and start networking now. I cannot overemphasize the utility of knowing the professors you want to work with before you apply. By this, I mean more than just meeting at conferences (though I do not mean less than that). Visit the schools in person if you can a year ahead of time and find ways to remain in touch (just not in an annoying way lol). 

I am an outsider to the field of ethics, so I will pose some questions and statements for consideration that I cannot answer:

(1) Who has the more renowned professors in your field? These are the letters of recommendation that will have the power to open doors. If both institutions are about equal, then it may come down to which faculty align with your current project or interests. 

(2) Notre Dame expects their MTS students to teach. This could add a nice touch to your CV come PhD application time. On the other hand, Yale is an Ivy League School and it will pop off the page too. 

(3) Notre Dame is close to the University of Chicago - while it may be a bit tricky due to the time zone change and commute, you can likely take classes at U of C if you go to Notre Dame. This can be a foot in the door if U of C is in your purview for the PhD. Richard Miller is a fine fellow, truly one of the kindest and most erudite people I know (I had to take an ethics class during my AM at Chicago), and you would be very fortunate to work with him. 

(4) Where do you want to live? I know this may not be the most important consideration, but it is important nonetheless, and it is worth noting that South Bend is considerably different than New Haven. You should enjoy your MA program (and your PhD, for that matter). 

As a fellow UChicago alum who also appreciated their commitment to free speech, I wish you the best, and please feel free to message me if you have any further questions or comments. 

 

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4 hours ago, Pierre de Olivi said:

Just committed to Harvard's CSR PhD program! Good luck to all on waitlists and making a decision; hopefully this can cause some waitlist movement at other programs.

Congratulations and best of luck! Where else were you accepted by the way? I’m definitely on a waitlist somewhere, so thanks for the best wishes!

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17 hours ago, crossroadsph said:

Congratulations and best of luck! Where else were you accepted by the way? I’m definitely on a waitlist somewhere, so thanks for the best wishes!

I turned down Stanford, withdrew from Toronto, and turned down a waitlist position at Princeton's history department. Hope this helps! 

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16 hours ago, Trevor Smith said:

Vandy decision came in.
 

Finally, it was my last one. Duke, Yale, Boston College, and Vanderbilt: no. Boston University and Emory: interviews, no. Fordham: waitlist.

I am so sorry to hear that. But hope the right doors will open to you!

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5 minutes ago, LUCASH said:

Congratulations! How thrilled you are! Would you mind to share your sub field and where did you denigrate?

Thank you!  

I'm happy even though I had to reject two other schools, so it was bittersweet. 

I have a BA in Religious Studies, minor in history, and a Master of Theological Studies. Taking the Religious Studies route for the PhD would have been the ideal trajectory but after talking to faculty and grad students I realized that adding the PhD in Chicanx Studies from UCLA would only open up job opportunities within the humanities.  

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On 3/18/2021 at 2:42 PM, שמע אלוהים said:

You clearly have the credentials to go far regardless of the decision you make. Even just on the merit of being a University of Chicago undergraduate you will do well (where one does their undergraduate degree matters more than one might think - i.e. while most Top Tier Divinity Schools have high admissions rates, the same is not true of those same schools at the undergraduate level, so it will speak to your ability). 

For you, I think the question will be where you want to do your PhD. If you want to go to Notre Dame, they have a strong propensity to prefer their own internal candidates, though outstanding external candidates also do well. As long as you perform strongly in your MTS/MAR by earning high marks, acquiring strong letters of recommendation, and working early to produce a stellar writing sample, the difference may honestly be negligible since you already have a very strong profile. Also, I would advise you to pick your top three schools where you want to do your PhD and start networking now. I cannot overemphasize the utility of knowing the professors you want to work with before you apply. By this, I mean more than just meeting at conferences (though I do not mean less than that). Visit the schools in person if you can a year ahead of time and find ways to remain in touch (just not in an annoying way lol). 

I am an outsider to the field of ethics, so I will pose some questions and statements for consideration that I cannot answer:

(1) Who has the more renowned professors in your field? These are the letters of recommendation that will have the power to open doors. If both institutions are about equal, then it may come down to which faculty align with your current project or interests. 

(2) Notre Dame expects their MTS students to teach. This could add a nice touch to your CV come PhD application time. On the other hand, Yale is an Ivy League School and it will pop off the page too. 

(3) Notre Dame is close to the University of Chicago - while it may be a bit tricky due to the time zone change and commute, you can likely take classes at U of C if you go to Notre Dame. This can be a foot in the door if U of C is in your purview for the PhD. Richard Miller is a fine fellow, truly one of the kindest and most erudite people I know (I had to take an ethics class during my AM at Chicago), and you would be very fortunate to work with him. 

(4) Where do you want to live? I know this may not be the most important consideration, but it is important nonetheless, and it is worth noting that South Bend is considerably different than New Haven. You should enjoy your MA program (and your PhD, for that matter). 

As a fellow UChicago alum who also appreciated their commitment to free speech, I wish you the best, and please feel free to message me if you have any further questions or comments. 

