Jump to content

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Warelin said:

That's great. I've always wondered why websites aren't maintained better at times. I think there would be people who would apply to certain programs more if they knew that the school allowed them to.

Yeah the website actually specifically says that all joint programs have to be approved by the city/state regents of New York and both programs and the university as a whole so only explicitly authorized programs are allowed.... I'm glad I decided to dig a little deeper :) But in my undergrad/MA experience, universities will let you do pretty much whatever you want if you ask enough people. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 288
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

So I realize this is super early as people are still getting responses for 2017 and the focus of of the forum has gradually shifted from focusing on the process to dealing with the fallout. However, I

@punctilious Can I ask what parts of this program research your husband is planning to do? I get that literature students switch fields and topics a lot more often than anthropologists do, so it can m

Hallo, new frands.  I'm returning for my third and final shot at academia. So, if anyone starts to experience that largely unpleasant "oh no, not this again" feeling, I'm happy to chat through/ar

Hey, y'all! Thought I'd join you and introduce myself. I'm an early modernist working at the intersection of theatre and cultural studies with a particular interest in the history of science and medicine and women's studies. For ex. my master's thesis will be focusing on depictions of pregnancy in The Winter's Tale and The Duchess of Malfi read dialogically with early gynecological treatises and monstrous birth pamphlets -- essentially looking at how society's relationship to the female body changed as the Scientific Revolution got underway and anxieties around the performance of truth, both bodily and narratively.

I'm currently trying to decide between two WS -- one that's period appropriate, ie on Shakespeare, but leans more towards theatre history, and one that's super topically appropriate but the period is a bit late. It's on gender performance in the myths of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, cross-dressing pirates from the early 18th century. That or I may decide to make myself crazy and try to whip out the chapter of my thesis on Winter's Tale much quicker than planned.

I have a BA magna cum laude from a SLAC and am completing my Master's at a highly selective program right now. I conquered the GRE to my satisfaction a few years ago (166V/161Q/5.5AW)  and am staying away from programs that require the Lit Test as I'm in Canada and have no feasible way to take it in the next two months.

My list right now is Penn, Northwestern, UMD, UNC, UVa, OSU, Notre Dame, and Bama, but I'm looking to expand if anyone has any ideas!

Edited by megg732
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/6/2017 at 10:50 AM, punctilious said:

Thank you so much, everyone, for your helpful responses!

@Old Bill, I really appreciate your detailed response. One note about fit is that one of his English professors actually gave him the following advice:

"I am of the opinion that it's best to look at programs that have a decent-sized faculty and seem to have a pretty vibrant graduate culture. Some people will say that you should pick programs based on who's there--that is, choose programs with specific faculty with whom you want to work. That is not my approach for two reasons: (1) You might end up changing fields once you get to a program and (2) Sometimes, faculty turn out to be insane or their mentoring style may not work for you."

She encouraged him to discuss this point with other professors, but this was one reason why we have been hesitating to focus on particular professors when assessing fit, instead looking at location, program quality, etc. However, my spreadsheet for him does include 1-2 POIs with their research interests. I also looked through dissertations (both of students at the different schools and for his professor that attended Brandeis and has similar research interests) that related to his research interests and confirmed whether the committee members were the professors I had noted. I imagine, of course, that no professors will align perfectly with his interests (and I couldn't explain his specific research interests in detail if I tried, I unfortunately am not on all of your genius levels!). I will work on this spreadsheet to see if I can bring it up to 3+ POIs.

As for the school list, I read somewhere that one should apply to 6-8 schools. What would you say is a good number of programs to apply to, then? We are trying to keep in mind the cost of application fees, sending test scores, etc. He had also been thinking about NYU, Northeastern, Fordham, and perhaps other Rhode Island schools, but cut them to bring the list down.

Of course, the SOP and WS are of major importance. He has a few professors who will be looking over these pieces for him, but he hasn't started the SOP yet. I haven't done a whole lot of research on where to begin with this one, but it will be next month's focus, I believe.

Thank you again!

Would you be willing to share your spreadsheet? It sounds wild and very helpful.

Signed, someone wishing they were as organizationally capable as you. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2017 at 5:16 PM, metaphysicaldog said:

Would you be willing to share your spreadsheet? It sounds wild and very helpful.

