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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/30/2016 in all areas

  1. 80 points

    Advice for a first year PhD student

    About your dog: I think that depends entirely on you and your program. I am in a social science program where the majority of my analysis and writing can be done from home, and I prefer to work from home or from a library (as opposed to my cube in the windowless cube farm). When I was taking classes I was generally there from 9-6 or so, but now that my coursework is finished I am rarely at the school itself. I go for meetings, seminars, interesting kinds of things and I do most of my work remotely. My time is verrry flexible, and if my building didn't prohibit it I would get a dog in a heartbeat. Another thing to keep in mind: a dog can be a great comfort when you're all stressed out over graduate school. Advice? Age: -Don't feel like you have nothing to offer just because you are younger. I was 22 when I started graduate school. You got accepted to the program for a reason, and chances are you are just as equipped as any older students are to successfully complete the program, just in a different way. -Your older classmates may be just as terrified as you. Talk to them. You have a lot in common. You are, after all, in the same place. -You will feel like an imposter, like you don't belong, or like you are constantly behind. Or all three. It's normal. It will pass. (Well, sort of.) People of all ages go through this. Adviser related: -If you are lucky enough to get both research interest fit and personality fit perfect, congratulations! But sometimes, personality fit is more important than research interest fit as long as the research isn't too different. A great adviser is interested in your career development, likes you as a person, advocates for you, and wants to hear your ideas. Even if his or her research is quite different from yours, they may give you the autonomy to work on your own projects and just supervise you. A bad personality fit will drive you nuts, even if you love his or her research. Consider that when evaluating your adviser fit. (This will vary by field: research fit may be less important in the humanities, more important in the natural and physical sciences. Social sciences are somewhere in-between.) -Don't be afraid to be straight up blunt with your adviser when it comes to asking about your progress. Ask if you are where you should be both academic program wise and getting-a-job-after-this-mess-wise. -Be proactive. Advisers love when you draw up an agenda for your one-on-one meetings, come with talking points and progress to share, have concrete questions to ask, and have overall shown that you have been thoughtful and taken control of your own program. Of course, this won't immediately come easily to you, but in time you will work up to it. Every semester I type up my semester goals, and at the beginning of the year I type up annual goals. I show them to my adviser and we talk about whether they are too ambitious, or whether I need to revise them, and how I can meet them. -Don't expect your adviser to actually know what courses you have to take to graduate. They will know about comprehensive exams and the dissertation, but a lot of professors don't really keep up with the course requirements, especially if their program is in flux. Get you a student handbook, and find out what you need to take. Map it out in a grid, and check off things when you finish them. Show this to your adviser every semester. You may have to explain how such and such class fills a requirement. -Nobody loves you as much as you, except your mother. Keep this in mind as you take in advice from all sources, including your adviser. Your adviser is there to guide you, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything he says. Studying: -You will have to read more than you ever did before, in less time than you ever have before, and you will be expected to retain more than you ever have before. The way that you studied in undergrad may need some tweaking. Be prepared for this. -Corollary: you may find that your methods change with age or interests or time. I preferred to study alone in college, but in grad school, I prefer to study in groups. It keeps me on task and the socialization keeps me motivated. You may find that you shift from being a more auditory learner to a visual learner or whatever. -You will feel behind at first. This is normal. -At some point you will realize that your professors don't actually expect you to read everything they assign you. This, of course, will vary by program, but there will be at least one class where the reading is actually impossible to do in one week. The point is to read enough that you know the major themes and can talk intelligently about them, and then pick some of the readings to really dig into and think more deeply about. -For most programs, don't worry so much about grades. If you stay on top of your work and do what you're supposed to, you will probably get an A. How much grades matter varies from program to program. In some programs, a B is a signal that you are not up to par, and more than a few Bs will warrant a discussion with your adviser or the DGS. My program isn't like that - A, B, it's all meaningless. My adviser doesn't even know what my grades are. But at almost all programs, a C means you need to retake the course, and two Cs means you have to convince the DGS not to kick you out. Extracurricular activity: What's that? No, seriously: -A lot of your time will be unstructured. You will have coursework, but most grad classes meet once a week for two hours and you may have three classes. You may have meetings with your adviser every so often and some seminars or things to catch (like we have grand rounds and colloquia that are required), but a lot of time will be unstructured. However, since you have so much more work than you had in undergrad, you actually will have less free time than you had in undergrad. This may initially cause you great anxiety. It did for me. Some people love unstructured time, though. (I don't.) -Because of this, you'll have to be planful about your non-grad school related stuff. -TAKE TIME OFF. DO it. It's important for your mental health. However you do it doesn't matter. Some people work it like a 9-5 job. Some people take a day off per week (me) and maybe a few hours spread across the week. Some people work half days 7 days a week. However you do it, there needs to be a time when you say "f this, I'm going to the movies." -Find your happy place, something that keeps you the you you were when you came in. I love working out. It gives me energy and I feel good. I stay healthy. I also love reading fiction, so sometimes I just curl up with a good book, work be damned. You have to give yourself permission to not think about work, at least for a couple of hours a week. You may also discover new hobbies! (I never worked out before I came to graduate school.) -Your work will creep into all aspects of your life, if you let it. This is why I hate unstructured time. You will feel guilty for not doing something, because in graduate school, there is ALWAYS something you can do. ALWAYS. But since there will always be more work, there's no harm in putting it aside for tomorrow, as long as you don't have a deadline. -You may need to reach outside of your cohort for a social life. None of my close friends are in my doctoral cohort. I've met master's students in my program, master's students in other programs, and I know a few non-graduate students I hang out with, too. Go to graduate student mixers. (If your university doesn't have any, organize some, if you like planning parties.) Join a student group that doesn't take up too much time. I had a doctoral acquaintance who kinda laughed at me because I joined some student groups other than the doctoral student one, and I was usually the only doctoral student in those groups, but I met some close friends (and future job contacts) and had a good time. -DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING A LIFE OUTSIDE OF GRADUATE SCHOOL. This is paramount. This is important. You are a well-rounded, complex, multifaceted human being. NEVER feel bad for this. Everybody wants some kind of life outside of work. Yes, you may loooove your field, but that doesn't mean you want to do it all day long. Some other doctoral students, and perhaps professors, may make you feel bad about this. Don't let them. Just smile and nod. Then disappear when you need to. Career: -This is job preparation. Remember that from Day One. Always be looking for ways to enhance your skills. Read job ads and find out what's hot in your field, what's necessary, what's in demand. For example, in my field statistics and methods are a hot commodity, and they're not a passing fad. I happen to really like statistics and methods, so I have pursued that as a concentration of mine. -Don't be afraid to take on volunteer work and part-time gigs that will give you skills that will be useful both inside academia and out, as long as it's not against your contract. Your adviser may be against it, but he doesn't have to know as long as it doesn't interfere with your work. -If