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Everything posted by MCC778

  1. Also, I forgot to mention, I also reviewed current PhD students CVs at my prospective schools to see how far along they've progressed as far as publications, grant authorship, conferences, etc. to give me an idea of whether the research productivity is that of faculty or open to collaborations with students. It gave me a slight, and ancedotal, window into what I could expect during my progression in the program. It made a huge impact in my decision.
  2. No problem--glad it's helpful! Yes, you can reach out to Associate Deans or professors--it doesn't necessarily mean they'll always be responsive but that also can give you an idea of the kind of responsiveness you may receive once you're a student. That was an important factor for me. I had reached out to a psych professor at one of my original choices and didn't hear back for 3 months with a response, so I still got a response but it did take much longer. I also used any connections I had to broker a connection prior to reaching out, which may have helped in some of my cases. For example, I knew people who had previously been in the program that sent an email introduction to me and the Associate Dean at one of the schools, which might have impacted the responsiveness so if you have any way of using connections such as that it could help. I wouldn't put off reaching out to current students in the program too, they can both give you insight into the kind of program it is and connect you with faculty or Deans. If I were you, I would start reaching out now or right as the semester/quarter ends--it's a good time to start that piece of the courting (it really does feel like courting) because some people will be less busy and because it allows for follow-up that doesn't occur too close to the admission deadline. Seems like a tricky question, I don't think any of mine required such a pointed question regarding what might prevent me from suceeding in a doctoral program. I always towards the beginning that I was confident in my abilities to succeed in a doctoral program at this time in my career, or something of the sort. I was fortunate to have colleagues who shared their personal statements with me as well as many who gave me an immense amount of feedback in mine. I have tried to return the favor and have helped several friends with their personal statements, CVs, and other parts of their application. Feel free to DM me and I don't mind sharing mine as an example, I know having seen others' examples really helped me make sense of what the expectations were (and, unfortantely, it is SO hard to find examples online, especially for social work phd programs! I spent way too much time looking haha). I'm glad the GADE guide was helpful, although the specializations they list tend to just be the same so it's a little harder to know which programs to focus your efforts on. As far as "top" programs in the field, most people use the US News Ranking but I take it with a grain of salt (mostly). I've seen the efforts universities take to get themselves where they are on the list and it's part prestigue and large-part fundraising efforts, it's also based on MSW programs not PhDs. And, I add in the "(mostly)" above because regardless of how one gets the ranking they do on the US News list, the top still hold a lot of prestigue in the field (e.g., UM, WashU, Berkeley, U.Chicago, Chapel Hill, Columbia, U.Austin, etc.). For many, this is really important and it can impact your future job perspectives but several of these schools also have a heavy research faculty where it can be more difficult (but not impossible!) to find holistic, immersive mentorship and responsiveness that will help you to complete your dissertation in a timely manner. I've actually found this to be the most helpful guide for me as far as 'top' programs because their methodology also factors in financial assistance (https://www.bestmswprograms.com/best-social-work-phd/). In looking for the top, and most competitive, programs you also want to narrow that to what you want to research. These guides will only give you programs in general, which aren't as helpful. My research focus is in restorative justice and while many programs might touch on it, there are few RJ research faculty experts so I limited my list to top programs that either a) had those experts, b) had faculty in other collaborative departments doing that work, or c) had plenty of funding coming in from places where RJ work had place (e.g., DOJ, VAWA, NIJ, etc.). Your research focus should help you narrow schools and from there you should weigh other things that are important to you about the program whether it be ranking, teaching-focus, responsiveness, financial aid, resources for doctoral students (such as travel grants and conference grants). Do you have an idea of what your research focus will be? (This will be a piece that you will want to narrow enough to be clear and concise on your SOP, but don't worry too much about it being a binding contract, they know that students very often change as they start their doctoral studies). Also, in my opinion and if debt is a concern, I wouldn't accrue more to get an MSW if you already have a master's degree. If you want to teach, there are still plenty of classes that aren't foundation courses that can be taught and social work is pretty versatile, depending on your research focuses and what they may lend to other fields. I know plenty of non-social work professors who are on faculty where I work and have seen SW professors on faculty in other departments such as psychology, sociology, etc. And, unlike other social sciences, the job market for social work faculty is very good. There's an influx of students pursuing MSWs to do direct practice or other masters-level macro work that do not intend to get their PhDs, so the need for SW PhDs to teach that influx makes for a healthy job market that is not shared with other disciplines where the job market is actually very poor (most social sciences and humanities).
