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Temple vs. Rutgers...go!


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There's not much one can say without more context. I could tell you what you likely already know, such as which program is considered more prestigious, but that doesn't mean anything to you specifically. What kind of funding situation do you have at each program? How well does your potential adviser align with your research interests? Is one an MA and the other a PhD, and which better fits your plans?

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In your opinion which one is considered more prestigious? I know that Temple is ranked higher but those lists change so much that I just don't know what to believe anymore, it's all very confusing. Now, let me give me you some context and details. I'm looking to get my M.A. in Art History and I'm attracted to both programs since they both offer the PhD. I've been accepted to both for Fall 2013. I'm interested in Renaissance & Baroque art, specifically post Tridentine art, caravaggism and it's influence across the board as well as baroque architecture. As far as the funding goes, M.A. degrees are rarely funded and Temple isn't the exception. This isn't a deal breaker since I think I can afford it. I have yet to receive my official letter of acceptance from Rutgers so I don't know about their funding situation but hope to find out soon. Anyway, I've come up with a list of the pros for both programs for the sake of practicality. 

 

Rutgers

  • Catherine Puglisi, Sarah Blake McHam and Tod Marder all overlap my intended area of focus and have work that interests me. Paul Benjamin also specializes in Italian Renaissance. 
  • New Brunswick lies between Philly and New York, two great cultural centers. 
  • It's a nice campus with some great historical buildings with an East Coast feel. 

Temple

  • Marcia Hall, Tracy Cooper, Ashley West, Jonathan Kline. The first two are rock stars in the field, and I'd be so honored to be a student in their classroom, I really respect their work, with a little bit of intimidation sprinkled on top. 
  • Philadelphia offers many opportunities for internships and field trips to nearby institutions, such as the Philadelphia Museum of art. New York is only an hour and a half away. It's a vibrant city and seems like a great place to live. 
  • The Tyler School of Art- a bran new building boasts state-of-the-art facilities.
  • It's ranked 13th in the nation according to their website. 
Edited by Virago
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This is second-hand information from someone only mildly related to the field, but I heard that Ashley West is extremely theoretical and not very interested in objects. I don't know if that is relevant for you in any way, so feel free to completely disregard. 

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My impression (and I'm not a Ren person, so take this with a grain of salt), is that Rutgers is a more highly-regarded program overall.  I'd also be wary of an unfunded MA in the US-- if Rutgers offers money, I'd think seriously about it.

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Rutgers is a venerable program, no doubt.  I feel it also acts as somewhat of a safety school for those rooted in the Northeast (particularly New York), who were really hoping to get into the Institute, Columbia, CUNY, or Princeton (if they looked to New Jersey).  There might be a reason why Rutgers, like BU which is in a slightly similar situation vis a vis Harvard, often sends out acceptances later than others. Closing time at the bar? I think of Temple as an up and comer who isn't necessarily trying to replicate Penn's strengths but have a different identity than the "least choice in a big market". Temple seems to have an exciting energy right now.

 

Anecdotally, I know folks from both who have jobs.  But funding should be your main concern if you are looking at an MA and hoping to transition into their PhD (or another). Do try to play them off each other if you can get anything, they are near enough in geography and reputation to worry about competing for students, even at the MA level.

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So if I'm not being funded at either program which I was already anticipating (Thank you Mary Queen of Scotch) then that really isn't a factor anymore, since I can afford it and already have a plan that addresses the money issue. I think the only reason Rutgers' reputation precedes it is due to the fact that it's been around longer and has had the chance to build up more prestige. Even though I understand that funding is a big deal I feel that for me personally I'm more concerned with which of the two will bear more fruits in the long run. Which of the two schools offers more possibilities. Of course the funding is a factor but I'm not going to disregard a chance to be at a superior program just because X school offers money. That may be detrimental to some but not for me. I'm willing to buckle down and work full time to make ends meet, if need be. In my opinion from the information I've gathered so far Temple's RenBaroque program is richer than Rutgers' regardless of the school's overall rank, and I was wondering if anyone out there had a similar outlook. Thank you all for your input, I will definitely take it into consideration. 

 

Oh and taking classes at Penn sounds great, I think I should add that to the Temple pros. I don't have a car so having to commute from Rutgers to Penn wouldn't be very convenient. Thanks chamomile!

Edited by Virago
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temple!  i was accepted there for phd but ultimately decided to go somewhere and it was a very difficult decission.  marcia hall is amazing and if youre doing post-tridentine shes basically doing some of the most interesting stuff anywhere.  shes really the only person who looks at florence in a specifically post-tridentine context.  also, shes sort of one of the most influential art historians in renaissance, period, and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.  tracy cooper is also brilliant, and they just published a new book together which will be out in june (on post-tridentine stuff, btw).  also, youre close to the national gallery, which has (in my opinion) the best renaissance collection in the country.  also, i should say that im biased in that I grew up in nj, and find rutgers-new brunswick to be just horrible.  Elizabeth Pilliod teaches for them in Camden, and I would give my right arm to study with her, but it doesn't seem like you can do that as a masters candidate, not sure (i emailed her and she gracisouly replied, but said she has nothing to do with phd students--so i'm assuming its the same for the masters).  so anyway, yeah.  temple.  go there!

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