you want to work outside of academia - if you are even *considering* the possibility - please please definitely do the above. Even if you aren't considering it, consider the possibility that you won't get a tenure-track job out the box and that you may need to support yourself doing something else for a while. You will have to prove to employers that you have developed usable, useful skills and this is one of the easiest ways to do it. But don't overdo it - get the degree done. -For more academic related ones - always look for opportunities to present and publish. Presentations look good on your CV. Publications look better. When you write seminar papers, wonder if you can publish them with some revision. Write your seminar papers on what you maybe think you may want to do your dissertation on. Even if you look at them three years later and think "these suck," you can at least glean some useful references and pieces from them. Discuss publication with your adviser early and often, and if you have the time and desire, seek out publication options with other professors and researchers. But if you commit to a project, COMMIT. You don't want to leave a bad impression. -If you can afford it, occasionally go to conferences even if you aren't presenting. You can network, and you can hear some interesting talks, and you may think about new directions for your own research. You can also meet people who may tell you about jobs, money, opportunities, etc. -Always try to get someone else to pay for conference travel before you come out of pocket. Including your adviser. Do not be shy about asking if he or she can pay. If he can't, he'll just say no. Usually the department has a travel fund for students, but often it's only if you are presenting. -If you are interested in academia, you should get some teaching experience. There are two traditional ways to do this: TAing a course, and teaching as a sole instructor. If you can help it, I wouldn't recommend doing a sole instructor position until you are finished with coursework. Teaching takes a LOT of time to do right. You should definitely TA at least one course, and probably a few different ones. But don't overdo it, if you can help it, because again, it takes a LOT of time. More than you expect at the outset. If you are in the humanities, I think sole instructor positions are very important for nabbing jobs so when you are in the exam/ABD phase, you may want to try at least one. If your own university has none, look at adjuncting for nearby colleges, including community colleges. (I would wager that the majority of natural science/physical science students, and most social science students, have never sole taught a class before they get an assistant professor job. At least, it's not that common n my field, which straddles the social and natural sciences.) -Always look for money. Money is awesome. If you can fund yourself you can do what you want, within reason. Your university will be thrilled, your adviser will be happy, and you can put it on your CV. It's win-win-win! Don't put yourself out of the running before anyone else has a chance to. Apply even if you think you won't get it or the odds are against you (they always are), as long as you are eligible. Apply often. Apply even if it's only $500. (That's conference travel!) Money begets money. The more awards you get, the more awards you will get. They will get bigger over time. If you are in the sciences and social sciences, you should get practice writing at least one grant. You don't have to write the whole thing, but at least get in on the process so that you can see how it's done. Grant-writing is very valuable both in and outside of graduate school. -Revise your CV every so often. Then look and decide what you want to add to it. Then go get that thing, so you can add it. -The career office at big universities is often not just for undergrads. I was surprised to learn that my career center offers help on CV organization and the academic job search, as well as alternative/non-academic career searches for doctoral students. In fact, there are two people whose sole purpose it is to help PhD students find nonacademic careers, and they both have PhDs. This will vary by university - some universities will have very little for grad students. Find out before you write the office off. -It's never too early to go to seminars/workshops like "the academic job search inside and out", "creating the perfect CV," "getting the job," etc. NEVER. Often the leader will share tips that are more aimed towards early graduate students, or tidbits that are kind of too late for more advanced students to take care of. This will also help you keep a pulse on what's hot in your field. It'll help you know what lines you need to add to your CV. And they're interesting. Other: -Decide ahead of time what you are NOT willing to sacrifice on the altar of academia. Then stick to it. I'm serious. If you decide that you do NOT want to sacrifice your relationship, don't. If it's your geographical mobility, don't. I mean, be realistic, and realize that there will always be trade-offs. But you have to think about what's important to you for your quality of life, and realize that there is always more to you than graduate school. -If you don't want to be a professor, do not feel guilty about this. At all. Zero. However, you will have to do things differently than most doctoral students. Your adviser will probably never have worked outside of the academy (although this may vary depending on the field) so he may or may not be able to help you. But you have a special mission to seek out the kinds of experiences that will help you find a non-academic job. Test the waters with your adviser before you tell him this. My adviser was quite amenable to it, but that's because I told him that my goal was to still do research and policy work in my field just not at a university, AND because it's quite common in my field for doctoral students to do non-academic work. If you're in a field where it's not common (or where your professors refuse to believe it's common, or it's not supposed to be common)…well, you may be a little more on your own. -Every so often, you will need to reflect on the reasons you came to graduate school. Sometimes, just sit and think quietly. Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you love your field? Do you need this degree to do what you want to do? Usually the answer is yes and yes, and usually you'll keep on trucking. But sometimes when the chips are down you will need to reevaluate why you put yourself through this in the first place. -To my great dismay, depression is quite common in doctoral students. Graduate work can be isolating and stressful. Luckily your health insurance usually includes counseling sessions. TAKE THEM if you need them. Do not be ashamed. You may be surprised with who else is getting them. (I found out that everyone in my cohort, including me, was getting mental health counseling at a certain point.) Exercise can help, as can taking that mental health day once a week and just chilling. Don't be surprised if you get the blues… -…but be self-aware and able to recognize when the depression is clouding your ability to function. Doctoral programs have a 50% attrition rate, and this is rarely because that 50% is less intelligent than, less motivated than, less driven than, or less ambitious than the other 50% that stays. Often they realize that they are ridiculously unhappy in the field, or that they don't need the degree anymore, or that they'd rather focus on other things in life, or their interests have changed. All of this is okay! -You will, at some point, be like "eff this, I'm leaving." I think almost every doctoral student has thought about dropping out and just kicking this all to the curb. You need to listen to yourself, and find out whether it is idle thought (nothing to worry about, very normal) or whether you are truly unhappy to the point that you need to leave. Counseling can help you figure this out. -Don't be afraid to take a semester or a year off if you need to. That's what leaves of absence are for. Lastly, and positively… …graduate school is great! Seriously, when else will you ever have the time to study what you want for hours on end, talk to just as interested others about it, and live in an intellectual community of scholars and intellectuals? And occasionally wake up at 11 am and go to the bank at 2 pm? Sometimes you will want to pull out all of your hair but most of the time, you will feel fulfilled and wonderfully encouraged and edified. So enjoy this time!
  2. 42 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    I just checked OSU's website. I GOT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Congratulations - you have been offered admission! Use the link on the main page of the Applicant Center to accept or decline. Please click the Application Requirements tab above to see what items, if any, are still needed. Items with a status of 'Incomplete' are still required, 'Received' are currently being processed, and 'Completed' have fulfilled the requirement." I can't believe it. Utter shock and joy right now. I keep worrying that I'm going to refresh and it's going to go away...
  3. 30 points

