Jump to content

New School MA Anthropology / LSE Anthropology - questions and comments


wildcomSA

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I was wondering if anyone here could share their experience with or knowledge of the MA in Anthropology at The New School For Social Research and the MSc in Social Anthropology at LSE? 

 

I recently received an offer for LSE (no funding) and am still waiting to hear back from The New School (apparently mid March . . . 'The Ides of March')

 

I've listed a coupe of general queries, but please feel free to comment on anything related to these two programs. I'm sure their are other applicants here who would benefits from this discussion. 

 

Query 1: I've heard the teaching curriculum and methods for student engagement at The New School are at the vanguard of the disciple somewhat, what are you thoughts on this?

 

Query 2: How does the New School compare to other anthropology departments in the US? In academia is it held in high esteem?

 

Query 2: How does LSE Anthropology rate against The New School and other unis in the US?

 

Thanks a lot for any insights. I wish you all the best with your applications.

 

Best

WildcomSA

 

 

 

 

One other query

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Truc,

could you also share your New School knowledge with me via PM?

I'm from Europe, also applied for both schools. A friend is doing the MSc Social Anthro at LSE right now, and I went to attend class with him.

I don't know how Master programs function in the US, but you should be aware that LSE you will also be attending lectures with undergrads for certain topical courses, although you will have a following discussion with a seminar group only comprising of Master students. This is because the MSc is for people who have not studied anthropology before or only within a more interdisciplinary degree. People who do a bachelor in anthro in the UK could move on straight to a research degree MRes, which can then lead straight into a PhD.

Overall the quality was quite good though. In terms of prestige, LSE is definitely very respected, for anthropology perhaps even more than Oxford or Cambridge. They also have a PhD cooperation program with Columbia. But well, of course, you also pay quite a lot at LSE, even more than you would, for example, at Cambridge, at least for anthropology.

In any case, I would say LSE can keep up with many US schools, but what is of course very different is the length of your degree; go to LSE and you should be done with your PhD within 5 years max, in the US it would be 7 or so. And you might not get funding at LSE, but I am sure you know those things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is second-hand information but I want to share anyway.

 

A friend of mine got their MA at the New School and they were very disappointed with their experience. The MA years are unfunded and expensive. Classes are large and personal attention is sparse. At the end of the MA program most students were not admitted to the department's PhD program and thus had to continue to their PhD at another institution, often repeating at least some of the coursework they had already paid so much to complete. My friend felt that the large MA cohort existed there largely to fund the graduate program with their tuition dollars.

 

My friend got a good education in foundational theory, especially European philosophy and history of science type stuff, but they said if they could do it all over they would not repeat their time at the New School and would go directly into a funded PhD program if at all possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for all this very helpful information. 

 

As I suspected there are a few variables to consider. 

 

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who received funding from NSSR for the MA and what was offered? I've heard of 25 to 33 per cent tuition remission but never a stipend. 

 

Anyway, thanks again - I'll let you all know how admission decision unfolds. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pm'ed you with a more detailed message. But for others interested, I was accepted last year (late response...mid March) and offered 20% tuition remission though I still thought NSSR was too expensive. For exactly the reasons Lexicon stated (I heard similar complaints from others as well), I decided to decline and reapply this year to funded PhD programs. In the US, it is certainly not a highly esteemed program; I think it's reputation is actually better abroad than domestically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Guest joshw4288

This seems to be the same as their psychology programs. Overall NSSR seems to be underfunded and very lowly regarded. They matriculate many more applicants than they can cater to. Does anyone with decent credentials actually get denied? Last I checked their anthropology MA admission stat was 74%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did my M.Sc at LSE.  Thanks to the new director, Prof Craig Calhoun, basically all new PhD student's are fully funded at the LSE.   

 

If you complete your M.Sc. with a High Merit (65% or above) you've met the requirements to enroll in the PhD (assuming your application is decent).  But you do have to pay for the M.Sc. and as Vandersems said, it is the most expensive M.Sc in the United Kingdom.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Late to this topic, but can tell you that an MA from NSSR in anthropology is very highly regarded and students applying for PhDs frequently have their pick of PhD programs at other top-tier departments (Chicago, Berkeley, Duke, Michigan, Columbia, Stanford, CUNY, etc.). There is not a ton of funding for the first two years (generally between 20% and 50%), but if you compare that to other programs with MAs in anthro, most of them have NO funding. Moreover, most of the applicants with MAs from Columbia or Chicago or NYU are not nearly as competitive for PhD programs, and almost never get into their own schools to boot. Finally, as an MA student you will get a level of personal attention from faculty that is higher than most PhD students get other places. I would say that if you can afford to not get fully funded for two years and then to stay at NSSR or go somewhere else for the PhD, you are virtually guaranteed to have a number of choices for a fully funded PhD. However, if you can get into another fully funfed program for the PhD and skip the MA entirely, that's even better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest joshw4288

