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About brainlass

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Cognitive Neuroscience/Psychology PhD

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  1. Is the MSW funded? If not, I would work and reapply to PhD programs.
  2. For several universities, I emailed multiple profs with whom I was interested in working. I didn't mention that I'd also contacted their colleagues, and it never became an awkward situation. They know that you're exploring a number of options! In fact, often the profs would suggest that I also speak with somebody else in the department (in many cases, a prof I'd already contacted).
  3. That varies a ton because it greatly depends on the university and the calibre of the program. (Also, MA vs. PhD.) Try checking the department and graduate school websites for each institution. Sometimes, the schools will release historic stats about applicants and admitted students. As a general rule of thumb, you're basically never going to see an average score below 150 for Q or V. For better programs, averages are in the mid-160s for each section (admitted applicants). In psych, verbal scores tend to be higher than quant.
  4. I don't know how you define "acing" it, but I got a perfect score on the verbal section, 82nd percentile on quant, and 98th percentile on writing. It was my first try, and I didn't retake it. I prepped on my own, with the Princeton Review prep book and the Magoosh 5 lb tome of practice problems. I started 2 months before the test date, studying just a little every night (around 40 min). Closer to the time, I did several full-length timed practice tests. I had been doing a little better on quant when I did the practice tests, so I wasn't thrilled with my score, but I'm really glad I didn't wast
  5. I don't know about other fields, but for Psych applications, the expectation is definitely that you do your homework and contact specific professors in advance. You should be able to mention the names of a potential advisor or two in your personal statement, and clearly state what about their research program interests you (and how it overlaps with your past experiences/future plans). When I was reaching out to potential advisors, my current mentor told me that the emails should follow this general structure: - Dear Professor ____ (USE THEIR NAME AND BE SURE TO SPELL IT CORRECTLY!)
  6. Recent UofT graduate here. I did my honours thesis through the Research Specialist program and got a publication out of it. To my knowledge, you would not be able to go back as a non-degree student and complete a thesis through the Psych department. The Thesis option is through the RS program, and it's quite competitive. I know that in my cohort and the year below mine, they only accepted 10 students each year. We had to apply after second year, then complete two years of specialized coursework and research. My advice to you is to look for paid research assistant jobs. I think your best
  7. What kind of neuroscience do you wish to pursue? It sounds like your research background is pretty mixed, ranging from mental health to cognitive neuro to molecular neuro. Sometimes, all three of those areas can fall under different departments. It sounds to me like you have solid credentials (unknown GRE scores aside). However, from your description, it sounds like your past experiences are pretty eclectic, and it is unclear what your focus is for grad school. It will be extremely important to have a very good idea of your research interests and goals before applying. You'll need to be able t
  8. No, they will not. If they want you, they want you; universities want to compete for the best applicants and don't offer much pity for those who don't get any offers. You don't need to worry about it hurting your admission chances if you tell them that you have an alternative offer. You should definitely email them explaining the May 1 response deadline, and ask when you can expect to hear back about their decision.
  9. I don't know about Cambridge in particular, but I know that in general, admissions takes two stages: First, the department comes to a decision, and then they recommend you to the School of Graduate Studies for admission. In North America, at least, the second stage is really just a formality. The SGS approves whatever students the department wants to admit, unless there's some discrepancy whereby the applicant was missing some fundamental prerequisite and the department wants to override that. It's possible that it works differently in the UK, but it sounds to me like you're accepted (and
  10. One option to consider could be online counselling psych degrees. These would prepare you for careers as school or workplace counselors, meaning that you would be working with a generally healthy population rather than those with more serious psychiatric disorders. However, you would still be able to work one-on=one with clients to help people overcome problems and anxieties, improving their quality of life. If you are unsure about how feasible it is to boost your GPA at this point, this route may be more promising because is considerably easier to get into these programs than into a clinical
  11. Hey, I had actually made a thread for Duke already, but I think it got buried a couple pages down! I searched with online apartment-hunting tools and Duke's housing finder site to find a place. I've found an apartment already and I'll be heading down mid-August. Super excited!
  12. If your GRE scores are really "abysmal," you should definitely retake them before trying again. I think it's quite likely that the reason you had such difficulty getting interviews was that you fell below cutoff points for the schools where you applied. If your GRE scores were below a certain threshold, they may have immediately scrapped your application without reading about your other excellent credentials. Prep courses are probably very expensive, but you can do a lot if you dedicate yourself to practicing on your own before retaking the GRE. You could also look into hiring a private tutor
  13. I suggest you hold off applying for PhD programs until you have more research experience under your belt.
  14. Go for it! I've worked in two labs concurrently before. It can be a great way to get diverse research experience and make more connections with potential reference letter-writers. It's also very valuable to experience working under different supervisors. Different labs operate in very different ways, and the more you sample different lab cultures, the better you can develop an idea of what you like and dislike in a working environment.
  15. Seconding the suggestions that NYU and U Chicago should probably belong on the "reach" list, just because they're pretty competitive for this field. Same goes for UT Austin. Also, while this is obviously in the "reach" category, Princeton is an excellent place for computational neuro these days. Personally, I just accepted my offer at Duke for cognitive neuro, and they definitely seemed to have a solid representation of computational methods as well!
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