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Everything posted by Summit_Bid

  1. Yes! Even if you did a little summer thing, as long as it shows on your main transcript or anywhere else you must send a transcript from that school. It does matter! I made the mistake of not doing this one year and my application was deemed incomplete and I was therefore rejected from a few schools. It matters to them so send it in and put it on your application when they ask you to list schools you've attended. Good luck!
  2. I've been advised to not mention the specific students because that potentially puts them in an akward position. Instead mention that you've spoken with certain students with similar interest etc. Basically, write what you did in your post. It's ok to mention the potential advisor by name.
  3. quizlet.com has games to make it at least kind of fun. Tons of great gre lists.
  4. Anyone have any thoughts on the comparative lit program (film track) at Univ. of Washington, Seattle? I know they also have a PhD certificate in cinema studies starting this fall. What's the difference between the PhDcertificate and a regular PhD?
  5. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a school and geography is important. I thought about it when applying. I want to have a life outside of my PhD program. Getting a PhD isn't my #1 priority. Living a regular life is for me. I'm applying to schools in locations I know I will like because I know my surroundings affect who I am and what I do and will even affect my studies. I got my MA from NYU. I hated NYC. Living there while doing my thesis was horrible. I couldn't concentrate on anything other than how that city made me miserable. Working on my thesis under these conditions was tough. I also did some studying in Southen California and felt so much more calm and focused there. The sun and light and being able to see the sky really made my days and studying better. As far as rumors go, apply anyways and see what happens. Rumors are rumors and you never know what you could be missing out on and what you could change at that school. It's always cool to turn down an offer later if you find out the rumor is true, but to not apply and find out the school gives tons of $...ouch.
  6. I went to NYU and did the Gallatin program. Gallatin is where you design your own degree. You choose your own classes and take classes in different disciplines and in different schools within NYU. It's a fairly flexible program which allows you to take classes at other universities/institutions on some occasions. A lot of the work you will do there is self study and self designed (basically independent studies). It's meant for people who want to major in something that doesn't exist. I was really interested in dance and film and both the theory and production side of these things and there isn't a program that fit in perfectly with these interests so Gallatin worked for me. If you are sure what you want to do and can't a program that exists, Gallatin may be an option. If you are sure you want to do strictly cinema studies or go get a Ph.D. in cinema studies, beware. It's hard to go from something so interdisciplinary to something so focused. Also, Galltin is NOT for people who don't know what they want to do. You must have a firm idea and be really self motivated and disciplined to thrive in this tough program. UC Berkeley's program (at least the Ph.D.)is supposedly based in rhetoric and is interdiciplinary but I heard from some student's it's actually really classical. You may want to check it out. I thought I heard someone say DUKE has a program that is really flexible too. Not sure if it was Duke though. Ask professors, make some calls to some faculty at some schools and see what they have to say. Best of luck.
  7. Hey, looks like you're my competition! I'm applying to the same program/schools as you pretty much! Anyways, I think the sample you have is fine. I really don't see a need to update it. If it shows your best writing I think that's all that matters. The admin people know that what you are turning in is something you probably wrote as a grad student and if it's only a little old (2008 was only last year) I think they know you didn't have time to update it. The point of the paper is to show off your writing ability. I don't think the actual content matters too much in a way for the application. Good luck.
  8. I agree with the above poster. When I applid to Grad programs I got 2-36 for acceptances. Npw I'm applying to Ph.D's for the third year in a row since across the board it's been 0-12. I've studies admissions, testing etc. so much that I that not only will I get in this year, but I might as well become an admin consultant! I've learned one main thing about admissions and that is that a lot of it is out of your control. In fact the whole world is going out of control in a way. Everyone is losing jobs, going broke etc. There is one thing to live for...the possibilty of something good happening. Best of luck to you and everyone applying again.
  9. Sounds like you did a lot or work to increase your chances. Good job. I think your new school list is good, but I'd also still keep the "reach" schools on the list--you never know. I would focus on the SOP and also try to contact professors/potential advisors at the school ur applying to. If you already have funding that looks good to. Schools like to take poeple who are already funded. I don't know if this is relevant in your field but presenting some research you id by publishing it in a journal or presenting at a conference is always good. Best of luck.
  10. you can however ask for a detailed score report showing what the question was and what answer you chose and if you were right or not. It costs extra money. Once you get your generic score report in the mail there are instructions on how to order the detailed report.
