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spaulding

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About spaulding

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  • Program
    sociology
  1. People do it all the time, and I understand your but it's a political decision. Chances are, your advisor either went to school with or taught someone in the top five program you're applying to (academia's a small world). So, whether they say it or not, emails and conversations will occur and feelings could be hurt. Safest bet....get the MA, do something with the Census for a couple of years, and rediscover your love for sociology and possibly apply elsewhere.
  2. Take it from a waitlisted pro.... If you havent heard back yet at all, that means you're waitlisted and they're waiting to see who accepts and who does not. No need to force their hand until you have an offer from a similarly ranked school. And then still. If you dont know where you're at on the list, you want to make a strong positive expression since people make decisions on and after April 15th. If possible, visit the school for a day. If not, make If you're waitlisted at a top ten school, ask if they carryover the waitlist to the next year. If you're waitlisted at a top 10 school, dont accept the offer from another lower ranked school. You know you nearly made it in. So, why not do something else for a year (a master's program, whatever) and reapply the following year. Reality folks: in a tight market, rankings matter. Students from top 20 schools as well as "good" schools such as CUNY, TAMU, Florida State, Maryland, Virginia, and Cornell will be looked at. So, if you're not there and you're seriously considering an academic job, it's better to wait. spaulding
  3. Bloomington is beautiful and if you go, you wont be disappointed at all. It can be dull......but there are soo many niche places in Bloomington, that you'll find something (good or bad) to get into. The faculty are helpful and the placement's great. All hail to old IU.
  4. Hi, I've been in soc for a while, so here's my spin...... Your background is fine, but instead of framing yourself as a sociologist of religion who has interests in the religious politics of Turkey, you may want to say I'm a political sociologist interested in the intersection of international politics and religion. Soc of religion folks mostly do work on western religions, so finding someone willing to work with you will be rough. Political sociology's broad enough so you should be fine. Based on your schools, people may question your commitment to being a top scholar since your choice of schools gives the impression you want to be in a certain area rather than in a discipline. To cover for that, you may want to focus your applications to a specific discipline or two.....and apply to the Cal schools in addition to other programs. spaulding
  5. Hi, Most people I've come across don't put much weight into the writing sample. Chances are, you'll change your ideas once you enter and (unless you've taken some grad courses during high school), what you're attempting to study would need to be refined. My advice is simple: send your writing statement to two copy editors, and be done with it. In my experience, students spend too much time on things that dont matter......(i.e., writing statements, statement of purposes, etc.). The committees tend to look at gre scores, letters, and grades (in that order). GRE scores are the best proof (in their minds) of your ability to succeed in a program, holding all else constant. Letters will likely confirm their original suspicions created from your statement and letters. Grades are grades. I wouldnt do horrible, but an A at Berkley isnt an A at your local community college (in their minds). A "Sociology of Culture" class taken with Ann Swidler is not the same as a "Sociology of Culture" class taken online. That's my two cents...... spaulding
  6. spaulding

    Emailing profs

    In the application process, I would not put myself out there and say I "want" to work with you (unless a good friend of the prof says to do this). Chances are, you dont know the prof. And for all you know, the prof could be a complete asshole, and since you want to work with them, your fate is in their hands. I would send a general email, introduce myself what I'm interested in studying, and go from there. If the person replies, that's good. If they dont, then I wouldnt worry about it.
  7. spaulding

    GRE studying

    You're right, you can take it once per month. My only hesitation is that some schools take the highest score, while others take the average.
  8. If this was a problem in your department before, then he'll likely be leery (unless he's an untouchable but still) especially since interactions in colleges are now the frontline news.
  9. I wouldnt talk to the dgs just yet. Academics gossip and depending on the politics in your department, that could hurt you. Casually see if other students were in your position (which I'm sure happens) and see how that turned out for them. There's a talker in almost every department and once you find out who that person is, get the info before you move.
  10. This happens a lot......and has probably happens/ed to other students in your dept. My advice is to slowly show that you're not interested without totally dumping the poor person. When this happened to a friend, she sent flowers to herself.....and did little things to let her boss know (who was a dean) she had someone. Nine times out of ten, he'll take the hint, realize how embarrassing the situation can be and move on. But, in this situation, not doing anything gives him the idea that its okay. Just my two cents......
  11. Tom Gieryn at Indiana does work in that area......
  12. spaulding

    GRE studying

    I would download a practice test from Kaplan and see where you score. If you're in the 1100's, take the test. If not, there's no sense in taking. Here's why: It's September, and if I remember correctly, you can only take the GRE (computer based) every 45 days. So, if you dont do well now, you're into November and have to drastically improve. Now, the alternative (waiting to take it) isnt attractive either, but this appears to be a better choice than the first...especially given that you didnt do well the first time and schools can still see that score. spaulding
  13. spaulding

    GRE score

    Though schools take the best of all scores, they still look at all scores. So, if you slip on one section, it may do more damage than help. Your scores seem fine. Any question about your writing ability can be answered by your letter writers, statement of purpose, and writing sample.
  14. spaulding

    GRE score

    I received the same advice as deckard..... In addition, most schools take the mean GRE scores. So, even if you retake the GRE and score perfect on the writing sample (6.0), you're score will still be in the early 5's. The writing section isnt a deal breaker, and any concerns about writing can be answered by the personal statement and writing sample. Reading books by faculty is good, but you dont want to run into the mistake of doing this too much. The classic first year student mistake is thinking you know a profs work when in fact, you dont understand the argument. I'd spend the rest of my time making contact with major faculty members, applying for fellowships, etc.
  15. spaulding

    GRE score

    Applying to graduate school is a crap-shoot. Sometimes, people who should get in, dont get into top places. Other times, the reverse is true. A discipline that's bases itself on methods, norms, and values is horribly disorganized and petty when it comes to applications (i have friends in several programs and you wouldnt believe the stuff that goes on and why who gets what). I say that to say apply broadly (within reason) and dont be surprised........ Just remember the following.... 1.) Most people will say look at the median GPA and GRE scores of previous classes and place yourself accordingly. I agree with that (to a point), but that's merely a baseline, meaning if a program has 2 weks to go over 200 apps, you want to make sure your app survives the first cut. 2.) The job market (from what I've been told), awarding of grants, publishing, and even entrance into graduate school is (largely) about networks. If you look at the top 10 schools, you may notice that some (though certainly not all) faculty derive from the same places/regions. Faculty in the Ivy's likely received their phd from the Ivys (or Chicago), Big 10 received their phd's in the big 10, so on and so forth. As much as we study stratification, we often replicate it. So, look at where your recommenders went to school, where their students went, and who they're respected by, and figure out where to apply. 3.) A graduate degree may help, and may not. People tend to value undergraduate degrees more than graduate. Here's why....in graduate school, the grade range is from 3.0 to 4.0. In undergraduate, the range is much different. But, if you have a graduate degree and show that you can be ready on day one (be able to run regressions, know the literature, etc.) then that could put you in a better position. 4.) Recommendations matter and people will throw you under the bus. Only ask faculty for letters if you earned an A or A- from their class (a- is stretching it) and those you trust. If you find yourself asking "I wonder if they would write me a good letter", dont ask. There's a reason why you're questioning if they would write you a good letter. 5.) If you have teachers who don't think the best of you, clear it up before you apply. Your transcript lets everyone know who knows you, though people will never admit it, people make phone calls and emails and everybody has friends. 6.) Apply in clusters. If you have top scores and a solid backup plan, apply within the top 30 only. And And apply wisely. send out 10-15 apps....and wait for what's coming. Hope that helps, Spaulding
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