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Medieval History Preparation


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Consider taking a look at the University of Southern California. Check to see if USC and UCLA have an arrangement that allows professors from UCLA to sit on doctoral committees for graduate students at Southern Cal. (USC may have such agreements with other schools as well.)

A head's up is in order. You will never in your life meet a sharper historian that USC's resident medievalist, Jason Glen.


Thanks! I definitely appreciate the heads up about USC, so I will take a look there for sure. From what I've heard UCLA's medieval department has had a few people leave recently, so I'll have to see who's going to stay and such.

As for languages, I agree with everything Sparky said. It sounds like you are doing your best to learn what you need to know in formal classes, so getting something formal shouldn't be too hard. I did the same thing with German where I took it in college so have that on there, but also took night classes to review it recently, so just have to secure a transcript from the place. Only negative is that it will cost money for each copy. Sigh.

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maisenb: A great source for lesser known schools with decent medieval programs is medievalists.net's list at http://www.medievalists.net/2009/10/30/north-american-universities-that-specialize-in-medieval-history/ It's got all the top tier names you would expect, but also a LOT more that you wouldn't have ever thought of. It really helped me balance out my own list.

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Adcoms want proof.

The "self-proclaimed language auto-didact" is a very real phenomenon in graduate school applications (as well as at conferences... :P). Inflating your language abilities in your SOP is *such* an easy thing to do, and it's so tempting to convince yourself that you're not *really* cheating b/c, after all, you're going to spend the rest of the spring and the summer really learning that language, right? Adcoms do not look kindly on informal language training.

I have a question about this. I am bilingual (Spanish), and took Latin in college. As a result, I can read Portuguese pretty well--- I can't speak it, but I can read and comprehend to about 85-90%. I need both Spanish and Portuguese for my field. It's not easy to find Portuguese classes to take.

Now I know I will still need to do coursework or a translation test because I can't write it, but can't I just mention that I do read it in my CV?

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