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Sooo... Where's everyone applying?


cooperstreet
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Thanks for trying to revive this board...it has been dead all summer.

Regarding the topic..

I'm applying to Modern European PhD/MA programs this fall. My focus is the study of religion/atheism within the Third Reich. I'm applying to USC, BC, UC-Davis, UVM, UChicago, UIUC, UCLA, BGSU, Kent State and looking for a few more MA programs. I'm not too sure on the strength of my app (it's been the hardest part of the entire process of applying to grad school so far). I have a decent GPA (right around 3.5), languages (fluent in Hebrew and Russian, proficient in French, will have 2 years of German upon graduation), good LOR's, research with a grant (although unrelated to history), no publications, will use my future senior thesis as a writing sample and the SOP process (which I recently begun) is going fine.

My main worry is that I am applying to programs out of my reach, which at times seems like simply a paranoid thought but otherwise seems a realistic concern.

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I feel a little lost. I recently talked to the Graduate Director at a University and it kind of knocked the wind out of my sails. He pretty much told me that my topic was way too generic and that anything with the Civil War is pretty much overdone (my topic I thought I wanted to do was the Eastern Band of Cherokees and W. H. Thomas during the Civil War). I know I want to do the American South, but now I am really lost.

My application will be a mixed bag. I think my writing sample will be well done. I will have great LOR's, very good GRE's, and I have a 3.1/3.5 (cumulative/history) from a top 30 school with pretty rigorous grading. I will use the Italian language (pretty worthless) and I am going to try to submit my paper for publication.

My top choices are W&M and UGA MA program.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I feel a little lost. I recently talked to the Graduate Director at a University and it kind of knocked the wind out of my sails. He pretty much told me that my topic was way too generic and that anything with the Civil War is pretty much overdone (my topic I thought I wanted to do was the Eastern Band of Cherokees and W. H. Thomas during the Civil War). I know I want to do the American South, but now I am really lost.

My application will be a mixed bag. I think my writing sample will be well done. I will have great LOR's, very good GRE's, and I have a 3.1/3.5 (cumulative/history) from a top 30 school with pretty rigorous grading. I will use the Italian language (pretty worthless) and I am going to try to submit my paper for publication.

My top choices are W&M and UGA MA program.

there are still plenty of unique topics... unfortunately you have to adjust a bit. You can always do something CW-wise once you're a prof.

Maybe you could use your Italian and look at Italian migratory labor in the US south during the 19th C? Plenty of Italians migrated around the Pond throughout that era. Could be interesting to see what primaries exist in Italian or English.

Thus you could sidestep the CW in you topic but also include the CW era. Have your dolce and eat it too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can I ask how you guys are choosing where to apply? I don't mean this in the regular sense, but how are you determining which level of program, i.e. Top 50, Top 30, Top 10, you have a realistic shot at getting in at? For those at more prestigious 4-year schools, they probably know they have a good shot at a Top 10 or 15 program if they also have the requisite numbers. But what about for someone at a large public university? I am coming out of CUNY and will likely end up with a 3.87 or better GPA overall, 4.0 in history with honors (through 3-semester thesis sequence), have stellar letters including 2 from my field (Early American history) including my advisor who is a PP winner and another whom is highly visible and well-respected in my field. I will also have relevant research experience through the thesis and also having worked as the research assistant for my advisor on his next book. I know both of the professors are willing to go, and have gone, far out of their way for me time and time again, especially my advisor. I have yet to take the GREs but on a few practice tests I have scored around 640 without having done any preparation yet. My question is: Do I, as someone coming out of a very large public university, have the ability to compete for a top 10 or top 20 graduate program in history, if the top 10 or 20 school has an advisor in my field willing to take me on? Or is that pie-in-the-sky thinking considering all the competition from students from far better undergraduate schools? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Nasteel,

Your shot is as good as anyone else's. I graduated from a small liberal college that was originally ranked as a regional best by U.S. News before moving to the third-tier of the national rankings. I am in a top 10 program and am doing as well as my colleagues. What school you attended can matter for some departments. The rumor is that statement applies mostly to Princeton and to some advisors at Harvard.

I would suggest you apply to a wide variety of schools... some top 10, some top 25, some top 50, and some MA programs. Admissions decisions, although not a craps shoot, are difficult to predict. I was turned down by schools in the top 25 and the top 50 even though I got into a couple top 10s.

Good luck with your applications!

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Thanks for the reply, Val. I plan on applying to about 8-10 schools from different tiers... and, of course, I'm only considering programs that have advisors in my field whom I would like to work with. But considering the expensive nature of the applications I don't want to waste money by applying to Top 10 schools if I would have no realistic chance of getting in. I know alot has to do with your LORs, statement, and writing sample but I can't help but think that I am at a serious disadvantage in relation to other applicants due to the nature of my undergad institution. I take heart from your reply, and it reinforces what my advisor told me, but he doesn't teach grad school so I wasn't sure if he really knew how admissions worked nowadays. Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The usual suspects

Brown

Columbia

Stanford

UCLA

Duke

Michigan

U Chicago

Harvard

Emory

UCI

USC

Northwestern

Wisconsin-Madison

Illinios-Urbana

SOP:

Going slowly

Plan to have draft completed 10/01/09 for review

Have topic, know what I want to say, just need to focus & DO IT

GRE:

(re) taking exam in two (2) weeks

AW 5.5 (no worries)

V: 500 something (need major improvement)

Q: Don't remember, don't care

LOC:

Best thing going in my package beside my original research proposal/thesis

I already have an MA in History (will be finished 12/2009), just found this forum, first post.

Glad to know you guys are out there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey everyone,

I have a bachelor's in history and in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I'm applying to Latin American history PhD programs at:

UVA, University of Maryland, NYU, Indiana and maybe Yale.

I'm almost finished with the UVA and UMD applications.

Personal statement (X) I'm just working on a program specific paragraph for each school.

GRE (X) Taken, but last spring, so I need to get ETS to ship that out to my schools.

Gotta get on the horn to UW-Madison about ordering up some transcripts.

Letters of Rec: waiting for Profs to confirm that they've received the email links.

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