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Everything posted by watson

  1. I would act as though it matters a whole lot. Pretend they won't accept a late letter and hound your letter writers to get it in on time. If someone doesn't you probably have some amount of leeway but you'll feel better not worrying about possibly getting cut for a really lame reason!
  2. Your GPA from your final spring semester is unlikely to factor into applications. Most decisions are made long before that info becomes available. That said, a 2.95 may still get you into a masters program, especially if a letter writer can address it (perhaps pointing out your GPA just in your major, or discussing improvement over time/GPA in the past year).
  3. I wouldn't mention it. You aren't taking a job KNOWING you'll be leaving, and if you do get into grad school and go off to study for 5-7 years, what are the chances that this will haunt you post-PhD? Extremely slim.
  4. It sounds like you did not receive any interviews last round. If true, go ahead and apply again, they are extremely unlikely (sorry!) to remember who you are from last time. Do not remind them you previously got rejected. Why would you? I just can't see anything to be gained from that. It would likely bias them, even unintentionally. If a faculty member says they are not taking students do not apply to work with them! Apply to another faculty member's lab as primary and say the other person as a secondary.
  5. You have multiple options here, not just applying to PhD or Masters programs. You have a strong background in psych and taking time off is now the norm, so I wouldn't worry about that. Generally, I think doing a masters first (if you want to eventually get a PhD) is a great idea if 1) you don't have a psych background, 2) you're really unsure of your research interests....usually I think this is the route if you have both those issues. But since you have background you might be better off getting a full-time job as an RA or lab manager. It'll pay better, no tuition, you'll still get researc
  6. Definitely wait. But you're probably going to have to explain in an SOP why you are switching fields again. Since spots are so few and competition so strong, you may be viewed as being unsure of what you want to do and perhaps just a "professional student". Actually, this is even more reason not to apply this cycle. Because this is probably exactly how you'll be viewed with such limited psych background.
  7. Discussing your psychological/physical/genetic disorders almost always works against you. --you get to focused on telling "your story" and most people frankly end up missing the point of the SOP when they attempt this (or they come off sounding self-important, like no one else can be a good psychologist, but usually they waste space needed for other info) --people worry that you're only committed to "me-search" instead of research broadly --ad-coms are still humans, subject to biases against people with psychological disorders, even psychologists Maybe the advocacy thing can be helpful
  8. Slow to the game, but useful advice for future applicants: Alice Eagly no longer takes students, and will not be taking any future graduate students ever again. She's still active in research but I think she wants to keep open the possibility of going emiritus without having to worry about students. She last accepted a student like 8-9 years ago, although she's open to working with people who have a different primary advisor.
  9. Really depends on which area of psych, which tier of school. At NU for example, we give no extra weight to people who have previously completed a masters, and if you are admitted you will need to redo it here. This is very common at research-focused programs in the top tier. This is probably because most of these programs do not offer terminal masters programs anyway.
  10. I agree to an extent. I/O psych seems to be an exception in that many of them go into industry and it seems to be a pretty accepted option (and they get often get a lot of training in applied work/things related to applied work). If you are dead sure you want to go into industry there are many ways to get there that do not involve the many hardships of PhD student life and you really owe it to yourself to investigate them. If you research it and still think the PhD is your best route then go for it, but then at least you'll know you made the right choice!
  11. There are 3 major reasons to (in general) avoid talking about mental health issues/trauma in an SOP: 1. Worries that it will affect your grad work (grad school is hard emotionally and psychologically....though past issues may be irrelevant today, you can potentially bring up people's biases anyway) 2. That it will make your research interests appear too narrow--that you care only about this specific issue that occurred to you 3. Your intense connection to the subject may cause you to over-devote space in the SOP to describing parts of the story you feel are essential but make little differe
  12. The question is what do you want to do with that masters? Do you want to use it as a way to eventually get into a PhD program in psych? Do you want to go straight into a career after (and doing what?)? There are "good" schools to get a psych masters in (MA and MS), and we can suggest a few, but it matters what your next steps are. And some masters programs in psych have funding. But, for now I'd say that if your ultimate goal is to get a PhD in psychology, getting a MEd probably isn't the most strategic route there.
