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GradSchooler

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  1. Has anyone ever used a dissertation coaching and/or writing group? If so, what was your experience?
  2. GradSchooler

    DrPH or PhD with Master's Not Required?

    I can see this topic getting a bit nasty when it probably doesn't need to be. There probably isn't a "norm" when it comes to entering a PhD program without a masters. Some people who enter without a masters will surely find themselves in over their head and do poorly in the program, but so will some students who enter with a masters. Having a masters degree will definitely make you more competitive when you apply for PhD programs in my opinion, but how you fare in the program once you arrive depends on too many factors to make generalizations. I also think you can prepare for a PhD programs in other ways than getting a masters. For example, many people work for several years and get comparable experience to those in a masters program, which helps them to narrow their research interests. Other people are research assistants throughout undergrad and make the most of each summer conducting research. Other people are maybe just super smart/awesome/lucky and figure it out despite the odds. And, other people still find that they were not ready for a PhD program once entering. In addition to these personal factors, your specific program and advisor have a tremendous impact on your success. No matter how great of a student you are (equipped with a masters or not) it's pretty hard to overcome a poor program and/or mentorship. Overall, I know people who have done well without a masters and those who have not (same case as for people I know who entered with a masters). As others have mentioned, the best thing to do is just to talk to people from the schools you are interested in about your specific situation and make sure you pick a program that is the best match for you. Sorry for perhaps beating a dead horse with this thread, but I don't want future readers to necessarily be discouraged from applying without a masters if they have the experience/commitment/grades/total package needed to do PhD work. I do think it is important for people to understand the pros and cons of doing so though, and I think others in the forum have definitely shed some light there as well.
  3. GradSchooler

    PhD & MPH in same cycle?

    These are apps from last cycle. I just started my program in August . Good luck!
  4. GradSchooler

    PhD & MPH in same cycle?

    I applied to HPM PhD and masters at the same school for a few places and it worked out fine. Some places assumed the PhD was my goal and waitlisted me from the masters until the PhD decisions came out. For the few PHD programs that use SOPHAS, some allow you to send the app to both the masters and the phd program with one fee. In my mph apps I just talked about my ultimate goals of doing research and getting a PHD in the personal statement. I got into most the mph programs and 2 phd programs I applied to with that approach. Good luck!
  5. GradSchooler

    Masters #2 -- Public Health -- Value Advice

    I would recommend that you get some work experience before getting another degree. It will help you confirm whether a public health degree and career is really for you and whether you need it. If you are interested in a policy/research job, could you get a research assistant job on campus or an internship to give you experience? Plus getting a bit of work experience can help you get into top tier public health schools if you decide you still need the degree. If you decide another career is right for you, you'll have saved yourself a ton of money. A public health degree is not cheap as little financial aid exists so you want to be sure you need it. Plus, after working in research you might discover that you are really interested in a phd where you could apply without an mph. Not saying this will happen, but working can help you figure out what's right for you!
  6. GradSchooler

    Epidemiology or Public Policy

    I agree with the above post. I currently work in health services research, which sounds most like what you want to do. Most of our researchers have a degree in health policy/health services research. However that doesn't mean you can't get to where you want in your career with epi. In my organization for example, some people do come from other educational backgrounds but we screen them very heavily to make sure they have health services experience and interest. So, I also think a health policy/services degree would be ideal. A social/behavioral degree could work too, but I've been warned those degree holders have a slightly harder time getting jobs. The advice given to me was to try and get a RA or other experience in the area you want as that ultimately will give you the experience you need no matter the exact public health degree you choose. Good luck!
  7. GradSchooler

    PhD in Health Policy/Health Services 2014

    Hi all, I just got out of Minnesota limbo-- accepted into their health services research PhD program. There is hope for others who haven't heard! Good luck!!
  8. GradSchooler

    Did anyone else apply to UNC?

    Update: I heard from UNC about a fellowship offer this week (for doctoral students). This was something from the overall grad school at UNC, so each department may have another timeline for funding announcements. Just wanted to share that the overall UNC grad school merit awards have started to be announced. Good luck all! I'm wishing the best for everyone, especially because of how helpful everyone is here for each other!
  9. GradSchooler

    MPA@UNC

    I know someone in this program and she loves it. The online platform seems to work well; students meet online each week and basically do video conferencing. The system also allows for breakout groups for students in the class. The flexibility is great for working students and you get the same quality of education as in person. The faculty and staff are available to help and they seem genuinely invested in student success. You of course won't get the same in person student experience, but I imagine that isn't an issue if you're considering this platform . I also think financial aid is very limited (mostly loans), but not sure. Good luck on your admission!!
  10. GradSchooler

    Current MS- Future PhD: Please advise!

    I am far from an expert, but I am happy to share my thoughts. In reference to funding, fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible especially if you are a US student. Some schools have priority deadlines soon or that have passed for completing the FAFSA. Most schools use the FAFSA for financial aid determination and to disburse federal loans for US students. Some schools also have additional forms to complete, so be sure to review each program's website. I'll be honest, there is normally not very much funding for public health masters (and sometimes PhDs)! Nevertheless, some funding does exist through merit or other scholarships. Most schools will automatically consider you for scholarships if you applied by their priority deadline. So if you made that deadline, it seems like schools are starting to share scholarship news with students now. Also, some students are able to find research assistantships closer to the time of school starting (once professors know more about their funding and needs). If you want a phd, I suggest trying to get a RA to get research experience and because they often pay/waive your tuition and give you a stipend. Most phd programs do require a masters or phd, but not all! If you look carefully at each school's website, some say that they will consider strong candidates with only a bachelors (e.g. U minnesota, Johns Hopkins, and I think BU has an accelerated MS to PHD option). These are just examples; other schools may allow it too. Most of the schools I looked at said they would take a MS or MPH degree so I honestly think you'd be okay no matter which degree you got. However, the MS and MSPH degrees are going to train you and give you the research skills phd programs are looking for. The MS type degrees usually make you to do a masters thesis, which will give you that research experience. You can supplement you basic MPH degree with more analytic/research electives if you go that route. Regardless, I suggest trying to get an RA and any other research experience in health policy/health services research if you want a phd. That is crucial for those programs. The ones that let people in without a masters require those people to have expensive research experience. The ones I've known to go into a phd without a masters had research experience in undergrad and 2+ years of full time research experience after undergrad. I hope this helps!
  11. GradSchooler

    When did you apply and when are you hearing back?

    It was a call from the HPM department. The person I spoke with was super nice and answered all my questions. Good luck everyone!
  12. GradSchooler

    When did you apply and when are you hearing back?

    Also the Harvard HPM SM2 has a class size of 20-25 across the 3 tracks. Just wanted to share because I know there has been some debate.
  13. GradSchooler

    When did you apply and when are you hearing back?

    Got a nice call from Harvard today. Got a scholarship! Good luck to everyone else. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd get into Harvard. Future applicants, adcoms must really look at applications holistically. And, applicable work experience will take you far. I'm wishing the best for everyone else!
  14. GradSchooler

    Did anyone else apply to UNC?

    Has anyone received funding info from UNC? I, like everyone else, am anxious to hear. Financial aid will be a top consideration for me.
  15. GradSchooler

    When did you apply and when are you hearing back?

    By some miracle I also got into Harvard. SM2 in HPM.
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