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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/18/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    TMP

    Ending with Terminal MA

    I'm out of upvotes today but I am 100% with @ashiepoo72 on this very statement. I can't tell you how many graduate students will gripe when they see that individuals just can't continue to the end unless these individuals are truly struggling and becoming emotionally unhappy. I have known 2 graduate students (one of them my best friend) who told their advisers that they didn't want to continue beyond the MA. My best friend's adviser urged her to take advantage of the summer monies to get into research and finish her MA thesis to be sure that she wanted to leave all the research behind. She did the research and concluded that she still loved the research but couldn't handle the quirks of academia. Another student, an international student whose interests laid outside of US history and her home country's history, already had an uphill battle coming in. There was something about her that hinted that she would eventually leave the program, particularly her initial impression that she just wanted to study history at graduate level with no understanding of reality in academia. She confirmed it after dodging my questions about her summer, exams and dissertation plans for almost a year. Her reason was that she wanted job stability and I was not happy because I know I told her that being in academia was not going to be easy and she would need to think about jobs beyond the professoriate and no doubt that she has at least heard around the department the challenges of the job market. She admitted to me that she told our adviser back in September, beginning of her second year, I was even less thrilled. I suspect, though, my adviser knew that this student wasn't cut for the PhD as her MA thesis did not show any real sign of original thinking (it was a saturated topic. But to be honest, her BA topic was quite exciting in comparison but she didn't want to pursue it). Although my adviser and my best friend's adviser dealt differently, when graduate students leave before finishing the PhD, their departures hurt the department more than them. The Graduate School counts how many students finish as part of deciding how many students the department can fund. Also, they hurt other graduate students' morale and trust because we all have invested in time into one another through classes, chit-chats in TA rooms, and other areas of socialization. One needs to understand that once entering in a PhD program, one has become part of a community. Community members understand more if the reason for departure has to do with mental heath crisis or strongly academic. But to treat the community and its resources less respectfully? Nope.
  2. 1 point
    Hey, @indecisivepoet - I'm not punctilious but I have some info/opinions that might help you. I found the NRC rankings more useful than USNews precisely because they don't have one definitive number (like USNews does with the rank number and its corresponding 1-5 score.) The more holistic score gives (I think) a better sense of how programs are perceived IRL. Granted, the NRC rankings are now, what - ten years old at least? Bear that in mind. Also, USNews is not "updated" for this fall (it's the 2017 rankings, I believe.) When I first started thinking about programs, I looked most closely at the S-Rank, Research, and R-Rank columns. What I found interesting is that there are programs that score well in Research but not so much in R-Rank. I paired that info with the dept's strengths (which I learned from the websites/etc.) Doing so made me realize that some programs are generating powerhouse scholarship BUT - for myriad reasons - maybe aren't viewed that way by other programs. Could be that faculty at school A don't really know anyone at school C, so they don't have a favorable (or unfavorable) perspective on scholarship (so, like, if a 19th century scholar is asked about a program that really doesn't do 19th century scholarship, they probably won't have a high score to give.) Could be a handful of other reasons. So, if you're going to go down the rankings rabbit hole, I think the NRC is better than USNews because you can use it to learn a bit more about strong programs that you might not have otherwise considered. Beyond that, both of them are pretty much useless. My advice would be to skim both lists to see if there are any programs you hadn't thought about looking at, but then turn your attention to what kinds of info the programs themselves are offering and what kind of work the faculty/and students are doing. Re: handbooks - @Warelin is spot on. The handbooks explain what milestones you need to meet by when. And it gives you a sense of what kind of support is offered by the program beyond "we will fund you."
  3. 1 point
    A program's handbook usually has critical information regarding the specific department at the school. It might contain information regarding stipends, conference funding, program layout and expectations. The stipends might help you decide if you'd be able to afford to live in that city on that stipend alone or if you'd have to have one or more roommates. Some people have no problem sharing an apartment while others would prefer living alone. Conferences are an important part to your career. You'll want to make sure to know how funding works at that school. Some schools offer guaranteed funding; others have you compete for it. Some provide none. You'll want to know if you'll have to set aside money for those expenses. Program layout and expectations can provide a general timeline for when everything is expected in order to graduate on time. It'll also show you how many electives you can take outside the department. If your project is more interdisciplinary in nature, this is more important because there might be classes outside the department which can influence at how you look at your research that interests you. Looking at classes offered in recent years can also help you determine how well your interests align with current faculty interests.
  4. 1 point
    ashiepoo72

