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UT-San Antonio English - anyone know about it?


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I was admitted into the UT-San Antonio English Ph.D program but I don't know much about its reputation. I have one professor (who wrote 1 of my LOR) who recommended it (and apparently she has a lot of friends who either work at the department or went there) but other than that, I don't know anyone else who knows about it. It's difficult to find any info about it on-line. Is there anyone out there who knows anything about this school (reputation in academia, placements, etc.) or can connect me with contacts. I am obviously probing the school but want an outsider viewpoint.

Thank you ahead of time!

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UTSA's mostly a science/researching school, but the liberal arts program has decent funding. The English PhD program isn't the most competitive around, but they don't accept just anyone. If they've offered you funding, and you haven't been accepted anywhere else you might want to go, then sure UTSA will get you the PhD you want. UTSA has professors like Dr. Jeanne Reesman, Linda Woodson, and Norma Cantu who do a lot of publishing and have CV's over twenty pages long. It can be a competitive program, and I've heard there is drama. But all departments have a bit of drama I suppose.

They host speakers, like I know David Crystal was there a couple of years ago, as an example, and do symposiums. Nothing too big and fancy though. The program is very strong in Chicano/a literature and theory (looking at your Interests in your sig) so you'll probably fit in well. Bilingual is probably going to be a must, if you aren't already. San Antonio and UTSA is saturated with Hispanic heritage and culture, and the program reflects that. The program isn't nationally ranked as far as I know, but because of people like Reesman and Woodson, academics have heard of UTSA. Also, because of the other universities in SA like Incarnate Word, Trinity, OLOL, SA does host bigger conferences. The PCA/ACA was here last year downtown. The library is alright; access to most big online databases. Some rare texts I still go to UT Austin for and check out there. Texas universities have TexShare, a program where students enrolled can get a library card to check out books for other universities in Texas. Pretty useful come thesis/dis time.

The area, and the campus, is a bit odd. It takes getting used to, and depending on where you're from, it can be annoying. The campus was build in phases with many years in between, so it looks disconnected architecturally. I would def. suggest flying in for a weekend and spending some time hanging out before committing 6 years to it. Parking is terrible, worst I've ever seen. But there is an amazing shopping mall very close by, if that's your thing. A mall which is always crowded, because it is the best mall in the city. UTSA is also close to fiesta texas, if that's your thing instead. I know some people who would get a season pass and use the park to blow off steam and destress b/c it's so close by and it made them feel good. Majority of the student body is conservative/republican, and campus politics, esp voting season, can be stressful for someone who is liberal. There is a lot of money in the area where UTSA is located, and some of the students drive nicer cars than the faculty. For the most part though, faculty is cool.

Note: I'm exhausted, so if something doesn't make sense, forgive me.

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I did as an undergrad. I had a lot of good and a lot of bad experiences, but I'm sure most people do. I think it's great you're coming on a weekday because you can actually see how things usually work. Are you planning on visiting UT Austin too during your trip to Texas or just SA?

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Yes, I am going to visit both - I definitely want to see how they differ. I'm not sure if I'll get off of the wait list at UT-A but I do want to see if I have a good feeling about both. It'll be a lot of driving in 1 day but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

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