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ejuliast's Achievements

Espresso Shot

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  1. I'll be attending UCLA in the fall Deciding factors: the faculty and students have been amazing, and the feedback I got from former students was nothing but positive.
  2. Honestly, I don't have any input on these programs, but I wanted to give kudos for the title of this thread. It made me LOL.
  3. Just my two cents on the cost of living specifically: I've been looking at both of these schools as well and I've found the area around Stanford to be more expensive than LA. Also tougher to find housing. In my case, my decision isn't financially biased beyond the cost of living, as the funding packages are similar, but I did notice that rents are HIGH in Palo Alto. The only other thing I would add is that you need to live fairly close to UCLA (= expensive) given the traffic, whereas you can live a bit further out from Stanford and not be totally screwed. In your case, I'd probably go with UCLA - an extra year is not just an extra year of tuition but also an extra year without earnings.
  4. For me, the health insurance deal: what's included, and can spouses/dependents be on the plan as well, and if so what's the cost of that. Also, access to a decently-sized airport - although that might just go under location.
  5. They've had excellent placements recently. I'm strongly considering going.
  6. As a mom of one (and if we have another, it'll be while I'm in grad school), I've been asking about health care, child care, and names of other students who have kids. (I've also been specifically mentioning that I have a child when visiting to see if that news goes over smoothly or not. So far no issues...) The last option is really the best in figuring out how faculty deal with pregnancy, maternity leave, breastfeeding support, and the like. You can check what the university's official policy is, though: some offer six weeks leave, some require that you withdraw for the semester, some have specific rules in place to make sure that you don't lose your funding if you put your studies on pause for a semester, etc. Some just work something out within the department, and though this is less than ideal (because nothing is in writing until you get to the point of needing to strike a deal), then you'll want to make sure that your advisers are on the same page as you are regarding leave time and such. The best advice I received when starting my visits was from a friend of mine who said, "You're already in. So now ask whatever you need to ask." I was afraid to start down this path, and then I realized that it was not only within my rights but also essential that I figure out these details.
  7. I'm waiting until I've visited all of them (yup, all of them). Then I'm going to make an overall decision.
  8. I agree with this - I would wait until the funding offer is in writing before signing on the dotted line. Congrats!!
  9. Can you ask current students? I've definitely had a wide range of recruiting efforts from the schools to which I was admitted. For the ones who were really going the proverbial extra mile for me, I tracked down some former and current students. (That sounds stalker-ish, but they were actually contacts I got through my letter writers, friends, or alums from my undergrad university.) I asked them if this was just a dog-and-pony show or if the advisers were also this involved throughout the year, once you signed on the dotted line, basically. To my surprise, the cool reception I got at school X corresponded to a supposedly not terribly supportive environment for students; the much warmer reception at other schools did speak to a much higher level of support for students, according to the feedback I received. Most important to me has been knowing my name and interests, clearly having gone through my file before talking with me, and being ready to address my questions, not just give the party line. For me personally, this speaks to a level of future involvement. I should mention that the programs to which I've been admitted are on the whole relatively small, so this may not be the case for either larger cohorts or Master's programs, which are also often larger.
  10. Also agreed. Don't go there just for the name, regardless of what your family says. My family is also giving me the "but Stanford sounds better than some of your other choices" speech, and it just doesn't matter when my goal is academia. You have to find the best fit research-wise and people-wise in order to produce high quality work and get ready for the job market.
  11. Thanks! That's good to know - sounds like policy programs are just a bit more dressed up than sociology programs. I'm just going for the day, so maybe I'll put on some nice pants (agreed on the skirt - I'm not wearing heels all day!) or just dark jeans and a nice top.
  12. I just went to visit and meet the people over there last week. I'll be making my decision before April 15th because I'll be traveling starting on the 12th, but that's about the most conclusive thing I can tell you right now...
  13. Re-reviving the thread to add a question on here: Has anyone attended a visit weekend for a public policy Ph.D. program yet? I'm heading to Duke next week and I'm wondering what to expect... Dress code? Activities? I've visited two schools for Soc programs but this is the first policy program I'm checking out.
  14. Can you link the articles? I'm curious what advice they give... I'm finding the decision-making difficult too!
  15. About two weeks ago, I think...if I'm remembering correctly. Yup, that email included the funding info. Their package is pretty comparable to others, as far as I know (tuition, fees, health insurance, RA-ship, all for 5 years).
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