Thursday, April 14, 2011

MA to PHD: Don't Write a Thesis

If one want to go on to a PhD from an MA, a thesis may be inadvisable. Ones thesis (70-200 pages) is compeated during an MA in the last year of graduate study. If one want so go straight from an MA to a Phd one must apply early into one's second year. What this means is the writing sample you will send them will only be a chapter of your thesis and most likely it will be unpolished and underdeveloped. It may be advisable to do a reading intensive program in which one writes a really stellar pollished paper (20 pages) as well as trying to publish/present other papers while in the first year.

Even if one does a thesis, one's advisors can only say something like "student x is making great progress.....", the committee will not even see your thesis until they have admitted you.

If one is aiming for a PhD without a waiting period from an MA, doing a thesis may be inadvisable.

This was brought to my attention by Carlos Alberto Sanchez from SJSU's philosophy department. This seems like a very unique and practical approach if one is planning on going to a PhD right out of an MA program.

This is a very simple explanation of this view and does not capture some of the subtler aspects of the argument but I thought it would be best to post this for those still wracking their brains about acceptance into MA programs.

In most programs you must accept by April 15th

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