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About A_Murphy

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  1. UC Riverside and UC Irvine - No Decision?

    I had the same experience with the University of Cincinnati--I still haven't heard from them and it's 4/19. I was mildly insulted and decided to attend Penn State instead because they were so much more friendly and inviting (among other reasons, of course). Did they ever get back to you?

    Hello Chris! I'm from California as well. Obviously no one can tell you with 100% certainty about how much the GRE score will hurt you in that particular program at that particular school. My experience was the exact opposite: I applied for Ph.D programs instead of MA/MS, I applied to schools far away, and the highlight of my application was probably my GRE score. If I were you, I would definitely hedge my bet by applying to other schools. You should also prepare for the possiblity of having a semester off so you can take the GRE again in the worst case scenario. Since you know people in the program, you could also try to get more information on whether the 1000 score is a hard limit. You already heard this from someone but, since you posted on here, I'm assuming that you don't feel confident in that source. Another possibility: It's a bit unorthodox, but you could try to find out if they will accept an updated GRE score after the deadline. My experience was that some schools were extremely strict about deadlines, and some were much more flexible. You could study like crazy and take the test again ASAP and send them your new score. If they take it, great. If not, at least you have a better score you can give for the Fall if they don't take you.
  3. Penn State

    Great question! I struggled with it for a while. Eventually I decided to live in the on-campus graduate housing for at least the first year. I figure I will have plenty of time to find a place off-campus during that time if I don't want to stay there, but right now I wouldn't be able to visit the area to find a suitable place off-campus. If I have to move into an apartment sight-unseen, at least the on-campus housing shouldn't be a dump. It turns out that the graduate housing I was assigned is less than 3/4 mile from the building with all of the classes and offices for my program, so bonus.
  4. Penn State

    Had to laugh at that--same here.
  5. A new "online at once" record!

    Over the limit? It can't handle 4 digits... it's like Y2K all over again! NOOOOOO!
  6. Obviously I don't know because I'm new, but considering how long ago they started accepting students, I think you should just contact the program directly to get confirmation. Everyone I've spoken to has been extremely helpful there so far.
  7. Gifts for your Recommenders?

    That's actually a cool idea, but I'm not sure the "made fresh" quality would survive the 3000-mile journey they may have to take.
  8. Acceptances

    Okay, they told me a cohort of 5-6 for CLS, so that's roughly 33%-50% larger which sounds fine to me. I ask because, as someone interested in Criminal Justice/Criminology (a relatively new field), you have to keep your eyes peeled for programs where it's Sociology's or Psychology's adopted kid brother. Penn State sure seems to have it figured out though.
  9. Hey all, I've got a twofold question: 1) Is it appropriate to get a small gift for your recommenders? Mine were helpful and really went the extra mile. Obviously they've already submitted their letters quite a while ago, so there shouldn't be any bribery implications. 2) If so, what are good gift ideas? I'm talking about gifts under $20-$30 here, so no iPad 2s. I have a couple of male recommenders, so I thought about getting them glass beer mugs from the school I eventually choose. Any other ideas?
  10. Acceptances

    Nice. Do you guys know how many new Sociology students were accepted there? I think there are only 9 from my program. I'm curious how much bigger Sociology is.
  11. What's the story behind your avatar or username?

    Thought I'd go for some extra difficulty just for fun, but in retrospect I don't know what I was thinking when I challenged the refresh skills of gradcafe users.
  12. Acceptances

    Porternd, I'll be at the weekend as well, from the Crime, Law, and Society program. The programs are under the same department (they work out of the same building, etc.) but I'm not sure if we'll be at the same tours or dinners. It looks like we'll be there with davolicious too.
  13. What's the story behind your avatar or username?

    Mine's from the best cop in Detroit.
  14. No, I'm not an alum. According to this page: "When a final Graduate School decision has been made you will receive an email notice to inform you that your decision letter is available to view online. You can view the letter through the 'Check application status’ section of your Application Supplemental Form (ASF)." When I go there, it doesn't say anything beyond that my application is complete.
  15. Chances anyone?

    I memorized about 350 of Kaplan's 500 GRE flashcards and scored well on the verbal part, so that definitely helped. I just tried to do a few a day over the course of a few weeks, then about 2 days before the test I tried to cram in as many as I could get. Most of the 150 words I didn't know were ones I had never heard or seen in my entire life, so I had a difficult time establishing a context to memorize them. Instead I focused on knowing the other 350 words cold in the thought that I would get enough context from the words I knew if I ran into one I didn't. As for math I just got the Kaplan study guide and started going through all of the problems. I worked as a college math tutor for a while, so I probably had an above-average retention for math, but it had been 5+ years since I had taken a true math class. I felt confident about the rest of the test, so I continued to do practice math problems right up until about 10 minutes before I showed up to the test center. The hardest part of the math portion was how they increase in difficulty as you go along. By the end of the test, they were giving me problems that I thought would have taken me at least 5 minutes to figure out (things that aren't even in the study guide). As for the essay portion, I didn't really study at all beyond looking at sample questions and the grading rubric. I honestly thought I was going to score slightly higher on the essays than I did... perhaps I was a little overconfident in retrospect. I would also be remiss to not mention the significance of prayer, in addition to all of the support I had from my wife (especially with those flashcards) and the rest of my family--that obviously helped too.