philosophygrad (philosophygrad) wrote in who_got_in,
philosophygrad
philosophygrad
who_got_in

Philosophy 2010

This is for anyone applying to Philosophy graduate programs during the 2009-2010 academic year. Please share acceptances, rejections, wait-list notifications, and so on.

Best of luck to everyone applying!
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Do any seniors who are applying this year know if we're supposed to include 1st semester grades on the transcripts we send in? I don't know if I'll have mine in time?
At least one school has a little blurb on its website saying to submit what you can by the deadline, and then to submit your fall grades as soon as you get them.

Considering that some schools have a Dec 1 deadline, it's probably impossible for you to include your fall grades in the original application, and I doubt that they'd expect you to.

Re: 1st semester grades

Anonymous

8 years ago

Outside the top-10, which programs would you say are sticklers for high GRE scores?
Given its mediocre ranking, UC-Davis states that the average GRE score of admitted applicants in 2007 was 1427. This may not necessitate that they are sticklers for high GRE scores (could have some 1600 scores and some mid-1200s, I guess), but the average does seem unusually high given their ranking.

Re: GRE sticklers

Anonymous

8 years ago

I'm looking at MA as well as PhD programs: what do you think of 1 year MA programs? I would only do an MA if I struck out on PhDs- I want a PhD eventually. So, I would be using the MA to improve my application.

But with a 1 year MA, it would seem like applying next fall would be crazy- none of the profs would know me, I would have no MA grades yet. Thus I would do the 1 year MA, apply the next fall after completing it, leaving a gap of a year where I would need to... get a job, or something, so as not to starve.

Of course, the 2 year MAs avoid this problem. Get to know people in year 1, apply for the PhDs in year 2, transition smoothly to a PhD after year 2.

The one exception to this problem would be that 1 year MAs seem to frequently accept their graduates as PhD students, but then you're stuck at that institution.
It is possible to apply to PhD programs after just one semester at an M.A. program. However, there would be some concerns and restrictions. First, your performance in classes (and as a teaching assistant) would obviously need to be stellar. Second, you'd probably want one undergraduate letter writer on board with the plan so you don't have the pressure of needing to impress three new professors in the first semester. Third, term papers, which will hopefully impress potential letter writers, are often turned in at the end of the semester (though this might apply more to two-year programs. Because of this, it may be hard to apply to programs with early deadlines.

These thoughts are based on my experience of starting an MA program last spring, but planning to apply this round. I've of course had an extra semester to line things up, but I can see how it could be done in just one semester.

AW

Anonymous

October 13 2009, 18:09:41 UTC 8 years ago

How bad does a 4.5 on the analytical writing section hurt? The combined score of the other two sections is in the mid-upper 1300's.

Re: AW

Anonymous

October 13 2009, 18:48:49 UTC 8 years ago

There's no way to say for sure. They might ignore it and care more about your sample, or they might be concerned because of cutoffs/competition for funding.

Re: AW

Anonymous

8 years ago

Anonymous

October 15 2009, 23:18:19 UTC 8 years ago

Hi all. I’m currently in the PhD program at a ‘top 15’ school. However, it’s not very strong in my favorite area of interest. Given that last year when I applied I was waitlisted at a couple of the schools that are *very* strong in this area, I’ve been encouraged by a few people to think about re-applying to these programs this year and transferring if I get an offer. So I have a couple of questions. Firstly, given that this is my first semester in my current program, it would be hard to get a meaningful letter from one of my professors. Do you think my application will look bad if I don’t have any letters from professors at the program I’m looking to transfer from? Since applying last year, I’ve managed to get a referee who is well known and very well respected so I’m hoping this will negate the problem of not having a referee from my current program (if it is a problem). Also, do you think it’d be wise to mention my reasons for transferring in my SOP?

Cheers.

Anonymous

October 15 2009, 23:31:14 UTC 8 years ago

I think it might be strange if you didn't mention why you wish to transfer out of a top-15 program in your SOP.

Anonymous

8 years ago

fresh_echoes

8 years ago

Anonymous

8 years ago

Hello, I am new around these parts and had some questions that I hope you folks might be able to help me with.

I would like to earn admittance to a top 20 PGR program but feel like my application is not quite up to par.

*Question 1: Would it be wiser to pursue an M.A. or spend just an additional semester (adding a relevant minor) taking a few more philosophy courses followed by some months off to retake the GRE and improve my writing sample?

Some factors I have been thinking about:

1) M.A. programs obviously have more advanced course work, but usually require 2 years.

2) Staying in undergrad would provide more federal grant money (because I'm poor) and I wouldn't have to move my wife and only to have to do it all over again.

3) I think it might be easier to work on my application doing more undergrad work as opposed to amidst immersion in graduate courses at an M.A. program.

*Question 2: Could it hurt (more than your wallet) to apply to programs, get rejected and then reapply? That is, do phd programs keep track of applicants and view it negatively if you have previously applied and been rejected?

Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.

It depends on your GPA so far and how good of an undergraduate institution you are attending. If your GPA isn't great or if you are at a middling undergraduate institution, you are better off going on to an MA program.

Re: M.A. vs. Baccalaureate Minor?

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: M.A. vs. Baccalaureate Minor?

Anonymous

8 years ago

Think I'd be shot for including four letters of rec in my application? I'm an a situation where I have a really great (professional) relationship with someone that's an "instructor". He has a philosophy PhD (and one that's from a program that's extremely competitive, actually) but he's not technically tenure track, etc (not an "associate professor"). I've taken 1 or 2 courses with him every year, so he's seen a lot more of my work than the other letter writers.

