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A Little Help??? (Reputations of English Programs)


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Hi there. First time applying to graduate school, and while I have done ample research and have frequent meetings with my mentor and recommenders, I would love to hear what you have to say  B)

 

I got into University of Central Florida (UCF), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Georgia State University (GSU), and University of Houston (which has no chance for funding, so it's a for sure "no"). FAU offered me a sick deal: 80% tuition waver + 12,000 per semester. I'm waiting to hear from UCF and GSU about GTA offers (::fingers and toes crossed::)

 

(FYI: Still waiting on Alabama University (who offers assistantships to all accepted students), and San Francisco State University (again ::fingers and toes crossed::)

 

I want to know your opinions about these programs. I am pursuing an MA in English Literature.

 

THANKS! And I hope you have such awful decisions to make  :P

-CabinFever

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Yeah seriously people stop being nasty trolls just cuz your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of underfunded stipends

honestly? i've never even heard of any of those programs. they are not well-regarded. you need to do your research - are they even placing any of their graduates into tenure-track jobs? while i am

Cabin Fever, don't give up on gradcafe because a few people are mean. Just ignore them and listen to those who respond nicely. But if you ask for advice/opinions, remember that you might not get respo

honestly? i've never even heard of any of those programs. they are not well-regarded. you need to do your research - are they even placing any of their graduates into tenure-track jobs?

while i am being blunt, anything but a 100% tuition waiver (or 95% at worst) is bad - like, makes me angry and i think is sort of unethical for programs to do. plus a $12k stipend is paltry, even with the normal full tuition waiver. here is a document that should give you an idea of what most respectable programs offer: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Al9pLrYezRcSdGdUTk0zWk5QVUJFSGxVZ2FJQ1QwWFE&usp=sharing

i really don't mean to be a dick, but this post made me worry for you.

ETA: just realized it's 12k per semester, not year. okay that's much more reasonable. still, the other stuff i stand by, though it's a little less worrisome. definitely do your research about teaching load and especially placement.

Edited by planesandtrains
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I've only recently heard of most of these programs, and never heard of the rest, but since you say they're MAs, I'm not nearly as down on your options as planesandtrains. I don't know how much people really care about the prestige of an MA though; on a certain level it's more about the work that you do in it than the name, I would think. I don't think prestige is the right question; if you're eventual goal is to get into a PhD you should be asking whether MA students from those students generally have success getting accepted to PhDs and what kind of programs they end up in. Are the majority of their students intending to continue in academia, or are they more geared to people who just want an MA? Do you get a lot of teaching experience, but not too much? That kind of thing.

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honestly? i've never even heard of any of those programs. they are not well-regarded. you need to do your research - are they even placing any of their graduates into tenure-track jobs?

while i am being blunt, anything but a 100% tuition waiver is bad - like, makes me angry and i think is sort of unethical for programs to do. plus a $12k stipend is paltry, even with the normal full tuition waiver. here is a document that should give you an idea of what most respectable programs offer: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Al9pLrYezRcSdGdUTk0zWk5QVUJFSGxVZ2FJQ1QwWFE&usp=sharing

i really don't mean to be a dick, but this post made me worry for you.

ETA: just realized it's 12k per semester. okay that's much better. still, the other stuff i stand by, though it's a little less worrisome.

Did you read that these are MA programs? No MA problems are placing graduates into TT jobs. And 12K for an MA program is a pretty slamming deal.

 

To the OP: to answer your question, what is your goal? Do you want to go directly into community college teaching after your MA or apply for PhD programs? The best program may depend on your goal. I went to SF State for my MA in Lit, which set me up well for a teaching job (I found out I was in the lead for a TT teaching job at my community college when I withdrew my application this morning) AND for PhD applications. There is very little in the way of funding, but if you are a CA resident, the fees are pretty low. Let me know if you get in! I'd be happy to answer any questions.

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ah i just looked at the box on the left and saw phd and freaked out. basically i should keep my mouth shut if i'm going to read so sloppily. for an ma prestige doesn't matter as much, and they don't fund in the same way phd programs do. i don't really know shit about ma programs. carry on! i might've had a few beers tonight...

Edited by planesandtrains
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I'm pretty sure it's 12k a year... even the top programs with best funding barely top 10k a semester at the phd level. might wanna check your letter, OP...

also, something about the wording screams troll to me...

Edited by inafuturelife
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but outside of california SFState does not have a good reputation

 

Maybe; maybe not. But "reputation" is never a static or easily-understood notion, and is more or less important depending on a great number of factors. And the reality is that all Americans with MAs have significantly better economic conditions than those with just a BA, both in terms of income and unemployment rate. Most people who get MAs get them without any funding at all. Your typically brusque response isn't wrong, but it leaves out a lot of nuance and complexity.

