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Waitlist at Duquesne?


Billy Dean
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I'm not sure how many applicants out there are applying to more continental-friendly programs, but I've been accepted to Duquesne (MA) with funding and waitlisted for the PhD program.

Anyone get an offer? Plans to decline/accept? The masters offer is nice, but let's be honest: I'd rather not have to re-apply in a couple years and go through this song and dance again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I was rejected outright.

Or, I thought I was rejected alright. Apparently I was specifically rejected to the PhD program but accepted to the M.A. with funding to be determined. I was not expected to be notified of this in different stages.

Anyway, in the envelope there was a piece of paper that I was asked to return to the university informing them of my intent to attend. I'm a bit apprehensive about committing to that (I have until the 15th) since I'm on three different waitlists for English/Comp. Lit, and two of them come with full tuition and a GTA position....I need to think about this, I guess.

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I'm not sure how many applicants out there are applying to more continental-friendly programs, but I've been accepted to Duquesne (MA) with funding and waitlisted for the PhD program.

Anyone get an offer? Plans to decline/accept? The masters offer is nice, but let's be honest: I'd rather not have to re-apply in a couple years and go through this song and dance again.

What sort of funding did they present you with? A lot of others on the survey page appear to have been told the same thing as me: funding amount is TBD.

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I have not, but I checked their website and it looks like M.A.s are never given assistantships, but are funded anywhere from 3-9 credit hours per year. It's a typical 30 credit hour degree, so people who are funded could end up getting funded roughly 1/3 of the amount (of course this isn't to account for fees and the other fun parts) or as high as 9/10.

Edit: Actually I realized it's a two-year program, so the max amount of funding would be more like 18/30 or 3/5

Edited by dgobox
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a funded MA, even partial funding, is not a bad option. I went to BC for a totally UNfunded MA, at my debt scares me. Still ,I learned soooooo much that it was worth it. Partial funding would have made it nicer though.

Also, I emailed Polansky, he had this to say "I cannot be encouraging about acceptance to the Duquesne's Ph.D. program."

So it seems I'm out there. Oh Well.

Good luck to y'all--

I have not, but I checked their website and it looks like M.A.s are never given assistantships, but are funded anywhere from 3-9 credit hours per year. It's a typical 30 credit hour degree, so people who are funded could end up getting funded roughly 1/3 of the amount (of course this isn't to account for fees and the other fun parts) or as high as 9/10.

Edit: Actually I realized it's a two-year program, so the max amount of funding would be more like 18/30 or 3/5

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Certainly! Good luck to you as well.

Sorry! I didn't think there would be much of a response to my original post so I haven't been checking back.

I'm a little worried because I was required to return that slip to verify that I was "still interested in both the M.A. and the waitlist position for the PhD program"--I'm afraid that the wording forced me to accidentally commit. However, I'm on the waitlist for DePaul's PhD program and have been accepted for an M.A. degree at Memphis (waitlisted for an assistantship). Memphis pulled a similar stunt--though I made it clear that without at least partial funding I wouldn't accept the offer.

I'm not sure about Duquesne. My funding information was similarly TBD. But as has been noted, I think some funding is better than no funding. And besides, Duquesne's faculty and course offerings have me salivating, and an MA from Duquesne would *definitely* give me a leg up for PhD admission (I was lucky this round, given my B.A. background: not a philosophy major, mediocre state university, no real "continental" presence on campus, etc).

Keep me posted if you hear anything new--if all else fails, I still plan on being in Pittsburgh in the fall, so I might see you there! If you decide to attend, we should get in touch!

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Definitely -- that sounds good. Congrats on making those other two programs; I applied to both Memphis and DePaul PhDs and didn't even make a waitlist on either of them. And I do have a B.A. in philosophy (and english) from a program that has a definite if not notorious continental presence! Haha. :lol:

I will tell you that I emailed Polansky last night and asked when we should expect to hear about funding for the Duquesne MA. I also pointed out that I did not think I could conscientiously commit to the program without knowing the specifics of the funding package. Btw, I looked up the per-credit-hour cost at Duquesne for graduate hours and it's in the $ 900's. Polansky responded to my message almost immediately and said that the specifics of funding depends on how many people they take, but that they hope to know by the "beginning part" (but not "the beginning") of April. He encouraged me to email him and ask again in the new future (which I will certainly do).

