Friday, February 18, 2011

Distinguish oneself in an MA

"What can I do to distinguish myself in a MA program, for my later application to a PHD. My hope is for a top 20 school, in my area of interest, what special activities are looked for coming from an MA? "

The following have been suggested from a variety of sources. Please advise, did I miss anything here, are any of these wrong?

Thank you for any comments you might have.

1. Maintain an good GPA.

2. Publish, in both graduate and professional journals.

3. Don't rely only on your own university; become involved with other nearby departments.

4. Get teaching experience (TA, Tutoring, Teaching critical thinking).

5. Teach at a community college level (some programs allow this).

6. Gain research experience (indexing, editing etc..).

7. Directed readings in areas of study, (I'm not sure if this would
help for an MA, but it was mentioned for a BA).

8. Apply for grants & scholarships.

9. Apply for academic & philosophical honors.

10. Be fluent in at least one non-native language.

11. Present papers at conferences.

12. Purpose your theses with a PhD writing sample in mind and polish for several months before application time.

13. Focus on getting letters both from professors at your university and from more distinguished universities with which you are involved.

14. Become involved or start innovative programs (ex: UW's Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children).

15. Keep oneself engaged in the broader philosophical community
(Leiter Reports, APA, Notre Dame Review etc...).

16. Create some connection between your university and the places you hope to do your PhD work (New York Consortium of Graduate Schools?).


Alexander George on February 16, 2011
My own view is that all this is incredibly wrong-headed. Singularly missing from this list is the project of immersing yourself in philosophical texts, thinking and talking to people about those texts and the issues they raise, and developing a deeper and subtler understanding of philosophical issues. I would like to think that we still live in a world in which, if you were to do this, then the rest will sort itself out appropriately. I might be wrong - but in that case, I personally would be less interested in pursuing such a career


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1 comment:

  1. Do people go to graduate school in philosophy who are not completely philosophy geeks?

    anyway. What do you (THE READER) think about this list?