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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/12/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points

    Dealing with Self-Doubt

    You're not struggling with self-doubt but with a toxic situation. Some people in your program has systematically worked to destroy your self worth and that isn't right. I too would advise you to seek a therapist to help you handle the emotional fall-out of this situation and help you strengthen your ability to deal with horrible people. Also, can you find any allies outside of your department? Maybe you don't need to tell them about what's going on, but you can build a circle of peers with no affiliation to your field to give you some breathing space.
  2. 2 points

    Short Name vs Long Name

    I have a very long foreign name. Americans think the first word is my first name and the rest are middle names. But it is one big name. I use this one when I sign or when I submit everything. It is my official name. There is a shorter version of that name (one of the "middle" words) that I use for when I introduce myself or for the e-mail recipient line. Both are still formal. This is very common where I come from: the first given name is not the one everybody calls you. I never ever use my nickname. I want people to google me professionally and find my professional profiles, not my Facebook page (this is a stretch, because I have my Facebook blocked). Also, I don't like introducing myself with my nickname, even though English-speakers find it easier to pronounce. It would be the equivalent of someone saying their name was "Billy" instead of "William". So, although I have a pretty unique name, deciding how to use it for academia has been a challenge. Finally, I think that a way to make your name 'catchy' is to use it in whatever combination you want all the time. You'll find that my twitter handle, website, grad student bio, conferences, and the like, I'm always listed the same. And when I introduce myself for the first time to anybody, I give my last name. After all, your publications/classes/conference/etc will be better remembered by your last name.
  3. 2 points

    2018 Applicants

    We will figure this out, everyone! Hopefully @lit_nerd checks back in soon So far we've introduced ourselves, talked about our application goals, talked about our research, and keep each other updated on what we've been accomplishing. I've been setting weekly/monthly goals and check in whenever I'm feeling good/need some extra encouragement. It's been helpful for me so far. Accountability is huge, and we can help each other cross the finish line!
  4. 2 points
    @urbanfarmer Thanks for the advice! If any critical approach gets mentioned, it will likely be ecocriticism. As I have said elsewhere (maybe in this thread?), I use feminist and queer theory in my writing sample, so that may be enough to convince a committee that I have some grasp of contemporary lit theory. p.s. If you're ever near Alabama and you like beer, you should try Good People's Urban Farmer saison, if for no other reason that because has the same name as your GC account (and also because it is a great drink made by great people).
  5. 2 points
    Not to make things more difficult @Keri but I'd like to join as well @lit_nerd
  6. 2 points

