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Found 230 results

  1. I'm planning to apply for a PhD in English (Literature) and I'm wondering about the foreign language component. All of the schools I'd most like to apply to require 1 or usually 2 foreign languages examined by the end of the second year or so. Yale also mentions on its admission requirements that they want 'preparation in languagessufficient to satisfy the language requirement' and Harvard says that 'While there are no specific prerequisites for admission, a strong language background helps to strengthen the application'. None of the others seem to mention languages at all in their admissions sections, only in the details of what's required during the course. Does anyone know how important the language background is relative to other elements of the application? My personal situation: I have a UK A-Level in Latin and a GCSE in German. I've been working on my German online (duolingo etc.) but I have no new qualifications to show evidence of progress. I did an informal assessment at the Goethe Insitut in London, and they reckon I could probably handle a B1 exam, which the internet reckons is about equivalent to a UK AS-level, halfway between GCSE and A-Level, but I don't know if it really counts for as much on an application. If I did take the exam, it might show that my German is ongoing and improving, but I have relatively little time to prepare for the exam, it's alarmingly close to the application deadline, so if my results don't come on time it might count for nothing anyway, and I think it might be a better use of time to work on my writing samples/preparing for GREs etc. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  2. I'd like to steer my career towards policy, specifically as related to economic inequality, and to facilitate that transition I intend to pick up an MPP sometime in the next few years. A lot of things about my application look strong -- I got a BA in Economics from a Top 30 program, I did really well on the GRE a couple of months ago (167/167/5.0) and my work experience is solid (I was a financial analyst at a successful startup, I did an Americorps VISTA year and I'm currently waiting to begin a position as a GS-11 Program Analyst with HUD). The only thing I feel is holding me back is that my undergrad GPA was outright awful -- 2.41 cumulative, not much higher than that in-major. In light of that, I'm trying to do everything I can pad out my application over the next year or so. Elsewhere in the forums I came across the idea of doing a non-degree grad school course and that made a lot of sense to me, so I got registered at American U for PUAD601, Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis. My reasoning with picking this course is that: 1) it seems substantially rigorous to display academic competency should I do well in it; 2) it seems like it would be universally relevant to whichever graduate program I might end up attending in the future; and 3) picking up extra Stata experience can't be a bad thing in the job market (I've been waiting for about six months for this HUD position to start, so I'm getting a bit antsy and considering backup options). My questions are: A) did I pick the right course?; and B) even if I pull an A in this course, will I have any chance of being admitted into a decent program with such a low undergrad GPA? The process for applying to and being admitted to this course happened really quickly, so I'm just looking for some input on whether I'm making the right decision here -- it's a significant expense to take a class this way, after all. Regarding A: the other course that seemed reasonable to me was Econometrics, but I wouldn't be able to take it until next semester for scheduling reasons. Any input as to whether one might be a better option than the other for me, or as to whether it might be reasonable to take both? Thanks!
