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Asking Grad Directors About Funding? Poor form?


fenderpete
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Hi all... I want to find out what level of financial assistance is available for some MA programmes to see if they're worth applying to or whether I'm better off applying to just PhD programmes in order to get fully funded.

Who's the best person to contact within departments to find this out? Obviously the Grad. Chair would know but I can't help worrying this is a bit clerical in nature to be asking them.

What do you think?

Also, there are one or two joint programmes (MA/PhD) I'm interested in applying to - is it alright to ask things like whether if I get an offer to one but not both if I can still do one programme?

Sorry if this is a bit procedural, I just need to find all this out and don't want to make a bad impression!

Thanks!

Pete

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I've asked about the nature of funding. I'd rather not waste their time and the application fee.

I don't care if its crass really, everyone has responded with details and been fine about it.

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The website should have information on funding/finances. If they don't then I don't think that there's anything wrong with sending a polite but brief "Hell Dr. X, I am considering applying for Program Y and I was wondering if the program provides funding for MA students?" to the grad director. Just be quick and polite with it.

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The website should have information on funding/finances. If they don't then I don't think that there's anything wrong with sending a polite but brief "Hell Dr. X, I am considering applying for Program Y and I was wondering if the program provides funding for MA students?" to the grad director. Just be quick and polite with it.

This. It's not crass. It's polite and I'd wager some are used to the question (especially in the current economic climate). If you'd rather not word it as "if you provide funding," then do so as "what types of funding are available...."

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There aren't going to many PhD programs that don't at least offer funding. The question is, are you an applicant that school wants to provide funding for?

The vast majority of schools will also confer a MA/MS on the way to a PhD if you fulfill the additional requirements for the master's. However, if you're doing the PhD, what's the point in wasting that time for the master's?

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The vast majority of schools will also confer a MA/MS on the way to a PhD if you fulfill the additional requirements for the master's. However, if you're doing the PhD, what's the point in wasting that time for the master's?

Depends on your field. In my discipline, no one will admit you for a PhD unless you have a master's (either completed or will be done before you start the PhD program). So in that sense, doing the master's is NOT a waste of time, particularly since a lot of them are funded in my field. That said, many programs will let you continue on after doing your master's, but you do have to do the master's and a thesis and earn the degree before your PhD studies can officially begin.

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Depends on your field. In my discipline, no one will admit you for a PhD unless you have a master's (either completed or will be done before you start the PhD program). So in that sense, doing the master's is NOT a waste of time, particularly since a lot of them are funded in my field. That said, many programs will let you continue on after doing your master's, but you do have to do the master's and a thesis and earn the degree before your PhD studies can officially begin.

Apologies, I didn't mean to include fields where a master's is a pre-requisite for admission to the PhD program (Epidemiology is the same way). I meant the statement to hold true for fields where a master's is unnecessary to gain admittance. If the OP had an interest in the MA/MS, he/she could get one on the way to the PhD if he/she was directly enrolled in the PhD program.

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The vast majority of schools will also confer a MA/MS on the way to a PhD if you fulfill the additional requirements for the master's. However, if you're doing the PhD, what's the point in wasting that time for the master's?

The requirements for MA's are generally more liberal than that for the PhD. I want to get my PhD, but I feel like I'm not an outstanding applicant, not all of us have perfect scores, grades, and writing skills at this point. Some schools, like UGA and LSU, allow you to be automatically admitted into the PhD program after your first year if you fulfill some requirements.

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