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Do I need an M.A.? And did I screw myself? - History Graduate Students — LiveJournal

About Do I need an M.A.? And did I screw myself?

Previous Entry Do I need an M.A.? And did I screw myself? Feb. 1st, 2010 @ 03:54 pm Next Entry
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From:tigg
Date:February 2nd, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
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I'm a year away from completing my PhD in US and women's history.

As noted, it does depend on the program - I'm at Washington University - St. Louis, and frankly, coming to this program with an MA won't help you if you're in an Americanist.

The general "rule of thumb" (if you can call it that) is that it depends on your grades. If you have a strong background, academically, then you probably don't need the MA. However, it's also good practice to apply for a mix of MAs and PhDs.

Your withdrawal from grad school has a very specific reason that you've given here - you can probably account for that in your apps. with no problem.

The challenge you'll face now with applying to grad school is that with the economy, programs are accepting fewer students - but the applicant pool has gotten larger. Furthermore, the job market in history ABSOLUTELY SUCKS. It's incredibly dismal, so the best thing I can tell you is ABSOLUTELY DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR A PHD. Find a fully funded program and get in. Also, only do this if you love it. If you're wanting this to get a good job, just be aware of the risks.
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From:dreadpirateange
Date:February 2nd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
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This-- in my program, half came in with MAs and half did not. If your undergrad GPA was quite high, and you have some other nice CV boosters that are history-related, you can apply directly to PhD programmes that grant MAs along the way. If you do not feel competitive enough, you may want to do an MA to show how serious you are about it. However, know that fully funded PhDs are offered at most top tier and upper second tier schools, while a fully funded MA is elusive.

Definitely don't go into debt for a history PhD. Also don't do a history PhD unless grad school in and of itself sounds like something fun you would like to do, becuase the degree comes with no guarantees.
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From:lissiehoya
Date:February 2nd, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Nothing important to add, but I wanted to say hi because I just started at SLU. :)
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From:tigg
Date:February 3rd, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
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Hi there! Are you enjoying STL and SLU so far?
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From:lissiehoya
Date:February 3rd, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
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Yeah, but I moved from Berkeley, so I'm trying to get used to cold weather and snow again. :)
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