  3. There seem to be a lot of threads asking the same thing popping up lately and I figured it might make sense to make an overall guide thread and then those who feel their answers still haven’t been adequately answered can post below for an idea of what their chances are. Here is a brief rundown of factors affecting your likelihood of getting into top-tier and well respected programs. If you fall below par in any one of these factors you can bump it up by being stellar in one of the others. I'll add to this if others point out other things I've left out. School requirements: Your first stop should be the school admissions website – this will tell you what prerequisites you need, give you an idea of GRE and GPA requirements and what work experience is expected (if any) GPA: From what I’ve seen/read over the years any GPA over 3.4 and you should be competitive. That’s not to say if your GPA is lower than 3.4 you’ll have no chance, but if you have a GPA above 3.4 you should be in good shape. GRE score: GRE scores seem to be most important for schools with demanding quantitative programs and for securing the top financial aid. Most schools will state the average GRE scores for their incoming classes on their website – use these to see how competitive you are. By and large you should be competitive if you score over 650 on verbal and quantitative and over 4.0 on the AWA. For the top schools over 700 seems to be closer to the mark. Work experience: For most programs it will be expected that you have at least 1-2 years of relevant experience in your field. This can be lowered a little if you have other pseudo-relevant work experience (management in the for-profit sector etc.) but you should have shown some level of professional interest in the area you hope to study at grad school. Applicants coming straight out of undergrad may find it very hard to get into the programs aimed more at junior/mid-career professionals such as Johns Hopkins SAIS and Princeton’s WWS. Language skills: For a lot of programs being able to speak a second language is a must, while for others it is just a very good selling point. If you can show experience working in a foreign language this will show adaptability and will endear schools looking to enrol a diverse group of applicants. Quantitative requirements: A lot of schools will want you to show experience in micro/macroeconomics and some maths/statistics courses. You can fullfil these through undergrad classes or by taking courses at a community college/diploma program. Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): Work overseas and study abroad are also viewed extremely favourably by admissions committees and if you have taught English abroad, worked in the Peace Corps or otherwise gained experience living in a developing country this will really strengthen your application. It also shows you to be a go-getter, and that you can bring this outside experience to grad school study. Statement of Purpose: This is where it all comes together. This is your chance to impress the admission committee and show how your personal 'arc' has brought you to this point - being the perfect addition to their grad school. This more than any other part of your application will determine how admit committees view you as an applicant and it's also one of the only application variables that's completely under your control. Having a cohesive narrative that brings together life experience, past academic history and professional experience is a must. It also gives you a great chance to showcase your writing style - so make sure no grammar/spelling mistakes make it into your final revision. Great list of SOP pitfalls If your profile matches at least 3 or 4 of the criteria listed above then you are competitive to apply to an MPA/MPP/IR program. What is most important about any grad school application is showing fit – that is how your profile matches the speciality of that school and its program. If you can’t articulate compelling reasons why you are a good match for them and vice versa, question whether you should be applying to that program. A note on applying to top schools: It is worth noting that nobody here can tell you what your chances of getting into a top program (Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown etc.) because getting into a top program requires a certain amount of luck as well as a great profile. Some people get offers from Harvard with a 2.9 GPA, but also happen to have singlehandedly retaken an allied command post in the Korengal valley. It’s down to who reads your application and what they happen to be looking for with the current application cycle. Spend time improving the elements of your application that you can (GRE, work experience, languages) and don’t waste time freaking out about the things you can’t change (GPA). If you’ve read all of the above and really still can’t tell if your application is competitive, post your profile below.
  4. Hi. I'm planning to apply for Operations Research or MEM/MIM/or any other business related degree for my masters studies. I'll be shifting from my Mechanical Engineering discipline. I have not take up any business related courses except for Economics and Professional Ethics. I've also done Optimization during my course work. With a 6.8 CGPA and a 318.5 GRE score (V - 157 Q - 157 AWA - 4.5), I'm planning to use my extracurriculars as my main focus during my applications. I've participated in two business case study competitions, one of which I was a global semi-finalist among 40 teams and I've also helped organize a case study competition of my own. I'm also a keen writer/blogger, which has given me awareness on concepts such as personal branding, content management, analytics and preparing a product like a blog. I wanted someone's take on whether this kind of profile is seen favorably for such programs?
