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About ianmleavitt

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Boston, MA
  • Interests
    Cycling, running, hiking, genealogy, hockey, literature, indoor house plants
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Harvard - Population Health Sciences PhD

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  1. This is what I used when I had this dilemma. Never a great feeling turning down a good program/PI! "Thank you for your offer of admission to the PhD program in XYXYXYX at XYXYXYX; I truly appreciate the interest you have shown in me. However, I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission, as I have officially declared for another program. I'm quite grateful for your time and consideration of my application, and wish you and the program the best moving forward."
  2. Congratulations! Hope you can make it out for the admitted students visit in the beginning of April!
  3. At least for my cohort that began this year, 42 students entered for the PHS program across all 5 fields of study (Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Global Health and Population, and Nutrition). SBS had 8 students and Nutrition had 5...unsure about the other fields of study off the top of my head, but I know that Epi was the heaviest.
  4. I had my first responses starting on January 13th of last year (and heard from 4 of 5 that I applied to by January 19th)...most admissions committees at top tier schools are likely not going to meet until after the holiday season. For Harvard (since I see that you applied), I was reached out to on January 17th about conducting a a video interview. Be patient! And here's hoping for good news come January!
  5. I would definitely contact faculty first. If there are no faculty members that you share research interests with at the school at which your applying (or if they aren't taking on new students), it's a bit of a waste of time (and money). PhD level work is about having that good research match, after all!
  6. It's hard to spitball an actual number, as most programs will simply say that they want "competitive scores." Again, to me, it's more about connecting with your potential mentor, having a well-written SoP, and letters of support that sing your praises. With that being said, if you can get your quantitative score in the 75th-80th percentile range, I would think that it wouldn't be a limiting factor whatsoever for programs. But I'm just guessing! If you find yourself concerned enough, take the GRE again (if money isn't a limiting factor) with adequate quantitative prep that leaves you
  7. I think it's also going to depend on how much of a quantitative focus an individual program is going to have. For example, Harvard has a yearlong quantitative methods course for their Population Health Sciences PhD program and Brown recommends you do a Biostatistics self-analysis on their website before you even apply to their Social and Behavioral Sciences PhD. For programs with the greater focus, they might view the Q score on the GRE as more important. Without the Master's degree, I think getting that score up could be valuable. But remember, at the end of the day, it's how you justify your
  8. At least for me, it's a bit too early to contact any POIs. You could try, but as it's the end of the summer/beginning of the fall semester, professors are going to be a bit more inundated right now than if you wait until mid-September.
  9. For a December 1st application deadline, I began contacting POIs in mid-September (mid-October is probably the latest you'll want to send them out). For those that I didn't hear back from after a little while, I sent a follow-up email about 2/3 weeks later. Avoiding the end of summer/beginning of the fall semester is recommended, as your email may very well fall into a void. My goal for sending the emails was to see if the POIs were indeed open to accepting new PhD students for the upcoming cycle, as well as to get more information from them in terms of the program. Some simply responded
  10. If anyone has questions regarding the upcoming application cycle, feel free to ask me!
  11. I think it will definitely ramp up once this Spring semester is over at your individual programs. My program at Harvard just sent out a very detailed email today, which was the first communication over the past month. They stipulated that we should be hearing from them on a bi-weekly basis from here on out, which is quite encouraging! If all else fails, reach out to your program contact(s) and inquire as to when you'll start to receive all of that other information that you mentioned.
  12. I second this notion. @epi_2018, in my SOP I discussed five different research topics I'm interested in (chronic disease prevention, health behavior change, community based participatory research, at-risk populations, and dissemination/implementation science) and wove them all together to show they are interrelated and can build off of one another. While I didn't ask any finely pointed questions, I did write some short questions within my SOP that were broad in nature to briefly show where I may head in the future.
  13. I think it's vitally important to contact professors before applying; they can provide information on if they are taking on new students, have suggestions for other professors at the university you may want to work with based on your research interests that you might have overlooked, and be able to provide general information on the program that could help you choose whether to apply or not. In preparing your application, spend plenty of time on your statement of purpose. Write it, rewrite it. Get plenty of sets of eyes on it; I had both people within the field and friends not very famili
  14. Has anyone else committed yet? I committed to Harvard on Friday and it felt so good to sign off on the paperwork!
  15. Hey there! It was actually a two day event, both yesterday and today. My overall impression was quite positive; one of the best pieces was seeing how the different concentrations all mesh with each other and build off of one another's ideas. This was even evident in the admitted students! I'm in the SBS concentration, but I was finding plenty of research similarities with other students in Nutrition and Epidemiology especially. It's definitely valuable to know that I could jive well with both the current and admitted students. As for the faculty and staff, they were nothing short of wonde
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