Jump to content

precarious MA situation...


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone, I was hoping for some advice because I am REALLY uncertain as to what I should do...

 

So here is my situation. I was accepted to my top choice MA program (which is a very well regarded one), but I am currently on a waitlist for funding.  According to the DGS, she thinks I have a good chance of getting off of that waitlist, but of course it isn't certain.  Like a lot of programs, I have to commit there by April 15. I should also emphasize that I don't come from a family with a lot of money, so funding is VERY important.

 

However, I was also accepted to an MA program that isn't amazing, but it does fund extremely well (I wish I could list it to give you a better picture, but it is a very small program and of course I don't want them seeing this).  Unfortunately, their deadline is April 10, and I am very worried I won't have an answer from my top choice about funding by then.  

 

So here is my question: if you go to a not as great MA program, will that make things incredibly difficult when applying for your PhD?  I certainly intend on continuing into my PhD right after my MA (and, actually, I'm on a waitlist for a PhD program too, but I don't expect to get off of it.  More stress).  I am certainly hoping that PhD admissions committees will be understanding and not expect everyone to have been able to attend expensive/elite MA programs like Courtauld or IFA, but hey, this is a pretty elitist field.  

 

Does anyone have any insight? I am very worried about attending the well funded MA and not being able to get into a PhD program after.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to say without knowing how "not amazing" this second MA program is, but for the MA the prestige of the program is not nearly as important as it is for the PhD. Do you like the faculty there? Do you think you'll get along with your advisor? If you write a good thesis, then you should be Ok for getting into top PhD programs. But if you have doubts, look into their placement record--that'll be the best indication. In any case, you don't want to go into debt for an art history MA, so if that's the only choice you have for sure, your decision has kind of already been made for you!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wish I could be less vague.  Lets just say, it isn't a terrible program by any means, but it certainly isn't a Williams or a Columbia.  However, it is very well known for how good of a funding situation it provides, so my hope is also that if I attend and then apply to PhDs then those graduate committees will see it and more or less be like "ok good she made a sound financial decision."  And the professor I would work with is someone I really really like and I would be able to work on exactly what it is that I'm interested in.  And according to their website, they do have a really good track record of placing their MA students in top PhD programs  But I guess I'm always wary when schools say that, because I just assume that more or less any school can claim that.  I know people who went to very poorly regarded schools and went on to top programs because they are genuinely smart and hard working people.  

 

Sorry, I know I am over-analyzing all of this and I am very grateful to have these options, but I had my heart set on my top choice and I'm very worried that I will screw my future over by not going with a top school.  

 

Stupid MA funding situations...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Perhaps this is "breaking the rules," but if you don't hear from your top choice, you could always put your deposit on the other school while slyly waiting on the first. Then if you do get funding, you would have to forfeit your deposit at the second choice school, but it's a small price to pay. I'm really not sure what the ethics of this are, but maybe you could ask someone who knows better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Perhaps this is "breaking the rules," but if you don't hear from your top choice, you could always put your deposit on the other school while slyly waiting on the first. Then if you do get funding, you would have to forfeit your deposit at the second choice school, but it's a small price to pay. I'm really not sure what the ethics of this are, but maybe you could ask someone who knows better.

On second thought, if it's one of those 4-person MAs, you'd be taking a spot from someone else... it's quite ethically ambiguous. Maybe check back in with the DGS a day or two before the deadline?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Perhaps this is "breaking the rules," but if you don't hear from your top choice, you could always put your deposit on the other school while slyly waiting on the first. Then if you do get funding, you would have to forfeit your deposit at the second choice school, but it's a small price to pay. I'm really not sure what the ethics of this are, but maybe you could ask someone who knows better.

 Yes I was wondering about this...it is one of those 4 person MAs. I don't know if they have a waitlist for actual acceptance but I think they might have one for funding.  I really don't want to do that if I can avoid it, but I guess I'm not so morally righteous as to say I wouldn't do that if push came to shove.  I am also going to email that program and ask if I can have an extension until April 15, but I'm not holding my breath on that.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wish I could be less vague.  Lets just say, it isn't a terrible program by any means, but it certainly isn't a Williams or a Columbia.  However, it is very well known for how good of a funding situation it provides, so my hope is also that if I attend and then apply to PhDs then those graduate committees will see it and more or less be like "ok good she made a sound financial decision."  And the professor I would work with is someone I really really like and I would be able to work on exactly what it is that I'm interested in.  And according to their website, they do have a really good track record of placing their MA students in top PhD programs  But I guess I'm always wary when schools say that, because I just assume that more or less any school can claim that.  I know people who went to very poorly regarded schools and went on to top programs because they are genuinely smart and hard working people.  

 

Sorry, I know I am over-analyzing all of this and I am very grateful to have these options, but I had my heart set on my top choice and I'm very worried that I will screw my future over by not going with a top school.  

 

Stupid MA funding situations...

 

Amen!!! That's exactly where I am right now.

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.