  5. Hello! I'm looking to get myself ready to apply an Econ or Applied Econ Masters program for Fall of 2019. The goal of this is 1. to make myself competitive for at least a T100 Econ PhD program, and 2. To enable me to move into a career in policy if I decide I'm not cut out for the PhD route. Being 2 years out of grad school in kind of a dead end job though, I'm struggling to see what I can do to make up for some deficiencies in my undergrad. I'm desperate to switch careers to a subject I've been passionate about my whole life, so I'm hoping somebody here can help me. My full background info is below, but I'll just start out with my 2 primary weaknesses/concerns. Lack of research experience. This is probably my biggest weakness, and I have no idea how to remedy it. I'm not in undergrad anymore, I can't easily ask a professor for an RA job, and I also have responsibilities now (I'm getting married soon) which make it much more difficult to immediately upend and move across the country if that's what it takes. Not sure if my goals are achievable if I can't overcome this problem. Shabby letters of recommendation. Not much I can do about this, as it's tied to the first problem with research experience. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll hit it off with a professor at the U through these math courses who can write a letter as well, but I don't know that I can count on that Schools Applying To: I'll apply to the best schools I think I have a shot at. Something like the Duke MA is likely beyond my reach, but I'm looking strongly at the University of Minnesota MS in Applied Economics and similar programs. Interests: I have some wide ranging interests, but urban and labor economics are particularly interesting to me Undergrad Institution: No name liberal arts college (unfortunately) Undergraduate GPA: 3.72 Undergraduate Major: Economics, Computer Information Systems GRE: 170 V, 164 Q, 4.5 AWA (will take again if necessary, which I suspect it will be) Quantitative Courses: Outside of the standard Econ courses (intermediate micro/macro and an Econ department statistics course, all of which were A's or A-'s I believe), I also took econometrics and Calculus 1 and got an A in those. I know that's inadequate, so I'm preparing for grad school by taking more math courses at the local U (University of Minnesota). Specifically, I plan on at least finishing the calc sequence and taking linear algebra, but hopefully I can do more than just that. I'm assuming I'll get A's or A-'s in those, because, well, I kind of have to. Years of Work Experience: 1 1/2 years as an Application Developer at a financial services company, and around half a year as a Business Intelligence Specialist at the same company (my current position). Probably not too helpful for my application, as it's mostly reporting and pretty basic work with financial sales data, not any super interesting analysis or research. Age: 24 LORs: Here's where it gets dicey. I have 1, maaaaaybe 2 undergrad econ professors who I can get to write for me, but I didn't really do much in the way of research in undergrad so they won't be able to speak to that. I tutored for stats and for intro Econ courses, so one of the professors can mention that, but that's about it (other than just saying I was a bright student). For my third letter, I'll likely have to rely on a former manager, or a third professor who may or may not remember me well. And honestly, even the Econ professors who I'm counting on might not have that much to say (after all, I've been out of their class for a few years, and I don't know how well they'll remember me). Any advice would be appreciated! I know I'm in kind of a rough spot, but I'm willing to make sacrifices if necessary to make this happen, and I don't necessarily have to get into a top tier Masters program either, as long as it can still accomplish my goals. Thanks!
  6. Hey all, I am applying in fall 2017 for a PhD program in Epidemiology to a couple of institutions. I am aware that PH schools in the US use (prefer) the centralized application portal, SOPHAS. I am an international applicant attending graduate school in Europe, and applying as an international student requires more time and financial resources, with additional tests such as TOEFL and transcript evaluations via WES (requiring approximately $200). I know some schools have their own internal applications systems for SPH applicants (e.g Berkeley), while others (e,g Rutgers) only accept applications through SOPHAS. And there comes the fees for SOPHAS ($135 for the first school and $50 for every additional applications). :-( So, come September, which one would be the best option to pursue? A SOPHAS application or a direct application to the schools? Is SOPHAS really worth it, considering I am applying to a PhD? Would applying to individual schools be a better option? Any advice immensely appreciated :-)
  7. GRE

    Hey guys, How much of a factor do you think GRE scores are in the admissions process for political science PhD programs? I know the admissions websites say they look at the profile of potential candidates holistically, but there must be some sort of a cutoff, right? Do you think GRE scores more heavily weighted for applicants that have been out of school for a while (5+ years)? In the case of an applicant who has been out of school for a while, does the GRE matter more than GPA? Thoughts? Insights?
  8. Hi, In case this post seems misplaced please let me know or in case this was discussed in another thread please feel free to add the link here. I had two questions about the pre-application process particularly for policy/pol sci admissions? -- I was wondering if it is necessary to reach out to professors in the program (the ones whose interest you are interested in and you might mention on your SOP) prior to sending the application? I have read contradictory advice on that-- also it seems that it depends on the program. In case there is nothing explicitly said on the website what is the norm? -Is there a distinction between high/low ranked universities while approaching this? -Is August/September too late in the season to reach out to professors? -- Is it common practice to reach out to the program director to learn about the program prior to making an application. Do people hold a small phone call (or visit if possible) while making an application? -Also, is it a good idea to check with a program director about availability of faculty? -What are the kind of questions you reach out to graduate directors prior to making an application? (except some key application logistical issues). Thanks for your thoughts!
