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amlobo

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amlobo last won the day on October 13 2013

amlobo had the most liked content!

About amlobo

  • Rank
    Macchiato

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Education, Inequality, Mobility
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Sociology PhD

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  1. I would call my dress for visits "smart" casual. I wore dark jeans, a nice shirt, and cardigan... or a nicer sweater if it was cold. I only saw a few people who "dressed up" but everyone at least made an effort to not wear their worst-looking clothes. Tattoos, piercings, colorful hair/cut... all fine. I'd say the main thing is that you want to feel comfortable while you're there. You will have some long, activity-packed days! The only preparation I did was come up with some questions to help me in decision-making and made appointments with profs I wanted to work with. I found the profs generally wanted to know about my research interests or the kind of work that interested me; I never felt like I was under a microscope or anything. Just relax and remember, you're the one choosing them now!
  2. A small word of advice - when you apply to your target program(s), ask them how your JD will be treated, as it is NEVER on the website anywhere that I have ever seen, lol. For my program, they require a master's first, but I found out after being admitted that my JD would "count" as a master's since it was a more advanced degree (for degree progress and funding). So, I got to skip doing a master's thesis and was considered a PhD student right away. It is only taking a semester off my time to degree, but anything helps!
  3. I think a lot of this is due to the individualized nature of graduate admissions. People will say that what worked for them is the best way to do things... because that's basically all they know. And, thinking about people in my cohort, we are all different people, with different backgrounds, interests, and strengths... and I'm sure our applications were all different. Your application has to work for you, so advice is only helpful to the extent it leads you to figure out what that means. Individual circumstances dictate how you need to present yourself to the adcomm, and you're right - you just have to do your best. A friend in a PhD program told me when I applied: "Don't crowdsource your SOP." Best advice ever. I read people on here saying "NEVER do this" or "you HAVE to do this", and I kind of laugh now knowing that my experience didn't end up aligning with what they were saying at all. Hang in there, guys
  4. FWIW, I had a 3.4 (non-sociology major, top 15 UG), and I got into a few top 20 programs. My GREs were similar to yours. So, a lower GPA alone isn't going to take you out of contention if your application is otherwise strong.
  5. amlobo

    Years for a PhD

    Keep in mind that there is a middle ground you want to see on the length of time - too short or too long are both bad. You need enough time to get pubs in order to be competitive on the market, but you don't want to languish away in your program either. I think insufficient funding is often at the root of either extreme. The consensus I get from professors in my program is that 5-6 years is kind of ideal. Required coursework and overall structure can vary widely by program, so that can be a factor in time-to-degree; if you have to take 2 years of coursework vs. 3, when you take comps, etc. Also, if a program is heavily qualitative, I'd assume their average time would be longer just due to the composition of their cohorts. And, of course, program time can be affected by a lot of individual factors - research methodology, whether you come in with a master's, funding source, etc. I didn't take time-to-degree into account when applying, but I definitely asked about it after being accepted and talked with students and potential advisors to get a real sense of how long it would take under my particular circumstances.
  6. http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/sociology/faculty/specializations.php
  7. Your verbal is very high, so I wouldn't worry about the quant if you aren't going to do quant. It certainly isn't low enough to get you tossed out of application piles, and I know my own cohort's average quant score was lower than that by quite a bit. In sum, do not worry about your GRE score I think it's possible a score can change (with ETS, all things are in the realm of possibility), but I haven't heard of it happening. Mine was the same unofficial vs. official. Over time, my percentile on quant did go down (verbal stayed the same), since they update the percentiles as more people take the GRE. Hope that helps.
  8. Just looking at the department websites won't give you enough info because a department "overall" is not the same thing as its faculty individually (and most departments will not outright say they are heavier in one methodology). Above all, make sure you look at whether the specific faculty you are interested in working with use quantitative or qualitative methods. Reading a few of their (or even their students') recent articles can quickly shed light on their approach. Of course, it's not completely impossible to do quantitative methods and have a qualitative advisor (I wouldn't want to do it, lol), but you will probably be a better fit if your advisor works with the same methodology. Also, maybe take a look at the methods requirements for the department and its course offerings if you can access them.
  9. I don't know how it would be viewed (or whether the departments would even know you were applying to both...), but some schools actually prohibit you from doing this. I wanted to apply to a joint program and the straight soc program at one school, and they told me I couldn't do it. So, I'd first just check that the graduate school doesn't "forbid" it.
  10. Harvard and Princeton both have joint programs in sociology and social policy. The programs are very small and incredibly selective, so you probably need to re-take the GRE if you want a better shot at admission to one of them. I applied to these both last year (and didn't get in), and I really don't know of any other less competitive joint programs. I think a much "safer" option is to apply to straight sociology or social policy programs with an emphasis in education, where you'd have access to faculty in the other department, as well. Either way, I'd study hard for the GRE and retake it - especially if this is your "last shot" at PhD apps. Good luck to you!
  11. amlobo

    ipad tips

    I have a laptop and an iPad (I got the iPad as a gift, so I don't know if I'd invest personal money in both devices) ... but you could definitely use just an iPad for taking notes; a girl in my cohort has an attachable keyboard that seems to work really well. But, I hand-write notes so as to not tempt myself with the internet in class, lol. I really use the iPad solely for reading/annotating at this point. Though, I know they now have Office for iPad, so I might have to give it a try. I like the larger screen of a laptop and don't know if I'd ever switch to solely iPad, mostly due to liking the larger screen for writing.
  12. amlobo

    ipad tips

    I use iAnnotate to mark up articles. And, I got a MacBook Air. My main requirements were something light that wouldn't get damaged being lugged around... and so far, so good!
  13. Despite what darth said, I just wanted to point out that there is nothing wrong with officially accepting earlier than April 14 or 15. I turned down schools as soon as I knew I wouldn't attend, and I put in my official acceptance to my program two weeks before the deadline. Once you've made a decision, you've made a decision. Do what feels right to you
  14. I think UT's is good. They cover the entire premium and half the premium for a dependent. Our insurance is the same as what other UT employees get, and it's pretty widely accepted here since the university is such a big employer. Preventative care is free, which I love. And, the student health center is like $5 per visit. They don't pay vision/dental, but you have a few tiers of options, which can make it very affordable.
  15. amlobo

    Recruitment Days

    If you set up a separate visit, I'd make your own program. That's kind of what I did. I set up meetings with my POI and the DGS, plus met with the grad coordinator. My POI took me to lunch and put me in touch with some of her students, so they showed me around, introduced me to some other students, took me for a drink, and answered all of my questions. It ended up being a full day at the campus. I really felt like I still got a good experience, even without the formal visit day. I think you just have to put forth a bit more effort to make sure you get the information you want when you visit on your own.
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