Signed, someone wishing they were as organizationally capable as you. :)

Hey there! So I don't think my spreadsheet is much different than what generally seems to be recommended in terms of organization. It has the following info:

  • School information
    • School Name (linked to English PhD program page)
    • Location
    • Stipend (linked to webpage where info was found)
    • DGS (linked)
    • POI 1 (linked)
    • Research Interests
    • Relevant Article/Book (linked)
    • POI 2 (linked)
    • Research Interests
    • Relevant Article/Book (linked)
    • POI 3 (linked)
    • Research Interests
    • Relevant Article/Book (linked)
    • Notes (Particular professors he worked with in undergrad that went to a school, whether the school has an excessively high number of applicants each year, other POIs outside of the English dept., interesting literary journals or centers that the department runs, etc.)
  • Application Information
    • School Name
    • Deadline
    • Fee
    • SOP Requirement
    • SOP Notes
    • Writing Sample Requirement
    • Writing Sample Notes

The application info sheet will likely have more content as we get a bit closer, but that's what we have now! Would love suggestions from others as to what additional columns are particularly helpful for their organization!

Edited by punctilious
Link to post
Share on other sites

I applied to one MA program last year (mostly due to timing/ location restraints) but am applying to both MA and PhD programs  this year since I didn't get funding. I recently retook the GRE and got 161 verbal (158 first time around), and though I'm definitely happy with it I can't help worrying that being below 90th % will keep me out of some programs. 161 would be 88th so I feel a little silly worrying about such a little difference but its such a frustrating part of this process! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone else experiencing issues narrowing down the programs that they are going to apply to? I am having a very tough time, especially because I was going to just apply to MA programs, but now, after some discussions with professors, I will be applying to PhD programs as well. I know that fit is vital, but I can honestly see myself enjoying most of the graduate programs I have looked at. Any recommendations?

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Dogfish Head said:

Is anyone else experiencing issues narrowing down the programs that they are going to apply to? I am having a very tough time, especially because I was going to just apply to MA programs, but now, after some discussions with professors, I will be applying to PhD programs as well. I know that fit is vital, but I can honestly see myself enjoying most of the graduate programs I have looked at. Any recommendations?

I definitely recommend making a spreadsheet for analyzing fit. The best way we have found to determine fit is looking at the POIs--are there any professors that are strong in your research interests/field? If so, how many? If you struggle to find one professor who would be a good potential adviser, then maybe it isn't the best fit. For instance, as much as we wanted to make Boston College or Fordham work, there just wasn't even one professor that was more than tangentially interested in the same things my husband wants to research, so we nixed those schools.

Some other things to consider are location and program size. Maybe you definitely don't want to live in the South, or definitely want to live on the west coast if possible. Maybe you want to live in a place where you don't need a car and can get by with a bike or public transit. That can help narrow the programs to look at. We started with only Boston schools, then expanded out from there to our next most desired locations after determining which Boston schools would work. Program size can vary pretty drastically--for instance, maybe you aren't interested in a super small program with limited faculty, like Tufts. Or maybe you prefer that as it may allow you to get much closer with your cohort and professors.

Hopefully this helps!

 

**Note that my advice is for PhD programs, not MAs.

Edited by punctilious
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Dogfish Head said:

Is anyone else experiencing issues narrowing down the programs that they are going to apply to? I am having a very tough time, especially because I was going to just apply to MA programs, but now, after some discussions with professors, I will be applying to PhD programs as well. I know that fit is vital, but I can honestly see myself enjoying most of the graduate programs I have looked at. Any recommendations?

In addition to the sage advice from @punctilious, one important way to start narrowing down programs is to move beyond thinking about research interests to research approaches. If you want to study Shakespeare, it's not enough that a department has a few early modernists if their approach differs substantially from what you envision yourself doing. It's important to find potential advisors that not only work on the same topics as you do but deal with texts in a way that is related/complementary to what you do. This sort of fit may not be evident from looking at a professor's profile on the departmental website. More informative would be to take a look at their articles/books and see how well they fit with the sort of work you would like to do. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/26/2017 at 10:20 AM, punctilious said:

I definitely recommend making a spreadsheet for analyzing fit. The best way we have found to determine fit is looking at the POIs--are there any professors that are strong in your research interests/field? If so, how many? If you struggle to find one professor who would be a good potential adviser, then maybe it isn't the best fit. For instance, as much as we wanted to make Boston College or Fordham work, there just wasn't even one professor that was more than tangentially interested in the same things my husband wants to research, so we nixed those schools.

Some other things to consider are location and program size. Maybe you definitely don't want to live in the South, or definitely want to live on the west coast if possible. Maybe you want to live in a place where you don't need a car and can get by with a bike or public transit. That can help narrow the programs to look at. We started with only Boston schools, then expanded out from there to our next most desired locations after determining which Boston schools would work. Program size can vary pretty drastically--for instance, maybe you aren't interested in a super small program with limited faculty, like Tufts. Or maybe you prefer that as it may allow you to get much closer with your cohort and professors.

Hopefully this helps!

