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1 minute ago, Sleepless in skellefteå said:

Accepted to Chicago with a dean's fellowship covering tuition and $10 000 in living expenses! This is so crazy! It feels impossible to make a choice between that and HDS?

I got the very same results haha. Grateful beyond measure. This is going to be a difficult decision. I'm hoping to consult people in the know, especially given that Chicago probably offers a more direct path towards a PhD. 

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1) Your concerns are valid. VERY valid.  2) Echoing KungFuKenny and jellyfish7, both schools are top schools within the religious studies world so adding either on your CV will only benefit you. 

Just received an admissions offer from Candler school of Theology (Emory) with 75% tuition funding! This was the only MTS program I applied to along with 4 PhD apps. I didn’t get into any of the PhD p

I appreciate the encouragement and information provided by everybody here. To follow-up, I’ve decided to accept Yale’s offer and begin their MARc this fall. Best wishes to all still making their decis

24 minutes ago, Joey_Jawad said:

I got the very same results haha. Grateful beyond measure. This is going to be a difficult decision. I'm hoping to consult people in the know, especially given that Chicago probably offers a more direct path towards a PhD. 

Congratulations, that is awesome! It feels good to know that someone else is in the same boat. 

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@Chicago GuySorry to intrude, but I couldn't help but notice that you did your undergrad at Chicago yet didn't apply to the MA program there. Could I possibly ask why? I think I'll have to decide between HDS and Chicago (YDS pending), and basically I have a feeling that Chicago might actually be more academically rigorous (with young scholars in my area of interest doing really exciting research) and prepare me better for a PhD, yet at the same time the infamous cut-throat hyper-competitive culture is scaring me off quite a bit... so all in all, I was wondering if you could provide some insights on Chicago that might help me decide. Hope this doesn't come off as too prying. Thanks so much for your time! 

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2 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

@Chicago GuySorry to intrude, but I couldn't help but notice that you did your undergrad at Chicago yet didn't apply to the MA program there. Could I possibly ask why? I think I'll have to decide between HDS and Chicago (YDS pending), and basically I have a feeling that Chicago might actually be more academically rigorous (with young scholars in my area of interest doing really exciting research) and prepare me better for a PhD, yet at the same time the infamous cut-throat hyper-competitive culture is scaring me off quite a bit... so all in all, I was wondering if you could provide some insights on Chicago that might help me decide. Hope this doesn't come off as too prying. Thanks so much for your time! 

No problem; I'm happy to discuss this. I'm a University of Chicago superfan. I went there for undergrad and for MBA/MPP - so 3 degrees. My closet is filled with UChicago hoodies, tee shirts...you name it. My choice not to apply to U of C for this degree was simply that I wanted to introduce at least some diversity into my academic experience and try another school. Ever since I made that choice, I've struggled with it, however. The University of Chicago campus, particularly Swift Hall where the Div School meets, is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been. I love it. I also love the University of Chicago's commitment to academic rigor: whether you're talking about the college, business school, law school, divinity school...anything...Chicago will offer an unmatched academic experience. If you choose to go there, you'll likely talk to folks at peer schools at end up shocked by how much harder you're working (and how much more you're learning). That said, there's more to life than academics, and I spent a great deal of my college years in a library reading books while most other 20 year old Americans were having fun. 

For a PhD - Chicago simply can't be beat. When it gets to that stage, U of C will once again see my name in their admissions pool.

P.S. One other point consider - and this may be a plus or a negative to you - the University of Chicago maintains a thoroughgoing commitment to debate and free speech. It is the most elite anti-woke University in the country. They won't disinvite speakers. They won't shy away from touchy subjects. People aren't going to feel pressure to drop pronouns into their email signatures. And if you try to create an atmosphere of progressive shaming of conservative/traditional ideas, you will in turn be shamed many of the faculty and students for doing so.

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

Accepted to Chicago with a dean's fellowship covering tuition and $10 000 in living expenses! This is so crazy! It feels impossible to make a choice between that and HDS?

Congratulations! 

And to @Joey_Jawadtoo!

Chicago is an excellent program! 

Edited by MaryHildegard
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1 hour ago, Chicago Guy said:

For a PhD - Chicago simply can't be beat. When it gets to that stage, U of C will once again see my name in their admissions pool.

