I recently graduated with a BA in philosophy. I recently applied to many Ph.D and MA program. I feel that with philosophy as competitive as it is, my record will place me in a MA program first.
What can I do to distinguish myself in a MA program, for my later application to a PHD. My hope is for a top 20 school, in my area of interest, what special activities are looked for coming from an MA.
The following have been suggested from a variety of sources. Please advise, did I miss anything here, are any of these wrong?
Thank you for any comments you might have,
1. Maintain an good GPA
2. Publish, in both graduate and professional journals
3. Don't rely only on your own university; become involved with other nearby departments.
4. Get teaching experience. (TA, Tutoring, Teaching critical thinking)
5. Teach at a community college level (some programs allow this)
6. Gain research experience (indexing, editing etc..)
7. Directed readings in areas of study, (I'm not sure if this would
help for an MA, but it was mentioned for a BA)
8. Apply for grants & scholarships
9. Apply for academic & philosophical honors
10. Be fluent in at least one non-native language
11. Present papers at conferences
12. Purpose your theses with a PhD writing sample in mind and polish for several months before application time.
13. Focus on getting letters both from professors at your university and from more distinguished universities with which you are involved.
14. Become involved or start innovative programs (ex: UW's Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children).
15. Keep oneself engaged in the broader philosophical community
(Leiter Reports, APA, Notre Dame Review etc...).
16. Create some connection between your university and the places you hope to do your PhD work (New York Consortium of Graduate Schools?).