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briefinterviews

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About briefinterviews

  • Rank
    Double Shot

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Social Welfare

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  1. Don't be shy about getting in touch with faculty you are interested in working with and arranging informational interviews. Applying for a PhD is a different, more competitive ballgame than an MSW -- you're really applying to work with specific faculty whose interests align with your own and who have the capacity to mentor incoming students. During admissions, it's faculty who are choosing who they want to work with, so it's worth putting in the effort to make yourself known. It also helps you to better determine fit before you invest the time and resources into submitting an application.
  2. Received offer from USC today by phone. There really was no place else I wanted to be, so I am very excited. Congrats to fellow admits and best of luck to those still waiting!
  3. Denied at Penn. Received email to check the website this morning. Like previous poster, my decision letter cited faculty fit and availability. Not surprised -- onward!
  4. My bad for presuming; I am very sorry to hear about the denial and hope you are hearing better news elsewhere this season!
  5. Congratulations! Thanks so much for the information. I am presuming a denial on my end, though I am not surprised. There was really only one faculty member whose research interests aligned with my own.
  6. Results page shows an acceptance via website from Penn. Radio silence on my end and my application page looks the same. Any one in the know care to share any details or intel?
  7. Received campus visit invitation from University of Southern California (USC) this morning. The original timeline indicated invitations would be sent 2/20-25, so this was was a pleasant surprise!
  8. Finalists are notified by email February 20-25. Campus visit on March 20. Offers made April 1-10.
  9. USC sent a very clear, detailed timeline of their admissions activities about two weeks after their December 1st deadline when they confirmed receipt of my application. Really takes some of the edge off.
  10. I am sure your application is strong in other ways; the important thing is that you are giving yourself the opportunity to succeed by applying. I know PhD students whose GREs weren't great or who had little to no formal research experience before matriculating, but they brought other strengths to the table and demonstrated potential. One professor I spoke with said the GREs are essentially a formality and that programs don't expect applicants to be published (although it doesn't hurt). I get a sense that programs try to bring a diverse cohort together -- you may very well be one program's missing piece.
  11. I finished both of my applications last month. UCLA was also originally on my list, but I decided not to apply. Now we play the waiting game.
  12. I am reading a lot of "cons" to transferring in your post; you may have already answered your own question. I would stick it out and remain open to your prospective program. Don't try to find a way out before you are even admitted. Your world tends to get smaller in graduate school anyway, and you may enjoy your program and cohort enough to transcend your distaste for the location. I completed my program in a city I wasn't particularly happy in, but the two years go by quick and I had a job waiting for me in my city of choice when I graduated.
  13. While this is true, you also have to consider that the cost of living in California is also high. Over half of California renters are spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs; this gets worse in places like the Bay Area and Los Angeles. I wouldn't equate a higher income to making the price tag more doable, especially if you have other loans or debts.
  14. Not sure if this is still helpful or if you’re already committed to a program, but just in case... Only you can decide if the tuition is worth it to you, but I will offer my $0.02 as an MSW grad from Cal who is definitely paying for it now. Looking back, was it worth it? For me, I think it was. I was from L.A., intended to work in L.A. after graduation, and had admission offers from UCLA, USC, and several out-of-state programs. But I was a macro student who wanted more control over my field placement assignments, a smaller cohort, and a program with a strong research focus. Berkeley gave me that and more—including a job offer from my field placement. However, I chose to leave the Bay Area and had a job waiting for me in Los Angeles by graduation. The training, experience, and relationships I gained at Cal opened a lot of doors for me and continue to benefit me in my career in a lot of ways. I most certainly would not have had the same opportunities elsewhere. Though no one can say for certain whether that is for better or worse, I can say that Cal set me on a path where I’ve made significant contributions to my field working on high-profile and large-scale projects (including national work) and where I am now turning my eye toward a PhD. As a clinician, your mileage may vary. The debt is real, but there are options to make it more manageable. Networking is important, but I might argue that it is less so for clinicans. No program is perfect, and you will be disappointed if you expect Cal to be any different. There is no shame in pursuing the prestige of Cal if that is your dream, but there is also no shame in being pragmatic and taking the more economical route.
  15. I'll be throwing my hat into the ring. My research interests center around young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. My background includes work in direct services, local government, and applied research. MSW '14 in Management in Planning from UC Berkeley. USC, UCLA, and UPenn are on my list.
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