    Ending with Terminal MA

    I'm just going to reiterate here: if OP wants to switch, they will need recommendations from the program they intend to leave, and I doubt many professors at that program will write glowing recommendations. A lackluster or critical rec will torpedo an application--as @TMP said, academia is extremely small, professors know each other and will more than likely listen to their colleague's warnings and criticisms. If OP DOESN'T get recs from the program, it will be extremely suspicious to adcomms. Going into a PhD program that does not have a terminal MA with the intention of using it as a terminal MA is most definitely dishonest--unless OP is up front with their adviser, ensuring they're supportive, which is one way to guarantee there are no terrible recs dragging down a future application. It's hard for me to imagine an adviser being happy in this situation, but stranger things have happened. Side note: it's not just professors who view as dishonest those using a program as a launch pad to another program--during my application year, a person was accepted into one of the same places as me. This person was switching programs, which made a lot of the prospective and graduate students suspicious off the bat. Then we found out this person was attending a prospie weekend even though they already chose another program--this exacerbated the negative feelings, because we viewed this person as callously taking advantage of program funds while deliberately being a dishonest actor. The moral of the story is: profs and students, rightly or wrongly, do not like when department funds are used in what they view as a cavalier manner because these resources are precious few and could go to honest actors. It's one thing to enter a program, have your project radically transform to the point the program cannot support you, and applying to somewhere that can--this happens and is totally legitimate. It's another thing entirely to know from the start that you plan to apply elsewhere and you just want access to resources you do not have (that could go to someone who genuinely wants to be there). That's why you need to be as honest as possible about your intentions.
  5. 1 point
    Sigaba

    Ending with Terminal MA

    I understand your point. I agree that the system is broken. I agree that at least one contract has been broken. However, I don't agree with the reasoning. My perspective on the OP is that it proposes gaming the system in a way that works to the detriment of qualified applicants who want to attend that program. Also, while the professors at this institution are beneficiaries of a broken system, it is undetermined if they're working to changing things as individuals. If they are such individuals at this school, will they just grin and say @hellocharlie beat us at our own game and move on? Or will they be pushed along the path that has gotten us to this point in the first place? IRT the plan, I would point out that it's a smaller world than the OP may realize. A graduate student who screws over a department is going to generate chatter. Even if names are not named, given the (over) specialization of the profession, how hard will it be to figure out who that person is when he/she applies to programs and for fellowships and for jobs down the line?
  6. 1 point
    gnossienne n.3

    Ending with Terminal MA

    From the original post: This is not a thread about completing a terminal MA in order to improve a later application to a PhD. OP was specifically asking about misleading their institution by accepting a position at a PhD program with the full knowledge that they plan to leave in a few years in order to maximize job prospects at a "better" school. The potential for this to backfire is immense. While there may be cases of someone successfully pulling this off, it's not exactly behavior to be emulated.
  7. 1 point
    cat_not_kitty

    Canadian MSW Applicants 2018

    I received an email from FIFSW Student Services this evening (after business hours) letting me know that I've been nominated by the selection committee for an OGS! My application on the SGS site has also changed from "Received" to "Recommended". So, first of all, WAY earlier than I was expecting, based both on previous years and on available (though conflicting) info on different areas of the application site...I was thinking by end-of-June for nomination. And second of all, @kiki14 (or other past winners out there), I was hoping you could shed some light on the process for OGS at U of T: should I treat the faculty nomination as an offer that just needs to go through the formality of being confirmed by SGS, or is there a secondary selection process at that level? The email made it seem like the former, but I don't want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed. (Thought I'd continue this conversation here rather than start it again in the closed group on FB, just so future applicants have the full story...I found there to be a distinct paucity of info available re the OGS for MSW applicants/students.)
  8. 1 point
    @imagical that sounds a good deal, I will take a look... When I lived in the US many people told me that I was not allowed to have a contract phone because I didn't have a SSN, but then I got mine and forgot to check what were the options for me (I was about to leave the states so I didn't care).
  9. 1 point
    OHSP

    How many is too many?

