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  1. I am currently a Psychology major (junior) and am stressing about whether or not to withdraw from a class that I might get a C in. It’s been a roller coaster deciding my career path but I have finally decided on attending a Ph. D. program for clinical (or forensic) psychology after my undergrad. It should be noted that I also plan on either doing Post Bacc or getting my Masters to boost my resume with research and letters of rec to further show my dedication to applying to a Clinical Psychology Ph. D. program (as I know they are very competitive). I started out planning on Med School, but Sophomore year I changed my path to Physicians Assistant school, withdrawing from my Physics class which I was about to receive a C in. I changed my major to Psychology (because I loved psychology) and planned on just filling my electives with the science classes necessary for PA programs (i.e. organismal bio, organic chem, etc.). Here I am, now a junior, and after getting into my psychology classes and assisting with some research, I decided that psychology was my passion. BUT I am in a crisis as I am currently enrolled in Microbiology (as one of my electives) and I may get a C in the course. I have a 3.87 but, if I receive a C I will be bumped down to a 3.75 and that worries me for applying to not only a masters/post bacc programs but also a PhD programs. I know it is still a relatively high GPA but I really want to increase my competitiveness as much as possible and strive to get as close to a 4.0 as I can. I guess my question is, if I withdraw from this class, will graduate programs (masters/post bacc/phd) care? I would have two Ws on my transcript and although they are not considered to be classes relevant to my major, it still worries me. PLEASE HELP!
  2. Does anyone know the process for applying to European masters programs? Unfortunately lack of funding in the US has forced me to look for other options. From the websites of some institutions I've looked at it seems like unlike the US you don't reach out to professors before applying, you just apply like we did in undergrad? Thanks.
  3. Hi! Growing up I have had multiple chronic illnesses that have shaped my life. In recent years I have been able to be a full time college student without the illnesses getting in the way. After getting my PhD I want to work with children with chronic illness and other health issues. Some mentors have told me to include my health history in my personal statement while others have warned me to avoid it at all cost. Since it directly relates to my research interest and future career goals, should I include my medical history in my application? Thanks!
  4. HI, I'm applying to grad school programs for the Spring/Fall of 2020. The problem is that I took my GRE in November 2014. If I complete my applications before November 2019 to the schools on my list, will my application still be considered? Or will my GRE scores have expired by then? All websites say scores are valid for a 5 year period. Thanks!
  5. Did anyone apply to USF’s MPH or plan to go? Also, anyone already attending their MPH? I am looking for outside advice from others about the program. Any helpful info would be great. Thank you!
  6. So I'm applying to grad school for an MBA and on all my applications they ask me if I have ever been involved in any disciplinary action at any institution. Of course, I have to answer truthfully but I'm really worried that my application will be considered a lot less than someone equivalent to me because of this violation. I want to be honest and straightforward so I'm going to give some context to what happened. It was in my freshman year of college during my first computer science class. After turning in an assignment I looked online to look for more efficient methods and enrich my understanding of the subject. I came across a bugged solution that someone was having trouble with. Out of intellectual curiosity, I put this buggy solution in my repository to debug and learn from. It’s worth noting that anything I learned from in this exercise was never included in my original assignment as it was already turned in. I was never able to fully debug the program so I left it in my repository and commit and pushed it to GitHub to work on later. At the time, I was unaware that my GitHub repository would be under such scrutiny by the course faculty. It was later tagged by MOSS, the program they use to flag significant similarity between codes. At the time I was aware of a policy that restricted students looking at solutions online but I didn’t fully understand the extent of the policy. So I took it to a hearing. Unfortunately, the professors felt strongly that I violated the course’s policy. This policy stated that students are not even allowed to look at code online as it may produce “undue influence.” As a result, I received an “F” in the course. I fully understand that unawareness of this policy was my fault and mine alone, but I think my professors were slightly overzealous in their accusations. If I take responsibility for my actions, show how I've learned from it, and given the weird context do you think grad schools will at least weigh this less than they normally would? Thanks.
