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Everything posted by scientific

  1. I have not experienced this but I knew someone who did. She finished her classes and left with essentially a master's from one institution before transferring to another and continuing her PhD. I'm not sure of the process, but I think that may be better than leaving and attempting to reapply. good luck!
  2. I was accepted into my dream school! However, my dream PI is not accepting graduate students this cycle. There are other professors and while I *can* and would be fine doing it, it's not what I really want to be doing. I know it's not the end-all-be-all of my degree but... It's disheartening. What, realistically, are my options here?
  3. congrats on berkeley by the way!! out of curiosity, can I ask what the stipend looks like out there? ahh that makes sense! I'm glad then. I went to one of the UCs ^^
  4. I wonder if I can visit again even if I've accepted? I love it out there. Oh that's who was CC'd on mine too! I did mention her but there's another professor i would like to work with. I wonder if that's an issue? Aaah, here I am getting bogged down in the details already...
  5. I just got my first acceptance!! I thought I had months more to wait out, but wow!! I'm walking on air. I'm stunned. I'm alternating between crying and screaming. It was my top choice too! Of course, there's the details... A different professor than my top choice to work for was CC'd, and my status on the site is different... but I'm assuming the email supersedes all that. Right...? Right?
  6. thank you and congrats to you too!! haha how did you know it was UIUC? but yes!! I haven't stopped smiling all day. Did you accept? Did they CC anyone on your email? I'm worried it's too early; my application status on the site says "awaiting decision," but I suppose I'm just being a worrywart now!
  7. UIUC!! I'm still stunned. Guess it's true that research is more important than GPA!! I'm still so happy.
  8. I got my first acceptance and it's to my top choice! I can't believe it, I didn't expect to get in, let alone this early. I'm scared to accept the offer in case I wake up....
  9. Ah I must've missed that. I definitely understand about the difficulty of finding a US masters program; I considered doing a masters to make up for my embarrassingly weak GPA, but I'd heard mixed things about having a masters as a domestic applicant to a doctoral program after, so decided against it. I do think it's unconventional, but I think it's a plus you know what you're looking for! I know some people who went for a PhD, ended up hating research and left. And maybe the major outside of chemistry won't be an issue in that case. Best of luck!
  10. That makes a lot of sense! That part about how a recent PhD from the school may be remembered is essentially in line with what I've been told. I suppose my next question is... how much does culture of a graduate program change over time? If a professor got his PhD from a program 40 years ago but is established now, will his perspective on fit no longer be true? I obviously have no idea what goes into a LOR of this type and I'm curious about the process. I was under the impression they only talked about a candidate's qualities?
  11. Best of luck. I would maybe ask one of your current letter writers for advice, since I know nothing about your intended/past fields, if you feel comfortable doing so. What I also think helps, is if you are ABLE to, ask to meet in person to chat... I wrote to a teacher I had in classes 5 years ago, asking to meet for graduate school advice (I asked his opinion on some programs, but that may not be as helpful here since it'll be in a different field for you... maybe they will know reputation stuff, though), and then asked about letters. We met, chatted and he was very candid, and it also belayed any concerns I had about tone. I definitely do relate about the communication stuff; it always feels very odd and I put it off because it seemed awkward. But now we know better and can learn from our mistakes!
  12. So professors generally do expect to get requests not immediately after they have had a student. It helps to keep in touch, but I do have some questions... Is the person who did the BFA thesis advising within the field of your MFA? Are your former employers related to this MFA? I'm not in the arts, but I've been told that in my area (chemistry), when applying for a PhD, you don't want to have more employers than professor writing your letters... But I don't know at all if that's true for the arts. I think in general, if a professor has shown hesitation, that's not a good sign. One tip I had was to specifically ask if professors would write you a strong LOR. If you think that this person is still the best choice you have (i.e., they are within the field for your MFA whereas a recent teacher is not, they're famous, idk, maybe it's preferred to have university letter writers than community college letter writers) , you can ask if there's anything you can provide (transcript, maybe write a summary on what you've been up to the last decade, etc) that might help them. Otherwise, I think your best option would be the ask another former teacher with fewer classes. EDIT: to say that again, take my advice with a grain of salt as I am in a completely different field from you. Hopefully you will get some more specific to you advice.
  13. This is some nice advice! I'll try to keep to it; I think it's probably a nice exercise to try to get more positive, too! And I guess if I'm honest, my coping mechanisms tend to be.....nonexistant I suppose it's extra hard since I visited my top choice for a conference; the campus, the research--i fell in love with it all, despite knowing it was pretty high out of my reach. I tried this immediately and it doesn't seem like there's any information on my program but I do know that it's low I hope that'll help later, but for now it just feels awful to hear that I have no idea why I'm counting myself out already since my writers seem to have faith in me but who knows ah... plan B......... yes, I should probably.... have one of those............. but I do have some plans if I don't get in at all. It comes at a slight "damn, I should've done this BEFORE applying this cycle" but I can take that advice and do it as a plan B!
  14. Oh gift cards are a great idea! Our campus has some great coffee places and I definitely have grabbed coffee with them all. BTW, who knew CRJ was such an ambitious graduate student?
  15. This is such a minor detail, but I am curious... Does having a letter writer who did their degree where you're applying help? In a weird like "legacy" way.
  16. I am not familiar with all those schools, but I was under the impression that a lot of these didn't have terminal MS's and usually only accepted for PhD route. Can I ask why you're going for a master's instead of a PhD? I actually think your stats are quite good, especially with the chem classes not too bad. UCs are mostly well known research schools, so I imagine you'll be fine.
