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I go to a big-name school (Top 12) and I was curious to know whether or not I need to pursue a Master's before applying to PhD programs. I won't have any "summer research" experience. My resume consists of the following: two undergrad research/fellowship conferences, three internships (marketing research, working with at-risk youth in high schools, and public policy), and two work/study jobs working as a research aide in education and as a clerical aide in the ethnic studies departments. I also plan to do a senior honors thesis too -- I'm still deciding on a topic. Unfortunately, my overall GPA would probably be around a 3.4-3.5 (I have 3 Cs on my transcript which hurt my cum GPA -- 2 of those Cs occurred when I was hospitalized). Letter of recommendations will not be a problem at all. My goal is to get into a top 10 university in the fields of education, american and ethnic studies, and american history for my PhD.
My primary research interests are: 20th Century American and African American History with a focus on urban history and theory (incorporating political economy and sociology), educational foundations/policy, and social movements. My secondary interests are law and social policy, black intellectual history, and black women's history. Do I have too many?
So, should I apply to Master's programs to make myself more competitive or do I stand a chance by applying straight to PhD programs?