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UW Madison French?

Carly Rae Jepsen

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Hey everybody,


Anybody knows of the quality of UW Madison for French MA en route to Ph. D program? Asking because I get some red flags from: 1) a student I knew from undergrad got accepted and her GPA/grades were average 2) no info about job placement for graduates on their website and 3) website says it takes less than 4 years to complete. Also, financial aid-wise the information doesn't sound promising.


Just wondering if anyone had any info on the department.


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I've personally heard a ton of really awesome things about UW Madison and it always comes highly recommended from my advisors. The community seems great, the maison Française is very integrative, and all of my colleagues who have conferenced with UW candidates say that they're overall a very strong cohort. 

1) Did the person have awesome research and recs, publications/conferencing, or a great personal statement? If that's the case, GPA and GRE are actually a lot less important than one may think. I once knew someone who got into a top humanities PhD with a hair over 3.0 because they have an outstanding C.V., just as I've known someone with a 4.0 get rejected from the same school.

2) Also want to know a little bit about this, so I'm following for updates :)

3) One of the only qualms about UW that I've heard is the very short time to graduation, since it implies that you may not be able to get a lot of teaching experience, which is pretty necessary for post-doc positions. 

Edited by madamoiselle
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This isn't a red flag against the Department, but I would warn people off from applying to Madison, or to any program in the UW System. I'm originally from Wisconsin, and have had family that worked for UW. I basically grew up there. I realize this might be TMI but it's difficult to communicate just how furious I am (and many locals are) about the state of the University of Wisconsin.

In 2016 $250 MILLION was gutted across the UW system, and the humanities have been hit the worst. When this was first announced (Scott Walker sought to cut $300 million), there was a mass exodus of academics from Wisconsin, including my own mother. A friend applied to the Classics department at Madison last year and was only guaranteed 2 (maybe 3?) years of funding. The department tried to woo her by saying they were "confident" she wouldn't have a problem securing funding for the remainder of her degree, but given how unstable the local politics are, and how hostile Scott Walker is towards education (he himself never finished Marquette University, leaving after a controversy regarding his campaign for student body president), she was smart not to risk it. The governor has also proposed to formally remove the "Wisconsin Idea" from the university's mission statement, and his government de facto controls the board of regents. Bad, bad, bad. Sorry to be such a downer, but I'm really bitter about how this asshole ruined an amazing public university system in the blink of an eye. And largely just for conservative posturing in hopes of a presidential bid that subsequently flopped in about 3 months. 

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@Bleep_Bloop No problem at all, this is all super useful information! A very similar thing happened at my undergrad institution (UT Austin, a humongous political mess), and it has hit the humanities the hardest. Hate when corrupt politicians intervene like that, but what can ya do in the public school system :( . Thanks for the heads up! 

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Thank you both for your opinions! I guess I'll write it off for sure now. The time it takes to complete the degree might be related to funding, I think. The person i knew who got there did lots of internships in France and Europe (at embassies and also did the teaching assistantship) so that definitely helped her, I assume. Still, I think I wouldn't want to be pressured into those conditions (short time to finish a degree).


UMichigan-Ann Arbor looks better in that area, I think.

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