Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/07/2019 in all areas

  1. 35 points
    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 who couldn't afford to volunteer for 20 hours a week. You've made it pretty far. There are thousands of qualified people who would kill to be in your shoes. I urge you to be grateful and enjoy the process.
  2. 34 points
    ClinPsy01

    Coronavirus & Academia 2020

    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. I teach a graduate cognitive assessment class. Even if it were possible to teach test administration online (which I doubt anyone could do well - I certainly cannot), my students have to share some test kits with each other plus given the interactive nature of cognitive testing, it would be impossible for my students to administer a test battery and not touch objects that the testee also touches. #WAISIVCOVID19Outbreak is not the hashtag I want to follow my students or I, because we have an obligation to, above all else, do no harm. The skills-based aspect of my course will be on hold until we can resume in-person instruction. That means I, and my students, will need to be flexible regarding making up the missed classes, but I am willing to give up part of my summer to make sure my students are prepared in the way they need to be. Let's hope that we're out of the woods by August! That said, as current students, prospective students, and students who will be entering a program in Fall 2020 - it is not your job to worry about how the COVID-19 crisis will affect your education. I understand may of you will worry, and that's okay - but your professors are and will do everything they can to make sure your education continues as planned. All that said, I hope everyone is okay. For those of you who had to leave campus abruptly, I am sorry. For those of you who had spring-break plans cancelled, I am sorry. For anyone who is scared - you are not alone. For anyone who is angry about this disruption - you are not alone. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be a student or future student right now. Most (I want to believe all of ) your professors are doing the best they can. I realize that may not feel like enough, but it's the best we can do right now. Please take care of yourselves and if you are feeling anxious about the fall, do reach out to current faculty or POIs. We're here.
  3. 29 points
    onerepublic96

