Jump to content

Help me pick a course for September?


Recommended Posts

I'm taking an advanced degree masters, part-time, beginning in September. My plan is to work towards applying to a PhD or ThD. I also work and have a young family so I can't take a full course load. I'm trying to decide between two courses. If you were in my situation, which one would you pick?

#1) doctoral-level seminar, prof is relatively senior and is a recognized authority in their area. Topic is interesting, somewhat relevant, but does not line up 100% with my interests (the focus is about 200 years earlier than what I want to study). This course takes place at a time that will require additional scheduling of kids and work.

#2) advanced masters-level course, brand-new prof, who is known for being willing to work with students, helpful, etc. The topic is pretty much exactly my area of interest, not just the era but specific issues within the appropriate time period. This course fits in neatly with my current work/home schedule and can be done with minimal additional effort.

So, if my goal is to get into a doctoral program and I want a reference out of the class, would I be better off taking the higher-level course with the bigger name, or the better-fit course with the new prof?

And if it makes any difference, my applications will be local only, either at the institution where I am doing this current degree or at the one other place within the same area (so maybe the name-recognition of #1 doesn't matter as much?) I can't move for a doctorate.

Wwyd? 1 or 2? Thanks for any suggestions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#2. When you get around to applying the younger prof. may be more likely to take on new students? But really the best thing to do is to speak with the professors and/or your adviser(s). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since you're not moving and planning on applying to the same institution, I concur with jdmhotness.


Normally, I would say the doctoral seminar because (at least in my experience) you'll be writing a longer paper, probably with a narrowed focus, and the prof. is more likely to give you extensive comments if you ask and say you'd like to use it for a writing sample.


But yes, since you're planning to stay local, how well known the prof is nationally probably isn't going to be that important. Local schools will most likely have some idea who people are at your institution.

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