  13. Have you thought about applying to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)? I have a very strong feeling it will help out there, and they will understand some of the issues that make getting traditional lab experience more difficult while on active duty. Is your military service at all related to psych (maybe applicable if you were a medic or did a stint at WR/NNMC)? Or are your research interests at all related to military issues/PTSD?
  14. Having the MS will compensate some for the low GRE score. That said, with PhD programs you're competing against a lot of extremely talented folks so there really is no way to predict these things. Focus your SOP on your strong analytical skills that you've developed.
  15. I PM'ed you. I'm at NU's social program and, well, have insight here.
  16. A 3.3 is not terrible, but the fact that you didn't mention research experience seems to be a more glaring issue at the moment. Have you tried looking at jobs as a fulltime RA or lab manager? That would accomplish the same goal and pay you. You might have to leave your geographic area but the pay is usually enough to support yourself (hell, it is usually better than what the grad students make).
  17. 1. Yes, it makes a difference MA vs PhD. You will have significantly better chances getting into a Masters program. That said, you say you have significant on-the-job research experience.....what was that experience? Does it include experiments or surveys? If yes, talk about that and how you made significant contributions and gained skills. If not, well, talk about what you can but it does make the likelihood of being admitted to a strong PhD program a lot lower. On the masters' end, it won't matter as much, but the better you can connect your experience to what you'll be trained in the b
  18. You can ask if they are accepting students right up to the deadline for apps. After that it will seem silly Good luck all...my best piece of advice to you is to remember not to take the application/acceptance process personally!
  19. Depends. In social psych interviews are definitely becoming more and more common. That said they still tend to be pretty informal, and not everyone does them (they have a more 'admitted students' recruitment day). OSU is one of the top schools in our field and they do acceptances without interview (I was told I was accepted over the phone). NU did acceptances without interviews until about 5-6 years ago when a weirdo got admitted (thankfully turned down the offer) so we switched to the interview model.
  20. Seriously, the only thing on your record that isn't stellar is the GRE score, but with the rest of that your GRE score should have mattered less. So I'm going to assume one or a combination of a few things happened....you didn't apply to schools with the best fit (I'm looking at your interests and your footer with your apps and there are a few wildcards I don't understand and some places I'm really surprised aren't listed), your letters of recommendation maybe were asked from the wrong people (no clue here as you didn't discuss it), or your statement was not targeted correctly. I've been thr
  21. Since I was on the phone with my advisor I asked this very question. The answer "no doubt, subfield." Things get really specific the further you go down this road, but in all honesty, #/quality of pubs, ability to get grants, and fit are definitely more important than the 'ranking' of your school. Does a high ranking school frequently have students that match these qualities and the faculty who prep them that way? YES. But that is obvious. But I'd still say it's an error to put school ranking (as determined by anything other than your specific needs--research, POI, funding, equipment, quality
  22. I agree with the above posters. Typically, acceptances are sent before rejections. You may still be on a waiting list, but I'd give it a few days before calling to see if you get word. Check spam folders/decision websites first.
  23. In all honesty the rankings are kind of messed up. They don't rank by POI by specific sub-field. For example, University of Kansas....not necessarily high up there like some other places, but hey if you're interested in things like collective guilt and shame then you really want to work with Nyla Branscombe because she is the best for that research. Everyone in social psych knows this, and when you go on the job market it will look really amazing and better than if you picked another place. The rankings are good for starting to sort through some aspects of grad school, but much like your
  24. Definitely based on publication record over all else for the job market. Average # pubs to get a first job is now 6-7. If you're asking about getting into graduate school, then it really is the CV/app over the name of the school. I went to a small liberal arts college, barely had a psych program, and I got into 5/8 programs I applied to (including OSU and Northwestern for social psych so my choices weren't too shabby lol).
  25. Social interviews are fairly relaxed. Be prepared to talk about what your research interests are, and what kind of things you've worked on in the past. Have questions ready (you can repeat them to different faculty), things like "how much collaboration across labs/areas happens?" or "what kinds of methods do you use to study that?". I'd just know the basic area of research for the faculty you're interviewing with, they aren't there to quiz you.
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