    2020 Decisions

    Accepted off the Michigan waitlist! Beyond thrilled.
  4. 28 points
    Thanks! Good luck to everyone! I deduced that I received 0 invites this cycle and will try my best for the next cycle. For those with even just a single interview, know that hundreds of applicants would die to be in your shoes. I'm a bit heartbroken (0 invites from 10+ applications), but also have the foresight and resilience to get through another year. I'm just happy I get to finally take off these worry pants and go back to the focused grind. Best of luck to those with interviews and those still holding out!
  5. 28 points
    I'm ducking in to wish all applicants good luck during this interview season! I’m a faculty member, and I have now observed a number of application cycles at multiple institutions, including my own graduate program. I haven’t yet cracked the code to reducing the stress for my own trainees as they apply to doctoral programs, but because the ambiguity of the process can be the most stress-inducing, I thought I’d share some information that my trainees often find helpful. Long post ahead, and, disclaimer, the below is my opinion based on my experience and observation over the years and should not be used as the last word on the interview process. Things that befuddle, annoy, and/or freak out applicants during the interview season: Thing 1: I was not invited to interview at programs that are low on my list - now I’m really worried that I’m not competitive. (Sometimes followed by: but I got an interview at my top choice, so clearly lower list program should have interviewed me). Sanity check: One of the main reasons those programs were lower on your own list is because you perceived a lesser fit with them. The faculty reviewing applications also see that lesser fit compared with other applicants, and we know that a weak fit is a recipe for unhappiness for everyone! It’s not that you aren’t qualified, it’s just a fit thing combined with the number of other applicants to that program/person that year. Thing 2: I had stratospheric GRE scores and GPA, 28 years of RA experience, and 337 publications/presentations, but I didn’t get an interview to Program X (or any interviews). Sanity check: You all are a talented and successful lot with outstanding experience and evidence of productivity. Every year I am amazed by the quality of our applicant pool. There are four main possibilities here, none of which are particularly reassuring, but hopefully all of which help you think about this logically. First, the number one error I hear from applicants is that they assume that their stellar records will automatically assure them an interview, which is just not consistent with the numbers. Yes, you have an amazing record and application, but so do the other 300 people applying for 18 interview slots (and 5 offers) in that program this year. Second, applicants often apply to the “name brand” programs, seduced by perceived prestige and figuring that the strength of their scores/CVs will overcome a lack of fit. It won’t, and it shouldn’t (see comment above about unhappiness). Third, applicants often mistake “more” for “better”, without regard for the actual skills and knowledge. Most of us definitely are looking for quality over quantity in your CV. Middle author of 6 authors on 9 publications/presentations is good, and we like to see that level of involvement, but one 1st author paper/presentation at professional conference is more meaningful. More labs is not necessarily better than one lab with really solid breadth and depth of skills learned. In your CV and statement I’m especially looking for evidence of advanced understanding (appropriate to the level of training) of the research process and the research questions conceptually, not just a laundry list of every task you ever did as an RA. Fourth, and this is a tricky one - if there is something about you or your performance (e.g., in your lab) that might lead your letter writers to hedge a bit in their letters, we can read that as a red flag and, given we have the luxury of a large number of applicants, put that application off to the side. You already should be asking writers if they are willing to write “a strong letter”, rather than just a letter, and making sure to ask your mentors for feedback on where you stand with regard to the qualities of a strong applicant. Thing 3: Why are all of the applications due on Dec 1?? Sanity check: This is usually a Graduate School deadline, because the relevant staff need to process the applications for all departments in the Graduate School before sending the applications to the relevant departments. Early December is a sweet spot that gives the staff time to process literally thousands of applications before the chaos of end of semester + holidays. Thing 4: If the applications are due Dec 1, why does it take so long to hear about interviews?? Similarly, why do some programs make interview offers early, but I don’t hear from others until much later? Sanity check: It is surprisingly difficult to find time for a committee to meet, so some programs find the time earlier and others later. It also takes varying amounts of time for the Graduate Schools to send applications to departments/programs. At my current institution we basically have most of them within a few days of the deadline, whereas at my last institution it usually took about 10 days to 2 weeks, which then lands faculty in the end of semester/finals, followed by the holidays. Then once we have the applications we need time to review them, which usually involves multiple faculty reviewing each of a very large number of applications. Note also that you WANT the faculty not to rush that review process. Thing 5: Why do these programs seem to schedule interviews on the same days?? Sanity check: There are only so many days available for interviewing. Most programs understandably choose Mondays or Fridays, and there are far more programs than Mondays and Fridays between the end of January and the end of most (not all) interviews toward the end of February. Google CUDCP application tools (freely available calendar maintained by the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, which is not connected to me in any way and is not commercial) to see the schedule of most clinical program interviews. Thing 6: I have an interview scheduling conflict, and I’m really worried that Program B will think I’m not interested because I can’t attend their interview. Sanity check: We completely understand that strong applicants will have multiple interviews (one year I had a trainee who had 13 interviews), and that there will be overlap in dates. We also understand that accepting an interview prior to our invitation isn’t a reflection of your interest in the program. We’ll do what we can to schedule an alternative informal interview in person, or via video or phone call. Thing 7: I wasn’t invited to interview/wasn’t given an offer, but it took a long time to get an official rejection?? Sanity check: Mostly this is a program-level or Grad School level thing. Sending an official rejection generally is an administrative process that might be automated through the Grad School or the program, and many programs will wait until they have their list of applicants who have accepted before officially closing the applicant pool and generating rejection emails/letters. Sometimes it’s just not prioritizing the applicants, but I think that’s the minority. Thing 8: I wasn’t interviewed/didn’t get an offer. Can I contact the program/POI to ask for feedback on my application? Sanity check: This is just my opinion, but I wouldn’t. Your current mentor/PI should be able to tell you where any weaknesses are in your application, thus the only thing the applied-to program/POI could tell you was that the other applicants were a better fit, which doesn’t really help you at all. Also, and very importantly, note that faculty at some institutions are prohibited from providing such feedback given it takes only one litigious applicant to try to make the case that there was some illegal flaw in the selection process. Post-interview Things Thing 9: The interview day was 2 weeks ago. Why haven’t I heard yet? Sanity check: Programs want to make their offers as early and as quickly as possible (this is also why you shouldn’t contact a program post-interview about your status). Usually there needs to be another faculty/admissions committee meeting post-interview, which might take a little time to schedule, and also there might be a few remaining Zoom/Skype interviews lagging behind. We aren’t sitting on this information; once we know who we want to make offers to, we’ll be in touch immediately. Thing 10: I thought my interview went really well - I had great discussions and rapport with the POI and the students, and I can really see myself there, but I was rejected/waitlisted. Sanity check: You probably did interview really well! Unfortunately we faculty often find ourselves in the position of having fewer slots than outstanding interviewees. It’s a numbers thing, and again not necessarily a reflection on you or your interview performance. Thing 11: I have received multiple offers. Can I hold onto 2-3 offers for a while because it feels nice? Sanity check: Technically you can. But it would be extremely inconsiderate to the waitlisted applicants at the programs whose offers you don’t intend to accept. You generally would know at that point which offer you prefer, and although you still might be waiting to hear from another program, the considerate and ethical thing to do is to decline the offer(s) you know you won’t accept, and only hold one at a time. Thing 12: Should I buy my student host a thank you gift/card? Sanity check: Not at all necessary, and I wouldn’t - you have already spent enough money on interview travel! An emailed thank you is appreciated and more than enough. Thing 13: Should I send my POI a thank you card? Sanity check: Nope. Again an email is more than enough. Good luck, everyone! If this year doesn’t work out for you, don’t give up, and if it does, congratulations and best wishes with your program!
  6. 27 points
    Rani13

    2020 Applicants

    That would be me. My first acceptance and I’m thrilled.
  7. 26 points
    MichelleObama

