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  1. Maybe the TA time commitment is less than the RA commitment. Either that or the other student might be more interested in teaching than research or might be trying to develop a broader skill set and have a resume that has a wider ranges of experiences. In any case, I would focus more on your own interests and career path. What skill set do you want to develop and consider the time commitment involved for each opportunity too.
  2. I'm assuming when you said you applied to Canadian PhD programs in Clinical Psych that you really applied to Master's programs in Canada and you said PhD because people are admitted into these programs with the expectation of doing a PhD at the same institution after completing the master's (and they are rarely denied admission, except in rare instances). If this is not the case, then as COGSI mentioned above, you do not meet admission requirements without a master's in Clinical Psych. I would strongly encourage you to do a program that will give you lots of research experience or to take a job that will give you this experience. I know of someone who got into UofT's Clinical Psych program with very little clinical related experience (about 100-150hrs of volunteer work, which is considered above average for that kind of program) but had 2 years of part time experience as research assistant. It was only after gaining an additional year of full time experience running a research lab that this person finally got admitted into a couple of programs. Everything else in the applications remained the same in both application cycles - references, GPA, the statement of interest only had slight modifications, and the GRE scores were actually lower in the year of acceptance than in the previous application cycle. The only significant difference was that this person had acquired lots of extra research experience. Clinical Psyc degrees, as I'm sure you already know, have a heavy research component. Many people describe this program as doing 2 degrees at the same time - a research based program and a clinical based program because it's very intense in both areas. I think it would be wise to improve this area of your application if it isn't particularly strong or competitive compared to other applicants. If you do a master's degree in Psych such as a research based degree and get admitted into a Clinical Psych program afterwards, you likely won't need to do another master's thesis in the Clinical Psych program (at least that's what happened in a couple of cases I am aware of). Instead, you'd be catching up by taking master's level courses you haven't completed and complete any necessary clinical training before being allowed to take PhD level courses. I think you should take one of those programs if you'd be happy with either of those degrees in the event that you do not get accepted into Clinical Psych afterwards. If you wouldn't, then I'd suggest working instead to gain more research experience and possibly taking a few extra courses part time if you think there are any extra courses that would make your application stronger. Perhaps courses that are related to your research interest or extra courses in stats and research methods.
  3. Congrats on the offers! What kind of teaching do you want to do? If you want to teach at an elementary school or a high school, it is my understanding that you need to get a bachelor of education. I'm not so certain that a master's in child studies would help you out with that goal, but I could be wrong. If this is your goal then contact the Ontario College of Teachers or go on their website to find out more information. If you want to teach preschoolers, then a degree in Early Childhood Education is what you'd need. There are very specific requirements set out by the Ministry of Education to do this kind of work, so it'd be best to do some research before making any firm decisions. If you can't decide between the two right now, maybe you could find a way to do both. For instance, you could do the MSW and afterwards work overseas for a year or two and teach ESL to children. There is plenty of work overseas, particularly in many Asian countries. A different option is to get a teaching degree first, become a teacher and after you work in a field for a few years do an MSW degree part time. As a teacher you should have a fairly easy time finding a job as a school social worker afterwards (although finding a teaching job initially will take a lot of time, effort and persistence because the job market is tough for new grads). If you still can't decide, then maybe consider which job market is the strongest where you live (or want to live) and what kind of lifestyle you want to have (such as typical working hours). Getting a social work job in a hospital is very competitive because these jobs often pay the best in the field. What would you do if you couldn't find a hospital job? Is there anything else you could see yourself doing with an MSW if you can't find a hospital job right away?