    2018 Applicants

    I think @lit_nerd has to add them since he started the chat! I've tried everything and I have no option to add others. Sorry @klader, @punctilious and @a_sort_of_fractious_angel! I'll keep looking.
  7. 2 points
    When I applied to MSc programs, my partner and I were not married and we had similar concerns as you. Later, when applying to PhD programs, my partner and I were married and we still had similar concerns. The second time, they were even bigger concerns because we were moving from Canada to the US, so work authorization for my spouse was also a tricky thing to get. In the end, it did all work out though. Here's what we did for both rounds of applications in terms of choosing a location that would work for both of us. My spouse has a generally flexible line of work (non-academic) and any small town (~100,000 people or so) would have options, but of course, the bigger the city, the larger the pool of applicants. The only job-related constraints would be language (some places in Canada require French) and immigration policies (for places outside of Canada). Instead of just job opportunities, we were also considering our personal preferences on where we would like to live too! We started by determining what our own goals are (career and otherwise), for ourselves and for each other. We discussed short term and long term wishes and how we wanted to balance them. And we talked about what our major concerns were about grad school and the academic career path. Ultimately, we came up with a plan that ensured that both of us were happy. Although I was the one going to grad school, we viewed this as something we were doing together for the good of our family. So, I only applied to schools in locations that were good for both of us. Logistically, the way we did it was for each of us to compile our own lists of places we would like to go to. Then, we looked at each other's lists and we each had veto power (e.g. I might veto places that didn't have research that fit me or I wouldn't enjoy the city and my spouse might veto places that didn't suit their interests). The places that were on both our lists went to the top. We kept an open mind at this stage---neither of us vetoed places that might not sound great initially, but we would at least visit and see what it's like. As for long term goals, both of our main desires were to set us both up so that we can both have careers in a specific geographical region (close to our families). We know that was where we would want our children to grow up. Our main concern was that the academic job market is brutal and most academics seem to have to move to wherever the jobs were. In addition, while some people we know got TT jobs right after graduation, and a few after 1 postdoc, the norm is 2 or 3 postdocs before a TT job. The nightmare scenario we wanted to avoid was that we would go on the TT job hunt, choose a less-than-ideal postdoc thinking that it would set us up for a good job later, but then go on another postdoc and another etc... In short, while we had long term big picture goals in mind, we also didn't want to spend our 20s and 30s only living for the future and not being able to enjoy the present. We came up with a strategy to avoid our worst fears. First, we both decided that while academia would be a great career path for me, we are not going to have the "TT job or bust" mindset. Next, we decided that every position I take from then on (at the PhD application stage) would have to be a top-tier type position, or something that really sets us up very well for moving back to our geographical area. So, this meant that when applying to PhD programs, I only applied to top schools with the plan that if I only got into second-tier schools, it would make the odds of a TT job in our geographical region of choice very slim and the two of us would be better off if we followed a different career path. When applying to postdocs, I followed the same idea. The second strategy was to choose a program that would allow me to develop useful non-academia job skills. Ultimately, we would both be happier in our geographical region and outside of academia than in academia but outside of our region of choice. In addition to programs that would allow me to develop useful skills, I generally favoured places that would have good brand name recognition for employers outside of academia. This second preference played a larger role in the "choosing which offer to accept" stage rather than the application stage, since nothing is sure when you're just applying. Finally, the last strategy to combat our fears/worries was to make a commitment to ourselves. We decided that 10 years from the start of my PhD program (we'd be in our mid-30s), we will be in our geographical region of choice, no matter what. This was to alleviate the worries of chasing postdocs/TT jobs indefinitely and that we would be not living in the present enough. Although it was always true, making this commitment was a reminder to ourselves that we can just quit academia any time. For most grad students, we are achievement-seeking personalities and "quitting" might be hard to do. This promise to ourselves was a reminder that we can leave if we want to. So with these ideas, we both agreed on 8 places to apply to. My spouse visited grad programs whenever possible. I made it clear to all the grad programs that this was a decision that both of us were making together. Many places directly reached out to my spouse to recruit her as well as me, which was very appreciated. After the applications decisions were made, my spouse and I ranked the offers. Our top three choices were the same, but most importantly, the top choice was the same for both of us. So that was how we decided. If you want an update on where we are on our plans, we are now 5 years past the start of my PhD (i.e. halfway through our 10 year plan). I just graduated from my PhD last month and I have just started a postdoc this week. I ended up with a fellowship postdoc position in our geographic region of choice! Our hopes are that we will never have to move away again. However, we're still open to it if there's a really good (but temporary) opportunity for a second postdoc, but only if the opportunity provides increased chances for a permanent academic job in our current area and that increase is worth the move away from our families. If not, and if there turns out to be no more academic opportunities in our area, we'll find non-academic jobs and stay where we are Good luck with your decision making process. If you want to discuss more personal issues, feel free to send me a PM. I can also provide more details via PM if that helps someone in a similar situation.
  8. 1 point

    Marxist Departments?

    Following from @RageoftheMonkey's good points, I'd say look out for departments that have at least a couple people working on labor history, working-class history, or the history of capitalism. I dunno what your geographical/temporal range is, but here are a few folks whose work is in conversation – sometimes in critical conversation – with Marxist ideas: Brown (Alex Gourevitch, Seth Rockman, Lukas Rieppel) Columbia (Betsy Blackmar, Barbara Fields, Eric Foner and Bill Leach – although neither are taking students anymore) Cornell (Ray Craib, Larry Glickman, Claudia Verhoeven) Georgetown (Joseph McCartin, Michael Kazin) Harvard (Sven Beckert and others associated with the Program on the Study of Capitalism) University of Illinois at Chicago (Leon Fink – probably not taking students anymore, Susan Levine, Jeffrey Sklansky) University of Chicago (Amy Dru Stanley, Jon Levy) University of Pittsburgh (Niklas Frykman, Michel Gobat, Markus Rediker) (A fair number of these people have written for either Jacobin or Dissent.)
  9. 1 point

