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slaNYC

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About slaNYC

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    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    PhD Public Health

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  1. I think rising_star makes excellent suggestions. I also want to point out that what people go into doctoral programs wanting to study isn't what they necessarily end up doing their dissertations on. That is, interests change and evolve. The fact that your POI is leaving my not be bad. You have options and time to figure them out. The first year or two I suspect you'll be focusing on course work so fit with advisor may not be as important. When it's time to begin to think about your dissertation that is when it really matters. At that point, if your research interests have not shifted, potentially you can have your former POI serve on your committee for the content and have another advisor who provides different expertise. That's just my two cents.
  2. In general McGill is a very well known and respected school. Like other posters, I don't think there would be a benefit of prestige of one university over the other. I say that though not knowing anything about your program and rankings. And for all the comments about cold, yes Montreal is cold but so is NYC. It's not like you're comparing Los Angeles to Montreal. Congratulations on two great offers. Very exciting!
  3. The role of graduate students in the admission process is probably field, school, and department specific. No graduate students are involved in admissions in my doctoral program. In fact, just the other day I asked the vice chair if students had ever been part of the process. I was told they hadn't but that didn't mean they couldn't be in the future. She seemed surprised that I'd want to be part of it.
  4. I took the GRE after a 5+ break from my masters program. While the GRE is not a great predictor for how well you will do in a graduate program, schools do use it as a measure of comparison so I took it seriously. I decided to treat it like a job and studied full-time for about 3 weeks. I signed up for the Kaplan computer class. I thought spending the money would be an incentive and that it would provide me with structure. I didn't study any vocabulary until the night before. Instead I focused on the other components of the verbal and quantitative section. My scores improved dramatically and were better than the reported minimum/average/typical admitted student scores/percentiles from the doctoral programs I was interested in applying to. My main advice is to sign up for a test date first and work backwards. Having a test date will make it real. And then make a schedule for what you need to study/accomplish per day and stick to it. Lastly, take timed practice tests. They help! Best of luck to you as you begin to start studying. Studying for the GRE sucks but we have all survived. It is only for a limited time. When you think you can't possibly do another practice problem always remember that it's almost over.
  5. I think what the school is doing happens pretty regularly. It happened to me during my application process. From what you wrote it sounds like you haven't accepted anywhere else, nor are you "planning" on accepting anywhere else. So I would call or write to school B and be absolutely honest: you have yet to be accepted anywhere else, you remain very interested in their school and are not actively "planning" to go elsewhere, but of course your final decision will depend on a number of factors including any financial or fellowship offers you receive, and that you'd be delighted to be accepted by them and you would give them every consideration. Most importantly, this is great news that you are being considered. I would guess they only reach out to top candidates to see if they are interested knowing that their top candidates are also at the top of other lists too!
  6. Waiting is the worst and I understand how anxious everyone is. I completely understand seeking encouragement during this time. I think, however, it would be more helpful in these general forums to include information beyond stats such as the degree you are seeking (MPH, MS, PhD or DrPH) because that information matters. Usually those applying to professional programs (i.e. MPH) are accepted with lower GRE and GPAs than those applying to academic programs (i.e. PhD). I wish everyone the best of luck. I can say when I applied to PhD programs I heard from my first school around February 15th. And I think that timeline was pretty normal. Hang in there!
  7. i know not getting a response from a school is frustrating. i get it. but ucla has 5 departments: community health sciences, epi, health policy and management, environmental health and biostats. one cannot just say don't apply to ucla. we have no idea which department(s) were difficult to get information from. just because one department didn't reply doesn't mean they all don't. moreover, during application time departments become overwhelmed. when i was applying i emailed schools and often had to call when i did not get a response to my email (this happened at multiple schools including columbia and berkeley). there are only a few staff and hundreds of applicants with questions. my point is, make decisions about school applications based on more than a few unhappy people posting on a message board. afterall, we know that people who are most unhappy will take the time to post or fill out a survey or an evaluation whereas those that are satisfied are much less likely to do so. what we have here is a very biased group of people!
  8. I would warn against calling schools and asking if they have professors who conduct research in your area of interest. That information should be on school websites. Faculty and staff alike are crazy busy and I'm afraid it might reflect poorly on you and suggest that you don't really know anything about the school and worse that you are not capable of doing your own research. What is more, they might feel that you are wasting their time. That's just my two cents.
  9. As a public health PhD student I think it's interesting that few people are talking about the fact that this product is linked to obesity, poor health outcomes, and growing inequalities... see: http://gu.com/p/3meve
  10. I'm sure that others might have a different opinion but I think the importance of getting research experience depends largely on your future goals. That is, if your end goal is an MPH and you plan to work after you earn that degree then having research experience isn't all that important. However, if you plan on continuing on and getting a PhD then having research opportunities becomes much more critical.
  11. I'm excited to see this string because I think this is a very interesting and important question. I agree with the other posters here that have said quite eloquently that GRE scores are but just one element of your overall application. I went to Wagner at NYU. And I didn't submit GRE scores at all. However, I had a strong policy and advocacy background having worked for about 6 years before returning to school. I'm a very strong believer that MPA programs are MUCH MUCH MUCH more useful for those people that have work experience ( > 2 years ). It should be an applied program. All that is to say, if you have a strong work background in a related area, strong letters of recommendation, and a strong personal statement those are all just as, if not more, important. GRE scores are merely an indicator that you can meet a minimum threshold. The rest of the application tells your story. Good luck to you!
  12. I actually kind of disagree. I think admissions committees give serious thought to the make up of the cohorts they put together each year. If you know you are not going to attend it's better to do that now rather than later. It allows the school to carefully consider other applicants. It's just my opinion but I don't see anything wrong with withdrawing your application.
  13. I agree that it is hard to say what it means. However, if I had to guess I would say they are looking for funding opportunities for you. I really don't want to get your hopes up but I got similar inquiry last year from Berkeley about my residency status. I hadn't been admitted and wondered why they cared so much if I was a resident, not a resident, and/or would qualify for a waiver. Im quite sure though they were trying to figure my funding package as I was admitted shortly after that exchange.
  14. I talked to students when I was making my decision and I found it to be really helpful. These are some questions that I used to guide our conversation. You'd be amazed by some of the answers. 1. What is the one thing you wish someone told you before starting this program? 2. What has been the biggest surprise to you about the program? 3. What are some of the challenges you faced in the program? 4. What are some of the successes you have had in the program? 5. What are the cohorts like? Do they support each other? Does it tend to be competitive? These were really open questions and it offered an opportunity to get information I wouldn't have expected. I of course also asked about my advisor, places to live, commuting time, expectations etc. Good luck. And remember these people are your potential peers. It was so great when I started my program to have some people I sort of already knew because I had been in touch (I stayed in touch with one).
  15. When I was admitted to programs last year some notifications came with funding information and some did not. However, I never had to ask because that information came from the school shortly after the initial notification. While this is such an overwhelming time (for us), they have experience with this process so they know they need to provide funding information in order to make decisions. If you decide to contact anyone reach out to the student affairs/administrator person. Congrats on getting accepted. That is a huge accomplishment. Woo hoo!!!
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