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Fall 2021 Religion PhD


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3 hours ago, crossroadsph said:

Just to check with you and everyone else, since I have no experience of this: is it the convention for one's POI in a given school to contact them if they are admitted? 

Just wondering. 

totally different experience over here -- extensive contact with several professors in the BC department before applying and then not a word (not even an interview) until the formal "change of status" and then they all emailed. It seemed they were not allowed to reach out until the formal acceptance came through. 

TLDR every school is different!! So always hope!!! 

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I just received an offer of admission from the Toronto School of Theology. Financial aid information is forthcoming. Out of six applications, this means I got into two (Toronto and KU Leuven in B

Accepted to the MA program at UVA. Was wrestling between this or the PhD program at Marquette but finally decided that I'll be heading to UVA to work with the faculty that I'm more inclined to study w

In at Fordham!! Just got an informal acceptance over the phone!

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4 hours ago, Adso_ said:

totally different experience over here -- extensive contact with several professors in the BC department before applying and then not a word (not even an interview) until the formal "change of status" and then they all emailed. It seemed they were not allowed to reach out until the formal acceptance came through. 

TLDR every school is different!! So always hope!!! 

What’s your area of specialization at BC? I haven’t heard anything from BC yet and I dunno if that’s bad news or not haha

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58 minutes ago, TylerJarvis said:

What’s your area of specialization at BC? I haven’t heard anything from BC yet and I dunno if that’s bad news or not haha

Hebrew Bible in the theology department, not the school of ministry/pastoral. Again heard *nothing* until the acceptance so I think its not necessarily a bad thing!! 

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17 minutes ago, Adso_ said:

Hebrew Bible in the theology department, not the school of ministry/pastoral. Again heard *nothing* until the acceptance so I think its not necessarily a bad thing!! 

Thanks! That’s exactly what I applied to as well, so for now I’ll take it as bad news for me. But congratulations to you! That’s exciting!

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45 minutes ago, dougy said:

Goodness, I didn't know that February, which normally feels painfully long and dismal, could feel even longer and more dismal. 

One week until Baylor's preview day, and it can't come soon enough!

Bless us all in the waiting!

I genuinely wish programs could let us know when they expect to release admission decisions on the portal. I understand it's a process for them too, but at least knowing a date range for each cycle would really help ease the anxiety! Thank god for GradCafe results page.

Informing applicants of estimated decision time every cycle is one thing I would recommend to committees if I ever become a professor one day...

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2 hours ago, alizeh55 said:

I genuinely wish programs could let us know when they expect to release admission decisions on the portal. I understand it's a process for them too, but at least knowing a date range for each cycle would really help ease the anxiety! Thank god for GradCafe results page.

Informing applicants of estimated decision time every cycle is one thing I would recommend to committees if I ever become a professor one day...

Yes. Baylor has been very open about their timelines, so I am grateful for that. But I am stunned by how little information is given by other schools, when it seems they follow a relatively predictable pattern. Why not just give applicants a target date with some sense of how the communication process will work? 

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Just now, dougy said:

Yes. Baylor has been very open about their timelines, so I am grateful for that. But I am stunned by how little information is given by other schools, when it seems they follow a relatively predictable pattern. Why not just give applicants a target date with some sense of how the communication process will work? 

So glad to hear that at least some schools are more organized. Exactly, I don’t understand what they lose, even if the target date is a little vague!

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13 hours ago, dougy said:

Yes. Baylor has been very open about their timelines, so I am grateful for that. But I am stunned by how little information is given by other schools, when it seems they follow a relatively predictable pattern. Why not just give applicants a target date with some sense of how the communication process will work? 

I’ve gotten a clear answer from Toronto School of Theology about when the results would be out. Pretty exceptional in that case. I definitely agree with you that departments should give a target date. It will relieve a key source of anxiety, the uncertainty about when one’s future will be known.

It won’t hurt, but I honestly don’t know why more schools can adopt this level of transparency if others do it. It might not be easy to give up the unstated assumption that patience is a virtue people applying should adopt. At least that’s my guess as to why it doesn’t happen more often.

