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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! For my first post, I wanted to open up about what has been the hardest thing for me about the application process so far, and that is the feeling of not being good enough. Reading through the posts on GradCafe and seeing all the wonderful things people have done, I can't help but feel like I don't measure up. This is my fourth year working in labs and I have no publications. My GRE math score is...meh. My honors thesis is still in progress and so I don't have a neat, packaged project that I can talk about or submit as a writing sample. I'm still applying. I feel like it's easy to forget that the kind of people who post on sites like this tend to not be representative of the applicant pool as a whole, and that there do exist those of us who are applying without 10+ years of related work experience or 5+ published journal articles. My hope is to give readers some insight about what the application process is like for those of us who feel like we might not stand out as much because we don't have those things. Because that's actually not true. My first piece of advice for people who find that they're in my situation is to remember that it's all relative. For example, if you're still in undergrad, there's no way that a grad school will expect you to have as much research experience as someone who has been out of school much longer. Additionally, a lack of published articles is not a death sentence if you can convey in your application that you've gained valuable research skills. This applies both for current undergraduates such as myself, as well as those who have a master's or have been working for a while. Finally, even if someone looks "better" on paper than you, you might actually be the one with a better research fit. So, even though it can be difficult, don't be intimidated by your perceived competition. Remember to put the process into perspective and trust that if you highlight your strengths in your application you will end up where you're supposed to be.
  2. 5 points
    They can ... if you're an Americanist.😁
  3. 5 points
    Wrong question. As others have already suggested, the difficulty of such exams is highly variable even within the same institution. But language requirements don't exist to check a box; unlike your undergraduate, nothing in a doctoral program exists just to check a box. The question you need to ask is: will a year of German be enough to allow you access to the secondary scholarship you need in order to write an excellent dissertation?
  4. 5 points
    Hi Everyone! My name is Amanda Montoya, and I'm a new faculty at UCLA in Quantitative Psychology. I graduated from The Ohio State University this summer (August 2018) with my PhD in Quantitative Psychology. I also got a Masters in Statistics along the way. My adviser was Dr. Andrew Hayes. I applied for grad school a while back (started in Autumn 2014). When I applied I applied to 5 schools Ohio State, UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, Arizona State, University of British Columbia. There was a 6th school but I forget what it was. It was kind of a "back up" which I had been warned not to have, and I got into Ohio State before the application for the last school was due, so I decided not to submit there. I got interviews at 4/5 of the places I applied, and was accepted at 4/4 of the places I got interviews. My background when I was applying was in social psychology. I had worked in a social psychology lab at the University of Washington, done my honors thesis in that lab, and stayed an extra year as a lab manager. That lab managing position gave me the opportunity to present some posters at conferences and get additional experience with data analysis. I majored in Psychology and minored in Math. I am happy to answer questions about my experience as a graduate student, applications, interviews, life as a grad students. I'm also willing to share my perspective from the faculty side of things. This position is very new to me, but I did have the opportunity to review applications last year and am familiar with the process from the faculty side. Our other panelists will be joining us on October 1st. I hope that we can get some questions posted over the weekend so that they have some material to cover when we get started on Monday!
  5. 4 points
    Hope this doesn't offend you but you sound rather entitled. You specifically said "I'd just like to help with what is needed", apparently that's data entry. If you don't want to do that then maybe go back to trying the directed study with this lab, don't give up on it if no one helps you. (To be fair I don't know the context so maybe you've stuck with it for a while before finally giving in). If data entry is what you're stuck with then make it into a learning experience for yourself - qualtrics has an API which can allow you to figure out a way to programmatically perform the data entry. This would be great since then it'd drastically reduce the probability of error during entry, then having come up with your fancy new way to enter data you can show it to others and teach others in the lab, which I'm sure would def up the interest in your membership in the lab. In additional you'd have taught yourself how to program (if you don't already know), and further still - now you have a valuable skill to take into your graduate studies if that's the plan.
  6. 3 points
