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JLRC

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  1. I would advise not paying for it until/unless you are going to their annual conferences. The conference registration discount for members is much larger than the membership fee, so joining basically lowers the cost of attendance at the conferences. There's not much benefit to continuing to give them your money in years that you aren't attending the conferences, though. If your department is paying for it, of course, then there's no harm in being a member and a few small benefits.
  2. Here's another resource, as the Shanghai Rankings now rank universities in Communication (as a social science): http://www.shanghairanking.com/Shanghairanking-Subject-Rankings/communication.html Note that this ranking is based primarily on number of journal articles published by faculty at the university, number of citations earned by those publications, and number of publications in the field's top journals. That means it is not so useful for evaluating departments that are more humanities-focused and/or privilege book publishing (which is unusual for the social science side of communica
  3. As for rankings, here's another: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2B25MzQ1IcJNTc3YWNRV3dGRGc/view?usp=sharing And just to give you insight into the program I know best, Ohio State, it's certainly a place where a quantitative political communication-oriented person can feel at home. We recruit outside communication quite a bit, so coming from sociology is no sweat. I graduated from a non-quantitative political science undergrad and got in. More of my cohort studied something other than communication prior to coming to OSU than did communication. We also have at least one faculty memb
  4. From what I know and a little bit of education guessing, I'd rank these programs by difficulty of admission like this: -Penn Annenberg Communication [big gap] The following are all fairly similar and not put in any particular order, but all very selective: -Cornell Communication -Michigan Ann Arbor Communication Studies -University of Washington Communication -Ohio State Communication -Wisconsin Madison Mass Communications My impression is that Penn State is less selective than the above, but it is not uncommon for PSU admits to visit us at Ohi
  5. I'll play. FIRST - You as an applicant 1. What did you study in undergrad? Master's (if applicable)? B.A. in Political Science with minors and substantial coursework in Film Studies/Literature. We did not have a Communication program at my school. 2. What were your grades like in undergrad? Master's? I had a GPA in 3.7x range (sorry, can't remember where it was after the last semester's grades!). This was at a selective SLAC. 3. What are your research interests? Political communication, mass communication 4. What teaching experience did you have before applying? None 5. What abo
  6. Communication is a highly heterogeneous field for the social sciences; enough so that many self-described "communication" programs might take issue with the claim that they are social scientists (instead affiliating with the humanities). This makes some aspects of cross-program comparisons difficult. For instance, my program often ranks at or near the top of lists of programs with the most-cited faculty members. On one hand, that's because it's a great program! On the other, there are other great programs that won't rank or anywhere near mine by that sort of metric. Why? Well, my program
  7. I do wonder how much the outlook would change if something as simple (and somewhat unpredictable) as a run of election wins by Ds happened. We had two big things happen that hammered the academic job market - the 2008/9 recession and, on the back of that, a tidal wave of funding cuts to public universities. While the worst of the economic problems are over in the US, there is still a great deal of belt-tightening sentiment out there. Politics will dictate academic hiring just as much as economic trends - not that those two things are wholly independent. There are, of course, other things t
  8. Try to find out the academic employment rate of the programs of interest. That is, what percentage of recent graduates get hired for teaching/research positions in your field? More importantly, find out what percentage get tenure-track positions. There are all kinds of nice things to look for in a program, but it's wasted if they can't get you a job at the end. That doesn't mean you should - for example - take an unfunded offer because of a single metric, but that is one of the best indicators of how "good" the program is. Likewise, you'll want to ensure that the faculty at the program are mak
  9. The link in the OP has a bad character at the end. Try this one and it should work.
  10. JLRC

