As I sit in my cocktail dress waiting to leave for a night of New Year's festivities, I can't help but worry about what 2014 will bring. Obviously it's not going to be a boring year--it has the potential to be either truly great or profoundly terrible. I can't remember the last time my life felt so uncertain. I am a planner by nature, organized and anxious, which makes application season especially taxing. The strange pit in my stomach that arrived around October and hasn't left since is unwelco
Last night I had my very first application-related stress dream.
Honestly, I'm surprised it took me this long. I had a nightmare that I didn't get into any of my schools but one, and then after being notified of my acceptance, they told me that it was a mistake and that I was actually rejected. Not especially creative, as far as dreams go, but effective, and frightening.
I realize this is probably just the first of what will be a long series of PhD stress dreams, so I should just get
I received some lovely questions from a couple of users this week, so this blog entry is going to cover some things about my perception of interdisciplinary programs. The tail end of the entry will be a little about interviews. Leave questions in the comments about this entry and what you would like to see for future blogs.
Spectastic asked me several questions, and I'm going to go through them in order:
1. How do you think an interdisciplinary program differs from a field specific pro
I missed a deadline.
This is totally unlike me, but it's true: I missed the deadline for one of my schools.
In my defense, I'm a few weeks post-op on a minor surgical procedure and had a horrible stomach virus over the weekend. I wasn't thinking about much, except for not messing up my almost-healed incisions and staying hydrated. I submitted the application only 17 hours late...but the school's website is very clear about having a hard deadline. Still, my payment and online submission
Disclaimer 1: The information I have on how admissions committees use GRE scores is entirely based on information I received from professors at the universities and departments that I am applying to. This can also be field specific. Please take this information with a grain of salt and inquire at your own prospective programs for more information. Remember that GRE scores are nowhere close to the most important part of your application, and many programs don't use them beyond a cutoff or correla
I am a senior undergraduate graduating in spring 2014, applying for Ph.D. programs focusing on tropical plant ecology to start in fall 2014. I don't have much to say yet about applications other than that I submitted them, but I am listing my stats below as part of my introduction (taken from the applicants and admissions thread for biological sciences).
Undergrad Institution: top 10 public, top 40 national, state school
Major: Evolution, Ecology, & Biodiversity
Overall GPA: 3.56 Po
I am a first year student in the biomedical sciences studying molecular and cellular biology, so I went through the whole application and interview process, last year! I was not able to start my blog at that time because I was also frantically trying to recover some samples I lost in a crashed freezer and also generating my thesis at the same time (a story for another time).
I am mid-way through my first year of my PhD studies, am completing laboratory rotations, and will
Hello all, I'm doing my intro live from AGU (American Geophysical Union) Fall 2013 Meet, I have 20 minutes to kill before the next session starts. Sure, I could be working on one of my finals tomorrow or doing some grading, but procrastination is necessary.
Anyway, not that that is all sorted away, I guess this is a good place to start introducing myself. I am currently an MSc student in geology with a focus on modeling the effects of mantle flow at important tectonic regions such as Subduc
I figured that those of you interested in my admissions journey are due an introduction of sorts.
So here goes: I'm in the middle of applying for my PhD in sociocultural anthropology and sometimes I think I'm a great candidate and sometimes I think I'm the worst. I'm beginning to think that duality is part of what makes this process so trying, as I'm sure most of us have a lot of great qualities, but we aren't without our faults.
I'm currently finishing my MA in media studies from a na
I had induction for my course this week and they were suggesting that I needed to put in 180 hours of work (including lab time, in course time, and course work) per semester per course for my Master's. In the 11 weeks of the semester that equals to about 65 hours per week.
I spoke to a Ph.D. student who had just graduated from my course and she said "Say goodbye to your friends for 12 months. You'll have fun but you won't have time for them."
My cohort is all professionals excluding my
Two weeks ago I was rejected from the University of Toronto. Thankfully their letter was not snarky or mean, but it was short and I feel like I wasted too much of my time impatiently waiting - not to mention the couple hundred dollars I spent to apply and to have a copy of my transcripts sent.
I wasn't too discouraged when I first received the rejection, it wasn't my top choice of school and I had a conditional acceptance elsewhere. But, as time passed, I soon became more and more worried
Anyone who has seen my most recent post on the forum knows that I did not meet what I thought my conditional acceptance average requirement was. After speaking with someone on admissions and going over my acceptance again at 3am I realized I was never going to go to City University.
