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geitost

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About geitost

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    Caffeinated

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  • Application Season
    2013 Fall

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  1. I'm really surprised so many people here don't receive their syllabi until the first day of class or even later! We receive our syllabi a few days early and usually have readings to do or even written assignments to turn in the first day of class! Still, I agree that there's no point worrying about it too much - after all, everyone else in your class is in the same boat.
  2. Nords, I can answer questions about the University of Pittsburgh (I haven't been on here for a while...).
  3. I do not know where you got your information from, but in Germany grade C is a 3.0, and that is (in most cases) not a very good prerequisite if you want to get into a master's program. Of course the situation will vary across programs and subjects, but there are many master's programs with an official or an unofficial cut-off grade. In addition, it is not yet completely common in Germany for master's application requirements to include a statement of purpose. Again, this depends on the subject or university, but there are many programs that admit students almost exclusively based on GPA/grades
  4. I will be starting the PhD program in Political Science in the fall I visited in March and really liked it, now I just need to find an apartment...
  5. geitost

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Any suggestions at all on how to find an affordable apartment (if you live abroad and can't visit)? My dilemma is that I absolutely want to live alone, but don't know how ti make a living on maybe $1300 to $1400 a month.
  6. I have officially accepted my offer from the University of Pittsburgh Very happy!
  7. I would agree that gut reaction should not be the only criterion to base your decision on. It's also the funding situation, the location and methodological considerations that make me lean heavily towards school A. The major arguments in favor of school B are reputation and number of faculty (6) working in the broad area I am interested in (70-80% fit). At school A I have one advisor with a 100% research fit, and another at 70-80%, and a very collaborative environment.
  8. Having visited the two departments I have been admitted to, I have a very clear preference (based on gut feeling) for one department, which is not as prestigious or highly ranked as the other. With the first department I essentially fell in love immediately; the second has some great faculty I am sure I'd enjoy working with, but overall I just wasn't feeling it. I am pretty sure I will pick the first school, though I am allowing myself a few more days to mull things over. Seeing all the "help me with my decision threads" on here - which often present a situation quite similar to my own - m
  9. For me they are research fit, funding, atmosphere (collaborative or cut-throat?), location and resources.
  10. Ha, I was referring to Germany as well It can be frustrating - I had several professors who absolutely refused to give any grade better than an A- and courses where everyone just got a B by default (we didn't have p/f). It's perfectly common for an A- or even a B+ to be the highest grade anyone (and maybe only 1 person out of 60) earns in a particular class. At least conversion tables seem to take that into account. Maybe this is helpful for future international applicants to get an idea of how grades earned in a particular country translate to American grades: http://www.wes.org/gradecon
  11. This is certainly true, especially as most students tend to have higher grades in grad school than in their undergrad! At the same time, however, there are such huge differences between grading systems that that can be difficult to avoid if you move around internationally. It is so much harder to get a perfect grade in Europe than it is in the U.S. (and even impossible in the UK unless you are some kind of genius, from what I've heard). So what I think is really important is to include an explanation of the grading system with the application or ask your school for a description of grade distr
  12. I hear you! I am an international applicant in the social sciences as well, and I too am worried about maybe being too old by the time I graduate and how difficult it may be to find a job. Maybe I am a bit more relaxed now because I already got my master's degree in the U.S. a few years back, and so I have a bit of an idea of what awaits me. By no means did I want to suggest that I go into the whole thing with the intention of giving up. I take my PhD ambitions very seriously, like I do almost everything in life because I am an unbearable perfectionist But for some strange reason it is comfor
  13. Being in a very similar situation, I have had most of these thoughts as well! I am essentially doing what MacZeeZee suggested (although I didn't know there was a scientific term for that phenomenon!) and am trying to ignore my doubts. I tend to worry too much about everything in general, and I have been in so many situations where I was starting to regret decisions I had previously made (and quite enthusiastically too!). Fortunately, I never backed out of any of them and all experiences ended up being great, rewarding and enriching, so I am not going to listen to my doubts this time around eit
  14. Thanks for your input, everyone. The cases I have read about might have been exceptions or maybe the situation is a little different in my field of study. When I looked at the recent-ish placement records of the schools I applied to, I believe there wasn't a single person who didn't get a position at a university. But you're giving me hope by sharing your own experiences, and I now think that it might be better to bring up my plans sooner rather than later (for the reasons cleverfool mentioned).
  15. I am not sure if this is the correct forum to post this in, but here is something I am wondering: It seems that the vast majority of students applying to PhD programs in the U.S. as well as the vast majority of those completing their PhDs at U.S. universities go into academia. In Europe, by contrast, it is way more likely for students holding a PhD degree to work for think tanks, the government or civil service, NGOs... (I am talking specifically about the Social Sciences) In the same vein, some people on here have written that some professors tend to be skeptical of/ lukewarm towards stud
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