    Short Name vs Long Name

    My last name is pretty unusual, at least once you get away from certain ethnic neighborhoods in Canada. For that reason, it won't matter much what other names I use-- there won't be a lot like me in the databases. That said, I always use my full first name (even if everyone else thinks they can abbreviate it), and I add my middle initial when signing documents. I think my master's dissertation required my full middle name, and I don't object to that. It is a short family name of no particular complexity or bad associations. I don't worry about the issue much. The difference between "Firstname Lastname" and "Firstname L. Lastname" isn't going to confuse anyone who sees both forms published, and spelling out the middle name won't make me look like I'm stealing my own identity. For some, of course, middle names can be a problem. My wife's middle name was given as "Stella". She hated that (and wasn't crazy about the person it referred to), so replaced it with "S", which gave her name a nice, crisp kind of authority. There is also the option of ditching a first name altogether when changing addresses. One of my college classmates was listed in the facebook as "Barry S. Lastname" but immediately became "Steve" in his freshman year. Get rid of those playground bullying ghosts! A business-school classmate's given name sounded too much to everyone like "Sharon Stone", which became annoying to her after the famous interview scene hit the big screen. So, she dropped the Sharon and replaced it with a very obscure middle name once she arrived at school. The Southern solution, perhaps.
  10. 1 point
    I think you should be OK. I mean, most people don’t start Quant Psych programs with a strong technical background (Mathematics, Statistics, computer programming, etc.). With that being said, however, it’s important to focus on which courses are bringing down your GPA. Like, for instance, if your upper-level Statistics courses are also your lowest grades, it kind of begs the question of how well you can handle mathematical research and stuff like that. Just some stuff to think about.
  11. 1 point

    Marxist Departments?

    I think you will find Marxists --or at least people influenced by and knowledgeable about Marx -- in most history programs. It's hard to ignore historical materialism as a foundational approach to history -- though many people try to do so That said, a large reason why I personally chose Cornell is because the program is full of leftists of all varieties. I think it partly depends on what you're looking for in terms of Marxism ie super theory heavy vs people who study leftist history vs people doing economic history vs whatever. That's where things will really vary by program, imo. I chose programs to apply to by asking my undergrad professors for recommendations of good fits and exhaustively researching those schools (and many others). It takes a while, but you can look through the faculty everywhere to get a sense for who is doing what kind of work and where interesting/important stuff is happening.
  12. 1 point
    Certainly! I mainly wanted to point out that it's possible that a paper you're proud of at the moment might not be something that you want publicly associated with your name down the line. My suspicion is that the odds of this are much higher for a paper you wrote during your senior year of undergrad than late in a PhD program or afterwards. There are, however, almost certainly exceptions on either side of this equation. This consideration coupled with the possibility of further refining an idea through added training should, I think, give reason for caution about publishing too early in one's academic career. Obviously though, this is a personal decision and there are a lot of factors that can tip the balance in one direction or the other. Should everyone be polishing until they get into Nous? Depends on what you mean by 'should'. I happen to think it would be better for professional philosophy and intellectual inquiry for people to publish less frequently and more polished pieces. I also recognize that contemporary hiring and tenure policies make this a naive suggestion. Not publishing is simply not an option after a certain point in your academic career. I just happen to think that that point occurs somewhere during a PhD program and not before. There are a number of interesting discussions of publishing on Leiter and Daily Nous. Here are a couple for what it's worth: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2012/05/grad-students-questions-about-publishing.html http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2015/04/publishing-as-an-ma-student-applying-to-phd-programs.html http://dailynous.com/2014/10/06/how-much-should-graduate-students-publish/ I'd be happy to continue a discussion on publishing if people are interested, but at this point it might make the most sense to create a new thread for it and leave this one for more general applicant discussion.
  13. 1 point

    NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    Wow, I didn't realise that there are some places that will fund you on their own system, or have you be on NSF/external funding only! My department views external fellowships as bonus only, so they are generally going to be okay with supplementing the funding since it would cost them less than if the student had no external funding. However, the department is responsible for all tuition costs of students, whether or not they work as TAs or RAs (and the department then charges the supervisor for tuition, I believe). I think this expectation is common to lots of national level fellowships, definitely the ones in Canada. The main reason (at least of the orgs. I'm familiar with) is that the funding org. wants to ensure that they are investing in a student that will be properly supported by their institution. The org. can fund more students with the same amount of money if they only contribute something like 50%-75% of the total costs. In addition, if the institution does not commit any funds at all towards an awardee, there is risk that institutions will "take advantage" of the funding org. and their awardees, treating them as "free students" that they don't have to worry about. And, since the funding org. knows their award won't cover all of the costs, they want to see a commitment from the school to cover the rest of it---they don't want the awardee to run out of funding and leave! I think the requirement that the school invest into the student financially means that they will value their student more too. Also, because tuition varies so much from school to school, especially public and private, if NSF sets a standard level of tuition support ($12k is pretty generous), then schools can't just charge higher tuition to get more money from NSF. Schools that want to have higher tuition are responsible for finding other ways to fund it.
  14. 1 point
    I moved from Chicago to a city with a ridiculous housing market. My university's graduate apartment housing was on par with the cost of renting in any of the neighborhoods easily accessible via transit, so to save the hassle of trying to find a place from half-way across the country I signed up for one of those units. I spend at least 60/70% of my stipend on housing, though the grad apartments do include utilities and internet. My university fees cover an unlimited transit pass, which seems to be the norm for most urban campuses, and my university also pays for grad student's healthcare premiums, which BLESS. I almost cry every time I pay my rent - it is double what I paid for similar housing in Chicago, but it is a decent apartment and a 10 minute walk from the library and my office. Those expensive pod style apartments are really common in my city and they depress the s!!!! out of me. I know I'm paying a lot, but I also know that my home atmosphere is really important for my well-being and my ability to get my work done. My university has a really active facebook housing group that I found through the resident life/university housing website. While it's mostly undergrads subletting or looking for roommates, I know some grad students who have found places on it. I would definitely check what your university has about off-campus housing, normally there is some type of message board/group for people looking for roommates. Also check with your department to see if anyone else from your cohort has expressed that they are looking for a roommate. Good luck!
  15. 1 point