  3. Hey! It's exciting to hear you're planning on applying to social work phd programs! From reading the last few posts, it seems like you're well poised for applying to phd programs--I'll try to provide some answers to your questions as best I can! Are there resources that you all used to narrow down which programs you were interested in applying to? I work at a research institute at a large university and often worked collaboratively with researchers across the nation and knew a little bit about what schools were doing the kind of work I was interested in. Additionally, I knew that I wanted to be part of a program that was focused more on collaboration than competition (I work in that now and it's wholly unproductive) so I reached out to the Associate Dean's for Doctoral Education of all the schools I was interested in and set up a phone call. I went in prepared with questiosn that were important to me and the answers I received helped me narrow down which programs I was interested in. Additionally, being fully-funded was a necessity for me so that helped as well. Do you apply to work with a specific faculty mentor, or does the program assign you a mentor as they see fit? Different programs assign mentorship in different ways. For example, the three programs I got accepted to all went about it in a different way. One of them sent me who my mentor would be with my acceptance letter (they had very little in common as far as research interests) and noted that this person would be who I worked with per my GRA assignment but also talked about how I would need to find an advisor as well; another one (the one I ended up going to) didn't identify my mentor til a while later and the Associate Dean of Doctoral Education chooses the mentor for the students based on the students research interests and faculty capacity/funding--this particular school also encourages multiple mentors and changing them over time so that you get a better feel for working with more of the faculty and learning different things; and the last one I never received any information about who my mentor might have been before I declined the offer. However, I did reach out to individual faculty whose research I was interested in prior to applying to guage their capacity for mentorship and available funding in their projects. About how many students apply to these programs each year versus how many are accepted? There is very little information available to answer this question. Some schools provide this on their website (UT Austin's Steve Hicks School of Social Work does) but most do not. I do know that schools vary on how many they accept--the GADE guide sheds some light on average yearly enrollment: http://www.gadephd.org/Portals/0/GADEdocuments/General/GADE Guide FINAL.pdf?ver=2016-12-26-154557-940 but it does not provide much on how many people originally apply each year. I do not have experience as a practitioner, but have a strong research background (~5 years of research experience in psychology, grant applications, publications, presentations). Will this be a problem for admission to a PhD program in Social Work/Social Welfare? No. It helps to have a strong research background. Most places require (or encourage) 2 years post MSW experence, but that experience is not lijmited to direct practice. I worked in research prior to applying (I do have direct practice experience, but it wasn't my most recent work experience). I do not think that it hurts you or is a problem. I do think your strong reserach background is a strength for your application though. What do you think made your application stand out? Statement of Purpose. Honestly, this is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, piece of your application that will have a lasting impact. I spent a lot of time on my SOP and I had EVERYONE who would look at it review--from my own graduate assistants who were interested to faculty and staff that I worked with on campus and consultants I had befriended on past reserach projects at other universities. I think you will also want really strong LORs. From what I gather, the GRE isn't really that big of deal and most places want to do away with it anyways. However, VERY few schools (e.g., University of Kentucky) require minimum scores and some of the more competitive programs may weigh it a little heavier if they have too many applicants who are very strong. But in all honesty, it doesn't matter how good your application is if they do not see a good research fit for you in their program. You need to apply to programs where you will be a good fit research-wise and they have faculty to accommodate your research interests. What is the benefit of a joint MSW/PhD program versus a PhD-only program? It depends on your plans post-graduation. Do you want to teach in social work? If so, the benefit of a joint MSW/PhD might be worth it. While most programs just require that you have a social science degree for phd acceptance, you can not teach CSWE social work classes (which are a lot, especially in MSW programs) as a professor if you do not have an MSW. You would, instead, be able to teach any of the other elective-type and research classes. So it might not be a big deal if you don't mind not teaching foundational classes in social work and I'm unsure of how it impacts competitiveness in the tenure-track job market in social work programs. Hope some of that helps and good luck!!