    2020 Decisions

    After a ridiculously wonderful visit at Yale, I've decided not to visit Michigan and Cornell and have officially accepted Yale's offer. SUCH PEACE!
  8. 24 points
    Hi everyone! I just wanted to offer some encouragement during this super stressful, ridiculous process. This is my third time applying for programs. The first time, fresh out of undergrad but feeling lucky, I applied to 5 PhD programs. Got waitlisted at one (which I'm confident was an accident) and was rejected from all the others. On a whim and literally while in my Social Psych class, I applied to a Clinical Psych Masters program and got in with a full assistantship! I figured I'd get more experience and try again. Second time, during my Masters, I was feeling super confident and prepared and awesome with all this experience I'd gotten, so I applied to 11 places to cast a wide net and waited for the invites to come flooding in. Spoiler alert: they didn't. I got one interview and was promptly rejected. Oof. This time, I'm a research coordinator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with even more experience, and basically have to get in this time if I don't want to retake the GRE again (I DO NOT). I applied to 10 schools and, as of right now, have 4 interviews, 3 of which are at my top 3 choices. I'm still waiting to hear back from one more school, so at this point I'm feelin' straight up okay. All of this isn't to say that I'm some expert or anything because I obviously don't have any offers yet and for all I know I could be in for round 4 🙃 but I just want to say this: let's be honest, your timeline may not be what you imagined it to be. Mine definitely wasn't; I turned 26 yesterday and I thought I'd be almost done with my PhD by now. But that doesn't mean that what we want won't happen for us. It just may mean that the path to get there takes a few unexpected turns. Let's keep our heads up, maybe have an extra glass of wine, and try to be as kind and encouraging to ourselves as we are to each other. ☺️ Edit: This came out VERY cheesy, my b. Basically: even if it doesn't happen this time, that doesn't mean it won't next time. We're all smart, qualified, freaking cool people.
  9. 24 points
    Anyone else want to get their rejections so they can move on with their life? 😂
  10. 23 points
    Rani13

    2020 Decisions

    Annnnd I just accepted my offer from the University of Pennsylvania. This was an agonizing decision but I'm convinced that I've made the right choice. So pleased to be joining a program featuring so many brilliant and generous scholars in and beyond my field. Equally thrilled to be doing a PhD in a city that I know and love. My path to the PhD has been rough, and for a long time I did not expect to get here at all, so this feels especially sweet.
  11. 23 points
    alittlebitofthat

    2020 Applicants

    just got my Michigan offer. 6 years funding. Fuck.
  12. 23 points
    MichelleObama

    2020 Applicants

    IN AT YALE!!! IM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE
  13. 23 points
    So I think I will propose research to see the prevalence of psychiatric disorders caused by PhD application process.
  14. 23 points
    I’m thinking of pulling a “George” & just showing up on interview day at my #1 school & acting like I was invited.
  15. 23 points
    Anyone else's brain like: "omg its Jan 2- the holidays are over please read my application now!!!" Two weeks from now, a lot of us will be hearing some great news! I know it's hard to stay positive but as an over achiever who was rejected by all the universities I applied to last year, I promise you that whatever happens, you will be okay. If anyone needs someone to talk to and confide in my DMs are always open :). Wishing you all success in this new year and please remember that you all are applying to literally the hardest graduate program in the country.
  16. 23 points
    Hi everyone, 1st year clinical (Ph.D.) student here. I remember being in your place around this time last year (and several years before that), and found myself reminiscing how awful all those feelings were during “application” season. The uncertainty, checking my emails at all hours of the day, comparing my stats; background/experiences to other equally competitive applicants, refreshing the stupid forums and invites pages at every minute- ALL of it. It took me 3 application rounds to finally be accepted, at my “dream” institution, with a PI who I “dreamed” of working with (For reference: I was rejected from this school during previous application rounds). All of this to say: This process isn’t easy. It’s unfair, it isn’t for the weak. However, the field is slowly changing, especially for applicants from less privileged backgrounds. Clinical Psychology has a lot of room for growth (and revamping this difficult, confusing, and oftentimes unfair application process should be a goal for the CUDCP). Regardless of the outcome this application season: Please do not give up. If this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, you will get in. Do not let a lack of interview invite or rejection from a program define your self-worth/potential. Remember to practice self-kindness, and understand that there are a lot (unfair) factors at play that are out of your control as an applicant. I’m happy to chat and give words of encouragement for those who need it. I met some awesome folks this past Spring during my interview process (and on here!) and I am forever grateful for that. I’m thinking of you all during this difficult time and process. — a seasoned applicant who went through this BS misery, multiple rounds.
  17. 22 points
    I've officially accepted my offer to Tufts! What a wild ride. I was quite petrified when I decided to decline the deferral Oregon offered me for 2020, but deep down I knew I wouldn't attempt that move for a second time after the first was such a nightmare. I think Tufts is a better fit, and I'm looking forward to having a more personal experience with my POI's and the department in general. The substantially higher stipend and lighter teaching load don't hurt either! Thank you to everyone who has endured my complaining, poor attempts at humor, and obsession with my cats over the last few months. Not being alone this time made the experience much more tolerable. For those of you who have a place to go in the fall, I wish you the best of luck! For those who will be trying again next year, don't give up if this is truly the path you want! It doesn't always work out the first time (even with offers!), but each setback provides new lessons to learn and overcome. You know what this means? Celebratory cheesecake!
  18. 22 points
    jm6394

    2020 Applicants

    Every email I get today drives me crazy and ends up being like:
  19. 22 points
    Narrative Nancy

    2020 Acceptances

    😭 I’m in at UVA!!! Omg I found out in the middle of a 3 hour class, ha. Idk what to do with myself. My first acceptance!!
  20. 22 points
    MichelleObama

    2020 Applicants

    In at Cornell!!!
  21. 22 points
    Holy sh*t, I'm in at Yale!
  22. 21 points
    meghan_sparkle

    2020 Decisions

    Heading to Yale!!!!!!!!! Was genuinely so tough to decide between Yale, Princeton and Columbia, as they were all legitimately tied as #1 in my mind and each had unique strengths for me personally, but something about New Haven just already felt like home. Whether that was just because they had their visit days and Princeton/Columbia didn't, it's a little hard to say, but at one point I just had to say to myself that counterfactuals aren't helpful in this scenario, it is what it is, and I have to go with my gut. If I'm honest I'm going to feel pretty sad about turning down Princeton/Columbia for a long time, but still feels like the right decision, if that makes any sense... Good luck to everyone in the next few days! Hang in there.
  23. 21 points
    Rrandle101

