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PhD applicant from Chile, South America


deadinside

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Hello everyone, I hope you're doing great and healthy in this times of COVID.

I'm a chilean last semester MA (sociology) student, with background in History (BA), preparing my dissertation and my thesis defense. Plus, I'm preparing myself for applying to a PhD programme in the 2020 cohort and I have a couple of questions about it, and it'd be nice if you could help me to solve them.

The proyect I want to research is, in simple terms, about comparing in a historical-comparative scope the relation between type of capitalism (E.g. Neoliberalism) and the type of political articulation against it, focusing in the left parties. Specifically, I'd like to compare the trayectories of Bolivia and Chile. In that way, I was looking for PhD programmes who could suit me well, coming to the coming universities (ordered by application preferences):

1) UC Berkeley

2) UW-Madison

3) NYU

4) UMich

5) Northwestern

6) McGill Uni (Canada)

My first question is: Do you think these universities are well suited programmes for me, considering that they have to have Political and Historical-comparative scholars?

The second topic I want to adress is, more or less, the competitiveness of my application. In Chile, we use to get Masters and at least 1 peer reviewed paper before we apply to any PhD programme. In my case, I currently have 1 peer reviewed paper, and 2 more incoming (at least): One of them being a manuscrpit of my MA Thesis and the other one a co-authored paper coming from te research proyect I'm working with chilena renown scholars. As I semi-mentioned before, I'm working as a Research Assistant in a proyect with 6 more scholars who have renown in Chile, and I'm hoping doing so all this 2021. Therefore, do you think my research background is competitive among applicants or is it average?

Finally, the last topic I want to adress relates to contacting people. At the time I've contacted PhD students from UC Berkeley, UW-Madison, NYU and UMich. All of them have told me that my research interests are well suited with their respectives universities. That said, there's a thing that bugs me: contacting scholars. In the UK PhD system you are expected to contact scholars (even before your application). In the US system it's a bit different I think because there's no universal answer for that. Thus, my question lies in either contacting -or not- possible scholars who can guide my thesis once inside (wich many of them I've already identified)

 

In advance, thank you very much for your time.

Best

 

 

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I would add some more to the list, not because there's anything weak about you/your profile, but because applications are so competitive (especially due to COVID when funding has been decimated). You're outside of my research area, but just based on what I've heard through word of mouth and some random articles I've come across, I'd also check out UCLA, Boston U, Vanderbilt (check out CLAS), UCI, Harvard, Stanford, and UT Austin.

Also, it's great that you're contacting students. In the fall when you're applying, I'd check out the websites for each program you're applying to in July/August. Unless they explicitly say not to contact faculty (e.g., Stanford), send a short email to one faculty member at each school you really want to work with (a quick couple sentences introducing yourself and mentioning that you're interested in applying to X program, a sentence about why you're interested in that scholar's specific research and/or why it intersects with your interests, and one question such as asking if they're taking students or asking about their research). If the email is short, targeted (again, references the professor's specific work), and kind, many will respond.

Edit: Oh, and sorry I didn't say this, but I think your profile sounds strong. Of course, much of it will come down to fit, personal statement, writing sample, and LORs, so there's only so much those of us on this forum can predict. That's why applying to closer to 10 schools, especially as an international student, is really important.

Edited by lkaitlyn
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Thank you very much for your answer!!

 

I'll definitely consider your advices and add some universities to the pool. Also, I'll begin the process of sharing emails with schollars (if it's possible) and I'm highly suspicious that you have to be very carfeul with this process, otherwise it can counterback the process.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, cbmalv said:

Thank you very much for your answer!!

 

I'll definitely consider your advices and add some universities to the pool. Also, I'll begin the process of sharing emails with schollars (if it's possible) and I'm highly suspicious that you have to be very carfeul with this process, otherwise it can counterback the process.

 

 

I would wait until the summer to email. People are really focused on recruiting this year's cohort right now.

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