Jump to content
aglaea

2013 Applicants (Philosophy)

Recommended Posts

I more or less agree. I don't actually find the waiting time obscene – the difference between when I submitted my last application and when I expect to hear back from the first school is really not so great – but I find myself obscenely checking GradCafe. It's only bad however when I am on my laptop trying to write or read a pdf – I never find myself wondering when I'm having a beer or sitting through a lecture.

 

And as for the GRE: everything I've read agrees that it all depends on the school and the composition of this year's committees. But I really doubt a low GRE would disqualify anybody who would otherwise have been accepted, just if they had a better GRE score. A major university isn't going to justify a cohort of 6-10 with sub-par scores to the Dean, but there is always room for the one or two exceptions who had a bad day.

 

I guess I had a few schools in mind when I made the obscene comment. For example, USC has a deadline of Dec 1, but it looks like they send out acceptances in mid-February. That's over two months of waiting. Then again, I'll be the first to admit that this is my first round of applications (and hopefully last!) and maybe I'm just underestimating the amount of time it takes to consider people for admissions. 

Another thing about GREs: I think that, if you want to hope some departments will make an exception for you, the GRE has to be an outlier. Same with GPA. I don't think you can have a low GPA and low GREs and reasonably expect a lot of acceptances (at least from major universities). It's too big of a risk for a department. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I had a few schools in mind when I made the obscene comment. For example, USC has a deadline of Dec 1, but it looks like they send out acceptances in mid-February. That's over two months of waiting. Then again, I'll be the first to admit that this is my first round of applications (and hopefully last!) and maybe I'm just underestimating the amount of time it takes to consider people for admissions. 

Another thing about GREs: I think that, if you want to hope some departments will make an exception for you, the GRE has to be an outlier. Same with GPA. I don't think you can have a low GPA and low GREs and reasonably expect a lot of acceptances (at least from major universities). It's too big of a risk for a department. 

 

I assume you meant to say dec 31st was the deadline for USC? Even if I'm entirely confused about deadlines at this point, I know it wasn't that early. 

 

Anyway, yeah, I agree with you on the issue of GRE importance. It really does depend on who is on the admissions committee. People place different amounts of importance on each part of the application. E.g. one prof. in my department thinks it's silly that people are even required to write a statement of purpose, while another thinks that it can show a bit about the applicant's dedication and professionalism. It really is a crapshoot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you meant to say dec 31st was the deadline for USC? Even if I'm entirely confused about deadlines at this point, I know it wasn't that early. 

 

Anyway, yeah, I agree with you on the issue of GRE importance. It really does depend on who is on the admissions committee. People place different amounts of importance on each part of the application. E.g. one prof. in my department thinks it's silly that people are even required to write a statement of purpose, while another thinks that it can show a bit about the applicant's dedication and professionalism. It really is a crapshoot.

 

You're both kind of right.

 

"Applications to the Graduate School of the University of Southern California are coordinated through Apply Yourself application system. Note that USC has a 'priority deadline' for applications of December 1st, but full consideration will be given to all philosophy applications which are complete by December 31st."

Edited by PhilosophyHopeful2013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice about the GREs everyone. I hope it makes a difference that I usually get exam accommodations, but couldn't get them for the GRE. ETS required a super updated doctor's note for accommodations and that's just not possible in Canada. My letter writers spoke to this issue, and my grades are high (perfect MA GPA and 3.9 undergrad) and writing sample is an R&R with a great journal. But my GRE scores are REALLY unimpressive: 5 analytical writing / 160 verbal / 145 math (I know, the worst). In my defense Canadian schools put much less emphasis on learning math in high school and it was never ever been my strength. Combined with the health issue, impossible for me to overcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi everyone. here's a link to a Leiter discussion about the very topic of GREs and whether or not departments use GRE scores as a cut-off. i think it's pretty useful because you have graduate directors from programs like UNC and USC directly answering this question that i'm sure weighs heavily on a lot of people's minds. 

 

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2011/03/are-some-schools-using-undisclosed-gre-cut-offs-in-admissions-decisions.html

 

good luck everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently in a small, relatively unknown, but wonderful MA program in Canada.