Late to this topic, but can tell you that an MA from NSSR in anthropology is very highly regarded and students applying for PhDs frequently have their pick of PhD programs at other top-tier departments (Chicago, Berkeley, Duke, Michigan, Columbia, Stanford, CUNY, etc.). There is not a ton of funding for the first two years (generally between 20% and 50%), but if you compare that to other programs with MAs in anthro, most of them have NO funding. Moreover, most of the applicants with MAs from Columbia or Chicago or NYU are not nearly as competitive for PhD programs, and almost never get into their own schools to boot. Finally, as an MA student you will get a level of personal attention from faculty that is higher than most PhD students get other places. I would say that if you can afford to not get fully funded for two years and then to stay at NSSR or go somewhere else for the PhD, you are virtually guaranteed to have a number of choices for a fully funded PhD. However, if you can get into another fully funfed program for the PhD and skip the MA entirely, that's even better.

 

I question the legitimacy of any MA/MS program that does not requirement a thesis if the purpose of said degree is preparation for a doctorate. Research in anthropology is paramount for a doctorate. The NSSR program completely ignores this by not requiring a thesis in its MA program. 

Edited by joshw4288
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I question the legitimacy of any MA/MS program that does not requirement a thesis if the purpose of said degree is preparation for a doctorate. Research in anthropology is paramount for a doctorate. The NSSR program completely ignores this by not requiring a thesis in its MA program. 

Well I'm not sure that they completely ignore this. The first 2 years of most US PhDs are allocated to coursework - not mini-thesis'.  This is to prepare students for the PhD candidature with foundation units on theory and methods specific to the discipline. 

 

It's worth noting that the NSSR MA in Anth requires you to undertake core 'practices' units. These provide the student with specific methods that could be used during dissertation research to inquire into different 'perspectives' (also core). 

 

Also the NSSR MA and PhD are not mutually exclusive programs (even though there's no guarantees of admission to the PhD) - that is, they work together. In the third year you bein to undertake a range of thesis preparation and writing units etc. 

 

I guess the British MSc includes a dissertation because they're not linked to a PhD and the Brit MScs that are linked are called MSc (research) which don't include a mini-thesis'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Late to this topic, but can tell you that an MA from NSSR in anthropology is very highly regarded and students applying for PhDs frequently have their pick of PhD programs at other top-tier departments (Chicago, Berkeley, Duke, Michigan, Columbia, Stanford, CUNY, etc.). There is not a ton of funding for the first two years (generally between 20% and 50%), but if you compare that to other programs with MAs in anthro, most of them have NO funding. Moreover, most of the applicants with MAs from Columbia or Chicago or NYU are not nearly as competitive for PhD programs, and almost never get into their own schools to boot. Finally, as an MA student you will get a level of personal attention from faculty that is higher than most PhD students get other places. I would say that if you can afford to not get fully funded for two years and then to stay at NSSR or go somewhere else for the PhD, you are virtually guaranteed to have a number of choices for a fully funded PhD. However, if you can get into another fully funfed program for the PhD and skip the MA entirely, that's even better.

Thanks for this info, really helpful.... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seems to be the same as their psychology programs. Overall NSSR seems to be underfunded and very lowly regarded. They matriculate many more applicants than they can cater to. Does anyone with decent credentials actually get denied? Last I checked their anthropology MA admission stat was 74%.

Hi there, curious, where did you get the MA admission stat? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also the NSSR MA and PhD are not mutually exclusive programs (even though there's no guarantees of admission to the PhD) - that is, they work together. In the third year you bein to undertake a range of thesis preparation and writing units etc. 

 

It is really worth noting that completing an MA in anthropology at the new school guarantees you nothing. Sure, the pool of applicants to the new school's phd program are all 2nd year MA students, but the faculty sometimes choose not to take any of them. What saveageminds says is true, most people I know who went to the new school have multiple phd options when they finish their MAs, but others have no choices and are just saddled with $40k-60k in debt. That isn't to say they don't appreciate the time they spent, but it does come with a hefty price tag.

