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Question: during my undergrad I worked as an archives assistant at my university’s archives and special collections. I didn’t work on my proposed area of study specifically, but it’s not entirely dissimilar (modern American social history) and a large part of my job was archival reference research. Is this something I should include on my CV? 

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I agree. Wait and drink heavily.

Accepted at Berkeley! Anybody else? 

Just wait until you go on the job market and are asked to upload your CV, and then the form auto-populates the field data from your CV except it gets it totally wrong and you have to delete every fiel

About writing samples - is everyone including the bibliography in their page count? From reading past threads it seems people are divided. My citations are Chicago style so I don't need the bib, but I don't want to leave it out if it looks bad.

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2 hours ago, jpc34 said:

Question: during my undergrad I worked as an archives assistant at my university’s archives and special collections. I didn’t work on my proposed area of study specifically, but it’s not entirely dissimilar (modern American social history) and a large part of my job was archival reference research. Is this something I should include on my CV? 

Absolutely. 

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4 hours ago, wynntir said:

About writing samples - is everyone including the bibliography in their page count? From reading past threads it seems people are divided. My citations are Chicago style so I don't need the bib, but I don't want to leave it out if it looks bad.

It will not matter either way.

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Posts are down this season (so far) but don't let that deter you from asking your questions, especially since three faculty members and several current graduate students are actively lurking.

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15 hours ago, Sigaba said:

Posts are down this season (so far) but don't let that deter you from asking your questions, especially since three faculty members and several current graduate students are actively lurking.

Wonder if this is any reflection of application trends? Time will tell I suppose.

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Back with another Q - one of my applications asks me to list any and all relevant coursework. Should I list ALL of the history courses I've taken (there's a lot, obviously), or just the ones related to my intended research field?

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8 hours ago, hydro said:

What is everyone thoughts on "safety schools," where faculty is a good fit and well known, but the school isn't ranked as high? 

There is no such thing as a safety school for PhD work. Don't go to a program just because it's the only one that will accept you.

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10 hours ago, hydro said:

What is everyone thoughts on "safety schools," where faculty is a good fit and well known, but the school isn't ranked as high? 

You mean school rankings that measure UG education? Irrelevant.

Graduate education does not work like undergraduate education. First, the application process is not centralized. You are not admitted to a school, you are admitted to a specific program. Your admission depends on many, many variables aside from your credentials. For instance, it depends on who else is applying. If you are an Americanist and fifty other people are applying to that same spot, your chances are less favorable than the five Latin Americanists (gross oversimplification). 

Second, rankings in grad school take into account faculty research productivity, which is a good thing but not entirely relevant to you. You want your specific advisor and the faculty you'll be working with to be active in terms of research, but the whole program ranking averages research in general.

Third, "fit" has become one of those words that we think we know what we mean, but we actually don't. Or at least I don't know how would anyone define it beyond being interested in more or less the same themes, say gender and violence in medieval Europe or East Asian environmental history. I was trained by three scholars who did not specialize in my geography (within the field), but had similar questions as I did. 

Finally, as @dr. telkanurumentioned, there is not such thing as a safety school in PhD work. 

 

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IMO, "fit" is a word aspiring graduate students use to show how well they understand that academic history is a profession in which decisions about "fit" are made by faculty members, not students.

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18 hours ago, hydro said:

What is everyone thoughts on "safety schools," where faculty is a good fit and well known, but the school isn't ranked as high? 

I'll be even more blunt than @dr. telkanuru. Don't fucking do it.

Unfair and cruel as it may be, your future career prospects heavily depend on the program you attend.

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Hi all. This semester I'm working as a Research Assistant for a retired prof working on a book. He heard about me through the grapevine and reached out. The pay is pretty good and the research is outside of my focus area. Would his recommendation letter go further with an application, since I only know him professionally and not as an instructor?

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5 hours ago, BalkanItinerant said:

Hi all. This semester I'm working as a Research Assistant for a retired prof working on a book. He heard about me through the grapevine and reached out. The pay is pretty good and the research is outside of my focus area. Would his recommendation letter go further with an application, since I only know him professionally and not as an instructor?

IMO, a few more details are needed. How long ago did he retire? Is he still an active participant in the profession? (Will his work advance existing historiographical debates?) What kind of research are you doing? Are you exercising independent judgment or checking boxes on a list? (Have you found something he might have otherwise overlooked?)

How engaged are you? Are you just making a buck or leaning forward and being a thoughtful (junior) partner?

What are your other LoR options? (Are you looking to switch things up drastically because things didn't go as well for you as you'd have liked last season?)

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Hi, I am a undergraduate student from South Korea. Majoring East Asia Studies & Confucian and Oriental Philosophy. I am yearning to pursue a PhD in the States. Thing is, the more profiles from international students I search, the more frustrated I am. After worries and worries, I decided to share my profile and beg any advice. Hope your forthright assessment of my potentiality to get in...!

