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Found 18 results

  1. Hello! I'd like your opinions/insights on choosing between ETHZ Materials science, UPenn MSE and UCLA MS (MSc, Fall 2022). Post-masters, I intend to work in the industrial R&D sector (or might consider doing a PhD, not sure as of now) Factors to be taken into consideration:- Job prospects/ placement stats - which will be very useful should I not go for an immediate PhD (To note: I would also be open to the idea of re-locating within the US (in case of US unis) and to neighbouring countries (in case of ETHz) wrt job opportunities) Tuition fee, RA/TA possibilities, part-time jobs Curriculum and research (my inclination being towards energy materials) Work-life balance/ general academic-life Student culture/ networking Getting multiple opinions would really help me gain a perspective, and make my decision. I would love to hear your thoughts and discuss this with you. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hello, Since a lot of you appear knowledgeable about government jobs and the educational opportunities in Washington D.C, I am hoping you can help me with my graduate school dilemma. I am in my late 20s and I am looking to pivot into a career field involving regional expertise of Russia and Eastern Europe. I'd like to work in the IC (particularly DIA) in the future, but I'm open to other public service positions that would allow me to use my language skills and regional understanding. I will provide some background about myself to further explain my situation: I am an immigrant from Eastern Europe (though a U.S citizen for some time now) who attended Yale for undergrad. I studied psychology and chemistry, though I have some poor grades from math classes and engineering due to some unfortunate circumstances and general lack of direction. I won't waste your time making excuses for myself. I took some language courses during undergrad, including Russian, and dabbled ever so slightly with regional studies at the end of my degree. I would have majored in Eastern European studies or something similar had I discovered this earlier. After graduation I took some time off and then started to work in various random jobs to gain experience. Unfortunately, doing something completely unrelated to my major after graduation (even from a prestigious school) proved to be impossible. I did some unpaid internships where I could; lived, traveled and interned in the region for a few years. The more time that passed after graduation the more difficult it has become to get my foot in the door. Applying to jobs on USAJOBS proved unfruitful (not sure if that's just me or if that's a universal experience for entry level positions). I figured going back to school for a master's degree, building on my language skills and doing internships would be the best way to find opportunities. My priorities, in terms of employment, is to do something I am interested in and find meaningful. I strongly believe that making enough money to live comfortably is plenty, and beyond that I really value the nature of the work rather than salary. My parents also taught me to avoid debt, which I've done successfully so far, and I really want to avoid that at all costs going forward. As such, I'm very hesitant to take out huge loans to afford graduate school especially considering the living costs in most urban areas. I applied this cycle to a variety of regional programs. I have been admitted to the European and Eurasian Studies Master of Arts at GW's Elliott (no funding), and at AU SIS Comparative & Regional Studies (about 50% scholarship). Still waiting to hear back from a few other programs, and have been rejected from Harvard already. I did my undergrad at a prestigious school, and for me the glitter and idealization of elite universities has worn off. Not because they aren't great, but because I don't think the name gets you everywhere nor matters too much outside of academia / finance / consulting. Correct me if I'm mistaken and it matters a lot for government / IR jobs. My questions are: How is the AU program for my goals? Does anyone have experience with it? Should I take AU's offer? Through part time work and internships it would be financially feasible to not come out with significant debt. Should I consider reapplying to regional programs outside of D.C and add-on programs that have FLAS funding, and try again next year? It's possible I have more luck with additional experience, and get more funding at a different institution. How important is it being in D.C for securing a government position? How important is the "brand name" of the institution? I know that master's degrees aren't generally funded, at least not fully, and I am grateful to have gotten a fairly generous offer from AU. I don't know enough about D.C life to evaluate how it is perceived by employers, I just tried to cast a wide net when applying because of my strange background. I also wonder if I should continue to build on my profile and try again next year, and cast an even wider net, to get more funding of get into a more prestigious program. In truth, I feel old. I've spoken to people applying to these kinds of programs and they're often right out of undergrad, and I still feel behind them in accomplishments. I kick myself for not having a sense of direction in undergrad and squandering an ivy league education, but I know I can't fix the past and I also can't spend the next decade(s) crying about it. So, I am trying to figure out the best way to move forward and I would greatly appreciate any advice from this community. Thank you so much in advance!!!