  4. Sarah McMahon does a lot of great work on campus sexual assault and bystander intervention, especially in designing evaluative studies but I don't know how relevant it is to your interest in the intersection of online feminist movements. I would definitely branch out of social work and look into sociology and information scientists. There are a lot of great scholars in those fields whose work is grounded in feminism and also explores sexual violence. I wouldn't rule out computer science either, as more scholars are embracing humanism in digital discourse. English and/or Professional and Technical Communication fields would also be a place to explore. I completed part of a masters in Professional and Technical Communication (before I decided I wanted to go back for my PhD in Social Work) and it was very much entwined with internet movements, communication means, and social injustices ('twas my focus; but also was not out of the ordinary). Here's an interesting article from OpenGlobalRights about online feminist movements/digital (in)security along with its impact(s) on sexual violence (https://www.openglobalrights.org/embedding-digital-security-in-feminist-movement-building/). The author, Jennifer Radloff, does work with online feminist social change/movements. It's a good article to get an idea of the many intersecting fields of which you could pull from to learn more about scholars doing the kind of work you're planning to do.
  5. I'm hoping to work with Shannon Sliva, who does restorative justice work in the criminal justice system and legislature in Colorado. I LOVED visiting Denver, everyone seemed really invested in their students (I've been working in academia for almost 6 years, so I definitely know that's not always the case at an R1 or R2). They had the best funding. I was able to tell them what UMB and MSU gave me and they gave me additional funding to surpass my other offers. Overall, I'm looking about abut $2500-$2800/mo living expenses (they're currently taking the ask up a notch to the graduate department to ask for even more funding) on top of tuition remission, health care, travel/professional development stipends, and the ability to still work for pay with collaborative departments. They have been incredibly supportive in negotiating, even encouraging, which definitely helped me make my decision. That's great! My colleague works a lot with Moylan, and I know I've cited her work several times. I wasn't too pleased with the faculty supervisor MSU offered me (he is set to graduate from UC in June, so will be very new. I'm sure I could have asked about it but DU has just been much more responsive and supportive through the whole process. Too often people assume RJ interests are affiliated with solely juvenile justice, which mine aren't but that's the field he's in; so that didn't really draw me to the school any more than the extreme cold 😛 ). Wow, you've been able to visit all campuses! That's awesome. I've literally only visited Denver (I know, bias) and was thinking about the MSU open-house but decided against since I accepted Denver Friday and don't want to waste anyone else's resources flying me out. I've heard great things about Rutgers though too--Sarah McMahon is GREAT. She does a lot of work with bystander intervention and sexual violence and is super kind and chill to talk to. I've consulted in her for a few projects from my work and she's always been a pleasure to talk to. Either way, you have some really great options--you can't really go wrong! (As long as they're offering enough funding!)
  6. I was admitted to MSU, UMB, and Denver but I did not apply to Rutgers, so I'm not sure if you're talking about me? I accepted my offer to Denver on Friday though, and am emailing the other schools today to let them know. I work in the area of gender-based violence too, although my research is more focused on restorative justice/practices in violence-based work environments and restorative communities for offenders post-incarceration. WashU is really impressive--congrats! I'm sure you know, but MSU has Researcher Consortium on Gender-based Violence; I work with someone now at UT who previously directed the consortium. I've heard mixed feelings about the program and rigour (I went through and read all of the PhD students/candidates CVs for all schools and MSU student's had the least robust CVs with few, if any, publications and lots of "writing literature reviews" as their GRA assignments. UMB was better, and DU had some really impressive opportunities to publish a lot, be involved, and really get to lead efforts--and I'm sure would be the case with WashU too). You seem to have a lot of options, that's fantastic. You really did kill it this season! It took me months just to put together three applications while working, can't imagine putting together 7 and doing so well! Very impressive. Also, I do know that DU had 6 spots and I am only sure of 2 that have officially accepted their offer (including myself), so good luck and I hope you get into the one you want!
  7. I'm sorry! 😕 Maybe next year? Some of the most brilliant people I know--who also helped review my applications--said it took them a couple of tries but they were able to gain research experience in the meantime and be outstanding applicants their second go round!