  9. Ok so, I'm starting to very seriously consider applying to PhD programs in comparative literature. However, I'm terrified of the whole application process. I just finished an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia and remember how intense and nerve-wracking that whole application process was. One of my most irrational fears is of the GRE. I took the GRE a few years ago and my scores were not all that. So, what score should I be aiming to get? Also, what--in your opinion--are the most important things that I should focus on in the app. Should I email professors at the schools I'll be applying to? If so, what's the etiquette of those emails? Basically, I just need to know what I'm doing because I'm very confused and irrationally nervous to even start the process.
  10. How do you recommend describing language ability on a cv/for a grad school application? For example, I just started taking German and plan to continue taking while I apply in the fall and until I (hopefully) begin grad school. How do I indicate that I am a beginner but plan on improving the skill prior to entering grad school? I speak French (conversationally) and can read it. I don't want to exaggerate my language abilities but I also don't want to undersell them. I also took 3 years of Latin in high school (most of which I've forgotten) but I feel like I would be able to learn it again pretty quickly because of my previous experience--worth mentioning? (I am interested in studying Roman art so it's relevant) Also, any insight on how much background in languages (how many languages, how fluent) schools like to see from applicants or advice on studying languages during a gap year?
  11. I work for a company in Michigan and we're looking for a statistics course that members of the company could take remotely or have a representative come on site and teach for a certain number of hours a week. I'd love some recommendations for good reputable programs or institutions that can help us. Thanks!
  12. Good evening, this is Steve. I am currently an upcoming high school senior and interested in applying for Architecture and Urban design major. I understand that I'm posting this on a Grad forum I think that people who are in this community will definitely be more experienced and know what kind of portfolio a college professor/admission department is more likely to prefer. Could someone please tell me some general things that I should definitely include in my portfolio? Or which kind of direction (either more artistic or more design based) should my portfolio be composed of? Thanks so much!
  13. Hi all: First time poster here. I want to ask about how much the GRE Quant section actually matters for admissions to HDS. All aspects of my application are extremely competitive however, there is one setback: my Quant score. While my Verbal scores and AWA are well above averages, my Quant is at a dismal 20%. Could this be a deal breaker for me? Might I be weeded out of the competition before my application ever reaches someone's desk? Thanks for your feedback.
  14. Hi! I'm going to be a senior undergrad and was wondering how competitive of an applicant I am to get into a (behavioral) Neuroscience PhD program. I was also wondering what I should do to improve my application. Some stats: Major: Dual- Psychology (honors) and Neuroscience Minor: Fine Arts Overall GPA: 3.6 (will rise to about 3.65 by graduation) In-Majors GPA: 3.75 Research: 3.5 years Grants: URA (undergraduate research award) GRE (not taken yet...assuming I score average) Extra Curricular Activities: Biology Tutor (1 semester), Resident Assistant (RA) (1 year) Presented at a URC (undergraduate research conference) Will also have a Senior Honors Thesis in which I will have conducted my own experiment I would really appreciate constructive criticism; anything to improve my application will help!
  15. Does anyone know of SLP graduate programs that require an interview during the application process? It can be in person/phone/video chat. I only know of a few so far.
