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11 minutes ago, estyz said:

Actually, I was wondering whether the two East Asian History acceptance was from the History or EALC department. Anxiously waiting for new reports. I am not sure but I guess UChicago history does not have waitlists.

Based on the History department's reputation in that field, I am assuming they were accepted as history PhDs. Based on the past few years' stats, it seems they won't send out denials until March. It also seems that they do spread out admissions letters over the course of a week or so. I should have thought of checking that before my original post. In any case, I am waiting right here with you. Good luck!

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Looks like UMN does two waves of acceptances per the survey. Maybe this next week...I had lost confidence and because I started working on Plan B and C, I wasn't nervous anymore. Now I am again.

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22 minutes ago, estyz said:

Actually, I was wondering whether the two East Asian History acceptance was from the History or EALC department. Anxiously waiting for new reports. I am not sure but I guess UChicago history does not have waitlists.

Hi there! I am one of the East Asian History admits, my field is modern Japan and I applied to the Department of History. Actually, my original plan was indeed to apply to EALC instead of the History Department, but when I was contacting POIs last year, I was very kindly informed by one of them that the EALC program of U Chicago is primarily designed for applicants focusing on literature and media studies. I was eventually advised to apply to the program of the History Department instead. (I guess this more or less shows how important it is to contact POIs in advance) I hope this is relevant and helps. 

hugs and warmly,

- Nerd (I now regret having named myself as ugly and boring....)

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4 hours ago, Qtf311 said:

I am also curious what a good funding offer might look like?  What would they offer as stipends and covering other expenses like conference travel?  Just curious what other people’s experiences have been. 

Obviously a livable stipend for 5 years + health insurance, but that should be your baseline. 

YMMV for the following points, but I've spent a lot of time crunching numbers and (as a grad student) sitting in town hall meetings and here would be my $0.02. 

TAship vs fellowship breakdown is the first thing to consider. When you have your 5 years of funding, how many of those are TAships? TAships eat up your time, even if you love it. Fellowship years give you more flexibility — work on developing other skills, time to go to faraway archives. If your departmental funding is mostly through TAships, what fellowships are available through the graduate school? Yes, there are always external fellowships to take time off and go to archives — but those are competitive, and at any rate, you want to assess what resources this program and this school has.

Second thing is to consider is funding beyond the 5th year. What do 6th and 7th years do for funding? Are there additional TAships for those students? Assistantships in the school writing center, or in another department? Does the department offer completion fellowships that students can apply for? What about the graduate school, and if so, is the history department competitive in those competitions? You're looking for some sign that those students are being given some support, not that they're adjuncting at 3 different universities to make ends meet. 

After this point, there's a number of other things to look for — what all fit into the nebulous category of "financial resources." By and large, they won't be enumerated in your offer letter, but they make a material difference on your life in the program regardless.

  • Summer funding. It's unlikely that you'd have a school that always gives you money every summer. So 1) you want to see if the stipend is generous enough to allow you to save money for the months in the summer in which you are not getting paid, and 2) if you get some amount of money, $1000 to $3000, that you can do with as you will, either for maintenance costs (if #1 is a no-go) or (even better) to do some preliminary research. That is important because getting to do preliminary research trips your 1st and 2nd summers will jumpstart your research. So if your offer letter comes with, say, a special $2500 stipend for your first summer — very nice. 
  • If there isn't designated summer money (and even if there is), are there travel grants for graduate students? I'm talking small grants, like $500 or $750, but those add up. A $750 grant is 3/4 of the way to an international plane ticket. 
  • Conference travel is a similar game. While it's unlikely that a school will bankroll all your conference expenses all the time, is there a travel fund that students can apply for money from? Many schools have these across the graduate school (so look out for those) but if there's a department travel fund, so much the better. 
  • Also, your graduate student union. Is there one? Hopefully there is. What concessions has it gotten for grad students recently? 

