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Chances of PhD without teaching experience?


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Hi all,

So I'm feeling a bit lost, even after reading through all the related topics here, and would appreciate any and all advice. I'm a current undergrad double major in Secondary Education and History at a large state research University. I'm about to enter my semester of student teaching this fall. My goal for the last two years has been to work with SHEG at Stanford in their CTE PhD program. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of public education and disease, essentially how and why we should incorporate epidemiology into the high school social studies curriculum. Here is where I'm stuck - do I apply straight out of undergrad, do I get a masters/PhD in a related field (history of science or other education concentration), or do I just teach for a few years and apply then?

I have a 4.0, had an internship at a medical archive that included a publication, I've worked in public history as a historic tour guide for the last 4 years, I own my own (unrelated) business, and I spent the last three summers teaching an inner city summer school. I have at least two very strong letters of recommendation from professors who know and love me, one of whom has connections at Stanford, and my writing skills are very strong. I have a very clear research topic and great, proven research skills. All that being said, I don't have any volunteer/extracurriculars outside of one sport because I work full time, and I did transfer into my program with just a 3.8 from a very different major. I know that all of these things don't determine my admittance, but I can't decide if I should chance it this application cycle or wait until I would be considered competitive.

I haven't found any other programs that fit what I'm looking for, so I'm considering doing a history degree first to get more experience and become competitive. I don't particularly want to teach straight out of undergrad as I need a masters to move with my husband, but I will if yall think that's the best option. Any advice would be appreciated!

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I'm not sure that a history degree will make you more competitive. If you have research experience (especially with publications or presentations), this already makes you fairly competitive.

I'm curious about your topic though--it is *very* specific but also not really framed in the kind of way that would define a program. I know people at a university near you who research the intersection of epidemiology and education, but I believe they focus on science classes. Why social studies? What are the specific questions you are interested in? Are you interested in intervention work? cultural and social processes? specific aspects of social studies learning? Each of these questions would suggest a different type of program (e.g., ed policy, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction). Thus, you might want to look more broadly for programs that could be a good fit.

Feel free to PM if you want to talk specifics. Good luck!

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