  4. Plenty of people switch fields or areas of specialization from undergrad to grad school (especially in the humanities), so I see nothing wrong with going from engineering to a different program. I have no science background whatsoever so I'm not even going to attempt to explain the connections between computational research and engineering but I'm sure they are there otherwise OP would not have received a highly competitive offer to his program. Capella, you have quite a decision to make. From the sounds of it, if you get a PhD you can avoid military service when you return home afterwards. Is that correct? If you return home this year, then you will need to complete military service for a certain period of time. How many years of service would you have to do and would you be working in an engineering related area in the military? If you really don't want to join the military, the PhD might be a good option for you. You will need to weigh the benefits of taking this program (how interested you are in it, how closely it matches your career goals, etc) versus how much you want to avoid joining the military (what kind of job would you get in the military - general infantry training or engineering opportunities? - and how long are you required to be enlisted?) Another option might be to get an MBA after the PhD, if you aren't tired of school by then, (which is a very real possibility) and if it would be necessary to get an MBA for you to achieve your goals.
  5. If you are interested in doing an online exchange by email, send me a PM. I am a native English speaker with Advanced French speaking skills and Intermediate writing skills. I'd really like to work on my writing. Perhaps we could edit each other's stuff on a weekly basis via email. I'm not a student at the moment, but I could write about current events, hobbies, or do some creative writing in order to practice. I'd be happy to edit your essays or other documents in exchange.
  6. I was just about to start a new link on a somewhat similar topic. Thanks for the website suggestions! Does anyone know of a good Canadian site to use for people interested in meeting face-to-face or via Skype to do language exchanges?
  7. I'm surprised to hear of this. When I was considering applying to MEd programs, all of the MEd programs were course-based only and all of the MA programs I was considering required a thesis. I think that as long as there is a thesis component, you should be able to apply to PhD programs as both degrees are essentially the same. The difference only appears to be in the name. Have you reached out to the department to find out if past students have went on to complete PhDs? They should be able to give you the answer you need. I'd honestly do this because programs can vary from one school to the next and it's best to get the information from a direct source. Congrats on your admits!!
  8. Make sure they don't cheat - especially if everyone has the exact same copy of the exam and there aren't multiple versions of it. It's also a good idea to wear quiet shoes so they don't hear you when you're walking. This job is especially important if it's a large group and the ratio of students per proctor is low I was once in a bad situation with hundreds of students (easily over 500) with far too few proctors to keep a good eye on everyone and there was likely cheating going on while they all lined up to submit their exams at the end. I even found an ever so tiny scrunched up cheat note on the floor that was clearly flicked across the room at some point in time during the exam after it was no longer needed. As all the students were gone, it was impossible to figure out who it belonged to. I found that during this particular exam, it was impossible to keep your eye on everyone, you just did the best you could. Luckily other exams had a better ratio of students to proctors and some profs strategically created multiples versions of the exam to prevent this problem from occurring. (I guess that's what happens when you attend a low budget school. Money is limited and it isn't put into the right things. lol)
  9. I must admit, I skimmed through this thread and somehow skipped over a few details including the part about some fields not being as rigorous. I also don't think that is kosher. All grad programs are competitive and more applicants are declined than accepted into programs, no matter which discipline it is. Just because some degrees lead to higher income potential that doesn't mean people in those fields are better or smarter than people in lower paying fields. Some people could be in a STEM program but choose to be in a non-STEM field because that is their preference. I also think that whether or not you agree with your graduation requirements, if you want to graduate one day you're going to have to move beyond complaining about it to doing something to improve your situation. This can be a highly fixable problem if you seek the right resources to help you overcome your challenges and your fears. I would also like to add that some people have learning disabilities such as dyslexia or blindness, yet they are still required to write papers and written exams. Everyone has their own set of unique challenges they need to overcome in order to succeed yet everyone needs to fulfill the same requirements.