The thing that I think is odd is: how do they know how many MA's are coming if none of us want to apply without knowing specifics? That just seems like a really weird situation. In any case, I'm waiting to hear from my 3 waitlists before I even consider sending Duquesne the intent letter, answering in the affirmative. Way too risky of a gamble! The best part is that when I told some of my recommenders about the situation, one of them said definitely don't do Duquesne (ancient philosophy, PhD from Kentucky), another said definitely go with Duquesne (hermeneutics and phil. of language, D.Phil from Frankfrut), and the third, who must be the most level-headed, said that I should wait to hear about my other offers (existentialism and Deleuze, PhD from Memphis).

That makes me nervous! Because I've always heard that the only reservation I should have about Duquesne's program is their limited funding--and with good reason! I'm pretty shaken up by the idea of a $900 credit hour, too. Considering that my current university's fees are about $150 per credit. So your recommenders have cautioned against Duquesne based on its program? Do you have any more details? This just worries me because it and DePaul have always been my "top two"; I may need to seriously reconsider my options if I've been mistaken about the quality of the department there!

Yikes. I might need to email Polansky to straighten things out with my own situation (and maybe to get details on the waitlist).

I really should have emailed a long time ago, but I hate sending these kinds of emails though. I always half-expect to receive a response like, "Scram, kid, you bother me!"

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I'm in the same situation regarding Duquesne's waitlist. For what it's worth, I was told that the waitlist isn't ranked, and if someone declines an a decision is made based on area of interest. (At least, that's how I interpreted what I was told.) I have an okay Ph.D. funding offer from a much lesser known department, and they (of course) want me to make a decision as soon as possible, but I would probably take partial funding at Duquesne over this offer if I got into the Ph.D. program. The MA offer sounds...expensive. And I don't know how well Duquesne treats its MA students. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but when I e-mailed to ask I was not exactly discouraged from hoping. What an incredibly frustrating situation.

If anyone else does pester the people at Duquesne about the waitlist, I would recommend asking whether there's a date by which a final decision could be expected in the case of ultimate rejection from the Ph.D. program. I would ask myself but I feel like I've used up all my pestering capital with the multiple e-mails I've sent already.

ANYWAY, thanks to whoever read my pointless venting.

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eep, I think that if anyone asks that question to Polansky they will be told the ubiquitous 4/15. That's just a guess though. I would email him for you if I hadn't already (like you) sent him multiple emails. I have to stop at a certain point. :)

My understanding is that April 15th is more the deadline to let schools know about decisions. Unless I'm mistaken, then, it's possible that someone could refuse an offer from Duquesne on or just before 4/15, causing them to go to the waitlist. Presuming they don't make the decision instantly, the date when one could expect to hear for sure from Duquesne that (e.g.) "There's no chance of us admitting you at this point" would be somewhat later than that.

And I certainly didn't want to give the impression that I wanted someone to e-mail the school on my behalf. I guess I was just under the impression that I wouldn't be the only person interested in that information. My mistake.

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I'm in the same situation regarding Duquesne's waitlist. For what it's worth, I was told that the waitlist isn't ranked, and if someone declines an a decision is made based on area of interest. (At least, that's how I interpreted what I was told.) I have an okay Ph.D. funding offer from a much lesser known department, and they (of course) want me to make a decision as soon as possible, but I would probably take partial funding at Duquesne over this offer if I got into the Ph.D. program. The MA offer sounds...expensive. And I don't know how well Duquesne treats its MA students. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but when I e-mailed to ask I was not exactly discouraged from hoping. What an incredibly frustrating situation.

If anyone else does pester the people at Duquesne about the waitlist, I would recommend asking whether there's a date by which a final decision could be expected in the case of ultimate rejection from the Ph.D. program. I would ask myself but I feel like I've used up all my pestering capital with the multiple e-mails I've sent already.

ANYWAY, thanks to whoever read my pointless venting.

For what it's worth, I've spoken to a few current MA's at Duquesne and their only complaint seems to be that they're MA students and have to (potentially) leave in a year or so. From what I hear the faculty are extremely involved with their students (PhD or otherwise). I'm with you on being frustrated!

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My understanding is that April 15th is more the deadline to let schools know about decisions. Unless I'm mistaken, then, it's possible that someone could refuse an offer from Duquesne on or just before 4/15, causing them to go to the waitlist. Presuming they don't make the decision instantly, the date when one could expect to hear for sure from Duquesne that (e.g.) "There's no chance of us admitting you at this point" would be somewhat later than that.