My other three letters would be from typical professors.
No, I doubt you'd be shot for it. ...Anyways, I think a lot schools allow for four or five letters of recommendation.

You could always email the respective DGS at schools which say only to send three recs and see what she says.

Re: # of letters of rec

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: # of letters of rec

Anonymous

8 years ago

So these programs don't require GRE scores. But do they accept them? Might it benefit applicants with especially high scores (1500+) to send them? Or would the committee members think the applicant was a dunce, a braggart, something worse? Advice from current students in the programs would be particularly helpful.

Thanks.
My guess is that those departments know what they're doing, and know that they could ask for the GRE scores if they wanted them. I am applying to both, and don't plan on sending them my (good) GRE scores (unless some grad student comes to tell us otherwise).

Re: MIT, Cornell, and GRE scores

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: MIT, Cornell, and GRE scores

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: MIT, Cornell, and GRE scores

Anonymous

7 years ago

How bad is it if my writing sample is 25 pages?
Very bad.

Re: Writing sample length

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: Writing sample length

Anonymous

8 years ago

Is anyone else submitting a history of philosophy writing sample? Have any current grad students done this? What were your results?

I'm submitting an interpretive paper on Plato (ancient is one of my AOI's), which mentions contemporary interpretations/critiques of the same subject. I'm hoping that my decision to do an interpretive paper isn't going to negatively impact on my results, and I didn't know if anyone had any insight into admissions committees' views on reading these types of papers.

It is an original interpretation: I describe what the interpretation is, pick out pieces of text that support it, show how Plato's argument functions given the interpretation, and then argue that contemporary criticisms of his argument miss the point given the interpretation. I think it's philosophically rigorous, but who knows.
Sounds fine... as long as you're right ;)

Re: History Writing Sample

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: History Writing Sample

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: History Writing Sample

Anonymous

8 years ago

Does anyone know how frequently materials are lost throughout the process (especially when all the materials are not being sent together)?

I'm just wondering if I should order a few extra transcripts, so if anything does happen, I don't need to scramble right before the deadlines.
Rarely. From what I've heard, letters of recommendation are the most commonly misplaced items by adcoms.

Re: Lost Materials?

Anonymous

7 years ago

I know there are some funded MA programs in the states, but does anyone know about Tufts in particular? The most I ever remember hearing about is something along the lines of 2/3 tuition scholarships.
I was redirected here from applyingtograd and this was my question:

I go to a small university where we only have two or three professors in the philosophy department. I've always been interested in both continental and analytic philosophy, although I've never taken any classes that cover analytic philosophers because my university doesn't offer them. With this lack of a proper background, I'm planning to go for an MA first. How important is it to know what one's focus is when applying? Would it be bad to say that I want to study topics in contemporary continental philosophy but also want to take classes in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and other topics I've never studied in undergrad?

Anonymous

October 29 2009, 16:08:57 UTC 8 years ago

I think that people in your sort of situation are one of the populations that terminal MA programs specialize in. So if you look good otherwise, and you're upfront about the fact that you're trying to strengthen your overall philosophy background in order to apply to a PhD program, I imagine that your application would at least be taken seriously.
I've got 5 different professors I've contacted about letters, 3 are philosophers, 1 is a theologian, and 1 a scientist. I'm applying for a range of programs, but I've been advised that for the philosophy programs I want all 3 letters to be from philosophers.

1 of the 3 seems a bit hesitant. Not only is she incredibly busy this term, but from our two conversations I'm afraid she might write me a tepid letter.

So now I'm considering withdrawing my request (so far I've not yet given anyone a finalized list of schools with instructions for letter submission - though I plan to begin doing so as early as tomorrow afternoon) which leaves me with the option of my theology or science professor to write the 3rd letter.

The theology professor is EXTREMELY excited for me; he's the one that first got me thinking about grad school and the professor with whom I've been talking the most since I decided to apply. He's indicated that he'll write me a very strong letter, but another of my philosophy professors has suggested that a letter from any theology professor (especially since we're a Jesuit school) might not carry much weight in philosophy departments.

My science teacher also knows me well, but our class didn't involve any writing assignments. So while science fits more with my intended study than theology, the theology prof has more experience with my writing. And both professors are equally enthusiastic.

So. The question is, for the philosophy (MA and PhD) programs I'm applying to, should I nix the not-so-enthusiastic philosophy writer in favor of a non-philosopher? And if so, which?
Be direct with the "not-so-enthusiastic philosophy writer"--ask her candidly if she is comfortable writing a STRONG letter of recommendation (a tepid letter easily could sink your application) and expect a candid answer. Don't leave this up to chance.

Re: LOR Writers

sci_phi2010

8 years ago

Re: LOR Writers

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: LOR Writers

sci_phi2010

8 years ago

Re: LOR Writers

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: LOR Writers

sci_phi2010

8 years ago

Re: LOR Writers

Anonymous

8 years ago

I have not heard anything yet about how 'W'(s) look on an applicant's transcript? Any ideas? I have a history with this, and I don't think it is natural/or good.

Esp. If (for instance) I may not be so good at a particular subject, and have a history of 3-4 W's on my transcript-what do admissions committees make of this?
I saw a similar question on another thread, and based on those replies I suspect that it might not reflect well on you. One or two might pass, especially if they're in the same term, and if you've got a legitimate medical or family emergency to explain it/them away. But multiples, and a history of them, might indicate to some that (as someone else put it) "when the going gets tough, you get going."

It would help if they were early on in your academic career and if you've had solid grades since then.

Re: Withdraws? How bad do they look?

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: Withdraws? How bad do they look?

Anonymous

8 years ago

Re: Withdraws? How bad do they look?

Anonymous

8 years ago