    I’m at NYU and happy to talk—I chose to go there over supposedly better schools and it was the right decision for me. Re women’s/gender history though you’re slightly off re faculty. Nolan and Gordon are both retiring (Nolan this semester and Gordon very soon), and Diner is really not quite working in the areas you’re describing. Perhaps beyond region and topic etc think about the kind of work you want to produce, whether you’re a traditional historian or not etc etc. I’m very much not and that’s why it was a better school for me—
  10. 1 point
    Something you may also want to do, try and contact the grad students themselves. I've already talked to a few who said it's fine for me to crash their couch for a few days while I tour apartments in my time there. Now you're discussing a week or 2, but you may be able to crash their place while you look for your apartment. That should be enough time to find a place hopefully.
  11. 1 point
    You could request such a thing but my experience is that most building managers/supers don't really want to spend their time doing this and many of them don't know how to do such a thing. But it will depend a lot on the market. If there are 5+ people viewing each unit, then why would they bother with the virtual tour thing when they can easily rent to someone who will do things the normal way. You said that you were planning on getting an apartment with a roommate---will your roommate arrive in town before you? Maybe they can check it out in person instead. Or, maybe a friendly grad student in your new program would be willing to come see one or two places in person on your behalf. If none of that works and you don't want to take the risk on it not being a real place, you can hire a broker to do this on your behalf. I've not hired such a person before but typically they charge $300 or so per day and they would be willing to do research, call up places and view them all for you if you are going to pay them for all those hours. But some of them would be willing to just spend the day visiting places, taking pictures and sending them to you in a report at the end of the day. It's not cheap, but if having human eyes on a location is critical for you, $300-$500 is definitely a lot cheaper than flying out there yourself and better than losing your security deposit to a scam (or being stuck in a long lease).
  12. 1 point
    I got a plan strong on data because of all the WhatsApp texting/calling/video calling. Some companies give you an international text plan, but I have never used that because no one in my home country uses text anymore. When I got back from the field, I got a SIM card at the airport and months later I migrated to another company because that one was not giving me good coverage. Before then, I had bought a (blocked) phone in target with a $35 plan (now I pay $40).
  13. 1 point
    aelwood14

    Graduation was meaningless?

    I had a terrible time in my undergrad program. At the time, I didn't know it, but I had dyslexia and was not diagnosed until 2 years after I graduated from undergrad. I was told by not one, but THREE professors AND my adviser to "highly consider" a different career path and that I would "never be accepted into a grad program", because I was not a "strong enough candidate." It was the hardest thing I ever had to hear. I sulked for about 2 years. Finally, I thought screw it I am good enough and will make into grad school. Fast forward 5 years, I was accepted into not one, but TWO grad programs. My GPA and GRE scores are not what one would consider exceptional either (GPA: 2.99 GRE: V=146, Q=143, AW=4). I was almost driven more to push harder because I was told I was not good enough. You can PM if you want to know how I did finally get accepted. However, my point is you can't let one person tell you that you are not good enough. Screw them. If you are passionate about becoming an SLP then you can't let one person opinion of you get you down.
  14. 1 point
    I was wondering about this to so looked into it and found a company called US Mobile that lets you pick exactly what you want from a monthly phone contract (i.e. no. of minutes, texts and amount of data), and you can bring your own device to use with their contract. Also just as fuzzylogician said, the company uses two of the big four carrier networks so looks like it gets pretty good service around the country. It doesn't look like you have to pay a deposit either, and the company actually has a partnership with some US universities which means that if you're a student there, you can pick up a SIM card from the International Office when you arrive for free (or get it shipped if your university isn't on their list of partners). It sounds pretty good to me, and I think that's the option I will go for
  15. 1 point
    rising_star

    Dogs and Graduate School

    I almost wrote a reply to this, then decided to just link to past discussions so that I'm not repeating myself. I hope these links are helpful!
  16. 1 point
    renea