    You're only in your 3rd year and I assume you have not passed your candidacy exams yet. You will most certainly learn a lot this coming year from your preparations the best ways to articulate and defend your ideas. One of the aims of a doctoral examination is to see if you can articulate your understanding, analyses, and ideas clearly to a range of audiences (particularly well-educated people who are not necessarily in your field or sharing same methodologies). Many doctoral students struggle as you are, which @telkanuru hits it on the head: articulating your thoughts clearly and in an unpretentious way. We always ask, "so what?" Fellowship committees always ask "so what?" when they read proposals. It is your job as a scholar to explain the big picture of why the history of books as part of material culture matters. For example, in your case, I'll say, I appreciate books as tools for disseminating information but I cannot care less about the kind of cover or script a book has (why should I care where the pages are from, animal skin or trees?). Keep working at it; don't brush those comments off. You need to convince those people why your work matters.
  7. 3 points
    Hello, I am a third year graduate student at UNC. I did my undergraduate degree at UNC in psychology and linguistics and it was there that I was lucky enough to be introduced to quantitative psychology. I then worked for a few years before applying to phd programs. I completed my MA in history quantitative and theoretical psychology at Simon Fraser University and then applied to schools again. I applied to 5 programs and received 4 offers. For the last year I have served as a pre-graduate school advisor and I have a strong interest in helping folks navigate through the application process. My interests in quant include measurement and analysis of longitudinal data. My substantive interests are relatively strong as well and include adolescent substance use and other topics in clinical psychology. I work with applied researchers and find their work to be a source of inspiration, but keep in mind that not all quant students are as interested in the content of psychology. I do not have a strong background in math and was worried at times that this would make it difficult for me to do meaningful work. I've found that this concern about knowing enough math or stats is a common source of anxiety for applicants and students in quant. While having a strong math and/or stats background is excellent preparation, my opinion is that you can absolutely be successful if you come to graduate school without it. As MathStat86 said, GradCafe was really helpful to me for learning more about quant and especially for connecting with other applicants. I like the GradCafe because you can hear the opinions/experiences other people have had about graduate school and the application process in an unfiltered way. That being said, you have to weigh the advice appropriately and that caution should be applied to anything I say here. I am only talking from my experience and observations and you may find your own experience to be quite different.
  8. 3 points
    Can you give a concrete example? You say 'method/perspective', but it sounds like the pushback you're getting is over the "so what". The broader problem is that no matter how confident you are in your own outlook, if the general reaction to what you're attempting is negative, you're going to have substantial problems on the job market where no one will wait around for the explanation. Plus, it sounds to me like the people you're talking to don't find your explanations satisfactory in any case. I should note that this can be more of a problem of framing and phrasing than of approach - it took me a solid hour of describing what I wanted to do for my dissertation to my adviser to have her go "ah, yes, that will go somewhere." When you strike on a description that resonates with others, it's important to remember and use it elsewhere.
  9. 3 points
    Hello everyone, I am a quant psych student currently in my dissertation (last) year. When I applied to schools, I applied to 10 programs (among them were UCLA, UNC, ASU, Notre Dame, UVA, Missouri; a few others) and got into 9 of them. My background when I was applying was both in psychology and math/stats. I had a MA in Psychology and a MS in math with concentration in stats, both from a relatively small university. At the time, my thesis project during my MS in math/stats was what best prepared me to understand the field (and it was very helpful during interviewing). For my thesis I was doing a small simulation study testing different ways to handle missing data. Other than that, when I applied, I had no publications, no knowledge of the PhD lifestyle, and I had never been to a conference. I used this forum when I was applying to grad schools a few years ago, and I found it very helpful. More than anything it seems like there is very little information about what quantitative psychology is, and I had very little idea of what it was when I started considering entering this field. All I knew was that I liked math and psych, and this was a way of combining the two. Reading through GradCafe (especially reading responses from people who were in the field already) was very insightful, especially when they gave concrete examples of the types of projects that people worked with, the types of questions that they were trying to answer, the types of jobs that one could get after (in academia and industry), etc. I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can regarding the field and what we do. My answers are based on my experience only, and do not reflect on my program or my mentors.
  10. 3 points

