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Do I have a chance?


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Hi all!

I've been lurking around for a few weeks, and thought I'd get your opinions on whether or not I have any chance of getting into the programs I'm applying to, since most of my professors/advisors don't seem to really know good info on what programs want; maybe they've just been out of the game too long. And because I graduated from a very small liberal arts college, my English dept. only had FIVE professors total, so any contributions are appreciated. Obviously, I'm not going to take anyone's word as bond, but I've read some wonderful advice and encouragement/realistic critique on this forum, and I'd love feedback. After perusing the forum, I've come to the conclusion that English grad programs are terrifically hard to get into, and I just want to know if I have a bit more than a snowball's chance in hell.

I'm a 2010 grad of Wells College (tiny, tiny college in upstate NY), English major, women's history minor. 3.75 cumulative GPA, 3.94 GPA in my major, 3.92 junior-senior GPA, Phi Beta Kappa. My GRE scores: 670 Verbal, 500 Quant, 5.0 Analytical Writing. I haven't gotten my GRE Lit score yet (impatience!!), but I'm applying to UC Santa Barbara (MA/PhD), University of Arizona (MA), SUNY Buffalo (PhD), Brandeis (Dual MA in English/Gender Studies), and ASU (PhD). I just sent in my UT Austin app this past Monday, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

My main focus during college was 19th/early 20th century Anglophone lit, with a queer/postcolonial lens. My thesis was a queer reading of Coleridge's "Christabel," and I presented my thesis at an undergrad conference this past April.

Are these stats below average, average? I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the very real possibility that I won't get accepted anywhere, and I know there's no such thing as a "safety" when it comes to English grad programs, but I really don't know if I should have applied for lower-ranked programs, or more programs, etc.

Thanks for reading! :)

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Hi all!

I've been lurking around for a few weeks, and thought I'd get your opinions on whether or not I have any chance of getting into the programs I'm applying to, since most of my professors/advisors don't seem to really know good info on what programs want; maybe they've just been out of the game too long. And because I graduated from a very small liberal arts college, my English dept. only had FIVE professors total, so any contributions are appreciated. Obviously, I'm not going to take anyone's word as bond, but I've read some wonderful advice and encouragement/realistic critique on this forum, and I'd love feedback. After perusing the forum, I've come to the conclusion that English grad programs are terrifically hard to get into, and I just want to know if I have a bit more than a snowball's chance in hell.

I'm a 2010 grad of Wells College (tiny, tiny college in upstate NY), English major, women's history minor. 3.75 cumulative GPA, 3.94 GPA in my major, 3.92 junior-senior GPA, Phi Beta Kappa. My GRE scores: 670 Verbal, 500 Quant, 5.0 Analytical Writing. I haven't gotten my GRE Lit score yet (impatience!!), but I'm applying to UC Santa Barbara (MA/PhD), University of Arizona (MA), SUNY Buffalo (PhD), Brandeis (Dual MA in English/Gender Studies), and ASU (PhD). I just sent in my UT Austin app this past Monday, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

My main focus during college was 19th/early 20th century Anglophone lit, with a queer/postcolonial lens. My thesis was a queer reading of Coleridge's "Christabel," and I presented my thesis at an undergrad conference this past April.

Are these stats below average, average? I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the very real possibility that I won't get accepted anywhere, and I know there's no such thing as a "safety" when it comes to English grad programs, but I really don't know if I should have applied for lower-ranked programs, or more programs, etc.

Thanks for reading! :)

You absolutely do have a chance. A 670 Verbal, 5.0 AW and 3.8ish GPA would put anybody in the running anywhere. That said, LOTS of people will be "in the running" based on numbers. If you submit a wonderful writing sample and a clear, eloquent statement of purpose, you can put yourself at the head of the pack. Every year people with 700+ GREs and 4.0 GPAs lose spots to people with scores in the 600's and GPA's in the mid 3 range because the latter do better research and write better papers. An adcom member is not going to be unsure about whether to take somebody who wrote a publishable writing sample and earned a 600 GRE over somebody with an 800 and a "pretty good" writing sample. They will take the better writer, period. Rest assured that your numbers won't raise any red flags, especially not at the places where you are applying. That is all you can hope for from your stats.

Edited by bigdgp
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