  17. That's very reasonable advice, and I'm certainly excited at my schools, but I've totally fallen in love with one! It's UIUC, which I see is on your list as well! It's just hugely out of range for me which is a hard pill to swallow and realize
  18. I'm not sure that there's hard data on this, especially if you're taking the electronic test. As I understand it, the electronic test has "levels" so if you do poorly in say algebra 2 questions, it puts you into a lower level with algebra 1 questions, but you won't be able to get a top score.... each level has a "capped" max score. I'm not sure if that's still true, but that's what I read (I don't have the books I used so I can't verify that's what it said). I think there's lots of data about what's on the test in general (ie., basic stats is on there, lots of percents stuff, and basic geometry) and the best thing you can do is just practice, unfortunately. If you are particularly struggling with time, I thought the official guides were good with little tricks and tips.
  19. I'm an optimist but I just know that when I don't get into my dream school, I'll be crushed. How do I pre-crush myself so when that rejection comes, I won't be as sad? (kind of joking but also seriously how do I be more of a realist?)
  20. Undergrad Institution: Top 50 in the US, big state schoolMajor(s): environmental chemistryMinor(s):GPA in Major: ~3.15 the environmental classes were not my thingOverall GPA: 3.22Position in Class: Type of Student: domestic GRE Scores (revised/old version):Q: 162V: 162W: 5.0S: N/AResearch Experience: 3.5+ years; two research pubs in ochem (second and third authors), one poster in analytical, one international conference presentation in inorganic. Currently in a physical chemistry labAwards/Honors/Recognitions: international scholarshipPertinent Activities or Jobs: TA'd introductory science class for nonscience majors, private tutorAny Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Did both study and research abroad; speak 3 languages; lots of outreach activities for underprivileged communitiesSpecial Bonus Points: I graduated in 2014, and have been working in an unrelated field, so hoping time away from school will make my GPA less of a big deal.Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I signed up for classes at the local community college after graduating but before my full-time job got crazy, and dropped one but forgot to drop the other so it's an F =/Applying to Where: I got several fee waivers so it's a bit much to list, but it's a range of schools in the midwest/east coast from UIUC to University of Pittsburgh. All for physical chemistry.
  21. Or would it be more focused if it were: 1 paragraph each of - discussion of poorer grade, outreach activities/extracurricular, then a discusison of all research? I figured that might seem a bit clunky, but you're right, it is an awful lot to discuss.
  22. Thanks for your response, i_mix. My gpa is sub-3.3, and has some questionable spots, so I'm not sure if the resume itself implies that I was doing a lot or if I should address it. I hear a lot of mixed advice about this, so I figured if there was a way for me to touch upon it while pointing out I was doing a lot otherwise, it might help.
  23. I have some topics written down for my SOP, but am looking for a way to organize it. I am applying for PhD programs in physical chemistry, and will pursue research careers after graduation. background: I graduated in 2014 in chemistry. a time line is something like: undergrad 1st year - community volunteer outreach undergrad 2nd year - underprivileged community outreach, elementary school teaching aide, 2 part-time job, research internship undergrad 3rd year - research internship, 2 part-time jobs undergrad 4th year - community arts program participant, college-level science TA,, private tutoring undergrad 5th year - part time jobs, research internship, research internship abroad post-grad 1 - unrelated full-time job post-grad 2 - unrelated work, volunteer science outreach assistant/teaching aide post-grad 3 - 3 part-time jobs, volunteer research other stats: 1 conference presentation, 2 publications, 1 other poster, 162/162/5 GRE, taking subject test later this year 1. I think that my paper will be organized by year, since I think doing it by "type" of extracurricular could be confusing. So, if roughly one paragraph per year, would it be better to discuss my research experiences in the beginning of each paragraph, then outreach, then part-time work, or is it better to end each paragraph with the research experience? 2. My undergrad GPA is subpar (below 3.3), mostly because I was doing a lot and had kind of a naive attitude towards grades. Time after graduation gave me perspective and time to consider what i wanted to do and essentially mature. Is it a bad idea to talk about this? How else would I talk about the gap since graduation and the poor GPA? 3. Are there different "rules" when writing SOP for science programs? I.e., keep it short and to the point, etc? Thanks. I know these are nit-picky details but trying to make sure everything is as close to perfect as I can make it.
  24. Well, I think it's a bit complicated, so I'm going to describe more in-depth the situation, but still try to keep it vague since I'm personally uncomfortable with revealing the project itself. A professor I took a class from has a long-term goal of creating an "online textbook." The goal is to make this field more accessible and to reduce textbook costs in the future. A group of us wrote "pages" on specific topics that were either accepted and edited, or taken out. I wrote the original page and practice questions on one specific topic, but it has since been edited by others, including the professor himself. On the page, I am listed as the original writer. It is an NSF-funded project that has become open to many other universities and predominantly professor write the chapters now. I know that the professor who started the project does currently use it as his course's textbook (for teaching both lower and upper div courses; my topic woul be an upper div page). I hesitate to call it a publication since when I wrote it, it seemed more like a simplified and shortened way to describe this topic (subtopic--it'd be similar to if I wrote a page on adding exponents in the section of exponent math). It's now been edited to a more "textbook" quality by the professor after I graduated, however. In short, I wrote the original overview of a topic with practice questions, and it has since been edited by one other person (undergrad at the time as well) and added to by the professor. I did not do any editing myself, but the page was edited by others and is currently used as a part of upper div curriculum. So, would this still be a publication? It feels important enough to add to a CV, considering that it is NSF-funded and teaching/writing oriented, unless it's not really worthwhile to mention. FUTHERMORE, would a poster someone else presented but that I am listed as a third author on be mentioned on my cv, or is that a faux paus? What's the difference when discussing poster/journal publications? edit: clarifications and typos
  25. It actually didn't occur to me that it counts as a publication. Thanks!
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