    2017 Acceptances

    I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND! Thank God! I cried in my office for an hour because this is the best news I've heard all year.
  4. 27 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

  5. 22 points

    Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    Accurate representation of me the past couple of days on this thread..
  6. 22 points
    Hey I didn't really know where to post this, but I just wanted to give a shout out to every potential grad student out there who is dealing with waiting for decisions AND having their plans potentially derailed by the immigration order yesterday. I'm NOT trying to make this political - I'm just throwing out some support during what has to be a difficult time for our fellow "waiting gamers."
  7. 22 points

    2017 Acceptances

    Guys, I've just been accepted to BC I'm completely in shock, I knew they only accept like 4-5 people so I applied assuming I'd be considered for the MA! Email said I'm accepted to the PhD in English 'with a concentration in Irish studies', which I didn't know existed at the PhD level, but after looking at their website it looks likes its more to do with the fellowship than the program.
  8. 21 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I am going to Colombia !!!!!!
  9. 20 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Just got notified - I got the research Fulbright to Germany!!!!!! Best possible news to wake up to here on the West coast <3 SO HAPPY!
  10. 20 points

    2017 Acceptances

    Delighted to FINALLY be a legitimate poster here! I got into Villanova, yay!!!! I'm waiting to know more about funding (they said within the next two days) before getting extremely excited (I already texted all my friends), but I'm relieved to have received an acceptance, and no less from them
  11. 20 points
    Today, I found myself extremely bored. As a result, I complied a list of when schools typically notify for first-round acceptances using data from the results page. After, I rearranged things in order by when programs typically notify. Michigan State-Dec 10? OSU-Jan 20 PSU-Jan 26/27 Wisconsin- Jan 28 Duke- Jan 29 Vanderbilt- Jan 29/30 Northwestern-Jan 29-Feb 2 Johns Hopkins-Jan 29-Feb 2 Berkeley- Jan 30-Feb 2 Chicago- Feb 1/2 Minnesota-Feb 2 Texas- Feb 3/4 Indiana-Feb 3/4 Purdue-Feb 3-5 WUSTL-Feb 3-5 UCLA- Feb 4/5 Davis-Feb 5/6 Pittsburgh-Feb 5/6 Nebraska-Feb 5-7 NYU-Feb 6/7 Maryland-Feb 7-9 Rochester-Feb 8/9 Emory- Feb 8-9 Irvine-Feb 8-9 Illinois- Feb 9-12 Brown-Feb 10-12 LSU-Feb 11 Rice- Feb 12 Buffalo-Feb 12 Missouri- Feb 12-14 Delaware-Feb 12-14 Kansas-Feb 14 Carnegie Mellon- Feb 14/15 Alabama-Feb 14-16 Cornell- Feb 15/16 Miami University-Feb 15/16 Michigan-Feb 16 Connecticut-Feb 16 CUNY-Feb 16/17 Santa Barbara-Feb 17-19 Stanford- Feb 17-Feb 20 Princeton-Feb 17-20 UVA- Feb 19/20 Rutgers-Feb 19/20 Harvard- Feb 20-Feb 22 Columbia- Feb 20-22 Penn- Feb 20-22 Utah-Feb 22 Notre Dame-Feb 23 Yale- Feb 24/25 Washington-Feb 25 Syracuse-Feb 26 Chapel Hill-Feb 26/27 Oregon-Feb 27-28 Iowa-March 2-5 Florida State-March 4-7 Mississippi-5-7
  12. 19 points

    2017 Final Decisions

    I accepted my offer from UC Davis yesterday! I'm so excited and relieved. Much of the decision had to do with the area itself (better for me and my partner, easier for him to find a job) and funding (I found out recently that I actually have six years of funding there, which I didn't get anywhere else). Now onto the practicalities!
  13. 19 points

    2017 Acceptances

    YESSSSS just got my first acceptance from UMass Amherst!!!!!!!!! the email wasn't even the actual acceptance letter, but was from the writing program looking to set up interviews for teaching associateships. however, the first line of the email is: "I was recently informed you were admitted into your graduate program. Congratulations!" SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!!
  14. 19 points

    2017 Acceptances

    I finally got my first acceptance! UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA!!! After three rejections from US schools, this really feels like a dream! I'm so relieved!!!
  15. 19 points

    2016 Acceptance Thread

    Just got admitted to UPenn!!!!!!!!
  16. 18 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I got Hungary! Can't believe it!
  17. 17 points

    2017 Acceptances

    I just received word that I've been accepted at the University of Indiana Bloomington's PhD program! This was my reach school--every other program that I applied to was just a MA. I am shell-shocked. I need to sit down. I AM SITTING DOWN. What is happening!
  18. 17 points

    2017 Acceptances

    I was accepted to the University of Florida today!!! I got the call while on the way to the airport and had to pull over/let my fiancé drive. I may cry on the plane... Also may have audibly squealed while talking with the DGS. (Super professional, I know.) Once I have more info, I'll be sure to share! Ahhhh so happy!!!
  19. 17 points

    2017 Acceptances

  20. 16 points

    Some Words of Caution

    I will be finishing my dissertation in the near future and moving on to the next phase of my life and career. Like most grad students, I stopped visiting this site once I started and the whirlwind of grad school kicked in. I recently had a conversation with a cohort-mate about the correct and incorrect impressions we had when we applied for grad school. That conversation made me think of this site, so I have visited again a few times lately. The biggest misconception I had was about how program rank translated into job prospects. I thought that getting a PhD from Harvard, Michigan, or Stanford was what I needed if I wanted to end up at a big time R1. I didn’t get into a top 5, but that’s fine. i never wanted one of those high-pressure jobs at a top school anyway. I am delighted with a job at a 3-2 directional or a 3-3 regional. Maybe a 4-4 liberal arts school will be fun too, if it turns out that I like teaching and the location is good. I felt like my expectations were reasonable. That’s not how it works. The tenure-track (TT) jobs at the big time R1’s rarely come available, and when they do come up they go to a tiny handful (e.g., 3 or 4) market stars from the top 5. The market for ALL of the rest of the TT jobs (yes, that includes the undesirable locations and the 3-3 directional schools) is fought over by assistant professors looking to make moves and the rest of the ABD’s out of the top 10. Those of us in the 15-25 range are looking for any TT job at all, not ones we like (e.g., the Arkansas Tech opening in American politics last year got well over 100 applications). Most of us take a visiting assistant professor (VAP) or postdoc jobs somewhere for one year, and often a second one. After that some of us get a TT job at an urban commuter school or remote directional. The rest? We lose track of them. Based on Facebook and word of mouth it seems that they become homemakers, yoga instructors, high school teachers, or wherever else life takes them. After six years my cohort of 20 has 12 people left. 1 has a TT job offer. 6 of us are waiting to hear on some VAP / postdoc jobs and waiting on more to post in the spring portion of the job market cycle. The rest need more time to finish. If you are an applicant reading this, you are probably thinking that you’ll do fine. You’re really good at school. Your professors really like you. The hard part of convincing a person not to go to graduate school is that person is told all the time that s/he is one of the best from their school. S/he feels special. I get it. I felt the same way. But once you are here you realize that we were all special. And almost none of us will end up being professors.
  21. 16 points

