U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education > Colleges and Universities
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 01-21-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
1,816 posts, read 2,822,490 times
Reputation: 1538
Quote:
Originally Posted by StinaTado View Post
Honestly, the only reason to do a Ph.D. in the humanities, or anything really, is if they're paying for you to do it. If you're not good enough to get funded, you probably shouldn't be doing a Ph.D. program.
Strictly speaking, I would disagree. However, someone considering a PhD needs to think hard about all the costs and sacrifices and be very realistic about the benefits.

If one is in-state, I think one has a bit more play in the decision.

S.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-21-2010, 09:39 AM
 
9,946 posts, read 13,575,047 times
Reputation: 5945
What do you mean if one is in-state? That doesn't have anything to do with it. Grad students go where the best program is located, and where they get the best funding. Humanities PhD students don't (or shouldn't) pay for their programs: they get funding. Granted, their annual salary will probably be lower than what they'd get at an office job, but it's generally enough to not go into debt, either, assuming one lives frugally.

I agree with StinaTado that if you're not good enough to get funding then you probably shouldn't be getting the PhD. That's not true of all disciplines, but it's generally the case in context of PhDs in the humanities or liberal arts. Some programs won't even accept PhD students unless they can guarantee them funding.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 10:02 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
917 posts, read 1,636,277 times
Reputation: 989
The in-state argument only works if the state school offers your program and has a good reputation. For example, I'm looking at a highly specialized degree that is only offered in 6 schools in the country (it used to be 7, but one school dropped it due to budgets cuts). Fortunately, one of those programs is located 15 minutes from my apartment, but I know that it's a very real possibility that I might have to move to another state depending on where I get in and how much funding I get. I actually moved to the state I am in now in case I got into a good public school (which ended up canceling the program- d'oh!). If I don't get enough funding, I won't be going because theater grad school is not a good area to get a lot debt. I personally want an MFA because that is relevant to the work I want to do. I did have the opportunity to do a Ph.D., fully funded, but it's not the degree or training I want since I don't want to work in academia.

Most top lib arts programs will fully fund you because they get grant money and prestige from grad student research, so it's beneficial to them to lure the best by giving great scholarships. It's generally the less respectable programs that lack the funding to lure the good students, and then their graduates can't get good jobs because of the program's reputation.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
1,816 posts, read 2,822,490 times
Reputation: 1538
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
What do you mean if one is in-state? That doesn't have anything to do with it. Grad students go where the best program is located, and where they get the best funding. Humanities PhD students don't (or shouldn't) pay for their programs: they get funding. Granted, their annual salary will probably be lower than what they'd get at an office job, but it's generally enough to not go into debt, either, assuming one lives frugally.

I agree with StinaTado that if you're not good enough to get funding then you probably shouldn't be getting the PhD. That's not true of all disciplines, but it's generally the case in context of PhDs in the humanities or liberal arts. Some programs won't even accept PhD students unless they can guarantee them funding.
If one looks at all the PhD's awarded, only a small % of people have the option to go to where the best program is located. Also, states happen to be in rather terrible shape for generous packages. Those of us who have been around the block have seen times where universities had to cut back on financial packages. In those times, the in-state student is seen more favorably.

Not all humanities PhD students get funding! For example, Univ of Chicago is well-known for admitting higher % of applicants but only guaranteeing financial aid to a small %. The rest go to those who demonstrate their worth. Harvard will fully fund all those selected. Public unis? Their funding fluctuates with the state budget cycle. They will fund their very best. The rest are funded during fat years and may be partially funded in other years.

No full funding should not get PhD...Hmmm...hard to say..Full funding is given to entering students many of whom received their training elsewhere. Try as one might, one never knows the talent of a student until there is a chance to evaluate a student face to face. This is the U of C philosophy in a nutshell.

As one advances in a program, now we have a chance to really see this student en vivo. Some of the best students I have seen were not of obvious talent at entry. And some of the hot shots were incredibly mediocre.

As a rule of thumb? Sure, I would agree with cautioning those about to embark on a PhD in the humanities with mediocre portfolios to be sober. However, shutting the door completely robs the institution of an option that retains value after a entering cohort has been selected.

S.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 01:05 PM
 
9,946 posts, read 13,575,047 times
Reputation: 5945
No, true enough, not all PhD students get full funding. I suppose to clarify I would suggest that someone who wasn't qualified to get into a program with at least a good chance at funding (or at the very least getting some of their tuition covered) should think long and hard about whether or not it's worth it to pursue the program, or know when to cut their losses. If money isn't an issue then that's one thing, but if someone is assuming that they're going to leverage their humanities PhD into a job that will pay off potentially both undergraduate and graduate debt (as well as make up for lost time saving for retirement, etc.), then he or she should carefully consider the risks involved.

Not a single person in my (public university) graduate program was in-state, by the way. In more recent years the program has also been hit by the economy, and has, for now, retained full funding for everyone, but to to do so has reduced the number of students accepted each year.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
1,816 posts, read 2,822,490 times
Reputation: 1538
Our own personal experiences clouds things a bit. I started my PhD during a recession--funding was all over the map: some local, some not, & many international. My program was internationally focused. However, I have come across many PhDs from programs that had a strong regional bias.

I agree with your logic above. Huge chunk of life. Had better be "worth" it, however defined!

S.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,167 posts, read 9,521,153 times
Reputation: 3933
Quote:
Originally Posted by equinox63 View Post
Are Doctorate degrees in the Liberal Arts and the Humanities still worth it? Are they still worth the time, effort, and money in the long run? How does one make the most of it?
Were they ever worth it? Other than teaching at the college level what does a doctorate give you that you can't get with just a bachelors? The humanities, much like the arts, depends a lot on your abilities rather than what degree you have hanging on your wall.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 03:40 PM
 
Location: NC
10,009 posts, read 4,466,347 times
Reputation: 2965
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
With a useless PHD many worthwhile things will leave your wallet on a monthly basis.
Many PhD candidates often are paid to get their PhD in the form of assistantships. The downside of this is that a lot of universities rely on PhD candidates to teach some UG classes in order to avoid hiring the same former PhD candidates as professors latter on. After all, why hire the extra professor when you can get the blood, sweet, and tears for a simple assistantship stipend.

Last edited by Randomstudent; 01-21-2010 at 04:01 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,167 posts, read 9,521,153 times
Reputation: 3933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomstudent View Post
Many PhD candidates often are paid to get their PhD in the form of assistantships.
The stipends are usually just enough to live a rather meeker existence while you go to school. Even if you take out no debt, there is still a big opportunity cost as you'd earn far more if you were to get out in the job market right after your bachelors. Also, after you finish your doctorate if you are unable to secure a job in academia (which is likely), then you'll be competing with people with 5~6 years of work experience in your same age group. The experience is often valued more than a higher degree.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 04:05 PM
 
Location: NC
10,009 posts, read 4,466,347 times
Reputation: 2965
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
The stipends are usually just enough to live a rather meeker existence while you go to school. Even if you take out no debt, there is still a big opportunity cost as you'd earn far more if you were to get out in the job market right after your bachelors. Also, after you finish your doctorate if you are unable to secure a job in academia (which is likely), then you'll be competing with people with 5~6 years of work experience in your same age group. The experience is often valued more than a higher degree.
Of course it is a pittance. Payroll is one of the most expensive parts of almost all large organizations and assistantships are a great way for large universities to keep payroll and tuition costs competitive.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education > Colleges and Universities
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top