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  1. 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.
  2. Hello everyone, I recently took a diagnostic GRE practice test and scored a 156 on verbal and 154 on quant. I was wondering what the likely hood of getting above a 165 on both sections would be. Have any of you been able to increase your score more than 10 points per section? I will be taking the GRE on October 7th. Thank you
  3. I have my bachelor's degree in Spanish and speech pathology (double major). I was accepted to grad school for slp, and I attended a year, however, I was going through a really difficult period in my life and I ended up not being able to continue in the program because after re-taking a class, I got a C. I know that I was completely unfocused, and if I could take it all back and start it over, of course I would. I then took some special education classes after that, and did a semester of student teaching, which stands as an Incomplete on my transcript. I did fine in my teaching and I had all my assignments turned in, except the final project was not uploaded to the internet. I am going to contact the school about getting credit for the student teaching, but needless to say, there is a sufficient amount that I am not too proud of on my record. My GPA cumulative is 3.3 and my GPA in speech is 3.1. My GRE is 147 Q and 153 V and 4 AW. I have been working as an English language learner paraprofessional in an elementary school where I do small 40 minute reading groups (that focus on phonics, decoding, or comprehension) with kids who's primary language is Spanish. I have also been volunteering at a Conductive Learning Center in a classroom with students that have cerebral palsy. I also do tutoring, and I am going to volunteer at the local Hispanic Center. I am going to apply to grad school again and I am wondering what my chances are of getting in? Any tips on where to apply or what I could do to get in? I applied to one school a couple years ago, and did not get accepted. And since I already have tons in loans, I can't really afford to go anywhere in the country where I would pay DOUBLE. I already owe an astronomical amount, so I am mainly looking at schools that are all online, or the ones in my state. The funny thing is, I have read so much about how Spanish bilingual speech pathologists are in SUCH GREAT NEED- and HERE I AM, yet I feel I BARELY have a chance! I must say, I really don't get that. If they are in such HIGH NEED, you would think the field would WANT to scoop me up- that they almost have a DUTY TO DO SO, even if my marks aren't stellar. Is it hopeless? And this will probably have to be my last shot at being an SLP. I will have to move on, and choose something else that I don't completely want to do, so I can get a real paycheck.
  4. Hi! I know its early. But considering the success of Fall 2017 forum, I thought we should start Fall 2018 discussion thread early! Good luck preparing for your applications!
  5. I'm a senior at the University of Michigan applying to MSW programs and I'm trying to decide how many I should apply to. I currently have a 3.166 overall GPA (3.4 psychology) but with an 3 credit A+ this term and 14 credits in the fall I plan to get A's in it should go up to at least a 3.2. I have some experience volunteering this summer and I'll be volunteering at 3 places this fall and I'll have a year or so of research experience in one lab (which also includes human service ex: running a clinic). This summer I volunteered in a lab running participants in experiments and will be working in another this fall transcribing interviews on sexual assault in college. I have fairly strong writing skills. I am planning to apply to 4 in-state schools: University of Michigan (1), Wayne State (38), Michigan State (32), and Western (71). I've compiled a list of out of state schools I'm interested in along with their ranking and cost that I'll list here in case anyone has any insight into the programs there: (3) University of Washington: $33,732. (10) Boston College: $35,520. (10) University of Pittsburgh: $30,540. (12) Boston University: $33,280. (12) University of Wisconsin - Madison: $25,314. (17) University of Illinois: $29,238. (17) University of Maryland - Baltimore: $35,000. (22) Fordham University: $27,210. (22) Rutgers University: $28,656. How many would you apply to if you were in my position? Thanks!!
