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Masters Program Chances - MTS or MA in Religious Studies


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I am an undergraduate senior majoring in both Religious Studies and English at a well-known midwestern liberal arts university. I have a 3.9 G.P.A. and am a Phi Beta Kappa member. I don't say any of this to show off--I am feeling incredibly insecure about the grad school applications I have submitted so far. My goal is to become a professor in Religious Studies, so I am looking for a funded MTS degree to get more language and religion background before going on to do a PhD. I am also applying to some masters programs (not as well funded) as alternatives.

I think mostly my stress stems from the personal statement and writing sample. I have had a hell of a time this past semester due to some personal issues, and sometimes it feels like I can't even read over my own work. My mental health is slowly improving with help I am receiving, I can tell, but has definitely impacted my ability to collate the supporting documents. I have three great people writing me letters of recommendation, though, and I really am trying my best to be cohesive in my personal statement and writing sample.

All this said, I don't have a backup plan if I don't get in somewhere. My degrees are pretty much useless without higher education. I don't make enough money to support an off year and can't move back home. What are my chances of getting in somewhere? Any advice would be helpful. So far I've applied to University of California Santa Barbara (although messed this application up, long story), University of Colorado Boulder, and Harvard Divinity. By the 15th I'll have applied to Wake Forest Divinity, Yale Divinity, Vanderbilt Divinity, and Duke Divinity (my top choice). If anyone has some more "safety" school ideas that don't require the GRE and the deadlines haven't passed, I would greatly appreciate some ideas, too.

This whole process has been quite nerve-racking. Hoping to not feel so alone in it. Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read!

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It sounds like you have a very competitive profile. I would not worry too much (even though you should, of course, work hard on your applications). As you may know, a lot of religious studies M.A and MTS programs have fairly high acceptance rates. Your list looks fine, the only school I thought of adding was Chicago (not as a safety school). This time last year, I was in a similar mental state as you, stressed out and worrying about not getting in anywhere. It all worked out in the end!  

Edited by Sleepless in skellefteå
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