A lot of grad school finance is fluid. Money that's available for students one year can disappear the next as funding sources dry up, grant periods end, or a particular pool of money gets distributed in a different way. And alternatively, new funding sources can become available! So looking for specific things (does the program have X, Y, Z) is helpful only to a point. You could talk to a fifth year who says yes, she applied for a departmental travel grant to do summer research, a third year who says she applied for summer money from the graduate school, and a first year who says, I got $1000 from the department free of charge. You could talk to one sixth year who got a TA-ship in the English department, another who won a grad school completion fellowship, and another who got a semester of dept fellowship and a semester TA-ship. It's six of one and half dozen of the other. The commonality here is that most people were able to piece something together and do what they needed to do, which is what you're looking for. 

Finally, you want to know what resources are available through the department, and which are available through the graduate school (School of Graduate Studies) or other multi-departmental bodies (School of Arts and Sciences, International Programs, etc). It's important that both have opportunities available. A school that cares about its graduate students has resources devoted to them at the level of the graduate school; it's not a bunch of balkanized departments fighting over scraps. These are usually listed online, so you can do your research. This is a list of internal grad school fellowships at my undergrad – https://www.grad.uiowa.edu/internal-fellowships — you can see at the bottom of the page that some fellowships are listed as "discontinued," because the money that supported them either ran out or wasn't renewed. But you can also see how some fellowships are listed as "new." This stuff changes ALL the time.

Edited by gsc

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5 minutes ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

Hi there! I am one of the East Asian History admits, my field is modern Japan and I applied to the Department of History. Actually, my original plan was indeed to apply to EALC instead of the History Department, but when I was contacting POIs last year, I was very kindly informed by one of them that the EALC program of U Chicago is primarily designed for applicants focusing on literature and media studies. I was eventually advised to apply to the program of the History Department instead. (I guess this more or less shows how important it is to contact POIs in advance) I hope this is relevant and helps. 

hugs and warmly,

- Nerd (I now regret having named myself as ugly and boring....)

Congrats and thank you for your timely reply! Applying to History does make sense. I was nervous to see your posted result because I applied to Chinese history, but now a little bit relived. The name seems not bad~ 

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13 minutes ago, gsc said:

Obviously a livable stipend for 5 years + health insurance, but that should be your baseline. 

YMMV for the following points, but I've spent a lot of time crunching numbers and (as a grad student) sitting in town hall meetings and here would be my $0.02. 

TAship vs fellowship breakdown is the first thing to consider. When you have your 5 years of funding, how many of those are TAships? TAships eat up your time, even if you love it. Fellowship years give you more flexibility — work on developing other skills, time to go to faraway archives. If your departmental funding is mostly through TAships, what fellowships are available through the graduate school? Do students regularly get extended time off to go to archives? 

Second thing is to consider is funding beyond the 5th year. What do 6th and 7th years do for funding? Are there additional TAships for those students? Assistantships in the school writing center, or in another department? Does the department offer completion fellowships that students can apply for? What about the graduate school, and if so, is the history department competitive in those competitions? You're looking for some sign that those students are being given some support, not that they're adjuncting at 3 different universities to make ends meet. 

After this point, there's a number of other things to look for — what all fit into the nebulous category of "financial resources." By and large, they won't be enumerated in your offer letter, but they make a material difference on your life in the program regardless.

  • Summer funding. It's unlikely that you'd have a school that always gives you money every summer. So 1) you want to see if the stipend is generous enough to allow you to save money for the months in the summer in which you are not getting paid, and 2) if you get some amount of money, $1000 to $3000, that you can do with as you will, either for maintenance costs (if #1 is a no-go) or (even better) to do some preliminary research. That is important because getting to do preliminary research trips your 1st and 2nd summers will jumpstart your research. So if your offer letter comes with, say, a special $2500 stipend for your first summer — very nice. 
  • If there isn't designated summer money (and even if there is), are there travel grants for graduate students? I'm talking small grants, like $500 or $750, but those add up. A $750 grant is 3/4 of the way to an international plane ticket. 
  • Conference travel is a similar game. While it's unlikely that a school will bankroll all your conference expenses all the time, is there a travel fund that students can apply for money from? Many schools have these across the graduate school (so look out for those) but if there's a department travel fund, so much the better. 
  • Also, your graduate student union. Does your school have one? Hopefully it does. What concessions has it gotten for grad students recently? 

