Advice for an undergrad looking at Graduate School

<p>I am a current undergraduate majoring in Archaeology. My cumulative GPA is 2.87 and my department gpa is 3.26. My first semester freshmen year I came in not knowing much of anything and took classes way out of my league and did very poorly, nor was I taking any Anthropology courses at the time as I didn't know what I wanted my major to be. I still have one semester left and I have taken an Archaeology Field School program which will be an A, and bring my Cumulative GPA up to a 2.93. If I do well next semester, I will potentially have a 3.00 GPA for cumulative. My question is should I even consider Graduate School? I have been looking through various sites, forums, and posts, and they all seem to contradict one another with some saying if you have a 3.00 cumulative GPA or slightly lower, you can get in, and others saying one should not attempt Grad. School with anything lower then a 3.5 Cumulative GPA. As Archaeology is not a very large field, it has been difficult to find specifics on this subject. Any and all advice would be welcome.</p>

<p>If it helps any to know, I have gone on an accredited field school, I will be getting to work on a paper with some of my professors this coming semester, on which they said I will be able to have my name on, and I have taken many hours of courses beyond the recommended amount in order to broaden my knowledge as much as possible in the field of Archaeology.</p>

<p>Here's a big kicker for admissions to PhD programs: Do you have languages for the specific geographical area that you want to study?</p>

<p>You should consider doing a MA or post-bac program to bring up your GPA and get your languages in order.</p>

<p>I do have my languages in order actually. I'm thinking of focusing on Classical Archaeology, so Roman and Greek, and programs in this area require some latin or greek, and I have 4 semesters of Latin.</p>

<p>Ticklemepink is right; languages are often the assassins of applications in the humanities. For a PhD program in classical archaeology, you'd need reading knowledge of both French and German and at least three years of Greek or Latin (whichever is your primary language) and two years of the other. For a MA program, you'd need reading knowledge of either French or German and at least two years of your primary language and one of your secondary.</p>

<p>The 3.00 cutoff is often set by the graduate school rather than the programs themselves - in other words, sometimes they are simply not allowed to admit anyone with a sub-3.0 GPA.</p>

<p>I agree that a post-bac program might be a good idea. Here's a list:
The</a> Classical Journal - Graduate Study in Classics</p>

<p>You might be able to get into a MA program in art history with a classical component, which could lead you to a PhD program in archaeology. There are many of those programs around the country - I'd consult your professors to find some that would fit your interests.</p>

<p>Got it. My friend is in Classical Archaeology program at Michigan. The DGS gave her and other students a 2 hour lecture on their admissions process.</p>

<p>They regularly get about 80 applications a year.</p>

<p>The first thing that they do is weed out anyone who has less than 3 solid languages. (Roughly 40 people get cut)</p>

<p>The second to last thing they read is your SOP. (Top 15 survive)</p>

<p>The last thing that they read is your writing sample. (Top 10 survive)</p>

<p>Then they decide which 7 or 8 to invite for a campus visit. From there, they determine which lucky 3 get fellowships while the others can decide if they want to pay for the program or just decline the offer.</p>

<p>3 out of 80. And these are seriously exceptional candidates. So I suggest looking into a MA or post-bac. PM WilliamC, he's our resident Classics person.</p>

<p>Speak of the devil... ;-)</p>

<p>All of the above is correct. Direct admission from undergrad to Classics/Classical Archaeology/Art History PhD programs is UNBELIEVABLY competitive. As indicated, you MUST have that 3.0 GPA or you won't even get by the Graduate School stage.</p>

<p>TMP's comments about UofM are spot on. We were told the exact same thing in the Post Bac program here at Penn. To elaborate slightly, our advisor said:
Latin & Greek: minimum 3 years/2 years, arranged either way. Typical is 4/3 or even more since a very large number of undergrads come in at the upper level of Latin as freshmen. A surprising number come in at intermediate Greek as well. Penn has actually added 4xx level language courses to accomodate the number of students who run through all the "traditional upper level" 3xx courses. Taking the comp course in one of the ancient languages will look very good.
Modern Research Language: 3 or 4 semesters. Make it German. A Summer intensive program is perfect (equivalent of 4 semesters)</p>

<p>How to get there: </p>

<p>Do your best to get as much ancient language preparation as possible - at LEAST 3/2. If you don't have the modern language do not bother to apply to any PhD programs. Instead pick a couple masters programs that look good (i.e. explicitly state they will admit you without the modern language) as well as a 2 or 3 post-bacs. Find a summer intensive course for the modern language and crush it. Get the second modern language during your post-bac or masters year(s)</p>

<p>Pick your masters/post-bacs for academic prestige. Post-bac admissions are getting tighter, but are not harshly competitive. As you now know, PhD admissions are nuts. You'll need every advantage, and that includes LORs from top/well known professors. </p>

<p>The Penn post-bac leaves some time for a 3rd or even 4th course each semester although when I was in it, the language courses ran at about twice the speed of the regular undergrad. upper level courses. This proved the undoing of the majority of the post-bac students. My class started with nearly 50, fell to 30 or so almost immediately and ended up with about 20. Nearly all of those who made it through were admitted to graduate programs.</p>

<p>If you still don't have the modern language now's the time to get it. At Penn, the elementary languages are available in the evening, so they're easy to fit into your schedule. Personally, I can't imagine adding a third (new) language to the pile, but YMMV. </p>

<p>Use the post-bac/masters to create a really polished writing sample. Make it narrow but very deep. Be sure to demonstrate mastery of primary sources in the original languages and secondary sources in your modern language.</p>

<p>If you come to Penn, feel free to PM me and I can give you a quick run-down on who's who and how to squeeze the most from your year (or two) in Philly.</p>

<p>In the event Professor-X weighs in here, treat his/her suggestions as pure gold and ignore anything I said that seems to contradict them.</p>

<p>Edit: in re-reading I see you only have 4 semesters of Latin. This will likely keep you out of most post-bacs since they tend to require at least that level in both Latin and Greek. I'll add to my summer intensive suggestions that you look into such programs in the Classical languages. Penn offers both languages in the summer and Chicago has a very well known program - I'm sure there are others.</p>