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Toronto MA vs. Chicago MAPSS?

Brett K

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After being rejected by all five history Ph.D. programs I applied to, I've got two M.A. offers and no clue which one to go with. So, an M.A. in history from the University of Toronto, or MAPSS at the University of Chicago? I've been offered a half scholarship by Chicago... but that just means I'd be paying $20k rather than 40 (50% off, I guess?) whereas Toronto, even with no funding, will only come to $6-7k. Toronto is where I did my B.A., and it's my hometown and I'm not particularly thrilled at the thought of uprooting myself for a one-year program, but Chicago was my first choice for grad school back when I thought I'd be doing a Ph.D., and it has a pretty amazing reputation.

Basically, I'm torn. Will doing MAPSS increase my chances of getting into a Ph.D. program (preferably at Chicago) enough for it to be worth the money, moving, ridiculous course load, likely lack of health insurance, and the fact that Chicago apparently has even worse weather than Toronto? How well-respected is the MAPSS program anyway? Will it reflect badly on me if I do both my B.A. and M.A. at the same school? Is Toronto even a good choice for someone who wants to study 18th-century history, given that everyone there seems to be a medievalist?

All this, and I have to make a decision by April 15th. Help!

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