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I'm definitely not going to do it without funding... I just don't know anybody who's attended or knows much about it. So, I'm interested in what others think about the program itself. 

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I'm definitely not going to do it without funding... I just don't know anybody who's attended or knows much about it. So, I'm interested in what others think about the program itself.

Yess, anybody with MAPSS experience? I would love to hear your thoughts...

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 My advice, if you are still an undergrad, is to not spend money on an MA at this point, and give yourself some time to decompress from school and, while maintaining ties with those who know your work, just do something else. It might not terribly strengthen your academic application a ton but if it helps you grow and adapt as a human, you (might) be glad for it later on. 

 

This is a v. personal opinion, but I (really) don't think it makes sense for people to go straight into a phd program from undergrad barring circumstances like being undocumented or other obstacles to obtaining livable employment (that don't stop you from being a good graduate student), or if you already took time off during/before doing a BA. 

 

This is spot on.  I finished my undergrad in 2013 and I've spent the last two years interning (and later working full time) in the museum field.  It's low paying and not in my preferred field of museum work, but it's been a fantastic experience and has helped me mature and figure out how to be a "real adult."  This job has thrust me into situations where I have to constantly make my own decisions and manage my own time - no professors to tell me which chapters to read or which theories to study.  I feel like working in this environment, "the real world," so to speak, has prepared me for advanced academic study better than any master's program or post-bacc could have done.  

 

In fact, the only reason I'm going into a master's program first is because I slacked off during undergrad and have no research and pubs, and because I want to have a professional MA in my back pocket when I hit the job market post-PhD.  To be perfectly honest, after two years of slogging through a 9 to 5 for 40 hours a week I am more excited about going back to school than I have ever been in my entire life.  Taking time off from has refocused and re-energized me - I honestly can't imagine how people go straight from undergrad to a PhD program without totally burning themselves out.

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So I got completely rejected from 8/8 of the PhD programs I applied to this time around. Ouch. But interestingly enough Rutgers is opening their Masters program for two anthropology track for the first time in forever. No funding though, and the deadline is in about a week. They DID reject me for the PhD but I'm wondering if I should bother to apply to the masters? It's also my undergrad school so maybe it's a bit of a stretch that they'll take me?

 

My undergrad major is Women and Gender Studies my minor is Cultural Anthropology...I'm actually only three or four classes away from making it a BA. I'm just trying to figure out my options until I can apply again next year.

 

Any advice?

Do NOT pay for an MA...  unless your family is filthy rich.  So, I guess I should say, "Do NOT go into debt for an MA."

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Its a cash grab that gives you Chicago name-recognition, Chicago LORs and a new writing sample on your PhD apps next go around.

People hate on this program so much..

 

I'm definitely not going to do it without funding... I just don't know anybody who's attended or knows much about it. So, I'm interested in what others think about the program itself.

The program was my number one choice. It's a really good MA program, with a really high rate of matriculation to other PhD programs at great schools. You get to work with great faculty, get good letters of rec, and it's only a year.

Just finishing up my BA, I figured that I wasn't quite ready for the PhD just yet, so I wanted to do an MA program. I messaged a former student at my undergrad who is attending UChicago for the program, and she's loving it. It sounds like a great fit for me, so that was my first preference.

People like to rag on it and call it a 'cash cow', even though plenty of MAs require for you to pay for them. People also like to treat it as a consolation prize (which, arguably, you could say it is) although I applied directly to the program itself. If you don't have funding I wouldn't recommend it since it is rather expensive. That is the main downside.

Yess, anybody with MAPSS experience? I would love to hear your thoughts...

I know one or two things. :P

Edited by GunterFan

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Ok I am going to say this and I know ill get a lot of hate on this board. MA are not a waste. In fact where I got my phd, they will not accept you in the phd if you don't have a masters from another school. A lot of programs will not accept you into the phd if you don't have a masters. I know I don't accept you as a phd student without a master's.