    Dogs and Graduate School

    So I'm about to start the first year of my Phd, and I got my dog just one year ago (in the summer before the last year of my MA). The big things I've learned (as they've applied to me): Consider who will take care of your dog when you are at a conference or away. A weekend or day might not be that hard, but what about breaks? While my husband is around to take care of our dog, my program is about 16 hours from our family so Christmas break was rough, as almost everyone we knew well enough to watch our dog was also away. We ended up driving home and keeping him with our family, but it was a hassle. Most grad students are rent dependent, if this is true for you then be warned renting with a dog can destroy your savings. We managed to find a rental that only had a $200 deposit, but many of the places we're looking to rent this upcoming year charge a $200 deposit, $200 fee, and "pet rent" anywhere from $10-25 a month (obviously we know pets can be expensive, but this in particular is a burden) Think about your routine and how long you're away each day. When I was taking thesis credits, my dog was pretty happy, either me or my husband were home most of the time, but when I suddenly had classes nearly every day the next semester I think it bummed him out. Suddenly he was alone for 4/5 hours, 5 days a week. He's gotten much better, but when we first had him he was still potty training, learning to be alone, had very severe separation anxiety... it was stressful trying to decide each day whether I wanted to leave for just a one hour presentation or meeting. So on top of what @jrockford27 said about irregular schedules- also consider the guilt. With all of that though, I want to say that I'm so happy with my decision to get a dog. Our puppy was with a family previously who had too many pets and not enough time to properly train or take care of him. We may not have as much money or time as some people, but he still gets a lot of attention and we have a set budget each month for his food/toys/treats etc. He's basically a spoiled only child and we love it. In addition to providing me with company while I study and affection when I'm stressed- he's also helped me develop some better habits. We've started incorporating hikes, daily walks, and trips to the dog park into our routine. I'm forced to get up at a reasonable time to take him out. Plus, he "reminds" me (via begging and harassment) to play with him and take him out, forcing me to step away from laptop at least once an hour or so. Training has been terrible and getting up at like 4am to take him out those first few months was awful, but he just turned one and is starting to really figure stuff out (with a dog that is already trained, I'd imagine it being much easier). So, yeah- there are pros, there are sure cons, but if you love the dog, have the money, and can make a few small sacrifices, I think it's worth it. When we get settled in our next program, we're already considering adding a second dog to the mix so I guess it works for us.
  17. 1 point
    iwearflowers

    Dogs and Graduate School

    A friend who graduated a couple of years ago insists that at the beginning of their program every grad student should be assigned a personal assistant, a therapist, and an emotional support animal of their choice. Get your dog!
  18. 1 point
    jrockford27

    Dogs and Graduate School

    There was a lengthy post about this on this very subforum a few months ago, so you're definitely not the only person thinking about this. I have a dog. I know lots of grad students with dogs in my program, some of them have more than one! Like anything there are advantages and disadvantages. I think you're at an advantage since this is a dog that comes (presumably) trained, and that you're familiar with. I think the worst part about getting our dog was that my fiancé (who is also a PhD student) and I got just about zero work done the first three weeks we had him. I'll try to focus on things specific to grad school since it sounds like you already know the basics of dog stuff. Depending on the dog's energy level, you may find that you have to settle into a more routine work schedule based on the puppo's needs. If I haven't finished everything I need to get done that day by 5:00 p.m. it's tough shit, because the dog wakes up about that time and demands validation as a dog. He may also wake up in the middle of the day and decide it's time to play, sometimes these breaks are a relief, sometimes they're a benefit to my intellectual work, and sometimes they're a total pain in the ass. If you're like me, and as an undergrad you got used to doing your academic work in huge chunks, marathon work sessions, etc., that doesn't fly when you have a dog. Luckily for me, I was already phasing myself out of that way of working anyway. Being a good department citizen means attending meetings, talks, seminars, etc. that will definitely make your schedule irregular, and I know my dog hates deviations from routine. Another big thing is money, while the day-to-day of dog ownership doesn't cost all that much, you're going to be living on a grad student stipend and every little bit counts. We make it work, but our dog had an E.R. visit recently (don't worry, he's fine) and the cost was a punch in the gut for our meager grad student finances. I think the biggest thing is though, that before I became a grad student, I never thought of 30 minutes of my day here and there as being valuable. But 2-3 walks a day, plus care and playing adds up and definitely becomes noticeable. All in all, I'm glad I have a dog, and I think a lot of grad students I know have them, but it is definitely an added challenge. Think of it this way though, some people do this with kids!
  19. 1 point
    TakeruK