 

**Note that my advice is for PhD programs, not MAs.

 

On 9/26/2017 at 8:23 PM, Glasperlenspieler said:

In addition to the sage advice from @punctilious, one important way to start narrowing down programs is to move beyond thinking about research interests to research approaches. If you want to study Shakespeare, it's not enough that a department has a few early modernists if their approach differs substantially from what you envision yourself doing. It's important to find potential advisors that not only work on the same topics as you do but deal with texts in a way that is related/complementary to what you do. This sort of fit may not be evident from looking at a professor's profile on the departmental website. More informative would be to take a look at their articles/books and see how well they fit with the sort of work you would like to do. 

Thank you both so much for the thoughtful responses! That all makes a lot of sense and I will keep it in mind! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2017 at 8:18 PM, darcyt said:

I applied to one MA program last year (mostly due to timing/ location restraints) but am applying to both MA and PhD programs  this year since I didn't get funding. I recently retook the GRE and got 161 verbal (158 first time around), and though I'm definitely happy with it I can't help worrying that being below 90th % will keep me out of some programs. 161 would be 88th so I feel a little silly worrying about such a little difference but its such a frustrating part of this process! 

4

It would be a lie if someone says 161 won't affect your admission prospect in any of the programs in the United States. For example, Columbia's English and Comparative Literature program makes it crystal clear that it is almost impossible to get into their program with any GRE verbal score lower than 95 percentile ("successful applicants trained in the U.S. will almost always have a GRE verbal score in the 95th percentile or better."), which means it's extremely hard to get an admission with a score lower than 166. But there aren't that many programs that have such a high GRE threshold, so that's a good news. I don't know what programs you're applying to, but maybe try to find if their websites mention anything...? Not that many schools do, but a few do. It doesn't hurt to check. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, complit said:

It would be a lie if someone says 161 won't affect your admission prospect in any of the programs in the United States. For example, Columbia's English and Comparative Literature program makes it crystal clear that it is almost impossible to get into their program with any GRE verbal score lower than 95 percentile ("successful applicants trained in the U.S. will almost always have a GRE verbal score in the 95th percentile or better."), which means it's extremely hard to get an admission with a score lower than 166. But there aren't that many programs that have such a high GRE threshold, so that's a good news. I don't know what programs you're applying to, but maybe try to find if their websites mention anything...? Not that many schools do, but a few do. It doesn't hurt to check. 

Interesting thought... Columbia is on my husband's list and he got a 163. Is it even worth applying there if you have below 166?

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, punctilious said:

Interesting thought... Columbia is on my husband's list and he got a 163. Is it even worth applying there if you have below 166?

Obviously, I'm not the person to answer this, but assuming from "almost always," I guess he still has a chance but extremely slim. If he's really passionate about the program and still wants to apply, then I think it would be worth applying (as long as time and money allow). A slightly better news is the website also says that there is no minimum score. (So the full sentence goes, "Similarly, we have no fixed minimum GRE score, but successful applicants trained in the U.S. will almost always have a GRE verbal score in the 95th percentile or better.") You can check the entire post here: http://english.columbia.edu/graduate/guidelines-prospective-applicants 

By the way, thanks for the spreadsheet idea. I'm using your idea to keep track of my schools although I will be applying next year.

Edited by complit
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, complit said:

Obviously, I'm not the person to answer this, but assuming from "almost always," I guess he still has a chance but extremely slim. If he's really passionate about the program and still wants to apply, then I think it would be worth applying (as long as time and money allow). A slightly better news is the website also says that there is no minimum score. (So the full sentence goes, "Similarly, we have no fixed minimum GRE score, but successful applicants trained in the U.S. will almost always have a GRE verbal score in the 95th percentile or better.") You can check the entire post here: http://english.columbia.edu/graduate/guidelines-prospective-applicants 

By the way, thanks for the spreadsheet idea. I'm using your idea to keep track of my schools although I will be applying next year.

Thanks so much for the insight! I think he will apply anyway, as there were some solid POIs and he really liked the campus atmosphere when we walked around. 

I'm glad my spreadsheet idea has been helpful for you. I've finally been able to get the Application Information sheet prepared today, with the addition of direct application links and GRE Subject test requirements. It feels so great to have everything organized and ready to kick off applications!

After tons of research, I think we might have the final list of schools he's applying to! Hooray!

Link to post
Share on other sites

How is everyone doing? :) Today is a Korean holiday kind of like Korean thanksgiving so happy Thanksgiving to everyone! :P 

I got some great news today - I've been recommended to the graduate school for acceptance to BGSU! They are my number one choice. Once I receive the actual acceptance email, I will be accepting! I'm ecstatic!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Keri said:

How is everyone doing? :) Today is a Korean holiday kind of like Korean thanksgiving so happy Thanksgiving to everyone! :P 

I got some great news today - I've been recommended to the graduate school for acceptance to BGSU! They are my number one choice. Once I receive the actual acceptance email, I will be accepting! I'm ecstatic!! 