  3. Hi all, would really appreciate some input on both a profile evaluation and advice on whether to pursue a (second) master's, or a PhD. Motivation: I'm a lifelong learner - have always enjoyed my time in education and just learning - and deeply driven to pursuing careers that can shape policy or drive some sort of greater systemic change and public good. Whilst I don't really have an intention to stay in academia or go into teaching, I feel like there's still so much I could gain from having a more robust theoretical foundation in politics and theory, to be able to analyse and grasp policy (as well as human rights/IR issues) with more nuance and depth. In terms of careers, I'd love to end up in public policy, government, non-profits, or perhaps Think Tanks or related research. Basically, I'd love to learn the subject at a higher level than I currently have and I think I could do well and really grow as a person and researcher, but at the same time, I don't foresee a life in teaching or academia for myself, as I don't think that's where I can make the greatest impact. I'm in my mid-20s, and feel like if I want to do a PhD (or a second Master's) then now is really the time, as I think I'd be able to easily make the mind-set shift back into academia. Profile: Undergrad Institution: University College London (UCL), First-Class Honours Majors: Focussed on politics, legal studies, and Italian language primarily, whilst taking classes on Qualitative Thinking, Quantitative Methods, and Interdisciplinary Research Methods. GPA: First-Class Honours as well as a year abroad at UC Berkeley where I had a 4.0 GPA. Master's degree: MPhil in IR & Politics from University of Cambridge (awarded with a high Merit, 2 marks off a distinction). Work experience: Around 3 years professional experience. Most notable roles include Coordinator for Special Projects at a private not-for-profit University in the UK, a Fellow with an International Human Rights Programme (philanthropy related) and I'm now moving onto a role as an Analyst with a socially-minded consulting company. Languages: Italian (intermediate although I have an 'A' in 'Advanced Italian') and Farsi (relatively strong, terrible writing skills) Recommendation Letters: I had a really strong relationship with a UC Berkeley professor (took 2 classes, strong marks, and frequently went to office hours) who I might reach out to, as well as my MPhil Supervisor. Unsure on the third. Research Interests: A mixed bag. My background is in international politics (primarily in the Middle East), but I'm also interested in authoritarianism, labour activism, and human rights. Programs considering: PhDs - Political Science, mostly UC Berkeley Political Science or even possibly Jurisprudence and Social Policy Harvard Government NYU Politics (particularly tempting for the 1-year Master's waiver) Yale Master's Princeton MPA UC Berkeley MPP Harvard MPP I spent a wonderful year at Berkeley, loved the professors and the atmosphere, and know they have a really strong bent towards more social causes. Harvard and Yale are also tempting because of the Carr Center and Schell Center respectively. NYU offers the 1-year waiver for Master's degrees, which is also really appealing. I think I'd love an MPP or MPA - I'm a practical people-person (despite my love of academia) and want to be able to build my professional skills too. I love the whole course structure of the MPP (or MPA) and think I'd learn so much. But funding is a massive issue, especially as an international student, hence why Princeton is top of the list. I know these are massively competitive programs and institutions - as an international student, I think global reputation/brand is unfortunately quite important to me, as is the location. Really happy to consider alternatives though. I've also paid some thought to Columbia, or Chicago. TL;DR: Torn between pursuing a very expensive but fulfilling second Master's degree, or a rewarding but lengthy PhD that might not be hugely helpful to my career. Advice and profile eval would be really helpful please, and happy to add/clarify anything!
