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PSU applicants -- question

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Hi all!

I was checking my the status of my PSU application today, and I noticed that on the application status page I now have a "Required" program specific question to answer: "Are you interested in the dual degree in English and African American Studies?" I've been checking my status fairly regularly since they are the first program I'm expecting to hear back from, and I'm almost certain that this question wasn't here before today. I also haven't received any emails letting me know that further information was required from me.

Have any other PSU applicants experienced this? I'm a little confused because, although I've taken several courses on African-American literature, my stated intended focus is early modern. I'm wondering if my answer could possibly have any bearing on whether I get accepted -- anyone have any thoughts? Also wondering whether it's worth emailing to ask for some clarification/dig for some extra context.

Thanks in advance!

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Or, is it possible that I just totally missed this question when filling out the application? Does anyone else recall this question? I find it hard to believe that site would have let me submit the application without required information, but who knows?

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I vaguely remember this question during my last application cycle.

PSU also addresses this here: http://bulletins.psu.edu/graduate/programs/E/GRAD ENGL

Applicants entering with only an undergraduate degree should have a junior/senior cumulative average of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale), and, where applicable, a minimum GPA of 3.50 for all graduate work previously undertaken. Exceptions to the minimum GPA requirement may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Each applicant must submit the scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within five years previous to the date of application.

In short though: There are two ways to apply for admission into the dual degree program. First, they can apply to the dual-title program when they apply to Penn State’s English Department, following that department’s admission requirements and writing a statement of purpose that addresses how the student’s research and professional goals intersect with the objectives of the dual-title graduate degree program in English and African American and Diaspora Studies. Second, students who are already enrolled in the English Department can apply directly for admission to the dual-title degree before their admission to candidacy.

Answering yes to that question would have resulted in needing a SOP on why Engilsh and why AA. It might have been that the question wasn't required originally but they changed something in their system for the following cycle.

Edited by Warelin
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@Warelin Thanks as always for such a helpful and thoughtful answer!! I think I must have just missed it when submitting the app and for whatever reason it's just now come up as a module on my application status page -- I've responded appropriately and it now looks like everything is set again! Hopefully this won't delay my application being reviewed, but I guess we'll just have to see. Thanks again!

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