    Funded MAs

  11. 3 points
    Here is my suggestion and others may disagree. I think that you might be looking for people who are too specifically aligned with your interests. The way I think about the purpose of a PhD is to develop the scientific skills necessary to conduct research not necessarily to have a particular research program defined when you enter. (This may not hold for senior, highly renowned PIs who would expect you to have a research program, but I am speaking generally). As such, the PI does not need to have a research program that is working on your particular question in order for there to be a good research fit. And, you need to be able to mold your research interests to a PI's particular flavor of research. I am just spit-balling because I don't have a strong relevant background, but perhaps, someone working on gambling addiction or obsessive behaviors would provide you with the training that you need to pursue your particular interests later in your postdoc or as a faculty. In summary: Broaden your search. Identify where your interests match the PIs. Mold the way you present your interests to match their interests.
  12. 3 points
    Faculty here. Having had many undergraduate come through with great ideas, interests, and ambitions, the one thing that holds many back is motivation. I can't count on the number of times someone comes in, telling me all the research he/she wants to do, but when it comes times to do the work, nothing is done. As a result, I have learned to be encouraging but also set my expectations low. I will not commit resources or energy unless they (undergrad) have proven him/herself to be reliable and accountable.
  13. 3 points
    I would caution you from comparing yourself to others on this site....people on here tend to be extreme overachievers haha. I can guarantee people would laugh at my credentials, but I am applying anyway because I know I have a lot of strengths and want to give myself the chance. I am not very familiar with Canadian schools, but I have noticed that many people on grad cafe apply to very prestigious schools that get 300+ apps and only take like 5 people . So, if you are applying to that kind of school, then yes...I think everyone is worried and doubts their application!! However, I think you have a great gpa and outstanding GRE scores. Having a solid year as an RA will def work in your favor...just go easy on yourself , all you can do is give it your best shot.
  14. 3 points
    I'm in a different field, but when I was applying, the application itself had a section where you input your letter writers' email addresses, and the application system sends them an email with a link to upload the letter. This was the case for all 10 of the schools I applied to. That part didn't cost anything. Getting official transcripts to the few schools that wanted them cost me money to send, along with the application fee itself. I've never heard of needing to pay for LOR submission.
  15. 3 points

    I need help surviving my PhD

    I hear you. I have gone through a terribly stressful time leading up to the completion of my PhD. Even though I was not depressed, I got a lot of anxiety, due to the seemingly unachievable deadline and two toxic advisors. I too just wanted to get the hell out of it. Feel free to read my previous posts if you are interested. I second the above advice that you should go to your school counsellor. Or call a local mental health helpline. It would also help if you can talk to friends /family members who have gone through the PhD journey. They cannot help you to finish your PhD, but an understanding ear is all you need for a tough time like this. Looking at your post, I have a few other suggestions. (1) Work out a timetable for the next 11 months to complete your thesis, e.g. finish all analysis by Nov 2018, finish chapters 1 and 2 by Dec 2018. Agree with your advisor a feedback and turnaround schedule. This way, you put things into perspectives, so you feel less overwhelmed. (2) Try your best to take the weekends off. You don't have to go and hang out with your friends if you don't feel like to, although it would be good if you can. Sometimes, even staying at home and doing nothing can help switch your mind off. You can turn some soothing music on if you don't like the silence at your home. Remember, you simply can't work 24/7. (3) Prioritise sleep. Write a feasible to-do list for each day and stop all work 2 hours before you go to bed. Do something relaxing like meditation. For me, a hot shower is what it takes to get me ready for sleep. There are a lot of strategies for a good night sleep online. If you have tried hard but you still can't sleep well, you should consult your doctor. (4) You have not mentioned anything about diet, but it is also important that you eat well. A balanced diet is key for functioning. Feel free to write back/pm me if you want to chat more. Wish you all the best!
  16. 3 points