  6. How many points did you improve your GRE score? What did you start at and what did you finish with?
  7. Hi all, So after taking two years off after completing my B.Sc. in Canada, I'm preparing to apply for graduate schools for a clinical psychology doctoral program specializing in neuropsychology. I know these sorts of programs are extremely competitive, so I will likely be applying to 18-20 schools, but thought I would post some of my application credentials and get any advice from anyone willing to give it! Education: B.Sc. with Honor's in Psychology, Minor in Biology. Completed an Honor's Thesis in my final year in cognitive neuroscience. GPA: Overall: 3.3 (first 2 years of B.Sc. were as a Biomedical Science major, which I did not enjoy, and my GPA reflects this). Major GPA: 3.8 Last 2 years/60 credits: 3.8 GRE Scores: Psychology Subject GRE: 750 (91st percentile) General GRE (taking this in the next few weeks, likely will be around 156V/160Q/5.0AW) LOR: 2 clinical neuropsychologists (Honor's thesis supervisor and current work supervisor; both on admissions committees for CN programs at 2 different schools), 1 supervisor who is also a clinical psychologist (supervisor from Developmental Psychology lab mentioned below) Experience: 4 poster presentations Honor's thesis (supervised by a clinical neuropsychologist, see LOR above) and Independent Research Project (supervised by Neuroscientist) Volunteered at 2 hospitals, 3 different research labs in my last 2 years of undergraduate studies Moved from Toronto, Canada to San Diego, California after graduating with my B.Sc. to work as a Lab Manager in a Developmental Psychology lab and then as a Research Coordinator in a Neuropsychology lab (multi-site project; still currently here - see LOR above). I guess I am worried that my GRE scores will make my applications less competitive. I feel as though my applications are well-rounded elsewhere and my time off and additional experience has helped me. I do not have any location preferences and will be applying all throughout North America. Any and all advice or insight is welcome! Also, please don't hesitate to mention any schools that you guys know of which are very reputable for CN! Some on my radar include: SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program, Drexel, Boston University, Northwestern University (Feinberg), University of Florida, University of Houston, University of Wisconsin... Thank you!!
  8. Hello! I recently decided to go to a graduate school in bioengineering/biomedical engineering field. I've been doing some research past couple weeks on schools and programs but I'm still pretty lost. Not sure how much of things (stats and experiences) are required for PhD or MS in engineering especially someone like me, who only has biology background... Here are some info about me so that you can provide me better advice: Undergrad: top 5 public school in the U.S. Major: Molecular Biology GPA: 3.74 (do not remember but my science gpa is higher) GRE: started studying just today! Research experiences: Pathology lab (summer during undergrad years) 2 years at medical device company R&D lab (related to bioconjugates and nanotechnology, but not really hard-core engineering.. more of biological sciences area) AND here are the questions: 1) Do I need to have a specific research area that I'm interested in before applying to schools? I'm sure of some things that I don't want to pursue such as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but I am not entirely sure of what I want yet (currently, I am interested in biosensors (bio-MEMs), medical informatics, or biomechanics but I haven't had enough exposure to decide which to pursue) Will I be at a big disadvantage in application if i don't state my interest specifically? Or is it okay to have a general area? 2) And since I'm not entirely sure of the research area, would it be better to go for MS instead before deciding to go on with PhD? 3) I do have 2 years of experience in working at a medical device company as a researcher, but these are more closely related to areas I am not really interested in anymore... the company I worked at produces biosensors, but I was not part of that division and was not exposed to such technologies. Should I join engineering labs for some experiences? (I am not working anymore and have plenty of time for some experiences now... not sure getting them now is gonna help though) 4) If I choose to apply for PhD but did not get accepted, am I automatically considered for MS admissions? Or does it not work that way? 5) I don't see a big difference between bioengineering and biomedical engineering. Is there a difference in how these majors are perceived in the industry? Or does it not matter? Many of you might be wondering why i want to pursue bioengineering even when I don't really have specific research area that I am interested in. After being in an industry for a couple years, I figured that there are not many opportunities for a B.S. in biology to do. I've always thought that bioengineering was cool and I see a lot of potential in the field as I glimpsed a little bit of the industry through working in the company. And here I am! Any advices, comments, concerns, anything will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  9. 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?
