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About manofthehoff

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  • Gender
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  • Interests
    migration, education, inequality
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Sociology PhD

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  1. It's very common in general for PhDs in the US to be fully funded, though this often takes the form of a guaranteed TA position. I'd be surprised if any of the top 30 programs don't fund all their incoming grad students, even if they don't advertise it as "guaranteed." It often takes the form of TA positions. It's best to reach out to programs directly.
  2. Something else to consider is your long-term goals. Do you want to work in academia? It's arguably much easier to get a professorship with a sociology degree than a political science degree. Those with sociology doctorates can work in many different departments, including political science, but it's relatively rare for someone with a PhD in political science to get a job in the sociology department. Just check some faculty bios. If, on the other hand, you're more interested in government jobs or the private sector, then I don't see any downside to a PhD in political science. Just make sure that you go to a program that funds you — I'm not sure, but funding might be more readily available in sociology departments.
  3. Totally agree with this. You should be applying to programs with at least two professors you're interested in working with (and three or four is better). You should reach out to each of them briefly to make sure they are taking new students and that their research will continue in the same direction. If you don't have that information, you won't be able to write an informed statement of purpose that is specific to each school.
  4. Many sociologists don't do much or any quant research — if you're not into the math courses that others are recommending, don't despair. I'd say take courses broadly to find out what you're really interested in; you'll have to take many methods courses in grad school anyway. Also, any experience you can get assisting a professor with research is excellent, and definitely make sure you have some research you've done alone (for a class, in all likelihood) that you can use as a stellar writing sample when the time comes to apply to grad school.
  5. Make it short — one paragraph on you, one on why you're interested in them and your question(s). For questions, I usually just asked if they were accepting new students (a couple said they weren't — super helpful for my statements of purpose) and if they were planning on embarking on any new research projects. Do your research first so you can write knowledgeably about them and the program. I got responses to 95% of my emails like this (even at top-10 programs), and I had 0 connections to any of the professors I emailed. And yes, some will say otherwise, but I believe it's essential to email two or three professors at every program you apply to. It as much for writing an informed statement of purpose as anything, and it's an opportunity for early networking. Also, if you can't find at least two professors who you'd love to work with in a given program, you probably shouldn't apply for it. There are a TON of threads on the same topic on this forum. I'd recommend searching for them.
  6. As April 15 approaches, what factors are you weighing as you narrow down to your final choice? What actions are you taking to learn the details you need to make an informed decision? I thought after my visits I would know for sure where I wanted to go, but I'm still far from a final decision. Great advisers willing to mentor me are paramount, as are rigorous training in my areas of interest and a good job placement record. I'm still trying to figure out which option delivers these the best!
  7. The UK is a different beast because people usually look for funding after they are admitted to the doctoral program. Are these two internal offers your only bet? I'd say apply anywhere you can think of for additional funding, if it's your dream school. I know someone who is funding a PhD in the UK with a Gates Foundation fellowship. Fulbright is also great but I think it's too late to apply. Life the others said, don't ever take on more debt to do a PhD.
  8. This old thread is really helpful so I thought it would be good to drag up. I'm in the process of deciding between a few tempting offers. One university practically begged us to tell them if we had offers from other programs, so I told them and they offered me substantially more funding. I admit, however, that I am more seriously considering a couple of the other offers just because of rank (though all my offers are from great programs and I am honestly still completely undecided at this point — I have a few visits scheduled to help me decide). I hope I haven't committed any missteps in this process.
  9. Congrats to whoever got accepted to Harvard's Sociology and Social Policy program! Want to tell us more?
  10. All helpful advice, thank you! I guess I'll be going to every funded visit then
  11. Are people visiting all the programs they're accepted to, if those programs pay for travel? I'm wondering if it's disingenuous (exploitative?) to visit a program that I'll very likely not attend.
  12. If you don't want an academic career, then I say go for the JD. I know some people who went to Georgetown Law and are getting amazing jobs in non-profit and government, and Georgetown has a great loan forgiveness program that doesn't rely on the federal one: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/lrap/index.cfm This being said, I got a one-year master's abroad before applying to PhD programs, but mostly because my undergrad was in a totally unrelated field. I made sure my master's thesis was stellar and volunteered with a few professors to get research experience. I've gotten into a couple of top sociology programs so I say this plan was a success (and a lot cheaper than an MA in the U.S.).
  13. Loving this Harvard rejection post on the survey: "Roses are red, violets are blue, Harvard said, 'Nah, we just don't like you.'" As a fellow Harvard reject I commiserate!
  14. In the email requesting the the interview (received January 25) they said: "I also wanted to alert you to an open house at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 13th. That's an event where prospective students come and meet us. It is open to both admitted and waitlisted applicants and we hope that you can join us then." Despite this language I have received no notice of if I'm admitted, accepted, or rejected. In my pretty short and informal interview on the 29th they also said that there was no funding was available to help anyone come visit, and they wouldn't make final decisions for another week or two. That's all the info I have. I won't be going to the visit day since it would be pretty expensive to fly from the midwest.
  15. Thanks everyone! Very helpful advice.
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