A lot of grad school finance is fluid. Money that's available for students one year can disappear the next as funding sources dry up, grant periods end, or a particular pool of money gets distributed in a different way. And alternatively, new funding sources can become available! So looking for specific things (does the program have X, Y, Z) is helpful only to a point. You could talk to a fifth year who says yes, she applied for a departmental travel grant to do summer research, a third year who says she applied for summer money from the graduate school, and a first year who says, I got $1000 from the department free of charge. You could talk to one sixth year who got a TA-ship in the English department, another who won a grad school completion fellowship, and another who got a semester of dept fellowship and a semester TA-ship. It's six of one and half dozen of the other. The commonality here is that most people were able to piece something together and do what they needed to do, which is what you're looking for. 

Finally, you want to know what resources are available through the department, and which are available through the graduate school (School of Graduate Studies) or other multi-departmental bodies (School of Arts and Sciences, International Programs, etc). It's important that both have opportunities available. A school that cares about its graduate students has resources devoted to them at the level of the graduate school; it's not a bunch of balkanized departments fighting over scraps. These are usually listed online, so you can do your research. This is a list of internal grad school fellowships at my undergrad – https://www.grad.uiowa.edu/internal-fellowships — you can see at the bottom of the page that some fellowships are listed as "discontinued," because the money that supported them either ran out or wasn't renewed. But you can also see how some fellowships are listed as "new." This stuff changes ALL the time.

This is incredibly helpful! I think in regards to teaching, however, that it is important to keep in mind that the majority of academic jobs available to those on the job market are not going to be at R1 style institutions, so having teaching experience and being comfortable in the classroom is a must. This isn’t to say that you should go crazy and teach every semester at the expense of your dissertation, but something to keep in mind! 

Edited by DGrayson

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Also, Berkeley should be sending something out soon given last years data! Fingers crossed!

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10 minutes ago, DGrayson said:

This is incredibly helpful! I think in regards to teaching, however, that it is important to keep in mind that the majority of academic jobs available to those on the job market are not going to be at R1 style institutions, so having teaching experience and being comfortable in the classroom is a must. This isn’t to say that you should go crazy and teach every semester at the expense of your dissertation, but something to keep in mind! 

Hey, glad it helped!

On the teaching front, I'd still go with the school that has a lesser teaching burden. You can always seek out more teaching opportunities should you desire — you can adjunct, you can teach a summer class (which can also be a source of funding), you can trade in your fellowship for a TAship — but the reverse is harder to come by. 

That said, definitely ask around about what kinds of TAships are available, what courses students end up teaching, and most importantly, whether you get opportunities to design and teach your own course. Not all TA-ing is created equal. 

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1 hour ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

Hi there! I am one of the East Asian History admits, my field is modern Japan and I applied to the Department of History. Actually, my original plan was indeed to apply to EALC instead of the History Department, but when I was contacting POIs last year, I was very kindly informed by one of them that the EALC program of U Chicago is primarily designed for applicants focusing on literature and media studies. I was eventually advised to apply to the program of the History Department instead. (I guess this more or less shows how important it is to contact POIs in advance) I hope this is relevant and helps. 

hugs and warmly,

- Nerd (I now regret having named myself as ugly and boring....)

Congratulations! You have really achieved quite the accomplishment. I can only hope to join you in this cohort.

If I may ask, is there anything that you think put your application over the edge? I had an interview with a POI at Chicago who was incredibly supportive, but she also noted that the application committee's decision is almost completely out of her hands after she makes her recommendations. 