    2020 Applicants

    Committed just now to Cornell's Medieval Studies PhD program, good luck to everyone else!
  24. 21 points
    I think that's it for this cycle for me. There's not really a point to this post other than maybe some kind of closure? I've checked this site countless times a day for so many months, but there's no need anymore, not right now anyway. But, I did want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my questions and everyone who has been so inspirational and kind. You all made my first process a little bit easier, so thank you. Might I even dare to say that I'll miss checking this site for awhile. Thank you all, please keep pushing, I am sincerely SO proud of all of you on this site. Go get those degrees!
  25. 21 points
    meghan_sparkle

    2020 Acceptances

    I pledge allegiance To the Susans* Of the Princeton University English department And to the novel For which it stands ... *Wolfson and Stewart obvs --- Okay I'll stop now. My heart is being pulled in 10,000 directions and beating very fast because I wasn't expecting anything over the weekend but ... I just ... got in ... to Princeton. I know it's obnoxious but I'm posting 1. For posterity, so people know this can happen 2. Because my entire family asked me repeatedly over Christmas "What will you do if you get rejected from everywhere?" and I was so terrified because I'd worked so hard night and day on apps I didn't have an answer. And while I was feverishly working on them an awful ex-boyfriend asked to "swing by and wish me luck" a few days before the deadline and walked into my living room to say "You know you're really not smart, right? You try to make it seem like you are but you just never ... produce much of anything" About that, luv. About that. I felt like a loser for two years after a particularly shitty time during my masters, and I've struggled with having zero self confidence even longer than that. I have had embarrassing failures that made a huge dent in my ability to move forward. This? It can happen. Admissions is a wildly unfair process and I think more than anything I've just been incredibly incredibly lucky, but I lurked on these boards on and off for years thinking, "I'm too stupid, I'm a loser, this will never happen for me." For anyone who remotely fits that description reading this now or in future just please know that it can.
  26. 21 points
    meghan_sparkle

    2020 Acceptances

    In at Yale with the kindest email I've ever read from the DGS oh my god
  27. 21 points
    Kendall1234

    PhD Applicants: Fall 2020

    Ahhhh! I got into UCLA’s HPM program! I am beyond thrilled. I was getting SO nervous. This is my THIRD time applying to doctoral programs and I’ve been working in research for 8 years. YAY!
  28. 21 points
    MDMS2020

    PhD Applicants: Fall 2020

    After four rejections in a row, received a Yes from Brown!
  29. 21 points
    meghan_sparkle

    2020 Acceptances

    I was just about to go to bed and I got into UC Berkeley 😭 EDIT: Just noticed the line: "The Berkeley English Department has nominated you for a prestigious university fellowship; as soon as we know the outcome of that nomination, I will be back in touch to clarify the offer." WHAT??! WHAT!
  30. 21 points
    Me, trying to remind myself that I’m not complete trash after dealing with this stress the last few weeks:
  31. 21 points
    I'm just going to leave this here
  32. 20 points
    Les Miserables

    2020 Decisions

    I've accepted NYU! In light of the pandemic, staying close to home is a big plus for me right now. And, having the ability to commute (though I'd really rather not) in light of the present day-to-day ambiguity is a versatility I couldn't say no to. The funny thing is that NYU was my dream choice for undergrad and they rejected me. A no isn't a no forever
  33. 20 points
    spikeseagulls

    2020 Acceptances

    In at Santa Barbara!
  34. 20 points
    leafypoet

    PhD Applicants: Fall 2020

    Dear friends, I have some just wonderful news for you. I got into the Harvard School of Public Health Master of Science (Epidemiology) program, and will be taking it in addition to continuing my post-doc fellowship here at the medical school. I didn't get into the doctorate program, but this will give me an opportunity to finish my projects here and to fulfill my dream of being a physician-scientist. Whether I re-apply for the PhD remains to be seen, but my application for the next cycle might be more competitive. I am indebted to my professors here for pulling strings so that the financial burden won't be too great. Thank you all so much for your support. I really appreciate it, and hope I was able to support you also during this very stressful time. ❤️
  35. 20 points
    karamazov

    2020 Acceptances

    Found out this afternoon that I'm in at Penn State!! I was nearly crying when I got off the phone with the DGS. I am still in shock.
  36. 20 points
    Me thinking about the schools I applied to
  37. 20 points
    Adelaide9216

    I failed my thesis.