    Debating options

    I would ask, in general, what your goals are. It seems that you've been somewhat directionless since graduation, which is fine -- you're young! It's okay! -- but a graduate degree is a longterm relationship. What are you hoping to get out of it? Where do you want to be when it's over? If you go PhD, what are you wanting to research? If you're going LIS, what are you wanting to do with that (since people with library degrees actually becoming librarians is getting fewer and further in between)? I would say that your first step is some soul searching, and getting a better job. The better job will give you the freedom to go to graduate school because you want to, not because you have to escape your current situation. It will also give you the financial resources to apply (it's expensive!), and to afford to go, since I doubt your MA or MLIS would be funded. Ideally, it would also give you educational benefits - if you get even an entry-level job at a big enough company, you may very well be able to pursue graduate school on their dime. I find that a lot of times in my life when I've been unhappy with my life/job, it's more because I'm unhappy with who I am as a person, not necessarily the situation. It might be worth meditating on whether or not you're happy in your own skin. I call this "Life broken, add more schooling!" Having been there, I don't recommend it. I know this isn't the answer you wanted, and I'm sorry for being the rainy cloud on your parade.
  17. 3 points
    If there aren’t faculty with compatible research interests, why are you applying to that program? The match doesn’t have to be exact, but you will need to put together a committee who can mentor you through the dissertation process and evaluate the final product. In terms of how specific - I think the more specific you can be, the better. I found it helpful to create a “funneled” statement that started broad and got specific. BROAD: I’m interested in understanding how stigma or social disadvantage affects access to health care, LESS BROAD: particularly in terms of how patients seek out health resources, how providers offer health resources, and how patients and providers communicate. SPECIFIC: Specifically, I am interested in how these issues affect access to birth control and abortion care. I also included a final paragraph about where I want my career to go where I talked about a couple of specific research questions or goals I would like to pursue. The committee wants to see a sense of direction because it says you’ve really thought about this.
  18. 2 points

    2019 Applicants

    I had previously applied to PhD programs in philosophy back in '10, '12, and '13. I really didn't go about the process well, but since finishing my MA in philosophy, I have been adjuncting and will complete a second MA in English/literature this fall. I'm interested in medieval and early modern conceptions of political power in the Arthuriana and Spenser's Faerie Queene. Programs: Rutgers, NYU, Rice, CUNY, Temple, SMU, Houston, and North Texas.
  19. 2 points

    Southern Baptist Sinkhole

    Okay, that info is helpful. Here’s a revised plan: First, If you’re going to be in the DFW area for the next couple of years, you should apply to either MA or ThM programs at both Baylor and TCU this round (the deadlines are typically in late December/mid January, so there’s still plenty of time for a Master’s app). Rabbit Run mentioned Perkins at SMU, which might also be a good option (I don’t know anyone there, but I’m sure they have a couple HB folks). Especially if you’re applying to an MA program, you’ll likely get in, since divinity schools appreciate the money. I’d be in contact with current students and some prospective faculty to get their input on which degree you should be pursuing. When it comes time for scheduling next semester, take the heaviest possible dose of language classes you can handle. Language skills are perfectly transferable, and that has to be the best use of your time while you’re still at Southwestern. Language skills are make or break in biblical studies, and you should be preparing now so that by the time you’re applying to PhD’s, your letter writers can proclaim your vast knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, etc. Regarding recommendation letters, you should be able to use a mix of professors from prior institutions alongside maybe one professor at your current institution that can testify to your language ability, writing skills, or something basic like that before you submit your application file in December. Regarding the evaluation of TCU vs Baylor, I think TCU has a stronger reputation. You can work closely with Ariel Feldman, Will Gafney, etc while also learning from good NT scholars like Shelly Matthews and Patricia Duncan who can round out your knowledge. Baylor, moreover, is seen as a pretty conservative institution, so in your particular case TCU might give you the opportunity to show some distance from your SBC past. But I think either one is going to be good enough for lots of schools. Baylor, Emory, Duke, and Princeton Seminary seem to have a good deal of mutual respect for one another, in particular. I don’t think a reputable online Master’s program exists, to be honest. And I’ve never heard of anyone going from an online degree to a legitimate PhD program. One last note: I don’t know whether this would work or not, but you might email admissions offices at Baylor and TCU to see about transferring and beginning in the spring. Masters admissions is honestly not all that rigorous, and I think, if you explained your situation and your desire to go somewhere that’s more in-line with your values, they might allow you to enter in the spring, perhaps as a provisional student, then admit you officially a couple of months later. The worst they can do is tell you that you’ll need to wait until fall 2019, which is what you’d have to do anyway. Rabbit Run, Southwestern may very well be the most moderate SBC school (I have no idea), but I don’t think John Collins at Yale or Michael Fishbane at Chicago is going to appreciate that nuance. SBC seminaries are associated with inerrancy and misogyny, despite Russell Moore’s best efforts, and most PhD admissions committees are going to want to see that an applicant has moved on.
  20. 2 points