    Programs strong in Marxist study?

    @Mason.Jennings Nancy Fraser is there, who alone makes it worth a while to study theory there in my opinion. They have historically been a critical theory program. Deva Woodly who does Theory + American is really strong up and coming young scholar, I heard her speak several times. Ross Poole teaches Marx there as well (as does Fraser, and a lot of other faculty members incorporate him into their syllabi and their work). Rafi Youatt does some interesting stuff on posthumanism. So people-wise, they are really good. But in the interest of full disclosure, New School is also known for having terrible funding packages. So honestly, unless you have really good savings and are willing to burn through them, I wouldn't recommend going there. CUNY Grad Center might be a better alternative, funding wise, as they have fellowships which are decent (for NY even Columbia's funding sucks, and funding for all PhD programs sucks in general, but that's another matter). CUNY Grad Center has some amazing people, also few top Marx & critical theory people. Corey Robin is arguably the best-known young Marxist in theory, currently writing a book on the political theory of capitalism. Susan Buck-Morss, one of the most famous Frankfurt School theory scholars (together with Benhabib) is also there, from Cornell where she raised an entire generation of critical theorists. Jack Jacobs teaches Marx regularly. Also some other folks, in theory and outside, who'd be very happy to accommodate your research interests. Some other big names that might not be as close to your research interest but are there: Uday Mehta, Carol Gould, and Alyson Cole. Btw, biggest New York city universities (plus Princeton and Rutgers in Jersey, and Stony Brook upstate) have this thing called Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, which is a great. It allows you to take classes at other schools. So going to CUNY Grad for example still doesn't preclude you from studying with Nancy Fraser. That being said, I do think it is important to put a big caveat in front of all this for prospective grads: tenure-track jobs are indeed disappearing and academia is a very precarious endeavor. I'm not one of those people who thinks TT jobs are the only reason you should pursue a PhD, but it is a reality that many people are. So be aware of that. However, when people tell you to "go study Marx elsewhere" and then mention disciplines like Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Comp Lit, or whatever - they aren't really solving anything because: 1) Tenure track jobs are perhaps even harder to come by in these disciplines. It is just the current state of academia, especially humanities (and humanities-like fields such as poli theory). 2) There are broadly two ways of studying & using Marxian theory in poli theory today: history of poli thought (exegesis) or contemporary theory (critical theory of some sort that builds on Marx, but others as well). If you choose the former, then getting a placement will be equally hard as if you were studying Hobbes, or Locke, or Mill, or whomever from the cannon. Also, you will have to connect it with recent literature, other thinkers, find an innovative reading/approach to it, and show its pertinence for current issues. This is no small task. If you choose the latter, there is a bunch of critical theorists (of all stripes and colors) in the US academia (top 10 and below) which you can study with. My overall point being - studying Marx in poli theory today is perfectly fine. The problem is not with Marx as a figure, the problem is in poli theory & similar fields, that are in precarious position with this neoliberalization of higher education. 3) This brings me to my last point here. The issue I have with people telling you not to study Marx "because you won't find a job" is that it most often serves as a tool to homogenize the discipline (or/and they simply don't know much about theory scholarship and scholars, as is the case in this thread, in my opinion). Not everyone wants to do liberal normative political theory that is 'the mainstream' (btw, there are people who approach Marxi and Marxist theory in a normative poli theory tradition as well, which only shows the wealth of approaches to Marx today). People have different aspirations and interests. And once you show people who say that that there are a lot of people working on these 'Other' topics as well, they quickly revert to: "well you won't find a job in theory anyway". So just be mindful that the entire discussion above about Marx (in this case) in political theory today is not really the problem of Marx per say, as you can study him with a lot of scholars in all sort of "top 10" or below programs, but with political theory itself (& academia overall today). If you're ok with that, and accept the risks, rock on buddy - join the struggle
  16. 1 point

