How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

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Tim0thy222
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How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:53 pm

I'm applying to t14 schools, and will probably get into some thanks to ED apps and a high LSAT.

But my UGPA is 3.2 (major GPA 3.48) as a philosophy major at a state school.

Would being a 1L at the law school help me get into the philosophy graduate programs of any t14s despite my gpa? I'm considering a JD/MA, or maybe a JD/PhD. Just exploring options at this point though, trying to decide if the quality of the philosophy department should be a factor in choosing a school within the t14.

If anyone has any experience or knows anything about this (or can even speculate?) I'd appreciate it.

Oh, and
IB"go to top-philosophy-schools.com"

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby thelawschoolproject » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:59 am

1). You can only ED to one school.

2). If you have, in fact, sent in an ED application to a school and you get in, you're going to that school . . . no matter what.

3). With a 3.2 (assuming your LSAT is 175+) you aren't looking at the entire t14, probably only MVP to the latter t14. That should narrow it down a little.

4). Unless you have an extremely brilliant plan for what you're going to do with a joint JD/Phd or JD/MA in philosophy it won't matter that you're in the JD program. In fact, sometimes it can work against an applicant--particularly in regard to TAships. Also, it's not like any school who is in the legal T14 won't be near the top of any philosophy grad program rankings. (Ex: No one is going to frown on a doctorate from Georgetown or Cornell.)

ETA: But with a 3.2 I doubt you get into a top 14 graduate program.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:16 am

thelawschoolproject wrote:1). You can only ED to one school.

2). If you have, in fact, sent in an ED application to a school and you get in, you're going to that school . . . no matter what.

3). With a 3.2 (assuming your LSAT is 175+) you aren't looking at the entire t14, probably only MVP to the latter t14. That should narrow it down a little.

4). Unless you have an extremely brilliant plan for what you're going to do with a joint JD/Phd or JD/MA in philosophy it won't matter that you're in the JD program. In fact, sometimes it can work against an applicant--particularly in regard to TAships. Also, it's not like any school who is in the legal T14 won't be near the top of any philosophy grad program rankings. (Ex: No one is going to frown on a doctorate from Georgetown or Cornell.)

ETA: But with a 3.2 I doubt you get into a top 14 graduate program.


Actually you can ED to more than one school, just only one at a time. For example, ED to Penn, rejected, then ED to Virginia, or something like that.

So what you're suggesting at point 4 there is that being in the JD program generally does not help one get into the other graduate programs at the school, or at least the philosophy department. Or at least it doesn't help enough to make up for my GPA. Unless perhaps there is an "extremely brilliant plan" that will win over admissions people.

You're right about the philosophy grad program rankings, which is why I was thinking I might not be able to do any of these joint degree programs. Just thought I'd pose the question here in case somebody was aware of something that I wasn't, or if maybe the JD programs were sometimes a backdoor to grad programs.

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ConfidenceMan2
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby ConfidenceMan2 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:34 am

There is a slim chance, I would imagine, that you could form relationships with the school's philosophy faculty while a 1L, really impress them with some philo skills (that part is unlikely), and write an amazing 20-25 page thesis to get admitted to the philosophy program (you probably know this, but you have no hope at some schools e.g. NYU). The fact that you go to their school's law school will do next to nothing to impress them, I would imagine. While it might show that your GPA isn't wholly a reflection of your potential, far more important for that anyway is demonstrating a high level ability for philosophy through a substantive written piece.

But what do you want to do? Law-and-philosophy type focus? Because then you might just be better off graduating top-of-class and getting a PhD in law anyway. You could still teach legal/political philosophy to undergrads/CC kids if that is your goal. That GPA is going to crush your chances at top-tier philosophy programs more so than T14 law schools, unless you think the head of your philosophy department is willing to write a recommendation claiming that you were their most brilliant student of the last decade or something (and you have written work that verifies such a claim).

Law school admissions is rough; philosophy grad school admissions is just hilariously bad. My personal advice is to go to the best law school you can get into (obviously, supremely important for academia chances), miraculously be one of the top 2-3 students in your class, write articles with a bit of a philosophically bent focus, and see what happens with PhD chances after you have your degree. If it doesn't work out, you have a real career to fall back on. Not a bad gamble, really.

This is all just my opinion, and I'm not in a philosophy grad program. Talking to some of those students/professors might help you more. But I wouldn't expect great news.

jamesireland
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby jamesireland » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:23 am

If you go somewhere with a terminal MA you should be able to get in without funding. However, I don't off the top of my head know of any top law schools with terminal MA's. If the school offers the phd, for admissions the factors are: writing sample >>> grades/LORs >>>>>>> GRE.

However, this is based on being admitted with funding. It might be much easier to be admitted without funding, and since you are probably already taking on debt if you ED, this might not bother you. The best way to make this happen is to get to know some professors in the department who will go to bat for you. It's also possible to gain funding in subsequent years if you perform well.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:29 am

The better question is why on earth would you want a dual degree in the first place

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Tim0thy222
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:07 pm

Thanks for the input everyone.

That idea of getting the JD beforehand makes a lot of sense. And in regards to the terminal MAs, I know at my UG there were some masters students who were using the terminal MA to improve their PhD applications. Not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it seemed to suggest that admission to the terminal MA is easier than admissions to the PhD program which makes a lot of sense.

As to why I want the degree? Hah, good question actually. My initial interest is simply because I liked studying philosophy and wanted to do some more of it, but maybe 3 years of law school will be more than enough to satisfy whatever desire I have to study. I was thinking it might help me get into teaching if I wanted to do that later in my career, but I'd need to look into that more; I don't really know much about that.

I have heard that dual degrees offer some real disadvantages beyond the extra year of debt and the extra year out of the workforce, namely, it hinders your ability to participate in summer employment (don't know if that's true, just what I heard), and also prevents you from diving quite as deeply into the legal courses.

At this point I am kind of thinking I should just make my law school decision separately and then investigate the possibilities while I'm a 1L. I'm sure all these schools have good philosophy programs and I don't think I'm going to be splitting hairs over 3-4 places in the philosophy rankings like I am with law schools.

etlien
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Re: How do splitters get admitted for dual degrees?

Postby etlien » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:23 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:Thanks for the input everyone.

That idea of getting the JD beforehand makes a lot of sense. And in regards to the terminal MAs, I know at my UG there were some masters students who were using the terminal MA to improve their PhD applications. Not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it seemed to suggest that admission to the terminal MA is easier than admissions to the PhD program which makes a lot of sense.

As to why I want the degree? Hah, good question actually. My initial interest is simply because I liked studying philosophy and wanted to do some more of it, but maybe 3 years of law school will be more than enough to satisfy whatever desire I have to study. I was thinking it might help me get into teaching if I wanted to do that later in my career, but I'd need to look into that more; I don't really know much about that.

I have heard that dual degrees offer some real disadvantages beyond the extra year of debt and the extra year out of the workforce, namely, it hinders your ability to participate in summer employment (don't know if that's true, just what I heard), and also prevents you from diving quite as deeply into the legal courses.

At this point I am kind of thinking I should just make my law school decision separately and then investigate the possibilities while I'm a 1L. I'm sure all these schools have good philosophy programs and I don't think I'm going to be splitting hairs over 3-4 places in the philosophy rankings like I am with law schools.


Duke. I am not familiar with the JD/MA in Philosophy/I don't think there are any current students, but with most of the JD/MAs, the extra essay in the application is a mere formality. You still graduate on time, but you have to summer start as opposed to fall start. You can also apply in 1L.




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