Jump to content

Competitiveness Anthropology Graduate School


Recommended Posts

While we wait, let's start a discussion to make the time go by faster. Again and again I see people wondering about the competitiveness of certain programs and about which schools would be good safety schools. 

 

Now, we all know that factors such as the reputation of a certain POI and subfield can make a huge difference. Also, I think we all agree that one shouldn't choose a certain school based on its competitiveness. A school can be crazy competitive, but if somebody is a perfect fit this doesn't really matter that much. Likewise, a "safety school" isn't a "safety school' if the applicant doesn't fit into the school. 

 

With that said, to end some of the questions and to kill some time: What do you know about the different universities? Which graduate programs accepted how many students out of how many applicants in a given year? What are some influential rankings out there? 

 

I don't want to get a debate going on the usefulness of rankings and such. I think we all know that other factors are much more important;)  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I knew all about the family tree since it is extremely important in the field and my advisor believes we should know where we come from. Dig deep- what are your qualifications for making such claims

I find it highly ironic that you call me "stuck up" after reading this comment. Rather than debase my character and follow your self-absorbed, condescending, and generally myopic mentality, I will sim

Sorry, you're just wrong. Although your experience may have been different, it in no way represents a the norm. It's always a determining factor. For example, most ivy league schools and private schoo

Well, I can only attest to the two schools I know, Georgia stage university and SUNY Albany. Both are admitting students like crazy, but for different reasons. GSU just wants to build their program, and it's pretty cheap. Little funding, but it's an MA only, so that's not a surprise. SUNY Albany admits 'most qualified applicants' because they only fund one student per au field per year, so they basically just say, 'hey, if you want to pay for the degree, be our guest'. For the MA, or up until comps before PhD candidacy, then you actually have to be good and they generally will fund you around that time.

Anyway, it's competitive out there, and money is scarce. I like the only admitting who can fund concept, personally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a little research and found some numbers on the websites of a few anthropology departments:

 

University of Florida

Around 160 applicants a year, about 25% are accepted, biological anthropology is most competitive, not all students are offered funding

 

Temple University

About 10% are accepted, past cohorts were 4-8 students

 

Duke (Cultural Anthropology)

Accepted 6-12% of applicants in the last few years, last year 8 out of 159

 

Tulane University

I heard they accepted 6 applicants last year, but I do not know out of how many.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Reviving a semi-oldish thread-My Cornell rejection letter said they received around 150 applications I believe, and they accepted 7. They fund all students though I think.

 

Of course, factors such as reputation in certain areas, or fields make a huge difference. I know that a program that funds every admitted student is going to be more competitive than one that doesn't fund all students. 

 

 

 

Another point that I hate to bring up in this discussion, and this may or may not be true, but here goes.  Upward movement after your PhD is not the rule but the exception. I am sure their are many variables as well, including post-doc, and publications, but for the most part, if you look through the "top" department's faculty pages, you find that most are graduates from other top programs. This is what Iv'e heard, and through observation it seems to be for the most part true. This is not to say that you can't get a position at U of Chicago with a PhD from UF or UNLV, I think it just means that if you do, be prepared to be the best, and shine at what you do. 

 

Now, for myself, to secure a tenured position back in Northern California when I finish would be ideal, and is my eventual goal. I would most certainly love to work at either, Stanford or Berkeley so it would seem to make sense to research where they hire their professors from. Well it happens to be from "top" programs. 

 

I don't know if this whole post is bullshit or not, you can agree or disagree, it just seems to be my observation. If I can get a position after I get PhD, and it's tenured, I'll be happy. Of course we know this to be true of most people on this site. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kenny- couldn't disagree more. Considering I went through the hiring process and start soon I think I know your quoted material and your assessment is wrong. When hiring, a school determines what subfield they want to hire into and a schools name is never a determining factor. They first and foremost look at your research and are you strong at research, publishing, and getting grants. Yes by the time you graduate with your phd you should be off the school funding and funding yourself through fellowships and grants. Once they determine this they look at your academic heritage. Then they look at your teaching skills yes you must prove this not just say you can. And TAing labs won't cut it. Have you create a class from scratch? What's your teaching philosophy? Once you pass this stage you get an interview. An interview last 2-4 days depending on department. You meet with each prof individually and have lunch the grad students. Also do you have a site or collection to contribute to he department?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to this field but think Forsaken is right.  One of the schools I was looking at -- an Ivy that would probably make any "best of" list -- had an entry on their website for past dissertation topics.  I googled about half of the names on the list to see where they had ended up-- NONE had tenure track teaching jobs, some were in a post-doctoral program (sometimes their second or third), one had an Etsy store, another was blogging about a non-anthropology related topic, etc. etc.  

 

The academic market in general is tight but in Anthropology it is super tight.  Getting in is great, but it guarantees little.  

Edited by gradcat
Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly think...everyone is right. I am sure there are SOME schools that do care where their teachers graduated from. For example, my undergrad school, San Jose State University, which is not an Ivy League or anything of the sort, supposedly will only hire people from Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSC (for tenure) .... now , the way the director explained it is that these universities fit the school's research interests the best. 