    GRE "Splitters"

    @miami421 A quick recap of the importance of different parts of the graduate application in most of the humanities, and also anthropology. Numbers left blank are to provide a sense of scale. 1. SOP - key elements are: how it expresses your research interests, whether you are persuasive about your ability to carry out the research project you propose or one somewhat like it, and whether you demonstrate good fit with the school 2. Writing sample 3. 4. 5. LORs 6. 7. GPA 8. 9. GRE You could include "fit" as a separate item in the top three if you want, but the scale itself is an approximate thing I threw together in ten minutes. The level you set at "decent" is, unfortunately, optimistic. Fellow forum-members: do even Harvard and Princeton place 50% of their students in TT-positions within 5 years (in history)? I don't know this myself, but that part of your post, although well-meant, is probably a significant part of what made me and possibly some other people on here extra cranky. Why? Because it reminded us of how placement records, even at our own school (even if it's a really good one!), are d e p r e s s i n g. I only wish most of the top 50 universities had a 50% TT placement rate!
  17. 1 point

    2018 Applicants

    @punctilious Can I ask what parts of this program research your husband is planning to do? I get that literature students switch fields and topics a lot more often than anthropologists do, so it can make sense to go to a program with generally "good Americanists" for a master's degree (or possibly for a PhD if you want to focus on teaching? I'm not sure, I'm in a different field) but it doesn't sound like that's your husband's situation. It sounds like he really likes literary scholarship, it isn't something he's just okay about while he gets to his dream of teaching college students. And that he would be particularly interested in going to a prestigious PhD. (Although that might sound snobby—your instinct might be to go "oh no no, he's really interested in doing what he loves, not being at some fancy elite institution"—it's wise, actually. Getting a PhD is tough! It's a lot easier if they pay you reasonably and support you doing research. It will also likely make facing the job market, which is very bad, somewhat less horrible.) Is that right? If I understood that correctly, you may be running out the limits on what you can do for him. It sounds like your spreadsheets are very detailed, and I bet they will be great help for the two of you! I suspect that he is going to need to do the next step, however, on his own—and it's the most important step. Finding a research "fit" is something that nobody but the applicant can do for them, so he should start researching the professors he wants to work with pretty soon. The POIs you've picked out might be a great place for him to start reading, but he can't stop there. Prestigious PhDs, especially, require specifically-written applications, with more details rather than less. Harvard gets a lot of applications that say it's great because it's Harvard! Maybe they say the funding is good! They have a lot of faculty who focus on the Victorian era! (Or whatever.) That's not very convincing, if you read hundreds of similar applications: the Ivies know they're fancy. If you say instead that you're interested in this project this professor is working on, and that project that other professor did, the professors on the admissions committee will most likely find that much more persuasive. So if your husband is interested in a research-focused PhD, he needs to sit down and read all of the faculty profiles in all the departments he is interested in. He'll need to pick out the ones that catch his eye. A really strong graduate school application in either of our fields isn't just based on matching faculty by time and region, but on thematic connections. So this strong application wouldn't say something like, I want to work on the American post-war and you have a lot of faculty who do great work on that period. It would rather say something like: I am interested in working on ambivalent constructions of masculinity in post-war novels that focus on the American marriage, and although this part may change I'm currently focused on the works of John Updike. The SOP would then not be as simple as: I am interested in working with faculty X, Y, and Z, because they all work on American literature after WWII. Rather, this fictional applicant might say: I am interested in working with faculty X because they are an Updike scholar (although X herself studies space and the environment as they appear in the books, not gender or marriage); I also look forward to taking Y's class on marriage in literature (where Y herself studies Shakespeare); finally I look forward to working with Z who studies gender theory (even though Z himself applies that theory to the works of Samuel Delaney). After your husband finishes reading about all the English faculty at each college, he should also look at the professors who work in some of the other departments that might have scholars whose work he would like. Interdisciplinary work is big these days, and only getting bigger, so really he should look at way more departments at each college than just the English literature department. This can be a quick overview where he only reads the research statements of the faculty who catch his eye, but he should absolutely look at the website listing the faculty of, say, the department of American Studies at Yale before he applies there. Does he like film? Look at the film studies department at each college. Or feminist studies, or science and technology studies (which is a broader field than it might sound like). Of course he shouldn't push connections if they feel forced, but it's a good research exercise to do anyway. Although my fictional example in the previous paragraph includes only faculty who could be in English, maybe Z is actually in the department of American culture or in African American studies. Poking around other interesting departments would then reveal that new resource for your husband to draw upon, one that he might have missed by just looking in English. For example, when I applied, I read or skimmed the departmental webpages for all the anthropology faculty in all the departments I was considering, and then I looked at all the history faculty who studied the same region where I work, skimmed the entire relevant area studies department, and sometimes looked at the departments of sociology or film studies. Personally, I found doing all that reading kind of fun, since people study such interesting things. Good luck to you both.
  18. 1 point
    Yes! My school is in rural Ohio. There's literally nothing around for at least 20 miles, so you can spend up to $900/month getting a place in town (or get a place about an hour away, pay normal prices, and drive a ton). My department does give generous funding, though, with the PhD students making a bit more than 20k with opportunities for summer work. Food and gas is cheap in Ohio, but cost of living can be high if you're trying to live in town.
  19. 1 point


