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12 hours ago, elliehsz said:

Does it matter if I apply for schools that have more faculty members whose interests coincide with mine? and should I contact them before mentioning their names in my SoP?

What if I apply for master's degree again? Does that make me have a higher chance?

I don't know about the acceptances rates for funded MAs but I imagine that the entry bar is a bit lower than for funded PhDs. But yes, it will probably help you to apply to places with faculty and resources that coincide with your interests. You can reach out to them but it's certainly not required.

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Hey everyone! Just an update--I just received an acceptance email from Michigan State for the doctoral program in Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures! I don't think anyone else on here applied th

Anyone else already starting to get antsy waiting to hear back? 😅

Got an interview at UT Austin. First program I’ve heard from! Sending good luck to everyone!!

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19 hours ago, elliehsz said:

should I contact them before mentioning their names in my SoP?

I didn't contact any professor before mentioning them in my SoP, and I don't see any reason why one would.  I mentioned 2-4 faculty members in each of my SoPs from the institution to which I was applying, which I think is typical.  You don't need permission to say you would love to work with or learn from someone, so I'd suggest writing your SoP with that in mind. 

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58 minutes ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

I didn't contact any professor before mentioning them in my SoP, and I don't see any reason why one would.  I mentioned 2-4 faculty members in each of my SoPs from the institution to which I was applying, which I think is typical.  You don't need permission to say you would love to work with or learn from someone, so I'd suggest writing your SoP with that in mind. 

Also, I think this is a repetition, but how specific does your SoP have to be? If you were to compare SoPs for UK phds with SoPs for US phds, what would the differences be? 

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On 11/1/2021 at 1:32 PM, torok2022 said:

Hi Everyone, 

Is there a list of funded MA programs? Having trouble finding one. Regardless, let me know if you know of any...thinking I may apply to some this year just incase. 

Thanks :) 

Here is a list from thread from last year. I am not sure how updated this information is, but it should give you a general idea. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XZ7ejtJETaRH7ufh2O1S21HOeTTy9EYgi7Z5vUHCRLI/edit#gid=0

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On 11/1/2021 at 9:17 PM, Hard times! said:

Also, I think this is a repetition, but how specific does your SoP have to be? If you were to compare SoPs for UK phds with SoPs for US phds, what would the differences be? 

I will admit I have little information on this, but I can take a stab.  I was talking to a professor who studied in the UK when I was applying, and I specifically chose not to apply to UK PhDs because she said that the SoPs are much more of a formal proposal.  You have to really know what you're able to do and lay out how you'll do it, and even have messaged with a faculty member who would be willing to be an advisor.  Here, we still spend a bulk of the SoP describing our plan, but we're allowed to switch it up more afterwards and don't have to have done as much work on it yet.  I'm not sure if this was outdated information, though, or just her experience, so please take my statements with a grain of salt!

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51 minutes ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

I will admit I have little information on this, but I can take a stab.  I was talking to a professor who studied in the UK when I was applying, and I specifically chose not to apply to UK PhDs because she said that the SoPs are much more of a formal proposal.  You have to really know what you're able to do and lay out how you'll do it, and even have messaged with a faculty member who would be willing to be an advisor.  Here, we still spend a bulk of the SoP describing our plan, but we're allowed to switch it up more afterwards and don't have to have done as much work on it yet.  I'm not sure if this was outdated information, though, or just her experience, so please take my statements with a grain of salt!

Thank you so much! 

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1 hour ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

I will admit I have little information on this, but I can take a stab.  I was talking to a professor who studied in the UK when I was applying, and I specifically chose not to apply to UK PhDs because she said that the SoPs are much more of a formal proposal.  You have to really know what you're able to do and lay out how you'll do it, and even have messaged with a faculty member who would be willing to be an advisor.  Here, we still spend a bulk of the SoP describing our plan, but we're allowed to switch it up more afterwards and don't have to have done as much work on it yet.  I'm not sure if this was outdated information, though, or just her experience, so please take my statements with a grain of salt!

No, I don't think this is outdated information. This is really the main difference between applications for US and UK schools (at least in my opinion). Good thing is deadlines for programs in the UK is a little later than those in the US, so there's still a bit of time!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, everyone. 

I haven't written to you all in a while, and I've missed you! I just needed some more advice. This forum has been immensely helpful in allowing me to figure things out. 

So, I'm a high school English teacher, and I really do love my job. I find it so rewarding to work with students and share my passion for literature with them. When I was in college, I had my heart set on becoming a professor that I didn't even major in education. I only majored in English with a minor in women's studies. I went to grad school for a master's in humanities, and I hoped to get a PhD in English and become a professor.