    Waitlist Movement

    Uh... holy shit. IU just funded my first year! Thank you @RydraWong!!
  22. 16 points
    So, I interviewed at Yale for sculpture. They ask you to do a formal presentation of your work to the students and faculty. I was not flustered, I spoke from the heart and hip about my practice. However, they took issue with me not having an arts degree. A faculty member had stated that my work was too emotional to critique, and that the work I presented containing my brother's ashes (though absolutely relevant to my research about "performative objects", and the feature of an entire conceptual exhibition) was a faux pas. I had gotten rejected from Yale. I interviewed at Columbia. I have not heard anything, and I realize that if I were to gain acceptance, I'd likely be a second or third choice after other artists have passed due to their high tuition. I had been conversing with faculty at UCLA and I had current grad students advocating on my behalf. I had gotten a rejection without even an interview. I know we all understand this sentiment; of feeling yourself and your practice under repetitive scrutiny and valuation, only to be confronted with the hard realization that some people have the ability to prevent you from moving forward. I had expected nothing as a self taught artist, then my morale was so high from the offer of interviews at these schools. I had thought, "finally, my god, thank you." Visions of vast studios and dynamic conversation of art critiques quickly populated my mind. I am an idealist, and as such I am consistently let down. The rejection had me reeling in self doubt, without any touchstone to regain my faith in the art world. How am I to function if my work is too emotional to critique? How am I to move forward from this? Truthfully, I have always done my best by proving people wrong. I realize that you should never ask permission for what others do not own. Your art is your's, your intention should be sincerely your own. If your work is not compatible with a program, that does not make it irrelevant, it simply means its different. I had an interview at Goldsmiths this morning, a radical mfa program that had seemed like a wildcard in my applications. I had spoke from the heart and the hip about my work. I was immediately granted admission. Every thing that these ivy leagues took issue with, they appreciated. Grad school is dating and you should find someone who loves you back.
  23. 16 points

