Graduate School





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Discus: College Admissions: March 2004 Archive: Graduate School
By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 11:19 pm: Edit

If I want to go to grad school for English, do I have to major in English as an undergraduate? Do they take into account undergraduate majors?

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 01:01 am: Edit

bump

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 01:04 am: Edit

I would imagine that it would help. Academic grad school is the one thing where you have to major in a subject pertinent to your grad school of choice.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

So if I major in History or Classics I can't apply to Graduate school for English?

By Sooky6 (Sooky6) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 07:37 am: Edit

Of course you can. But since you'll be judged on your potential to produce quality scholarship in English, it helps if at least some of your undergrad work is directly related (which could also be coursework in history of literature or classical poetry.) Ultimately you are judged on written/analytical skills and grades/scores, which obviously move across disciplines. When you apply to PhD humanities programs, you are writing a proposal to conduct reserach and work with specific faculty members -- so your area of study will be very specific, though you may take a variety of courses during the first two years. (Many students end up with a different topic than the one they proposed for admission; but its all about building credibility for your app.) If you are proposing to study Shakespeare, and have never taken a Shakespeare course, it may be a hard sell.

My .02: These are decisions to make as you take your undergraduate courses and see what interests you. Guaranteed there is a graduate program somewhere that will be perfect for whatever that is, so don't put the cart before the horse so to speak and choose a major based on the subsequent step; do what you enjoy and then find a grad program that extends and builds on that. This makes for the most credible application.

By Mattmom (Mattmom) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 08:09 am: Edit

You won't declare a major until the end of soph year anyway so not necessary to decide now. Most likely if you remain interested enough in English to want to go to graduate school in the field, it will end up as your major.

By Krpatel (Krpatel) on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 03:10 pm: Edit

I don't know much about all grad schools, but I know that med school encourage intellectual curiosity during the undergrad years. Roughly half of all med school acceptees are liberal arts majors, and that figure is rising rapidly. However, I don't know if other grad schools encourage this type of behavior. The thing is, in order to get into med school, there are core courses that one must take during the undergrad education, and I don't know if there is something like this for other schools. If not, you would probably be better off as an English major. You should probably ask some graduate schools how they feel about other majors just to see.


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