After I graduated with my master's, I got licensed through the state of NY to become a high school teacher, and I fell in love with it. I'm actually thinking about going back to school for a master's in education. Maybe someday, I can be the supervisor of the department at the high school where I work. I would love that very much.

But I still feel worried about the PhD in English. I've spoken to so many of my professors, and they said the job market is terrible. They even told me it's truly not worth it to go for a PhD because in all likelihood, I might not even get a job in academia with the market being so bad. :( 

I would love to hear your thoughts though. What should I do? 

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I lurk this sub-forum fairly regularly because I, too, wanted a PhD in English Lit before going into another field. With that being said, I feel like if you have to ask strangers on the internet about what you should do, it seems clear to me as an outsider that this isn't the right choice for you. I share that with the caveat that I don't know you and you can do whatever you'd like with your life and time; and ultimately, none of us can make that decision for you. However, you seem to have a history of posting here and waffling back and forth about getting a PhD or which sort of program you should be attending, etc.. Perhaps releasing this and moving on in another direction, one you clearly state you'd be happy in, is what's best for you. But again, we're just all strangers on the internet.

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Hello all! Second cycle applicant as well, just digging up Grad Cafe as I get ready to submit my first round of apps this Monday (🙀). I'm currently in a fully-funded MA program after the 2019 cycle.

I saw an early, early response asking about what we changed for this second go at PhD apps. My writing sample is completely new (like, I literally wrote it from scratch at the urging of my LoR writer because she said I needed a more complex 'base' text to do close readings of), and I re-wrote both my statement of purpose and personal statement. I think they're stronger now- I name my interests right out the gate and have a clearer picture, theoretically, of where I want to go. that I hope is articulated there. My LoR writers also seem stronger this time around because they just know me better (faculty advisor, associate prof I've taken two classes with, and a full prof who I've done a few Zoom meetings with in the hopes he can emphasize theoretical expertise).

Good luck to you all!

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2 hours ago, thoreaulymodern said:

Hello all! Second cycle applicant as well, just digging up Grad Cafe as I get ready to submit my first round of apps this Monday (🙀). I'm currently in a fully-funded MA program after the 2019 cycle.

I saw an early, early response asking about what we changed for this second go at PhD apps. My writing sample is completely new (like, I literally wrote it from scratch at the urging of my LoR writer because she said I needed a more complex 'base' text to do close readings of), and I re-wrote both my statement of purpose and personal statement. I think they're stronger now- I name my interests right out the gate and have a clearer picture, theoretically, of where I want to go. that I hope is articulated there. My LoR writers also seem stronger this time around because they just know me better (faculty advisor, associate prof I've taken two classes with, and a full prof who I've done a few Zoom meetings with in the hopes he can emphasize theoretical expertise).

Good luck to you all!

This is also my 2nd cycle, and I had a similar complete turnover of my entire application. Completely rewrote my statement and tried to make it a little more tangibly focused, as it was a bit too theoretical before. I narrowed it down to specific eras and mentioned several authors I was going to focus on. Have a new LoR writer, although two of  my recommenders are dragging their feet a bit with submitting, and that's making me extremely on edge, especially with the first deadline just days away. Also gave my writing sample a serious face lift. 

I've submitted most of my apps, just have three to go! Granted, I left all the tougher, more complicated apps for last. That "optional" question on the Yale app (personal experiences, interests, or perspectives that you can bring to the Yale community) will plague me right up until submission day. 

Anyway, best of luck to everyone! I hope we all get into our dream programs :) 

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Hi there! I thought I'd throw in my two cents along with the others here. I'm echoing the same things they're telling you, but maybe with a little more optimism. While some might say that optimism is misplaced, I think you can read into this what you will and heed everyone's advice/considerations as much or as little as you desire.

Everyone knows about the dismal outlook of the job market currently, so there's no other argument to be made there. My professors had all said the same, too. That being said, if you are open to going for your PhD for the sake of the PhD itself - meaning the research, the experience, the environment, all that - and not necessarily for where that PhD is going to take you afterward, it's something worth pursuing. We can't expect to have a job in academia after we're done with this, and we have to possess that awareness otherwise we'd be in for some serious disappointment and disillusionment. But if you can afford it and it works with your timeline, there's no one to say that the experience isn't rewarding for what it is in itself. It's up to you to judge that. There's also many other job opportunities that can open up outside of academia as a result of going for your PhD.

So, I guess my point is that if you choose to pursue it, you'll have to go in with this awareness and be open to pretty much anything. You definitely can't be of the mindset that you'll be in a particular place or job position by the end of it. It sounds like I'm just saying to lower your expectations, but what I mean is just that if you can find this experience worthwhile, you have the time, and it will make you happy to pursue it (being within the means that you've defined for yourself), then do it. It is what you make of it, nothing more but also nothing less.