  8. It might be helpful to also think backwards in this situation as well since you have a strong preference for a specific city. First, many places do not want to hire their own PhD graduates; it is not very common to do so these days (especially at top tier universities) and if they do, you run a very real risk of "always being the student"--it can be hard for your mentors to just automatically start thinking of you as a colleague vs. student immediately and can strain your professional relationship. Second, unless you applied to an MS/PhD I also wouldn't feel tied to trying to attend the same university for both. If you want to be a professor, these days it actually looks good to see that you've spread your education across multiple institutions. Honestly, for your master's I would try to go to either a) the least expensive option or b) the one where people will actually let you publish with them (this is often mistaken for 'top name' places but don't bet on it---reach out to students or if you look at their PhD candidate profiles and there's not a ton of publications they've worked on since being there be wary of the ease of opportunity). If you're super self-motivated and good at seeking out opportunities, sometimes smaller, less known schools can be the best bang for your buck because you'll stand out significantly, and you will have a lot less competition for limited resources/opportunities ("the extras") that you will need for a really good PhD application. There's a lot to factor in, but where you go to school for your MS will not dictate where you get into for your PhD as much as where you go for your PhD will dictate the job opportunities in academia. Hope that helps a little!
  9. I'm sure name prestige wouldn't hurt, but I went to a basically non ranked teaching school for my MSW and got multiple job offers in less than two months post-graduation/moving to new state. It especially isn't nearly as important (compared to many other fields) if she wants to do clinical work as I assume she does since you mentioned she wanted to get her LCSW. More important than prestige is internship placement and level of experience. The bigger challenge to consider, depending on what she wants to do and how she plans to obtain her license, is being very cognizant of the different licensing requirements by state. Especially those you may be applying to med schools in the future. Some states require more than others and while most will work with you to transfer or let you know specific additional things you need to do (keep lots of documentation!) others require additional licenses for specializations (i.e., when I was in NC I could be a school guidance counselor and only needed some additional specific courses, but in TX I would have to go to a local community college to get an additional teaching certificate to do similar work). It's all do-able, but it does impact the time it takes to obtain a job so it's best to be prepared for those potential differences.
  10. If you've already received an offer, it does not hurt to contact the graduate admissions coordinator to check on your application status. Just make sure to let them know you have received offers and you want to check so that you're able to get back to each program in a reasonable time. I did this and had a very different experience from what Reza2019 mentioned. It will also depend on how the admissions committees are set up (some schools have one committee that reviews everything and some have hierarchical groups, which does allow for a little more flexibility). The program I reached out to was able to give push mine through quicker and give me an update within two days, even though they hadn't reached out to others though. They were able to give me my official acceptance status, but the details of my full offer won't come out until a little later. So, it definitely can't hurt. The worse that can happen is either a) you don't get a response or b) they have no news for you.
  11. You can always negotiate as well if you've received multiple offers. I applied to Social Work PhD programs and, upon negotiating, all of my stipend offers are now between a minimum of 21k and upwards of 28k. I know those numbers fall within the average range you mentioned, but it is not necessarily the average range for social work (which tends to get less funding than STEM). So, I would definitely use your multiple offers to negotiate if your top choice is offering a little less than a choice that isn't your #1 and you may find out about fellowships that they don't publicize but usually tend to distribute based upon applications (unless someone reaches out negotiating--they are sometimes able to use it for recruitment purposes then). Every dollar counts!
  12. If you have received offers from other universities, it is completely acceptable to reach out and check the status of your application. I had to do something similar for one of the programs I applied to; I emailed to let them know that I have received offers from other programs and that I would like to check the status of my application so that I am able to get back to each program at a reasonable time. I got a response pretty quickly that they were still reviewing and it was going to take a while but that they would make sure to get back to me ASAP so that I have time to consider all of my options. They sent me my status 2 days later. So, I think the worse they can tell you is that is going to take a while, but I think it makes a big difference when you ask with a purpose (you've received offers and need to decide) vs. pure curiosity.
  13. I got mine early because I told them I had multiple offers; they told me they still had a bit to go through so no fret, you may hear good news! Also, I will probably decline UMB (I promise not to wait too long, just waiting on counter offers for more funding from another school) so hopefully that opens an additional spot too.
