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Nov. 10th, 2006 @ 04:22 pm future plans
I spent some time talking to one of the profs at school today - graduation at the end of the summer is doable, and grad school starting in September. The cost is having a very busy summer, not taking some extra undergrad courses that would have been fun, and having some deadlines a lot sooner than I thought they were, but it seems worth it.

The application deadline is Feb 1, but the chair of the grad program is pretty much saying that's the official deadline but get the application in whenever. He's very casual about things like deadlines & paperwork, which has it's good and bad points, but it worked in my favour when I wanted to change my summercourse from studies to studio (I think I'm the only student who is worried about not enough studio courses, but the fun ones were all studies), and have extra time to do the assignment. He's agreed to supervise another independent studies project for me next summer, details to be finalized later. I signed up for the graduate studies open house tomorrow, and will spend some of my lesson time asking David for advice on how to decide things like who I should ask for references & what to submit for my writing samples. I have almost no writing beyond the essays I did for musics & cultures, which is only a second year course, so I'm not sure if I should use that, the handout I did for class presentations last year, write something just for the application. (There are essays for this year's music course, but not due until after the grad school application is due - the topics haven't even been given yet.) Then I need to come up with some kind of personal statement that I'm not even sure how to start. Perhaps they'll have more information of what they're looking for at the open house, because what's on the website is pretty vague.

It's hard to believe how time flies. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was thinking about where to apply for my undergrad degree, and worrying about if I would get accepted, and now I'm so close to graduating. Also, I'm having to think of "what next?" sooner than I expected - graduation seemed so far away when I started.

What do you do with a degree that's mostly history courses? Grad school in musicology is going to happen whatever, but it would be nice if I could actually end up using it for something beyond the fun of learning lots of interesting stuff!
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nightingale0:
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From:ma_vie_en_paris
Date:November 11th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
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I had this same conversation during my undergrad with my department chair, and will now try to reconstruct the list he gave to me:

First, obviously, is the Ph.D. leading to a university teaching and researching gig. Second, additional post-musicology studies in law, medicine, business, or library sciences, all of which will be enhanced by your grad school experience. Library science can lead to the job of music librarian, which will use a lot of your musicology background. Third, writing and/or editing, whether with a publishing house (Norton, for example) or journalism based (print or radio). Four, broadcasting (which can draw on the previous streams, such as librarian, or writing, as in radio programs). Five, if you have the money, independent scholar.

I know people from my undergrad who are doing the first four; don't know any independent scholars, but hey! an underfunded grad student can dream, can't she?

I hope this helps; I bet other people have some great suggestions too. Good luck!
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From:nightingale0
Date:November 12th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
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Thanks for your input. I need to win a lottery then, because independent scholar is the one that sounds most fun. A couple of people had already suggested music librarian, which seemed interesting, but when I looked into how much education would be required to qualify for something that will pay less than my boring office clerk job, I decided that I didn't like the idea *that* much. Teaching & research sounds like the next best thing, so I guess the best plan is to see how the MA goes & think about continuing. I wish I could afford to study full time - it's going to take so long!!!

The openhouse was useless, but David had some helpful things to say - it was worth given up a fair chunk of my voice lesson time to just talk about things.
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From:ma_vie_en_paris
Date:November 12th, 2006 12:04 pm (UTC)
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I need to win a lottery then

Not necessarily so. Some MA and most PhD programs are funded: that is, the school pays you to attend. Sometimes it's in the form of TAing, so you're working for your money; sometimes it's just a grant so you can do your thing. Comparing financial offers is an important part of the application process!

Good heavens, what do they pay librarians where you are? Here in Canada, while my friend the librarian does not earn as much as a full tenure professor, she still makes roughly the equivalent of someone in her position (middle management) in the business world.
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From:nightingale0
Date:November 12th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
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According to the latest statistics I've read, librarians in my city earn between 18 & 28 $/h, average 23 $/h, and the job postings I've seen for music librarians have wanted graduate degrees in both music and library science. Without even an undergrad degree, I am making a bit more the the average librarian does in my job as an accounting clerk. I'm at the top of the range for my occupation, which is less than the top of the librarian range, but if I switched, I know it would be quite a few years before I was back to earning what I do now, because I would be starting over in the bottom half of the range for an entry level library position - the job doesn't interest me enough to spend all the time & effort on a second grad degree in order to take a pay cut.
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From:nightingale0
Date:November 12th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
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I'm studying part time and working full time, applying to an MA. At my age, I would be paying the loans until retirement if I decided to fund my education that way. Terminal MA?
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From:nightingale0
Date:November 13th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
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Interesting - I've never heard of that. Here, you get you MA degree before you even apply for a PhD, which may or may not be at the same school. Students are usually advised not to do all three degrees at the same place, so if I go on to a PhD, I will most likely leave York University even though I love it here. The MA program has the open of doing either a thesis, or a research paper and more courses. One thing I will look into before I decide is how much difference it will make to me being accepted into a PhD program, but the main difference between the thesis & the research paper seems to be length, & there is also a difference in evaluation proceedures.
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From:ephraim_oakes
Date:November 23rd, 2006 03:19 am (UTC)
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yeah, the MA-PhD combined situation is standard in the US, but much less common elsewhere. This came as a shock when i started applying to programs in Canada.
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