  10. Can you guys share the most common types of GRE questions using an example? Thanks!
  11. Hello everyone, I recently took a diagnostic GRE practice test and scored a 156 on verbal and 154 on quant. I was wondering what the likely hood of getting above a 165 on both sections would be. Have any of you been able to increase your score more than 10 points per section? I will be taking the GRE on October 7th. Thank you
  12. Hello! I'm looking to see what ideal GRE scores are for MSW applicants? I'm planning on applying to UNC- Chapel Hill, UGA, UT-Austin, UMichigan, UI-Chicago, and FSU as of now. I know ideal score may vary from school to school but just trying to get and some insight to what scores admissions are looking for, I would really appreciate it! Also, if anyone has any other school suggestions that offer Dual Degree Programs with an MSW and an MPH or MPA please let me know as well!
  13. I just got my GRE scores: AW 4.5, V 170, Q 170. I feel a bit bad about my writing score. The other two measures are great obviously, and the V much better than I expected. I will apply for a Econ PhD this fall, and aim at the top 10-15. I know it's tough to get accepted, but my GPA is strong and so are my letters. I'm only concerned about my writing score. Do you think I should retake the GRE? By doing so I'll most likely spoil my perfect scores in the other two sections. Fyi: I'm an international applicant. Not sure if this makes any difference...
  14. I'm entering my second year of my MPH at a top 5 program and I’m planning to apply for PhD admission for fall 2018. My biggest worry is that my lack of research experience is going to be a glaring problem with my application. If there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t mind looking at my stats and weighing in on whether or not I have any shot at all, it’d be much appreciated! Ideally, I’d like to aim for a top 20 school and have chosen several that closely match my research interests (health communications and substance misuse) UGPA (Honours): 3.00 Post-bacc GPA (at a top 5 school): 4.00 MPH GPA (at a top 5 school): 3.84 GRE: 165 V / 155 Q / 5 AW (I'm taking this again in September in order to raise my quant score) Experience: I’ve done several internships in the areas of health communications and community health. I also spent a year working with drug users as a harm reduction worker. Starting in September, I’ll be TAing for 3 classes in the area of public health interventions and communications. Research: I completed an UG research thesis, which involved independent qualitative research and I completed a short research internship at a pharma company. I’m also starting a year long GRA position - directly related to my own research interests - in September, which will involve a lot of independent work. Do I have any shot at being accepted? Or is it worth waiting until next year and finding a full time research job after I graduate from my MPH program next May? Thanks in advance for any help!
  15. So I emailed a professor I was interested in doing a rotation with, and his response was yes. However, he also mentioned that he will be retiring soon and thus will not be able to take me in as a student in his lab. I'm pretty bummed because I was hoping that he'd become my PI someday, but I guess I should have asked before accepting to this school :/ Anyways, I wanted to rotate in labs that I will potentially be able to stay in, since there are only three rotations in my program. But then again I feel rude replying to him, "ok never mind, I'll look for somewhere else to rotate in". Is it common for ppl to rotate in a lab knowing that they won't be able to stay/return? Should I look for other labs to do rotations in?
  16. I am starting today to study for the GRE, aiming at a PHD in Economics or Public policy in a Top 20 US school. I have a busy schedule: work 40hrs a week and have two kids. I have never taken the exam. I will try to study for 2 hrs a day (I don´t think I can release much more time) following the Magoosh materials and Magoosh 2 month preparation schedule. Application deadlines for Economics seem to be on Dec 1st and require final official GRE results by that date. I am now wondering if I should schedule the exam in: a) Oct 10th in time for a retake in Nov if necessary or Nov 7th (I just found out there is no availability at later dates in Oct where I live (Brasilia, Brazil)) Pros and cons: Option a) gives me less time to study (8 weeks) but the chance to retake Option gives me more time to study (12 weeks) but not time to retake what would you advise me? A more administrative question: If I were to decide, on Oct 10th, to retake the exam, would there be still available examination slots for Nov 7-10 (in time for Oficial results to be included in the Dec 1st application) at major US cities (Boston, Washington-DC, LA)? Or even at those larger evaluation centers there will not be available seats?