Edited by Daisy123
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kenny- couldn't disagree more. Considering I went through the hiring process and start soon I think I know your quoted material and your assessment is wrong. When hiring, a school determines what subfield they want to hire into and a schools name is never a determining factor. 

 

Sorry, you're just wrong. Although your experience may have been different, it in no way represents a the norm. It's always a determining factor. For example, most ivy league schools and private schools that hold prestige do have what's called a "Peer Plus Policy". It's usually enforced by the president of the university and it basically states that no faculty will be hired unless their school's name is equal to or better than theirs. There are exceptions to the rule, of course - and more than likely you could have been one. You can say it's a "myth" if you want, but as others have said - a quick glance at ivy league faculty, and where their faculty got their PhD reveals the evidence for this policy. I know it exists - I've talked to profs about it, but it's out of their hands. 

 

Definitions: 

Pedigree - Refers to whom you got your PhD under and the lineage therein. 

Prestige - Refers to schools reputation. 

 

 

What people are saying, but not quite realizing it is this: There are two hands in the hiring process - Administration and Academic. The administration side of the picture cares about where you got your PhD (i.e., prestige) - whether you like it or not. They LOVE to put that they hire some new post-doc from Brown on their front page. They have NO clue about the research the candidate has done or anything like that - nor do they really care. They care about money and looks. Faculty are more concerned with pedigree and anthropologygeeks comments - which are important and necessary for any job, regardless of where you come from. My point is that prestige always helps, but it's only one side of the coin. 

 

Where you go matters and how well you do matters. That's why it's competitive. It's not just about one or the other. It's true that if you do not go to a so called "top-tier" school you will have a harder time getting job at some schools. Prestige determines the size of your net when casting for jobs. If you went to Harvard, guess what? You have a huge net. But, that doesn't mean you WILL get the job at an equal school, but it does mean you can always move down. That's kind of what Forsaken is talking about, although it's tough to move up after PhD, it's always easy to move down - which is why prestigious school give you more access to jobs (i.e., a larger net). Additionally, pedigree and prestige play a huge role in acquiring Post-Docs; this is usually tied to networking and the whole "back-door" process that goes on. However, this only opens the door - as with getting jobs and post-doc positions, if you can't show up with a stellar CV you just won't compete (for prestigious positions). 

 

So, should you go into debt just to go to a prestigious institution?

 

What it comes down to is your personal goals: Do you want to be a so-called "last-name"? A big-wig in your field? Would you be happy with a PhD and a simple teaching job at a no name state school (I mean like Western [state] University or something..very no name)? The former question demands excellence in all regards; the latter not so much. If you're willing to take a job anywhere because you have a family and that's more important than the publish or perish grind, then you will be fine.  

 

 

TL;DR:  Prestige and Pedigree matter. Especially if your personal goals are to push the frontiers of academia.

 

 

Also, an interesting blog post on the topic - the comments are pretty insightful, and include comments from individual who have served on hiring committees:

http://academic-jungle.blogspot.com/2013/01/pedigree-matters.html 

Edited by DigDeep
Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of academic pedigrees, networking and advisor family trees, most people in physical anthropology will know this, but this is a fun "academic family tree" to play with: 

http://www.physanthphylogeny.org/tree/

 

 

Holy hell, that's a lot of data. Impressive!

Edited by DigDeep
Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of academic pedigrees, networking and advisor family trees, most people in physical anthropology will know this, but this is a fun "academic family tree" to play with: 

http://www.physanthphylogeny.org/tree/

 

This is awesome! Very cool to see how my POIs, nerd idols, et al are interconnected. It's also interesting (to me, at least :P ) to see how much variation there is as far as really big name professors, e.g. Larsen or Buikstra, advising up-and-coming folks now, or even considering the year gaps between the peaks of a given advisor's advisees. I know what I'm doing for the next half-hour!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew all about the family tree since it is extremely important in the field and my advisor believes we should know where we come from.

Dig deep- what are your qualifications for making such claims? Your just a 2014 phd app cycle candidate right? At least thats what yor profile says. I was that four years ago. I have since gotten fellowships, grants, taught countless classes, not ta but create my own classes, countless times. I have presented and been publish numerous times. Made countless connections and i have my very own resarch site and my own collection. nothing like doing my own research, getting my own money for it, getting a country permission plus all the pemissions needed. Just curious so I googled Harvard just know and only one person out of the ten I looked at went to Ivy League. I did a random sampling. Many didn't even go to an US school. And one went to UCLA great school but not an ivy so I guess that doesn't happen right? And then there was UC santa barbara totally not equal to an ivy league. My god people on here can be so stuck up. The NAME of your university means nothing. What you did and who you know are the most important thing. Most of the bes advisers are at non elitest schools. Mind you I. Physical and if you google the top physical profs they are at non-elitest schools according to this website. But guess what, they are the best to mode you into a physical anthropologist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grad at- thanks for backing me up. Interesting non ivy here but all of my schools graduates get tenure track teaching jobs within two years. Man I am so glad I didn't go to an ivy- ps I turned one ivy down of my uni based on my advisor best decission I've made and I've proven myself right in the decission

Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew all about the family tree since it is extremely important in the field and my advisor believes we should know where we come from.