  7. I'm applying to masters' programs in Middle Eastern studies straight out of undergrad. I go to an Ivy League school and I'm going to graduate with at least a 3.2 GPA. I have some internship experience in my field and not much academic research experience, but I do have a lot of writing experience in my field. I have a strong SOP and good LOR (one of them is from one of the foremost professors in IR) and I am also fluent in Arabic with study abroad experience. My GRE scores are good (163V, 155Q, 5W) but I'm worried that my GPA will drag me down...what schools are considered 'safe', 'middle', and 'reach' for me?
  8. Hi all! This may be a bit of a weird question, but I can't find an answer anywhere. It's recommended everywhere to change up your SOP in order to highlight your best unique fit at each school. My letter writers asked for a CV and a draft of my statement of purpose. Should I send each different SOP to my letter writers so they can see what I discuss about fitting to each school specifically? Should I send one SOP and just notes about specific fit at the other schools I'm applying to? Thanks!
  9. Hey everyone! Did anyone else attend the webinar for USAHS Monday evening? What were your thoughts, feelings about the program after attending it?
  10. Hi, I'm interested in applying for a PhD in Fall 2019. Choosing schools in the US is particularly hard because I am conflicted between Sociology and Geography programs. I hold a Masters in Development Studies from a premier institute in India and have close to 2 years of work experience in the public policy & academic research sectors. My expectations are as follows: 1. Emphasis on qualitative research/ room for qual research 2. My specific interest is in urban studies, so would prefer a research cluster on cities/urban spaces. Interests: Urban studies - Qualitative Transportation, Identities, Spatiality, Heritage ; Comparative Research; International Development; South Asia; Public Policy Expectations from Programmes: Program: Interdisciplinary, Allowing students to choose courses across departments, emphasis/known for applied approach Resources: Ongoing projects with vibrant research space, Access to funding, Encouraging collaborations, Good enough brand to ensure employment on completion of programme, preferably located in an urban area to aid fieldwork.  Look forward to suggestions from you guys about which department might be a better fit and potential school options too!
  11. Hey yall- I'm starting this thread for those applying to NPSIA for 2018. Feel free to post any questions or comments here. And as offers roll out too dont be afraid to share your acceptance or decline comments here Just curious, in regards to the MA, are people limiting their statement of intent to a certain number of words? is it research focused (with citations and all) even if you aren't planning on doing the thesis or MRP? The instructions on the website are quite vague, so i'm curious what people are doing (especially word count wise).
  12. Hello everyone! First time poster. I just finished my undergraduate degree and am working in a role related to that degree (business) for the time being. I was an RA in college and quickly realized that was what I wanted to pursue as a career, so I'm hoping (once I make a solid dent in my undergrad loans) to go back to school and get my graduate degree in student affairs. I've been researching it, starry-eyed and hopeful and I'm honestly really overwhelmed by my options. I have many questions and am hoping I can find some answers here! I've reached out to my mentors from college reslife but the more input the merrier! Any stand-out awesome programs? I'd like to stay on the west coast, but I'm not opposed to traveling if it means I pay less tuition. It seems like there is a large variety of titles for the degree, including college counseling, student affairs, higher education leadership, etc. Are there any pros/cons to one over another? Are there any programs in this field that are fully funded? I know there are options to be a Graduate Assistant, but it's hard to tell based on the websites which cover the entire tuition. Thank you in advance, wonderful internet people! ?
  13. Hi everyone, Has anyone ever started preparing to apply to grad school (PhD more specifically) and then decided to not apply or decided to apply the next year? If so, what was the reason?
  14. Hi everyone, I'm planning to apply to PhD programs. I know it's super competitive, and so I wanted to have a back up plan in case I don't get in anywhere. Should I apply to some Masters' programs as well? I know some PhD programs have Masters' programs IN them, but I just want to have a plan. And maybe having a Masters' degree might help me more when I apply again? Not sure. Thanks in advance!