    Questions for Graduate Programs

    Someone posted this list of questions to ask when visiting graduate programs on the Facebook group. With this person's permission, I am posting the list here, because I thought others who may not be part of the Facebook group might find it useful: Topics to ask grad schools: (1) What is the climate for women/minorities like? (2) Teacher accessibility (3) Opportunities to teach (TA vs. teaching) (4) Are grad students happy? (5) Placement / prep for job market? (6) Guaranteed 6th year of funding? (7) How long does it take people to complete program? (8) Teaching workload (how many students; grading help if a lot) (9) Summer opportunities (10) Transition from coursework to dissertation (11) Opportunities to do Phil outside classroom (12) Course selection Questions to ask professors: 1. Are there opportunities to teach or only TA? 2. How does [school] prepare students for the job market? 3. What is financial support like beyond the fifth year? 4. How long does it take people to complete the program? 5. What is the teaching workload like? (How many students? Is there grading help (if a lot)? / How onerous is the teaching + grading load?) 6. What summer opportunities are available to students? What do students typically do over the summer? 7. How does [school] handle the transition from coursework to dissertation? 8. What opportunities are there to do philosophy outside f the classroom on campus? (E.g. reading groups, talks, philosophy society, school-sponsored philosophy conference, etc.) 9. How is the collection of the department library? How often is it updated? 10. Do all grad students /TAs get office space? 11. Links of the dept with professors in linguistics and other areas of cognitive science? 12. What do people typically do in winter and summer vacations? 13. People retiring in the next 2-3 years? New hirings planned in the next 1-2 years? 14. How many students is [professor] planning to take in the next few years? 15. Proto seminar- what is it like and what will it look like this fall semester? 16. Support for publishing in the initial years at _______ university? 17. Department fellowships which one can apply for later which can give time off teaching? 18. Your (professor's) current research interests and upcoming projects? 19. How often do the professors meet with students especially during the coursework stage? 20. Do professors come to reading groups and other department activity apart from colloquia? 21. What is the level of support available from the Department to attend conferences, workshops and seminars? How far does the stipend go in that area? 22. Is the funding 9 month or 12 month? What are the avenues for summer funding? Questions to ask grad students: 1. How often do you meet with professors? 2. How often do you talk about philosophy with professors when you're not in meetings/classes? (To develop as a philosopher, it is very important to develop your in-person philosophy skills--thinking on your feet, asking good questions, responding to objections, etc.) 3. Do professors come to reading groups? (Or any departmental events that aren't colloquia?) 4. Do grad students ask questions at colloquia? 5. Do you feel comfortable talking in group settings? Have you felt comfortable talking in group settings since you first came? If not, when did you start feeling comfortable? 6. Do grad students share their work with one another/give feedback with one another? 7. How often are people around the department? 8. What do you like most about being here? 9. What do you like least about being here? 10. Do older grad students spend time around the department? 11. What kind of guidance do you get from your professors/advisor? (very important- you want faculty who really read your stuff carefully and make your papers better. if the faculty are mia or not very careful when they read your papers, you may not get this.) 12. Does the culture feel combative or one-up-y? Do you feel like you have to be "on" when you're in a philosophical setting? 13. Are the students here happy? 14. What are faculty and student working on in [area]? What is doing [area, e.g. metaphysics] like here? Questions about climate: 1. Is there a MAP chapter? (You can usually find this out yourself) 1. If so, contact MAP coordinator 2. What is the climate like at [school]? 3. What has [school] done for women and minorities in philosophy? 4. What percentage of grad students are women? 5. Sexual harassment issues? [prob best to ask a grad student discretely]
  24. 16 points
    I think this is a good time for you to learn one of the first important lessons of being a graduate student: Stop comparing yourself to your peers. As you start graduate school, you are becoming a professional academic. Each one of us is going to go on very different paths in both our careers and our research focus etc. It is no longer logical or useful to simply compare things like GPA and GRE scores. These are only a very very small part of the decision making process. Remember that you don't know everything about these other accepted students and it is not right to judge them on these metrics only. In addition, not everything that appears on the Results database here is correct. There is no explicit question for research experience so many people don't really put their experience here (I didn't, for example). For my field in particular, the questions you get asked when filling in the Results Survey is almost completely useless: those factors are not really going to make a big difference in the admission decision. To answer your last question, yes, it makes sense to want to go to a school that will challenge you and will make you into the best researcher that you can be. However, no, I do not think the method you are using to judge the school is fair. You should not judge the school by the other people they accept especially if you do not know all the details of their profiles anyways. Remember the lesson: keep the process focused on yourself. Ask yourself: Will this school provide the resources you need to succeed? Never mind the other students accepted.
