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  1. About your dog: I think that depends entirely on you and your program. I am in a social science program where the majority of my analysis and writing can be done from home, and I prefer to work from home or from a library (as opposed to my cube in the windowless cube farm). When I was taking classes I was generally there from 9-6 or so, but now that my coursework is finished I am rarely at the school itself. I go for meetings, seminars, interesting kinds of things and I do most of my work remotely. My time is verrry flexible, and if my building didn't prohibit it I would get a dog in a hea
    496 points
  2. Medievalmaniac, I really don't think that the SoP is the right place to explain your coursework, unless it has direct relevance to the narrative you're writing about your development. I just attached a sheet with all my applications called "Undergraduate Coursework in Literature" or "Relevant Coursework," and then divide it up into "English" and "French." Under each category, I had the course number, the actual full title, the prof, and my grade in it. That way they can cross-reference with my transcript if they want, but they have the important info that they'll really be mining my transcript
    120 points
  3. NOWAYNOHOW

    It Happened

    This morning I woke up to the coldest winter day so far this year. I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. Making coffee was a chore. My apartment was freezing. Our shitty prewar radiators are no match for this kind of weather. I just wanted to get back under my comforter, preferably wearing at least six pairs of sweatpants and my parka, and sleep until May. By 9AM, I'd already checked my email and this board approximately 200 times. The last couple of months haven't been easy for me. After implied rejections from what I felt were some of my strongest fits, I was feeling discouraged.
    89 points
  4. greekdaph

    Questions to Ask

    I wrote up an exhaustive--and exhausting--list of questions before my visit last year and am pasting it below. Keep in mind that encoded within these questions are assumptions and preferences that are likely specific to me and what I was looking for. Also, though I asked many of these questions during my visits, I also found that, in the scheme of things, most of these questions--or, I should say, most of the answers--didn't really matter in my decision-making process. In much the same way that stats tell you something, but not necessarily something useful, about what programs are looking f
    85 points
  5. Ok, not little All too often people post here asking what their chances are at this and that school. I completetly understand their desire to know the answer. However, I also understand why some other people get somewhat annoyed by this question. Indeed, it is very hard to tell what somebody's chances are at certain schools, even if you know their stats and other details like a number of publications they have. That is why I decided to write this post. I will explain how, in my opinion, one can estimate one's chances and choose programs correctly. I hope that other people experienc
    79 points
  6. I've posted here before with my thoughts about choosing graduate school. Seeing how so many of you are in the middle of this supremely stressful time, agonizing over admissions and deciding where to go, I thought that I would let you all have some insight into what the process looks like from the perspective of an admissions committee member. I do this for three reasons. First, some of you could use the distraction. Second, many of you are facing the prospect of asking "why was I denied at school X" and should know how difficult this process is. Third, this is the first time that I've served o
    79 points
  7. First, my credentials. Well. I can spell my own name, though I don't usually know exactly how old I am. I'm within a year or two, but I'm usually wrong until I've done some subtraction. I teach composition and like to write calculus equations on the board when I take classes in poetry writing. But, here's my real credentials: consider what is written herein in conjunction with what the various instructions on SOPs that you've read have said, with the requirements the program you are applying to has put forth, and with your own experience as a writer. Do you think I know what I'm talking about?
    78 points
  8. "Alas, Harvard isn't ready for this jelly."
    67 points
  9. I just had a professor who sits on admissions committees look over my SOP. My introduction was talking about how I liked to go to museums as a child and was fascinated by the ancient world. He said that starting out like this is a huge mistake. Obviously if you are applying to study archaeology at the graduate level, it's pretty much assumed that you're fascinated by the ancient world and probably enjoy museums. But so do lots of people. What makes you unique. Attempt to illustrate your passion for the field without really telling some kind of silly story about your childhood. This is also
    67 points
  10. Take a list of questions with you. There was a great thread on this back when I applied, and I took this and asked them of the DGS when meeting with her, grad students I met there, and some here with people at the schools I was considering. Depending on where you go, you'll probably be put in contact with a current grad student. These people are great resources, and most will answer your questions directly about both strengths and weaknesses of programs. I just looked to see if I still had this list in an old folder, and here it is. -PLACES TO STUDY AND WORK -Where do most people d
    66 points
  11. I haven't posted much recently, but I thought that I would throw out a recent reflection that I think could help a lot of applicants and current grad students. Losing sucks. A lot. Not getting something we really want sucks. A lot. But life goes on. I recently was awarded an Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This is a pretty big honor, as 16,000+ students apply each year. I know a few people who have applied multiple years and never even gotten that. But, of course I'm still bitter that I didn't get the full award. To make things worse, t
    62 points
  12. Ok, there was one (not going to try to find it) that said, after an acceptance, something like, "I saw a moose today and took it as a good omen. It was." And then someone afterwards who was rejected, something like: "Did not see a moose." LOL.
    56 points
  13. "Fine! I'll go make my own geophysics department! With blackjack! And hookers!"
    53 points
  14. Colorado State: "Apparently you don't even have to apply in order to be rejected from certain schools. What a cluster F it must be over there that they're emailing people who have simply requested information that they're 'rejected'."
    51 points
  15. This has been my experience as well. My department has an almost weekly happy hour frequented by grad students and faculty. Some people talk about random things (sports, news, etc.), others talk about teaching, others about research. I've found that in some of these small conversations I've gotten great ideas or insights into my research that I hadn't gotten otherwise. Sometimes just being asked to give the 30 second version of your research can force you into thinking about it in a different way or allow someone else to say something you hadn't thought of. Without those conversations, my work
    48 points
  16. A pamphlet, you say? Presenting! a preview! Front side Back side
    46 points
  17. I'm in a MSc program, but in Canada, everyone starts grad school as a MSc student, graduates, and then applies for PhD programs (which can be at the same or a different institution). I'm finishing up my second and final year now. First -- your question about time: It really depends on your program / department / research group / supervisor as well as your own goals in academia. For me, almost all of my research work can be done remotely (although I prefer to work in the office) so I really only need to go to school to attend class, TA, talk to my friends, attend seminars, and meet my superv
    44 points
  18. Old Bill

