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Prepping for the 2018 cycle!


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Hey guys,

Unfortunately, like many others, I did not get accepted in the 2017 cycle. After taking some time off from my research idea's and this forum, and focussing on my great great job in customer service  I started working on my proposals again a week ago. When I applied last year I had no idea what to expect and what to do. This year I'll be better prepared and hopefully not the third, but the second time’s a charm!

To make a long story short, how are you preparing for the 2018 cycle? If you got rejected last year what will you do different this fall? I'll start:

1. I re-read the feedback I got from two PoI's and realized they were actually pretty positive! They did not say 'you and your ideas suck' but 'your idea's are interesting but your SoP has to be more theoretical in this competitive field'. When I got rejected I was so sad that I couldn't see the feedback for what it was.

2. Improve my SoP. Since I'm not from the States I had no idea how to write a good SoP and nobody proof-read it for me. I'm now writing a more European-style proposal (very extensive) that I'm going to narrow down for my SoP. I'm also going to send it to as many people as possible.

3. Apply to more schools. I only applied to 4 schools because I was thinking too much inside the box. This year I’m not only going to apply to anthro departments, but I’m also going to try my luck at Human Geography and Latin American Studies departments.

Fire away!

 

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Hey guys, Unfortunately, like many others, I did not get accepted in the 2017 cycle. After taking some time off from my research idea's and this forum, and focussing on my great great job in cust

Breathe @phyanth and then let's freak out together   One of my programs (Comm) moved up their deadline so they sent first round acceptances yesterday. I'm ecstatic about getting in, but not about

Don't try to be broad, try to show you're flexible. If you don't give specifics, professors may not think you can propose an actually feasible project to tackle an aspect of your broad questions. The

56 minutes ago, EvelynD said:

Thanks! You are starting with your PhD this year right? 

Yup!  I start in mid-August so I'm trying to get as much relaxation time as possible before then!  Any idea where you might apply this coming cycle?

Edited by museum_geek
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Hi! I was in a similar position this time last year (gearing up to begin a second round of applications). I used the extra time to 1) gain further language skills that would help in my research; 2) apply to outside funding--writing the grant proposals ultimately helped me tighten my SoP a lot; and 3) really, really, really brush up my SoP--making sure to go back through relevant sources, concretely outline my proposed research and supporting experience, my project's theoretical backing, practical utility, etc. It all worked out & I'm heading to my top choice program in the fall!

All that said, I'm more than happy to look over any proposals, talk more about my experiences re-applying, or help in any other way I can!! Good luck :-)

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Hey there!

This year will be my second round of application. The 2016 cycle ended in a total disaster (applied only to 4 big-name programs in Cultural Anthropology, no interviews), but I still enjoyed the process because it motivated me to gather a lot of information and to build Initial networks with POIs that will be of use in the new cycle. As an international student living outside the States, every piece of insider information is precious haha.

I am interested in the intersection of deaf/disability studies, political sociology/ anthropology and media studies. That being said, I am still trying to crystalize a coherent research question that well connects these fields (e.g: how are state agents actively articulate the national identities of local deaf citizens in the background of rising global deafhood activism?). I have been trained in a media-centered discipline (BA Communication, MA Media and Political Communication) but want to embed my research in a more sociological/ ethnographical framework.

Last year I started my formal application in October (TOEFL and GRE obtained earlier) while I was doing an exchange semester, which seems quite pressing in retrospect. This year, with more time, I am going to:

  1. finish my master thesis before August and graduating from current MA program,

  2. advance sign language skills (I am hearing),

  3. familiarize myself with relevant fields, especially anthro of state and anthro of disability, to polish the SoP, and

  4. retake GRE on Summer.

Besides that, I just had a co-authorship book chapter accepted by Springer VS in March and it will be published by the end of year. It’s an empirical research paper based on Social Network Analysis, a method I am hoping to keep using in the PhD project. Maybe the publication in CV will be better looking.

Edited by Blaubaer
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22 hours ago, museum_geek said:

Yup!  I start in mid-August so I'm trying to get as much relaxation time as possible before then!  Any idea where you might apply this coming cycle?

Probably the same schools: UCSB, Notre Dame, and Toronto. A bit on the fence about Michigan since I didn't really get a good feeling about their application proces, but I should have applied to anthro instead of sociology. I'm also thinking about a school in Alaska, Duke (didn't hire last year), and Austin. I'm also going to look for schools that offer human geograpgy (with people focussing on animals). Lots to figure out!

Good luck, you must keep us updated about everything!!

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4 hours ago, Blaubaer said:

Hey there!

This year will be my second round of application. The 2016 cycle ended in a total disaster (applied only to 4 big-name programs in Cultural Anthropology, no interviews), but I still enjoyed the process because it motivated me to gather a lot of information and to build Initial networks with POIs that will be of use in the new cycle. As an international student living outside the States, every piece of insider information is precious haha.