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On 8/11/2021 at 11:40 PM, labradoodle said:

From what I've heard (but I'm not completely sure so please correct me if I'm wrong), UK does often require you to get in touch with a faculty member, because you'll be starting your thesis work immediately. US, I think, has a kind of divide between fields that do lab work and so require you to really look into a faculty member whose lab you want to join or whatever, and (most of) the humanities where that's (thankfully lol) not a thing.

Also, I believe humanities has much less of an expectancy for prospective students to have published whole papers in fancy journals, cause that's really very difficult to do, and usually doesn't work in the time-scale of an MA (or a late BA) anyway, as it can take years. It can't hurt, of course, but from what I'm exposed to it genuinely doesn't seem the norm, at all. You may want to look at some less formal journals or something, though - things like online graduate journals attached to your university, or those more blog-like journals. :)

To my knowledge yes, once the faculty member has accepted you, you can apply for the programme and scholarship .... (but it is quite competitive for scholarship tho...)

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On 11/6/2021 at 7:59 PM, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

I will admit I have little information on this, but I can take a stab.  I was talking to a professor who studied in the UK when I was applying, and I specifically chose not to apply to UK PhDs because she said that the SoPs are much more of a formal proposal.  You have to really know what you're able to do and lay out how you'll do it, and even have messaged with a faculty member who would be willing to be an advisor.  Here, we still spend a bulk of the SoP describing our plan, but we're allowed to switch it up more afterwards and don't have to have done as much work on it yet.  I'm not sure if this was outdated information, though, or just her experience, so please take my statements with a grain of salt!

Exactly, prolly need to spend a year to come up with a RP (~ SoP, I guess???). 

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Just submitted my very first application (I did not expect to submit that app since I had not heard back from my supervisor 3 weeks before the deadline). Feeling extremely tired.

This is my first time to apply doctoral... now studying an MA (working on my thesis) and applying to postgrad programmes.

Writing sample: used my course-work assignment (but I don't think I write it concisely), did not have time to drag part of my thesis to the writing sample...  

LoR: all my referees are not willing to write more than 3 reference letters so they limit my application LOL~

SoP: I had no idea as well (I prefer writing RP, seems easier)... but I wrote what I found out from the literature and point out some potential methodology etc.

So far all POI that I have contacted have left a positive feedback to me and encourage me to reply ... they also share some of their works with me! Kind of an exploration as well~

 

Good luck to all of you!!

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15 hours ago, zetasp said:

Hi all! I'm applying for the 2022 cycle as well with a solid 11 schools. I applied to some MAs and some PhDs a few years ago (2019 cycle), worked on an MA, and now I'm back to it. As a kind of second-timer, I can try to offer any advice! 

Oh good you're applying to 11! Here I thought I was maybe being psycho overkill applying to 12, glad I'm not crazy 😅🤣

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Submitted my first application and almost died in the process. The deadline was 12 PM and I turned in the WS at 11.57 AM and didn't breathe for the next two minutes. And yet the sample has no name or an email address which the dept. had specifically requested for. If 'morning shows the day' were true, I am done for.

Best of luck to everyone! 

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On 11/6/2021 at 7:59 PM, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

I will admit I have little information on this, but I can take a stab.  I was talking to a professor who studied in the UK when I was applying, and I specifically chose not to apply to UK PhDs because she said that the SoPs are much more of a formal proposal.  You have to really know what you're able to do and lay out how you'll do it, and even have messaged with a faculty member who would be willing to be an advisor.  Here, we still spend a bulk of the SoP describing our plan, but we're allowed to switch it up more afterwards and don't have to have done as much work on it yet.  I'm not sure if this was outdated information, though, or just her experience, so please take my statements with a grain of salt!

To my knowledge, the British PhD/DPhil also requires your proposal to be specific, very intriguing, and extremely pioneering. You need to outline a list of research questions that you plan to examine in details, and what theoretical framework that you're going to build/adopt.

 

Will be .... 🧐😮💨😮💨

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Submitted my first two applications for my first PhD application cycle! (UT and UIUC) 

 I'm relieved to finally click submit on the application.  However, I feel as I'm at a disadvantage only applying to 6 PhD programs rather than 10-12.

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6 hours ago, theonewiththepies said:

Submitted my first two applications for my first PhD application cycle! (UT and UIUC) 

 I'm relieved to finally click submit on the application.  However, I feel as I'm at a disadvantage only applying to 6 PhD programs rather than 10-12.

I applied to UIUC yesterday as well and one of the writing samples was a disaster. I submitted that horrid application because my recommenders had already turned in their letters.

 What are your research interests? 

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