  17. The first time I gave the GRE, I got an awful 149V/160Q, which came as quite a surprise to me since my average score on Manhattan tests were 158V/165Q and on Princeton tests it were 160V/169Q. Other factors also contributed to the bad score, like it was pouring down rain heavily on my way to the test centre, nervousness, plus I didn't eat shit (My body was literally making noises while writing the AWA). But what I think most affected my bad quant score was the experimental section of Quant. The second Quant section was too easy, the first and third ones not so much, had me working to the core. Verbal: Idk what or how did I get so panicked? So I took the date after 2 days of contemplating. Now I'm getting consistent V155+/Q165+. So what should I expect? And I'm most curious about people who gave the GRE multiple times and whether they got experimental section of verbal or quant alternatively? (First time Q, then V, then so on). Bobby
  18. So I just got back my official GRE scores, and I'm a little unsure of whether or not I'm content with them. I received a 147 on Q, 157 on V, and a 5.0 on AW. I was wondering, do you think these warrant a retake? I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I'm unsure of whether or not I want to retake solely for the purpose of raising my quantitative score. In addition to these, I have a 3.91 SLP major GPA, and a 3.94 overall GPA, lots of volunteer service in a school settings, volunteer service in a stroke clinic working with grad students, involvement in extracurriculars and e-board positions on various clubs, including NSSLHA, and shadows with an early intervention SLP and an inpatient rehab SLP. My top school is Southern CT State University. But I'm also interested in Uconn, Iowa State, SCSU. Really I'm just looking for some reassurance. I'm a bit stressed with the application process for grad school! Would really appreciate some extra input on my scores. Thank you
  19. I am trying to gauge admissions outcomes for the upcoming admissions cycle for MA programs in international development and affairs. If you could, please include the following information in your response: GPA: GRE (Verbal/Math/Writing) Applied: Accepted: Rejected: Waitlist: description of relevant work experience and other factors: Thank you!
  20. Hello guys! Could you look at this Argument Essay for the GRE? I am not sure whether I fulfilled the requirements of the prompt. Any feedback is welcome! Workers in the small town of Leeville take fewer sick days than workers in the large city of Masonton, 50 miles away. Moreover, relative to population size, the diagnosis of stress-related illness is proportionally much lower in Leeville than in Masonton. According to the Leeville Chamber of Commerce, these facts can be attributed to the health benefits of the relatively relaxed pace of life in Leeville. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument. The argument contains a number of assumptions that require attention before it can be accepted. Specific evidence for the facts provided is required in order to establish the validity of the conclusion. First of all, one of the points used to assert that the health situation in Leeville is indeed better than in Masonton is based on the comparison of sick days taken by workers in the two locations. In order to take this as a reliable metric, one must first be sure that the health of the workers in Leeville and Masonton are both representative of the health of the general population of these two towns. Should this be so, then the evidence is strong to suggest that Leeville has a better health situation than that of Masonton. If there is no way to conclude that the workers’ health represents that of the whole population in either of the locations, then this metric cannot be used to support the argument. In addition, even if the workers’ health situation is a reflection of the population at large, one must also ascertain that workers in two towns take sick leaves when they indeed feel sick – not more, not less. If, for example, workers are not paid for sick leave, they might have an incentive to not ask for a sick day because this might diminish their income. This would mean that the number of days taken for sick leave does not correspond to the workers’ actual health condition, thereby undermining the argument. At the same time, one must be given evidence that everyone who is sick due to stress-related causes can be diagnosed. Since Leeville is a small town, it is possible that there are no nearby clinics in the area that could reliably diagnose its residents with stress-related illness. Or the opposite: residents of the large city of Masonton may have too few doctors for its large population, which would result in the same situation of diagnoses being extended not totaling the actual number of people who suffer from corresponding illnesses. Since diagnoses in Leeville and Masonton are compared only in relation to stress-related illness, it is also crucial to asses whether there are other major causes that might be responsible for health issues in the two towns. If there are no other major causes, or if it can be reliably claimed that stress-related illness is the major cause of health issues in both localities, then this evidence will strengthen the argument. When the necessary evidence is provided and one can conclude that indeed the health situation in Leeville is considerably better than in Masonton, then one should examine whether it is indeed true that the relaxed pace of life is Leeville is responsible for this discrepancy. One should, for example, examine whether a life in the smaller town is more relaxed than in Masonton. In addition, one would also need to examine whether there are any other possible causes for the differences. For example, the location of the town is also important: is Leeville a more suburban area surrounded by greenery or is it located near a big factory with unhealthy production? Since it is mentioned that there are workers living in Leeville, it might be logical to examine the type of production that happens in Leeville. Before such evidence is provided, the argument cannot be accepted. Indeed, there are a number of specific facts that should be made available if the whole argument is to be believed.