Edited by crossroadsph
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1 hour ago, stlmo said:

Is it just my imagination, or do there seem to be fewer reports for our field over on the results page than there have been in previous years?

It does seem quieter on here than in other years! It feels odd, too, because I've heard from a couple schools that the applicant pools have been bigger than any year in recent memory. You'd think more applicants would = more chatter on here. 

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2 hours ago, stlmo said:

Is it just my imagination, or do there seem to be fewer reports for our field over on the results page than there have been in previous years?

It certainly seems that way! But a lot of the usual suspects (Princeton, UPenn, Columbia, and so on come to mind) aren't accepting applications this year, and many of the programs that are accepting applications are doing so at a reduced capacity, so I suppose I'm not too surprised.

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2 hours ago, _Athena_ said:

It certainly seems that way! But a lot of the usual suspects (Princeton, UPenn, Columbia, and so on come to mind) aren't accepting applications this year, and many of the programs that are accepting applications are doing so at a reduced capacity, so I suppose I'm not too surprised.

The latter is true with Yale--i calculated five or six slots based on last year's publicly available figure of 11 admits, and i didn't get one of them. It's fine, because I already have one very exciting option in Europe which is also a top 20 program, if one believes the QS survey (always with a grain of salt).

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12 hours ago, stlmo said:

Is it just my imagination, or do there seem to be fewer reports for our field over on the results page than there have been in previous years?

I see that as well. Does anyone ever wonder if applying this year was really a crap shoot ... maybe even useless? Considering they have less spots in an already selective process...

 

might just be my late night imposter syndrome 

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11 hours ago, alizeh55 said:

I see that as well. Does anyone ever wonder if applying this year was really a crap shoot ... maybe even useless? Considering they have less spots in an already selective process...

 

might just be my late night imposter syndrome 

I have seen different postings (results, etc.) suggesting that most PhD programs' slots are roughly half (or even a quarter) of the norm this year. It's definitely kind of frustrating that programs were not particularly upfront or transparent about the number of slots available, at least as far as I know.

I personally only applied to two PhD programs since I'm coming straight from undergrad (I'll presumably do a master's degree depending on results/funding), but I would not have even attempted any PhD applications at this stage (or spent the extra ~$200 on the applications) if those programs' circumstances had been clearer 😕 At least I have the experience of going through the process for when I try again in a couple of years ... lol

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16 minutes ago, sorenerasmus said:

I have seen different postings (results, etc.) suggesting that most PhD programs' slots are roughly half (or even a quarter) of the norm this year. It's definitely kind of frustrating that programs were not particularly upfront or transparent about the number of slots available, at least as far as I know.

I personally only applied to two PhD programs since I'm coming straight from undergrad (I'll presumably do a master's degree depending on results/funding), but I would not have even attempted any PhD applications at this stage (or spent the extra ~$200 on the applications) if those programs' circumstances had been clearer 😕 At least I have the experience of going through the process for when I try again in a couple of years ... lol

Yes, I completely agree. Maybe I was naive and just excited when I submitted my application but I genuinely did not know there would be less slots for candidates. I assumed that if a program is accepting, that means nothing has probably changed since the previous cycle, since so many programs had closed their applications for all. In my defense, the programs did not even hint such a change, probably so they could get more application money lol.

I guess we can just hope and see what happens for the best. Not much we can do anymore, besides go down in history as the people who actually applied during a pandemic, haha. Good luck to everyone. Xx

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1 hour ago, alizeh55 said:

Yes, I completely agree. Maybe I was naive and just excited when I submitted my application but I genuinely did not know there would be less slots for candidates. I assumed that if a program is accepting, that means nothing has probably changed since the previous cycle, since so many programs had closed their applications for all. In my defense, the programs did not even hint such a change, probably so they could get more application money lol.

