histrybuff Posted November 9, 2015 Share Posted November 9, 2015 Hello everyone, I'm a Senior History major at a small college. My goal is to pursue a PhD in the field of 20th c US urban history (intellectual, political-economic, history of capitalism and the city). I have a 3.8 gpa, a full tuition fellowship, have work experience in the field (National Archives, Writing Tutor, History teaching assistant at prep school, Archival assistant at cultural institution), have presented my own senior thesis research at three conferences, and have published two articles in the Archives publication as well as a journal. Some professors have told me to apply to PhD programs, while others recommend an MA. I'm concerned that I will have mediocre GRE scores in Quant. The trouble is that I don't know if I'll get accepted to top PhD programs if I apply this time around. I'm worried about my GRE scores. The admissions rates at the schools at which I've made contact with POI's (a few of whom have urged me to apply) are around 6%. Some people at state schools have told me to wait a year and apply after I've done something "interesting." The ivys, as I understand it, frequently want people coming directly from BA's. At the same time, I'd hate to dash my chances of getting into a top program by being rejected from their institution. I have made contacts at MA programs who have also urged me to apply. These programs have sent their students to top PhD programs and some offer full tuition remission and teaching assistantships to their students. One POI in particular is well respected and is an advocate of my work. I'd certainly learn a lot about historiography and research in an MA program. But should I spend two years at an MA program if my goal is a PhD? I understand that I'd gain more experience, etc., but would an MA be a liability on my PhD application? There's also the option of taking a year off and applying next year, after polishing my senior thesis and getting better scores on the GRE. I have applied to a competitive year long fellowship which would involve teaching, so it would be great to do that and apply next year, but no guarantees that I'll get it. If I do decide to take a year off and am not accepted to the fellowship, a well known scholar in my field is looking for research assistants and has expressed interest in my working for him. As the stress of applications mounts, this option is sounding better than ever. So, the options: 1) Apply to MA and PhD programs and hope for the best. 2) Apply to some more year long teaching fellowships and MA's, keep the conversation with the scholar looking for researchers open, not apply to PhD's in order to preserve my chances at those programs. What should I do? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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