  11. I've been rejected two years in a row. I approached my same recommenders twice but now I'm going with a whole new group this time around. I think the above posters are rights that they save it in a file and it's not a big deal for them to write it again. At the same time I feel if it didn't work the first time, why try again? I'd address the GPA issue as well and try to explain it. Don't try to make them feel sorry for you. Just be direct and matter of fact and twist it in a positive light. Say how you learned from the experience and what' you'll do to improve and highlight other parts of your app. A lot of people are out of work right now (I was unemployed a year after I got a Master's from a top school and just three months ago finally got a job!) so I think people will understand that you were out of work. Don't leave that part of the resume blank though. Say you were job searching and in the meantime took some time to reflect, research etc. some things that interested you and relate to your studies. Twist it somehow by saying you used personal time for personal enrichment or something. I'm sure the busy work drove you mad but it made you realize how much you really want to be in school. Nothing is better motivator for grad school than busy work. Knowing what you DON'T like is important as knowing what you do like. A superb statement of purpose is what will make it or break it. It's what you gotta hook 'em with so concentrate on that. Good luck!
  12. Definitely talk about your research. Schools need to know what your research interests are to make sure that you are a right match for your program and faculty there will be able to work with you and advise you properly. Schools want to see that you know what you want and are focused and telling them exactely what you want to do will help you get in.
  13. I was in the exact same boat as you. I took it three times with three of the same scores. I think a live class really helps. Kaplan does a live class and I heard it's great but expensive. Kaplan has a great book so get the book if you can't take the class. Google search some classes near you. I actually took two classes. I did one through my undergrads extension program and one through Sherwood Prep. The price for both of these classes combined was still less than the single Kaplan course and with the same amount of hours. I got two different teaching styles. Live classes are a great match wih my learning style. Hearing someone tell me how to do something is better than reading it. Teaching myself from the book was hard. The classes were effective. Also keep in mind that your quant scores will probably shootup a lot. Math is easier to teach and learn once you master the basic formulas. REading is something you've done forever and developed patterns/habits in as is harder to learn and master...at least that's what they told us in my GRE prep classes. In addition to just knowing the actual skills like formulas and words little tricks on how to actually take the test will help you. Kaplans book is great for this. Some people also recommend just taking practice tests all the time because just getting used to the test and how they ask you the questions is really important. Also, instead of memorizing definitions for each word, remember synonyms or groups of words with similar meanings. Again, Kaplan's book is great for this. Quizlet.com is a great sight for GRE flashcard games. It really helps me memorize the words and is fun too. Google "Free downloadable GRE math Flashcards". Somewhere either Kaplan or Princeton Review has downloadable math flashcards for remember formulas. Since the GRE is a standardized test you are actually supposed to get the same score on it unless you study really hard in between--that's how they know the standardized test is working. But also I heard that everyone has a threshold or a plateu point where with more studying you will improve--but only so much. They say there is a point where no matter ho much you study you won't get better. But who knows...prove them wrong! Best of luck!
  14. Thanks for starting this topic. I'm also wondering the same thing. What I'm going to do is research professors at the schools I'm applying to. I'll look for stuff they've published, spend all summer reading their work and in the fall contat them and say something like, "I'm planning on the visiting the campus since I'm interested the Ph.D. program here and was wondering if I could stop by and briefly visit with you at your office hours or sometime. I read your recent book and was really inspired and would like to talk with you about that and perhaps even the Ph.D. program" or something along these lines. If you can't visit in person perhaps you could request a phone call or at least email them. Reading their work will not only give you an idea about the faculty of the school your applying to but will alo give you something to talk about other than making it seem waaaay obvious you are there to brown nose to get into the program. People love talking about their own work and may not feel you have to talk when the prof on the other end is talking non-stop. Try to read the work of the professors whose topics of study are related to yours that way you're more interested and might think of more things to say back. You'll also build a better connection with them. Professors love meeting potential advisees who are interested in the same stuff. Later, try to follow up with an email about something new you read by them or at least thank them. You may want to inquire about conferences they are attending or special events they might be attending on campus. If they are going to a conference you can go to and meet them yet again. You can then say something like, "Hey, remember me? I stopped by your office that one day. Great conference...." you know what I'm saying. Make small talk first and play off what they are saying to start. After admin deadlines if you are gutsy you might want to send them a reminder like, "It was great seeing you last fall...my application # is...." I mean, don't say that right away, link your conversation back to something the person wrote or said or that really struck you as interesting and in a round about, non-desperate way, remind them you are applying. If they are on the admin committee they'll remember you or if not perhaps they'll pass your name to someone who is. This may sound a little stalkerish but desperate times call for desperate measures right? If they act like they are too busy to meet with you, you may want to try to find out when their class is. Show up at the end of class when they are leaving. Have one of their books underneath your arms in sticking out from your bag and be like, "Oh my gosh, I think I recognize you from your book(Which you pull out from your bag). Are you professor Such and Such? What a coincidence!." Hey, it's crazy but it could work! Make your paper rec letters come to life. What I mean is ask your current undergrad professos who they know at the schools you are applying to. Lot's of professors network. They might be able to put you in contact with someone. A personal rec from one of your undergrad professors to a current professor at your top school will get their attention. A current undergrad professor of mine called a professor he's chummy with at a school I want to go to an helped arrange a face to face meeting for me. Perhaps a prof you know could do the same. Be classy yet bold and try to sound interested and dedicated but not desperate. Good luck!