I guess we can just hope and see what happens for the best. Not much we can do anymore, besides go down in history as the people who actually applied during a pandemic, haha. Good luck to everyone. Xx

I feel the same way. I'm somewhat glad that I reached out to some POI before applying (Northwestern and UChicago) because they told me they weren't comfortable taking on new students during "uncertain times" (their words). At the time I was upset but now looking back on it I'm thankful I didn't spend the extra money on transcripts/application fees.

Still, of the eight schools I applied to I've gotten rejection letters from 4 places. I'm sure the rest (3) will be rejections too. No interviews. I'm absolutely thankful for the one program that's offered me admission (not within my field but it's the best fit) yet I'm overwhelmed with the amount of rejection--heck, I've even questioned my worth as a scholar a few times during this application cycle. Of course, I try to remember that these are just my irrational thoughts coming to surface. 

I do my best to remind myself that it's been a tough cycle within a tough year. Hearing this I do my best to take care of myself and go back to the activities and people that bring me peace. I'm not a particularly religious person but I have my moments with God, or the Universe, and pray a little bit. But I don't pray for what I want. I pray to be guided towards where I'm needed. 

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Dinged from Yale as well. That stings a bit, but I'm very grateful to already have a wonderful option under my belt. I was told by a professor that there were a maximum of 4 spots available for all subfields in the Religious Studies department - what a year to apply! Congrats to those who got in!

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5 hours ago, CafeConGabi said:

I feel the same way. I'm somewhat glad that I reached out to some POI before applying (Northwestern and UChicago) because they told me they weren't comfortable taking on new students during "uncertain times" (their words). At the time I was upset but now looking back on it I'm thankful I didn't spend the extra money on transcripts/application fees.

Still, of the eight schools I applied to I've gotten rejection letters from 4 places. I'm sure the rest (3) will be rejections too. No interviews. I'm absolutely thankful for the one program that's offered me admission (not within my field but it's the best fit) yet I'm overwhelmed with the amount of rejection--heck, I've even questioned my worth as a scholar a few times during this application cycle. Of course, I try to remember that these are just my irrational thoughts coming to surface. 

I do my best to remind myself that it's been a tough cycle within a tough year. Hearing this I do my best to take care of myself and go back to the activities and people that bring me peace. I'm not a particularly religious person but I have my moments with God, or the Universe, and pray a little bit. But I don't pray for what I want. I pray to be guided towards where I'm needed. 

What a lovely note at the end of your comment. I feel the exact same way. It takes a lot of guts to apply and push through the anxious never-ending weeks up until decisions are announced in ANY year, and the fact that we persisted during this year specifically speaks volumes about our patience and persistence.

 

3 hours ago, _Athena_ said:

Dinged from Yale as well. That stings a bit, but I'm very grateful to already have a wonderful option under my belt. I was told by a professor that there were a maximum of 4 spots available for all subfields in the Religious Studies department - what a year to apply! Congrats to those who got in!

Wow ... four spots for all subfields. That’s insane. I’m so sorry about that, but very happy to see everyone looking on the brighter side. Just think of it like this—Yale just lost their chance to claim all of you future groundbreaking researchers as their own ;)

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1 hour ago, alizeh55 said:

I know this is a relative question, but what do you guys think is the most crucial / deal breaking element of an application? The SOP, LORs, etc.

Since programs usually review applicants holistically, it's really hard to say, but I think both your SOP and letters of rec have the ability to make or break your application. If I had to pick one thing, though, it would probably be program fit. I would imagine your application automatically gets tossed into the "rejected" pile if your research interests don't align with those of any faculty members.

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6 hours ago, alizeh55 said:

What a lovely note at the end of your comment. I feel the exact same way. It takes a lot of guts to apply and push through the anxious never-ending weeks up until decisions are announced in ANY year, and the fact that we persisted during this year specifically speaks volumes about our patience and persistence.

Right?! I think I want to look at it this way. Yay us! 

I mean I was absolutely terrified to apply anywhere during the last application cycle--and the pandemic wasn't on my radar then. I was afraid of being rejected. And now I'm applying to eight schools. I mean, that's a pretty big turn and I need to give myself some credit for taking that leap. I almost didn't apply this season either! But here I am. : ) Here we are! Woo! 

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