  16. When I was a young man I was stupid and a knucklehead, and eventually got administratively separated from the U.S. Marine Corps for insubordination. After much therapy and growing up, I've now gotten older and wiser, regret my previous stupidity, and am now in college slated to graduate with a 3.6 GPA and a Philosophy degree. I spent a year abroad in Barcelona, Spain learning Spanish to a conversational level and have several years of officer experience working in activist groups and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people of color and poor folks. And if it is of any relevance; I am a biracial, bisexual man who grew up in poverty and in a family of veterans where I saw firsthand the wonderful and lifesaving work done by social workers, therapists, and other advocates. I really want to become a social worker and help out others the way other people have helped me and my family, but I am afraid that something my stupid 19 year old self did might harm this. Would my OTH harm me in any meaningful way? I've read that social workers with their own personal histories of struggles are actually liked more in fields like substance abuse or prison work and I am wondering if this would be a negative or even a positive for me. Should I even put my Marine Corps experience in my application and work history if it is a negative? I was thinking that maybe me being a veteran would be one more thing I could have in common with our clients when I work with veterans for instance, but I want to hear from you folks first. Thank you very much for the advice in advance and have a blessed day! EDIT: And for what it's worth, I have a disabled veteran father and live in California so that means I can be the recipient of the Cal Vet Tuition Waiver program, which gives me free tuition at all California State sponsored universities. So I have much more financial freedom in trying to apply to schools like UC Berkeley or UCLA.
  17. Hi, all – I apologize in advance if any of my questions are glaringly obvious, but I require gradcafe wisdom on submitting a multimedia essay to PhD programs in English literature and similar disciplines like cultural/media studies. As a point of reference, my essay examines the ideological edifice of two Steve Bannon documentaries, Torchbearer and Generation Zero, and draws on the theoretical framework of S. Žižek's The Sublime Object of Ideology. Such analysis requires that I embed clips from either film as textual evidence, and the platform I decided upon was WordPress, buying my own domain to give a little autonomy to the project. To start, how do different PhD programs deal with this type of submission? I'm sure disciplines like media studies have pretty clear-cut protocol for what I'm describing, but I'm not sure how English literature programs might differ, if at all, but they're my main point of interest here, so it'd help to receive as much knowledge as I can on the subject. Further, might there be an advantage to briefly describing relevant scenes in my essay, as Žižek so often does, in lieu of embedded clips? On the one hand, this move would streamline the complication by maintaining a purely textual essay; on the other hand, I can't possibly imagine paraphrasing a literary text, e.g. Ulysses, for an entire paper without losing rhetorical effect on some demonstrative level. (Good grief, I never thought I would ever align Joyce and Bannon in a metaphorical capacity – I think I may need an ice-cold shower, or perhaps a holy water blessing from Dr. Buck Mulligan himself.) If you're so inclined, I also have a few less-pressing questions: 1) Preferentially, is WordPress the best platform for a multimedia essay such as mine? 2) How does one formalize your page-count with embedded videos, or does this ultimately not matter as much as word-count when submitting to programs? 3) Submitted multimedia essays should preclude peripheral or paratextual content, like expository "About" tabs, right? Thanks everyone!
  18. I have a 50+ paper I would like to use as a WS for my apps. Should I send the whole pdf and designate pages to read or should I condense it into a cohesive 30-35 page paper? (I use that range since all my apps want somewhere in that range). Pro for the first option: They get to see all my effort. Con for the first option: It's not as cohesive, since they're jumping around. Pro for the second option: It reads as one continuous paper, as there is no need for jumping around. Con: They do not see the larger product. Thanks.
  19. Hello all: This may be a bit late (or a bit early) for some of you, but I think it could help people in the next application cycle (Fall 2018). I read that some people were accepted to the UVA Spanish Program and were asking if it would be a good option. UVA used to have a good program and reputation, but I think that is no longer true. I was advised by my professors against applying there due to their outdated system/program, (I also asked one of the current students and based on their answer it sounds like their examination process is extreme and their teaching responsibility is a lot), their lack of interdisciplinary options and the limited number of professors working on contemporary Lat. Am.. If you look at the profiles of the faculty on their website you will see what I mean (their strong area really is Iberian Studies, not very good for Latin Americanists or Caribbean Studies). Their teaching load is also pretty high (the graduate students have to teach 3 classes per year which is a lot if you factor in the classes they require for the graduate program) in comparison to other universities like UNC (I was accepted to UNC), Berkley, Princeton, Chicago, Columbia. Finally, I was also told that some professors, are about to retire or have already retired, which may affect you directly if you are planning to apply. So, the best thing to do would be to be straightforward and ask if the professor you would like to work with will be there for your entire tenure before you even apply. If you, like me, are doing Latin American and Caribbean Studies you would probably like UT Austin, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Berkley, UNC, etc. Find programs where at least two professors work on the topic that interests you. Good luck!
