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Hello everyone,

I am applying to English PhD programs for the fall of 2017! I am a long time lurker but recently made an account. I am a little anxious because I only applied to 7 programs (ahhh :/). Seeing all the acceptances already (mostly to science programs) is frustrating. I know most English programs start sending theirs around February but I am still panicking.

 

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I tried to post this yesterday but I think the site was down. Happy late Valentine's Day to all ye GC dreamers and romantics! I hope your day was full of things you love, whether a person or a pizza o

Just wanted to express my gratitude to all the lovely people on these English forums.  I glanced over at the History forum (my husband applied to a few programs), and it's really tense over there

Enough time on this website has taught me that if you're sure of yourself, you're delusional.  I mentioned this on the "waiting it out" board, but whenever I start to freak out I work on my "what

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6 hours ago, KikiDelivery said:

Hello everyone,

I am applying to English PhD programs for the fall of 2017! I am a long time lurker but recently made an account. I am a little anxious because I only applied to 7 programs (ahhh :/). Seeing all the acceptances already (mostly to science programs) is frustrating. I know most English programs start sending theirs around February but I am still panicking.

 

Don't worry! There's still a couple of weeks before the first major literature program typically notifies (Ohio State), and three weeks before the trickle of decisions becomes a flood throughout February. Having gone through the process a couple of years ago, I assert that this is the easier part of the waiting -- the pre-decision period. Once you start seeing others get accepted to and rejected by programs in your area, things get very real, very quickly. And if your first response is a rejection, while you see other members get accepted to the same program? An odd dichotomy occurs: you are simultaneously happy for the others while dejected about your own lot. It's not an easy process, but if there's any solace to be found, it's that it's truly out of your hands at this point. You did your best, submitted your apps, and you just have to let go. Small consolation, I know...but it's something.

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Hi y'all. I'm new to this site, but in the past few days I've managed to lurk and read everything written since 2014, so I feel comfortable enough to ask this now. 

All of you seem to be applying to 7-20 of the top 20 schools, and it's beginning to stress me out that I didn't do that. I applied to only four English Lit M.A. programs: Syracuse University, Purdue University, University of Alabama, and Ole Miss. 

I haven't really seen anyone mention applying to them. Do y'all know something that I don't?

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5 hours ago, Wyatt's Terps said:

Don't worry! There's still a couple of weeks before the first major literature program typically notifies (Ohio State), and three weeks before the trickle of decisions becomes a flood throughout February. Having gone through the process a couple of years ago, I assert that this is the easier part of the waiting -- the pre-decision period. Once you start seeing others get accepted to and rejected by programs in your area, things get very real, very quickly. And if your first response is a rejection, while you see other members get accepted to the same program? An odd dichotomy occurs: you are simultaneously happy for the others while dejected about your own lot. It's not an easy process, but if there's any solace to be found, it's that it's truly out of your hands at this point. You did your best, submitted your apps, and you just have to let go. Small consolation, I know...but it's something.

Thank you! That's reassuring to know. In the mean time, I hope that I am able to focus on finishing my MA thesis. It's just so hard because I am caught between wanting to finish, and finding ways to try to make the time pass.

2 hours ago, biyutefulphlower said:

@KikiDelivery Hello to a fellow Legend of Korra fan~ (and I'm guessing a Miyazaki fan, too?)

 Hello!

 

Yes I am a big fan of both! Waiting for the LoK comic is driving me almost as anxious as these apps! 

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On 1/8/2017 at 12:32 PM, ChloeCriss said:

Hi y'all. I'm new to this site, but in the past few days I've managed to lurk and read everything written since 2014, so I feel comfortable enough to ask this now. 

All of you seem to be applying to 7-20 of the top 20 schools, and it's beginning to stress me out that I didn't do that. I applied to only four English Lit M.A. programs: Syracuse University, Purdue University, University of Alabama, and Ole Miss. 

I haven't really seen anyone mention applying to them. Do y'all know something that I don't?

Welcome to GF, Chloe.

What about those 4 programs attract you? For MA programs, being funded is the most important thing.  Rankings don't really matter for MA programs. If I remember correctly, all 4 of those schools on the Ph.D. level are focused very much on teaching.

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@ChloeCriss along the lines of @Warelin, what do you plan to do after your MA? I am currently earning my MS and await PhD app results. I have applied to my current school (where I would stay in STEM) as well as to 6 programs in the humanities (History) and one in the social sciences (Anthro). I am in a good spot now at a research institute, think the work I do is important, and the experience can take me to a result I am happy with. That being said, the only way I would switch gears is if I get into a top tier program. Looking at the odds, that type of admit is the only way I can justify switching fields due to the nature of academic employment. For me, there is simply no percentage in getting a degree from a lower ranked institution and hoping to compete for TT jobs in the future.