Congratulations!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys—looking to jump into this forum because I am seriously lacking in accountability at the moment. I was studying like crazy for the GREs but since they ended have done very little and need to get cracking! I've only started brainstorming my personal statement and haven't finished narrowing down schools—still trying to meet with one more professor. Haven't really touched my writing sample either. I'm super daunted by cutting my dissertation (from my MA) and writing the abstracts, even though it's surely quite simple. At the point of doing more concrete research on programs.

 

Curious—how much time are you guys working on apps per day/week versus other stuff?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting so please redirect me if I've posted in the wrong spot. 

I'm applying to PhD programs in CompLit and English in the US. I'm wondering how important the GRE scores tend to be. I recently took the test and am considering whether it is necessary (or time effective) to retake it. Could anyone shed some light about scores and ranges? I'm sure it varies by school, but I have my eye on Chicago, Columbia, U Penn and Cornell to name a few.

 

Thanks so much!

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, 18thcenturytea&sucre said:

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting so please redirect me if I've posted in the wrong spot. 

I'm applying to PhD programs in CompLit and English in the US. I'm wondering how important the GRE scores tend to be. I recently took the test and am considering whether it is necessary (or time effective) to retake it. Could anyone shed some light about scores and ranges? I'm sure it varies by school, but I have my eye on Chicago, Columbia, U Penn and Cornell to name a few.

 

Thanks so much!

Read earlier comments in this thread, and @complit cites the Columbia English dept website that advises students to have a 95% or higher on the verbal section. I'd say that is a good target for the other schools you've mentioned as well. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, unicornsarereal said:

Hey guys—looking to jump into this forum because I am seriously lacking in accountability at the moment. I was studying like crazy for the GREs but since they ended have done very little and need to get cracking! I've only started brainstorming my personal statement and haven't finished narrowing down schools—still trying to meet with one more professor. Haven't really touched my writing sample either. I'm super daunted by cutting my dissertation (from my MA) and writing the abstracts, even though it's surely quite simple. At the point of doing more concrete research on programs.

 

Curious—how much time are you guys working on apps per day/week versus other stuff?

My husband and I have been going pretty hardcore since June or July. He's the one applying but I've been helping out. We both have full-time jobs, however, so we probably actively work on apps a few hours per week. But we pretty much have the schools chosen and they've been quite thoroughly researched, so now we are kind of just waiting on SOP and WS edits from his professors. So I'm more passively exploring this forum and filling in info here and there on our school spreadsheets.

This is a pretty crazy process and honestly I don't know how people do it alone! It's been a heavy lift so far with both of us working on it.

I'm here to help though if anyone ever needs anything! I'm obsessed with making spreadsheets and researching programs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, punctilious said:

My husband and I have been going pretty hardcore since June or July. He's the one applying but I've been helping out. We both have full-time jobs, however, so we probably actively work on apps a few hours per week. But we pretty much have the schools chosen and they've been quite thoroughly researched, so now we are kind of just waiting on SOP and WS edits from his professors. So I'm more passively exploring this forum and filling in info here and there on our school spreadsheets.

This is a pretty crazy process and honestly I don't know how people do it alone! It's been a heavy lift so far with both of us working on it.

I'm here to help though if anyone ever needs anything! I'm obsessed with making spreadsheets and researching programs.

Oh god, I haven't sent anything along yet for edits, let alone gotten a full draft of my SOP!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, unicornsarereal said:

Oh god, I haven't sent anything along yet for edits, let alone gotten a full draft of my SOP!

Honestly, his professors are just notoriously slow so he had it get it to them early if he wanted any chance to receive feedback. I’m sure we will be waiting for a while. You still have plenty of time!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

So how are people doing?

I started the app process for a few schools, did the GRE and TOEFL, will revise my writing sample and personal statement for next week, have contacted all 3 recommenders and will whittle down my 20 schools to 15 and send that shit off hopefully without a hitch. After years of planning this is actually happening. I just want it to be April already so I can know where I’m going, even if it is Rejectville.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stressing about not doing enough! I need to edit my PS and piece together my writing sample a bit more. Amazingly 2/3 of my recommenders already have their recommendations in. No one has really looked over my stuff though, so that's my one concern...

 

15 schools—wow! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, 15 is a lot but I wanted to play the odds as I'm going home for a 'go big or go home' mentality. Right now my list is: Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford (all for Comp. Lit), Columbia, UPenn, UChicago, NYU, CUNY, Virginia, Brown, Duke, Rutgers, Michigan, Oxford, Cambridge, UCL (all for English). Right now I'm leaning towards removing UCLA, Duke, Stanford, Brown and UCL.

 

How about you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.