    NSF GRFP stipend use restrictions

    What do you mean? The NSF GRFP stipend is basically a salary. I don't think the GRFP comes with a research grant or anything like that. You get the stipend as your salary and the school gets up to $12000 to offset your tuition costs. So, you can spend it on whatever you want. Each school will have different policies on how their own funds to support you will change if you hold the NSF GRFP. At my PhD program, the annual stipend for all students was $31,000 in my final year. However, if you hold a NSF GRFP, the NSF GRFP 34,000/year stipend replaces the 31,000 from the program. So you would get nothing from the program---it would all come from NSF. Each field is also different----in my field, a student is never expected to pay for research costs out of their own salary. So we would never use the NSF GRFP to pay for the things you've listed. Maybe if you have a really weird special case where you somehow kept your original department funding and got the $34,000 on top of that...
  20. 1 point
    Siscokid23

    Master of teaching OISE 2018

    I got in After making me wait as long as I did, part of me feels I should leave them hanging. The opportunity to continue at U of T is real enticing though (I did my undergrad there and am used to the city). I wish ya'll the best of luck.
  21. 1 point
    Jbslp95

    Low GPA... Is there hope for me?

    YES! There is absolutely, 100% hope. I had the same GPA as you did and got into one of the four schools I applied to in my first application cycle! Here's the things I focused on: -Doing as well as I could in my prerequisite classes. Since you were a CSD major, if you're going to retake any classes, I'd take those ones. -Doing as well as I could on my GRE. If you are planning on submitting your apps this December, I would take the GRE ASAP to get a feel for your score now so you can work to improve it. You'll need to take it again at the end of the summer, early fall, so you can get the scores sent over to the schools without having to worry about it being late. I am naturally a good test taker so I didn't have to do anything too crazy, but I did buy a GRE book after taking it the first time, and went over the stuff I had more trouble with. If you have a low GPA I think it's a really, really good idea to get great GRE scores if possible. -Crafting a really excellent LOI. I worked SO hard on my LOI, keeping it short and sweet but still touching on all the things I wanted to focus on. I talked about finding the field, what it meant to me, and how I wish I'd known about it sooner (because then I would've focused more on school, rather than my full-time job as a restaurant manager). Your LOI will obviously be different because you were in a CSD program, but I'm sure you can write something great. I looooove to edit so if you want a second set of eyes on it, message me and I'll send you my email! (This offer is open to anyone reading this, BTW!) -Getting great LORs. Everyone told me I should really get 3 professors... but I wasn't close with very many professors in undergrad (went to a commuter school, worked 24/7). I got just one letter from the one professor I knew very well, one letter from the owner of the private practice I shadowed at, and one letter from my former boss. All these people absolutely loved me, believed in me, and wanted to see me succeed. That was MUCH more important than just proving to admissions that I could get 3 professors to write a letter. When you're asking for LORs, make sure you tell the recommenders what you need them to write. If you're doing it by email, explain the field to them (if necessary) and explain the type of characteristics grad schools look for. They'll use that email to write your letter, which is perfect! -Getting experience. Seems like you are already doing great on this front, so don't stress. I would try and really shine in that hospital internship so you can get an LOR from your supervisor there! Since I had zero experience in the field, I did an internship at a private practice. -Trusting the process. Seriously, worrying about it will NOT HELP. Do everything you can now, there's absolutely no use wasting energy thinking about the past, regretting past decisions or thinking about what might have been. I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, so I would literally picture myself reading an admissions letter all the time! Weird maybe but anything helps! The school I am going to (Emerson) is one of the top 20 programs in the country, Don't feel like you have to settle or apply to the weirdest programs super far from you just to have a chance. Look on their websites and see their minimum requirements. Emerson didn't have any GPA requirement which was awesome! Look for schools that DO care about the GRE--if they don't care about the GRE, it means they probably REALLY care about GPA. Get hella organized. Make an excel spreadsheet of all the schools you want to apply to, with the requirements and deadlines laid out in front of you. Decide right away if you're retaking classes, and do that ASAP. Figure out your timeline and absolutely crush it! I seriously believe in you so much. If you have passion for this field, you will make it work!!! Good luck and keep us updated!!
