Jump to content

Philosophy M.A. admissions statistics


Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/11/2021 at 5:23 PM, cafe_deflore said:

Does anyone know where I can find admissions statistics on Columbia and NYU's philosophy M.A. programs? (Or does anyone have an idea of what the general level of competitiveness is for these?)

They're not competitive. Those programs will take pretty much anyone, because they're cash cows meant to generate revenue for the department, not to prepare students to apply for the PhD. My advice: don't apply to unfunded MA programs, especially at schools that have highly ranked PhD students.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, hector549 said:

They're not competitive. Those programs will take pretty much anyone, because they're cash cows meant to generate revenue for the department, not to prepare students to apply for the PhD. My advice: don't apply to unfunded MA programs, especially at schools that have highly ranked PhD students.

this.

The general rule of thumb is that you ought to be extremely cautious about any MA program that has a PhD program in that field. There are situations in which the MA at a school with a PhD is a solid, well-supported program, but that is not the norm. I mean, think about it - Are you going to get TAships at a place where you're competing with PhD students? Almost certainly not. One of the major reasons to attend a terminal M.A. program is to better set you up for PhD applications - you can broaden/deepen your understanding of the field, present at conferences, get some TAships, dip your toes in grad school life, etc. At the end of the day, the fact is that the department at a school with a PhD program has little reason (or, more importantly, time) to do that for unfunded MA students.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I should add that several excellent terminal M.A. programs are profoundly less expensive than NYU or Columbia. In fact,  I don't even have to look up the numbers to tell you with certainty that almost all of the most highly regarded terminal M.A. programs in Philosophy are so much cheaper than those at NYU or Columbia that I cannot think of very many possible reasons why a person would choose either of those.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The previous commenters have no idea what they are talking about. In my experience, NYU's MA program offered a very generous scholarship package while Columbia did not offer anything at all. As for competitiveness to apply, neither school publishes those numbers, so I doubt that hector and you'll_never... have a clue. I would recommend contacting the schools directly for that information. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/5/2021 at 7:51 PM, John2 said:

The previous commenters have no idea what they are talking about. In my experience, NYU's MA program offered a very generous scholarship package while Columbia did not offer anything at all. As for competitiveness to apply, neither school publishes those numbers, so I doubt that hector and you'll_never... have a clue. I would recommend contacting the schools directly for that information. 

According to the MA Handbook on NYU's website (found here), "M.A. students normally receive a partial tuition scholarship towards the 32 units required for the M.A." The amount varies depending on student and year. That means M.A. students will still be on the hook for some tuition and ALL of living expenses in NYC. Sorry, but that does not qualify as "a very generous scholarship package." Spending tens of thousands of dollars to get a masters degree in philosophy is generally not advisable. I suspect NYU, probably does give out a few full tuition scholarships, in which case maybe you were one of the lucky ones. Even then, I personally find it much wiser to attend a program that covers all tuition and provides a modest stipend. I think it's also probably generally preferable to be at a place where you won't be competing with PhD students for attention from professors.

There are many such programs that fit the bill here: Georgia State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, and Houston to name a few.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Glasperlenspieler said:

According to the MA Handbook on NYU's website (found here), "M.A. students normally receive a partial tuition scholarship towards the 32 units required for the M.A." The amount varies depending on student and year. That means M.A. students will still be on the hook for some tuition and ALL of living expenses in NYC. Sorry, but that does not qualify as "a very generous scholarship package." Spending tens of thousands of dollars to get a masters degree in philosophy is generally not advisable. I suspect NYU, probably does give out a few full tuition scholarships, in which case maybe you were one of the lucky ones. Even then, I personally find it much wiser to attend a program that covers all tuition and provides a modest stipend. I think it's also probably generally preferable to be at a place where you won't be competing with PhD students for attention from professors.

There are many such programs that fit the bill here: Georgia State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, and Houston to name a few.

There are certainly drawbacks to attending an NYU/Columbia-type MA program. There may also be advantages, depending on the background of the student. I suggest that OP reach out to current MA students at both departments to learn more about each program.

The previous commenters referred to NYU as an unfunded program. I know from experience that for some people it can be a funded program. This funding may or may not be enough to justify going to NYU, but it is funding nonetheless. 

OP: If you talk to the students in the program and you like what you hear, go ahead and apply. If you get in and you don't like their funding offer, then you can go a different route. In general, be wary of this forum, as it is filled with false assumptions and misinformation. The best source of information will usually be students in the department.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No experience with NYU or Columbia, but will weigh in to support Glasperlenspieler's use of "funded" to mean "no tuition, plus a decent stipend." The type of shifting of goalposts John2 is engaged in seems dangerous, except for someone independently wealthy...

Link to post
Share on other sites

If that's what it means to be funded, then fine (though I will note that the word "funded" never appears in Glasperlenspieler's post in the first place). And of course all things equal a program that gives you more money is preferable to one that gives you less. My only goal is to alert OP to the fact that there is the potential for some partial funding at an NYU-type program, so that OP has all the information available when they make their application decisions. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Funding is on a scale.

Even among the programs that are "fully funded", some offer tiny stipends and full tuition remission, others give majority tuition remission and hefty stipends.

These are probably the underlying concerns:

  • Don't go to any program that makes you foot the entire bill, unless you can do so without taking out student loans.
  • Don't go to a program that won't give you TA/GA experience, but gives it to PhD students.
  • Don't go to a program where, in order to survive, you must work another job in addition or take out over $2000 in student loans each semester.

This isn't about whether borrowing money is bad or stupid, but rather the cost-benefit analysis. Don't absorb the cost for the benefit, unless absorbing will not be a burden.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Duns Eith said:

Funding is on a scale.