And I certainly didn't want to give the impression that I wanted someone to e-mail the school on my behalf. I guess I was just under the impression that I wouldn't be the only person interested in that information. My mistake.

It looks like you've inferred the likely response on their part, then. That is what I meant to suggest by saying that you'd probably be cited the 15th (or some reasonable degree of deviation from it). Since Polansky, like you and me, has no way of knowing if (or if not) someone will turn down the offer on or near the 15, it's really the sort of question that we'd love to have answered but nonetheless doesn't even seem feasibly answerable.

And no need to admit an error on your part, as I don't see any error at all. I fully recognized the conditional nature of your recommended question. My point was that I'd love to ask that question myself, just to see what he might say (although I've already pointed out that I don't think it's answerable), and I regret that I've already emailed him several times. Cheers.

Edited by dgobox
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It looks like you've inferred the likely response on their part, then. That is what I meant to suggest by saying that you'd probably be cited the 15th (or some reasonable degree of deviation from it). Since Polansky, like you and me, has no way of knowing if (or if not) someone will turn down the offer on or near the 15, it's really the sort of question that we'd love to have answered but nonetheless doesn't even seem feasibly answerable.

And no need to admit an error on your part, as I don't see any error at all. I fully recognized the conditional nature of your recommended question. My point was that I'd love to ask that question myself, just to see what he might say (although I've already pointed out that I don't think it's answerable), and I regret that I've already emailed him several times. Cheers.

Yes, that's a good point. I'm not sure what I thought they would say, except maybe to offer some kind of inside information. Maybe everyone they admitted already accepted. I don't know why anyone would turn down a funded offer from Duquesne anyway! (Well, I can think of a few scenarios, but I certainly wouldn't have turned it down.) I wonder if the admissions committee reads this thread and thinks it's funny. If so I'm sure I've destroyed any chance I ever had with my asinine posts (provided they can match "eep" to my real-life handle, which based on writing style should be easy enough). Anyway, good luck.

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As the 15th gets closer and I continue do more research on Duquesne, I am liking what I see more and more.

Same! Maybe it's because I'm assuming nothing is going to happen with my waitlists (which would make Duquesne my only real offer--out-of-state tuition makes Memphis even more expensive), but I've spent a lot of time tracking down students, finding things "my" faculty members have written, checking out Pittsburgh, etc. I'm surprised that on many of the "ranked" lists I've found people dismiss Duquesne for not having a very "cohesive" (?) department--Duquesne's one of the few schools where a better question than "Who can I see myself working with?" would be "Who couldn't I see myself working with?"

What are your interests? What have you found about the university?

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I am generally interested in phenomenology, the philosophy of language and self-consciousness, and the notion of 'analytic deconstruction' (something that Norris @ Cardiff advocates, and Gasche @ Buffalo more circularly suggests the validity of). Specifically I am interested in the earlier Derrida and the later Foucault, and I'm quite committed to Merleau-Ponty and Lacan as well. Regarding Lacan, the presence of Bruce Fink (his books on Lacan and his translations of Lacan's writings are marvelous) at Duquesne (albeit in the psych department) is a pretty big plus for me. I've corresponded with him through email and he seems like a great guy. I can't wait to meet him and the others. I've done considerable work with both Wittgenstein I &II as well, although I don't anticipate continuing to work closely with his material. The reason why I am slowly moving away from Wittgenstein is that I take some of the Derridean movements to dissolve philosophical psuedo-problems more successfully than the former's methodology ever could. For example, taking into account Derrida's evolution of some basic Heideggerean concepts, the so-called "problem of universals" doesn't hold much water. What are your interests?

If you have URL's for any of the lists which you've seen, I'd like to see those and I would appreciate you sharing them with me and the others. Let me know if you bookmarked them or can easily place their whereabouts.

As for my research into the university, I am really attracted to the size of the student body and campus, as well as the location of the university. I looked through the recent dissertations and I don't see anything similar to what I am already planning (although I expect my plan to either be considerably revised or rebooted altogether). I will have no problem selecting three classes out of the offerings for the fall term of '11 -- in fact I might consider taking four.