    2017 Acceptances

    I just checked OSU's website. I GOT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Congratulations - you have been offered admission! Use the link on the main page of the Applicant Center to accept or decline. Please click the Application Requirements tab above to see what items, if any, are still needed. Items with a status of 'Incomplete' are still required, 'Received' are currently being processed, and 'Completed' have fulfilled the requirement." I can't believe it. Utter shock and joy right now. I keep worrying that I'm going to refresh and it's going to go away...
    41 points
  19. Powerprep software: this gives you practice tests directly from the ETS, timed and untimed. From the ETS website: Practice book, Math Review, Math Conventions, Intro to Quant, Intro to Verbal, Overview of the Analytical Writing. Magoosh: their website gives you free questions and free videos explaining things. They also have free ebooks: general, math, verbal. They have the option to upgrade to get access to more things, but you can use the free options. You do need to register to have access to the free resources. Manhattan: I’ve heard from multiple sources they have are the best. They gi
    40 points
  20. I was surprised that I got into...anywhere. Background story: I only have a 3.2, and a guidance counselor told me not to bother applying anywhere. She said I wouldn't get in anywhere decent. I went ahead and applied anyway. And I guess all the undergraduate research paid off. I think my grades were offset by the fact I was in ROTC for the first half of college... it was tricky to juggle a math-heavy major while in the program (I'm not a math whiz). And here I am, 12 months after she told me not to bother applying, getting ready to go to Hopkins, the top school in my field so gla
    40 points
  21. After reading through all 23 pages, I think I've managed to compile the most salient (at least for me) and still relevant pieces of advice as far as grad school supplies Laptop - While most people have a laptop, it was recommended by several people that folks in a new laptop (unless yours is less than two years old) and make sure you get an extended warranty (one that will hopefully last the entirety of your program). Note: look into funding opportunities for laptops within your department. Some will finance a new laptop for incoming grad students! Desk - L-shaped came highly re
    39 points
  22. haha! It would definitely be okay for you to post the questions list, but here it is. Also, I'd just be honest with the programs, especially since the money they're giving you won't be enough to cover either visit individually. -PLACES TO STUDY AND WORK -Where do most people do their writing and reading? -What study spaces are available? Do students get a carrel? Do those who teach get or share an office? -LIBRARY -What is the library system like? Are the stacks open or closed? -What are the library hours? -Are there specialized archives/primary sources that would be useful to m
    38 points
  23. I've made this point in years past, but I saw someone express this kind of anxiety recently, so it bears repeating: it's perfectly natural and quite common to not feel happy or excited after you decide what school to choose. When I heard back from the program I'm attending, I knew I should feel ecstatic. It was my top choice, by a wide margin. I had worked to get into grad for ages. I also had the daily experience of reading people here who hadn't gotten in to the schools they wanted or anywhere, sometimes. I expected to feel fantastic. And then I just... didn't. I felt guilty for not feel
    37 points
  24. I was 21 when I started my master's degree, so I can relate to being the youngest person in a batch. I don't know how much use my advice may be, as a master's, rather than Ph.D. student, but I'll try anyway. First of all, congratulations on your acceptances. In my opinion, your age won't make a difference. It obviously didn't to the admissions commitees. Also, based on my experience, I don't think your social interactions with your peers would be altered at all due to your age. I imagine most people start their Ph.D. from 22-25 years of age, and it's not like you're 16 or something. I see t
    37 points
  25. Bopie5

