MA or a year-off

<p>So no luck with Ph.D programs and so far only one MA offer in Canada, where I did my undergrad. I'm still waiting on 3 more US schools in MA programs.</p>

<p>1) I know my application wasn't particularly strong when it came to SOP and WS, which is the most important part of my app in art history. It was done all in a hurry so perhaps, taking a year-off and try one more time for Ph.D in US would be an option. GRE can be improved, and I could work as an intern/full-time. But my relationship with professros aren't very strong, and I'd be going back home in Asia - which makes it a bit hard to "take courses and do research for the professor" at where I'm graduating.</p>

<p>2) In the meantime, there's this MA offer with significant funding. It'd be very cheap to do my MA this way, getting some more academic experience, closer relationships with profs. But I'm not sure if it would end up being another round of hectic application process, confused. I hope to get into Ph.D programs in the US for personal reasons, and not doing MA in the states excludes me from many fellowship eligibility and some conference participations. </p>

<p>There's also the funding issue. There has been an increasing tendency to accept fewer students in order to give them full support. Which in turn, makes most MA left un-funded. So finance-wise, a very cheap MA, year-off, or full-ride in Ph.D is what I need, not an expensive $60K MA.</p>

<p>So would it be worth doing MA? Or should I take a year off and hope for the best next year (reads:this coming September)? Bah.</p>

<p>Do the MA with significant funding. It will set you up for much greater success in PhD admissions, since that is the primary function of such a program.</p>

<p>I second Prof X's suggestion. I'm in a similar position- didn't do a great job with the SOP and WS and needed more focus and academic experience... MA would be better for me at this point rather than take a year off and re-apply to PhDs again. Also think about it, even if you took a year off and re-applied, what if you still don't get in PhD programs? Then that's another round... But with the MA, your next round of PhD will be much better. You'll be a more solid candidate who's definitely ready to work.</p>

<p>Also at least this MA program will keep you closer to the US.</p>

<p>I triple agree.:) I did not try to do a PhD right after my undergrad, but my master's truly helped me focus my interests and even though I did not go to a top top school for my undergrad or masters I was still able to get interviews to every school that I applied to partly because it helped me write a very focused SOP. Besides that, success in a master's program helps prove that you are competent enough for a graduate program. I also believe that LORs from your master's committee would hold tons more weight than random undergrad profs, esp those that have not seen you in a year. </p>

<p>Good luck in your decision, but I really do not think you can beat a well funded masters to help beef up your next round of PhD apps.</p>