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space-cat last won the day on February 3 2011

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  1. Have you considered joint PhD/JD programs? They're fairly common--there might even be one at your current school--and that way you could transfer some credits rather than "losing" your whole first year of law school. It does sound like a JD would still be very useful for your academic career, and I would think the story you told us would be very appealing to the admissions committee for a joint program. Regardless, good luck with the rest of the year!! You're certainly not the first person to decide that straight law school isn't for them; try not to get too down on yourself
  2. I'm not familiar with Madison's department, but I will say that so far my experience with Irvine (I'm admitted also) has been great. Very warm and friendly faculty, enthusiastic grad students, supportive atmosphere, etc. I'm big on all that fuzzy quality of life stuff, so it means a lot to me to see that people are actually, you know, happy to be there Are you going to their visit weekend?
  3. Painfully true. I was just offered an extra fellowship from the most prestigious school on my list. I spent a good 15 minutes re-reading my application, terrified I had made myself sound much more experienced or accomplished than I actually am, and thinking I would have to apologize for misleading them! Point being, you're not alone. I know what you mean about worrying over competition vs. collaboration, but I think this is probably a case where having realistic expectations and a few allies can make all the difference. Let the Golden Boys and Girls at the top of the class fight it out wit
  4. In a word: no From my personal experience (I worked in an undergrad admissions office), I can think of maybe one time in three years when an applicant annoyed a coordinator enough that the coordinator felt the need to tell the admissions committee about them. Obviously grad school admission is a different ballgame, but I really doubt you did any actual damage. They all know we're stressed out about everything. It's really more that all those calls and emails come at a time of year when the coordinators are already very busy. Responding to crazy applicants is probably not their first priori
  5. Having worked in an admission office myself, I mostly agree with the OP. However, I think it is totally ok to contact the school under one of the following conditions: 1. There is an important school deadline coming up within a week, and you won't know whether this deadline applies to you until they send your decision. For example, one of my schools requested a FAFSA from incoming students by March 1. On February 28, when I still hadn't heard anything, I sent a polite email to the coordinator and asked them to confirm that "all admitted students have already been contacted." No harm don
  6. Your writers will probably want to see a copy of your CV and statement of purpose/personal statement essay before they write the letter, so keep in mind you'll also need a draft of those well in advance of the actual application deadlines! Like Amalia, I also drew up a quick "cheat sheet" for them. I listed all of the schools in order by deadline (put the deadline in bold!), with the full name of each specific program (i.e. "PhD in Cute Animal Studies, with Certificate in Baby Tigers") and maybe a quick note on unique resources or famous faculty members they might know. All of my schools re
  7. You sound like you're in a great position to reapply and kick ass, don't sell yourself short! A friend of mine has a great theory on this: you know how, when you're making pancakes, you inevitably screw up the first one and have to feed it to the dog, but then the rest turn out perfectly? We're not bad cooks (grad students), we just needed a "first pancake" application season to get things right
  8. My two cents on the whole "top tier" school debate: for my field in the social sciences, half of the first tier schools are public, and I would actually consider at least two of the Ivies to be second tier rather than first, depending on where you draw that arbitrary line. Plus, as others have pointed out elsewhere, it's often better career-wise to be a rock star student at a second tier department than a mediocre student at a first tier one... Anyway, moving on. I'm a second timer, and I've had a pretty successful run this year (if I do say so myself!). My advice is this: remember that the
  9. At least it's not undergrad - "hey gramps, can you buy us beer?" In all seriousness, I've heard of a fair number of grad students buying a house instead of renting, especially in cities with a reasonable housing market. More money up front, but then you can sell and potentially break even when you leave!
  10. Also, pay attention to the type of housing students use to quote prices: if everyone with cheap rent is actually sharing a house with seven other grad students or commuting in from an hour away, is that better or worse (for you, personally) than taking on side gigs to afford better or closer housing?
  11. If the length isn't specified, then I wouldn't send a sample longer than 25 pages (which is the most generous page limit I remember seeing). Alternatively, some schools recommend that you indicate which sections of a longer writing sample should be given the most attentive consideration, so annotating or marking up your sample in that way might be a good idea if you're worried they won't make it through the whole thing!
  12. Yes, but even then you can only assume that you're not a first flight acceptance. In addition to the "unofficial waitlist," some schools will also offer "consolation" admission to their MA program for students who didn't quite make the cut for the PhD. From what I've seen, this notification generally comes a few weeks after acceptances and waitlists (if they have an official waitlist) have gone out. If that's an offer you'd be interested in, then you definitely don't want to assume rejection right away.
  13. Oy, my poor husband. I'm a talker, so he's gotten very skilled at listening to me ramble ad nauseam while feigning something resembling actual interest Back when I started looking at schools, he got one "veto" to eliminate a city/state of his choosing from my list (he chose NYC). He's in the early stages of his location-independent career, so he could also afford to make that veto based on personal preference rather than job availability. Now that I have offers to compare, I've just tried to encourage him to give as much input as he can. I would hate to have him sacrifice in silence for my
  14. Just rejected. Finally! As I said on the other thread, I don't think Stanford is the right place for me anyway Good luck, folks!! I have my fingers crossed for you!
  15. When I compared asking about funding to asking about someone's salary, I was actually thinking of fellow admitted students asking the OP what the department had offered him. As in, "here's what I got, did you get more or less?" Which does seem a little gauche. Looks like I misunderstood the OP's question, though. I completely support honest financial discussions with current students!
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