Dig deep- what are your qualifications for making such claims? Your just a 2014 phd app cycle candidate right? At least thats what yor profile says. I was that four years ago. I have since gotten fellowships, grants, taught countless classes, not ta but create my own classes, countless times. I have presented and been publish numerous times. Made countless connections and i have my very own resarch site and my own collection. nothing like doing my own research, getting my own money for it, getting a country permission plus all the pemissions needed. Just curious so I googled Harvard just know and only one person out of the ten I looked at went to Ivy League. I did a random sampling. Many didn't even go to an US school. And one went to UCLA great school but not an ivy so I guess that doesn't happen right? And then there was UC santa barbara totally not equal to an ivy league. My god people on here can be so stuck up. The NAME of your university means nothing. What you did and who you know are the most important thing. Most of the bes advisers are at non elitest schools. Mind you I. Physical and if you google the top physical profs they are at non-elitest schools according to this website. But guess what, they are the best to mode you into a physical anthropologist.

 

I find it highly ironic that you call me "stuck up" after reading this comment. Rather than debase my character and follow your self-absorbed, condescending, and generally myopic mentality, I will simply say this: you're entitled to your own opinion. In this particular subject, I am in fact an autodidact, and I'm willing to admit that, but I find your elitist generalizations quite ignorant. I'm assuming English is your second language, but given your self-proclaimed achievements, i'm still appalled by your lack of rhetoric.

 

http://www.yale.edu/anthro/anthropology/All_faculty.html

 

After clicking a few faces, note a general trend here, pal?

 

http://www.bu.edu/anthrop/people/faculty/

 

Oh, that trend is still apparent.....

 

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/anthropology/people/faculty

 

Not failing......

 

Prestige includes  as you stated so prosaically, "non elitest schools". Being that you are such the highly successful and erudite individual, you should pay more attention to details. I use the term prestige to refer to schools that are considered prestigious, including but not limited to the obvious: Chicago, Berkeley, Yale, Harvard, Boston University, Michigan, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, etc. (the list goes on). I never said that Ivy league schools are the only way to get a damn job. I said that, unfortunately, pedigree and prestige matter and that will never change. Therefore, the name of your institution does matter. Additionally, I even noted that your comments about publishing, work-ethic, research, are ALSO important, but only one side of the coin, but the more important side. If you peeked out from behind that self-ascribed ego for more than a second you might notice that. Frankly, I don't really care about your opinion. I would, however, suggest you refrain from being such a condescending and hypocritical elitist while simultaneously hiding behind a veil of anonymity, Mr. E-Tough Genius Guy.  

Edited by DigDeep
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dig deep- please clarify your definition of prestige. I clinked on the UPenn link, one from uc Davis and one from Arizona. I consider both those programs good, do you? If so your definition of prestige falls in line with mine but many here would counter both those schools as non prestige and that pisses me off. My first languages is English. I type on an iPad and currently don have time to proof read and this a forum not an English class. And secondly I didn't attack you all I ask was the qualification for your statement since you were so gun hole you knew better, which by the way you still haven't provided. All you did was provide links to schools in which profs are from all over which suppors my point of view. I am a true believer the name of a school provides nothing in academic jobs, If your talking industry ill admit its possible but I have never looked into that. I am a firm believer based on my own experiences and people I know getting jobs. I only told you about me to prove my qualifications to make my claims since I asked for your qualifications in making those claims

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grad at- thanks for backing me up. Interesting non ivy here but all of my schools graduates get tenure track teaching jobs within two years. Man I am so glad I didn't go to an ivy- ps I turned one ivy down of my uni based on my advisor best decission I've made and I've proven myself right in the decission

 

Our posts went up at the same time, but I do think we were saying the same thing, that name alone can be meaningless and that what matters is the ability to finish a program, as you have, with a tenure track position in hand.  

 

I really hope I did not offend anyone, it was definitely not my intention.  

Edited by gradcat
Link to post
Share on other sites

Grad at- thanks for backing me up. Interesting non ivy here but all of my schools graduates get tenure track teaching jobs within two years. Man I am so glad I didn't go to an ivy- ps I turned one ivy down of my uni based on my advisor best decission I've made and I've proven myself right in the decission

 

Are you saying that your program has a 100% placement rate to TT positions for it's graduates? That's spectacular! Pm me the school please, I should like to verify this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes everyone that finishes does but it has 50% drop out rate which is the average. They are very good in preparing you for the academic life and if your not progressing they kick you out. They make you find a junior college and teach a year there before you can graduate so you have that experience of designing a teaching philosophy that you need.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes everyone that finishes does but it has 50% drop out rate which is the average. They are very good in preparing you for the academic life and if your not progressing they kick you out. They make you find a junior college and teach a year there before you can graduate so you have that experience of designing a teaching philosophy that you need.

pm'd you

Link to post
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

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.