Same here, applying is even more of a challenge for us as international students. I also applied to for big schools, but I work in a niche ánd I did my MA in a different field. 

Although I'm excited to try agian I'm also getting a bit anxious. What if I doesn't work out again this year? How many times am I going to give it and will my proffs be willing to write letters again this year?

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Hi all!

I decided against applying last season because I just did not feel prepared and thought I would give myself a year to mature and grow a bit but I feel like that was a mistake because now I feel more lost than before. Was looking to possibly get in contact with someone from this page to answer some questions and alleviate some fears I have!!I graduated last year and am really unsure about what steps I need to take to become a more qualified applicant.

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4 hours ago, EvelynD said:

Same here, applying is even more of a challenge for us as international students. I also applied to for big schools, but I work in a niche ánd I did my MA in a different field. 

Although I'm excited to try agian I'm also getting a bit anxious. What if I doesn't work out again this year? How many times am I going to give it and will my proffs be willing to write letters again this year?

Definitely! Since you are also applying Anthropology from a different MA field (what is it?), I assume you must have a very strong and particular motivation to begin with. Don't lose it however unrealistic it may seem! Anxiety hits me from time to time too but it keeps man going further and getting better right?

For practical reasons, I am going to do an one-year MA research training program in Social science which starts in October this year, filling the gap year before the successful admission into an PhD program. In this period I will count on my RA salary in a university research center to make the ends meet. 

 

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15 hours ago, Blaubaer said:

Definitely! Since you are also applying Anthropology from a different MA field (what is it?), I assume you must have a very strong and particular motivation to begin with. Don't lose it however unrealistic it may seem! Anxiety hits me from time to time too but it keeps man going further and getting better right?

For practical reasons, I am going to do an one-year MA research training program in Social science which starts in October this year, filling the gap year before the successful admission into an PhD program. In this period I will count on my RA salary in a university research center to make the ends meet. 

 

Congrats with your admission to the MA! I did a research master about Native American cultures (mainly Mexico) at our faculty of Archaeology. So technically my MA is in archaeology, but in reality it was more like a blend between archeo and anthro. Our Mesoamerican studies professor researches prehispanic manuscripts and does not excavate. My own thesis was about traditional Mexican dress in relation to stigmatisation and racism. But on my diploma it says my degree is in archaeo, so that’s what schools care about.

Although I’m still very passionate about traditional dress I don’t see a future after the PhD. I’m also struggling with the idea of studying native peoples. I’m now focusing on animal studies (human-horse dynamics) from an anthropological perspective. I’ve always loved horses but never had a lot of luck with them. My parents didn’t support my passion and I never really developed as a horsewoman. Doing a PhD in anthropology about horses is me taking my life into my own hands.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There have been some developments: I'm taking to a professor in New Zeeland, and I'm in the process of applying for a position in Australia. The two research idea's I have a slowly (thank you, day job) turning into real proposals and on top of that a PhD had opened at my home university. Not a 100% match, but close enough so I'll apply. This is going to be a very busy summer!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, welcome, good luck! As a current student, I'll do my best to pop in every so often and help as I can.

@gradanth, did you have anything more specific you could mention?

@EvelynD, if you don't mind, I would push back on the notion that "on my diploma it says my degree is in archaeo, so that’s what schools care about." I don't think that is true, at least not the way you've put it. Anthropology, more than many other fields, really doesn't care very much what your past degree(s) are in. A lot of people in my (prestigious) department have previous degrees in philosophy, area studies departments, etc. Of course, I don't want to be pedantic about that specific phrasing—you're right that familiarity with the discipline is incredibly important. What doesn't matter, though, is whether you got that familiarity through a specific degree, or whether you end up picking it up more informally. As you suggest, it sounds like your training lacked some pieces that would have prepared you better for your previous applications. It sounds like you have a great game plan for doing that work now. So I want to be encouraging: however you become familiar with your material, the name printed on your MA diploma shouldn't hold you back.

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I have to agree with @hats on this point.  I'm starting a PhD in sociocultural anthropology this Fall and I applied with an interdisciplinary master's degree and an undergraduate transcript filled mostly with archaeology courses and field schools.  I think continuing to develop your research ideas will help your applications quite a bit!

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If anyone, particularly biological anthropology (bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology are best) applicants, needs someone to read their SOP and resume/CV, please let me know. I can try and help out as much as I can. The reason I'd say bioarch and forensic anth would be best for me to read is because those are my specialties and I think I could give better advice on those. But I can do any other SOP that needs to be read too. And CVs/resumes can really be read by anyone and are really dependent on the person writing them.

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On 2-8-2017 at 11:53 AM, adengyuchen said:

Commenting to hop on the 2018 application cycle track too! If anyone is willing to read my resume and SOP too Id be more than grateful!