 

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At first, I was just looking for an M.A. program that was funded, since I cannot afford to go otherwise. 

I applied to M.A. instead of PhD because I want the extra time to progress and gain research and teaching experience. I want to see if I can adapt to higher education before I jump into applying for a PhD upon graduating. Also, if the M.A. is funded, two to three extra years of schooling sounds like more of a perk than an annoyance. 

I hope to one day become a professor, with an emphasis in gender and sexuality studies through American literature, specifically relating 19th century to modern day. Syracuse and Ole Miss are my top picks, due to their interdisciplinary studies concerning Women's Studies and English Lit, but Purdue and Alabama are reputable schools as well, and I would make it work if funded and accepted. 

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@ChloeCriss it sounds like you have a plan! I don't know if this applies to your particular area of interest, but it is something to be aware of generally: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2015/02/university_hiring_if_you_didn_t_get_your_ph_d_at_an_elite_university_good.html

I hope you get in somewhere that gives you what you need and want, and--if you plan to stay in the Deep South--I would think that Alabama has some extra cachet in the region. The article isn't meant to be a downer, just FYI on the risk of caveat emptor.

Best of luck!

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On 1/8/2017 at 2:10 PM, ChloeCriss said:

At first, I was just looking for an M.A. program that was funded, since I cannot afford to go otherwise. 

I applied to M.A. instead of PhD because I want the extra time to progress and gain research and teaching experience. I want to see if I can adapt to higher education before I jump into applying for a PhD upon graduating. Also, if the M.A. is funded, two to three extra years of schooling sounds like more of a perk than an annoyance. 

I hope to one day become a professor, with an emphasis in gender and sexuality studies through American literature, specifically relating 19th century to modern day. Syracuse and Ole Miss are my top picks, due to their interdisciplinary studies concerning Women's Studies and English Lit, but Purdue and Alabama are reputable schools as well, and I would make it work if funded and accepted. 

Out of curiosity, have you looked at Villanova? I know they offer a Gender and Women's Studies certificate that can be earned alongside the MA.  I think UMass Boston also has a good focus on Gender and Women's studies.

 

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@Quickmick, thanks for the link. I understand how difficult and daunting the road to becoming a professor will be, let alone obtaining a tenure-track position. It's a good thing I'm not doing this for guaranteed comfort or prestige. If I have to teach at the CC level eventually, I'm content with that. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, I love being a student.  

@Warelin, I was interested in Villanova, but they are a Catholic school and I'm not sure what that entails. Not to get into too much detail, I am not exactly religious, and beyond that, I don't fully understand the mechanics of how graduate level education would be intertwined with religion structurally. 

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On 1/8/2017 at 3:03 PM, ChloeCriss said:

@Quickmick, thanks for the link. I understand how difficult and daunting the road to becoming a professor will be, let alone obtaining a tenure-track position. It's a good thing I'm not doing this for guaranteed comfort or prestige. If I have to teach at the CC level eventually, I'm content with that. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, I love being a student.  

@Warelin, I was interested in Villanova, but they are a Catholic school and I'm not sure what that entails. Not to get into too much detail, I am not exactly religious, and beyond that, I don't fully understand the mechanics of how graduate level education would be intertwined with religion structurally. 

From my understanding, religion plays no role in any graduate school in English.

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@Warelin, in that case, I am very interested in Villanova. If you don't mind the quick question attack: why is their application deadline so much later than everyone else's? How many people get funded through the Graduate Assistantships, and will it help my odds if I have tutoring experience at my undergraduate university? How does Villanova rank for their M.A. program (what are their odds of being accepted into a Top 20 PhD program upon graduation)? Do you like where you live? What percentage of applicants are typically accepted? 

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On 1/8/2017 at 3:17 PM, ChloeCriss said:

@Warelin, in that case, I am very interested in Villanova. If you don't mind the quick question attack: why is their application deadline so much later than everyone else's? How many people get funded through the Graduate Assistantships, and will it help my odds if I have tutoring experience at my undergraduate university? How does Villanova rank for their M.A. program (what are their odds of being accepted into a Top 20 PhD program upon graduation)? Do you like where you live? What percentage of applicants are typically accepted? 

Someone else was curious on that first question too and asked. Apparently, the answer has to do with allowing time for professors to write recommendation letters for both undergraduate and graduate students. They don't make funding decisions until after spring break but do admit those who they think best fit in with the program.  I'm not exactly sure what the exact numbers are.

According to their website, graduate courses are capped at 15 students. 
 

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On 23/12/2016 at 9:25 PM, Caien said:

So I found a typo in my writing sample... In the title

:(

Ouch! Hopefully that means they'll forget about the typo while reading the sample!

I've just submitted my last application. At this stage of the process, I'm not sure I even feel relieved... Now I just want to know and move on. Or not move on, but at least I'd know. 

