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Thread: Any lit graduate students?

  1. #1
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    grad school in upstate NY

    Any lit graduate students?

    I'm applying to Ph.D programs in lit this year and I'm looking for some advice. I graduated from Berkeley with a BA in Comp Lit and took two years off to work (and gain CA residency). I have three big questions:

    1) How much does it adversely effect me that I did NOT write a senior thesis in my undergrad study?

    2) In my application/interviews, how specific do I have to be about exactly what area/period in literature I want to study? Is there wiggle room in the first few years to explore before committing?

    3) Comp Lit or English? That is the question. I love languages, but admittedly I don't pick them up quickly (speaking is always the problem; I have an easier time reading). From the schools I've looked at, Comp Lit always requires mastery of at least two foreign languages. English programs, depending on the school, require reading knowledge of one or two foreign languages. So far I have an adequate reading knowledge of one foreign language, and a much shakier (I learned it in HS) sort-of, not-really knowledge of another.

    Thoughts? I'm really stressing out over this, even though it's early, so any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    New York
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    Pam I can't answer your questions, but are you looking to by pass a master's and go straight to PhD? I did not do a thesis in undergrad but I did for my masters. This is only my personal opinion and based on not going into a PhD program, but I would recommend doing a thesis in a masters program before venturing into PhD land. If you want a knowledgable opinion from someone who has gone through the PhD process, ask Petrarch's Love:

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog:

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