  4. I'm going to be starting an MA in English this fall and even though I am no where near getting a visa in hand, my major concern is still preparing myself for no regrets. It should be no surprise that a large chunk of students across the world adore the US Education system. A South Asian myself, seeing my undergraduate department fail miserably in handling the pandemic, I have jotted down multiple reasons to be happy about embarking on this journey even though the university I'd be joining isn't a prestigious one. However, I've seen multiple international students struggle to understand the politics of academia in the US. I, myself, would have to take up RA, TA and writing center work which still makes me yearn for anxiety meds in the middle of the night. In this thread, I hope other English Literature grad students or better yet, international students can drop in the things they learnt or observed when it comes to academic culture. For instance (not an exhaustive list): 1) How formal and frequent should the relationship with your Graduate advisor be? 2) How should you prepare for graduate seminars? 3) How can you improve your academic writing? 4) Who should you contact for summer job and internship opportunities? 5) How exactly does writing center consulting works? As a student interested in Postcolonial Theory, I've promised myself not to be apologetic for not knowing. I can only hope this thread would help other international students as well. Thank you!
  5. Hi everyone, I am 1 year out of college and a first year teacher. I am interested in applying to graduate school over the summer, and would like to score a 330+ on the GRE. My tentative plan is to take in June. I have been studying casually since February (3 ish hours per week) and only started REALLY studying (2 hours/day) last week. On my first Magoosh mock, I got a 314. Q: 157 V: 157 I am disappointed in my starting point, but am extremely motivated to increase my score. Does anyone have any advice, particularly for prospective test-takers who are working full time?
  6. Background - College: B.A. Economics GPA: 2.7 A huge part of the low GPA is because of depression in college. I began isolating myself a lot and because of the stigma of mental health in my community I was reluctant to seek help. When I did I was too scared to go back after 1 appointment. I have since taken several courses post under grad (which I aced ) and currently taking graduate level courses and sought therapy. I have learned so much about myself and how to balance work, school and my social relationships. Work Experience: Total of about 3.5 years in Accounting Volunteer Experience: Interned for a non profit, general volunteer experience (food bank, hospital volunteer, outdoor museum, social media) Why an MSW?: I've always wanted to be in a profession where I would be able to help people and understand why they did something, their circumstances and their culture. I think working in business has taught me a lot about the intersectionality between business and org psychology as well. Inclusion and diversity has always been a huge part of my value. Another part is that psychology was a field I had always wanted to major in since college, but with mental health being taboo in my community (especially with my parents), I appeased my parents and majored in business. This particular divide between my parents and I made me realize that I want to be the person for my younger self and that it's okay to ask for help. My goal is to apply to Cal States within California.
  7. Hello! I'm currently a rising sophomore with a tentative goal to do graduate studies in Statistics or Data Science. I was wondering what pure/applied math or stats upper division courses you would recommend that would give me a firm foundation? Here is the math course browser: https://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/MATH.html I was thinking about taking one of the Algebra classes with Intro to Numerical Analysis, but I am not sure. Thanks in advance!
  8. Hi! I know this forum is for graduates but I am trying to get advice on what supplies I might need to invest in and what I will need to do to make myself stand out when I am applying for graduate school. I am completing my undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences online through Arizona State University Online and would love any advice on items I might buy to help me learn since I will not have an in-person class experience or any words of advice! Since I am also online I was hoping for advice on suggestions to help make connections with professors that I will never see face to face to help me get meaningful and personable letters of recommendation when the time comes to apply for graduate school. (I have already gotten involved with local SLP's and SLP practices in my hometown in hopes to build connections for valuable letters of recommendations when the time comes).
