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Fall 2016 Applicants


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Jeez, I love the snark and pomp of some people on this thread. Look, guys, most of us don't need a reality check. We know it's hard out there, getting into grad programs is really competitive, the mar

calling programs--by which I assume you mean calling the department administrator, who is generally not privy to any of the information you're seeking--to learn about your application's shortcomings i

I think a better question for @northeastregional is why they would bring that type of attitude to a thread full of people trying to commiserate about the stress of pursuing their passion/dreams. C'mon

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34 minutes ago, futurestandysgrad said:

I haven't heard anything (rejection or acceptance) from Michigan, and my online status hasn't been changed either. any idea what this means?

4 minutes ago, feelthebern16 said:

I was trying to gather if the rejected applicants had been interviewed or not to kind of get an idea of what the silence means. thanks for the input! and good luck.

Michigan's visit weekend is this coming weekend, so all shortlisted candidates have been interviewed and invited already. The rejections that went out last week, as far as I understand, did not go to anyone on the shortlist. If you still haven't heard anything, this probably means that you're on the "second" rejection list -- some programs, instead of waitlisting applicants, hold them on a late rejection list in case a significant number of their shortlisted candidates don't accept their offers. Michigan in particular is very keen on having a high retention rate (only giving offers to those who plan to accept). Hope that helps.

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@bosie_dearest that's good to know, thanks! although also frustrating that it's just extending the uncertainty...

do you know, by chance, if UVA or NYU have a similar system? because I also haven't had any interaction with either of their programs, and I'm getting tired of the wait (as I'm sure everyone is)

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@futurestandysgrad Yeah, it's definitely frustrating... I'm in the same boat with Penn and I'm dying for transparency! 

I don't know anything about UVA, but NYU sent out unofficial offers on Friday and official offers yesterday. NYU doesn't accept any applicants they didn't interview, if that helps clarify things. 

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On 3/2/2016 at 5:46 PM, m-artman said:

Has anyone heard anything from the University of Virginia?  

I'm late to this conversation, I know, but I'm still waiting anxiously myself. I've got a lot on the line waiting for a decision (esp. summer fieldwork plans) and I don't know how much longer I can put these other plans off. Any advice (esp. with maybe reaching out to the faculty program coordinator and politely asking what's up?)

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1 minute ago, StarvingArchaeologist said:

I'm late to this conversation, I know, but I'm still waiting anxiously myself. I've got a lot on the line waiting for a decision (esp. summer fieldwork plans) and I don't know how much longer I can put these other plans off. Any advice (esp. with maybe reaching out to the faculty program coordinator and politely asking what's up?)

I sent an email yesterday to the graduate adviser just to ask what's up. I haven't heard back yet, but I can PM you if I hear something!

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1 hour ago, m-artman said:

I sent an email yesterday to the graduate adviser just to ask what's up. I haven't heard back yet, but I can PM you if I hear something!

Thanks for being the brave soul and reaching out to them! Like many others here, I'm struggling to remain patient; however, being there was a 12/15 application deadline and knowing that I had heard back 2/22/15 last year when I had applied, I'm starting to question the extended wait time. Again, it's probably all anxiety; nonetheless I've got things I need to plan but can't because I've waited longer than usual for their decision :/

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After receiving the second rejection, I am devastated... still have a few more schools to hear from, but not a lot. I see a few results from other schools that I have applied, and that makes it even worse. This is painful. I am worried about getting rejected from all the programs - which would be dreadful. Anyone else in similar situation?

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10 hours ago, Pie_art said:

After receiving the second rejection, I am devastated... still have a few more schools to hear from, but not a lot. I see a few results from other schools that I have applied, and that makes it even worse. This is painful. I am worried about getting rejected from all the programs - which would be dreadful. Anyone else in similar situation?

Don't write it off just yet! In early February, I got three rejections in one day and was literally devastated and thought I would be rejected by all the programs i applied to. Someone else on this forum told me "it's never over till its over" and I kinda just kept faith in that. Good news came eventually. Though it wasn't my top top choice, i am happy with the options i have. If it really didn't work out this time, you can always regroup and reapply the next year. Personal story--my boyfriend applied to 10 phd programs when he was a senior at a ivy university with a honors thesis and great stats. Didn't get into anything. He worked for several years, reapplied and is now in his dream program. Looking back he said he wouldn't have it any other way. Stay hopeful!!

 

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12 minutes ago, shoeswithsoul said:

Congratulations to the applicants who were unofficially accepted into Columbia's MA program! Did your emails give you an idea of the timeline for official acceptance emails/letters?

Not among those who applied, but unless you are independently wealthy or have work paying for the program (i.e. the Met is covering your tuition for your MA) then I would not attend Columbia's MA program, and happen to know that many of the professors who teach there agree. PM me if you want more information.

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20 hours ago, Pie_art said:

After receiving the second rejection, I am devastated... still have a few more schools to hear from, but not a lot. I see a few results from other schools that I have applied, and that makes it even worse. This is painful. I am worried about getting rejected from all the programs - which would be dreadful. Anyone else in similar situation?

