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About Heliosphan

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  1. Thanks for the response. Does anyone think this would warrant mention in anything, including an "extenuating circumstances" prompt, considering that this was my very first semester? I think the story I told would be obvious to an admissions committee looking at this without even saying anything...
  2. Hello everyone, Here's the situation I'm in (skip to the bottom if you don't want to read this part): Like many people, I wasn't ready for college when I was 18 years old. I didn't really want to go, I wasn't enjoying it my first semester, and consequently I failed everything except one class, was put on academic probation. I considered dropping out then and there, but instead I decided to do everything in my power to do as well as I could the second semester, get off probation, and then leave. Which is exactly what I did! I spent 2-3 years out of school. Eventually I felt ready to go back, and after having experienced a little more about the "real world," I loved it and excelled in it, and even was able to get research experience and publish a thesis. My last 100 credits, at the school I transferred to after this first one, have a GPA of 3.81 and nothing less than a B+. tl;dr: Since it's probably obvious to anyone looking at this that my first semester is not at all a reflection of my academic achievement and abilities, is it even worth mentioning/drawing attention to this in a SoP or Personal History? What about the 2-3 years I wasn't in school? I'm applying to programs in the social sciences for what its worth. Thanks in advance for any responses.
  3. Applications are moving right along on my end. Applying to Syracuse, Rutgers, OSU, U. Washington, UCLA, U. Minnesota, and Temple. MA programs.
  4. Hi everyone, I'm applying to programs with a strong human geography component. I'm curious if anyone has any input on whether Temple geography is well-regarded or not? It's not listed in the NRC rankings, but this isn't always the whole story, and in Temple's case it seems like a department of lots of younger people with room to grow, holding PhDs from great programs. Also, Philadelphia would be a great location for me for personal reasons. I'm planning to do an MA first, but Temple explicitly mentions (unlike many other programs I've encountered) that in applying for a PhD a "master's degree is not required." However, I have neither an undergraduate degree in geography now research experience in it. Would this severely limit my chances? Thanks in advance for any responses. :-)
  5. Hi all! Sometime-reader, first-time poster here. I'm currently applying to sociology programs for Fall 2014, setting my sights pretty high and a nervous wreck much of the time as a result. What I'm having a really hard time with is "narrowing down" my interests to something specific. I hope this doesn't come off as cliche, but I am interested and passionate about a pretty huge range of topics falling broadly under the "social sciences." Sociology is attractive to me precisely because of the scope of the field. So I guess I have a question: is having a defined research interest in an application a necessity? Another question: is there any imagiable scenario in which a top 20 program would admit someone with a confessed equivocality towards what exactly he or she would like to be doing as a sociology grad student, but who demonstably possesses a voracious appetite to research, learn, and find the exact niche he or she fits into during the first couple years of that process? Has anyone here experienced a similar issue/anxiety? Thanks for all replies in advance!
  6. Hello everyone, this is my first post down at the grad cafe. At the moment I believe that a PhD is what I'd like to go for, but given my interests (development, human security, etc.) I'm not wiling to discount the possibility that I may find my calling in a more professional environment where I would have access to the resources to potentially embark on a career. Testing the waters, if you will. I'm aware that GSPIA is a more professional-oriented school, but for a variety of reasons it is where I would very much like to do a Master's if I don't go straight to a PhD. I know this topic has probably been covered a hundred times, but what exact advantages would a Master's from a professional-oriented school confer during a PhD application process (probably for poli sci, but possibly for cultural geography, economics, or another field related to global affairs), specifically a master's from GSPIA? Of course I'm going to set my sights high, but in today's competitive graduate-level playing field I have made my peace with the fact that I may only receive a fully-funded PhD program offer from universities outside of the top 10-20, the realm that Pitt and GSPIA seem to reside in for Poli Sci and International Affairs. How would a degree from GSPIA help in that tier? Thanks a bunch in advance!
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