  25. 16 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    Where's the ambivalence and confusion? When you boil it all down, it's a case of them letting you know when they're ready to let you know. It really is as simple as that. Ph.D. programs are making around a $100,000 investment (on average) in their acceptances...and I'm not even considering waived tuition and travel stipends in that approximation. You can rest assured that they have to be well-considered decisions from an institutional standpoint, and that simply has to be their first consideration...especially in a day and age where funding for our very field is rapidly dwindling. If this were a situation where you have no idea if they will ever let you know about acceptance / waitlist / rejection, that would be one thing...but that's simply not the case. You know that they HAVE to inform you by April 15th (with a few minor exceptions), so that is the frame that you're yearning for, and it already exists. In other words, it really does come down to being patient and respecting the process. I'm not going to say any more on this topic, as I'm frankly a little annoyed that this isn't just common sense. I recognize that emotions are running high right now, but be that as it may, I don't like this implication that programs need to kowtow and be utterly transparent about every facet of their process to their applicants. It's way too much to expect, and simply doesn't factor in the sheer enormity of the job admissions personnel have to do.
  26. 16 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    Argh. I don't want to sound like a surly old man, but here's the thing... It's perfectly fine for you (us) as Ph.D. program hopefuls to be antsy about admission timelines. It's to be expected, really -- it's one of the biggest moments of our lives, and that's not hyperbole. BUT, you should also keep in mind that these admissions committees are often dealing with upward of 300 applications...and almost all of those applicants are in the same boat as you: worrying, antsy, emotional, on edge, and unsure of when they'll hear back. Admissions committees have an unenviable task, and while it's largely a mystery to us as to how they make their decisions (and it almost certainly varies by program), I just think that we have to respect that they do it the way they do it for a reason. Professors are usually busy at the best of times, and I can only imagine how hectic it is during this time of year when they're sitting on an adcom. Likewise, a DGS (and his/her staff) has to juggle all of these acceptances, rejections, and waitlists for a couple of months. All of this is to say that I completely understand the desire to know all of your options as soon as possible...but sometimes I worry that that desire starts to merge into an expectation that you are owed an answer right away. I simply think that you have to respect the process, and understand that adcoms have their reasons for doing the things they do the way they do them. They have to do their job...and it's a very hard job to do. Calls and emails from panicky applicants isn't going to speed up the process or change anything. I hope this doesn't come across as a rant. I don't mean it as a rant. I just want you to remember that, as difficult as the waiting process is for us, it's also difficult on the adcom side of things. Just try your best to be patient. ETA: Cross-posted with AnxiousGrad
  27. 16 points
    Scarlet A+

    2017 Acceptances

    I got my first response/acceptance!! I'm officially accepted to University of Alabama's fully funded Masters program!! It comes with waived tuition, a $13,500 Graduate Assistant stipend and an $800 Loomis scholarship (per year). Hallelujah. One down, four more to go. It's just such a relief that no matter what happens, I am moving forward.
  28. 15 points

    2017 Acceptances

    Hi, so I received an Acceptance email on Tuesday. I actually didn't want to open it, because the email just said Admission Decision. Very ominous. But I figured I would open it and then go to whateber online portal later and, to my surprise, it said Congratulations! It's DePaul University. It's the only MA program I applied to so it's kind of Plan B, but I really like the program, so as far as backup plans go, it's definitely one I'm happy about. And it's so much pressure off of me to know that I can get 8 rejections and still be going somewhere in the fall. Feel free to post your acceptances here. And maybe Rejections and Waitlists as well if you feel comfortable with that (unless you want to start a separate thread).
  29. 15 points

    2017 Final Decisions

    Now that all my visits are finally over, UC Berkeley is the winner! Couldn't be happier about it, especially since everything I saw at the visit was extremely positive and welcoming.
  30. 15 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I got Peru research!!!! 🇵🇪
  31. 15 points