  22. 1 point
    I had a friend who had 3 C's and got into grad school because of her experience and LOR. Don't give up.
  23. 1 point
    I have taken that year to apply for my PhD, although in social psych. I wouldn't have done it otherwise, I needed 'the break' and there is no way I could have taken care of all this moving abroad stuff, doing my thesis at the same time. Nor would I have been able to really put a lot of effort in my applications at the time due to other requirements. As said - always have a plan B. I nearly did not make it in this cycle so definitely always have a plan B.
  24. 1 point
    If you can afford the application fees and the work load of submitting applications along with the requirements of finishing up a Master's program (thesis, comprehensive exams, etc.), then I would say there's no harm in going ahead and applying this year. Each cycle is it's own beast and there's no telling how competitive you might be one cycle to the next. Even if you get rejected the first time, your current plan becomes your plan B and you apply again next year, and this first cycle gives you information regarding where you need to improve your application for the next cycle. Two of the schools I applied to this cycle stated that this cycle was exceptionally competitive and that if I had applied last cycle (in the middle of my 1st year of my Master's program) I would have at least been interviewed and very possibly would have been extended an offer just because the previous cycle was less competitive. So you never know how each cycle is going to shake out and perhaps you'll get several good offers this cycle, which cuts your wait time to where you ultimately want to be.
  25. 1 point
    I second this as I also was a Canadian applicant this year. (1) As per above, Canadian phds do not get much teaching experience. Where I did my MA , most of the PhDs students were receiving no teaching courses. (Not sure if they will end up getting one before graduation or not - surely they will). At one of my PhD offers, my funding package said that I would have one course. (2) You pay tuition all the way through your MA and PhD programs. After the funding runs out, for both MAs and PhDs, you are still incurring tuition fees. I had one fairly substantial funding package this year, but even then, it could not compete with a 6 year funding package in the States for $25,000 a year. (3) If you get SSHRC, many of the programs won't guarantee TAships. Upfront, they may say you will get them, but then they might not prioritize you getting them along the way. And if you are wanting to save money for year 5 and 6, that will suck. (4) Sadly, most new hires in Canada did their PhDs outside Canada. It's a hard choice: the programs in the States leave you with more than some can handle in teaching and researching, but it can pay off in terms of a CV. That said, do whatever you need to do for the love of philosophy. If you aren't trying to land a university teaching job, Canada may be for you. Also, you can still do a MA Canada, and you may need to if landing a 15 program is your goal. Other side things, which the post above also hinted at: Canadian phds do have a lighter load overall, for example, significantly less coursework and a much lighter TA or teaching load (6-10 hours a week of TAing verses teach 2 courses a semester or working 15-20 hours a week as a TA is a pretty big differences). That made me take the offers in Canada very very seriously. Honestly, even with the terrible job market in Canada, I would have accepted the offer on these grounds alone, if it wasn't for the incurring tuition fees the 5-6 years. I don't need the pressure to have to finish in 4 years, if that is even possible.
  26. 1 point
    TheScienceHoney

    Any married grad students here?

    Also wondering this! I proposed to my boyfriend two weeks ago and was so nervous about the proposal that I completely forgot that after he said yes, we'd be planning a wedding. I'm starting my PhD in the fall and he'll have 1 year left finishing his BS, and then will come join me. We're not planning to get married for two years so we can save up some more money, but I'm starting to think that maybe we should just elope because being in grad school, on a grad student budget, while planning a wedding that will take place ~2000 miles away (our family is in the same city we grew up in, but I'm moving to the West Coast for my PhD), well, that all sounds like a recipe for stress and disaster. I am really looking forward to having him out there with me though, and him having a more stable income. I do wish there were resources for spouses of grad students though, as I can definitely foresee us running into issues with him underestimating the commitment a PhD program *actually* is.
  27. 1 point
    PokePsych

    Any married grad students here?

    I also get engaged - yesterday ^^, my partner will join me later as he wants to work on his resume a little bit more (international couple)
  28. 1 point
    M(allthevowels)H

    Any married grad students here?