    I PASSED!!! WITH AN EXCELLENT GRADE!!! PHEW!!!
  38. 19 points
    My two cents from applying to clinical psychology programs FOUR times and having a wholly different experience this time around: Selecting Programs Apply to the maximum number of programs for which: You can make a compelling argument for research fit with a faculty member (see below for further fit discussion). You can honestly imagine yourself attending. Do not overthink this one, but don't under-think it either. If you find yourself considering something as a "safety", but when you imagine yourself only getting that offer, you feel like you would consider reapplying, you might want to drop that one from your list. Your individual budget/finances allow. If possible, do not geographically limit yourself. Apply to fully-funded, accredited (APA and/or PCSAS) programs. If you stray from this advice, your mileage may vary and the rest may not apply. Attempt not to "pre-rank" the programs in your mind, either by your own assessment of who/what/where you think you'll like, or by relying on some external ranking system. PhD programs are not "ranked" like undergraduate programs. Beyond funding, consider the research productivity (quantity and quality) of the particular lab you are entering and the post-docs/tenure-track positions achieved by recent grads. Review program and faculty websites to ensure your intended mentors are considering taking students this round. Unless the faculty member’s web page specifically says they do not want applicants to reach out, send a brief, polite e-mail expressing your interest in applying (and/or inquiring as to whether they are reviewing applications for their lab). If you find yourself at a conference or talk with faculty members to whom you are applying, you may make a polite, quick introduction there instead (or additionally). You want your name to ring a bell when they read applications. Applications and Interviews Fit is everything. Research fit. Do your research on your research interest. As others have said above, there is a huge difference between a candidate who can talk about how they want to work with "kids with anxiety" or "study drug use", and a candidate who is familiar with the specific literature in their area of interest (especially that of the faculty member to whom they are applying to work with). It is even better if you can prove your ability to conduct research in this specific area. (More on that in a later section.) Re-iterating from above, but don't apply to programs you (or others) perceive to be "high-rank" or "prestigious". Apply to work with individual mentors who happen to be employed by specific institutions. Consider the fit of "your list". This is something that I personally really struggled with in my previous application cycles. While it made sense to me why I was applying to so many "different" programs/mentors (I was originally interested in the forensic area, which is admittedly not as well defined as others), I know that it made it harder to tell a clear story about what I saw next in my life. Don't present yourself at a fork in the road--know which path you're traveling down. If an interviewer (or application) asks you to list other programs you are applying to, you want them to say "Oh yeah, that makes sense, my colleague so-and-so is there." Personality and attitude. You will be spending more (waking) time with the folks in your lab than probably anyone else in your life for the next 4-6 years, so both your potential mentors and lab mates are considering this. They want a sure thing. This means walking a fine line so that you're not too stiff and formal and hard to read, but also that you avoid any sort of faux pas. Be you. Don't be afraid to mention hobbies or interests outside of academia. There are labs/mentors out there who really want someone who has no life outside of their research, but if that isn't you, don't pretend it is. Don't be formal, don't be informal. Be appropriately collegial. Be the best version of you. My recommendation is to talk to those who know you best. Ask about how you present yourself. Ask for honest feedback about things you typically do and say that may not bother them, but that they can probably see as red flags. My friends and mentor both heard from me, "Be completely honest. Is there anything you see me do or say that you want to say, 'Oh no don't do that in an interview!', even if you really think I know better than to do that." The answer will hopefully be something small, like "you wring your hands when you're nervous" or "sometimes you talk too quickly", but even if it's big business, you'd rather know sooner than later. Scores open doors, but your CV is the key. I think everyone knows that you need to have a good GPA and GRE to get into grad school--but this is really only important in the first stage of application review. I think (hope) it will become less important there too--and have seen movement towards that as programs begin to realize that these scores (especially those from standardized tests) do not uniformly reflect potential to succeed in graduate school and have systematic biases that work against individuals who have already been marginalized in other ways (i.e. racial minorities, low SES). Some universities say that they holistically review all applications and have no strict cut-offs. This might be nominally true, but I don’t think it changes the base advice. If one of these scores is particularly low, you're going to want to have an explanation if asked in an interview. You additionally will want at least one of your letter writers to be able to speak specifically to how it is not a true reflection of your performance and potential (more to come below). This is one place where connecting with faculty before submitting your application can also help—essentially you want to have a reason to be pulled from the initial pile of applications into the smaller pile that undergoes full review. More important in showing your ability to be a productive, successful graduate student is proof that you are already producing and succeeding. While it is possible to gain admission to a Clinical Psychology PhD program without presentations or publications, applicant pools are becoming increasingly, almost impossibly competitive. The vast majority of fellow applicants on my [ten] interviews this season were Master’s degree students/recipients or laboratory managers/research staff in positions which allowed for independent research contribution. Choose your letter writers wisely. Anyone can write a nice, positive letter that suggests you’re a relatively stable, capable human. Do not include more than 1 letter of this generic quality. For at least two of your letters, you want a writer who can and will go above and beyond to provide specific examples that show your potential and indicate true enthusiasm for your future career. Relatedly, do not choose writers solely based on the prestige of their position or institution, or even their eminence in the field if they cannot speak specifically about you. The admissions committee is reviewing your CV, not theirs. For example, you should choose the pre-tenure, direct supervisor for your undergraduate honors project instead of the famous emeritus professor whose class you took alongside 250 other students. I’ve got lots of insights on this, but these are the main points. Feel free to PM me with any questions about this grueling process.
  39. 19 points
    Dwar

    2019-2020 Application Thread

    Welp, I received my last application decision last night. So I guess this cycle is over for me! I'll be posting my profile in the other thread once I make my decision (probably on Sunday). I wish everyone the best of luck with the remainder of the cycle!
  40. 19 points
    MundaneSoul

