harvard (etc.) graduate school after graduating?

<p>hello :)</p>

<p>i'm a non-us student and i've graduated comparative linguistics as the only student in my country. so, the natural course of action was to continue my education (it's not really a careeer choice that'll make me rich :D). i wasn't satisfied with phd programs in europe (except for leiden, netherlands, but there're almost no scholarships there and i'm counting on that < $60000 financial aid) and i've decided to think about some ivy league colleges. i want comparative/historical linguistics, so harvard is my 1st choice, maybe yale and stanford, then brown (it's a bit more oriented on cognitive linguistics. i've taken a lot of courses on CL, so i could "settle" with that one, but it's the history of language that i'm interested in every day).</p>

<p>so, here's my first question - even though i already hold a master's degree in comparative linguistics and slavic languages and literature (double-major), is it possible for me to apply to harvard (or other college) graduate school (of (historical) linguistics)? i've noticed that there's no BA (3 years) + MA (2 years) + PhD (usually 3 years) system like in europe, but BA + 5 years of graduate school. and if it is possible, do i still have to "graduate" again or is there a chance i could just get into, i don't know, the last two years of the program? i guess that really isn't possible, but one can hope... :D will it at least give me a head start?</p>

<p>my GRE and TOEFL scores will be ok, i hope so. i'm fluent in at least 5 languages and i've taken courses on 15 other ones. i've studied a few myself. i hadn't been writing a lot, i've participated at one conference (the usual practice in my country is to concentrate on your exams and then start publishing after you graduate). i've acquired ~500 ECTS instead of 300 (180 for BA and 120 for MA) because i've taken lot of language courses and other courses from some other schools (geology, anthropology, programming etc.). i've got straight As on my MA level and a few Bs on BA (it was bound to happen :-/, i've taken at least 80 courses throughout my BA and MA). i got the highest academic reward from my university for my paper.</p>

<p>my mentor is a known linguist and i believe his letter of recommendation will mean a lot. i'm not quite sure about the other two letters - should i pick "more famous" professors or ones i believe are experts in my field of research?</p>

<p>the whole application process is quite expensive and i'm just a poor student, so i wouldn't want to waste a lot of money on paper work and stuff if there's no chance of me getting in (there's a whole bunch of myths in my head and i'm really scared and nervous about all this). so i'd really appreaciate your help, advice or comments. :)</p>

<p>To get into a PhD program in the U.S. you either</p>

<p>1) have a Master's degree and apply directly to the PhD program</p>

<p>2)are an undergrad with strong research potential and apply directly to the PhD program, and your first 2 years will often be covering coursework similar to a Master's program</p>

<p>I don't know about your area so I can't comment on chances, but your application sounds like it would be very solid. I'd pick the profs you did research with and who can comment on your research potential. If they are experts, then the schools should know of them or can google them. Your mentor's recco sounds solid enough.</p>

<p>I don't know about scholarships for this field at the PhD level. Almost everyone in the sciences gets a TA-ship or RA-ship, but in that area funding may only go to the top couple of students. Do more research.</p>

<p>On the Brown board here, there are one or 2 students in Linguistics posting, there was a long discussion recently on Brown's focus. Be sure to look at the Brain Research Institute as well, although it may not be up your alley, linguists do participate..</p>

<p>The top PhD programs in any field usually do not allow you to skip the required two years of coursework even if you obtained a master's degree elsewhere, although they may allow you to skip certain required courses in favor of courses that strengthen your particular expertise. After all, they want you to study with their professors and to experience the department's philosophy/strengths. </p>

<p>Although you sound like you might be an impressive applicant, I recommend that you broaden your search if you want to make sure that you get accepted to a US program with funding. Also, those programs you mentioned might not necessarily be the best in your field despite their general fame. </p>

<p>At this point, it might be wise to stick with private US universities (which the Ivy Leagues are) since state funding is being slashed in most places, with the public universities making some tough choices. You can usually tell public universities by their names -- University of (State Name) -- but some exceptions exist, such as the University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League university.</p>