I have been going crazy trying to settle on a plan B these past few weeks. I know that applying to 7 schools (a number I now think is too low) puts me at a greater risk for not gaining admission anywhere, and I need to be prepared in the case of a shutout. I'm not a kid who can just take a gap year, but I'm also not willing to go back to my old field. I think I may have found a solution.
There are 2 MPH programs that are local to me that can be finished in 1 year that have late deadlines. One application is due April 15th and the other is due in June. I feel like that gives me plenty of time to see what will happen with the PhD and then act accordingly. They aren't funded (well, one has some funding) but I have no loans thus far and feel like I could take the financial risk if need be.
I think an MPH can only bolster my chances if I have to reapply. My BA and MA degrees have emphasized theory and critical work, so I think an MPH would allow me to expand crucial practical and, obviously, medical knowledge. By filling in these gaps in my areas of interest, I would hopefully come out of an MPH program a stronger and more prepared applicant for the PhD.
I feel super relieved. Nothing is a sure thing, but having a backup I can get behind will hopefully help me sleep easier at night.
Do you have a plan B yet?