    2020 Applicants

    I just want to thank everyone for their kind words after my last post. I spent an hour or so today talking with one of my professors in my MA program and she really made me feel a lot better. Like...yes, the tenure track job is a nightmare, but it's not the only option for folks with a PhD. I can teach at a private high school, work in publishing or grant writing, etc., and that to me would by no means be the end of the world. I'm also in game studies, so there's a chance I could end up with an industry job. (Of course, I'd love a tenure track job, but more than anything I want to make sure I can provide for my family first and foremost.) And I have options internationally, too; my partner is from Korea and we've talked about opening an English academy over there, which of course we'll have better prospects in doing if I have the PhD. Stony Brook has a fairly sizable Korean community and a developed Korean Studies program, too, and so my son will get to grow up exposed to that culture (we're already planning to raise him bilingual). Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know I'm doing much better now. Thank you again, and I wish everyone here the best of luck.
  41. 19 points
    meghan_sparkle

    2020 Acceptances

    Am having the world's worst day otherwise but: Harvard!
  42. 19 points
    Rrandle101

    2020 Acceptances

    I was rejected from Cornell's Comparative Literature program but had my application forwarded to Medieval Studies and ROSE FROM THE ASHES LIKE A MF PHOENIX, LADIES AND GENTS WITH THAT ACCEPTANCE FROM THEM! Super thrilled about this offer even though I made the DGS uncomfy by sobbing on the phone at him when he told me.
  43. 19 points
    gooniesneversaydie

    2020 Applicants

    Can we all just collectively close our eyes and see if we can make time jump? If it could be like, Thursday, that would be super. Or March. March would be good too. The continued waiting....... madness.
  44. 19 points
    School: Columbia University Type of Program: Counseling Psychology PhD Acceptance Date: 2/14/20 POI: BV Dreams. Come. True.
  45. 19 points
    MichelleObama

    2020 Acceptances

    I'm deeply relieved to contribute to this board after receiving acceptances from both Yale and Georgetown (MA)! I got my Yale acceptance an hour before I started a Friday night double shift. As a bartender, I get asked about 900 times a day how I'm doing or how my day has been and since Dec 15, I have wanted to say "I spent a sh*t load of money to put my future in the hands of several strangers and am currently waiting to receive judgment on an application I have spent years and hundreds of hours developing, and now I'm just waiting on the confirmation that I'm a full POS. What can I get you?" One of my friends yelled to the whole bar that I had gotten into Yale and everyone clapped and I didn't cry so...Today was a good day.
  46. 19 points
    pinkfruit

    2020 Acceptances

    Acceptance from Duke's Literature program! 😳
  47. 19 points
    SomethingWicked

    2020 Acceptances

    Just waitlisted at Carnegie Mellon! This is my first choice school. I am bawling my eyes out at the chance to attend.
  48. 19 points
    Cryss