I'm gonna push back on this because Chicago has a reputation for "forever" PhD students who take 7-10 years to graduate. This is not needed. You need to get those three letters behind your name so you can have a chance at a job search.

is Chicago a good school? Yes. Are they rigorous? Yes. Are they built around a model that reflects a decades old view of the job market and post graduate job stability? 100%. Working harder doesn't = a better program. It may mean a less humane one.

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21 minutes ago, Deep Fried Angst said:

I'm gonna push back on this because Chicago has a reputation for "forever" PhD students who take 7-10 years to graduate. This is not needed. You need to get those three letters behind your name so you can have a chance at a job search.

is Chicago a good school? Yes. Are they rigorous? Yes. Are they built around a model that reflects a decades old view of the job market and post graduate job stability? 100%. Working harder doesn't = a better program. It may mean a less humane one.

This is not an unfair assessment.

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5 minutes ago, MaryHildegard said:

@Deep Fried Angst, when do you expect to be on the job market? 

I'll start applying for jobs next academic year. I'll have my dissertation proposal accepted in a month or so (I already have confirmations from my board, I just need to do the paperwork and go through the process). Hopefully come summer's end I'll have three chapters done, so enough to have time to submit applications.

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Got into Chicago this morning too. :) So excited! Will probably accept. 

 

However, more funding would be appreciated. Does anyone with funding know if they will end up declining the offer? I'm not sure if the money spreads when people decline admission, but maybe?

 

Also - is anyone worried about schools going online next year again? 

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As someone that was once in your shoes, I'll pass down advice that was given to me:

Ask for more money.

The worst thing that can happen is that they'll say no. They will never revoke an offer simply because you asked for more money.

I was offered 75% to attend Vandy but simply asked for more. I explained that I loved the school, Nashville, etc but I needed more money to commit. They asked me to wait until closer to April 15th so they got a better sense of who was/isn't coming and the director called and offered me an increase to 100%.

VDS takes in anywhere from 70-100 students a year and the amount of classmates I had with 100k+ in student debt just from their M* was fucking criminal.

ALWAYS ask for more!

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1 hour ago, xypathos said:

As someone that was once in your shoes, I'll pass down advice that was given to me:

Ask for more money.

The worst thing that can happen is that they'll say no. They will never revoke an offer simply because you asked for more money.

I was offered 75% to attend Vandy but simply asked for more. I explained that I loved the school, Nashville, etc but I needed more money to commit. They asked me to wait until closer to April 15th so they got a better sense of who was/isn't coming and the director called and offered me an increase to 100%.

VDS takes in anywhere from 70-100 students a year and the amount of classmates I had with 100k+ in student debt just from their M* was fucking criminal.

ALWAYS ask for more!

I asked for more from Duke Divinity based on advice from others. Duke's response was essentially "Here is our list of external scholarships." I know their field education pays $8k-10k per round and I'm thrilled to have been offered a 50% tuition scholarship, but I'm still surprised at Duke's lack of funding compared to, well, many other schools.

By the way, congrats to all who are hearing back from Chicago and elsewhere!

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12 hours ago, dasiena said:

Also - is anyone worried about schools going online next year again? 

I'm reaaaallly hoping that they don't go online again. I'm not american, but I get the impression that vaccine rollouts are going apace and I'm hoping that schools would take that into consideration and open up the schools again. I'm curious how those more on the ground in the u.s. are feeling. What do you guys predict?

Edited by Joey_Jawad
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One of my friends who’s doing a PhD and teaching undergrads at a university here in Boston told me on Tuesday that he’s been told they’re not doing online classes in the fall, although there may be some part online classes. And this is a government university with very little in the way of dorms, so they have the least incentive to get kids on campus for profit. So that bodes well. At the current pace America should be 90% vaccinated by the end of August, and that’s with the assumption a vaccine for children will be available. I honestly do believe most American adults will be vaccinated by May or June. 

That having been said, I would also bet that international students will be expected to have a vaccine themselves before coming here. 

@LakeSuperior, I’ve heard from so many people that Duke’s funding is always terrible (not only for divinity but for everything else). Do you have other options? 

 

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As for the vaccines, I wouldn't be surprised if universities will create a plan for students who are not able to get a vaccine to arrive on campus two weeks early with a negative COVID test and then be vaccinated by the on-campus health clinic, and then be good to go. Thinking of the J&J vaccine. One does. Two weeks typically to receive full effects. Cheap and easily stored. This is purse speculation, but it might become reality.

