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I was accepted into Carnegie Mellon's MA in English (LCS) with a partial tuition remission and a fellowship (this will round out to almost half the costs, not counting living expenses/books). CMU is my top choice as their focus in literary and cultural studies with a great emphasis on film matches my research interests and goals. My concern with the program is its length ( 1 year), no thesis, no teaching, and that I would have to wait a year to apply for a PhD (I don't want to apply for it in the Fall as I want my application to be really stellar when I jump into that competition.)

I was also accepted into George Washington (no funding, no thanks) and University of Illinois - Chicago (no word yet on funding). I'm still waiting to hear on Oregon and Loyola Chicago (though unless they offer awesome funding I'm not likely to consider them.) My dillema rests with Ohio State University (I'm waitlisted there). If accepted, I want to be ready to decide between them and CMU. Ohio offers full 2 year funding plus a TA position. I like the breadth of their program and the opportunity to teach would really strengthen my PhD application. I'm also wondering how important it is to have taken a qualifying exam in a Masters program. Ohio has one and I can only imagine that having a strong exam helps in looking at Phd Candidates. CMU doesn't give an exam, but I don't know if this really matters at I want to focus on theory, culture, and film. I would also like to bulk up on my language skills, I have some college German courses under my belt, but would like the opportunity to study more (which I could do with Ohio). My main concern is being relevant and versatile to the PhD programs I do apply for. Having teaching experience and a broad literary background might help that. However going to a strong program and directly addresses my chosen field might be better (CMU).

Any thoughts? Any Suggestions? Thank You! :)

I would go with the money. If Ohio is going to fund you for 2 full years AND give you a stipend, this is a much, much better offer. As far as your chosen field... you haven't even completed an MA yet, so your chosen field may very well change. Keep an open mind, take a variety of classes, and apply to a PhD program based on your specific interests.

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