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Decisions Decisions....


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Hey all,


So the short story is that I stumbled across this place a few days ago, and have finally decided to post to get some informed, but still unbiased opinions as to my upcoming choices. 


Just as a note, these are all MA programs in American history, and all would/will include pretty big moves. I also apologize for any grammar mistakes and the like as I am still quite sleepy, but wanted to get this out as early as possible since I am at work.


So, my options are as follows:


School A: Is an ambitious, and growing program with what seems like plenty to offer, but they are still trying to move up where as other programs are more stable and prestigious. My potential adviser there is a really cool person, and we hit it off very well, but they are also as new to the grad advising process as I am to the MA program, and also carries less weight than some of the other POI's at other schools. And as far as funding goes, it's a pretty nice offer of a TA position and stipend with all of my out of state tuition covered, and most of my in state as well, leaving me with a minimal amount to take care of per semester (about a grand), and is renewable for a second year. They also offer health insurance. Responsibilities here would include 20 hours a week, grading, other responsibilities, and leading a discussion section. As for the feel I got from current grad students everyone seemed quite happy there, and genuinely satisfied with their choices. It seems like a very friendly program (this one also has a PhD program, but I chose to only apply for their MA) and people are willing to help each other out.  I also feel like I could see myself comfortable here. Cost of living is very low considering what I'm used to, but severe weather/tornadoes are fairly common from what I hear, and that is a negative for me. 


School B: Is a fairly well renowned program, and has an established and experienced potential adviser. They are not a 'big name' adviser, but they are well respected. We also hit it off really well, and our research interests line up too, they're also said to be one of the nicest people in the field by many of the other top names. That is something I agree with, and something that was seconded by the grad students as a whole, and by grad students who have worked with him. Financially, to date this is the best offer I have received so far. It is a fully funded graduate assistantship, with all tuition waived, and only leaves me responsible for comprehensive fees of the University. No health insurance offered, but I don't know if that's as important for MA's as it is for PhD's. Responsibilities include grading, other departmental duties, and the potential for teaching, as class sizes are too small for discussion sections, but they are "looking into it." They also offer opportunities to teach during your second year, but have to let them know your intent first year due to thesis timing.  As far as feel goes here, I think everyone was quite happy with their choice and I would say as equally satisfied as school A. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and I could see myself fitting in well at this school. Cost of living isn't as low as School A I don't think, but it is still better than my current location, and weather is more like what I am accustomed to.


School C: I'm going on a visit tomorrow, so will likely have to update this part of this post on my return. But here's what I can say so far about the reputation of the school and potential adviser. The adviser is probably almost on par with the adviser from school B, but seems to potentially be a slightly better fit. In other words, as I have discussed it with my undergrad adviser, none of these POI's would be bad fits, but due to experience, clout, and my future plans (research over teaching ideally, but I could be happy 50/50 too. Or if it was a good fit at a small liberal arts school, I could see myself there.) school C's adviser is the strongest at this point. Based on my research around here as far as funding history of this school, things look promising in terms of funding and stipend size and availability, they are telling me I will know about funding by the 15th, and I am hoping sooner. General comments about the school tend to be positive, but hopefully I'll get to talk to some current grad students while I'm there. As far as living costs go here, they are more expensive than my current location, but just by enough to make the difference noticeable. 


Obviously I'll have to see what happens this weekend, and funding wise, but I figured I could see where the opinions fall so far, seeing as THE day isn't far away. 



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