    Everyone says there is "no required number" but have you looked at the average scores of who they accept? That's what they are looking for. If you think it will be okay and you can get it, I wouldn't retake, but if it's that bad and you think can do better, I would.
  20. 1 point

    LOR - Stay At Home Mom

    One thing you could do is to contact the schools you are interested in and ask them directly what kind of LORs would they expect for someone who has not been a student for 10+ years and have not worked full time in 6+ years.
  21. 1 point

    GRE "Splitters"

    I just want to point out that people who are annoyed or bothered by questions they think have been answered elsewhere or questions they consider "stupid" are under no obligation to answer. It's easy enough to just do that than throw time and energy into some passive aggressive (or aggressive aggressive) paragraphs attacking someone for asking a question just because they didn't see it anywhere at first or didn't want to spend and hour sifting through old threads. I agree that thick skin is necessary and there will always be those who will talk down to you or act pompous, but there's really no need to spread that around and just consider such behaviors "par for the course" in academia. I personally know multiple PhDs, other academics, and historians who are plenty down to earth and humble, and I hope to emulate them as I maneuver my way through my PhD and beyond. Well anyways, my point here is just that if you don't like the question, don't respond to it. Simple as that. Because now this straightforward thread for someone nervous and excited about the application process has been hijacked by people debating the value of the question and fighting over the nature of academia.
  22. 1 point
    First off why do you want to do a clinical psych PhD and is there an easier/quicker way to do that without the long, arduous, expensive journey? I don't want to dissuade you but its important info to know to give you better advice. Also what field are you aiming for within clinical and are you aiming for PP, research or academia? If you've had quality research experiences before then I don't see a new RA position adding much more. If you've only done grunt work in those 7 years then pushing for more productivity (pubs, posters) as an RA would be ideal.
  23. 1 point
    Think of the SOP as being the thread that, in writing, ties all your materials together. As was stated by hj2012, they're not going to spend a ton of time reading everyone's 20-pg writing sample (probably)-- so convince them to. I started my SOP by giving a summary of my M.A. thesis (which was my writing sample), then had a paragraph talking about what my research interests are (how they related to my writing sample, and what I wanted to continue studying in the future), then had a few paragraphs explaining how my prior education and work experience made me qualified for a program, and how my research interests developed, then ended with a short paragraph about why I was applying to that specific program. Look into programs a bit, and mix in your "real" reasons with some other ones. Do the classes look interesting? Do they have a good reputation for getting MA students into PhD programs? It's like applying to a job-- even though you're applying because you need to pay your rent, you also have to sound like you know a bit about the place and there's SOMETHING about it that's interesting to you. Feel free to also say, "I plan on pursuing my PhD, and X program seems like it will provide me with the mentorship and skills needed to succeed further in academia." Don't worry about this being a place where you are writing something especially "new." Cover letters may catch an employer's interest with their content, but they're certainly not something that's ever "fun" to read-- and as hj2012 said... this basically is a cover letter.
  24. 1 point
    Ah, so good to see a couple of replies to this one...I've been thinking about it as it lingered and languished here for a while, I suspect just because of how genuinely tricky this situation is. I was in a similar situation, and while I appreciate the other replies, I'd strongly suggest considering the prospect of taking turns with your degrees. Not a very sexy option, but it did work for me. My partner and I found the odds just too damn tough to deal with, even by focusing on similar schools and/or similar geographic areas; it was too hard not to envision the scenario in which one acceptance didn't align with the other acceptance - or the other non-acceptances - and in turn, that anxiety alone was too great to even begin us going down that route. By taking turns, you really turn the situation back into a one-step-at-a-time kind of approach. Granted, it is an early step, and it doesn't solve the later step of how to gain employment in the same geographic region. But that later step would be waiting for you in any case. If you're willing to take turns, one of you has to be willing to wait. That was me, the waiter, and I can tell you that it wasn't that bad. I waited 3 years, which gave me time to save up some money and really fine-tune my applications. Yes, there were times when I just really wanted to get moving on the process, but then again, I was