I have been rejected from 4 schools, no yes and am not anticipating one! Gotta change your mindset- yes it is devastating now but maybe this will be a good thing for you and another avenue will appear. :)

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Has anyone heard back from UCSB yet? I saw someone had been invited to the prospective weekend, so I'm not holding out much hope for it; I'm just getting anxious to accept the offer I have! Thanks.

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1 hour ago, saturness said:

Has anyone heard back from UCSB yet? I saw someone had been invited to the prospective weekend, so I'm not holding out much hope for it; I'm just getting anxious to accept the offer I have! Thanks.

Unless there's something going on that I don't know about, all potential admits were invited to the campus visit. I went and received a decision yesterday. At this point I'd definitely email for info. Personally I find it a bit silly that programs as a whole that know for certain that they're not accepting students don't just inform them as soon as applicants are sorted into different piles, but I'm sure there's a good reason, right? A really really good reason to leave applicants hanging, just a totally amazing reason

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On 3/11/2016 at 6:53 PM, saturness said:

Has anyone heard back from UCSB yet? I saw someone had been invited to the prospective weekend, so I'm not holding out much hope for it; I'm just getting anxious to accept the offer I have! Thanks.

I tried calling them today to get an update on my application before I commit elsewhere, and they hung up on me. Thinking it was a mistake, I called again.... and they hung up on me, again.

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23 hours ago, bosie_dearest said:

I tried calling them today to get an update on my application before I commit elsewhere, and they hung up on me. Thinking it was a mistake, I called again.... and they hung up on me, again.

That was classy of them *sarcasm*

I haven't posted on here or corresponded with you or anyone in more than a month because I've been so busy, but I called UPenn today to get an update on my application status before I commit elsewhere and I was told that I've been rejected. The woman I talked to seemed kind of annoyed about having to check though, like she's had to do this a lot or she doesn't like her job. She didn't even say, "Sorry, but unfortunately, you haven't been accepted for admission." She just said, "You haven't been accepted for admission," and that was it. It was kind of blunt. Oh well. To the poster who called Penn yesterday for the same reasons as me and was rejected, did they seem kind of annoyed to you as well? Was that you, bossy_dearest?

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Is there anyone who has reapplied to programs and asked what they can do to improve their application/chances of getting in? If so, did they actually tell you what you can improve or did they just say something along the lines of, "It has nothing to do with your application; it was fine. It's just a competitive program."?

I'm asking because I know somebody much older than me who was rejected from a PhD program for clinical psychology the first time and they asked what they needed to improve and were actually told that they needed more research experience. They got published and lo and behold, they were accepted when they reapplied. That was at least two or three decades ago, though, so grad programs probably get more applicants now and thus, are not as helpful. 

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15 hours ago, welshforjohn said:

Is there anyone who has reapplied to programs and asked what they can do to improve their application/chances of getting in? If so, did they actually tell you what you can improve or did they just say something along the lines of, "It has nothing to do with your application; it was fine. It's just a competitive program."?

Of course all schools say "it's just a competitive program," but of course any rejection has *something* to do with one's application, which makes me think you might be asking the wrong question here. The two main reasons applicants get rejected, as far as I understand, is 1) being unqualified, and 2) not being a good fit for the program/POI. In terms of the former, lack of qualification can be anything from not having enough experience in the discipline (e.g. never having taken an art history course before), not displaying a clear understanding of the field (e.g. not understanding how your research fits into what's already been done; understanding what type of research proposal is expected for the PhD level), not displaying any/enough knowledge of the program (e.g. "I want to go to Harvard because it's in Boston!" vs. "Harvard would be the best place for my research because xyz professor's work on blah blah blah compliments my work on blah blah blah..."). Also just generally having a low GPA/GRE combined with unremarkable letters can do you in.

As far as the latter goes, professors know that you're going to be working with them for, like, SEVEN YEARS. They only want to bring you aboard if they think that they'll be able to be a good mentor and advisor to you. For example, I applied to work with Hal Foster at Princeton, but was rejected because a lot of my work is an outright rejection of the October School (of which he is a part) -- however, I was accepted to work with two profs at two equally competitive programs who are, like me, very anti-October. Even the strongest application in the world can't make up for an ideological difference between candidate and professor, which is, in a sense, a good thing, because it leads to diversity in the field and better fits overall.

If you're considering applying again next year, feel free to PM me and I can try to offer more specific help!

Edited by bosie_dearest
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I would say to make sure (a) the professor is actually accepting students and (b) your methodology pairs up. I feel as though I applied to work with some solid social art historians when in face I'm more interested in contemporary art via formalism and theory. Also, I applied to work with some professors who were in their late 60s and early 70s. That probably wasn't a good idea....

Also, I would add that the second time around I was far less "ranking concerned." I tried to be more open minded about a faculty advisor and program that was good for me rather than a top 1-10 program. Hence, I focused primarily on what many would deem top 10-25 schools that would make a solid dissertation committee. Also, I looked towards departments with mixes of already "Established" and en route too becoming "established" profs. I am sure many will disagree with me here and thats fine. At the end of the day, I ended up with an excellent funding package at a 10-20 school, a supportive and challenging advisor, and with a university that has super eminent faculty members in every single field (I love being able to work with historians, experts in literature, geographers, etc). In addition then for looking at the other departments that may be art history related, I also looked for inter-disciplinary groups/clusters/etc that would match my needs.

Edited by betsy303
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