Yes, I'd love to read them! 

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On 3-8-2017 at 0:05 AM, bioarch_fan said:

If anyone, particularly biological anthropology (bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology are best) applicants, needs someone to read their SOP and resume/CV, please let me know. I can try and help out as much as I can. The reason I'd say bioarch and forensic anth would be best for me to read is because those are my specialties and I think I could give better advice on those. But I can do any other SOP that needs to be read too. And CVs/resumes can really be read by anyone and are really dependent on the person writing them.

Would you mind taking a look at my CV? I'm in socio-cultural anthro, but that won't mind for feedback on a CV, right?

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On 8/5/2017 at 7:20 AM, EvelynD said:

Would you mind taking a look at my CV? I'm in socio-cultural anthro, but that won't mind for feedback on a CV, right?

Yeah, I wouldn't mind taking a look at your CV. One of my classes in undergrad was actually constructing a CV and seeing what was good and bad; plus I did it again for another class when I started grad school.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey all!

I'm also trying for a second time this season. I've been narrowing/redefining my research interests and I think they are much more succinct and interesting to established anthropologists now. I'm still doing a lot of work on my SoP, but I'm hoping my CV will help. I've also been looking at more programs than I did last year and am trying to narrow my list now, haha.

One thing of note is that I have officially finished my MA so I'll be redoing my personal webpage to include my grad report (as well as links to other writings of note). 

 

I will be applying to both Anth and Comm programs and am looking to research the use and impact of social media on the 2020 US presidential race. I have 40 potential schools right now that I am looking into. My next steps are researching these programs a bit more in depth and reaching out to their faculty. 

I'm probably most concerned about the SoP. I still feel a bit lost on exactly how I want to format it and what information I should include. I didn't like my SoP last season and I think it is the primary reason it wasn't a good season for me so I've been starting from scratch. I'll definitely be looking through this site for any helpful tips, haha. :)

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Hi guys!

I'm applying this application round too! I'm in my senior year right now, and spent most my summer looking into schools, preparing my application materials, and studying for the GRE.

I'm interested in bioarchaeology, and specifically the bioarchaeology of childhood. I'm most interested in things like cultural contact and migration and how they affected biological aspects of childhood. I have about ten schools on my list, and my next steps are to start reaching out to them. I've got two field schools underneath my belt and an independent research project. I volunteer in three labs and also occasionally help with our campus archaeology program. I have a good GPA and should really strong letters of rec. I didn't do awesome on the GRE, but my advisor said that other aspects of my application will hopefully compensate for that, but its still nerve racking because I really don't have the time to study all over again, and I still haven't decided if I want to retake it or not.

I'm still putting the finishing touches on my SoPs, but if anyone wouldn't mind looking at my CV that would much appreciated!

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Hi Guys, 

I am going to apply to Anthropology Ph.D. program this year, but I am not sure about my GRE scores. I took my GRE before Master program with Verbal 158, Quant 167, and analytical writing 3.5 (English is my second language). I know that my writing is not good, and it is better to retake it, but I have no time for studying verbal and quant sections this time and I am afraid to get lower scores in them if I retake the exam. However, I have written 5 essays for my master program and wrote  MRP since then, and I hope this would compensate for my low score in GRE writing. What's your opinion? I am looking forward to your responses and experiences before making any decision. 

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1 hour ago, rhlabbasinejad said:

Hi Guys, 

I am going to apply to Anthropology Ph.D. program this year, but I am not sure about my GRE scores. I took my GRE before Master program with Verbal 158, Quant 167, and analytical writing 3.5 (English is my second language). I know that my writing is not good, and it is better to retake it, but I have no time for studying verbal and quant sections this time and I am afraid to get lower scores in them if I retake the exam. However, I have written 5 essays for my master program and wrote  MRP since then, and I hope this would compensate for my low score in GRE writing. What's your opinion? I am looking forward to your responses and experiences before making any decision. 

Even if you can't study much it might be worth it to retake. I did not study for either time I took the GRE, but I saw increases in all of my scores between the first test (end of undergrad) and the second (1 year into my MA). I think, if you intend to go into a sociocultural anth program, trying to bump your Verbal and AW scores could prove beneficial. HOWEVER, GRE scores don't usually matter as much as your SoP, LoRs, and overall application, so if you really don't have time focus on polishing that SoP and making sure the rest of your app makes up for it.

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Hey guys, I’m reapplying for fall 2018 and refining my SOP as well. I earned my MA in Anthropology (Andean Bioarchaeology) amd graduate certificate in Latin American Studies. Right now I’m on track to finish my MPH in Infectious diseases and outbreak prevention. 

Im mostly interested in warfare and violence (including ritual) during political transitions of major empires in Andean Peru. 

So far, I have about 6 or 7 schools I plan to apply to which is better than my 2 last year lol. 

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