Edited by BuckinghamRabbit

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14 minutes ago, BuckinghamRabbit said:

Congratulations! You have really achieved quite the accomplishment. I can only hope to join you in this cohort.

Thank you for the very kind words! This is actually my second cycle and I must say I was half wrecked this time last year, and I was checking law schools while thinking about a potential third cycle a few days ago. :P So hang in there, best wishes, and good luck!

Re: my application. To be honest, I had been mentally preparing myself for a third cycle. So, you see, I did not really have much confidence in my application. And I see my lack of confidence kind of justifiable because I did not major (or minor) in History in spite of having two Master's already. In this light, I believe SOP and writing sample are the most two important things which are also and actually in our control. Three members on this forum very very generously and selflessly took time to offer insight into my SOP (and three other students who once studied under my adviser and are currently doing PhD in top programs did so as well). And I wrote my writing sample based on the archival research I did for my master's thesis. 

I was never interviewed by any of my POIs at U Chicago.

Re: notification time. The email came at 4:25 am UTC+8 on January 31, 2018. (so January 30 for you if you are in North America)

Best,

Edited by AnUglyBoringNerd
to elaborate

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12 minutes ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

Thank you for the very kind words! This is actually my second cycle and I must say I was half wrecked this time last year, and I was checking law schools while thinking about a potential third cycle a few days ago. :P So hang in there, best wishes, and good luck!

Sorry to be annoying, but is there anything that you think put your application over the edge? I had an interview with a POI at Chicago who was incredibly supportive, but she also noted that the application committee's decision is almost completely out of her hands after she makes her recommendations. 

 

Also, what time did the DGS contact you? It seems crazy, but I want to give myself a time after which I can stop expecting an e-mail each day.

 

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Happy February! 

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't very early February (first few days) the time when Harvard sends out its notifications?

Good luck to folks waiting to hear back as well. 

 

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8 hours ago, Qtf311 said:

I just wanted some opinions from others.  If you have a good relationship with a POI at one school and get admitted but later you get admitted to a “better” school but dont feel the same level of support from the POI at the school, what would you do? Attend the better school and take a chance or go with the former program ?

I am also curious what a good funding offer might look like?  What would they offer as stipends and covering other expenses like conference travel?  Just curious what other people’s experiences have been. 

I maintained good relationships with various POIs during the course of the cycle.  What I have learned over the years from hearing various stories from admitted students is that everyone is different in how they want to showcase their program.  Some POIs communicate much better in person than over e-mail and will wait until you get to camps and then blow you away (Their students will definitely confirm this!).  Others are excellent at e-mails and keeping in touch.  Remember, academics are awkward people like yourself! For me, I weighed the following (in no particular order):

1) How excited are they about your project and ideas?
2) What kind of financial support have their students received? (Track record) What's their approach to applying for grants?  (You need a go-getter)

3) How do they imagine your trajectory in the PhD program, especially in the first 3  years (up to your candidacy exams)?

4) What do their students have to say about their advisers-- the good and the bad? (Remember to ask for both as some people will find "bad qualities" to be an advantageous to them, i.e. "too involved" may preferred by some than others who desire tremendous independence)

5) If you are in a small field, how does your adviser plan to support you?  Will s/he do independent studies?

6) What part of their job do they like the best and the least?

7) What is their advising philosophy and what kind of advising did they have in their PhD programs?

I thought this much because my two options kept canceling each other in various categories that it came down to choosing between POIs at the end.  I got along with both but answering these thoughts tipped the scale.

Also, it is important to know that there is usually other faculty members who can compensate for the adviser's weak areas.  For example, if the adviser is often MIA but really gets students jobs and money, then there is usually another faculty member or two who will jump in and be available for day-to-day issues.  The key is to talk to the current students about the faculty dynamics and where the POI fits within those dynamics.  The Grad Coordinator is also an excellent source of information (s/he is basically a double spy!)

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3 hours ago, DGrayson said:

Also, Berkeley should be sending something out soon given last years data! Fingers crossed!