    2020 Applicants

    Yay!!! Got accepted to WashU!!!
  49. 19 points
    politics 'n prose

    2020 Acceptances

    Congrats on the Duke acceptance, @poeticdweller—certainly starting things off on the right foot! As for me...I just got an acceptance email from Ohio State? At this point I thought at best they’d give me a slap on the wrist for double-dipping since it’s the same institution where I got my MFA, but wow wow wow, I’m excited! Taking a course with Jim Phelan is what convinced me I wanted to study narrative theory and pursue an academic PhD in the first place, so this is all very nice and poetic and all that—but mostly it’s just unexpected and I plan to be freaking out about it for quite some time!
  50. 19 points
    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 heartbeat. Another thing to keep in mind: a dog can be a great comfort when you're all stressed out over graduate school. Advice? Age: -Don't feel like you have nothing to offer just because you are younger. I was 22 when I started graduate school. You got accepted to the program for a reason, and chances are you are just as equipped as any older students are to successfully complete the program, just in a different way. -Your older classmates may be just as terrified as you. Talk to them. You have a lot in common. You are, after all, in the same place. -You will feel like an imposter, like you don't belong, or like you are constantly behind. Or all three. It's normal. It will pass. (Well, sort of.) People of all ages go through this. Adviser related: -If you are lucky enough to get both research interest fit and personality fit perfect, congratulations! But sometimes, personality fit is more important than research interest fit as long as the research isn't too different. A great adviser is interested in your career development, likes you as a person, advocates for you, and wants to hear your ideas. Even if his or her research is quite different from yours, they may give you the autonomy to work on your own projects and just supervise you. A bad personality fit will drive you nuts, even if you love his or her research. Consider that when evaluating your adviser fit. (This will vary by field: research fit may be less important in the humanities, more important in the natural and physical sciences. Social sciences are somewhere in-between.) -Don't be afraid to be straight up blunt with your adviser when it comes to asking about your progress. Ask if you are where you should be both academic program wise and getting-a-job-after-this-mess-wise. -Be proactive. Advisers love when you draw up an agenda for your one-on-one meetings, come with talking points and progress to share, have concrete questions to ask, and have overall shown that you have been thoughtful and taken control of your own program. Of course, this won't immediately come easily to you, but in time you will work up to it. Every semester I type up my semester goals, and at the beginning of the year I type up annual goals. I show them to my adviser and we talk about whether they are too ambitious, or whether I need to revise them, and how I can meet them. -Don't expect your adviser to actually know what courses you have to take to graduate. They will know about comprehensive exams and the dissertation, but a lot of professors don't really keep up with the course requirements, especially if their program is in flux. Get you a student handbook, and find out what you need to take. Map it out in a grid, and check off things when you finish them. Show this to your adviser every semester. You may have to explain how such and such class fills a requirement. -Nobody loves you as much as you, except your mother. Keep this in mind as you take in advice from all sources, including your adviser. Your adviser is there to guide you, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything he says. Studying: -You will have to read more than you ever did before, in less time than you ever have before, and you will be expected to retain more than you ever have before. The way that you studied in undergrad may need some tweaking. Be prepared for this. -Corollary: you may find that your methods change with age or interests or time. I preferred to study alone in college, but in grad school, I prefer to study in groups. It keeps me on task and the socialization keeps me motivated. You may find that you shift from being a more auditory learner to a visual learner or whatever. -You will feel behind at first. This is normal. -At some point you will realize that your professors don't actually expect you to read everything they assign you. This, of course, will vary by program, but there will be at least one class where the reading is actually impossible to do in one week. The point is to read enough that you know the major themes and can talk intelligently about them, and then pick some of the readings to really dig into and think more deeply about. -For most programs, don't worry so much about grades. If you stay on top of your work and do what you're supposed to, you will probably get an A. How much grades matter varies from program to program. In some programs, a B is a signal that you are not up to par, and more than a few Bs will warrant a discussion with your adviser or the DGS. My program isn't like that - A, B, it's all meaningless. My adviser doesn't even know what my grades are. But at almost all programs, a C means you need to retake the course, and two Cs means you have to convince the DGS not to kick you out. Extracurricular activity: What's that? No, seriously: -A lot of your time will be unstructured. You will have coursework, but most grad classes meet once a week for two hours and you may have three classes. You may have meetings with your adviser every so often and some seminars or things to catch (like we have grand rounds and colloquia that are required), but a lot of time will be unstructured. However, since you have so much more work than you had in undergrad, you actually will have less free time than you had in undergrad. This may initially cause you great anxiety. It did for me. Some people love unstructured time, though. (I don't.) -Because of this, you'll have to be planful about your non-grad school related stuff. -TAKE TIME OFF. DO it. It's important for your mental health. However you do it doesn't matter. Some people work it like a 9-5 job. Some people take a day off per week (me) and maybe a few hours spread across the week. Some people work half days 7 days a week. However you do it, there needs to be a time when you say "f this, I'm going to the movies." -Find your happy place, something that keeps you the you you were when you came in. I love working out. It gives me energy and I feel good. I stay healthy. I also love reading fiction, so sometimes I just curl up with a good book, work be damned. You have to give yourself permission to not think about work, at least for a couple of hours a week. You may also discover new hobbies! (I never worked out before I came to graduate school.) -Your work will creep into all aspects of your life, if you let it. This is why I hate unstructured time. You will feel guilty for not doing something, because in graduate school, there is ALWAYS something you can do. ALWAYS. But since there will always be more work, there's no harm in putting it aside for tomorrow, as long as you don't have a deadline. -You may need to reach outside of your cohort for a social life. None of my close friends are in my doctoral cohort. I've met master's students in my program, master's students in other programs, and I know a few non-graduate students I hang out with, too. Go to graduate student mixers. (If your university doesn't have any, organize some, if you like planning parties.) Join a student group that doesn't take up too much time. I had a doctoral acquaintance who kinda laughed at me because I joined some student groups other than the doctoral student one, and I was usually the only doctoral student in those groups, but I met some close friends (and future job contacts) and had a good time. -DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING A LIFE OUTSIDE OF GRADUATE SCHOOL. This is paramount. This is important. You are a well-rounded, complex, multifaceted human being. NEVER feel bad for this. Everybody wants some kind of life outside of work. Yes, you may loooove your field, but that doesn't mean you want to do it all day long. Some other doctoral students, and perhaps professors, may make you feel bad about this. Don't let them. Just smile and nod. Then disappear when you need to. Career: -This is job preparation. Remember that from Day One. Always be looking for ways to enhance your skills. Read job ads and find out what's hot in your field, what's necessary, what's in demand. For example, in my field statistics and methods are a hot commodity, and they're not a passing fad. I happen to really like statistics and methods, so I have pursued that as a