  14. Hey! I'm am currently in negotiations with PhD programs for funding and here's what I've learned so far (hopefully to hear more following calls I have scheduled next week): 1) As long as you ask kindly, and truthfully, it cant hurt to try. The worst they can say is no. 2) That being said, it is MOST helpful and in your best interest for success, to already have multiple offers. This way you can let them know that you've received better offers and if they have opportunities for additional funding (such as fellowships they can off on top of GRA or TA stipends) it would help you in your decision-making. I like to also let them know that I am grateful for the offer either way. Self-advocacy with kindness and gratitude can go a long way! 3) The more details you can give them the more helpful. For example if they offered you 15,000 and another school offered you 20,000, let them know. Most programs want to be competitive and if they hear--especially from several of their candidates--that people want to attend their school but their funding isn't on par with others then they will relay this information to Dean's and departmental funding to advocate for more funding for students. 3) Make sure you're reaching out to the right people, if you're not sure contact financial aid, departmental funding, or program coordinators so that you don't send emails about funding to people, especially faculty, who may have no say in the matter. 4) Some schools just can not offer additional funds, especially those that may provide all students with similar packages. It doesn't hurt to ask if they can provide additional guidance about where else, or who else, you may be able to contact about other opportunities. Hope that helps some and good luck!
  15. I always send a follow-up thank you email after an interview. Usually something along the lines of: "Dear X, I appreciated the opportunity I had to interview with you last week. I thoroughly enjoyed discussing the emphasis on the collaborative learning and teaching environment [program name] has cultivated, as well as the program's commitment to social justice informed research. Thank you again for your time and consideration. I look forward to the next step in the application process. Best," Short, sweet, and to the point. Anecdotally, I've always received a warm response back.
  16. Got a new update today! I emailed their phd admissions to ask about my status so that I'd be able to get back to all institutions at a reasonable time. I was told that they were still reviewing applications and that they would try to get back to me about mine ASAP so that I could evaluate my options, which they indicated was Thursday 3/7 at the latest. So it seems like maybe they will be sending them out either the very end of next week or the following week or two. Hope that helps!
  17. I would only reach out if you've received offers from other universities and let them know you've received offers and you would like to inquire about your application so as to get back to each institution at a reasonable time. I've always heard mixed reviews (and it's really going to depend on the size of their applicant pool); many programs receive too many inquiries so unless there's a necessity to know prior to when they usually let you know (i.e., needing to get back to institutions that have already sent offers so other people on waitlists don't have to wait as long) then it's best to wait. If it's a program that traditionally gets a smaller amount of applicants, then following up might not be a bad idea. I would also reach out to graduate admissions/program coordinator before the sponsoring professor or director (unless they indicate otherwise) since professors and directors are typically much busier and there's the possibility of the email getting lost or not being responded to for an extended period of time. I also wouldn't be too upset about 5 days, especially if it's a really well-known professor, it doesn't necessarily mean they're ignoring it but it might be lower on their list of emails to get back to (fyi, it's nearing the end of grant season so many research professors are super busy right now!). I hope you have luck in hearing back soon (and in acceptance)! The waiting process can be super awful.
  18. I haven't heard anything yet; the program coordinator told me earlier in the year that I should hear back by the end of February. Hope so--last one I'm waiting to hear from!
  19. Got a call from Michigan State today that I've been accepted for admission! Great way to start a weekend!
  20. Hey! I applied to DU and UMB too! Have you heard anything back from either yet?
  21. so very slow. And the results page is pretty dead today, so I can't even creep while religiously refreshing the page.
  22. Possibly (hope so!). I haven't received anything yet, nor does my portal show any changes. Although, I don't know if it makes much sense to admit people as they complete applications, especially if they only have a certain number of spots (they tend to have more available spots than many other schools). Fingers crossed we both hear some good news soon--I know I could use it!
  23. @MSW_MK I read some of the threads from previous years that, anecdotally, indicate that UNC takes a long time to get back. I think many were around the end of March/April. But it's all anecdotes from just a few people! So hopefully you will hear back sooner! I know they get a lot of applicants.
  24. I applied to UMB as well--thanks for that update! I know a few people who graduated from their program and loved it (one of them works at UT Austin with me), so I hope you get in! I got great vibes from talking with the associate dean for doctoral education and the program coordinator there.
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