  9. Hi everyone, I hope you're staying sane during the quarantine. I am nearing the end of my 4th year in my PhD program in Biology. Up until about a month ago I thought I would be able to graduate at the end of my 5th year, but my advisers very suddenly decided they wanted me to do more experiments. Meanwhile some of my committee members have emphasized that I should stop doing research and just write everything up and try to graduate. I very much side with them. Unfortunately, I feel pretty powerless against my advisers and they do not seem to understand why someone would want to try to graduate in 5 years as opposed to just working and working until the research seems full fleshed out in every possible direction. Further, they drag their feet on editing my documents and will at first approve something and then later decide it needs to be held back for longer just in case more changes occur to them. I do feel that my research is about 80-90% complete in terms of the original expectations for the project, but my advisers are very fickle with what they want from the project and so according to their new desires for the project I'm only about 60-70% finished. A few people have suggested that I need to stick up for myself more and create structure that will get my advisers to adhere to a set of expectations so I know what I need to do. This would possibly involve a checklist of very specific goals and times for things to be completed by which we would all have to adhere to, meaning I put in the work and they agree to do whatever editing they want and sign off on it within the time-frame, as long as my work is good enough. But I am not sure if this is normal or reasonable for someone in my position. I heard that some students have a contract or timeline like this with their advisers, but I haven't met any who have told me that they have one. I wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar situation and created such a document or used different techniques to bring advisers around to their side in terms of graduating and being allowed to finish pieces of writing. Any stories or advice?
  10. My dream graduate school is Columbia's English and Comparative Literature program, mainly because their courses align with my research interests, and, from what I understand, they allow a wide range for exploration to those interested in comparing literature and other media forms. My grades, I believe, are fine. However, the school feels very out of reach because of my GRE scores. The last two times (yes, twice) I took the test I pulled average in everything except math (just barely met the average on that subject with 0 improvements the next time I tested). I have now been studying for the general and see some improvement, but I do not feel any more prepared for the exam--specifically regarding the English Literature Subject Test. If anyone has resources they recommend, I welcome them greatly.
  11. Hi everyone this is a long post so I apologize in advance for the extensive reading. I’m asking this question because as of right now I feel somewhat helpless and desperate. I’m a psychology student in the faculty of science at the University of Alberta. I’m going into my fourth year but have applied for an honours program for my fourth and fifth year that would allow me to be eligible to apply to clinical psych programs. I had a horrible first year as a “pre-business student” (2.0 gpa). I had a multitude of personal issues going on at the time and struggled. I realize there’s never an excuse for bad grades but I just had really bad luck. I switched to psychology for my second year and had a dramatic improvement (3.0 overall). The first semester of my third year I had a 3.15 and the 2nd semester resulted in just (CR’s) due to the decision by the university to remove letter grades due to COVID-19. This means that as of right now I have a low cumulative gpa. My first hurtle is just getting into the honours program which according to everyone I’ve spoken to, is seen as vital for potential graduate students in applied psychology graduate programs like clinical. My second hurtle would be clinical psych admission which is famous for being incredibly hard and where my question is based. In a best case scenario, where for my last two years I do extremely well getting exactly/near a 4.0 gpa and get extensive research/volunteer experience. I know it doesn’t sound believable after what you just read but humour me. I would finish with a AGPA of a 3.2 which is seen as a dealbreaker apparently even though Canadian admissions prioritize the last two years. Is there a reasonable chance that I’d get in anywhere for clinical psych? Believe it or not I’ve been told by faculty that I’m “probably wasting my time” and that I should “lower my expectations”. I have counselling as a back up of course but even those programs in Canada are incredibly competitive. I want to have a fulfilling career in this field because I have found a subject I’m very interested in. I also want to avoid being a basement dwelling reject after an admirable comeback. I know I sound defeatist and could have had some more foresight earlier on in my university career, but what’s done as done and I want to do what I can. I was only 17 at the time and had no clue what to do during that time. I just want a reasonable chance to prove myself is all. Faculty members at multiple universities that I’ve spoken to have all been very doom and gloom with their responses. Any advice from admitted students or clinicians? Thanks 🙏
  12. I am looking for advice from anyone who has tried/succeeded in negotiating your aid package. I would appreciate strategies and feedback from anyone who has done this, regardless of their program. However, my admission is to DU Korbel for IDEV. I received scholarships for 39% of tuition and an offer for an hourly "aide" position.