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6 hours ago, Deep Fried Angst said:

As for the vaccines, I wouldn't be surprised if universities will create a plan for students who are not able to get a vaccine to arrive on campus two weeks early with a negative COVID test and then be vaccinated by the on-campus health clinic, and then be good to go. Thinking of the J&J vaccine. One does. Two weeks typically to receive full effects. Cheap and easily stored. This is purse speculation, but it might become reality.

Yes, international students, expect to bring vaccine paperwork — not only for COVID but for everything else. One of my undergrad friends who was Malaysian had to get a whole bunch of vaccines. 

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10 hours ago, MaryHildegard said:

@LakeSuperior, I’ve heard from so many people that Duke’s funding is always terrible (not only for divinity but for everything else). Do you have other options? 

That's what I've heard, too. I was offered an 80% tuition scholarship from PTS (MDiv) and a generous 100% tuition scholarship from Boston U (MTS). We'll see what Yale (MARc) decides this Monday.

I'm torn about my decision because 1. Duke and YDS have leading scholars in my area of interest (ecological theology & ethics) but will probably offer me the least funding, and 2. PTS and BU offered the most funding but have a relatively unknown and/or fledgling presence in that topic.

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On 3/10/2021 at 11:49 PM, MaryHildegard said:

Now I have to share the "what your seminary says about you" joke list: https://rockthatcollar.com/2020/06/27/what-your-seminary-says-about-you/ (the entry for Chicago is "you are exploring your call toward getting an unemployable PhD")

@Deep Fried Angst, when do you expect to be on the job market? 

I found this very entertaining. As someone who went to the Graduate Theological Union, the comments about four of the member schools mentioned there (CDSP, SFTS, SKSM, and PSR) are somewhat accurate. 🤣

 

Edited by crossroadsph
Slight rewording.
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Hi everyone! Does anybody know anything about the Vanderbilt Grad Department of Religion? I applied to the MA and it looks like the graduate school releases results on March 31, so I'm guessing they are sticking to that. I don't really see any religion master's results (just divinity), so I'm curious if anyone is familiar with the GDR. Getting a bit impatient and restless with this waiting, so the next couple of weeks will be rough haha.

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1 hour ago, sorenerasmus said:

Hi everyone! Does anybody know anything about the Vanderbilt Grad Department of Religion? I applied to the MA and it looks like the graduate school releases results on March 31, so I'm guessing they are sticking to that. I don't really see any religion master's results (just divinity), so I'm curious if anyone is familiar with the GDR. Getting a bit impatient and restless with this waiting, so the next couple of weeks will be rough haha.

As you mentioned, the Vanderbilt GDR usually discharges their results during the end of March or the first week of April. Best luck to you!  

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8 hours ago, sorenerasmus said:

Hi everyone! Does anybody know anything about the Vanderbilt Grad Department of Religion? I applied to the MA and it looks like the graduate school releases results on March 31, so I'm guessing they are sticking to that. I don't really see any religion master's results (just divinity), so I'm curious if anyone is familiar with the GDR. Getting a bit impatient and restless with this waiting, so the next couple of weeks will be rough haha.

Me too!!! Also looking for some clarification on the difference between Vanderbilt's MTS and MA in Religion? Why should a person apply to one instead of the other? Is one program more difficult to get into? I assume most MAR students take all their classes at the divinity school/with VDS faculty... so why are the apps managed by different admission committees? Very grateful for any insights.

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11 hours ago, jellyfish7 said:

Me too!!! Also looking for some clarification on the difference between Vanderbilt's MTS and MA in Religion? Why should a person apply to one instead of the other? Is one program more difficult to get into? I assume most MAR students take all their classes at the divinity school/with VDS faculty... so why are the apps managed by different admission committees? Very grateful for any insights.

Based on my knowledge from applying to the MA, the main technical difference would be whether someone wants to study religious studies or theology (I personally applied to the MA because I have a background in secular rel. studies but not as much in theology). If I remember correctly the MTS is a two year program (around 45-48 credits I think) but the MA looks like it’s usually meant to be finished in one year (30 credits). The subfields/concentrations between the MTS and MA are different too, and the GDR concentrations include subfields outside of Christianity. I do think the faculty are mostly the same across the GDR and Divinity, but I remember that when I glanced at some of the classes listed for last fall out of curiosity I noticed that Divinity and Religion classes are listed separately, so people in the different programs probably aren’t taking too many of the same classes. Hopefully this clarifies some - it’s hard to tell what the dynamic of a program is just from websites for sure! 

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