I hope so! They're my Top Choice, and I've been sitting on needles for the past week. I have a feeling that they're running a bit late this year, because there are no reports about POI contact on the result page.

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1 hour ago, Guest345 said:

Happy February! 

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't very early February (first few days) the time when Harvard sends out its notifications?

Good luck to folks waiting to hear back as well. 

 

Indeed it is. Fingers crossed.

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Hi, everyone. I've (compulsively) followed this thread for weeks now and wanted to thank you for invaluable advice and suggestions. Received my first acceptance yesterday afternoon - Illinois@Urbana-Champaign, Eastern European History, modern intellectual/19th-century Balkans. Shell-shocked. No prior experience with American academia whatsoever;  gonna celebrate for a while and then start digging... :D

Still waiting to hear from five other programs in the US. The best of luck with your applications! 

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11 minutes ago, VladL said:

Hi, everyone. I've (compulsively) followed this thread for weeks now and wanted to thank you for invaluable advice and suggestions. Received my first acceptance yesterday afternoon - Illinois@Urbana-Champaign, Eastern European History, modern intellectual/19th-century Balkans. Shell-shocked. No prior experience with American academia whatsoever;  gonna celebrate for a while and then start digging... :D

Still waiting to hear from five other programs in the US. The best of luck with your applications! 

That's great! I am working exactly in the same fields as you are!

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2 hours ago, VladL said:

Hi, everyone. I've (compulsively) followed this thread for weeks now and wanted to thank you for invaluable advice and suggestions. Received my first acceptance yesterday afternoon - Illinois@Urbana-Champaign, Eastern European History, modern intellectual/19th-century Balkans. Shell-shocked. No prior experience with American academia whatsoever;  gonna celebrate for a while and then start digging... :D

Still waiting to hear from five other programs in the US. The best of luck with your applications! 

Congratulations! If you don't mind me asking, who were you looking to work with at UIUC?

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How prestigious is a History PhD from Yale compared to those of other top schools like Harvard or Princeton, especially if the concentration is global early modern history?

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19 minutes ago, CBC said:

How prestigious is a History PhD from Yale compared to those of other top schools like Harvard or Princeton, especially if the concentration is global early modern history?

It really depends on where your particular concentration is. For religion, particularly western religion, I would argue that Yale is better in the Early Modern department than either Princeton or Harvard. For economic history, however, I would go with Harvard, as Yale is about to lose Trivellato. 

What i’m trying to say is that while prestige of the department matters, and all three programs are well regarded, what matters more in terms of getting a job is the reputation of your advisor. For this, fit is the most important.

Edited by DGrayson

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1 hour ago, DGrayson said:

It really depends on where your particular concentration is. For religion, particularly western religion, I would argue that Yale is better in the Early Modern department than either Princeton or Harvard. For economic history, however, I would go with Harvard, as Yale is about to lose Trivellato. 

What i’m trying to say is that while prestige of the department matters, and all three programs are well regarded, what matters more in terms of getting a job is the reputation of your advisor. For this, fit is the most important.

Where is Trivellato going? 

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4 minutes ago, Imenol said:

Where is Trivellato going? 

Princeton’s Advanced Institute.

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1 hour ago, DGrayson said:

It really depends on where your particular concentration is. For religion, particularly western religion, I would argue that Yale is better in the Early Modern department than either Princeton or Harvard. For economic history, however, I would go with Harvard, as Yale is about to lose Trivellato. 

What i’m trying to say is that while prestige of the department matters, and all three programs are well regarded, what matters more in terms of getting a job is the reputation of your advisor. For this, fit is the most important.

Thank you DGrayson for your reply. You are quite right that a good fit with both the department and adviser outweighs other considerations. My sub concentration is intellectual history of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Harvard is thus strong in that area, that is why I'm slightly uncertain about Yale's strength and competitive edge in the job market.

 

3 minutes ago, Imenol said:

Where is Trivellato going? 

She's going to the Institute of Advanced Studies.

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