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  1. Consider: How are things in your other classes? How many classes do you have to take? (For credit? To audit? Because your advisor says so?) How is your research going? If this one course is the major concern you can't stand, then I'd say you can swallow the frog so to speak. I don't know how things work at your school or what they're like, but is it possible that this course is a PITA that ends up in an OK result? I don't mean to minimize your concerns whatsoever. If I were you, I would feel the same way.
  2. Felt like updating this thread. The past couple of months have definitely solidified my point of view. And I'm tired of it. The (full) professor I've been working with has been awful. They are never present, barely helpful, and constantly lead me astray. I am currently finishing up one possible solution I found to something I am working on, and if this doesn't work out, both of us have given up anyway so whatever. I also grew fed up with others in the department. If things work out (lol), I just have to wait a bit longer for the go-ahead from the department and I will start working more with people outside of my department and institution very soon. Three "good" reference letters seems daunting, but I think I can do it if this works out. Otherwise, I still have some other plans in mind for jobs and other opportunities if applying for a PhD now doesn't work out. Long ago, I already started looking at PhD opportunities and unless something new pops up, I feel as though I have solidified my list. I will also have more time to build a relationship with more people and apply outside of fall admission, so I don't act too desperate after only two months or something like that, but if others feel entitled to do it/have done it/can do it, why can't I?
  3. As already stated, confirm this with the schools you are applying to if needed. From what I know, this is usually done at the application stage. Double-check who needs to legalize the documents (ie: do they approve of a notary public? Someone like a city councillor?), you might even be able to get copies from your undergrad institution. If not, a lot of places often offer deals if you're doing something for school, including places such as a consulate or embassy.
  4. Thank you for your response. I'm honestly not sure what I can do with improving our relationship. I do not work with one advisor at the moment as this one section of my project is finished, they are "busy" with other things, and combined with everything else in my post, I'm sure you get the idea. Similarly, I'm not sure about the associate professors either, as I'm often redirected with "ask [advisor] about this, wait for [advisor] to get back" and the like. For similar reasons, I was never really close with my undergrad supervisor (ie: they were never around, and I will admit some fault from my end as well), but at least they helped me out somewhat and weren't an a-hole. So to be quite honest, I don't think that talking to people from undergrad is a good idea. I've never been a fan of the mentality of sticking my head up someone's rear end as far as it will go and expecting handouts for essentially nothing. I've been trying for a better experience in grad school, but it's just not working out, and I feel like this is important. They say that if you smell [something] everywhere you go, check under your feet. However, anything "offensive" I've done would be asking my advisor for help with understanding something. Followed by a response that was essentially "lol nope, try again". I used to be very frustrated, but now I think "well, it's their time and money they're wasting too" more often.
  5. I'm a current master's student hoping to apply to PhD programs starting later this year. A few of the programs I've been looking at don't have strict deadlines which is great. However, for other programs, it feels like I don't have much time left. What worries me the most is experience and LORs. Aside from my undergrad, I have one internship and two years of work experience (worked after finishing undergrad, and 1 of those years is more relevant than the other. It is what it is and I needed the money). I'm hoping that I will be a co-author on a paper (work in progress) soon. Sometimes I feel like thinking everyone will have a lot of experience is unrealistic. While we may try, things don't work out all the time for everyone. Someone has to win, someone has to lose, and making stuff up about a conference you attended when all you really did was spend what felt like 5 minutes max. at your school's booth since nobody was stopping by anyway just shouldn't work on a PhD application. I am currently looking into workshops, internships , and similar opportunities for more experience. Unfortunately, I will likely be unable to do this internship during my studies, but who knows, maybe I'll end up taking a leave of absence for it (assuming it happens). And now comes my biggest worry so hopefully this post will stay in the subforum: LORs. I have a couple of professors from undergrad that helped me get into my master's, but I realize that for a PhD, it is best for my LORs to speak about graduate-level research experience. Unfortunately, my current advisors and I do not get along well. I am considering sucking it up and asking the one I worked with more closely for help (they should be happy if I land an opportunity to talk about research, right?). However, it feels like I am not close with either. I am in the lab when they are in their offices/ gone to who knows where all the time. As a result, it is as though PhD students, postdocs, and a couple of associate professors once in a blue moon are advising me more than my "advisors" are, and it always feel like I am talking to someone different each day. I am trying to talk more to one of these associate professors. This situation sucks, especially when I compare my situation to other master's students in the department, who have supervisors they adore. Next time when I ask about an advisor's style, I will assume it's the exact opposite of whatever someone tells me because I am sick and tired of this, and I'd really like an advisor who is there and doesn't act like they're too important to bother talking with me. One other thing I was considering was approaching this one other professor I met from a few courses about a problem I was experiencing in my research (assuming this actually does turn out to be an actual problem and not a mistake on my part) to maybe explore the issue further as this is something they specialize in (although there are a lot of time constraints...). While this is not what I want to do in the future (actually, none of what I've done so far is, yay expectations mismatching with reality), and funding can be an issue, it's better than nothing. Does anyone have any advice for improving PhD applications (in a short-ish period of time)? Who should I consider for a LOR in my situation? Would working for someone for only a couple of months work? Thanks in advance!
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