  21. GRE

    Hi, Simple question. My GRE V is 158, writing, 4.5, Q....I am applying to History Ph.d programs this fall, my current gpa in my MA program is 4.0. I am considering re-taking the GRE again (and studying this time). With my current scores, what schools, based on ranking, could I apply too and have a half decent shot at getting accepted? Mid-rank, lower ranked schools? Thanks
  22. Hello everyone! So, I was wondering if anyone has gotten into grad school despite having one or more C's on their undergrad record? My overall GPA is a 3.5 but unfortunately I did get some C's in my online speech courses. I cannot afford to retake these classes as I'm currently unemployed while being a volunteer with the local school district (which I'm hoping will help me experience-wise.) My GRE scores are mediocre, so I plan on retaking that as well but I just wanted to know if the fact that I have more than one C from undergrad will completely destroy my chances of getting in. I know most schools say right on their websites that C's are not acceptable. I plan on explaining in my application the reason why I have C's and why I am going to be a more successful student in grad school. I plan on applying to Northern Arizona University but does anyone also know of schools that are a bit more lenient on this?
  23. Is the Barron's book of GRE vocabulary any good or is there a better resource out there?
  24. ISSUE ESSAY: Claim: In order to help small businesses to thrive, government should play a minimal role in private business matters Small businesses will flourish in an organic manner when government intervention is at a minimum possible level. This is due to many reasons on the part of the nature of the government in question, on the part of the banking structure and on the economies where these businesses are located. Government intervention often translates to red tape; something that bigger enterprises have the resources to deal with. Unfortunately, resources are limited when it comes to smaller businesses and red tape becomes a major obstacle to company growth. The free market system has allowed some of the greatest multi-national corporations to rise out of small stores. When the government does not meddle with the natural functioning of the market, small businesses too can have the chance to thrive by dealing with forces that they can counter with actions that are within their legal bounds. If the government involves itself through directives and orders, the common man might have to deal with crippling lawsuits or at least the limited economic maneuverability that is concomitant with government involvement. Minimal intervention is a good policy to have, especially in countries where the governments are known to be prone to corruption and whose bureaucracy is riddles with unnecessary and expensive procedures which greatly hamper the ease of doing business. A major concern for many of those who favor government involvement in small business matters is the fact that smaller businesses require greater financial and tax-related support from the government and government-backed banking institutions. While this fact holds true to a certain extent, fair banking regulations and sound business policies which make the ease of conducting business as high as possible are prerequisites for any government regardless of the level of involvement in business matters. If good business-related policies are in place in both the banking sector and in general government, a need for the government to create a 'safety net' should not arise. From almost every angle, minimal intervention by government is optimal in order to allow small-scale industries to not only survive but also thrive and grow into greater entities. Minimal government intervention can lead to greater economic prosperity not only for the individual businesses but also for the economy as a whole due to the stabilizing effect that they have on it.
  25. Hi everyone! Like everyone else, I'm stressing out about taking the GRE. I just got finished taking a practice gre test from Kaplan. Can anyone tell me if these practice tests are a good measure of what the actual GRE exam will be like? Obviously, I understand they're not the complete same, but just wondering if the exam questions used in practice tests are a good measure of the kinds of questions you'll see on the actual exam. Thanks in advance!