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About lkaitlyn

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  • Application Season
    2020 Fall

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  1. I have no idea what this post is but OP, please don't fall for some online scam. Online PhDs are not credible. They just aren't. Even the few that exist from real universities, you'll never get a TT job with an online PhD. You should apply to in-person PhD programs both within and outside the T10.
  2. What are your research interests? Fit is a huge deal in Sociology PhD applications, unlike law school, which is purely about ranking and numbers. I don't know if you're competitive for a top-10 program unless I know that your research interests fit with any of the top 10 programs. It will also have a ton to do with your SOP, Personal Statement, and writing sample. LORs are also important, and I can see that being a potential weak spot given the more impersonal nature of law school classes. Ideal LORs should be from professors you've done research with. If you're still in touch with any of the professors you worked closely with as an undergrad, get one of them to be one of your three LOR writers. Also, how's your law school GPA/class rank? Did the courses you chose to take after the first year have an relevance to your research interests? You'll have to find a way to spin your law school years in your SOP. Try to relate them to your research interests, if possible, or end goals. If I were reviewing your app, I'd want to be convinced that you really wanted the PhD and knew what that meant, instead of just ditching at some point to go into big law. As for GRE, Sociology programs claim to be holistic but it matters to them. These programs are mostly run by old white dudes, so they're only so "progressive." Scores matter less, but definitely aim for 160+ on both sections. If you scored well on the LSAT, which you obviously did, you should be able to rock the verbal and essay. Math is learnable. The most important thing for your apps is research experience, not more classes in Sociology. You mention research projects for old classes, and it's great to make those sound very research-based in your SOP, but that's not really the same as doing big independent research projects or working with a faculty member on research outside of class or having a publication. Focus any extra time you have on getting research experience. Harvard/Stanford have top Sociology programs, so reach out to faculty if you're at one of those schools for advice. Yale should also have research opportunities and faculty who can help give you ideas. Whether or not your research interests fit with those programs, I don't know. As for the clerkship, that confuses me because if you want to become a professor, why waste a year on a clerkship? Or do you want to become a law professor? (If so, the PhD isn't actually necessary.) I worry the clerkship would confuse PhD programs, who are already going to have to be convinced that you really do want to do sociological research and be in academia instead of becoming a lawyer.
  3. lkaitlyn


    For future applicant reference, Princeton Sociology announced they will not admit a cohort this coming year. If you're making lists of potential schools to apply to in the fall, make sure you check every so often for updates on this coming year, as some other schools could follow.
  4. We'll be able to give you better answers if you say what the switch would be. For example, what @CozyD said about creative writing to social psych is probably a bit different than if you're going English to mechanical engineering or something.
  5. Also, I lowkey went through your profile and saw you went to HLS. If you know any sociology professors there, they'd have good suggestions for where to look. If you're interested in gender or social movements, perhaps reach out to Jocelyn Viterna.
  6. The strategies you're doing are really all there is to do to find faculty: search through faculty pages on program websites, look up faculty who write articles related to your interests (and go through their CVs and see who they collaborated with and read their profiles), ask mentors in your field if they have recommendations. I think I went through ~100 program websites (not an exaggeration) in total searching through faculty profiles, both cold-using the US News (yuck) ranking list of sociology programs and back-tracing from articles and CVs. It took forever but it's worth it to find programs that will really be able to support your interests. If you mention your interests here, perhaps some of us could also suggest programs to look at, but you'll need to be a touch more specific about your subfields (gender? race/ethnicity? social movements?). You can also DM me if you don't want to post, but others might have good suggestions. Also, note that the methods you're choosing aren't the words I've seen sociology faculty use to describe their methods. You'll want to look for sociology faculty who say they focus on qualitative methods, ethnography, demography, in-depth interviews, etc., and who also focus on the general regions and other subfields (see examples above) you're interested in. And definitely word your SOP for sociology schools with research method terms that the discipline uses. Right now, it sounds very much like anthropology work, and if you're applying to sociology schools, you have to make it clear that you understand what you're signing up to do.
  7. You have to take stats (generally basic stats courses for a year or so) but you can certainly do qualitative projects, including dissertations. And some programs like Berkeley are notoriously qualitative.
  8. Ask current grad students if their schools do this. Grad students at UCI gave me the heads up when we met up with them during admitted students days, and unlike at other programs, UCI itself was very open about this. Examples of things students at UCI have gotten from negotiations include fellowship quarters (do this! 6 years of teaching will exhaust you), years of summer funding, stipend top-ups, and rumor has it even non-monetary things like an office space with a view (can't confirm; didn't ask for or get that). Some other grad students said they had no competing offers when they negotiated; I had no competing sociology offers — I just was really crystal clear that I wouldn't go if XYZ things I needed weren't met, whether that meant a gap year or not, and that worked. (I was serious.) I hope that helps! Edit: If we hadn't had guaranteed housing already, I might have asked for that. Be creative! No harm as long as you're not mean or totally outrageous (e.g. "I need $20,000 extra a year" or something crazy).
  9. Same! I'll see you in the fall! Also sent you a DM. 🙂 BTW, for future applicants, I cannot emphasize this enough: negotiate your offers! I thought my school, especially during COVID, would never negotiate because they are a public school and likely strapped for money, and my other offers were in a different discipline — they did negotiate, both for fellowship quarters and additional money (e.g. summer funding). This is probably the only time you're in control instead of begging for things, so don't be afraid to leverage that. The worst that can happen is the school says no.
  10. Not sure re: placement (it does seem they have historically placed people, but I'm not sure how many get in vs. the number in the program who apply), but I can say more generally that they have some great faculty in the department, but the MA is expensive and Columbia has a lot of unnecessary stress. Plus Columbia is currently fighting the grad union on protections against sexual harassment among other things so there's a likely strike when school starts back up in person. I'd also ask around to figure out what the dynamic is between faculty and the MA program given that they have many PhD students to advise as well. Edit: Grad housing is actually pretty good if you can get it. Not a Columbia grad student but I have a friend who is and her place is nice.
  11. Just to clarify, for me it's totally not about a desirable location or something. It's purely an affordability thing of stipend relative to COL. I love the program(s) I've gotten into. I've heard taking out loans for a PhD program is a bad idea given the terrible job prospects. I'm personally not convinced loans for a social sciences PhD (or ANY PhD for that matter) are a good idea, but I guess it could depend on the person and circumstance. Thank you for sharing your perspective! To add, I definitely agree that anyone waiting should be prepared for getting in nowhere, especially given the terrible funding situation nationwide and subjectivity of admissions in any given year.
  12. Good luck with your funding! MA funding is hard to come by anyway, so it's great you've got some and hopefully they can give some more.
  13. I'm with @annetod in being concerned about how the fall semester will play out. It's hard enough to adjust to grad school without the possibility of the semester being disrupted by a pandemic. I'm also struggling with the stipend vs. COL with the school I'm leaning toward, so I'm worried I might need to work a year and reapply to make it feasible. Is that silly? Should I just take the offer while it exists this year since the recession might screw up admissions?
  14. How's everyone doing amidst the chaos? This month has gotten crazy.
  15. ^One of my schools is also doing a virtual visit. Maybe the same one as yours?
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