    Southern Baptist Sinkhole

    You've got some excellent advice here. It would be unlikely that someone from an SBC seminary would land in a top tier PhD program. PTS has in the past taken students from SEBTS, so that might be an option. You do have options though, and each one depends on your determination. If you decide to finish out the ThM at SWBTS, you can apply for doctoral work outside of the US. This is where the majority of confessional students will land from conservative seminaries. Funding is almost non-existent unless you have GI Bill, willing to take out massive loans, or get your local church to back you. I wouldn't do it, personally. You can, however, find programs in South Africa and New Zealand that are funded and accept US Students. Oslo in New Zealand is one for sure. I'd check out Stellenbosch, Pretoria, and North-West University in South Africa. Canada might also be an option, but I am not as aware of their funding situation. You can also aim at more open-minded evangelical places like Fuller, TEDS, Wheaton, Westminister Theological Seminary, RTS, etc. SBC doesn't have an overly negative connotation at those places. Funded in these schools is not tremendous, but you could maybe hope for tuition to be covered. You might also consider some Catholic schools that may not be as concerned about the SBC sinkhole. Marquette could be one. If you decide to jump ship, you are still not guaranteed to land in a funded doctoral program. It is a gamble--probably financially and emotionally. I do know that Brite Divinity School (associated with TCU) has great funding for their ThM program. Vanderbilt just launched it's ThM program (https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/09/18/vanderbilt-divinity-to-offer-master-of-theology-degree/). It also promises guaranteed funding for it (who knows how much though). Do not do a ThM and pay much for it. (This game isn't worth it. Become a librarian or something else if you like university culture). You can also apply for MA degrees at various places. Again, Vanderbilt has good funding for their MDiv and the 1 year MA in Jewish Studies program. Yale Divinity School also makes attractive offers for their MA and MDiv programs. Notre Dame can offer full tuition plus a small stipend. So there are certainly options for you to take advantage of that might not cost you anything. In the end, it comes down to doubling down or doing something else. This is true for everyone of course, but if you are in a sinkhole, it might not be as easy for you to get out as someone who isn't in one. You can do a ThM or MA somewhere else, perhaps with little out of pocket cost. Apply for doctoral work, get in. Or you could bust and have wasted likely 2 years chasing a funded program. Not knowing your situation's full details, I would nonetheless say apply to PTS, Marquette, a funded foreign PhD program (or two), and a couple of those evangelical places (if you are still broadly in that category--SBC is hard right, so anything to the left would be better) for doctoral work. I'd also submit applications to Brite and Vanderbilt Divinity School for the ThM since they have funding. In addition, I would apply to YDS's MA in Bible or Second Temple Judaism, ND's MTS program, and Vanderbilt University's MA in Jewish Studies (wide program, but they do let people specialize in HB/Rabbinic Judaism). See what happens with acceptances and funding and go from there.
  21. 2 points
    UT or Princeton probably matches your interests the best. Between Luijendijk and Pagels at Princeton, all of your interests are matched. UT has Geoff Smith whose Coptological work is impressive, and I've heard he is very easy to get along with (this goes an unbelievably long way in a student's overall enjoyment of a program). Add to Smith's expertise in papyrology and Coptology, Friesen's interests in Asia Minor and Revelation and White's work in mystery cults and you've got one of the strongest (maybe THE strongest) program for someone wanting to study early Christianity in its Hellenistic context. I have heard that White is nearing retirement. I don't know specifics, but it is a rumor that started floating around recently--it might be worth e-mailing current students there to see if there's any truth to it. Yale is still undergoing its transition. Attridge is as a matter of fact retiring and would likely not be available to incoming students to work with--he is set to retire at the end of the academic year and will remain available for 3 semester's per the University's policy. There's a podcast around that details these plans. You would still have Sterling, but I have heard he is more or