Originally Posted by Teger
So I need to decide what the fuck I'm going to do for grad school.
Here's the situation I'm in:
I'm waiting to hear from 2 MA programs. One is in English and History. I will probably get in, with funding, to both these programs, and I'm very tempted to accept the History program.
But, with that said, I have 3 offers on the table for an MA in English, that I've whittled down to 2.
Best program in the state, in the top 5 in the country.
I originally applied for admission to the PhD (with funding), but didn't get it. Instead they've offered me admission to the MA program, with an opportunity to transfer to the PhD program after I graduate (they hold several spots for their MA students). Unfortunately, this doesn't come with funding.
I'd be looking at somehow coming up with $35,000 or so a year.
Second best program in the state, not really nationally ranked.
I was admitted into the MA program here with funding. The funding would waive tuition, pay me about $13,000~ a year (and 85% of my health insurance). I would have a teaching position starting my second semester, ending with teaching two classes a term second year, with a funding increase. The downside is this program doesn't have a PhD program, and I would be out of the area (total college town) within 2 years.
Even with the funding, I'd probably have to take several small loans, on the terms of $3,000 - $4,000 a year, maybe less.
Well, WTF !
Part of me says School B is the smart choice because of the cost. But School A has always been my dream school, and and is so well known that a diploma from there would really open doors. But the loans would be crushing, even if I could beg, borrow and steal.
What do you want to do with your degree?
(1) If you plan to go into academia (ie, seek a professorship), you're chances are basically nil with just a master's. Paying out of pocket for a masters when you'll ultimately be pursuing some kind of professorship seems kinda misguiding, since you're not going to be making much money as a post-doc or assistant prof anyway.
(2) If you're not planning on a career in academia, what in the world do you plan to do with a grad degree in English or History?
If it were me, I'd have applied to more schools, hoping I would have gotten funding for a PhD rather than going for either of the MA options which are substantially less than ideal for different reasons.