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a fighting chance in h*ll? PLEASE READ/RESPOND!


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I am applying to PhD History programs. I went to a crazy bible school (Bob Jones University) and graduated with a 3.65 in history. I went to a small regional law school and graduated with honors (not spectacular honors, tho). I passed the NC bar in July 2009.

My GRE sucked:

Verbal: 620

Quantative: 640

Analytical Writing: 5

Diversity/Intangibles: Raised by a single, drug-addicted parent. Said parent died of overdose my last semester of undergrad. I forsook the teachings of Bob Jones University and became an open lesbian (this was not in my personal statement). I wrote my Third Year law school thesis on Same-Sex Marriage (this is in my personal statement). A week after the NC Bar Exam, I lost all feeling in my body and was diagnosed after an emergency brain and spinal scan with Multiple Sclerosis.

Everything is in my personal statement except the lesbian part. I thought that might be a little much in your faceness since I already told them I grew up in a home full of drugs and abuse and that I was diagnosed with MS.




Univ of Illinois



University of Chicago






University of South Carolina


University of Michigan

University of Maryland

Boston College

Do I have a chance with any of these? Please, please be honest. I can't bear false hope!

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Hi MegMill,

Thanks for your PM and your sharing of information. Glad to see people apply to PhD. I really have no idea of "chance" - I'm still suffering from my own anxieties haha. (As per your invitation) I'm posting my own credentials and my professor's remarks. Hopefully this should help.

About me,

School: Northwestern University

Major and GPA: European History, Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology (finished in 2 years), including 4 graduate courses, Overall GPA 3.83

GRE: 730 + 800 + 5

Two years of research and currently employed by Harvard University

Speaks English, German and Chinese

Applying to East Asian History (because... sadly although I repeat again and again (and again and again...) I study European history everyone's hiring me for Chinese-related things because I'm a native speaker.....)

RL: pretty strong

SOP: total BS. I don't have such a difficult experience. Honestly. And I have a variety of interests (and can't pigeonhole myself at all) so I was bullshiting to "match" with professors

My Professor's remarks,

I should get in Columbia and U of C because of my credentials and her social capital. Berkeley should be "safe" and I should have a bet at Harvard.

To be frank, I don't believe in her at all and that's why I actually applied to a lot of second tier ones (not all of them are listed in my profile tho...). But hopefully my own information would help.

And of course, good luck to your application and wish your health would improve. It's really sad to hear that u've been diagnosed MS.

Edited by RDX
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So flattered haha. Ok This is what I heard: besides the "credentials" there are much more important factors in the application process. Recommendation is one, for sure but we don't have much control over that. So put it aside.

Then we have the writing sample, which should weigh more than, if not equal to your SOP. After all this presents your sophistication of research. I'm pretty weak on this one because I only have one term paper relevant to east asian history (after all I'm not an east asian history major) .

Then we have the SOP. I lacked the necessary theoretical sophistication, details of research and familiarity with the east asian academia (after all again, I sorta jumped ship). I think those three factors would mean much much more than your "credentials" although no one is in a position to evaluate those factors, except those professors on the committee.

Hopefully your are doing better on those two than I did (oh yea... I was bullshiting on everything......)

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