  10. I wrote you a nice long answer and accidentally deleted it when I was almost done. I'll try to rewrite all of the main points again. First off, even though I don't know you or your work, like your profs I'm also confident that you know the material because you passed all of your qualifying exams. This oral test is just a means of testing you in a different format. Tell yourself that you know the material so many times until you start to believe it. We would like to help you. But what it all comes down to is you have control over your own mind (not us!) and you also have the power and the ability to overcome your fearful and negative thoughts. Before you do your retest, come up with a mantra that you can repeat in your mind before you go into the exam room to help increase your confidence. For instance, "I will do well. I know the material. I passed my written exams. Everyone believes in me. I am prepared. I will succeed." Pick something that you'll feel comfortable saying. You probably won't believe it at first, but the more you say it the more you will be able to believe it. After someone asks you a question, it's ok if you need a few seconds to organize your thoughts before speaking. You can say something like, "Hmmm... great question. Let me think about it for a moment." Don't feel like you have to jump in right away and have the perfect answer immediately. No one will fault you for taking a few moments to think about what you plan to say first. It's ok to ask the person to repeat their question if you don't grasp it for the first time around or even if you want a little bit of extra time to think it through. Sometimes hearing the question twice can be really helpful as you are collecting your thoughts. Sometimes people who experience stage fright say it helps to look slightly above the heads of the people in the audience rather than directly at the audience's faces. If this trick helps you feel more relaxed, then do it. Are you allowed to carry a clipboard with a sheet of paper on it or hold a couple of cue cards in your hand? If so, you might find it reassuring to jot down a couple of things you find a little bit trickier to remember or explain off the top of your head and have it with you. Some people also find it a bit more reassuring to have something that they can hold in their hand or clutch in front of their chest. while they speak Lastly, some people find it helpful to prepare a presentation for an other student or two and have those students ask you questions as a way to practice. By having a dry run, this can help you feel more confident because you can try it out and get honest feedback from other students. Try to make it as realistic as possible in terms for the time you have to speak, the number of questions that they ask and the length of the question and answer period. You might even want to practice in the exam room, if you are able and if you'd find that helpful. Good luck! You can do this.
  11. I agree with fuzzylogician. Since MIT is a childhood dream, maybe you could do a postdoc there.
  12. Some great ideas, Plane_Jane! If you aren't a fast reader (or even if you are), try taking a speed reading course and practice your speed reading skills between now and then. You should be able to improve substantially over the next few months. If you have any group projects, my recommendation is to try to be in a group with other parents or with students who do not procrastinate or do things at the last minute. Students without kids can afford to do that and get away with it. But in my experience, parents can't because you can't predict when your child will come down with the flu or start crying in the middle of the night.
  13. If you want to take the course in-person just contact the universities in your area (for Toronto that would be U of Toronto, York U and Ryerson U) and ask them if any stats courses are available through continuing education (or do a quick google search to find out the answer). If not, then ask if she can enroll as a student without a major. That shouldn't be a problem, as far as I know. I've heard of many people doing this before.
  14. It sounds like he's taking the situation personally. Did you make it clear to him that there were specific, practical reasons why you wanted to switch? If you did not make a good case for switching, he might have assumed you did not like working with him for a number of reasons including personal ones such as his personality or working style. Some people are more sensitive than others. While being sensitive does not justify his unfavourable bias towards you, it's within his right to like certain people and to not like others. Unfortunately not everyone is able to keep their personal opinions separate from their work. If you are almost done your program, perhaps you could give him a thank you card at the end of the program and mention your gratitude for certain things he's done to help you out along the way. If you'd prefer to deal with the situation sooner, you could casually mention in person that you don't believe you've thanked him for all that he's done (and give a couple of examples and be genuine about it) to express your gratitude. If you didn't give him solid reasons for changing then make sure you briefly mention those too.
  15. This is very true. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done about what the prof chooses to write on his own cv. His decision to lie speaks more to his own sense of honesty, professionalism and integrity (or lack thereof). As long as he agrees with what the student writes on their cv then that is what matters the most at this point. Under normal circumstances, when applying for other types of scholarships and jobs, the student's resume won't be looked at alongside the prof's. So outside of this particular situation, it should no longer be an issue, I don't think.
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