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Accept Masters offer or wait out for possible PhD (History)?


Emdave

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Long story short, I've been accepted to the MAPSS (Interdisciplinary Social Science MA) at UChicago. It's a 1-year program, and I got full tuition remission but no living or research stipend. That's my option A.

 

I've also been waitlisted at Hopkins (for their PhD program in History), but I may not get accepted. And, if I *do* get accepted, I may not get full funding if they try to scrape a package together at the last minute for me. That's option B.

 

Opinions? Please advise.

 

Em

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Well, it depends on how much you really want to go to grad school in fall 2013, whether you think a next round of applications would yield better results, and how much money you would have to shell out at UChicago.  Do you have significant savings?  Given that your signature says you are currently enrolled at Northwestern, I'm guessing no.  That means you will likely have to borrow about $25,000 at least to live in Chicago during the MAPSS, which isn't terrible but also is not ideal.

 

Do you think the MAPSS will significantly improve your chances of getting into a PhD program in history next application cycle?  More than spending a year doing other kinds of free improvement of your application, like working on writing samples or trying to publish something?  Is that kind of improvement worth $25,000 to you?

 

That would determine whether or not I would keep MAPSS as an option or decline.  If you think that the program has something to offer you wrt getting into PhD programs next year - enough that you are willing to go at least $25,000 in debt for it - then I would say wait until the acceptance deadline for MAPSS, and watch to see what JHU is going to do.

 

If it gets to the acceptance deadline for MAPSS, and you still want to go but haven't heard from JHU, then accept them.  If JHU accepts you off the waitlist AND funds you, you will just have to withdraw from MAPSS explaining that you got accepted to a PhD program.  I think this is more acceptable in master's programs AND I think that your first priority should be to yourself in this process.

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MAPSS acceptance deadline is May 1 IIRC. You can wait them out.

 

 

Thanks Telkanuru,

 

My worry is that, even though Chicago's deadline is May 1, I may not hear back from Hopkins in time. Or, I may not hear back from them until, like, three days before I have to make a final decision. I'm not sure about the withdrawal etiquette. I was under the impression that accepting an offer was practically written in blood and unchangeable unless some massive mitigating factor (like a bad illness/family emergency) came up. Maybe it's more flexible? I dunno.

 

I'm somewhat comforted by an email I got from my would-be advisor at Hopkins who says they will only admit students with full funding. So... if I get in, money won't be an issue? (hopefully)

 

I'm a super financial aid kid at Northwestern, but because I have a lot of friends/support in Chicago, I may be able to swing the living expenses without having to take out loans or climbing a stripper pole. Here's hoping.

 

On another note, I'm also concerned about the varying levels of prestige/credentialism that come with a degree from each school. By current probably useless rankings, UChicago is #4 whereas Hopkins is #11. Does that mean that an MA at #4 is equivalent to a PhD at #11? Is one significantly better than the other?

 

I want to jump straight into graduate school despite all the job market warning signs. I'd rather not have to brave the application season again next year. Blarg

 

Please Advise (again)

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