concentration of mine. -Don't be afraid to take on volunteer work and part-time gigs that will give you skills that will be useful both inside academia and out, as long as it's not against your contract. Your adviser may be against it, but he doesn't have to know as long as it doesn't interfere with your work. -If you want to work outside of academia - if you are even *considering* the possibility - please please definitely do the above. Even if you aren't considering it, consider the possibility that you won't get a tenure-track job out the box and that you may need to support yourself doing something else for a while. You will have to prove to employers that you have developed usable, useful skills and this is one of the easiest ways to do it. But don't overdo it - get the degree done. -For more academic related ones - always look for opportunities to present and publish. Presentations look good on your CV. Publications look better. When you write seminar papers, wonder if you can publish them with some revision. Write your seminar papers on what you maybe think you may want to do your dissertation on. Even if you look at them three years later and think "these suck," you can at least glean some useful references and pieces from them. Discuss publication with your adviser early and often, and if you have the time and desire, seek out publication options with other professors and researchers. But if you commit to a project, COMMIT. You don't want to leave a bad impression. -If you can afford it, occasionally go to conferences even if you aren't presenting. You can network, and you can hear some interesting talks, and you may think about new directions for your own research. You can also meet people who may tell you about jobs, money, opportunities, etc. -Always try to get someone else to pay for conference travel before you come out of pocket. Including your adviser. Do not be shy about asking if he or she can pay. If he can't, he'll just say no. Usually the department has a travel fund for students, but often it's only if you are presenting. -If you are interested in academia, you should get some teaching experience. There are two traditional ways to do this: TAing a course, and teaching as a sole instructor. If you can help it, I wouldn't recommend doing a sole instructor position until you are finished with coursework. Teaching takes a LOT of time to do right. You should definitely TA at least one course, and probably a few different ones. But don't overdo it, if you can help it, because again, it takes a LOT of time. More than you expect at the outset. If you are in the humanities, I think sole instructor positions are very important for nabbing jobs so when you are in the exam/ABD phase, you may want to try at least one. If your own university has none, look at adjuncting for nearby colleges, including community colleges. (I would wager that the majority of natural science/physical science students, and most social science students, have never sole taught a class before they get an assistant professor job. At least, it's not that common n my field, which straddles the social and natural sciences.) -Always look for money. Money is awesome. If you can fund yourself you can do what you want, within reason. Your university will be thrilled, your adviser will be happy, and you can put it on your CV. It's win-win-win! Don't put yourself out of the running before anyone else has a chance to. Apply even if you think you won't get it or the odds are against you (they always are), as long as you are eligible. Apply often. Apply even if it's only $500. (That's conference travel!) Money begets money. The more awards you get, the more awards you will get. They will get bigger over time. If you are in the sciences and social sciences, you should get practice writing at least one grant. You don't have to write the whole thing, but at least get in on the process so that you can see how it's done. Grant-writing is very valuable both in and outside of graduate school. -Revise your CV every so often. Then look and decide what you want to add to it. Then go get that thing, so you can add it. -The career office at big universities is often not just for undergrads. I was surprised to learn that my career center offers help on CV organization and the academic job search, as well as alternative/non-academic career searches for doctoral students. In fact, there are two people whose sole purpose it is to help PhD students find nonacademic careers, and they both have PhDs. This will vary by university - some universities will have very little for grad students. Find out before you write the office off. -It's never too early to go to seminars/workshops like "the academic job search inside and out", "creating the perfect CV," "getting the job," etc. NEVER. Often the leader will share tips that are more aimed towards early graduate students, or tidbits that are kind of too late for more advanced students to take care of. This will also help you keep a pulse on what's hot in your field. It'll help you know what lines you need to add to your CV. And they're interesting. Other: -Decide ahead of time what you are NOT willing to sacrifice on the altar of academia. Then stick to it. I'm serious. If you decide that you do NOT want to sacrifice your relationship, don't. If it's your geographical mobility, don't. I mean, be realistic, and realize that there will always be trade-offs. But you have to think about what's important to you for your quality of life, and realize that there is always more to you than graduate school. -If you don't want to be a professor, do not feel guilty about this. At all. Zero. However, you will have to do things differently than most doctoral students. Your adviser will probably never have worked outside of the academy (although this may vary depending on the field) so he may or may not be able to help you. But you have a special mission to seek out the kinds of experiences that will help you find a non-academic job. Test the waters with your adviser before you tell him this. My adviser was quite amenable to it, but that's because I told him that my goal was to still do research and policy work in my field just not at a university, AND because it's quite common in my field for doctoral students to do non-academic work. If you're in a field where it's not common (or where your professors refuse to believe it's common, or it's not supposed to be common)…well, you may be a little more on your own. -Every so often, you will need to reflect on the reasons you came to graduate school. Sometimes, just sit and think quietly. Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you love your field? Do you need this degree to do what you want to do? Usually the answer is yes and yes, and usually you'll keep on trucking. But sometimes when the chips are down you will need to reevaluate why you put yourself through this in the first place. -To my great dismay, depression is quite common in doctoral students. Graduate work can be isolating and stressful. Luckily your health insurance usually includes counseling sessions. TAKE THEM if you need them. Do not be ashamed. You may be surprised with who else is getting them. (I found out that everyone in my cohort, including me, was getting mental health counseling at a certain point.) Exercise can help, as can taking that mental health day once a week and just chilling. Don't be surprised if you get the blues… -…but be self-aware and able to recognize when the depression is clouding your ability to function. Doctoral programs have a 50% attrition rate, and this is rarely because that 50% is less intelligent than, less motivated than, less driven than, or less ambitious than the other 50% that stays. Often they realize that they are ridiculously unhappy in the field, or that they don't need the degree anymore, or that they'd rather focus on other things in life, or their interests have changed. All of this is okay! -You will, at some point, be like "eff this, I'm leaving." I think almost every doctoral student has thought about dropping out and just kicking this all to the curb. You need to listen to yourself, and find out whether it is idle thought (nothing to worry about, very normal) or whether you are truly unhappy to the point that you need to leave. Counseling can help you figure this out. -Don't be afraid to take a semester or a year off if you need to. That's what leaves of absence are for. Lastly, and positively… …graduate school is great! Seriously, when else will you ever have the time to study what you want for hours on end, talk to just as interested others about it, and live in an intellectual community of scholars and intellectuals? And occasionally wake up at 11 am and go to the bank at 2 pm? Sometimes you will want to pull out all of your hair but most of the time, you will feel fulfilled and wonderfully encouraged and edified. So enjoy this time!


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.