moving on the process, if we spin things around to the positive light. In this way, one of the unfortunate aspects of higher degrees in this field, wherein one must be hyper-professionalized in order to gain entrance into a program that has traditionally been designed to impart the professional skills that one must already have, actually becomes an advantage: you get a crack at independent scholarship, and with a purpose and an end-game to boot. If you have a job, you also get money...the independent scholarship thus happens on nights and weekends, and so you don't really ever sleep, and viola! It's just like you're already in grad school with the silver lining that you're not totally broke! There are those who would see my optimism as forced or strained...the truth is, this is not an easy situation, and my proposed solution is not an easy fix. But it is a doable one. For those of a certain temperament, I actually think that it can galvanize two commitments at once, since you'd have to be truly in love with your partner as well as your scholarship to do something like this. And those commitments do get tested here - I view these as something like a long-distance relationship, which, for me, is like the last thing I'd ever want to attempt, or to wish on my enemies, yet sometimes there is simply a shortage of great options, in which case sucking it up and keeping the faith is about all you have to go on (in fact you can see through these comparisons that I'd rather wait on my dream than attempt long-distance from my partner, which in itself implies a hierarchy of my own personal priorities). But commitment is commitment, and if it's real on both counts, then you don't question it, you just do it. And hey, if it's not real on either count, then finding that out earlier rather than later is not such a bad thing, either. Whatever you choose, I wish you luck! Just know that it can work, and for my money one step at a time - literally - is what makes the difference. Both of you applying at the same time would literally be two steps at once, presuming you're a permanent unit who will go the full distance together, that is, degree, employment and beyond.
  25. 1 point
    One of the younger professors at my MA school talked about how when he and his wife were applying to PhD programs, it became so much more complex because they had to attend schools near each other as they have young children. He said the stress was extreme trying to coordinate and get funding for both of them. As a result, he kept his job as a FT MA instructor at the university where he now is professor and attended a program with no funding he could drive to once a week. Not quite the same scenario as yours, but somewhat similar.
  26. 1 point
    I am by no means an expert in this subject, but my husband is the one applying to PhD programs. If we were in this situation, I'm pretty sure we would do what we are doing now: focus on a general geographic area. You could, for instance, look at Boston (and the surrounding area) and have these options: Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, UMass Amherst, UNH, etc. This is just how I'd do it to ensure we could live together.
  27. 1 point
    I just graduated from Penn's HP program in May. I loved it. There were a few folks with similar backgrounds/interests to you in our cohort. One planned to attend law school after getting his M.S. - so an inverse pattern to yours. He applied to law schools in our second year and has matriculated at one for this fall. There was additionally a Penn law student who did a certificate in historic preservation as part of his law coursework, so he took certain required courses to gain a general understanding of the field (research/documentation, architectural history, preservation theory) to supplement his law degree. He has a job at a land use law firm currently. Another Penn law student took preservation law as an elective course and is now on the board of the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance. Considering you have a law degree, have passed the bar and have worked in museums and art organizations, I don't know if shelling out upwards of 50k per year for two years is worth it given your experience. (To be fair, a lot of folks get aid from Penn and I ended up with a ~50% scholarship, but it depends on the person and your background). A certificate program may be more useful for you -- so you understand the basics of what a preservation professional can do (Section 106, Tax Credits, NEPA, 4(f), etc.) without having to do a full blown courseload. But, I also understand that there are benefits to a full-time master's program. I would also suggest getting in touch with the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance to see how you can get involved with some of their work. Feel free to message me directly - I also live in Philly! Would be glad to meet for covfefe or a drink sometime!
  28. 1 point

    MBA College in Europe?

    are you accepted into these yet? more details are good
  29. 1 point
    Thanks for the reply, jswizzle48. I must admit that I could have spent more time studying for the verbal section. Hopefully I will get a better verbal score after some serious studying.
  30. 1 point

    Am I eligible for top tier schools?

