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RD_Paul

Doctoral applications 2015-2016

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Well, it's September, and I'm sure many of us are working at applications. So, I thought I'd start this forum to discuss things and encourage one another...

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Well, I guess I will get it started...

Where is everyone applying? I'm applying to Baylor, Duke (PhD and ThD), Notre Dame, Emory, Princeton Sem, and St. Andrews. Focusing on NT (Paul). 

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Hi All:

 

I'm applying to doctoral work as well in NT. I feel unsure, but I think that's basically everyone. I took the GRE back in July (168v/157Q). I want to getting my Q up, but I hear that it's not nearly as important as the V. My undergrad studying history and concentrating in Egyptology (Ptolemaic Egypt), so I have Demotic, Hellenistic Greek, papyrology, Coptic. I am finishing an MA at a prestigious school for biblical studies focusing on furthering my Greek and working on Hebrew and Aramaic (both at advanced levels this year). I've participated in a few conferences presenting papers and did the LXX summer school last year at Gottingen. Recommendations are from senior scholars who are well respected.

 

I'm wanting to get suggestions for schools, but right now I am working on applications to Notre Dame (first choice), Yale, Harvard, UT, Emory, and Duke. Ideally, I'd like to send about 10 applications, but I haven't finished researching what's all out there. 

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Hi All:

 

I'm applying to doctoral work as well in NT. I feel unsure, but I think that's basically everyone. I took the GRE back in July (168v/157Q). I want to getting my Q up, but I hear that it's not nearly as important as the V. My undergrad studying history and concentrating in Egyptology (Ptolemaic Egypt), so I have Demotic, Hellenistic Greek, papyrology, Coptic. I am finishing an MA at a prestigious school for biblical studies focusing on furthering my Greek and working on Hebrew and Aramaic (both at advanced levels this year). I've participated in a few conferences presenting papers and did the LXX summer school last year at Gottingen. Recommendations are from senior scholars who are well respected.

 

I'm wanting to get suggestions for schools, but right now I am working on applications to Notre Dame (first choice), Yale, Harvard, UT, Emory, and Duke. Ideally, I'd like to send about 10 applications, but I haven't finished researching what's all out there. 

I think you're right about the quantitative score. I've spoken with the director of the programs at Baylor, Emory, and ND, and they all said that my Q (156) was just fine. They are much more concerned with the V and the Writing scores. Both Baylor and ND told me that if I didn't have a 90th percentile in the V (I do, thankfully), that my chances of acceptance are almost none. Nogalski at Baylor told me that they've accepted two people in the last ten years with a V under the 90th, and they were both at the 89th.

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Does anyone have any advice about the writing sample? My best work is an article that I published, but it is 30 pages double-spaced, which is obviously longer than most programs suggest. I have other, shorter papers that reflect the quality of my work well too, but this one is by far the best. 

Is it OK to submit a longer sample that is one's best work, even though it is longer than suggested?

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Does anyone have any advice about the writing sample? My best work is an article that I published, but it is 30 pages double-spaced, which is obviously longer than most programs suggest. I have other, shorter papers that reflect the quality of my work well too, but this one is by far the best. 

Is it OK to submit a longer sample that is one's best work, even though it is longer than suggested?

I always begin my comments with the disclaimer that I am not an expert on these things, but from what I understand - at all costs, do not send a paper that is longer than they are asking. So if they ask for 20, send 20, don't send 30 (I've even seen this explained on program websites and been told it by various professors). From what I've seen on here, they don't read these things with a fine-toothed comb anyway, and they probably aren't paying a ton of attention to whether you are uncovering some novel or revolutionary argument. They just want to see that you can write and put together a coherent argument, and that you know how to handle the various sources.

Again, I could be wrong - but I think that rule number one of applying is that you do as best you can to follow the requirements they suggest. They want to know that an applicant can follow directions, among other things!

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Of course, all this could be easily clarified by simply contacting the programs themselves. I'm sure they would be very willing to give their perspective on their expectations.

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I always begin my comments with the disclaimer that I am not an expert on these things, but from what I understand - at all costs, do not send a paper that is longer than they are asking. So if they ask for 20, send 20, don't send 30 (I've even seen this explained on program websites and been told it by various professors). From what I've seen on here, they don't read these things with a fine-toothed comb anyway, and they probably aren't paying a ton of attention to whether you are uncovering some novel or revolutionary argument. They just want to see that you can write and put together a coherent argument, and that you know how to handle the various sources.

Again, I could be wrong - but I think that rule number one of applying is that you do as best you can to follow the requirements they suggest. They want to know that an applicant can follow directions, among other things!

I've heard though, that the writing sample and SOP are the two most important parts of your application. I'd assume that most applicants to top programs can put together a coherent argument and handle the various sources. The question then is - what sets you apart from the rest? Given how competitive the applicant pool is, if one wishes to enter a top program, it might not hurt to submit a published article that is above the page limit. I can't imagine that an adcom would be so disturbed by an applicant going over the page limit if the writing sample itself is just that good and unique. But then again, I'm not an expert on this either.

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I had profs tell me that if the writing sample is of sufficiently good quality, it doesn't matter if it is too long. I suspect, though, that is may depend on the temperament of the committee. When in doubt, just ask.  