    2019 Decisions Thread

    Just got an email that I got the tuition waiver + the stipend at Villanova! Will be confirming my acceptance of the offer tonight!
    36 points
  26. dilby

    2019 Applicants

    In at yale, oh my god
    36 points
  27. Well, the OP logged on asking for advice on which campuses might be more accommodating--not to be "concern-trolled" on how to lose weight. I'm sure that she knows where to find advice for weight loss. The internet is pretty big. And I've never met a fat person who was completely surprised by a) the fact that they were fat, or b. the fact that being fat isn't healthy. The world pretty much makes sure that they know this.
    36 points
  28. Getting rejected by your bottom choice program.
    36 points
  29. All is well my dude. You have 3 interviews to clinical psychology programs; the most competitive graduate degree in the country. There will always be someone with more interviews, more publications, and a higher salary. This field is filled with rejection at every step of your career. Schools will reject you, internships will toss your application in the trash, and reviewers will tear your manuscripts to shreds. It sounds like you worked hard to get where you are. But there are others who worked just as hard who have weaker applications because their PI wasn't a productive scholar or
    35 points
  30. As a faculty member, this week has been overwhelming and chaotic for us all. Given how scared and uncertain students (and faculty) have felt this week, having recently learned of the existence of GradCafe it occurred to me that hearing from a faculty member might be helpful to some of you and so I planned to start a post expressing my support. However, upon seeing this thread, I wanted to address the initial poster's concern first and then share my thoughts (albeit - I am just one perspective). My university, like so many, has moved to online-only instruction until mid-April, at minimum.
    34 points
  31. Warelin

    You are GREAT!

    In a few weeks, you'll find out where you're accepted, rejected or waitlisted. By now, I'm sure you're experiencing all sorts of highs and lows. This is a very stressful process. Sometimes, all you want is some news because you're starting to feel down about the process. Big News? You're alive. -There are currently seven billion people alive today and the Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived. -Having just a few coins makes you richer than most people on Earth. -You are unique and nobody in the entire world is like you are -The opp
    34 points
  32. In off the waitlist at Loyola
    34 points
  33. dilby

