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    2017 Fall
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  1. Hello all! I'll be starting in UW's Epidemiology PhD Program this fall and am hoping to find some sort of housing over the next few months. I'll be moving to Seattle from California and hope to rent something for about 9 months and/or find a roommate until my boyfriend will move up next April!
  2. Hello all! I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I'd put things out there to see if any of you are still following or active in the grad cafe forums! I'm curious to hear what you ended up deciding as I'm currently deciding between the same exact two program for an Epidemiology PhD. Let me know - any and all insight would be much appreciated!!
  3. That definitely makes sense - congrats on making your final decision and best of luck in your graduate studies!!
  4. That's so good to hear! Have you heard back from your potential UNC advisor yet regarding an RA position? Where are you currently leaning? I heard back from Columbia regarding funding, and they offered a multi-year funding stream. I'm not sure yet who my advisor would be, but I've connected with a few faculty who are doing research that would definitely be aligned with my interests! I'm still deciding between Columbia and UW, but am visiting Columbia in a couple of weeks so will see if I like it as much as or more then I liked UW when I visited.
  5. Hello! Hoping you've heard back from them with some good news? I think they released some decisions a couple of weeks ago (around March 10th). Best of luck!!
  6. Thanks for sharing! That's definitely good to know. Did you enjoy Columbia's program? What was your favorite and least favorite thing about it?
  7. I hope your chat with the current UNC student was insightful and helped you in your decision! I still haven't decided where I'll be going. Honestly, I'm still trying to weigh the funding, because the only concrete funding situation I have currently is with Berkeley through remaining in my current position.
  8. I spoke with some students at UW who were doing the 20 hour/wk commitment along with other smaller research projects (usually no more then 8-10 hours), so it seems like it may still be manageable if you still have a light course load, and can do some work remotely/on weekends!
  9. I completely understand that, and am so, so sorry that you're having to consider these oppressive political circumstances when you deserve the space to choose the best fit for you. Does one university over another have a committed support to international students? Where I did my MPH, they had a huge focus on ensuring that there were continuous opportunities and funding for international students, and from speaking with some of my classmates who were international students, I think it factored into their decision to chose our university. Do most students commit to UNC before securing funding? Or is it something where you could hold out a couple of weeks? Also, after being at Drexel for 2 years, could you complete your PhD in a shorter amount of time? That would be a plus! I'm not familiar enough with the professional sphere or both programs to comment on the quality/name query, I wish we had a hiring manager in the public health field to consult!
  10. That's great - congrats! That definitely sounds like a reasonable load, and a pretty standard/livable stipend.
  11. Thank you so much for your response! While Berkeley doesn't have a minimum hour requirement, if I remained in my current position a reasonable living wage would mean I'd have to work around part-time (20 hours) similarly, although it would likely be somewhat flexible, I'm sure I'd need to at least put in what would equate to part-time work. I've reached out to Columbia, but unfortunately haven't yet received a response, so I'm hoping to gain more clarity from them soon. They mentioned that they were considering me for a fellowship, so I'm hoping to hear about that soon. After being in loads of debt for paying for undergrad and grad school independently, I'm definitely not planning to take out any more loans, so secure funding is definitely a driving factor for me at this point!
  12. Thank you so much for this response and advice! It's good to know that 20 hours a week may be less manageable during a PhD program. I worked that much or more during my undergrad and Masters, but definitely would like some flexibility to explore research opportunities of interest and realize that 20 hours a week of work may not leave that space. UW does have a portal where they'll post available RA/TA/Fellowship positions for current students, but they're usually shortly before students are expected to start, so many students do end up committing before they have a position secured. They mentioned that they will allow an extension of your official decision if you're hoping to secure funding before receiving a large tuition bill, which was comforting. I haven't heard of similar portals at the other two schools, but hope to gain more clarity with those in the next couple of weeks!
  13. After speaking with someone at Berkeley, I think they may have admitted me thinking that I would continue working during my PhD, so weren't planning to allot a stipend for me the first year. I'm hoping to meet with them soon to clarify this, or see if tuition is at least covered in this case. I've talked to a couple of current and past Berkeley students who did similarly remain in their current position work situations, and they were expected to pay their tuition on top of living expenses out of their working salary. Mine is definitely currently not enough for that to be livable. :/ I completely agree about UW - I really loved the program, but am very concerned about consistently scrambling to keep funding. It also makes it seem difficult to explore additional research opportunities, and many of the initial RA/TA positions may not even be in some students field of interest.
  14. Hello all! I thought I'd start a thread to discuss the funding situation at some of these PhD Public Health programs. I've definitely been feeling overwhelmed in making a decision regardless, and have found that many programs haven't yet provided transparent funding packages, so thought this could serve as a venue for us to discuss our experiences and share insight/advice with one another. I'm currently deciding between the following three programs, all Epidemiology PhD, with the funding (as understood by me currently) described below: Columbia: I haven't heard anything about funding yet, but heard during the interview that they generally have students on training grants or funded with specific professors. Berkeley: Some students are funded through departmental fellowships, or part or full-time work at other institutions (health departments, UCSF, etc.) or with Berkeley professors. I currently work at an institution that I think would be my source of funding. University of Washington: Most students are funded through research assistant or TA positions. If you work at least 20 hours per week, then your UW tuition is waived and you get a general PhD stipend. Most of these positions are acquired through persistence (lots of e-mails!) and applying to posted positions. I don't currently have a position lined up, so am nervous at this point! Any insight or shared experiences would be much appreciated! Congrats to all on getting (almost!) through this year's application cycle.
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