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Regarding writing samples - The advice I was given is that if your article is 30 pages and they ask for 20, send 18-19 pages and use the additional space of 1-2 pages to outline how you wrap up the paper so that they can see how you conclude.

 

While anecdotal, I've had several professors tell me at Vanderbilt that when reviewing writing sources they look at the first 1-2 paragraphs and the last 1-2 paragraphs and move on. On the one hand, they don't have the time to read through and dissect every paper submitted and often they're well versed enough in the material that they can predict the writer's outline by reading the conclusion.

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Does anyone have any advice about the writing sample? My best work is an article that I published, but it is 30 pages double-spaced, which is obviously longer than most programs suggest. I have other, shorter papers that reflect the quality of my work well too, but this one is by far the best. 

Is it OK to submit a longer sample that is one's best work, even though it is longer than suggested?

Could you change it to 1.5 spaced? That might help significantly. 

I always end up going over page limits, so I just reduce to 1.5 spacing and never had a problem before, so long as it is a PDF.

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Could you change it to 1.5 spaced? That might help significantly. 

I always end up going over page limits, so I just reduce to 1.5 spacing and never had a problem before, so long as it is a PDF.

This seems like an intuitive solution, but be really careful--if the application specifies spacing, don't mess with it. The committee will know and they won't like it. Once you're in a program, you're going to be writing lots of page-restricted documents in order to win external grants and fellowships. Those always specify page, spacing, font size... it's at least good practice now to try to fit within page requirements.

But I do agree with Kuriakos: If you have an article published in a reputable journal, that is going to impress a committee. I would check to see if they would want to see the whole thing or have you truncate it to meet the page requirements.

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I'm visiting Baylor in a few weeks, so maybe I'll just ask my POI in person. Seems risky. 

Are you sitting in on colloquium? If so, see you in a few weeks! I promise no prof at Baylor will look down on you for inquiring about this matter. I got advice at SBL about the paper in my application before I applied, and it was no big deal. 

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Are you sitting in on colloquium? If so, see you in a few weeks! I promise no prof at Baylor will look down on you for inquiring about this matter. I got advice at SBL about the paper in my application before I applied, and it was no big deal. 

Unfortunately, I'm going to miss colloquium. I'll be in Waco from Thursday to Sunday morning. Gaventa suggested that I make colloquium, but I couldn't make it happen with my schedule. 

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Hey Y'all.....It's about that time. I'm applying to Boston University, Boston College, Dayton, Duquesne, Loyola, Villanova, Princeton Seminary, Toronto (Trying to decide between Regis College and Emmanuel College), and McMaster University---all programs are under the umbrella of theology/ethics/bioethics...Planning on taking the GRE first part of November, I know that's later than most but majority of my schools have January/February due dates so I think timing should work out well (FINGERS CROSSED). For now, I'm emailing potential POI's and planning out an AAR trip and campus visits to meet folks, etc. I haven't actually started any aspects of my applications, I'm going to use a pieced together piece of my larger thesis for a writing sample, so that is getting worked on. But I haven't begun any parts of my statement of purpose, etc. yet...gonna get cracking in the next couple weeks after my GRE push....

Actually, after writing this I'm getting nervous I'm pretty behind :). 

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Greetings, I'm beginning the process and plan on applying to programs in theology. Looking at Princeton Seminary, Princeton University, Duke, University of Virginia, Yale, Chicago, Vanderbilt, and SMU.

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Re: your writing sample - as someone above said, whether the length is an issue or not, really depends on the temperament of the committee.  You may want to consider simply sending part of your article.  You can include in a note that what you are submitting is a selection from your article which was published in xxx.  That way, its not too long, they see your best work, and they know you were published.

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Re: your writing sample - as someone above said, whether the length is an issue or not, really depends on the temperament of the committee.  You may want to consider simply sending part of your article.  You can include in a note that what you are submitting is a selection from your article which was published in xxx.  That way, its not too long, they see your best work, and they know you were published.

So, I just today talked with the director of the NT dept. at Emory, and he said to send the whole article. That's just one school, but it's something.

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And I was just told the same thing by my POI at Notre Dame. He said it's better to submit a complete sample that's a bit longer than cut it down.

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Anyone a current NT student at Baylor? If so, would you pm me? I have a few questions about visiting: what questions to be sure to ask, etc....

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Emory sent out emails giving Hebrew Bible PhD applicants the opportunity to send in a 3 minute video summary of their sample paper. I'm not sure if this was sent out to all applicants or only to those who survived the first round of application sorting. I'm guessing that they will still interview candidates on campus in February. And I don't know if the video presentations are something other subfields in the GDR are requesting as well.

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Let's revive this thread people! Where did folks apply to, when are they expecting to get word back? How you feeling out there??

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2 hours ago, sociologyapp2016 said:

Do you mean to ask, "Is the subject contextualized into a semantic desublimation that includes sexuality as a totality? If so, and assuming that postdeconstructivist appropriation holds, must we choose between semantic desublimation and patriarchialist postcapitalist theory? Likewise, one must posit the question, is the subject contextualized into a premodern discourse that includes consciousness as a totality?

 

yes. yes I did. 

i'm glad you picked up on that. 

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