hungrybear Posted August 10, 2017 Share Posted August 10, 2017 (edited) I was e-mailing a POI and she asked about my languages. Arabic is my weakest language, and I made this clear in the e-mail. "This all sounds marvelous, but I am concerned about your entry into a PHD program without sufficient Arabic. It is very difficult to achieve the level of competence you need to use Arabic sources in the course of doing the PhD . It is far better to learn Arabic before starting doctoral work. We are looking for PhD candidates who have 1) adequate literacy in Arabic to do research and 2) already have an idea about a theme for their doctoral thesis . While the MA agree is not essential— you may be able to get to this level on your own— it certainly helps. And we do not have an MA program. What you may think about is a year or two in Morocco (or elsewhere in NA) studying Arabic and learning about the culture and history at first hand. There are several good programs, I like the one in Fez , but there are others as well. Peace Corps is another good option, you will learn darija and can get a tutor to study fusha, while experiencing total immersion in the Moroccan life. I understand it is not difficult to get a job teaching English to survive, it will also put you in contact with your cohort. This may sound like more than you had bargained for, but the competition at the PHD level for jobs is now so intense that unless you are thinking of something like the foreign service, CIA or other government agencies or business, you will find yourself running hard or out of the running altogether when it comes to finding an academic job. I know that these are tough words, but I am giving you an accurate picture of what to expect — at least at [[my school---edited out name for anonymity]]. I and my colleagues have decided that each graduate student is a product of such effort that we have to place our bets on those who are best prepared for the rigors of doctoral work. You seem to have all the makings, but as far as the Arabic is concerned, I would say that you might be thinking about how to go those few extra yards." Should I not even apply there? Should I only be looking at master's then? I'm going to contact other professors at school's I was thinking about working under (this is the first POI I've contacted) to get a better sense, as this is my first inquiry with a potential POI. What I find weird is there are students in programs who hadn't even taken Arabic (I have) and are studying the area I want to study (North Africa) in doctoral programs. Edited August 14, 2017 by TakeruK Removed professor's school name Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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