I'm a rising senior studying medieval history and I've always had my eyes on grad school. From my freshman year I tried to get into research and languages, and though until now I did an ok job. As I research grad programs, I'm thinking I'm wayyyyy behind. My school has a very strange administrative structure, so I have no advisor to ask about anything really. But I've asked my tutor, and he said since independent research is built into my degree program (we do one 15 page original paper our sophomore year, one 20 page paper and one 25-30 page paper our junior year, and a 60-70 page paper our senior year) I don't need outside research. Is that true?
Plus I have no real modern language experience, will programs hold my zero knowledge of French and German against me?
I'm really bummed because of my aforementioned total blank on French and German, and because I've applied to a bunch of summer/term-time research programs over the years and gotten admitted to zilch. As a result, I've always spent my summers volunteering and now I feel like that was a big waste of time and that I should have just knuckled down by applying to more research programs.
I'll give y'all my info, just for reference:
1. 6 semesters of Latin, 4 of classical, 2 of medieval. (hopefully will be 7 total, with 3 medieval by the time I graduate)
2. 2 semesters of Attic Greek.
3. I took 8 semesters of Spanish in high school, which I'm sure means nothing but it's worth a shot.
3. 3.9 GPA currently (hopefully 3.92 when my grades come in for this last semester)
4. I've worked in our rare books library for 2 years if that means anything
5. I've got 1 pretty well-known prof, 1 associate professor, and 1 dean who was my tutor for 2 semesters who could write me pretty good letters of reference. Is that good enough?
6. I haven't taken the GRE yet, but I am sitting for it in August. My tutor told me because I did really well on the SAT that the GRE won't be a problem, but are they really similar tests?
7. I'm the Editor in Cheif of our Medieval Studies journal, which also probably means nothing but hey I'll take what I can get.
Basically, I'm wondering: How can I use my last year to make my application less terrible? Should I go for a Medieval Studies MSt. program to enhance language ability before I apply for Ph.D. programs (I like this idea, but my tutor says it's a waste of time)? Should I focus on starting French or German, or spend my time knuckling down on Greek?
Thanks so much!