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About crackademik

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Interests
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Science

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  1. crackademik

    Is this okay to wear for Admitted Students Day?

    To be fair, since you're already accepted, you can wear anything you want and it isn't going to change anything. I think what you were planning on wearing is fine though Usually the only time it's necessary to wear business casual is if 1. they explicitly tell you to or 2. you're interviewing prior to acceptance. At accepted students weekend, I've seen everything from someone wearing ratty sweatpants to a prom tux (yes with vest and all it was ridiculous). Congrats on your acceptance!!
  2. crackademik

    "low" GPA acceptances

    I had a 2.58 undergrad GPA due to a number of issues and I've gotten accepted to 3 places with full funding. I have two years of work experience in my field and I got a 4.0 in my meh masters program. It can be done if you really want it. Edit: I know I'm not in SLP but I hope this still gives people hope!
  3. crackademik

    Grad life in DC vs. Philadelphia?

    As someone who knows both cities pretty well. This made me die 😂 There's a reason people say Philly is the armpit of the mid-atlantic. Both cities have lots to do but as others have said DC is more expensive. That being said, college park is actually a bit cheaper than DC because it is still in MD and it's in PG county, which is another armpit. Temple is more integrated into Philly itself, but College park has a "college town" feel because it's not actually in DC and the entire city exists to serve UMD. If you're looking for super urban city feel then you should go with Temple. College park is definitely urban, but not like Temple. The public transport in DC is pretty good, but I would still want to have a car at UMD because it's not actually in the city.
  4. crackademik

    So, you didn't make it in this year...

    So I did make it in, but I also learned a lot about the process. I was (likely) rejected from every school I applied to before January, which was before I revamped my SOP, but then I had a lot of success after changing a few things. Here are some things I learned: 1. Like @Ternwild said, try not to make excuses for your short comings, ESPECIALLY if it requires you to go into detail about your personal life (unless the school specifically requests this). I had a graduate admissions committee member at a school look at my SOP and say the she was horrified by the personal information I had included. 2. Remember that "safety" school is not a real concept when applying to Ph.D programs. I was convinced I was out of the game after being rejected from the lowest ranked school I applied to in early January. You can easily get into a top 20 and be rejected from a bottom 10 in the same cycle. This happens because each school has a very specific criteria, and because admission is also a lot of luck. This criteria can be based on what subfields they are looking to recruit in a given cycle, how many students in a given subfield they already have, personality, nepotism, and much more. 3. Write your SOP in a positive tone of voice. The last thing the admissions committee wants is a negative nelly who will likely flounder under the stress of a PhD program. Also, be sure to highlight your strengths without coming off conceited (I know this is difficult as I struggled with this). It can be difficult to be humble without underselling yourself. As hypocritical as it is, Arrogant professors don't want arrogant students. They want bench slaves who will be at their beck and call. 4. CONTACT your POIs early in the process. This was one of my biggest shortcomings. It does not matter if they don't respond because at least it shows initiative. I have friends who were accepted at schools that I was rejected from simply because they became buddy buddy with their POI throughout the admissions process. It doesn't even have to be about their research necessarily. Any foot in the door is better than a cold application. Big schools get more than 800 applications, so they are more likely to keep applications from individuals who they have had personal contact with. Don't be afraid to use your connections to get into a school either if you have a coworker, boss, or PI that knows a PI at a given school. 5. Graduate education and work experience matter more than undergraduate record in many cases. Almost every school overlooked my 2.5 undergraduate GPA because of my Masters and work experience. It doesn't necessarily even matter where you get your masters as long as you perform well and aren't applying to Harvard. 6. TAILOR your SOP to each school even if that means slightly changing your interests and goals to a more attractive angle for the school. This alone got me into the best program I was accepted to. You can even go as far as proposing a prospective project with a specific professor. Hope this helps people for next cycle. There's a lot more I could say but then I'd need a TL;DR
  5. It sounds like the only reason you want to go to Chicago is because of the city itself, which should not be the most important consideration when choosing a school. It seems like Georgia state has research that aligns with your interests (you didn't mention research interests when talking about the other 2 schools), AND it is the cheapest (seems like a double win to me). GW is in an extraordinarily expensive area in DC, so if you don't have good funding, you will be broke. I think you may also want to consider how much you like the environment of the program itself (i.e. are the professors psychos? Are the students cutthroat-competitive?) If you look at UChicago and LOVE the environment (professors, students) and it is a perfect match research-wise, then definitely go there. Otherwise you will be financially struggling for nothing and regret it. The other thing is that getting a masters at a given school does not guarantee phD admission to the same school, so that should not be a reason for consideration. All that being said, you say you want to go into academia, which means that pedigree matters.
  6. crackademik

