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MA from a non-American institution


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Hi everybody, after my -fail- at this round of PhD apps, I'm now considering my other options, preferably ones that will boost my chances of getting accepted the next time around (still bitter about the fact that my only acceptance was MAPH, unfunded ><). I'm currently finishing my undergrad with a semester in Kraków studying Polish language and I've decided to stay for another year to continue with intensive language courses in order to attain at least something resembling fluency. I was going to just go ahead and apply to some American and Canadian funded MA programs while in Kraków next year, but now I'm looking at programs at Jagiellonian University, and I've found an MA program in Polish Studies, Jewish Studies, and History. You basically choose one focus, and the two options I am interested in are (obviously) Polish literature, or theatre studies. The program itself looks really good, includes a lot of lit/cultural theory courses as part of the core curriculum, and is a two-year program. I'm just wondering if attaining an MA from a university in Poland would actually help at all when I decide to re-apply for PhDs back in the states? The first time around I went for English Literature but if I end up becoming better with Polish, I guess I'd be applying for Comp Lit programs with an interest in Slavic literatures/cultures (I also have a base knowledge of Russian). Would it be more advisable to attend perhaps a comp lit program in the states? 

 

Wow, sorry for the essay. Any advice would be awesome :)

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Celka Maja!

An MA from a Polish university especially in Polish Studies (Jagiellonian is top-notch) will make you very competitive for Comp Lit programs. If it's good and you get your language skills up to par, you'll probably be able to teach 1st year Polish right away in your PhD program. That said, there are few--very few--job openings in Slavic each year, and even fewer that specialize in Polish. I'd do Comp in Polish, English and Russian so you can apply to both English and Slavic departments once you get your PhD.

(Also, if you decide to do English, you can of course sell yourself to English departments as wanting to explore Jozef Konrad and his Polish precedents.) I say do it--at the very least you'll have an MA that will be much more useful than an MA in English or an MAPH (for any job-gov or private sector that needs someone who knows Polish).

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