Type of Student: International Asian

Undergrad and : Top 5 university in South Korea (Sungkyunkwan university)
GRE General Test: I do not take GRE

Toefl: 100 overall 
 
Programs Applying: History PhD 
 
Research Experience: 
1. An half year of work as a undergraduate researcher in Seoul National University Asian Center. 
what I did: 
  • Conducted a comparative study on the Cold War history of South Korea and Japan, by analyzing South Korean media reports on the Vietnam War and 1968 Protests and compiling interview materials with Korean university students and intellectuals on the protests from the 1960s; delivered the final presentation to professors and other student researchers.
  • got Best Paper Award (Disparate Experiences of Cold War between South Korea and Japan in the 1960s – Focusing on the Vietnam War and 1968 Protests)
 
2. working as a research assistant in Seoul National University Asian Center (now)
 
Internship/Extracurricular Activities
1. NGO assists North Korean defector's resettlement
2. Global Asia Forum (at East Asian Foundation)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions/Scholarship: 
several times of Honors & Scholarship.
 
Language skills: 
Korean (native), English (fluent), German (basic), Advanced Reading Proficiency in Traditional Chinese Characters
 
Research Interest: Modern Korean history, Transnational history of East Asia, Decolonizing world, postcolonialism and the Cold War 
 
Note: not impressive scores in GRE and TOEFL(though not planning to retake), limited research experience (in theoretical aspect of statistics)
What makes me so frustrated is that nowadays competition among international students is really intense. Recently, I am even dubious about whether I am eligible for applying...
Craving for several years, however, I still want to apply to some schools. So I beg your any advice for my questions. It would be so precious for me.
 
1. Do members in admission committee know well about the reputation of Korean Top Univ? (Apparently, skimming other domestic profiles, I could catch that overall reputation of the undergrad school is quite important. So I am curious about the international case.)
2. What is your recommendation for my application? 
3. Any advice to strengthen my profile at this point?
4. I am planning to apply for Yale, Columbia, Wisconsin-Madison, UC Berkeley, northwestern, University of Washington, Brandeis university, British Columbia(MA) => Is there any other university that best suits for my research interest? 
 
Thank you!
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On 10/16/2021 at 8:39 PM, OHSP said:

If they use the words "any and all", list all history courses. 

Apologies, I should have been more clear. The exact wording is "List only courses taken in your intended field of study and related areas." I'm applying for history of science, focusing on 20th century US. Should I list all history courses, courses pertaining to HoS, or courses pertaining to 20th century US?

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On 10/19/2021 at 11:11 AM, wynntir said:

Apologies, I should have been more clear. The exact wording is "List only courses taken in your intended field of study and related areas." I'm applying for history of science, focusing on 20th century US. Should I list all history courses, courses pertaining to HoS, or courses pertaining to 20th century US?

I'd list all the history courses for History PhD and science courses that would have some relevancy to your research interests.

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On 10/19/2021 at 8:31 AM, geschichte_2022 said:

 

 
1. Do members in admission committee know well about the reputation of Korean Top Univ? (Apparently, skimming other domestic profiles, I could catch that overall reputation of the undergrad school is quite important. So I am curious about the international case.)
2. What is your recommendation for my application? 
3. Any advice to strengthen my profile at this point?
4. I am planning to apply for Yale, Columbia, Wisconsin-Madison, UC Berkeley, northwestern, University of Washington, Brandeis university, British Columbia(MA) => Is there any other university that best suits for my research interest? 
 

1. People in the East Asia field will know the universities you are talking about. That being said, I don't think the school level (especially as an international student) matters that much.

2, 3. Have you gotten your MA yet? I'd say you'll probably need some experience demonstrating that you are familiar with not only writing in English but also the English-language scholarship in the field. You'll demonstrate this with a writing sample. Also, looking at your research interest, you'll probably need some Japanese proficiency. Internships and other activities matter much less than your own research experience.

4. Depends on whether you have an MA or not. North American schools don't usually fund international MAs, so I would consider that, too. Also, I would look into getting into MA programs in South Korea possibly with an advisor who is familiar with NA system. You need to be familiar with the English-language scholarship (at least to get into schools you listed).

TOEFL and other things are all supplementary. Some schools have quotas for international students, so good luck.

 

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Hi! I've been a little bit behind and just started reaching out to potential advisors. I have gotten some really kind responses, but I just got one really cold reply that just linked me to the graduate application page. (And it was a professor who I really respected and really did enjoy reading their book.) Is that a normal response or a sign not to apply to the program? I can't help but feeling a little bad about it.

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44 minutes ago, ghfjk1568 said:

Hi! I've been a little bit behind and just started reaching out to potential advisors. I have gotten some really kind responses, but I just got one really cold reply that just linked me to the graduate application page. (And it was a professor who I really respected and really did enjoy reading their book.) Is that a normal response or a sign not to apply to the program? I can't help but feeling a little bad about it.

What was it @Sigabasaid way back when? "Resist the urge to pee into the cereal bowl of your happiness - your exam committee will do that for you"? Something like that.

It is a neutral response, but also possibly an indication that your email had very little content to which they could reasonably reply.

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