  13. Hi Everyone! I am currently finishing up my MPH at the University of Rochester and am looking at applied medical anthropology programs and programs that might have a great interest in substance abuse/domestic violence? Does anyone have any suggestions of what schools to look at? My Profile is: Masters GPA 3.9 Undergrad GPA's 3.2 (public comm degree) 3.7 (anthro degree went back to school) GRE scores: I am retaking them! I should have one or two publications by the end of my program coming up soon and I have TA experience. Really just looking for general information about programs and where I might have a chance to get in. Schools I currently have in mind are University of South Florida, Texas State, University of Virginia then my reach schools are Berkley and Harvard. I am trying to get a funded program and are unsure if these programs are funded but I am trying to look at all possibilities. Thanks!
  14. Hi all. What a stressful time of year! I have high scores, a near-perfect GPA, and glowing letters of rec, several posters, and an in-progress paper, so a few months ago I thought I had a pretty good shot. After spending more time on this website, I think I might have been very mistaken. I don't have a psychology degree. My degree is in Communication Sciences & Disorders (aka speech-language pathology), and I have only worked with PIs and faculty within that world. In undergrad, I volunteered in an autism lab, run by an SLP with a large background in neuroscience. I presented my own poster at a regional conference. After graduating, I spent a few months working as a nurses' aid in a hospital, where I saw many patients with mental illness. Then, I started as a research assistant in a motor speech lab. My PI is big in the world of speech and is the director of our small school's research program. I have 3 posters (one first author, and more psych-related) and one in progress pub (a collab with people in Brazil) that I am helping write/revise. In grad school, I'd like to study anxiety and depression or aging/dementia. I'm worried I may not even get any interviews because my previous work doesn't line up with this subject matter, since the bulk of my research experience has been in people with ASD, ALS, and face transplant patients. I do have experience with TMS and neuromodulation, but we don't do neuroimaging or psych testing. I really think what's putting me behind is either my lack of experience in the psych world or my lack of publications. So my question is, what should I spend the next year doing? Do I leave my lab (been here for a year) to find an RA job in a lab that actually researches what I'm interested in? Do I keep this job and focus on doing even more independent work, helping doc students write and publish papers, and running more participants (we're starting a project on kids with autism soon). Do I find an RA job at one of the schools I want to attend and move across the country? I absolutely don't want to live where I am now, but it's a city with a ton of research opportunities - volunteer and paid. What are your thoughts on how I could make myself more competitive? Secondarily... what do you guys think my chances are this cycle? I know it's useless to ask at this point, but I'd love the insight because I don't have any clinical psych people around to ask! My stats: GPA: 3.94 (at an arts school) GRE: 166V, 158Q, 5.0W Psych GRE: 770
  15. Hello all! I am graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this December with a 3.88 for my major GPA and 3.7 overall and I am currently in the process of applying to graduate school. I didn't do too hot on the first round of the GRE with a 150 verbal, 148 quant, and 3.5 writing. I have done a year of research in the field as well as received three letters of rec from two professors and my research mentor. Basically, I am the average student when it comes to applying to graduate school. I love the field and I am excited to get started in the field, but I am worried I'm a little too burnt out/don't have enough to make me stand out during the application process. Along with this, grad school IS SO EXPENSIVE and the thought of taking out even more loans makes me uneasy. For those of you that have taken gap years, did you find that it was beneficial to you in the long run? Does establishing residency in a state before attending the school help decrease the cost? Is it worth it to take that longer route? How could I make a gap year beneficial to me when reapplying next year? Basically, I'm struggling to decide what is the best route for me academically and financially. Any insight is appreciated!!!