My UGPA is pretty weak--it's around an A-/B+. I've got a perfect A average in my MA coursework, though. On the GRE, I'm pretty happy with my Verbal and Quant scores (167 and 159, respectively), but my AW score was brutal--a 3.5. AOI: Metaethics, social and political, dev ethics, and 'metapolitical' theory. I'm otherwise a pretty unremarkable applicant--though I hope my letter writers will help give the opposite impression :P

 

I've applied to (in no particular order): USC, Stanford, U Colorado, U Wisconsin, U Michigan, Brown, U Toronto, UC Davis, UNC, Duke, and Princeton. Ambitious, I know! The plan is to aim high this year, and in the very likely case that I don't get anything, reapply next year but include non-top-50 schools.

Wish me luck! And good luck to all of you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My GRE scores are 620V/720Q/4.0.  Do you suspect that these scores will hurt me? FWIW, I might have just had a bad day; I really expected higher scores (esp. on the writing portion).

 

Just my opinion of course, but I'd say it depends.  In particular, it depends on the schools you're applying to.  

 

Here's what UCR has to say about it.  They are ranked #31 according to Philosophical Gourmet:

 

"During the last few years, average GRE scores (verbal and quantitative combined) for students we accepted have been in the range of 310 to 330 (1250-1500 by the old scale). (If a student’s combined scores are below 300 (1100), their chances of being admitted are minimal unless there is a special explanation, e.g., that the student is not a native speaker of English). Typically a score below 310 (or 1250) is a strike against an applicant, whereas a score above 325 (or 1450) is a bonus."

 

To me it seems like your scores are not going to help/hurt you for a lot of schools.  Obviously the more competitive/higher ranked the school, the more likely they are to want higher scores, and for some of them, your scores might be a small strike against.  The writing score might be a small strike against you, but some schools don't even care about it.  So, I guess my opinion (which means zero) is that your scores won't keep you out of a ton of schools if the rest of the application is good/great.

Edited by PhilosophyHopeful2013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I had a few schools in mind when I made the obscene comment. For example, USC has a deadline of Dec 1, but it looks like they send out acceptances in mid-February. That's over two months of waiting. Then again, I'll be the first to admit that this is my first round of applications (and hopefully last!) and maybe I'm just underestimating the amount of time it takes to consider people for admissions.

 

I didn't realise that there even existed deadlines before mid-December; my bad! I have to say though, when I compare my application process with my sister's, who is applying to Medicine, I don't feel so bad... even if there is (going by brute statistics) a much better chance that she's taken!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So School X originally required a mailed writing sample. I mailed said transcript more than a month before the deadline. Then, on a random check of my application status now weeks after the deadline, there is no update saying the sample has been received, and I also see that School X's department site has been updated to allow e-mailed samples rather than mailed ones. I swear, all the little stuff...

Edited by Phil2013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So School X originally required a mailed writing sample. I mailed said transcript more than a month before the deadline. Then, on a random check of my application status now weeks after the deadline, there is no update saying the sample has been received, and I also see that School X's department site has been updated to allow e-mailed samples rather than mailed ones. I swear, all the little stuff...

 

A very, very similar thing happened with me and a letter of recommendation. These things are terrifying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very, very similar thing happened with me and a letter of recommendation. These things are terrifying. 

 

I've had a similar experience: I ordered my transcript to be sent to a school (School Y, I suppose) two weeks before their deadline. It didn't arrive on time. School Y's grad director called me to ask if I was still interested in the program. I said yes, and she then told me that she hadn't received my transcript. Turns out my university lost my order. I had to call them and pay for rush shipping. When I contacted School Y's grad director about it, she said it was totally fine and that, as long as my self-reported GPA was pretty accurate, it wouldn't be a big deal if the transcript was late. She wished me luck, and now I'm just waiting!

 

I would like to think that most admissions committees will be understanding of a minor error; after all, mistakes happen on both sides at least a few times a season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope so too! I'm sure you're fine. I had to order transcripts from three different institutions from Canada, and I'm almost sure a bunch of them arrived late. I attached scanned copies of transcripts for every school that allowed me to upload them, so hopefully that suffices until the original ones arrive. 


I have to give a guest lecture tomorrow morning that I'm a bit nervous about, so hopefully no bad news until after that's over! Standing up to lecture to 100 students after a rejection would be the worst.