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People hate on this program so much..

 

The program was my number one choice. It's a really good MA program, with a really high rate of matriculation to other PhD programs at great schools. You get to work with great faculty, get good letters of rec, and it's only a year.

Just finishing up my BA, I figured that I wasn't quite ready for the PhD just yet, so I wanted to do an MA program. I messaged a former student at my undergrad who is attending UChicago for the program, and she's loving it. It sounds like a great fit for me, so that was my first preference.

People like to rag on it and call it a 'cash cow', even though plenty of MAs require for you to pay for them. People also like to treat it as a consolation prize (which, arguably, you could say it is) although I applied directly to the program itself. If you don't have funding I wouldn't recommend it since it is rather expensive. That is the main downside.

I know one or two things. :P

 

I'm not sure if I'm hating on this program.  In my case it doesn't make sense since I have been accepted into multiple PhD programs.  One with full funding.  I also finished my BA a decade ago and since then have accumulated enough experience to make paying for an MA a poor decision.  It's also worth nothing that many programs will require you to do a second MA since many PhD programs are MA/PhD programs. If your not sure you are ready for a PhD program and can afford MAPSS It's probably not a bad decision it might even be a good one.  However, I'm going to reiterate and repeat that I think it's foolish to pay to play. 

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What about an MA in anthropology? It certainly would strengthen your eligibility for anthropology PhD programs, while getting you thinking and working in your areas of interest with faculty. For example, CUNY offers a great anthropology MA, and likely costs less than the Chicago program.

 

An MA is what you make of it. They can be costly, but there are avenues to funding (I worked as a TA and RA during mine to supplement decent departmental support). Depending on your focus, more training in another discipline or field can also strengthen your profile when you are on the job market. Having a secondary qualification (MPH, JD, MSW, etc.) that relates to your PhD work is a pretty great accomplishment. 

 

With that said, professional experience in your area of interest is just as valuable (if not more) than the MA, because it demonstrates an ability to access and be in the field where you want to do your research.  Committees definitely ask "Can this specific person pull off this specific project?" and one of the ways that question is answered is checking whether you have done similar work already. 

Edited by NOWAYNOHOW

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I'm not sure if I'm hating on this program.  In my case it doesn't make sense since I have been accepted into multiple PhD programs.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying you were hating on the program. Just that people often hate on it for merely being a "cash" cow.

It's also worth nothing that many programs will require you to do a second MA since many PhD programs are MA/PhD programs.

Is that the norm? I was always under the impression that most PhD programs will accept your MA (if it is of quality) and allow you to enter directly into the PhD program. That seems to be how most people I know have gotten their PhDs.

Edited by GunterFan

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Has ANYONE heard back from UT Austin yet? Saw someone was accepted via phone in January apparently but that's it. I've been rejected from everywhere else and I'm sure I'm rejected there too but I'm randomly bursting into tears at my job the last couple weeks because I'm so stressed over not knowing! I emailed them over two weeks ago and was told I'll hear back "within a few weeks, hopefully". It's driving me mad.

Edited by lizowa

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Is that the norm? I was always under the impression that most PhD programs will accept your MA (if it is of quality) and allow you to enter directly into the PhD program. That seems to be how most people I know have gotten their PhDs.

 

I guess it might vary from program to program.  I know that for most of the PhD programs I applied to, graduate work from other institutions could not be transferred in.  The primary reason for pursuing a MA in these cases would be for the purpose of scholarly development, either to try and make up for a less than stellar undergraduate record or to gain more research experience and publications/conference presentations.  In both cases, the purpose of getting the MA was to become more marketable to PhD programs.  Many people consider it "worth it" if getting the MA (and the research conducted in the process) helped them get into a good PhD program, having had the understanding from the beginning that none of the course credit would transfer.

