Grad schools

Michael Forstadt (forstadt@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Wed, 8 Jun 1994 07:20:07 -0400

To Lee Bradley

I think it is still far more difficult to get into academia after one
completes a PhD than to get into a PhD program in the first place. I also
was faced with the prospect of not getting into a graduate program after
I had completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at San Diego State
University. I heard the same story from every school: there were 100-500
applicants for 2-10 spaces in the program. However, I DID get into a
couple of good programs because I did my homework and identified faculty
who had interests very close to my own (and NOT because I had a good
academic record, because I DIDN'T). I then lobbied these individuals hard
before and during the application process. The most important thing is
getting to know the faculty and making sure they know you before you
apply. Another difference between the job outlook and graduate school
admissions: I don't believe that there is any reason to believe that sex
or race bias occurs in grad school admissions. As was pointed out
recently on this list, females outnumber males slightly and traditionally
under-represented minority groups seem to be well represented (I have no
hard numbers).

About job prospects. I guess all I can say is you have to know that
anthropology is what you want to do and then worry about jobs later. I
for one don't EXPECT to get an academic job even though I would like to
get one. Of course in my subdiscipline I have contract archaeology as a
viable option, so I won't speak for those in other fields.
Mike Forstadt
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University