  15. I'm ending my junior year, and I'm estimating that my GPA is about to go from a 3.7 to a 3.6. This is due to having some mental health issues (including a week in the hospital), and I'm afraid that I won't be as competitive when I start applying in the fall. I haven't taken the GRE yet, but I plan to take it this summer. I also plan to shadow in some hospitals since my interest is in swallowing. I'm also starting a research project this summer studying why CFY students aren't accepted into acute care positions, and I'm considering doing a PhD. I will at least do a master's thesis. So far, I have these schools on my list: Auburn University (where I currently attend) University of South Alabama University of Memphis University of Central Florida University of Tennessee Florida State University of Florida. Is that a good number? I'm hoping that my interest in research will help me to stand out, and I know some of these schools have combined MS/PhD programs. I'm just worried that my GPA puts me at a disadvantage, even if I bring it up some in the fall. Thoughts?
  16. https://www.alisoncebulla.com/2018/04/applying-graduate-school-play-play/ I wrote this exhaustively detailed blog about every step of my grad school process from dreaming up the idea to executing exams and apps. I include timelines, advice, things that worked and things I would do differently. I applied to Boston University, University of Washington, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Berkeley schools of public health. My blog outlines the GRE scores I got, which programs I was accepted to and which ones I wasn't. It also includes the various worries and fears I had every step of the way. Hope this helps! Happy to answer other questions not answered in my blog.
  17. Hello all, I am finishing up my undergraduate degree in psychology this semester. I applied to Ph.D. Counseling Psychology programs, and I unfortunately did not get any acceptances. One program did offer me admission into their masters counseling program which has opportunities to engage in research. However, there is a post-baccalaureate research fellowship I am highly interested, in which I will have the opportunity to conduct research in an area I am very passionate about. What will make me a stonger applicant when applying to Ph.D. programs next time around... taking a gap year and doing research in my area of interest of completing a masters program?
  18. Hello everyone, If you're reading this I hope you're doing well and trying to take care of yourself. As application updates are rolling in I've noticed a trend of unfortunate situations where posters have been in the PhD application game for a few cycles (2-3) and continue to be unsuccessful in their endeavors. I keep reading about experiences where they've gotten 0 offers time and time again, and it's definitely scaring me. I was wondering if this has anything to do with the specific field they're in, or the research they want to do? For example, I can see this happening for clinical psych PhDs simply because they're so dang competitive (~1-3% admission rate for some of the top schools). But what about other psychology fields that are non-clinical? Maybe I'm just asking because I'm hoping for someone to tell me that these are outlying or special situations, and that people will typically succeed in getting at least 1 offer after trying for 2 or 3 cycles (and doing productive things between cycles that actually make them a more competitive applicant ). And it would be helpful to hear about how this experience is in psych PhDs specifically. I know the general, underlying explanation for this unfortunate situation is that the combination of funding and match make PhD admissions almost unpredictable, but it's so hard (and scary) to believe that people who are working so hard, are well qualified, and are persistent still don't get any acceptances after years and years. Am I just being naive?
  19. I'm starting this thread for everyone applying to Poli Sci MAs for 2018! Feel free to add your acceptances as they come in. Good luck everyone! For a bit of context, I applied to Carleton, Queens, Western and Laurier. Where did you guys apply to?
  20. Not my application season yet, but I'm wondering how much I should be putting aside specifically for apps in the meantime. So, I'm wondering how much you all paid in total, how many programs you applied to, what sort of unexpected fees you ran into, etc. Any and all info is appreciated. Obviously saving up as much as possible is ideal, so I'm looking less for advice about how much I myself should put aside as I am looking for others' experiences and maybe what to expect. Thanks in advance!