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10 hours ago, ChloeCriss said:

Hi y'all. I'm new to this site, but in the past few days I've managed to lurk and read everything written since 2014, so I feel comfortable enough to ask this now. 

All of you seem to be applying to 7-20 of the top 20 schools, and it's beginning to stress me out that I didn't do that. I applied to only four English Lit M.A. programs: Syracuse University, Purdue University, University of Alabama, and Ole Miss. 

I haven't really seen anyone mention applying to them. Do y'all know something that I don't?

 

I am also applying to Syracuse for a Ph.D., and I did my undergrad at Ole Miss. So if there's something to know about these programs, I guess I missed the memo, too. ;) In all honesty, they are smaller programs, which is probably why they're overlooked. Also, they're not in the top twenty or so, which also deters applicants.

I wish you the best of luck in your application process. Try not to fret right now; worrying will get us nowhere (currently)--though I do know that's easier said than done.

"This is fine. This is fine." -- my life motto

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@TeaOverCoffee, you are living my dream!!! I love the program at Ole Miss for M.A., and the reason I am applying to Syracuse for M.A. is because I love their PhD program so much! Also, we clearly share a life motto (case in point: my profile picture). 

... That didn't further the topic at all, but I had to fan girl a bit. It's nice to see familiar goals, outside of the realm of the Top 20. 

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@DBear pointed out how I had made the ultimate typo in my SOP for Cornell. I sent a message to the admin service of the application website, I really hope they give me a chance to send a new SOP.... God darn it.

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5 minutes ago, Yanaka said:

@DBear pointed out how I had made the ultimate typo in my SOP for Cornell. I sent a message to the admin service of the application website, I really hope they give me a chance to send a new SOP.... God darn it.

Yikes! Good luck. One committee of mine might wonder if I want to go to the university, or am warning them of some impending weather event called a "Northwester." After I saw that I quit looking at submitted materials..

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6 minutes ago, Quickmick said:

Yikes! Good luck. One committee of mine might wonder if I want to go to the university, or am warning them of some impending weather event called a "Northwester." After I saw that I quit looking at submitted materials..

So that happened to you too? I love your joke, by the way. Your post makes me feel a little better. Well just not alone, maybe not better, better :lol:

Yeah... Usually I specifically do a search for other university names, but since I've been busy (and disheartened), I didn't think to do that, it appears. So a lil' Princeton found its way in the Cornell SOP...

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On 1/9/2017 at 11:20 AM, ChloeCriss said:

@TeaOverCoffee, you are living my dream!!! I love the program at Ole Miss for M.A., and the reason I am applying to Syracuse for M.A. is because I love their PhD program so much! Also, we clearly share a life motto (case in point: my profile picture). 

... That didn't further the topic at all, but I had to fan girl a bit. It's nice to see familiar goals, outside of the realm of the Top 20. 

 

My life is a perpetual wreck; I don't think that's a dream you want. Haha. But yeah, I have applied to a few that are in the top twenty, but I am not as hopeful as I am with those outside of it because of my GRE scores.

(And I have that meme printed out at my office. Everything is in flames, but this is fine.)

Keep us updated on your applications! :) 

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I'm also a longtime lurker, just starting to post now. I applied to like 10 programs, a mix of English and Medieval Studies, but now I'm starting to freak out because I'm definitely shooting high. Like, I'm confident in my GRE and my writing sample and rec letters, but my GPA in undergrad was mediocre and I have some weird terrible non-degree grades post-bac. But I guess since those were science classes it doesn't matter? I don't even know, y'all, I'm just trying not to flip out. 

In any case, nice to meet everyone.

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5 minutes ago, eadwacer said:

I'm also a longtime lurker, just starting to post now. I applied to like 10 programs, a mix of English and Medieval Studies, but now I'm starting to freak out because I'm definitely shooting high. Like, I'm confident in my GRE and my writing sample and rec letters, but my GPA in undergrad was mediocre and I have some weird terrible non-degree grades post-bac. But I guess since those were science classes it doesn't matter? I don't even know, y'all, I'm just trying not to flip out. 

In any case, nice to meet everyone.

Hey, I hear ya. I applied to 9 schools and am shooting high myself (Stanford, UMich, Brown, UChicago, Northwestern). My undergrad GPA is also meh, and I'm hoping everything else makes up for it. For what it's worth, I think if your bad grades are mostly allocated to science coursework then it's fine. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

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This is likely a ridiculous thing to be worrying about at this stage (or at any stage) but... is anybody else wondering what they're going to say if a DGS or POI calls them on the phone? Not even talking out research  or the program etc, but like, the first thing out of your mouth?

Because my instinctive response is going to be a swear word, and I'm not sure how I'm going to stop it.

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