  20. Hi buddies I'm a bachelor of chemical eng. and really really like to continue in the fields including space eng., astrophysics or cosmology... Anyone Anyone can help me and have any advice? please...I'll be grateful if anyone suggest even as a sentence. Thank you
  21. I have been looking for some more insights regarding this question, but as I get different opinions, I wanted to ask this in this particular segment of the forum. Whether you're still applying or already are a phd student, how much does the publication record of your (prospective/current) supervisor matter? I'm asking this specifically, because someone I know recently encountered this scenario: The person found a possible supervisor at an ivy league university and history program, but the supervisor in question hasn't published much (perhaps even very little) in the last 10-15 years, despite his tenured position. The supervisor is most known for some works that were published around 2000, and it is also not clear if there were any other relevant collaborations or projects after that. Some people are advising to work with the supervisor anyways because other benefits such as a strong social/academic network, future employment possibilities, and funding. Some would even ask back whether your supervisor's publication track even matters at all for your own research. Others would advise to look for different supervisors with more publication - perhaps at less prestigious but nonetheless good universities - because those supervisors would be better known in the field and be "more up to date" (?). (I'm obviously leaving aside questions about whether or not you are überhaupt able to get into top programs etc) What are your thoughts, experiences or what kind of advice would you give, in the context of being/preparing a history phd student? Thanks!
  22. I'm just starting the process of getting ready to apply to grad school for my masters and the requirement for the letters of recommendation has me a little worried. I haven't been a student in over 10 years, and I've been out of the full time work force for a little over 6 years. I did some consulting work part time for my old firm since I've had kids, but I've also moved since then and my company was bought out twice. I'm currently the PTO (parent teacher organization) co-chair at my kids' private preschool, but that's all I've got. Any ideas?
  23. Hi everyone, I'm planning on applying to a Biochem program for fall 2018, but I am very much concerned about if my situation will even put me in the game or if I have a chance at admission and interviews. So I have been working in a small government chemistry lab for almost 1 year, with possibly 1 publication in the near future. I was hoping taking two years and getting some experience in the field would help my application, but I am not sure if working in a chem lab is any helpful since I want to be in a bio lab. Will this be disadvantageous towards my application? This is one of my main concerns, which is the reason I am looking for positions in a bio related lab. I also interned as a research assistant during my undergrad at a clinical research institute and was also a lab assistant for my undergrad Bio department. I graduated from a liberal arts school and had a cumulative GPA of 3.63 and science GPA of 3.68, obviously not much different. I'm planning to take my GRE at the end of this month, but I'm terrified that if I don't get around the 80% percentile, then I won't have any chances with everything else in my application. I would love to go to UC Davis, but I also have many other schools in mind like: - Temple Uni- Uni of Colorado- Bolder -UC San Fran - UC Santa Barbara - Indiana - Wakeforest Uni - Rockefeller - NYU - Uni of Florida - Darthmouth Does anyone have any advice for this daunting process? Feel free to share any experiences or impressions about schools and programs. Thank you!!
  24. I am looking to apply for the NDSEG fellowship this year, but I am seeing conflicting reports on how strongly they weight the military importance of one's research. My work is in (theoretical) gravitational waves, which is pretty far removed from national defense. However, I have heard a few times that the DoD does like to support fundamental physics. Still, I looked through the list of topics on the Army and Navy research pages and could not immediately tie anything into what I do. Any tips? Is there a good way to "sell" my research, or should I just accept that my chances are slim?
  25. Hello All, I just wanted to create a section where we can share any news, or progress regarding Spring 2018 admission into Fordham University's MSW Program. According to admissions, the application will open up either July 1st or Mid July (around July 15th).