Even among the programs that are "fully funded", some offer tiny stipends and full tuition remission, others give majority tuition remission and hefty stipends.

These are probably the underlying concerns:

  • Don't go to any program that makes you foot the entire bill, unless you can do so without taking out student loans.
  • Don't go to a program that won't give you TA/GA experience, but gives it to PhD students.
  • Don't go to a program where, in order to survive, you must work another job in addition or take out over $2000 in student loans each semester.

This isn't about whether borrowing money is bad or stupid, but rather the cost-benefit analysis. Don't absorb the cost for the benefit, unless absorbing will not be a burden.

If you're like me and have/had relatively little existing student debt / paid off debt and built a credit score in between undergrad and grad, the third bullet point might not be as damning. Key word being "might." There might be good M.A. programs that really are funded super well, but not most if you talk to students in attendance. There's an opportunity cost and financial cost to attending an M.A. program in philosophy - period. You can make that worth it whether or not you go onto a PhD program if you play your cards right (i.e., get some good internship-type experiences or what have you, start freelancing, I don't know).

Anyhow, here's some admittedly quick googling of tuition statistics for the mentioned schools with terminal M.A. programs mentioned (also most public M.A.s will have in-state tuition waivers):

Georgia State: "In-state tuition 9,286 USD, Out-of-state tuition 24,517 USD"

UWM: "In-state tuition 9,526 USD, Out-of-state tuition 21,168 USD" 

NIU: "14,610 USD 2019 – 20"

vs.

Columbia: 61,788 USD

NYU: 53,308 USD

 

Exactly how large is NYU's tuition scholarship? Because it'd have to to be several thousand dollars to compare with what it would cost to attend the first three programs without any funding or tuition remission at all, all of which are also in cheaper locations (well, maybe not GSU at this point but I do not know for sure). It looks like you could fumble through NIU, not do very well and thus not get many funding opportunities and ultimately decide not to go onto a PhD and you would still have accrued substantially less debt. Admittedly, I could be missing something here so correct me if I'm wrong! But it's worth noting that the state schools that have M.A. programs really want you there and really want to place you. They have active incentive to do so. I don't imagine that exists to the same degree at all at the two schools with world-renowned PhD programs.

Edited by you'll_never_get_to_heaven
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, you'll_never_get_to_heaven said:

If you're like me and have/had relatively little existing student debt / paid off debt and built a credit score in between undergrad and grad, the third bullet point might not be as damning. Key word being "might." There might be good M.A. programs that really are funded super well, but not most if you talk to students in attendance. There's an opportunity cost and financial cost to attending an M.A. program in philosophy - period. You can make that worth it whether or not you go onto a PhD program if you play your cards right (i.e., get some good internship-type experiences or what have you, start freelancing, I don't know).

Anyhow, here's some admittedly quick googling of tuition statistics for the mentioned schools with terminal M.A. programs mentioned (also most public M.A.s will have in-state tuition waivers):

Georgia State: "In-state tuition 9,286 USD, Out-of-state tuition 24,517 USD"

UWM: "In-state tuition 9,526 USD, Out-of-state tuition 21,168 USD" 

NIU: "14,610 USD 2019 – 20"

vs.

Columbia: 61,788 USD

NYU: 53,308 USD

 

Exactly how large is NYU's tuition scholarship? Because it'd have to to be several thousand dollars to compare with what it would cost to attend the first three programs without any funding or tuition remission at all, all of which are also in cheaper locations (well, maybe not GSU at this point but I do not know for sure). It looks like you could fumble through NIU, not do very well and thus not get many funding opportunities and ultimately decide not to go onto a PhD and you would still have accrued substantially less debt. Admittedly, I could be missing something here so correct me if I'm wrong! But it's worth noting that the state schools that have M.A. programs really want you there and really want to place you. They have active incentive to do so. I don't imagine that exists to the same degree at all at the two schools with world-renowned PhD programs.

The NYU scholarship can be anything from very little to full tuition remission.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2021 at 2:44 PM, John2 said:

The NYU scholarship can be anything from very little to full tuition remission.

This is something I had no idea would be true. This, as with other programs, (I think U Chicago comes to mind?) do see the program as cash-cow in function. The fact that they have a scholarship converts my advice from a strict prohibition to a "probably a bad idea." Where probably is almost solely determined by the likelihood of that scholarship.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2021 at 11:44 AM, John2 said:

The NYU scholarship can be anything from very little to full tuition remission.

 

On 10/15/2021 at 10:39 AM, Duns Eith said:

This is something I had no idea would be true. This, as with other programs, (I think U Chicago comes to mind?) do see the program as cash-cow in function. The fact that they have a scholarship converts my advice from a strict prohibition to a "probably a bad idea." Where probably is almost solely determined by the likelihood of that scholarship.

I'm going to say something stronger here: even if NYU gives you a full tuition remission (something which I very much doubt!), it's still not worth going, for two reasons.

First, NYU is in in Manhattan. NY is an expensive town. Even if you live in a cheaper area of the city and commute, you'll still be borrowing a significant amount for living expenses.

Secondly, and most importantly, the MA isn't going to set you up to be successful with PhD admissions. Just for kicks, I emailed NYU and asked for their placement record. They told me that they didn't have that data. Either they're lying, which would have to be because their admissions record is so bad they don't want anyone to know about it, or they don't care enough about how their MA students do in admissions to bother tracking it. Either way, this doesn't look exactly speak well to their program.

Could you go to NYU for an MA and get into a decent PhD program? Sure, but there are much better funded options.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.