 

Notre Dame does not have MTS students teach! Many do TA, which increases the stipend. 

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 8:02 PM, Historiaeros said:

Yes, I received phone call/interview in January, and received the phone call of notification from my potential advisor at BU on Feb. 18. On Feb. 19, I received the official letter. I hope the information I provided helps. 

Hi, thanks for this. Are you going to commit to BU?

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20 hours ago, sayf said:

Hi, thanks for this. Are you going to commit to BU?

You are very welcome. Not committed yet, as I am still waiting for Toronto. It seems they will send second round of application in April, but I am not sure whether I am on their list. I tried to inquire about my status last week via email but I have not heard back from them. 😂

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Hi, new on the thread. I hope everyone is well and that the admissions cycle has been going relatively okay for people. I was fortunate to receive one offer this year from a good school. I was hoping to defer after having a pretty hard past year personally (health) but this school does not do deferrals. I absolutely feel that I cannot start doctoral work this fall. Any advice or have other people been in this situation? Is my best bet to reapply to places next year and hope for the best? Or am I crazy to not take up the offer? Sorry, it's a hard question. Thank you.  

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Hi @adamchaya! Sorry to hear this year has been such a challenge. You are definitely not alone. I have no personal experience with deferrals, but I would be really surprised if, especially this year, the school refused to show any compassion for your situation and work with you. Have you spoken to them about your situation? I imagine most institutions try to deny the option for deferral in their official materials because they want to discourage students from applying there with full intention of deferring anyway. In reality, however, most schools will have capacity and obligation to cut students some slack where necessary. Worst case, they are surely required to permit medical leaves of absence....so, if need be, you could probably just accept the offer and later request a leave?

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9 minutes ago, jellyfish7 said:

Hi @adamchaya! Sorry to hear this year has been such a challenge. You are definitely not alone. I have no personal experience with deferrals, but I would be really surprised if, especially this year, the school refused to show any compassion for your situation and work with you. Have you spoken to them about your situation? I imagine most institutions try to deny the option for deferral in their official materials because they want to discourage students from applying there with full intention of deferring anyway. In reality, however, most schools will have capacity and obligation to cut students some slack where necessary. Worst case, they are surely required to permit medical leaves of absence....so, if need be, you could probably just accept the offer and later request a leave?

I think this suggestion would work! It should have a different policy to insiders and outsiders. I saw Yale graduate departments allow student to have various suspension of semesters because of maternity leave, medical leave, etc. You may search their policy related to one-semester leave or suspension one or two semesters. 

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Hi @LUCASH and @jellyfish7. Thank you for your replies and kind thoughts. I truly appreciate this. I have asked the the department for more details about potential LOA in the first year. Let's see what they say and hoping for the best. Although it is good, I also have some personal fit issues here at this place as it was not in top choices, so that has been a cause of great anxiety as this is my only offer. 

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9 minutes ago, adamchaya said:

Hi @LUCASH and @jellyfish7. Thank you for your replies and kind thoughts. I truly appreciate this. I have asked the the department for more details about potential LOA in the first year. Let's see what they say and hoping for the best. Although it is good, I also have some personal fit issues here at this place as it was not in top choices, so that has been a cause of great anxiety as this is my only offer. 

Sorry to hear about this. Take care of your health. This is hard enough craft already. Hope things work out. It is okay to take time away to recharge. There are no guarantees in this game, but if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. 

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@adamchaya I promise it will all work out. If you don't end up attending this institution, you will take the year to reflect and research and find a school that does feel like a confident fit. If you do end up attending this institution, you will find goodness in the experience. At the very least, you will be challenged academically and socially, and emerge stronger, smarter, and clearer on who you are, what you stand for, and the types of environments and people you do/don't want to surround yourself with going forward. If you go, and it sucks, then you transfer! You are never stuck. Walk through the doors that open (if you feel moved to do so) and just embrace the adventure

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got an unofficial waitlist notification from UCLA this week. They said they should know if they’ll have a spot for me on Monday.

I had made my peace with my lack of acceptances, so now I’m excited again, but if it comes back as another no, that won’t be fun. But still. I have more reason to be optimistic now than I have in over a month, so that’s good!

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3 hours ago, TylerJarvis said:

Got an unofficial waitlist notification from UCLA this week. They said they should know if they’ll have a spot for me on Monday.

I had made my peace with my lack of acceptances, so now I’m excited again, but if it comes back as another no, that won’t be fun. But still. I have more reason to be optimistic now than I have in over a month, so that’s good!

Good luck, Tyler!!

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While I haven't heard from Drew where I am on the waiting list, I am now seriously considering KU Leuven in Belgium. This is because the university nominated me as one of 20 incoming students for the Flemish regional government Master Mind scholarship. I hope to get the scholarship, so I am currently working on uploading my documents for the scholarship program. Who knew that getting an Acrobat license would help me assemble a transcript portfolio? (Not an ad.)

I think that devoting my energies to applying for this scholarship is better than anxiously waiting for the Drew outcome at the moment, though after I finish my application, there will be a wait to hear about the outcome--late May or early June is when it happens. 

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