mcb27 Posted September 9, 2012 Share Posted September 9, 2012 Hello all, I'm new to the forum, and relatively young by the looks of it. The threads here have been very helpful, though. Anyways, I'm only in the fall semester of my junior year and just wanted some advice on things I can do to prepare best for the applcation process that I'll go through next fall. Just some info, I go to a small but strong liberal arts school. The history faculty is only comprised of five professors. It's a very good faculty, though. No superstars but all have PhDs from strong schools and I have the advantage of knowing my professors really well. I have a 3.4 overall, 3.74 in history classes. Due to scheduling, though, I've only had five history classes. The bulk of my major will be completed over the next four semesters. If I were to choose a focus now, it would have to be something surrounding 20th century American social and political history, especially the issue of nationalism and freedom of speech, dissent during times of conflict, etc. I guess my main concern is GPA. I would like to get into a top program. My overall GPA should improve over these next two years as I get further into history classes. I think I can get a 3.6-3.8 over the next two years. But even thinking about applying to an Ivy is so intimidating to me, coming from a family that has no history in academia, big business, etc. Has anyone else faced this? What is the cutoff in your opinion in terms of ranking? Is it worth going into a PhD program that is below Top 25 level? Also, foreign language is a weak spot for me. I've finished my undergrad requirement, and I know American domestic history will likely only require one language at the grad level. Does anyone have tips on individual studying of languages, or even effective learning of a totally new language at a late age like mine? I love the subject which I mentioned but the history of the US in the Middle East is also fascinating to me, but the idea of knowing multiple languages is intimidating. Anyways, I hope this starts some discussion. Just reading these threads has been great and the community seems first class. Thanks! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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