    Same all around, with the exception of being an international student. The best part about dragging my partner across the country for my MFA was I had a built-in person to do stuff with when I wanted to explore the area. "Who wants to volunteer to clean up an abandoned graveyard and then hunt for Maillard's Automaton at the Franklin Institute? You do, because you're stuck with me." I will say, and this may not be the case for my upcoming graduate program, the MFA skewed older. I was 25ish when I started, and that put me maybe lower middle of the pack, with a good number of my cohort in the early to mid 30s when we started. That might just be the nature of writing programs, though. It sounds like maybe Lit PhDs skew younger. Okay, but isn't this the strangest reaction? I had one woman in my MFA cohort, who was also married and had opted for a long distance option, actually kind of sneer at me? She said something along the lines of "Oh, they don't have their own career?" I'm happy to say she was an outlier. Most of the coupled cohort brought their partners with them, and those who didn't (usually because they were attending somewhere else) often had them visit and would even get permission for them to sit in on classes.
  29. 1 point
    Emily Roberts

    Stipend budgeting/taxes

    I applaud you for sketching a budget prior to committing to housing! It's simple to calculate your tax liability using the info you provided, at least for your first full year of employment (2019). 2018 may be different as you'll be starting/changing jobs mid-year. For federal income tax, if you are single and take the standard deduction of $12,000, you will pay 0% tax on that first $12,000 of income, 10% tax on the next $9,525, and 12% on the remainder (these are the 2018 brackets). Using the numbers you provided, that is 10%*$9525+12%*($14,000-$9,525)=$1,489.50 or $124.13/mo. This tax liability may shift if you have other adjustments to your income, such as additional income sources or above-the-line deductions, e.g., interest paid on student loans. You should check if you're receiving any scholarship funding or similar that isn't tax-free (i.e., money that goes toward fees that are not qualified education expenses) or if any of your stipend will go toward paying qualified education expenses. For estimation purposes, you could just add any net scholarship income to your stipend or subtract any net qualified education expenses from your stipend, even if that's not exactly how you'll treat it on your tax return. Check your offer letter for these kinds of details on your non-stipend funding. You won't pay FICA tax no matter your funding source. Tennessee doesn't have state income tax on ordinary income, just investments. If you have an assistantship, you'll fill out a W-4 and have income tax automatically withheld from your paycheck. If you have a fellowship (internal or external), it's most typical for universities to not withhold any income tax (though a few do). In that case, you would need to look into filing quarterly estimated tax - probably not necessary for 2018, but likely required in 2019 and following.
  30. 1 point
    1. You'll come to find that the US News' Clinical Psychology Ranking list is rather deceptive. Almost all the programs ranked 1-100 are actually solid, including those between 50-100. Within the Clinical Psychology field, "brand name" recognition (e.g., Yale, Harvard, UCLA, etc.) is secondary to actual student outcomes and quality of training. When applying for internships and jobs within Clinical Psychology, the people hiring will recognize the programs with solid training and excellent student outcomes too. 2. If you're interested in going into research or academia (i.e., professor) for a career, then you'll want the programs with the R1 distinction. Specifically, R1 schools will typically offer the most opportunities to get involved in research and publications due to their volume of research grant funding. 3. Clinical Science vs Scientist-Practitioner: Either training model will properly prepare you for your specified career interests. More importantly, though, I'd suggest you ask your prospective programs for data on what types of jobs and settings that their graduates typically go into, which should clue you in to the program's strength. There are some programs within BOTH training models that primarily focus on producing full-time researchers and future professors, and there are some programs from BOTH training models that might have an even mix of researchers, professors, and clinicians produced. 4. I'm actually more familiar with the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) as the "premier" membership to which Clinical Science programs should be a part of. It's the equivalent of the American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation for the standard of quality for all Clinical Psychology programs overall. Hope this is a bit helpful - good luck on decisions!
  31. 1 point
