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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/21/2017 in all areas

  1. 6 points

    Low quant GRE: successes and failures

    :raises hand meekly: I had to literally reteach myself everything. Everything. I work in research. I get paid to calculate Cohen's d, eta squared, and Bayesian probabilities by hand. I use R and SPSS to do everything else from CFAs and binary logistic regressions to ANOVAs. I haven't had a math class with exception to stat since... 2008. I don't know wtf the square root of -54 divided by 72 to the 5th exponet plus Z cubed is. Sorry everybody.
  2. 4 points

    Annoying things early grad students do?

    Maybe it's just that different words mean different things to different people, but I don't think debate is generally the right action to be taking either. I agree with what @MarineBluePsy says about debate vs. arguing in terms of respect. But I think there are additional terms to consider. For example, debate vs. dialogue (see: https://ginsberg.umich.edu/content/debate-vs-dialogue-vs-discussion). In brief, the main differences are: Debate is more "combative" and the goal is to show the other party that your point of view is correct. You listen to the other party to seek flaws in their argument in order to strengthen your own. Dialogue is "collaborative" and the goal is to work together with the other party (or parties) to come to an agreement. You listen to the other party to seek common ground and to learn from their different perspective. Both of these forms of communication are important in scholarly interactions with our colleagues but they have their own time and place. I think a lot of awkwardness and bad interactions happen because one or more parties mistakenly take the "debate" route when it's not the right time to do that. In my opinion, the majority of interactions in a collegial environment (i.e. everyday conversations with your colleagues, classroom interactions, seminar interactions etc.) should not be debate but instead be "dialogue". I think that in order for a "debate" interaction to be useful to both parties, both sides need to agree that this is what is needed. For example, if there is a disagreement within the research group on how to interpret X, it would make sense to agree to hash it out and figure out which interpretation is correct. In doing this, both sides agree to a "debate" in order to seek the truth. Generally, I think it's better to approach interactions as "dialogue" by default and only engage in "debate" when both parties agree there is a need for "debate".
  3. 3 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    I did exactly this, started my PhD in my mid-30s as a single childless woman in a cohort where most other students are about a decade younger. What helped me the most was going in knowing that my cohort or even my department wouldn't meet all of my social needs. I do sometimes socialize with my cohort because they are nice people and can actually be fun, but after spending so many hours with them each week I really don't desire to hang with them all the time outside of that. I figured being at a large public university I'd be able to connect with grad students in other departments that might be older, so I gave that a whirl. Unfortunately most of the people I came across were still either much younger or just living a completely different life being married with kids. I then chose to take my social life completely off campus and am happy I did. I signed up for every things to do in this city list I could find, picked up all the free local papers, volunteered, and joined meetup groups to force myself to attend a few things each week whether I felt like it or not. I did things I knew I like, tried things I'd never heard of, and gave things I previously felt hohum about another shot. I wouldn't say I have close friends yet and that's ok. But I do have people that when I see them out I can hang with them and it isn't weird or we can and do text each other to exchange invites. The best part is most of the people I've met are not in school so I'm not constantly sucked into school stuff. After having been in the working world I definitely appreciate the variety in my social life and don't want to feel like I can't ever get a break from school. I also head out of town during school breaks to visit family and friends I haven't seen awhile because there is nothing like being surrounded by people who know you well. As for dating, this too I've taken completely off campus because I just don't want that kind of drama in what I consider my workplace. Depending on the type of person (LGBT, other race/ethnicity, specific religion, etc) you wish to date there may be limited choices based on the region of the world your program is in. Also if you wish to date someone your age or older they may have assumptions about grad students that make dating harder such as you must have bad finances, you'll struggle to get a job when you graduate, your degree will take 10 years, you lack direction or something is wrong with you if you're this old and doing this, you don't have time to date, etc. I personally just mention the general industry I'm in until it seems like I may want to get to know a guy better, then he can have more specific details. Otherwise its just like dating when you work full time. Sometimes its fun and other times it really sucks lol.
  4. 2 points