I'm really hoping we start hearing back from some places this week. I can't wait anymore!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I've had a hell of a time with transcripts. I got college credit in high school and some schools wanted a transcript from them and some didn't. Perhaps my worst ordeal is one of my letters of rec - one of my professors was late to three schools...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I've had a hell of a time with transcripts. I got college credit in high school and some schools wanted a transcript from them and some didn't. Perhaps my worst ordeal is one of my letters of rec - one of my professors was late to three schools...

 

Likewise on the college credit earned in high schools... Pain in the ass when it came time to acquire official transcripts (and only for 12 credits of courses that would make absolutely no difference to an admissions committee). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a different questions for everyone. So I have two forthcoming publications in a book. Both are coauthored; I am primary on one and secondary on another. The book is reputable (published by Routledge, peer-reviewed) but it isn't in philosophy. Instead it's in discourse analysis. It really is going to be a top-notch book (some really big names in discourse analysis are involved), but it isn't philosophy. I'm not sure they'll have any effect on my application chances. It really isn't philosophy, though arguably what I wrote on could be classified within pragmatics. It's very much about doing case studies and showing applications of theories, not doing conceptual analysis or something like that.

 

Thoughts?

 

(And yes, I realize how ridiculous this question might sound. After all publications can't really be a detriment, right?)

Edited by incontradiction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that publications are a detriment if and only if they involve the propagation of half-baked ideas in disreputable fora. These traps are definitely to be avoided and are mostly a danger for those of us who come from undergraduate institutions isolated from the mainstream profession – places where professors may counsel publishing in the journals or books of themselves and their friends, journals and books that are unlikely to have much or any impact and undergo rigourous peer-review (not that this is unique to undergraduate institutions isolated from the mainstream profession... but you want to be seen as being on the "right" side of that divide!)

 

Your publication definitely does not seem to me to fall into this category. It surely looks good on your CV, but I have no idea whether it will have any influence on an offer of admission. The only situation I can foresee in which it would be given real weight is if someone on the committee holds the editor or primary author in really high regard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that publications are a detriment if and only if they involve the propagation of half-baked ideas in disreputable fora. These traps are definitely to be avoided and are mostly a danger for those of us who come from undergraduate institutions isolated from the mainstream profession – places where professors may counsel publishing in the journals or books of themselves and their friends, journals and books that are unlikely to have much or any impact and undergo rigourous peer-review (not that this is unique to undergraduate institutions isolated from the mainstream profession... but you want to be seen as being on the "right" side of that divide!)

 

Your publication definitely does not seem to me to fall into this category. It surely looks good on your CV, but I have no idea whether it will have any influence on an offer of admission. The only situation I can foresee in which it would be given real weight is if someone on the committee holds the editor or primary author in really high regard.

 

Thanks for the input. The book in question is an anthology specifically designed for use in graduate classes in communications and some areas of linguistics. The odds of a philosophy professor knowing (or caring about) the editors or my co-author is relatively small. My co-author is a communications scholar (tenured at my university, which has a nationally-recognized communications college, and widely-published). Cool stuff, and I'm glad I worked on the project with him, but not my primary interest (which is by and large philosophy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random question:

 

Does anyone who applied to the University of Chicago still have their official GRE score listed as "Awaiting"?  It was one of my 4 main schools on my original GRE, so I'm a little surprised it wouldn't have been received by now.

Edited by PhilosophyHopeful2013

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random question:

 

Does anyone who applied to the University of Chicago still have their official GRE score listed as "Awaiting"?  It was one of my 4 main schools on my original GRE, so I'm a little surprised it wouldn't have been received by now.

 

Ya, mine says the same thing. I took the GRE a bit late, so my scores didn't arrive before the Dec 15th deadline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my test mid-November and included Chicago among the 4 free schools. It has been showing as received for quite some time now, since before the December 15th deadline. On the other hand, I didn't include Columbia, who uses the same online system, among my free 4, but sent the report well before the early January deadline, and they are still showing as awaiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random question:

 

Does anyone who applied to the University of Chicago still have their official GRE score listed as "Awaiting"?  It was one of my 4 main schools on my original GRE, so I'm a little surprised it wouldn't have been received by now.

 

I had issues with my one too - ETS showed that it had sent the scores to Chicago on 12/12, but it was still showing as not received at the beginning of January. I emailed them to check, and they said that there had been a delay in linking up scores received to applications.  They then changed mine so that it showed as received - so you might want to chase it up by email too, just to make sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.