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Kate [userpic]
by Kate (katetherobot)
at May 5th, 2012 (04:11 pm)
giddy

Mood:: giddy

Hello! I'm hoping you all can help me find a few good schools to look into. I definitely want to go to a predominantly female college for grad school (co-ed is fine, but all-ladies is preferred!) and I'm not sure where to start. Some facts:

I'm currently a junior at the University of Iowa. My gpa is somewhere in the 3.5 range (eh, I'm going to try to raise it next year!) and I'm not at all the type to get involved (hate clubs/people/resume-packing!) but have done a few things in my field which should look nice to admissions folks. And I have an undying passion for the field of study I want to pursue: Classics (Latin and Greek, ancient Mediterranean culture in general). To me, grad school sounds like the most fun I could possibly have (reading even more Euripides? Teaching an elementary Latin class??), and I hope my enthusiasm will help.

So, here's what I'm looking for:
1. a school that will likely take me in despite my less-than-stellar resume
(My dream school since 7th grade has been Vassar. I'd also die to get into Mt. Holyoke or Bryn Mawr. I don't think any of those schools are within reach. A school that's less "selective"/well-known, I guess?)
2. a great Classics program, ideally with a focus on literature and women's studies
3. a location in the southwest US would be nice, though not at all necessary
4. tons of lesbians is a must, though I'm sure it won't be much of a problem for any school! :)
5. a great music scene would be nice, but again, not at all necessary!

I hope you can help me. Thanks in advance!

Comments

Posted by: cupcakeromance (cupcakeromance)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)

Have you looked at Mills College? The undergrad program is women only, and the graduate program admits some (but few) men.

It fits some of your requirements. Lots of lesbians, smack next to San Francisco and Berkeley (meaning, great music scene), big focuses on literature and women's studies, not in the Southwest- but in the West, and you'll definitely be accepted with the GPA you have now.

Posted by: nagasasu (nagasasu)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)

+1

Posted by: Kate (katetherobot)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)

Thanks, I'll definitely look into Mills!

Posted by: SD (imyourbob)
Posted at: May 7th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC)

Things have probably changed since I finished my BA there, but when I was there, there was no classics program at all, and no women's studies graduate program.

That said, my time at Mills was pretty much the best four years of my life!

Posted by: lala (ls56)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)

1) All grad schools are co-ed, as required by law. 2) a 3.5 is awesome.

3) And in all honesty and good intent, would heartily suggest that you really think over your need for grad school right now. Humanities programs are shrinking because of lack of funding, tenure for professors is disappearing, and very few programs offer teaching assistanceships for their grad students anymore because of both of the above. To get in to a PhD program you need to know exactly what you're studying (What's your thesis question?) and why you want to go in to your field besides "it's fun."

I bookmarked these when I was thinking about grad school:
We Need to Acknowledge the Realities of Employment in the Humanities chronicle.com/article/We-Need-to-Acknowledge-the/64885/

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go chronicle.com/article/Graduate-School-in-the/44846

Also, I recommend the book Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.. It's filled with valuable advice for people going to or thinking about grad school.

I'm going to grad school for teaching, which, given, isn't a huge money-maker or particularly stable right now either, but, until the economy improves or until the socialist revolution takes hold, a PhD in humanities is really risky right now.

Edited at 2012-05-05 10:05 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Kate (katetherobot)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)

1. Thanks, I've been worried about my gpa (I guess I assume that everyone thinks anything below a 4.0 is worthless!), so I'm glad you say it's awesome.
2. Thanks for your advice! I'll definitely check out those links, because I really know very little about continuing my education at the moment and I realize that it's not necessarily a direction that everyone should take and I've been wanting to do more reading. I guess my reason for going on to grad school (beyond the fact that I think it will be super fun!) is that I honestly can't imagine myself doing anything else with my life besides staying in academia and studying. I would be absolutely miserable doing anything else, no matter how lucrative or successful. I just hope I can beat the odds and make it work.
As for what's my thesis question, I don't know yet. I can pretty easily narrow it down to "women's studies and the ancient world," but nothing more specific than that. Thanks for giving me things to think about!

Posted by: lepisostidae (lepisostidae)
Posted at: May 5th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)

Gently seconded. Even if you're incredibly passionate about your field, it sounds like you're not quite ready for grad school yet. I'd really recommend thinking about taking a year or two after graduation to beef up your resume/application with a job that pertains to your field, so you can make contacts and learn more.

Just some small points, not to be discouraging:

1. Remember that you're applying to an advisor, not a program! Some schools have great reputations (for good reason) but for a PhD program, your experience is going to largely be determined by your advisor. And in all honesty, that's who will admit you - decisions about applicants these days boil down to whether an advisor will take them, not whether they can get into a program. When you do choose to apply, you want to get in contact with people you'd like to work with long before application season. Talk about your research interests and experience. Applying to grad school isn't really like applying to undergrad.

2. My number one tip, from one graduate student to another? Never, ever go to a program that will not give you funding. You can't support yourself for five to ten years and go to graduate school. It's a more than full time job (I wish I only worked forty hours a week!) and students in my program who don't have funding are struggling incredibly hard to get by. Most of them have left the program. Most people factor in tuition when thinking about whether they can pay for grad school, but you need to consider housing, transportation, food, medical expenses... health insurance and a stipend are mandatory for any PhD program, and if they don't offer you those things, say no, even if it means waiting another year to apply again.

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