  15. I definitely understand what you're sayingabout applying to more schools to increase my chances but I think everyone is missing my point. All together there are only about 7 schools in the world that offer a Ph.D. in what I want to do and our of these 7 schools only 3-4 of them I'd really want to go to for a variety of valid reasons. All 7 of these schools offer tuition remition and full stipend but other than my top 3-4 there is no way I would go to some of these schools even if admitted for various reasons. At least I feel that way at this point. See, my theory is that if these are my "dream schools" I'm going to try as hard as I can to get in. I don't get it when people say they have a dream school, apply to it, don't get in a immediately go somewhere else. If it's your dream, waiting it out another year or so will surely increase your chances. I got my master's at 23 and now I'm 25. Again I'm in no rush for the Ph.D. because I feel so young so applying and not getting in doesn't really bother me too much now. Although I know I'll increase my chances of an acceptance by applying to more schools, at this point I'm interested in this little experiment of mine which is to max out my chances of an acceptance at one of these top schools. As mentioned in my previous post, if I don't make it into one of these top schools this year, next year, my fourth year, I'll try and apply to all the schools if I feel that the time has come and I really need to just get the Ph.D now because of course I know that my chances will be increase by simply applying to more schools. But, anyways the whole point of this thread is to get feedback on experience working with an admin consultantant. Anyone out there ever work with one, know a reputable place etc? I'm curious to know your experiences.
  16. Summit_Bid

    how old are you?

    I graduated with my MA at 23. I've been applying to Ph.D. programs since with no luck. I just turned 25.
  17. I'm totally in on joining the support group. This too will by my third year applying to Ph.D. programs! Also, I'm interested in getting an professional admissions consultant this time around. Anyone have experiences or thought on this? I'm wondering if it's worth the hefty price?
  18. I've posted my stats before and it doesn't seem to help. Everyone says the #1 same thing about my stats: my GRE scores are killing me. I'm taking 4 classes (!) and studying on my own this summer with hopes of raising the scores. Professors in my field, other university employees etc. all say my scores aren't that important for admission but rather for determining scholarships etc. They say the SOP is key. I know what I need to work on but I'm wondering if a consultant will not only help me maximize my weaknesses and turn them into strengths but tap into some other potential that I have yet to show in my application. In addition, while I probably won't have a problem getting into smaller, less competitive Ph.D. programs (although there really aren't that many in my field), the 3 (yeah, I know, only three, I'm limiting myself) schools I have been applying to are the hardest ones to get into (150 apply, 3 get admitted). I'm not in a rush to do the Ph.D., however, that's why I've only been applying to these schools, but if I don't get in this year, next year I'll try the smaller schools too. Yes, I'm very narrow-minded in this already narrow field of mine. I know. I love challenges though! But again, the question is, has anyone ever worked with one of these consulants? I'm curious to know if you found it helpful and what your experience was like. It's hard to judge these things on-line. Sometimes I wonder the validity of these companies. I have a prejudice that they are really taking advantage of the fears of those applying. A personal recommendation to one of these companies would be best in my opinion.
  19. Have any of you ever tried hiring an admissions consultant? I see websites such as Kaplan offering services for someone (apparently someone who used to be a senior admissions officer) who can asses your past admissions rejections, analyze your current admissions dossier,edit and give feed back on your SOP, help you find match schools, assist you maximizing your chances of getting off the waitlist into an admit position and a whole lot more. They are usually expensive ($150/hr. is average). Most seem to cater to those applying to undergrad but a few offer services for master's and Ph.D. admissions. I've applied to a few Ph.D. programs two years in a row and have yet to be accepted despite what I and others I trust feel is a fairly strong application. I'm considering doing this consultant thing but wonder if it's a rip off. Despite advice on past applications from professors, other Ph.D students and administrators I know who work in university settings similar to admissions, I get a lot of conflicting advice and feel I should now try an admissions consultant.
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