    Undergrad to MPP

    I strongly recommend working for at least a few years before attending grad school, even if you are confident that you know what you would like to do. Work experience will increase your likelihood of receiving funding, and working in your preferred field will let you gain out-of-the-classroom experience that admissions committees want to bring to the classroom. Even if you are admitted to your preferred school now, work experience will help you after graduation. Students who go straight to Masters programs often lack experience in things like interpersonal communication, office etiquette, how to run a meeting, and personal time management/task tracking that employers value (even after you are hired). I don't mean to imply that you don't have these skills or that you can't learn these things in school or internships, but I believe that these skills are much stronger in people who have at least a year of full-time work experience, and will substantially help you land and succeed in a job and succeed in your field after you graduate.
  5. 2 points
    Setting aside whether or not you "should" have one for now, you should know that if you do not want your information listed, you could and should ask whomever manages this information to remove your info. There are plenty of reasons why a person might choose to eliminate this information. For example, maybe a student does not want someone to be able to figure out where they are living/working/studying now. If you are at a US school, FERPA generally considers things like your name as "Directory Information" which means that by default, they are able to publish this without asking consent each time as long as they have informed you what information counts as "Directory Information". However, you have the right to ask your school to not publish any of the Directory Information. If you are in another country, look for similar privacy laws. Now onto whether or not you "should" have one. My opinion is that unless you are worried for your own safety, there is no reason to hide your membership in this department. It's generally in our favour, as academics, to be more visible and noticeable. So, if someone does meet you at a conference, they can search for you and/or your contact information. As for your concern that you might change supervisors, topics, etc....well first, these things are very normal occurrences. Second, to be honest, when you're a new grad student, you're not very well known yet so it is very unlikely anyone will be tracking your profile page closely enough to even notice that you have changed those things. Still, if you don't want anything written down until your 3rd year, you can just not provide the information or keep it very very vague!
  6. 1 point

    Chemistry Supervisor in Biology PhD program?

    Schools can be strange. Where I did my PhD, there were multiple non-overlapping and very similar fields. You could do Molecular and Cellular Biology at the medical school, you could do Cellular and Molecular Biology in the biology department, you could do Biochemistry at the Medical School, or Biochemistry in the Chemistry department. All of these departments had wildly different requirements with respect to number of classes, what type of exams acted as qualifiers, etc. It would have been really hard to cross them and keep everyone happy. People crossed over with collaborations and work between all of the above, but had to have an advisor in their home department, or where they were actually enrolled and getting their degree.
  7. 1 point


    In addition, I think the usage of some of these terms here has evolved beyond what typically people say. So treat them mostly like GradCafe jargon rather than standard academic vocabulary. For example, I don't think I have seen POI in short or long form ever outside of the grad cafe. Almost everyone I know would say something like "potential advisor" or "a person I would like to work with". No one says, "Prof. X is a person of interest" etc. And saying that to Prof X would be super awkward! (imagine writing to a prof and telling them that they are a "person of interest" to you). Another example is PI. Here, PI is almost synonymous with "the professor who is in charge of your research group". Maybe this is common usage in some fields, but in my field, PI has a similar but specific/distinct meaning. We don't generally say the prof in charge of a research group is the PI, we just say it's "Prof X's group" or "Prof X's lab". PI is a title that is used to refer to the science lead on a big project/mission, an instrument, a grant, a proposal etc. Usually PIs are professors, sometimes postdocs and very rarely graduate students. For example, there is one telescope at my grad school where students can propose for telescope time and take the lead on the proposal, i.e. they would be listed as the PI. But most other telescopes that we have access to require either a postdoc or faculty member to be the PI. And since the term PI has a scope / is a title in a specific context, we generally include the context when using the term, e.g. "Dr. Stern is the PI of the New Horizons mission" since Dr. Stern might be a co-I on other missions too. SOP and LOR are more common abbreviations and you'll see them on many graduate websites. But as with most professional emails, probably better to spell these out. Finally, there are certainly some abbreviations that you could (and should) use. These are the terms that you would never hear the long form spoken out. e.g. "CV" is a fine abbreviation. In my field, it would be quite silly to spell out things like NASA, NSF, PhD, GPA, GRE etc.
  8. 1 point
    Hi as someone who has been there, and done that, and then spoken to other fellow graduate students, there's never a truly right time to do it. Obviously, writing your tests earlier will mean having more time and less stress! For me, I wrote my GRE the first time at the end of summer between 3rd and 4th year. A long story being short, I retook the test twice the summer after I graduated, and then the Psych GRE in Fall (both my top 2 choices for schools required it). I ended up using my first set, and wasted quite a bit of time and money, but earlier means that you have a chance to make silly mistakes I did (hopefully you won't have to the first time around). I would say that the General GRE is a refresher on basic quantitative skills (up to high school), whereas the VR, as others have highlighted here, requires an extensive knowledge of vocabulary. To be honest, starting now won't be a bad idea, BUT I think you'll find yourself most productive when you've actually set yourself a date and have a 3-4 month plan of action. Since you're in between undergraduate years, studying now might not have the added benefit of retaining much of the information you've acquired simply because you'll find yourself bombarded with info to learn during the school year. TL;DR - know what the GRE is, and what are the concepts you'll need to learn. Feel free to crack open some books to get an idea, but studying now likely won't maximize your success that a few months of diligent, dedicated studying prior to your test will do.
  9. 1 point

    Chemistry Supervisor in Biology PhD program?