  21. I figured I'd go ahead and start this thread. I know it's a bit early, but who's ready? This will be my second cycle. I was rejected from four schools this past cycle, but according to one of my favorite songs, "You've got to lose to know how to win" (Aerosmith /\A/\). I know what I need to do this time around. I'm ready. Were you rejected this year? Or will this be your first time? What schools are you considering? Good luck everyone. A year from right now (2/24/17) we will have good news to share with each other.
  22. Hi everyone! I am an applicant for Genetic Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. My application is officially being reviewed as of a few weeks/a month ago and I'm basically just playing the waiting game. A few stats about me: 26 years old, graduating with a BS in Biology April 2018, 3.34 GPA, 5 years pharmacy experience, GC shadowing experience, bereavement counseling volunteer, research experience, and personal GC experience. I only applied to UPitt -- kind of scary, but hoping for the best. Anyone else applying to GC programs for Fall 2018?
  23. Hello everyone, I am a master's student who is attempting to build an app that serves as sort of a Match.com for PhD applicants and Research professors. The idea is to get students and professors better acquainted BEFORE applying, using the web for students who do not have the resources to meet in person, and to avoid phone call/email conversations that can be impersonal and makes building chemistry difficult. The questions I'd like answered before I move forward are: Would an app like this have helped make your search more efficient? Would you find this helpful? What sorts of fields would you find most useful for the app to deliver? i.e. current research, personal information, etc. What recommendations would you make for this app that would maximize the utility to both yourself as a prospective student and to PhD's that you've interacted with? Any input would be greatly appreciated! I'm not just looking for input from those that have been accepted, but also from those that have been denied (like myself), because I want to create a method that will maximize the potential of those applying of getting in! So please help out me and all those struggling to get accepted.
  24. I wrote this to answer a question in the questions and answers forum, but I thought people over here may find it useful! I wrote it from the STEM perspective, so feel free to correct me/add details for other fields. If you think you may want to apply to grad school, there are several things you can do now to set yourself up well for your future applications if you end up deciding to apply to later down the road. 1. Keep your grades up! This goes for getting a job post graduate school as well, but GPA tends to be a reasonably large factor in the admissions process. The most important classes will be those related to your field of study, but you will also want to have the highest overall GPA you can manage. 2. Start/maintain strong relationships with a few of your professors. Talk to them during their office hours, go above and beyond in their class, chat with them regularly, create relationships with them. When the graduate school application process rolls around, you are going to need professors to write recommendation letters for you where they vouch that you are an amazing student and have strong potential to succeed in graduate school. The best letters come from professors that actually know you well and can speak to their personal relationship with you. 3. If you end up in a lab research-centric field (like biology, chemistry, engineering, etc.), start in undergraduate research as soon as you can. The best way to do this is to poke around on professor and department websites and search for their research blurbs. Read through those until you get a feel for the types of work that interests you. Obviously your interests are going to be broad and undefined at this point - that is absolutely fine. Just find a few things that sound fun and roll with it! Reach out to those professors (either by email or by actually going to their office) and ask if they have any openings for an undergraduate research assistant. Be persistent! It is HIGHLY unlikely that you will be able to get into the lab of the first person you talk to (depending on your department/university), but you will get absolutely no where if you don't try. The easiest professors to get in with are ones who you have had class with and already have a good relationship with (see #2), so you can always start there! 4. Use your summers wisely - do something with your summer breaks that is meaningful. This can be a summer internship, a volunteer experience, an outreach program, a study abroad term, or something similar. Whatever you do should be something that gives you a new experience and helps you grow as a person. Get out there, explore, try something brand new, broaden your horizons, all those cliches. Not only will you grow, but you'll get a better feel for who you are and what you want you want to do, and you'll also have something to talk about in that beast of a personal statement you eventually have to write. Summer internships are an amazing way to get some research experience. If you are having difficulties getting into a lab at school, look for an internship that typically takes students with little research experience and use that as your springboard into the field. Internships are also a great way to explore research that's different from what you are doing at school and can help you narrow your broad research interests! 