    HKS 2017

    Twas the Day 'Fore Admissions 'Twas the day 'fore admissions, and all through the forum, Not a person was working, they'd built quite a quorum. Their essays were written, with pride and with care, But would they get in? Not a one was aware. They paced through their offices and homes oh so stressed, While their little hearts beated away in their chests. They gnawed at their nails and rended their flesh, They rapped on their keyboards, and tapped at refresh. An email arrived! The time! It has come! Oh, no, wait, it's just a letter from mum. "Ugh, Mom!" they did shout. "Can't you see that I wait? For a letter from Harvard to come on this date?" And far off in Cambridge, the admissions committee, Laughed and sneered and guffawed without pity. They sipped on their mai tais and laughed at the plebs, "Having fun waiting, you dorks and you dweebs?" But at last they decided, long enough they had waited, They'd read and reread, discussed and debated. They gave off a shout and it rang through the city "Behold a decree from the admissions committee!" They turned to the students at The Grad Cafe Who'd fretted and talked, and stopped working all day, "We think you're quite swell, and you're so very cool Welcome to Harvard's John F. Kennedy School!"
  32. 15 points

    Laying Down the truth, sorry, not sorry

    Well thanks for the honesty I suppose. I'm going to be blunt with you, so try to not take offense, but you seem awfully arrogant. Some of your points are valid and I agree with; there are currently too many PhDs being trained. At this rate it's not sustainable, it's simply not. But to say a PhD is not worthwhile unless you stay in academia is silly and myopic, and should someone choose industry over academia that does not make them any less of a scientist. Many PhDs are choosing industry and alternative careers simply because they find academia is not an attractive option. Being on an entirely soft money salary fighting tooth and nail for grants in order to feed your family isn't exactly everyone's idea of a stable career, and if you can't see that then perhaps you should reflect on the current climate of academia a bit more. You know what percentage of PhD graduates end up in tenure track positions? It's low. While academia was once the default path, it's quickly becoming just the opposite and schools are changing to reflect that. You are exactly the the type of person I am looking to avoid for rotations. I hope during the course of your training you take off your blinders, because your narrow mindedness is something that is not a great character trait.
  33. 15 points
    I have been taken off the waitlist at Umass Amherst and offered a fully funded place! (thanks to whoever declined!)
  34. 15 points

    PhD Applications Fall '17 Season

    I have accepted Stanford's offer. Game over. Peace!!!
  35. 15 points

    Acceptance Thread

    In at Georgetown! After being totally shut out last year, an offer feels good.
  36. 15 points
    I'm just going to do this; I know we've all tried to ignore you, but you're clearly not getting the picture so here goes. They're down voting you probably because they're sick of you trolling this forum after you graduated with your MSW a LONG time ago, then you go and complain to the mods because people are downvoting you. Maybe you should have considered your earlier behaviour in this forum (intimidating people who are applying to clinical programs, throwing around academic jargon as empty ammunition). Your pseudo-intellectual comments amused me and I had a good laugh btw. You use intersectionality to attack everyone else and it's sad. I'm sorry, but I've been following this thread for awhile and sometimes your comments are supportive (as they have been lately), but for the most part you're just stirring up people's emotions and trying to get negative reactions out of everyone. Why? It's pretty obvious most of the people here don't appreciate your 'insider tips', which include posting comments about low acceptance rates (what is the point of discouraging applicants?), when letters will go out (as if you have behind the scenes intel on what all the GTA schools are doing, LOL). Not to mention you constantly bashing clinical social work and those who want to pursue this field. No one has said anything to offend you and here you are just attacking those who are not like you (critical social work, anti-oppressive followers). Doesn't that go against the basic principles of anti-oppression? What are your intentions here, truly? Why are you constantly posting in here? Are you being helpful or harmful? Please seriously consider these questions. Stick to being supportive and leave all the rest of this crap out of here. We're supposed to be supporting each other. This thread is for APPLICANTS. Unless you have something substantial to say, without being offensive or passive-agreesive, stop looking for drama.
  37. 15 points
    Don't let numbers intimidate you. If these numbers are true, [I wouldn't bet that anything Yweang says is true, but I digress], then chances of getting in are less than 4% if they were picking people randomly like a lottery system. They are not picking people randomly like a lottery system, you have a greater chance of getting into the program than someone who is not as good a fit as you are. The acceptance rates for all programs are low, but keep in mind there are so many areas of your applications where you can stand out from the crowd. Low chance doesn't mean no chance, and there are a ton of MSW applications that come in from people very underqualified looking to get the degree as a "next step" because they don't know what else to do after their undergrad, people applying who don't really have a good understanding what social work is at all, and many more reasons that someone might make for a poor candidate. When I was applying to the program, I had 6 friends applying for clearly the wrong reasons, they didn't even get waitlisted. Trust in your experience, it is unique to you and has led you to where you are today: applying to work in one of the most wonderful fields out there. It's hard not to dwell on numbers and statistics when they're so scary and in your face, but as future social workers (and I have no doubt you are ALL future social workers), you would never reduce someone else to just a number, so don't do that to yourself. Hopefully you get in this round, if not, you'll find a way to make it work--if it is truly your calling, you will find a way. My practicum supervisor right now didn't get into the MSW until their 4th try and now they are working as a head social worker in a hospital department. The path to success isn't perfectly linear, most people have a few hiccups down the road, try your best to not let those hiccups stop your from continuing your journey. I am so excited to hear about your successes!
  38. 15 points

    Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    The arrogance and grandiosity in this response.. C'mon :/
  39. 15 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    Just booked my flight / hotel / rental car for OSU's day for admitted students. Things are getting real!
  40. 15 points

    Fall 2017 applicants

    Stop worrying, guys. Just assume the committees laughed at your application then threw it in the trash. Assume that afterwards they went out for coffee to discuss how pathetic you truly are for thinking you stood a chance. After coffee, they returned to the office. They dug your application out of the trash for another laugh; your statement of "purpose" had them rolling. They took selfies of themselves with your application, posted the photos on Twitter, and watched as even the school chancellor retweeted them. Your POI crumbled up the application once again and shot it like a basketball into the trashcan but missed and didn't even pick it up. Making their rounds the next morning, the janitors picked it up and read it. They laughed harder than the admissions committee. "What a waste of time, money, and energy this person would be for the History Department," said one of the janitors. The other janitor agreed, noting that the time, money, and energy would be better spent on purchasing new toilet paper. Your POI returned home later that night. Family members asked about the applications and whether or not any of them stood out. "Nope. Not a single one," said your POI from the comfort of a home that tenure affords and that you'll never experience. "Not a single one."
  41. 15 points

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Just got a call from an unknown San Diego number and with absurd enthusiasm ran out of the library (#finals) to answer. It was a telemarketer. Hang in there, pals.
  42. 14 points

    Fall 2017 applicants

    Seriously. This is going to be what future cycles take from the 2017 thread? Maybe some of the veterans need to chill if they can't interact with new people with some grace.
  43. 14 points

    Fall 2017 Applicants

    Admission offered from UT Austin today! After two years of rejection I have been admitted to all 3 programs I applied to. Keep on keeping on!
  44. 14 points

    Rejection hurts

    I've had a good share of rejections so here are my two cents: Rejections, like coursework, are part of grad school and your academic career. You are going to be rejected so many times in the future that I can't even find a nice sugarcoat for it. You will submit articles that will get bluntly sent back. You will apply for grants that take months to prepare and one day you'll get the horrible letter. Every one of those rejections is going to hurt so, if you want to succeed, you will need to eventually develop some type of coping mechanism. I give myself chocolate. Rejections hurt right now because they are too personal. Academia is too personal. You will see that you will be trained to behave like a professional but at the end of the day, you are leaving things aside to pursue this. Everybody knows this. I don't have kids, but friends of mine do and I can see how much at stake they have in their hands. So, of course it hurts! It's natural, it bothers us, but wondering about it, unfortunately, does not make us any good. Take rejections as an opportunity. I was rejected from a program that I thought was the program. Great fit, great funding, and extended conversations over Skype with POI. I mean, I just knew it was my place in the world. I was rejected with that cold letter that gives no explanation. That pushed me to the program I am now and I couldn't be happier. I seriously doubt I would have come to this program if I hadn't been rejected in the other one. Also, a rejection is a chance to re-evaluate how you deal with life itself. In my case, I used to cry for a day or two. Then I figured that was a total waste of time so instead I would give myself a nice meal -any of my choosing- and tell my advisors once I had dealt with it. I am surprised of myself! Rejections are not shameful. I don't know about you right now, but I am always ashamed of telling my advisor that I didn't get a grant, again. I feel like the ugly duckling who never gets anything. She never made me feel that way and is always encouraging me to move on, but still, I am the only one of her students who didn't get even a tiny grant. This is the hardest part for me, but as I said, I learned to deal with it. Being hurt is an emotional response. We cannot control what makes us angry or happy or sad. But we can control how to react and what to do with it. Yes, take your time to be blue, but don't make it your sole response.
  45. 13 points

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Just received an email notification of my acceptance as a Fulbright research scholar to Panama!
  46. 13 points
    Congratulations to everyone so far! And to you guys who haven't gotten quite what you wanted; don't give up! I don't believe in the theory of No, rather I believe in No(t right now). So keep making the work and most importantly stay true to who you are and what motivates you and why you make art. I also wanted to share with you guys. I got admitted into SAIC with a full scholarship in sculpture!
  47. 13 points

    When will we hear!!!!

  48. 13 points

    Anyone else feeling hopeless?

    I just came to say I've been where you are, and do NOT give up! I am on my third application cycle, and last week received my very first acceptance. Getting into grad school is unbelievably competitive - most schools take less than 10% of applicants - so not getting in the first time is by no means an indication of your "fitness" for graduate school. Getting rejected across the board two years in a row was really disheartening, and there were times I said I wasn't going to go through this whole grueling process again just to try to prove I can hack it to a group of strangers based on a few pieces of paper and an online form. HOWEVER, after the devastation subsided, I realized changing my viewpoint about the application process to that of a learning experience helped me move forward and try again. Each time I have gone through this, I have learned how to present myself just a little bit better, how to describe my work and my research interests more clearly and succinctly, and how to gracefully handle rejection - which we are going to get a lot of in academia. Giving up after one cycle, if this is something you really want to do, seems a little premature when you consider how few applicants actually receive acceptance. Also, this cycle is far from over!!
  49. 13 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    But NOT a quiet day for snow dogs!!!
  50. 13 points

    Wine, Wait, and Whine

    I told my sister to order Chinese food because we didn't have anything to eat at home, and (I kid you not) this was my fortune.