For some reason I had placed the idea that the B+ was only for fourth year in my head. It's not. I needed a B+ average over the course of my entire degree to meet the condition. This is the thing that prevented
Just a quick entry, as I am in the midst of studying for my last exam and writing the final paper of my undergraduate degree.
I still haven't heard from the University of Toronto, my application has been under review since February 15th. I think a fair amount of people on this forum would have emailed them demanding a response by this point, but all applications were only due 6 days ago. I personally am leaning towards believing that I've been rejected by the program; the academic side of m
When I was deciding between Maryland and IUPUI, I was weighing the lesser amount of debt versus connections. Or at least, I thought I was. But then someone told me this:
Pick the place that will make you the happiest, but remember that you always have the right to change your mind about what criteria constitute happiness.
I love that quote. It told me that I wasn't choosing Maryland because of the connections. It was telling me I could be the happiest at Maryland. I made the decision t
So, a lot has changed since I last posted. I received two offers in quick succession and now I'm currently in LA and have visited both schools and talked to the graduate advisers.
What a whirlwind!
I came to LA intent on attending the public school because I thought that their tuition waiver would be the most beneficial and I had heard better things about their reputation and connections, professionally speaking. Now that I've talked to both schools, things seem to have completely flip
When I first entered the grad school process I thought I would have decided eons before April 15th. I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to go, why, and had even started scoping out potential places to live. That was October.
I still haven't decided but, I think it's time for my biggest lessons learned list..
Don't get your heart set on one place - or try not to!
When I first started this process I only saw myself at South Carolina. Then when I was rejected there, I moved onto
By this stage I figure I'm something of an expert at visiting potential grad schools. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I looked around a number of American universities when I was over in the States last summer (before the applications were even created). I visited several UK universities for formal interview days and informal introductions.
Last weekend I had my first Visitation Weekend as an admitted grad student. And I handled it like a pro
Seriously, though - I believe that visitin
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my last article with money advice. This whole acceptance has left me with many things to think about but I definitely won't be focusing on simply one aspect anymore.
In my mind, despite still having not heard from the University of Toronto, I have decided to go to City University London.
In my parents mind, it's too far away, and they're not comfortable with me going.
When I first told them I got in their initial reaction "I d
Back again after a fairly long absence!
And gentlefolk, it's finally March. I know for my discipline (history), programs are probably about half-way done returning decisions. I personally applied to ten schools and actually heard from the last of them on Monday. I'm extremely relieved to be done with the waiting game, and am extremely happy with how everything turned out (despite getting rejected from six programs - heh!).
As you might know from my last update, UNC Chapel Hill acce
In the UK, there are two tiers of fees: UK/EU and International. The EU has worked really, really hard to make it so you don't need a visa to live and travel within the EU and you get equal treatment in regards to fees for universities. It's a great, amazing, concept for my friend who is Greek and gets the same fee for Aberystwyth as his friend who is from Leeds. It's not such a great concept for me, an American. I am International according to Aber.
The difference in price is one I can swa
[Note: found this unpublished and unfinished draft of a blog entry I wrote early last year. Thought I'd publish it anyway.]
Like several of you, I've heard back from most of the schools I applied to (actually, all but1). I've had two in-person interviews (both followed Skype interviews), one just over-the-phone interview, and two acceptances (weirdly, not following interviews at all).
In-person interviews are the only way to go. I know SO much more about th
I got in to City University London's Msc in Human-Centered Systems on the condition that I get a B+ average this year, and send in my two references. I can't say yes right now, my dad has said he can't pay for it and I know I would have to take out massive loans to go but I'm going to look into scholarships now to see if maybe I can make this happen.
I don't even know what to say right now. I wish I could write more.
It was late on a Tuesday night when the email arrived. Past my bedtime late: it would be around 5pm on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. I was lying on my bed stabbing the keys of my laptop in the endless cycle of re-checking my emails.
Over a month had passed since I'd taken those deep breaths and hit 'Submit' on my American applications. I was in London at the time, drafting personal statements in the library on a Saturday. I'd celebrated by wandering out into the cold December night and