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I wrote a long response but I've decided to cut it down--I'll just get to the point! My interests at this point are pretty tentative; because I've been self-taught for the most part I made it clear in my statement that, although reading and writing on my own has taught me to take initiative and given me a sense for history, I'm never too proud to change my mind. So who knows--maybe two years of masters work will radically change the direction of my work. Caveats aside, the figures I'm interested in are divided into two groups: Lacan (Hegel, Freud) and Deleuze (Nietzsche, Bergson)--I also read several post-marxists but I'm not really planning on doing anything with Marx unless I get admitted to DePaul (since their faculty includes Bill Martin, who's writing on Badiou). In super general terms, anywhere metaphysics meets social/political philosophy, I'm game. In super specific terms, I would like to re-politicize Deleuze in a return to his work sans Guattari (since most of the political work I've found on Deleuze tends to focus on Capitalism and Schizophrenia).

Anyway, I'd really like the opportunity to work with Bruce Fink, too! I wonder what the policy is on auditing courses in other departments or universities (I heard somewhere that Duquesne students can attend University of Pittsburgh courses free of charge, but don't quote me on it).

As far as "lists" go--the only one I know off-hand is the rather unofficial one on philprospective on livejournal. I'll see whether I can dig up any of the other lists from in the interweb. And in regard to the student body size, I was originally worried about the faculty:student ratio (since the department's website lists 90 students), but Polansky assured me an accurate headcount would be closer to 30.

Which three (or four) courses are you considering? I've got my eye on the Derrida/Levinas class with Marder, Miller's Nietzsche course, Deleuze with Evans, and Hegel's Logic with Jennifer Bates.

I am generally interested in phenomenology, the philosophy of language and self-consciousness, and the notion of 'analytic deconstruction' (something that Norris @ Cardiff advocates, and Gasche @ Buffalo more circularly suggests the validity of). Specifically I am interested in the earlier Derrida and the later Foucault, and I'm quite committed to Merleau-Ponty and Lacan as well. Regarding Lacan, the presence of Bruce Fink (his books on Lacan and his translations of Lacan's writings are marvelous) at Duquesne (albeit in the psych department) is a pretty big plus for me. I've corresponded with him through email and he seems like a great guy. I can't wait to meet him and the others. I've done considerable work with both Wittgenstein I &II as well, although I don't anticipate continuing to work closely with his material. The reason why I am slowly moving away from Wittgenstein is that I take some of the Derridean movements to dissolve philosophical psuedo-problems more successfully than the former's methodology ever could. For example, taking into account Derrida's evolution of some basic Heideggerean concepts, the so-called "problem of universals" doesn't hold much water. What are your interests?

If you have URL's for any of the lists which you've seen, I'd like to see those and I would appreciate you sharing them with me and the others. Let me know if you bookmarked them or can easily place their whereabouts.

As for my research into the university, I am really attracted to the size of the student body and campus, as well as the location of the university. I looked through the recent dissertations and I don't see anything similar to what I am already planning (although I expect my plan to either be considerably revised or rebooted altogether). I will have no problem selecting three classes out of the offerings for the fall term of '11 -- in fact I might consider taking four.

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Anyway, I'd really like the opportunity to work with Bruce Fink, too! I wonder what the policy is on auditing courses in other departments or universities (I heard somewhere that Duquesne students can attend University of Pittsburgh courses free of charge, but don't quote me on it).

I dunno about the Pitt part because I haven't heard that. I don't see how it could possible be free, though! Right?

As for Fink, he is listed as 'Associated Faculty' on Duquesne's Philosophy faculty page, and I take it that we are able to take his courses, no problem. As for other departments like English or whatever....I don't know the answer.

Edit: I have a question. Does the department page list 90 students including both undergraduate and graduate? I see that Polansky told you that it is closer to 30. So, I take it that figure is graduates only, right?

Edited by dgobox
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I dunno about the Pitt part because I haven't heard that. I don't see how it could possible be free, though! Right?

As for Fink, he is listed as 'Associated Faculty' on Duquesne's Philosophy faculty page, and I take it that we are able to take his courses, no problem. As for other departments like English or whatever....I don't know the answer.

Edit: I have a question. Does the department page list 90 students including both undergraduate and graduate? I see that Polansky told you that it is closer to 30. So, I take it that figure is graduates only, right?

Ostensibly it's a list of graduate students only, but Polansky thought it may just be out of date. If I learn anything more about the Pitt-Duq relationship I'll let you know.

Edit: So I was correct and incorrect. Because Pitt and Duquesne are part of the PCHE, cross-registration is available to any student (with priority given to host institution's students, of course); "free" apparently means there is no additional charge--you pay Duquesne's tuition rate. I don't know Pitt's rate, but that may work in our favor.

Edited by Billy Dean
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