    Columbus, OH

    Living near the Olentangy Trail would be a smart thing to do, then. The trail runs along the river of the same name and is designed specifically for bicyclists. It runs right through campus. You could live north or south of campus so long as you have easy access to the trail. From there, it's just a matter of what biking distances are comfortable to you. Otherwise, the areas immediately north and south of campus would be decent places to live. East of campus is a little higher crime, though I'm sure some people have had success in that area. West of campus will feel a little more like a su
  11. Not necessarily, but it is at the communication program at OSU. The DGS typically wants a slightly tweaked SoP for the fellowship competition and at any rate likes to share information when she has it. My experience tells me that you should feel very good about your chances @ OSU.
  12. The tricky thing is that most of you have relatively poor odds of getting into any particular school, but you have good odds of getting into one of the several schools. It makes sense statistically, but it's hard to really grasp when you have so much riding on it.
  13. I'm not applying this year (hallelujah for that), but the thing that angered me the most was the fact that some schools do not have a means for letter writers to submit until you have completed and submitted your application. That means you have to be done with plenty of time for your letter writers to forget, struggle with the interface, etc. Upon realizing that when I was applying, I nearly just withdrew my application because I hadn't given myself enough time to account for that. I buckled down and got it in with just a day or two of notice and luckily enough all those letters found their w
  14. I have a feeling you're going to have a fun set of choices come decision-time. Let me know if you have any questions about OSU! I applied to all on your "for sure" list last cycle.
  15. A couple more links... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-schmitt/communication-studies-ris_b_6025038.html http://www.natcom.org/uploadedFiles/More_Scholarly_Resources/2013%20Jobs%20Update%20Report%20Final.pdf One interesting stat, to me - there were more BA degrees awarded in Comm. than English, which is traditionally one of the single most popular disciplines outside of the hard sciences. While there are just as many, if not more, students interested in communication, there are half as many faculty members in communication than English. The jobs will keep coming.
  16. I use Zotero and Zotfile, which allows me to sync entire library on Dropbox organized by my own parameters. I can also designate PDFs for tablet, which places them in a different directory which can be organized differently.
  17. As others have mentioned, I'd start that line of questioning with someone in an administrative position (non-faculty). This person might have a title like "graduate coordinator," but almost all programs will have at least one person whose full-time job is administrating the program, which includes keeping these statistics and communicating with prospective students.
  18. Yep. I just wanted to make sure that between the two of us, we covered all bases. For those wondering what makes a questionable program, there are some obvious things to look for. NCA recognition would be one. You can also casually assess the quality of faculty - is their work being cited? Are they publishing in the "big" journals (these would vary by subfield)? The best information to get: -Job placement statistics: how many grads get jobs, how many get tenure-track jobs, and where do they get them? -Funding: is anyone unfunded? Does anyone lose funding mid-degree? -Time to degree
  19. While I agree with what you say, I would also like to add that this is only true to an extent. A big part of the so-called job crisis in academia is due to the fact that there are so many PhD programs that are just very bad at producing employable graduates. They don't always send you obvious signals that they are one of those, either, so rankings can be useful in assessing those things. But if we're talking about multiple schools that are basically "good," then the better fit is where you want to be. Rankings are necessarily biased and incomplete, so trifling over a few positions in the
  20. The examples from lyrehc are good. Fun fact: one of these emails sent to a professor at School A was returned with, among other things, the suggestion that I also look at Schools B and C. I'm at School B now, despite having not given School B a great deal of thought before that email exchange.
  21. For those interested in more up-to-date ranking-oriented information, the most recent citation-based rankings were published here (page 55 and onward)
  22. I would also mention that it is not necessary to do this, especially if you are not on the science end of the communication spectrum. The school I ultimately chose was one of just a couple schools for which I did not reach out to a professor beforehand (and it actually was one on the science end of that spectrum). This practice is most necessary in STEM fields where you are sometimes less a student of the program than you are of the PI.
  23. I would say most programs view the GRE as among the least important aspects of your application. So long as it isn't alarmingly low, it's unlikely to be something that is thought about at all. The main possible exception is when the school is seeking funding for you from the graduate school itself (as they would for fellowship funding) as the administrators tend to be more GRE-oriented.
  24. Ohio State and Illinois do for sure and are top programs. Delaware has a terminal MA program that still offers an academic-oriented track and the department is actually rather star-studded in terms of the research prowess of the faculty. I believe many of them are funded there. I planned to apply there as a "fallback" (I knew I may need to go to an MA program, but I preferred somewhere I could move up into a PhD for family reasons), but found out I had been admitted to a PhD program before submitting the app so I pulled it back.
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