finetune Posted May 1, 2014 Share Posted May 1, 2014 (edited) Hey guys, Would appreciate any of your thoughts and/or advice on the following circumstances. (I'll try to keep this short but informative.) I'm a 24 year old American really interested in pursuing analytic philosophy at the graduate level. I have no formal training in analytic philosophy, but have been independently studying various topics within philosophy of language, mind, and art for the past two years. I have written a few basic (unpublished) overviews on a few topics within phil of language (E.g., indexicality, reference, belief reports, etc.) However, my primary interest, I've decided as of late, is analytic philosophy of art, which I feel I could do my strongest work in. Last year I applied to MA programs in Europe with a phil of language paper, and accepted an offer at school X. I deferred weeks later once I sat down to crunch the numbers. Basically, I'm starting the application process again, and am looking to apply only to American MA and PhD programs. I'm worried that I'm nowhere near competitive for PhD programs, but wonder what the harm would be in applying. Based roughly on the following, do I stand a chance at certain PhD programs? MA programs even? What else can I do make myself a stronger applicant for both? Undergraduate Credentials (or lackthereof) Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts from a top-three art school. Academics: My courses were based on a pass/fail model, and therefore I have no formal letter grades or GPA. (I suppose based on this model my GPA could be calculated as being just average). Academic Discrepancy: Unfortunately, the one class I ever failed as an undergraduate student was Philosophy of Art (my current, primary research interest). Philosophy/Related Courses: Two/three continental phil courses; Cog Science course; Physics of Sound course; many Art History courses; two/three Art Theory courses. Extracurricular Activities & Misc. I host a weekly philosophy of art reading group. I have been sitting in on a Logic course at a local university (one whole semester's worth). I have published a lot in various art theory & criticism venues recognized within the Art world (none strictly philosophically recognized). Almost all my professional experience is in art writing (reviews, interviews, essays, etc.) Applying to Graduate School Recommendations: One of my three recommendation writers is an actual professor of (continental) philosophy. The other two are art theory/criticism based. GRE: I have yet to test, but let's, for the sake of this scenario, say they will be average. Writing Sample: A topic within analytic philosophy of art. I obviously aim for this to be the strongest part of my application. Concluding Remarks: - Philosophy of Art is already a marginalized sub-field within analytic philosophy (though it seems to be getting better), however, I feel based on my background, it just makes the most sense to pursue. Again, I feel I could do my strongest work in it. (Though I do consider it another strike against me.) - If let's say my writing sample turned out to be amazing, GRE scores strong (something that doesn't usually carry that much weight, but will in my circumstances), PhD admissions could still dismiss my application on grounds of simply not having, on paper, formal academic experience in philosophy. - This all makes me think that an MA might be the best option at this point. Again, do I stand a chance at certain PhD programs? MA programs even? What else can I do make myself a stronger applicant for both? Any advice or insight would be much appreciated. All ears. Edited May 1, 2014 by finetune Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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