    A lot of how competitive you are will come from how well you describe your research in your essays and whether or not your letters support what you say. Based on what you have posted, I am sure you will be in the running for top tier schools, but I am not convinced you will be a shoo-in. Definitely apply to top programs, but include middle tier and safety schools on your list. Also, what are you interested in studying? You are a biochemistry major with experience in pharmacognosy, cancer biology, and metabolism. How are you going to describe those (seemingly random) experiences in a way that is cohesive?
  31. 1 point

    Harvard GSE?

    For Columbia's MSW, the GRE isn't required. From my experience and anecdotal (so take this with a grain of salt) experiences, Columbia's MSW program is holistic in its approach to admission. That is, you can have a lower GPA if something else is substantial in your application (experience, essay, LORs). You have a superb GPA, so just make sure your LORs and most importantly, your essay highlights things your GPA isn't able to. Expand on your resume and what led you to pursue the field of social work. It's extremely important to show the committee why you are drawn to this field and what past experiences (both personal and professional) led you to social work. Columbia's program tends to admit a lot of students due to a lower yield (probably attributed to the high sticker price and smaller funding packages offered). Columbia's program is massive and has over 20,000 alumni worldwide and tends to be more macro/policy focused than other MSW programs, but you can certainly obtain a great clinical education here as well. https://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/columbia-university-school-of-social-work-000_10014163.aspx Two former college classmates applied to Harvard's GSE and it seems a bit more competitive than Columbia's MSW program, but it isn't fair to compare these two programs as they are extremely different. The Prevention Science focus is very narrow and for those who are interested in working with adolescents/children within a school setting whereas the MSW is broader in its practice and theory, focuses more on human behavior within the social environment and has a overwhelming social justice focus. GRE, GPA, experience and the essay seem to all be important in admissions into Harvard's GSE. It would be extremely important to highlight what led you to want to practice with this sort of population (children/adolescents) within this particular setting (schools) through LORs, your essay and your resume. Good luck!
  32. 1 point
    I think it should be built in to the Mac keyboards that you can select - up at the top of the screen where you see that little American flag, you should be able to select "ABC/US Extended" keyboard. In the drop-down menu, you should also be able to show the "keyboard viewer," which if you press the option key, should show all the transliteration symbols you need. I use it mostly for Middle Egyptian, but I think the symbols are mostly the same š, ẖ, ḥ, ā, etc. This way it also puts it in via unicode, which should be portable and won't require installing other fonts.
  33. 1 point

    back up plan?

    Did you apply to only top 10 programs? Also what was your under grad GPA? Also you can always go for another masters in the mean time, a least that's what I may do if I don't get into a PhD program. Most people in my field, with that type of resume, would get picked up instantly! One of the programs I am applying to is #25 and suggests a 900 on the GRE, and require a GPA of at least 2.6 under-grad. But than again my field only has 40 universities in the country and has a lot less people applying for admissions than all or most of the PhD social science programs. Criminal Justice schools came about in the 70's while Sociology started with Comte hundreds of years ago. Here is one person who posted his or her scores for getting in but the GRE is obviously not right Pittsburgh (Ranked #52) for Sociology, PhD (F13) Accepted via Postal Service on 27 Mar 2013 report spam so happy. thought i wouldn't get in anywhere. this was my last hope. good They had a 3.1 under-grad GPA and GRE scores were low I am assuming Taking these peoples results on face value; how does individuals like this get into a PhD Sociology program over someone as qualified as you? It just does not make sense. Here is another one from Pittsburgh University Of Pittsburgh Sociology, PhD (F13) Accepted via Postal Service on 22 Feb 2013 report spam so excited! GPA 2.75 under grad and 147V and 143Q Maybe apply to Pittsburgh if your desperate Here is another low scoring applicant who was accepted, Rutgers #28 for Scoiology Rutgers Sociology, PhD (F13) Accepted via E-mail on 20 Feb 2013 report spam wait listed for funding. GPA 2.98 V165 Q132 Cuny is tied for #28 for top sociology programs CUNY Sociology, PhD (F13) Accepted via E-mail on 20 Feb 2013 report spam off wait-list, was offered four years funding. Students GPA 3.38 V138 Q 142 Overall, I think the people who did not accept you are not doing their jobs
  34. -1 points

    Harvard GSE?

    Why solely the Ivy League?
  35. -1 points

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