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boab

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About boab

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  • Program
    Geosciences
  1. Your situation looks exactly like what happened to me. I guess that this is not uncommon. I share your fear of running into the dude who dumped me at a conference or whatever. In fact, just seeing a picture of him on the internet really made me angry. I wonder what the problem is here. I mean, why can't they communicate with us to explain what happened? Any kind of response would be better than the sudden rejections that so many of us have received.
  2. You make an excellent point here. There is nothing wrong with the idea of mentioning the names of faculty members who interest you. In fact, this is probably a good idea. What you do NOT want to do is to be overly "loyal" to a single person in such a way that it implies that you are not interested in anyone else. Even if this individual seems highly interested in you, you would be surprised at how quickly he will forget about you and dump you.
  3. Although I was not able to read the rude Harvard letter, I see what you mean when you say that personal letters could be ugly as hell as well. I understand where you are coming from 100%. It is an unfortunate fact that a lot of faculty members seem to be utterly lacking when it comes to basic social skills. I guess that he has some sort of distorted idea that he is going to be the next Einstein or something. Whatever. By the way, do you think that Einstein needed five brilliant Ph.D. students and three postdocs? Let's face it, all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil when you are Einstein. I am not trying to put anyone down here. All I am saying is that some of these people take themselves WAY to seriously.
  4. Hey Man, So I wonder about how your are making your decision here. Did you notice that a lot of the so-called Ivy League schools are not ranked particularly well in Earth Science? Schools like Texas at Austin, Arizona, Penn State and Michigan are all ranked above Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth. I am assuming that you are turning away from the "Ivy League" as well.
  5. Did you make the mistake of stressing in your Personal Statement how much you wanted to work for this particular advisor? This is what I did. If I had made my Personal Statement more broad, I am pretty sure that I would have been accpeted to the school. After all, I was admitted into other places that are ranked better. By the way, I have generally found that it is not in your best interest to be "loyal" to any particular faculty member in your statement. Does anyone else have any experience with this?
  6. I agree that the Duke rejection letters were not very polite. I actually applied there as a backup school, since this department is not ranked all that well in my field. I also received an impersonal letter saying that a decision had been made on the webpage. An additional problem was that I could not remember what in the world my password was! If you remember, they actually assigned it to you, so it was something that I had to look up by going through my e-mail. Sure enough, I received the same type of letter that you are talking about.
  7. In my particular case, I actually met one of my potential advisors in person. Prior to our meeting, he seemed very interested in me and wrote me an e-mail telling me that I was an impressive student and that I would fit in well with his lab. After the interview, I never heard from him again. Finally, I received an impersonal letter from a dean saying that I had been rejected. This pissed me off, since I was led to believe by this potential advisor that he was seriously contemplating the idea of taking me on as a student. If he had been more honest from the start, then I would not have had such high expectations. Among other things, I would have applied to more schools. I also think that he could have written me something in person. I mean, it's not like this dude is Einstein or anything (I was admitted into some other programs that are ranked better).
  8. I wonder how many of who have received some hurtful rejections. I don't know about you, but I did not like it when I received a couple of impersonal rejection letters from graduate dean-type people despite the fact that I have been in close communication with an actual faculty member. It was like these faculty members, who once acted really interested, suddenly decided that I do not exist anymore. On the other hand, I also had one guy who was actually pretty nice about the fact that he decided to talk on another student instead of me. He wrote me an e-mail saying that the decision was really close and that I could work for him in a couple of years if I really wanted. Even though I was disappointed, at least I felt that this guy cared about me enough to compose a little e-mail. These personal e-mails really make a lot of difference, even if they are rejecting you. Does anyone else have stories to share?
  9. Considering the large number of views that this post has received and the lack of further responses, I am assuming that Amanda hit the nail on the head here. Does anyone disagree?
  10. Yet another question you should consider involves comprehensive/qualifying exams. Some of the top schools in certain fields have an unfortunate tendency to take on more students that they really need and then weed out up to 35% of them on a terrible exam during the second year. I understand that the MIT physics department does this a lot. I also know people who have failed these things at schools that are not as fancy as well. Maybe it is not as a big a problem is the humanities and social sciences (I am not sure here), but it can become an issue in engineering and the physical sciences. Overall, I might tend to lean toward School C, provided that you could get some funding. It seems to be a nice compromise between the other two. At the same time, I do not know all of the details well enough to be able to make a definite decision. Since all of the schools are pretty good, your choice should not be that hard to make.
  11. I am wondering about which of the two schools below would look better on my resume. I am studying for a Ph.D. in Geology. School A: Ivy League, but not quite in Top 10 School B: Top Ten, but not Ivy League. In fact, the school is not that fancy in terms of undergradute reputuation. Any opinions here? I am tempted to say that "Ivy League" means nothing here.
  12. Hi, I am interviewing for various Ph.D. programs in the physical sciences. Here is the question. I wonder about whether it is a bad sign for a given school if you do not get an offer for a paid visit at some point in February. Do people ever get letters of admissions without having first been invited to visit? Is this a function of the school's ranking as well? :twisted:
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