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BA vs MA applicants


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On 1/17/2022 at 6:51 AM, UndergradDad said:

Does anyone have any idea how many of the Phd applicants each year are MA vs BA? I’ve never seen any stats on this because it would be tough to get the data to calculate but does anyone have any good guesses?

My guess is this might vary by department and application year, but I've heard anecdotally that more students are going into PhD programs with an MA than in the past. It's so competitive that it makes sense. I'm a few years into my PhD at a mid-ranked program. For whatever it's worth: my cohort at my program has 7 students. All but one came in with a master's. The year after me has 4 students. Two have previous graduate work. The first year cohort has 5 students, 4 have an MA. The cohort in front of me has 5 students, two of whom have an MA.

At my program, then, it's more common than not.

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depends entirely on the program. Some programs have almost no students with degrees from any of the esteemed terminal M.A. programs (UWM, Georgia State, CSULB, etc., etc.). For example, Chicago, Columbia, Berkeley - typically few M.A.s and/or only M.A.s from particular programs. A statistical average wouldn't really be of much use, because it varies quite a bit by program.

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Yeah, in general I don't know what use the data would be, except to tell you about "prestige", but there are - in fact -  programs widely considered to be of excellent quality that accept students with M.A. degrees. It has something to do with internal university politics, but not necessarily program quality. I don't want to bring up the PGR, but several top tier PGR programs have admitted students with an M.A. more than one time in the last... ten-ish years, as well as great programs not considered by the PGR.

Of the programs that I know have recently admitted students with M.A.s from the general slew of good U.S. terminal M.A. programs, there's Pittsburgh HPS, Toronto, Cornell, UC San Diego, Stonybrook, UC Irvine, Wisconsin, UT Austin, University of Southern California, Stanford, Brown, Northwestern... At least some of those would be considered "elite", I'd think! 


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