    My guess is not possible. You'd need to be interdisciplinary or in the CHEM department to have them as your advisor. You might be able to set up a co-advisor situation or have them on your committee, however. To add, I'm assuming US schools here. If I recall you were interested in UK programs at some point? They operate very differently.
  10. 1 point

    PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    I completely know how you feel! I applied to PhD programs my senior year of college and I got rejected from them all. I was so upset I didn't know what to do. Looking back now I realize I was pretty naive about the whole process. I also had a less than stellar GPA but I'm hoping that my research experience and masters program will make up for that as well. Good luck!
  11. 1 point

    Social Life in Divinity School?

    As you allude to in your post, the big difference is that as an undergrad, the age range of the vast majority of the people you're around is limited to 18-22 with very few exceptions. In div school/seminary and really grad school in general, that changes. You're going to meet some people who are your age and some who are 5, 10, 15+ years older than you. But that doesn't mean that you won't be able to establish friendships with those people. If you share common academic interests, you'll have something to talk about. In general, many people are amenable to drinking socially. I wouldn't worry about whether you'll find people in exactly your situation. Some of my favorite people from my first two MA programs were a bit older than me. I hung out a few times with a dude in his 60s when I was in seminary. You just meet people through coursework, study groups, group projects, etc. But regardless of age, most people are also in a different mindset in grad school. The work is more challenging, some students have aspirations of PhD work, etc. so the interest in drinking is, in my experience, rarely about "partying" in the undergrad sense (though maybe sometimes....) Doesn't mean you can't find those people at a large div school, but that isn't the culture of any grad program generally.
  12. 1 point

    PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    Hey everyone! I'm super glad I found this forum early. This is my second time applying to Ph.D. programs (although the first time I applied I was going Clinical Psychology and now I am going Quantitative Psychology). That was almost two years ago. I am currently a second-year Psychological Research Masters student. I'm hoping I'll have better luck this go around. Program of interest: Quantitative Psychology Research interest: Structural Equation Modeling and Network Analysis limitations and applications Schools: A wide variety including UNC Chapel Hill, Ohio State University, UCLA, UVA, Arizona State, UC Merced, etc. Number one worry about applying: I feel like I'm still haunted by a less than stellar undergrad GPA. I graduated with a 3.3. During my sophomore year, I took a bunch of Bio and Chemistry classes in addition to Calculus and it wrecked my GPA. It was quite a climb to get to the 3.3. The reality is that was 4 years ago. I'm a different person now. I hope they don't hold it over my head. Not worried about: Master's GPA (4.0), GRE (V157, Q161), Research Experience (2.5 years in 4 labs), Publications (1 submitted, 2 in prep [potentially submitted before application deadline, fingers crossed]), and LoR (3 pretty stellar ones from the labs I've worked in for the past year) On a side note (speaking to anyone who has potentially been rejected and is super down), getting rejected 2 years was a good thing. It was a complete ego blow, and I was devastated. However, I decided to go to a Masters program to try, and improve my chances and from that experience, I realized that Clinical was not a good fit for me. I'd never even heard of Quantitative Psychology in my undergraduate. Plus even if I still wanted to go clinical, I gained 1.5 years of research experience and posters/publications that would greatly improve my chances. Just want to throw it out there that rejection can be helpful, and 1 year can make a dramatic difference in your application!
  13. 1 point

    Ready to become and SLP

    Anyone else bored and ready to start grad school. I'm literally counting down the days!
  14. -2 points

    Ivy League Admissions Help

    Are you looking to reach an Ivy League or your dream school? I can help with the process. Not too long ago, I was in your shoes. I thought that attending a great university or an Ivy League meant that you had to be at the top of your class or be really rich. I was neither. In fact, I was the first person in my immediate and extended family to go to college! Needless to say, I had no clue about the college/grad school application process, but I was motivated to change my destiny and willing to learn. I received a full-tuition, four-year leadership scholarship to attend a top private university for undergrad and received my masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in international education. I have gained 10+ years of experience in educating and coaching others and 8+ years of professional writing. I enjoy helping others achieve their goals and believe that anything is possible with a proper PLAN. If you are interested in learning how to prepare the strongest grad school application possible for an Ivy League or your dream school, I am happy to help. My services include help with the following: personal statement writing, admissions strategy, interview prep, and admissions application review. Feel free to message me with any queries.