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About duran0

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  1. Is your top priority finding a job in the States after graduation? If so, then I'd pose that question directly to USC and SF state and see which program has a better track record in getting international students jobs. My sense is that it is really, really, really hard for international students without technical training to find decent employment, so you might also inquire about OPT/CPT opportunities as well. USC definitely has a better overall reputation than SFSU, but I worry that one year might not be long enough for you to build sufficient connections to find employment afterward.
  2. Sure, but OP is not here asking us for advice on what went wrong. Instead, the question "is why no one answers my email that I asked about my weakness for the admission." I am very, very sympathetic to the difficulty of applying to grad school as an international student, as I too was once in that same stressful position - actually from the same country that OP is from. I don't know what it's like for Germans, but there are actually lots of Korean language resources for applying to US grad school. Anyone on those websites/forums, including Korean nationals, could tell him that his low TOEFL an
  3. Oops! Yes, that's exactly what I meant. Aaand of course, I can't edit the post now.
  4. I'm not in philosophy, so hope it's OK to interject -- but these scores are so low that they definitely outweigh other aspects of an application. I'm a PhD student in the humanities who served as grad student rep for the admissions committee in my department last year. A GRE score under 200 - especially if the overall GPA is as middling as yours - is a huge problem because of the risk that the Graduate Division would reject the applicant for crucial division-wide funding. Top programs have enough applicants with high GRE scores that there is absolutely no reason to take this risk (especially i
  5. I only mention the statistics because it signals that there might be spaces for community beyond the lab or department. I'm a mixed race person of color (and an immigrant with an accent!) so I get the fears about moving somewhere different and feeling like you won't be able to fit in. Just didn't want you to totally reject a place that you say has the best research prospects based on the bland suburban landscape of Irvine, because my sense (again, just from short visits and knowing some POC grad students there, so these are general impressions) is that there might be more than meets the eye. T
  6. I too saw this circulating through my social networks. There have been rumors circulating about this program for some time now. It's hard to ever say that one should absolutely not attend a school, but the allegations are very serious and a definite red flag. I would try to talk to current grad students (especially if there are other queer/poc students) and see what their experience has been. Grad students tend to be more frank than faculty, so you might get a better sense of the climate that way.
  7. The difficulty of moving somewhere different and adjusting to the culture will always be challenging. However, I find it somewhat odd that you say that UC Irvine, a school whose undergrad student population is less than 20% white, is "close to 0 people of color." Irvine is boring and suburban (IMO) but it is very diverse, in close proximity to Los Angeles and its cultural resources. Also, 28.5K in Miami is nothing to sneeze at. If you're willing to share an apartment with roommates, that's a pretty healthy stipend for Coral Gables. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with eithe
  8. Presumably you wouldn't have been admitted to both schools without demonstrating at least some level of fit. Is the fit so poor that you'd have to change your research interests entirely at Minnesota? If that's the case then Nebraska makes more sense. That said, I don't think it's necessary (or even desirable!) that what you study fits *exactly* with what your advisor's doing. If your advisor can provide, for example, expertise on mental health treatment (but perhaps not health disparities) then I think you'd be able to find the overlapping spheres to pursue a good working relationship.
  9. Precisely. Make decisions based on financial reasoning and not "prestige." There's lots of ways to get there. You can: 1. Go to the best in-state option. There are plenty of good MPP/MPA programs at state schools all across the country (e.g. LBJ, Goldman, Evans, etc). 2. Apply to schools (e.g. Maxwell) that have a history of giving good financial support, even if they don't have the immediate institutional prestige. 3. Move to the city you want to be in (e.g. DC) and get a full-time job. Then complete your coursework part-time (e.g. at Trachtenberg or American). FWIW when I live
  10. Funding isn't everything, but this seems to me to be a key reason against B. Having to apply every year to secure summer funding is challenging, and the insecurity can really cut down on your productivity. The deep cut in funding during year 5 is also concerning. I honestly don't know how I would finish my program if my funding were to be cut in half during such a crucial moment (wrapping up the diss, going on the job market, etc). If you feel that you could be happy at either place, I would go with the option that provides more security during the PhD program and afterward.
  11. I'm at Berkeley now, and a professor of mine who was on the admissions committee told me that all acceptances have been sent out. Sorry..
  12. Brutal honesty, from one (former) international student to another: Without drastically improving your English skills, it will be extremely difficult for you to get into an English PhD program. I also don't understand why you're doing an MA in Linguistics if you want to get a Literature PhD. Likely you won't be writing papers with the critical analysis/close textual reading necessary for a good writing sample, and you won't be making relationships with literary scholars for recommendations. You're already fighting an uphill battle, as your undergrad record is poor. I did my undergrad at t
  13. Work experience. That's not the answer that you want to hear, but experience makes the application, especially for someone who does not have a stand-out undergrad resume. WhatAmIDoingNow has great advice about getting in-state tuition through a year of residency. Look into AmeriCorps programs in Minnesota or Wisconsin that are related to your areas of interest - they pay terribly, but you can get great experience and you'll receive an education completion scholarship. Next year is a campaign year - work on a local campaign or find an opportunity in the state you desire to live in. If you're r
  14. What are your research interests? If they are, say, in quantitative sociology or multinational companies and neoliberalism it will be easier to make your background relevant. There are lots of people who go into sociology PhD programs without a sociology BA, but you'll need to prove that you understand the field. That said, it'll be hard if you don't have any letters from social scientists or a clear sense of why your project belongs in sociology. I would apply to a range of PhD and MA programs. There's a list of funded MA programs floating around, but I'd also look at European programs, whe
  15. What are the two programs? It'll depend on your field. Did you get any funding from either place?
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