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Maybe; maybe not. But "reputation" is never a static or easily-understood notion, and is more or less important depending on a great number of factors. And the reality is that all Americans with MAs have significantly better economic conditions than those with just a BA, both in terms of income and unemployment rate. Most people who get MAs get them without any funding at all. Your typically brusque response isn't wrong, but it leaves out a lot of nuance and complexity.

 

I wanted to apply to SFState last year but my professors advised me against it because they thought, for an academic career, it would look bad on my CV. 

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SF State has a great reputation for placing its funded (English) MAs into strong PhD programs. I've encountered a number of stellar doctoral students at highly regarded programs in English or in English-adjacent fields like theater who did MAs there.

 

ETA: As far as the long-term academic CV goes, I don't know. Though I can't imagine it would look bad on the academic job market as long as one does well in a great doctoral program.

Edited by Phil Sparrow
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LOL glad everybody thinks somebody must be a troll because they're considering attending my school. Sweet, guys!

 

First: Unless things are changing, 12k at FAU (and yes, it is yearly, not per semester) means you're a top candidate. Most people get 9k. The 80% tuition remission essentially means that they cover your complete tuition charges and you pay for some fees including parking, your ID card, etc. They add up to less than 1k per semester (sometimes significantly less, depending on how many credits you take). If you apply for FASFA, sometimes there are 1k "Graduate Grants" available if you apply early enough.

 

The faculty at FAU is really wonderful and I've worked with some brilliant people. We have graduates in a bunch of PhD programs starting at about rankings 20 and lower, including U of Iowa, U of Miami, WVU, FSU, USF, Southern Methodist, etc. We are not a top-ranked program but if that's not super important for you, we have plenty to offer. I can't speak to your other offers, but I know that I've been happy with the education I got here, and I think I've done well with my PhD applications. So meh. Reputation smeputation. 

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There are days I want to start an "I didn't go to an Ivy League School or a Top Ten/Twenty and I Am Just Fine" thread. Anywhere that's a good fit with good faculty and the resources for your work is a good school to attend. Others can arrange their priorities how they wish, but make the decision that feels good to you.

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There are days I want to start an "I didn't go to an Ivy League School or a Top Ten/Twenty and I Am Just Fine" thread. Anywhere that's a good fit with good faculty and the resources for your work is a good school to attend. Others can arrange their priorities how they wish, but make the decision that feels good to you.

 

Just fine means different things to different people. It depends what you want to do with your life, and also how competitive of a person you are. And how cheaply you're willing to live.

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honestly? i've never even heard of any of those programs. they are not well-regarded. you need to do your research - are they even placing any of their graduates into tenure-track jobs?

while i am being blunt, anything but a 100% tuition waiver (or 95% at worst) is bad - like, makes me angry and i think is sort of unethical for programs to do. plus a $12k stipend is paltry, even with the normal full tuition waiver. here is a document that should give you an idea of what most respectable programs offer: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Al9pLrYezRcSdGdUTk0zWk5QVUJFSGxVZ2FJQ1QwWFE&usp=sharing

i really don't mean to be a dick, but this post made me worry for you.

ETA: just realized it's 12k per semester, not year. okay that's much more reasonable. still, the other stuff i stand by, though it's a little less worrisome. definitely do your research about teaching load and especially placement.

Um, I think I appreciate the worry? Sounded a bit...well, anyway - I'm going to get my masters, so no need to worry. I'm not thick and wouldn't do any of this for a doctoral program. Thanks, I guess.

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I've only recently heard of most of these programs, and never heard of the rest, but since you say they're MAs, I'm not nearly as down on your options as planesandtrains. I don't know how much people really care about the prestige of an MA though; on a certain level it's more about the work that you do in it than the name, I would think. I don't think prestige is the right question; if you're eventual goal is to get into a PhD you should be asking whether MA students from those students generally have success getting accepted to PhDs and what kind of programs they end up in. Are the majority of their students intending to continue in academia, or are they more geared to people who just want an MA? Do you get a lot of teaching experience, but not too much? That kind of thing.

Thank you so much. Much nicer response than the first - and arguably more realistic. I appreciate the advice, a lot.

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I'm pretty sure it's 12k a year... even the top programs with best funding barely top 10k a semester at the phd level. might wanna check your letter, OP...

also, something about the wording screams troll to me...

It's per semester. They really like me and gave me more than the normal applicant.

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