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I had an interview at a school over a month ago and heard nothing. Note the person who interviewed me said I would hear within a week what the decision would be. I emailed them two weeks ago asking what was going on, and they told me they didn’t know and to just wait. This morning I called the department asking what was going on. A very nice secretary (she actually remembered me) told me that she would talk to the director and get them to send me an email today with my decision. She made it seem that this person would be sending me a casual update shortly. I still have not hear anything and I’m about to scream. How can a program be so unprofessional?
  7. crackademik

    What is the average salary of a phd student

    20-30k pre-tax. As others have mentioned it does depend on what field you’re in and what area you’re in.
  8. crackademik

    low undergrad GPA worth applying?

    If I can get in with a 2.5 undergrad GPA then anyone can do it 😂 you’ll be fine especially since you have field experience
  9. crackademik

    Does prestige really matter?

    Short answer is no. Ph.D program curricula are largely independent of the school itself. For example, Purdue University is not particularly competitive with undergraduate admissions, but ranks #1 in the country for analytical chemistry (above all ivys). That being said, the "rankings" you see on U.S. news etc. are literally surveys they send out to departments where they ask people to subjectively rate a given program (one they may not even know) in different areas on a numeric scale. I would personally do your own research for each program to find out things that actually matter like program funding/resources, outcomes of graduates, and professor/student accomplishments. There is no real way to quantitatively rate the "prestige" of a phD program so it's bogus. So if your gut is saying NC state, then go there! I really think the only reason to get your phD at an ivy level would be if you want to be a professor at another ivy. side note: the "ivy" league is actually just a name for the sports league that all the ivy league schools are in, like ACC or Big 10.
  10. crackademik

    Overlapping Admitted Student Days

    Yes please also consider this! Usually there is 1 day that actually matters where you have interviews/meetings with different POIs. Try to plan it so that you are there at least on whatever day that is so you get the most out of the visit.
  11. crackademik

    Taking back an acceptance

    I agree with Bird Vision in that you probably burned this bridge already, but you could always say in your email that after further consideration you realized you can't financially pursue their program because of some turn of events (don't need to be specific). I am confident that everyone in academia understands that if you don't have the money, well that's just how life is sometimes. Sorry that this happened. As someone who is also incredibly impatient, I understand as I almost accepted my first offer thinking that I would not get another one, but luckily my mentor implored me to wait.
  12. crackademik

    Quitting job before Grad School

    If you don't want to waste your time training in a job that is not going to help you develop skills for your future, then I would just put in your two weeks now (if you are financially secure). That way, you can spend your time doing something fun and productive (travel, learn a new language or skill, volunteer somewhere in your field) since you're about to be working yourself to death for the next 4+ years. If you need the money, then stay and act like you're not leaving until you put in your two weeks in June. I have been faced with this exact dilemma. I will be putting in my two weeks in late June.
  13. crackademik

    Overlapping Admitted Student Days

    Definitely do the split. I'm doing that next weekend actually. As long as you're polite and don't send an email that says "I'm not going to be here for X day because I'm at school Y's visiting weekend". Just tell them you have a prior commitment and leave it at that. I was also worried it would look bad, but no one seemed to care.
  14. crackademik

    Keep A Word Drop A Word

    Flower power
  15. crackademik

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I feel like a terrible person. My anxiety is at an all time high despite having gotten 3 funded offers from good schools. I don't know anyone else (in person) who is going through this process so they all think I'm a moron for being worried while having offers. I still have yet to hear back from 4 schools so I don't want to go ahead and accept an offer without knowing all of my options, but I know it's not polite to wait until late March to make the decision. I also don't want to accept an offer and then back out, which would be even worse. I still have not heard from my current top choice. My anxiety is so bad that it's affecting me at work and in school. I just want to be done and accept an offer so I can relax until the program starts. Also I agree with @TopofthemuffinTOYOU in that I'm definitely going to go on an application burning rampage if I get rejected from schools in April. It would be one thing if I was on a waitlist, but as far as I know, I'm not on a single one.

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