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I guess it might vary from program to program.  I know that for most of the PhD programs I applied to, graduate work from other institutions could not be transferred in.  The primary reason for pursuing a MA in these cases would be for the purpose of scholarly development, either to try and make up for a less than stellar undergraduate record or to gain more research experience and publications/conference presentations.  In both cases, the purpose of getting the MA was to become more marketable to PhD programs.  Many people consider it "worth it" if getting the MA (and the research conducted in the process) helped them get into a good PhD program, having had the understanding from the beginning that none of the course credit would transfer.

 

Ditto. 

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Has ANYONE heard back from UT Austin yet?

I haven't, but apparently some people have. I'm not sure. Information about what's going on is very nebulous at this point in time.

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Still waiting on UT Austin too..! I've also been rejected from the other programs I've applied to -- the only acceptance I have is MAPSS. I understand that if you have been accepted to multiple phd programs, it wouldn't make sense to do MAPSS but that isn't the case for all of us :)

 

One of my colleagues from work has a friend in MAPSS and, after talking with her, it seems like she's really happy. I spoke with the director of the program as well, and am seriously considering it! 

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Still waiting on UT Austin too..! I've also been rejected from the other programs I've applied to -- the only acceptance I have is MAPSS. I understand that if you have been accepted to multiple phd programs, it wouldn't make sense to do MAPSS but that isn't the case for all of us :)

 

One of my colleagues from work has a friend in MAPSS and, after talking with her, it seems like she's really happy. I spoke with the director of the program as well, and am seriously considering it!

I think that if you have a fully funded PhD offer (UT Austin, maybe?) it doesn't make much sense to go the MAPSS route, but I am really excited for the MAPSS program, and their track record is really quite impressive.

(Ignore me as I wax poetic about this program)

Edited by GunterFan

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So, did Columbia send out all its rejections? Silence on my end. 

 

Nope, haven't heard either! I am starting to feel like members of the Columbia admissions committee probably check this forum every day cackling to themselves in the face of our suspense and agony...alternatively I may just be losing it at this point... :P

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Only one outstanding decision left!

...and two final funding offers

 

...and maybe a waitlist offer.

 

I just really REALLY want to be able to make a decision.  The wait is killing me, I'm pretty sure.

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Accepted to the masters program at Colorado - Denver!

But I'd also like to hear back from UConn and Boston U. Anyone heard anything about them?

Edited by resurrectionist

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Anyone claiming the other Yale acceptances? Feel free to PM me! I'd love the opportunity to chat.

A little about myself/my research:

- From Annapolis, MD, currently living in Baltimore

-I'm now working in CRM as a field director for a company based in Washington DC, mostly doing surveys of the national parks system and properties owned by the navy.

-Academically, my research is focused on Iron Age West Africa. I've excavated in The Gambia so far, but due to a recent coup attempt the political situation there is less than ideal, so I may be forced to change locations.

-My advisor at Yale would be Roderick McIntosh, but I'm also really interested in William Honeychurch's work in Mongolia. We both deal with highly mobile societies, often difficult to detect archaeologically, and I feel his methodology would translate well into my contexts.

-Also very interested in bioarch. I've taken a few classes, nothing too in depth though. Definitely an aspect of my skillset I'd like to shore up while at Yale. The possibility of black plague reaching sub-Saharan Africa via trans-Saharan trade routes is something that's been proposed by a few people, but never seriously investigated. Possible dissertation topic?

 

Other than that, feel free to ask. This goes for anyone else too if you share some of my interests or see something you'd like to talk about. Thanks!

Edited by badmotorfinger

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I think that if you have a fully funded PhD offer (UT Austin, maybe?) it doesn't make much sense to go the MAPSS route

 

.... too bad we'll never find out if that's gonna happen. hahaha. did you apply to Austin, too?

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.... too bad we'll never find out if that's gonna happen. hahaha. did you apply to Austin, too?

I did, yeah. And, like you, I've heard absolutely nothing. All is quiet on that front.

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