Edited by truc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest joshw4288

Well I'm not sure that they completely ignore this. The first 2 years of most US PhDs are allocated to coursework - not mini-thesis'.  This is to prepare students for the PhD candidature with foundation units on theory and methods specific to the discipline. 

 

It's worth noting that the NSSR MA in Anth requires you to undertake core 'practices' units. These provide the student with specific methods that could be used during dissertation research to inquire into different 'perspectives' (also core). 

 

Also the NSSR MA and PhD are not mutually exclusive programs (even though there's no guarantees of admission to the PhD) - that is, they work together. In the third year you bein to undertake a range of thesis preparation and writing units etc. 

 

I guess the British MSc includes a dissertation because they're not linked to a PhD and the Brit MScs that are linked are called MSc (research) which don't include a mini-thesis'.

The problem is the programs are mutually exclusive for most students. How many of the MA students actually progress into the PhD program? 5%? 10%? That leaves all the rest with a mutually exclusive MA that will not transfer to any other PhD program and count as the first 2 years. You might be able to transfer 6-9 credits or transfer your thesis as your major second year paper but with this program you wouldn't even have a thesis to transfer. Point being, and this applies to many of the NSSR programs, if you undertake the MA and don't progress into the NSSR PhD then you are left having to start over somewhere else, with 60-80k in debt (more or less depending on your funding. I'll see if I can find the original reference for the admissions statistic, bear with me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is the programs are mutually exclusive for most students. How many of the MA students actually progress into the PhD program? 5%? 10%? That leaves all the rest with a mutually exclusive MA that will not transfer to any other PhD program and count as the first 2 years. You might be able to transfer 6-9 credits or transfer your thesis as your major second year paper but with this program you wouldn't even have a thesis to transfer. Point being, and this applies to many of the NSSR programs, if you undertake the MA and don't progress into the NSSR PhD then you are left having to start over somewhere else, with 60-80k in debt (more or less depending on your funding. I'll see if I can find the original reference for the admissions statistic, bear with me. 

 

 

It is really worth noting that completing an MA in anthropology at the new school guarantees you nothing. Sure, the pool of applicants to the new school's phd program are all 2nd year MA students, but the faculty sometimes choose not to take any of them. What saveageminds says is true, most people I know who went to the new school have multiple phd options when they finish their MAs, but others have no choices and are just saddled with $40k-60k in debt. That isn't to say they don't appreciate the time they spent, but it does come with a hefty price tag.

 

Thanks guys, great advice, much appreciate this :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, there is not a MA thesis requirement, since as someone pointed out, the MA and PhD programs work together. There is instead a very rigorous MA exam (72 hours and roughly 45 pages of writing, which is about what most MA thesis page counts are). Adding a thesis requirement would not only force students to stay in the program longer (given the reading and writing demands of classes), but would also be useless for those who are going to get a PhD anyway, either at NSSR or elsewhere. Yes- not all students who do the MA will get into a PhD, but that is not a guarantee at ANY anthropology MA program and at all the others there is no funding and students are generally treated like second-class citizens next to PhD students. At NSSR, virtually all students get some degree of funding guaranteed for two years, plus many also get RAs and TAs in their second year. If you only applied to MA programs or did not get into PhD programs, you have much better chances for getting into them coming from the New School than from other anthropology MA programs. Finally, if you do get into PhD programs elsewhere, you can usually transfer at least a year of credits, and can often negotiate for more, but you come in with a leg-up since other students will tend to have much less developed projects and know less about the state of the art in the field. If you're comparing the potential PhD at NSSR versus acceptance into a PhD elsewhere, you should definitely take the bird in hand, as they say. However, if you are comparing the NSSR MA to an MA in anthro anywhere edlse, NSSR is a better bet unless you get superior funding, which is highly unlikely at Columbia, Chicago, NYU, LSE, etc.

Edited by saveagemind
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A masters thesis gives you stuff to publish at the very least. Also, it shows schools you can do original research on your home. And getting a masters t NSSR gives you no advantage. Also, there's are a lot of funded masters. But then again, I wouldn't go to a school who accepted students without a masters for their phd. Just bad practice in my opinion. Yes, my current school will not accept phd students without a masters and if you get your masters here they will not accept you into the phd program. This is to prevent academic inbreeding and allowing the person the greatest chance at finding employment.

Link to comment
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

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use