5. Do something with the research you're doing. Publications are the gold shining star of a graduate school application, but it can be extremely difficult to publish your research as an undergraduate (this depends on your lab). Whether or not you are going to be able to get a paper out of your research, try to find avenues to present it. Most research universities offer some type of undergraduate research symposium where undergrads present what they've been working on. There are also regional conferences as a part of the big national societies that students frequently present at. You can also present at a national conference (depending on your lab)! This is also an option with any research you do over the summer - be sure to talk to the people you intern/work with to see if that is an option. 6. Get involved with something you are passionate about outside of the classroom. So now that I've harped on the huge importance of research, I can move on to the other stuff. Do something outside of your classes/research that you are excited about. This can be band, sports, outreach to local schools, volunteering at a food pantry, working for the school newspaper, photography, something. Get involved and not just on the surface level. Show commitment to the activity/organization. Take on a leadership role, branch out and start a new organization, or something along those lines that shows it is important to you. The goal here is to show that you are a real person with interests outside of school and also that you are committed and motivated. It's much, much better to be deeply involved in a select few things you are passionate about than to be barely involved in twenty different activities. 7. Look into awards, prestigious scholarships, etc. that you may qualify for. There are tons of awards and scholarships out there that will recognize you for all of the hard work you have been putting in. Depending on what your interests/fields are, you can join honor societies like Phi Kappa Phi or Phi Beta Kappa or field-specific ones. You can apply for the Goldwater Scholarship when you have one to two years of college remaining if you are in STEM. There's also Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, and a whole slew of other prestigious scholarships that you can look into applying to. A lot of professional societies also have undergraduate awards and scholarships that you can consider for your individual field. Your university probably has an office/person to assist people in applying for these types of awards, and I definitely encourage you to find them and talk to them about your options! There are also specific awards for minorities if that applies to you and first generation college students. While these are not nearly as important to your application as a strong research background and recommendation letters, they can definitely be extra jewels in the crown. 8. Keep track of everything that you are doing. You are going to be busy during college with lots of class, activities, research, and summer plans! Start a resume, CV, and list of classes (with course number, full title, number of credits, professor, textbook, your grade in the class, and a one-line blurb about what you did in the class). You can find good templates online for a resume and CV, or you can talk to the career office at your school for help. You will thank yourself later for starting early because it's so much easier to remember all of the details about your involvement when it's actually happening than three or four years down the line! 9. Keep in mind the components of the graduate school application so you can plan ahead as necessary. For every field, your graduate school application is going to have several key components: GPA (major and overall), GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing), two to three recommendation letters from faculty, a CV, and a personal statement. For some fields, you may also need a subject GRE score, a writing sample, and/or a portfolio of your work. This is why I said keep your grades up (#1), have good relationships with faculty (#2), do research (#3 - 5), and start your CV early (#8). 10. Do your research! When you reach your junior year (probably the spring of your junior year), you should start thinking about what grad school programs you might be interested in, what you want to study, and what you need to prepare for your applications. You should also think about when you want to take the GRE and set up a study plan. I won't go into more detail here because there's TONS of information about both of these things on the site, and that's still a while away for you. 11. Take a deep breath and enjoy college. I listed tons of advice here, but the last thing you need to do is stress out. By already thinking about what you need to do to prepare for grad school, you're way ahead of the game and you're going to be just fine. Take the time to enjoy your college experience because undergrad can be a whole lot of fun, and you don't want to miss out on that! GOOD LUCK!
  25. Hi everyone! So, I've struck a bit of luck -- my mom's boss is offering to buy me a new laptop, which I desperately need! Now, because my budget is not an issue, I want to be strategic and get a laptop that will suit me best in graduate school. I am currently reapplying to clinical psych phd programs. What's the best laptop for statistical analysis programs, and these programs in general? Any advice is helpful!! - k@tie
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