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Thread: Doctoral Programs

  1. #1
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Doctoral Programs

    Okay, I'm old and clueless, but I'm working on getting into a doctoral program, hopefully by spring. I had my eyes on WVU, but they don't accept people second semester. I've contacted Tennessee (I'm planning on an early American history program, and they have the Jackson and Polk presidential papers) and Vanderbilt, which has an interesting Frontier and Indigenous People specialization.

    My birth father got his PhD at UT. I'm pretty clueless. Does anyone have any advice on applying, getting assitantships, etc.? How hard is it to get accepted? Anybody know anything about Kentucky's program? Any other schools?

    Any advice or info would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    Just heard from Vandy; no spring admissions.

  4. #3
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    My experience is in a different field, but rarely do top-notch programs offer anything other than fall enrollment.

  5. #4
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    That's what I'm afraid I'm facing. I've found a few hints of spring enrollment, but haven't synced them with what I'm looking for yet.

  6. #5
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    The deeper i get into this, the more it looks like fall 2011. The good of that is it increases the odds of getting into a program I want to be in (and UT and Vandy both are intriguing), the down side is i'm gettin' old.

  7. #6
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    I just received my PhD in December and I work in a History Dept now even though I'm a geographer. It's been a long time since I had to apply but I know there are some simple things that you MUST do.

    My overall advice is to find a professor at the institutions you are scouting and start to form a relationship. The more that you convince that person that you are serious and have an idea of what you want to do then you have a better shot. You'll need this person to be your advocate on the admissions committee, and you want to stand out amongst other applicants. It is very important to give them a strong sense of what you will do, even if what you actually do changes once you are in the program. So, you'll need to have a strong statement of purpose when you apply.

    I would also take this time to interview them, to make sure that they offer an environment that will support you and facilitate what you want to do.

    Personally, just playing Devil's Advocate here, I would question why you want to do a history PhD. History is a notoriously saturated field. Tenure-track positions yield a ton of applications (each position with 100+, so a TON of competition). New PhD's unless you are some sort of superstar, can expect to adjunct for many years on end with low pay and no benefits. I don't say this to discourage, but to inform. You really need to be committed to make it work with a history degree. These are things you might want to talk about as well with the professors you contact.

    As for the mid-year enrollment, it does happen from time to time, so it's not out of the question. I've seen it before.

    Good Luck in any case. PM me if you need anything.

  8. #7
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    Thanks.

  9. #8
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Doctoral Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Spazzrico View Post
    I just received my PhD in December and I work in a History Dept now even though I'm a geographer. It's been a long time since I had to apply but I know there are some simple things that you MUST do.

    My overall advice is to find a professor at the institutions you are scouting and start to form a relationship. The more that you convince that person that you are serious and have an idea of what you want to do then you have a better shot. You'll need this person to be your advocate on the admissions committee, and you want to stand out amongst other applicants. It is very important to give them a strong sense of what you will do, even if what you actually do changes once you are in the program. So, you'll need to have a strong statement of purpose when you apply.

    I would also take this time to interview them, to make sure that they offer an environment that will support you and facilitate what you want to do.

    Personally, just playing Devil's Advocate here, I would question why you want to do a history PhD. History is a notoriously saturated field. Tenure-track positions yield a ton of applications (each position with 100+, so a TON of competition). New PhD's unless you are some sort of superstar, can expect to adjunct for many years on end with low pay and no benefits. I don't say this to discourage, but to inform. You really need to be committed to make it work with a history degree. These are things you might want to talk about as well with the professors you contact.


    .
    And thanks, this is actually something I've talked to people about. My background's in English, and that's an option as well. Early American history's a passion, though. Everything's open at this point; it's just that history fits my mind set better right now.


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