less strapped to his job as the dean of Yale's divinity school. Their last two NT hires (Dinkler and Lin) have done little to make the program attractive to people with your interests. Stephen Davis is tremendous and his work is stellar, but his interests are in Shenoute, which might align with what you like within Coptic Christianity, but Attridge is the one who teaches the Nag Hammadi corpus every other year, which seems more in step with what you do. Doerfler also doesn't align with your stated interests. Unless Yale is a must apply for some reason, I'd put that application money towards Harvard. You'd have Bazzana, King, and Nasrallah who all in some way fit your interests. Be sure to look into UNC. Ehrman and Plese can certainly oversee a dissertation in your stated interests, and Magness adds an additional component to the program that would enrich your time there considerably. Fordham has Fiano who is highly regarded in both Syriac and Coptic studies. There is also Peppard and Larry Welborne who do Greco-Roman backgrounds to early Christianity. If you do look into applying, you'd need to look at Arts and Sciences and not through Theology for the doctoral program in early Christianity. Maybe Notre Dame? I think much like Yale, they are in the awkward years of trying to recover from retirements and whatnot. Fitzgerald is tremendous if you are wanting to do Hellenistic moral philosophy in early Christianity. BUT the rest of their Christianity and Judaism faculty are irrelevant for your interests. Amar retired a few years ago, and they have had his Syriac classes covered by a visiting instructor (not unusual, but also not great practice). Personally, I was keen on ND when I applied and my interests are in 2nd and 3rd century Christianities, but I ended up elsewhere. It wasn't a good fit for me, but maybe it is for you. I wish there were more programs that align with your interests. Most programs are ultimately theological in orientation, so Greco-Roman backgrounds and Coptology gets sidelined by the token Gospels and Paul scholars. Those programs might have some type of module or something occasionally to fill gaps for their students, but no one is there to oversee a dissertation on Nag Hammadi or Hellenistic influences on early Christianity. With your interests, I would seriously avoid settling for places that would require me to do something within the NT, not out of formal restrictions within the program, but on account of the lack of faculty with those competencies. On the other hand, if your interests are more general than the above description you give, then the places you could apply lengthens dramatically.
  22. 2 points
    I only sent applications to places I really wanted to go. Don't see myself working on a topic or with someone I don't feel a fit with. I applied to 6 places - 2 ended up having issues with my transcript (meh). Did do one safety school abroad that accepted me. Ended up being accepted to my nr 1 choice because of my fit with the PI (who is apparently very picky with accepting students so I've heard now I've been here). Was nerve-wracking, but worth it. Love my advisor!
  23. 2 points

    The Positivity Thread

    I finally got approved to be an undergrad TA.
  24. 2 points
    Agreed on this generally, except that I know some people are just really set on starting next year. If you just really want/need to get into grad school, nothing wrong with applying to some schools you might not have otherwise considered. I ended up loving my initial least favorite schools and hating my initial tops. You get a different view after interviews. One of my "safeties" ended up being the main contender to the program I ended up choosing because at interviews I learned that they had some of the biggest names in a specialized subfield I was interested in, even though they didn't generally have as good a reputation as some other schools I got into. Moral of the story: focus on schools with faculty doing stuff you're interested in, not well known schools. Don't Google schools and check their faculty lists, Google people and check where they are. Ultimately the research you do is most important (not that institutions reputations don't matter, but if you can be successful in a lab matters more).
  25. 2 points
    Welcome to my world. 30/F and I feel like if love hasn't happened by now, it never will. Well-meaning relatives and friends also tell I'm beautiful, have a good personality, etc. but hearing that doesn't help me. Career and education won't fill this void I have within me, they'll just distract me from my loneliness temporarily.

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