    From what you described, I feel like your profile is pretty decent for a candidate applying to Quant Psych programs. Like I shared on my previous post (and quite a few other threads in this forum) this area is still “Psychology’s best kept secret” (that is changing fast though. I’ll elaborate further towards the end) so there isn’t really an expectation that any given candidate should be proficient in it. A traditional 4-year undergrad training in psychology usually gives you exposure to most of the major areas within psychology (social/personality, abnormal, clinical, etc.), but rarely do you get to learn anything about Quant Psych as an actual subfield of psychology, with a research programme beyond the mandatory research methods classes. Professors know this and I feel what they look for, more than anything, is just people who are enthusiastic about research methods or statistics and who have demonstrated to be numerically inclined (usually through good grades in stats classes, a good quant GRE and maybe some data analysis sample writing where you did something beyond a 1-way ANOVA or a multiple regression with 3-5 variables). With that being said, the more you can demonstrate you have training in Statistics, Mathematics and programming (programming being VERY important, especially in a statistical environment like R/SAS/STATA/etc.) the better your chances will be of impressing potential committee members. The fact that you’re RAing in a Quant Psych lab is priceless in itself. From what you describe, I feel that is your strongest selling point and it will make your application stand out. Even if your role is mostly observational, profs know that you’re simply not well-trained enough so early in your academic career to start making substantive contributions. But they see you’re being exposed to the field, the terminology, the methods being used, etc. and that is invaluable. The thing is, although it is true that we resemble Statisticians more than Psychologists, it is also true that the methods we use, the lingo in which we speak, the issues we concern ourselves with, etc. are almost exclusively the province on the social sciences. Knowing some of this before you start graduate school so you can jump into the literature without having to google every 2nd technical term is very good, so kudos to you for doing that. In our Quant Psych lab we also have a few undergrads every now and then and it’s pretty standard for them to stay mostly quiet, taking notes while the rest of us do most of the substantive discussion. They key point here is that you’re showing interest and you’re ready to learn new stuff. Regarding competitiveness and size of the program here are my thoughts. Although we are not (and I’m sure will never reach) social/personality or clinical psych type numbers, the number of applicants *is* increasing (and doing so fast) every year, for multiple reasons. The most obvious one is simply that more people are going to college. Because of this, the value of an undergrad degree keeps on shrinking (like a bachelor’s degree today is the new high school diploma of 20-30 yrs ago) and more people need to get more and more credentials to position themselves in the job market. The second (and much more interesting) issue are the particularly exciting times we’re living in. First of all, ALL statistics/data analytics/etc. programs are experiencing a newfound popularity. Professor Xiao-Li Meng, the head of the Statistics Department at Harvard, has commented on this very often, noting that ever since the word “data science” became popular, most quantitative-anything university programs have experienced a boost in applicants. I mean, you hear how companies like Google or Facebook are interested in employees capable of making sense of large amounts of data and willing to pay six-figure salaries for it and you’re *obviously* gonna get people from all corners on the word trying to get a piece of that. So… yeah, there’s that incentive right there. The other exciting aspect that pertains mostly to Psychology is the Crisis of Replicability and the weird, “wandering through the wilderness” stage in which we find ourselves into. The Ioannidis article on Why Most Published Findings Are False became popular almost at the same time as Brian Nosek hit the world of social psychology showing that half of some of the most prominent findings in his field do not replicate. Psychology obviously enters in panic wondering when things went wrong while those of us who exist in the world statistics/research methods/data analysis start pointing to articles from the 70s and 80s that were heralding this type of crisis while being mostly ignored by the majority of substantive/applied researchers... until they couldn’t ignore us anymore. But now that the crisis took hold, psychology (and many social sciences) is looking to their methodologists in search for answers in terms of best data practices and proper ways to conduct analyses. And that pushes the demand for people trained in methodology/statistics and for people who may otherwise not consider themselves “number savvy” to become interested in our field… increasing its ranks. Now that whole situation opened a different other can of worms, of course. We’re in the 2nd phase of the p-value war now (mostly being fought on Twitter and Facebook) where you have people advocating to lower the p-value threshold from .05 to .005, Bayesians saying we should just get rid of the Neyman-Pearson paradigm altogether, older frequentists saying there is nothing wrong with .05 but we need to train people better… I dunno, it’s a mess. But a fun one, because it is the kind of mess where methodologists, statisticians and data analysis type people are sorting themselves out to make sure we can present a coherent message to applied researchers. So yeah, I foresee Quant Psych programs will steadily become more and more popular the deeper we go into this change of paradigm so at least you know you’re making the right choice by jumping in early. A few universities are either opening Quant Psych type programs or expanding them to tackle whatever changes come into be so enjoy the ride!


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