  16. I would greatly appreciate some advice/input here. I'm applying to a few clinical psychology PhD programs this season and all of them have professors who are accepting students for fall 2018 listed on their websites. When I was initially writing my email drafts to POIs a few weeks back, only one of the universities' websites had this information listed and the other universities have since updated their websites with this info. I got a bit busy with working on a publication and my master's thesis in that meantime, so I am just now revisiting my email drafts and application materials. However, I'm beginning to question whether I should even email these POIs now, given that they're already listed on the website as accepting students and my email drafts have followed the format of "I am currently studying X and researching Y at such-and-such university. I am writing to inquire if you anticipate accepting students for the fall 2018 term, as I am very intrigued by your work on Z. [Details about the project and why I am interested]. Short explanation of my previous work and how it relates, blah blah blah. I have attached a copy of my CV for your consideration." (oversimplified, but you get the point.) I actually already sent my first email to a POI last week (literally the day before I noticed the website was recently updated with professors taking students too) and I got a response back almost immediately (within 1 hour). It was nicely worded and enthusiastic, but the professor didn't respond to my question regarding their research, nor did they directly address anything else that I mentioned in the email, just said "It looks like you have had wonderful training experiences and it sounds like your interests could fit well with the ongoing projects here at [university]. It is likely I will be taking students for fall 2018. As you are preparing your application, feel free to check my lab's website for more information at [website]." The font size for the greeting was different from that of the body of the email too, so I can't help but assume this POI just copied and pasted this generic response to my email and others. (It's quite obvious from what I wrote that I had already checked the lab's website and read quite a few of their papers, so that last sentence kinda bummed me out. I was hoping to speak with this professor about their research a bit and if the email interaction went well, I was considering possibly even requesting to schedule a skype meeting or something if they were willing to discuss their work and lab opportunities in more detail with me.) What I'm wondering is, should I even bother sending any more emails to POIs that are already listed as accepting students? I know it's generally a pretty good idea to email POIs, especially because program websites often don't list professors accepting students, or if they are listed, there's a chance the information may not be current. However, in my case, I know the information is current since I have been checking these websites fairly often throughout the last year and noticed the updates, and now I just feel a bit awkward emailing a professor knowing they are already planning to take students. My whole approach to this process was going to be: 1) see if they are taking students and demonstrate good fit, 2) discuss their work and potential projects in more detail, and 3) if all goes well, see if they would like to arrange a skype call or meeting to discuss things further. Trying to write the initial email without asking about whether they are taking students just feels awkward. Taking that part out just makes me feel like I'm skipping a huge step and saying "Hi Professor, here's my background and my CV, I will fit well with your lab." I don't know, I just don't like it no matter how I word it. I also don't think that it will give me any huge advantage in the admissions process if all of them respond in the same manner as the professor I've already contacted did either. I mean, I highly doubt this person is going to remember my name or anything about me if all they did was copy and paste a reply to my email. I can't really blame them for doing so because I'm sure that they get a lot of these emails, but I kind of feel like contacting these professors could even be a waste of my time. What do you think? Should I still contact these other POIs? Do you think it would necessarily decrease my admission chances if I didn't contact them, but rather mentioned a few names in my essays?
  17. Hello everyone, I am kind of new here. I am junior studying PSC at a US college. I want to go to grad school and study Authoritarianism-Public Opinion- Voter Behavior mainly. I started preparing for my application so I have a couple of questions for you. 1. Although I am in a good range in Q (163-166) , my verbal is not that good (around 153-154). I will do my best to improve it until I take the test this summer but I don't know how hard I should study for it. Do you think having a lower score on Verbal would hurt my chances a lot given that I am an international student? 2. I am searching for grad schools with a focus on Middle East-Authoritarianism as I suggested above, do you have any program recommendations for me? 3. Lastly, I am so desperate about my chances for getting into a T20 school. My profile is below, what do you think? Major:Political Science Minor: Statistics GPA=3.98 LoR= All from tenured professors. One with a professor that I RA'd before. Research: I will be doing a research this summer on a grant from my school and am hoping to use it as my writing sample. I speak Turkish fluently and German at an advanced level.
  18. Hi All, I'm in the process of applying to DePaul University's M.A. in International Studies program for Fall Quarter. Right now, I'm debating on my writing sample; the maximum length that I can submit is 8 pages from my undergraduate thesis. I've decided to select the analysis section of my paper, roughly around 5 pages, I'm wondering how much "background" on my research I should give prior to the actual analysis portion. I know that quantity doesn't always trump quality, but for some reason I feel weird not using all of the 8 pages allowed. What are your thoughts on this? DePaul is my top school and really want show the adcomm my best. The app is due on Friday and I would love all of your insight!
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