    2019 Acceptances

    In at Yale. My one admit of the season. I'm speechless.
    34 points
  34. While I'm not one to enjoy the misery of others, sometimes people do such a good job of combining heartbreak, disdain, and criticism, they create an epic rejection result post. Here's my personal favorite, someone rejected from Stanford GSE: That pretty much sums up how I'd feel too. When I'm obsessively checking the results page, I often see this post and it makes me chuckle. It passes the time, and at least their loss will not have been in vain.
    33 points
  35. Oklash, I empathize so much with you. Please don't give up on yourself. Please don't even consider the thought of hurting yourself or worse. You deserve life! You deserve happiness. You can and will find your path. But I know that sounds so much easier than it is actually done. But please, listen to me: I have been where you are. A few years ago, I applied to graduate school and got rejected at 6/8 programs. This crushed me. None of my top schools seemed even remotely interested. I was rejected swiftly. One acceptance was to my safety school. One acceptance was to a good program, but
    33 points
  36. 1. Start the process as early as possible. Seriously. It's never too early to start. 2. Spend time researching the programs you are considering applying to - read their website, as well as potential advisors' websites. Read about the location, the weather, the current funding situation. Ask your professors about each school. 3. Don't apply to "safety schools", there is no such thing. Also don't apply to schools in locations you absolutely don't see yourself living in. Don't make choices that will make you unhappy before you even start. 4. Write an early SOP draft and put it aside
    33 points
  37. Just got a call from Dr. Sae Saue offering me admission to SMU
    32 points
  38. Hi all. Tired of waiting for graduate committees’ decisions I estimated decision timelines myself based on gradcafe data. For each university and program in albums below you will find three graphs: Decision timeline as a cumulative sum of decisions (accept, reject, interview, waitlist) as a function of time between Jan 1 and May 1 for the last five years combined. Boxplots of GRE Q and GRE V for people who reported both scores. Histogram of GPAs (from 2.5 to 4.0 with 0.1 step). Here is the list of programs I analyzed (some important notes below):
    32 points
  39. Well, I promised myself if I ever got into grad school I would post on gradcafe to help others out there that are trying to as well. Hopefully this information inspires you to pursue your dream of becoming an SLP. Back story: When I was younger, I was diagnosed with a learning disability (auditory and visual processing). I always had to try harder in school than the average student. I went to community college after high school because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I always had a liking working with kids. In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I hated s
    31 points
  40. Bopie5

    2019 Acceptances

    GOT INTO THE VILLANOVA MA! Funding pending, but I am OVER THE MOON!
    31 points
  41. "RELAX. You'll get in everywhere!" My least favorite line ever
    31 points
  42. Here's my male perspective. I would personally resent being with a spouse who thinks I am a failure.
    31 points
  43. 5/5 down for rejections, who wants to have a misery party? See y'all next cycle Jokes aside, I'm happy I made it as far as I did, applying to the top POIs at the top schools in Canada straight out of undergrad and still getting a few interviews. My GREs were pretty crap, none of my refs were even clinical psychologists and I had 0 connections to most of my PIs. Gonna take this time to retake GREs, build up my research, and smash the next cycle next year (or just wait two years depending on my job). I said I'd be upfront about rejections, so if you're feeling down about yours, just know ev
    30 points
  44. Today, I found myself extremely bored. As a result, I complied a list of when schools typically notify for first-round acceptances using data from the results page. After, I rearranged things in order by when programs typically notify. Michigan State-Dec 10? (Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures) OSU-Jan 25 Wisconsin- Jan 28 Duke- Jan 29 WashU- Jan 31-Feb 2 Northwestern-Jan 31-Feb 2 Berkeley- Jan 31-Feb 2 Chicago- Feb 1/2 Minnesota-Feb 2 Vanderbilt - Feb 2/3 Texas- Feb 3/4 Indiana-Feb 3/4 Purdue-Feb 3-5 UCLA- Feb 4/5 Johns Hopkins- Feb 5 Davis-Feb 5/6
    30 points
  45. TeaOverCoffee

    2017 Acceptances

    I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND! Thank God! I cried in my office for an hour because this is the best news I've heard all year.
    30 points
  46. Jesus H. Christ, you all. What has happened to this forum in the last few days? A friendly piece of advice: faculty and grad students read this website. You all are a lot more identifiable than you think you are, especially when you post stats, personal details, and the other bits of information that are often included in "What are my chances?"-type posts. And we recognize you when you come to visit or interview with our programs. It's easy. So, when you are a jerk on this forum, or you throw up red flags that you might be a bad colleague (like you divulge that you may be on the verge of st
    30 points
  47. Accepted off the Michigan waitlist! Beyond thrilled.
    29 points
  48. isostheneia

    Decisions 2015!

    Oh my goodness. I just got off the waitlist at Pitt. I'm total disbelief, but I'm absolutely thrilled.
    29 points


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