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Found 23 results

  1. slptobe!

    Gap Year Advice??

    Hi there! I graduated undergrad from CU Boulder a little over a week ago, woo! I'm taking a gap year to relax a little and gain a little more experience because I graduated in three years, as well as be able to be with my family a little more. I have my list of schools I want to apply to and had already done most of the research on them, but I'm terrified I won't get in anywhere. I'm from California, so I'm currently looking at schools in California, Colorado, and Washington (but am open to others!). I am taking the GRE this summer/fall and have volunteered and done internships throughout my time at CU, but my GPA is only at a 3.4 because my first year wasn't my strongest. So I'm scared that it'll be too low. I am fluent in Spanish and am learning ASL more in my gap year. Does anyone know if the admissions teams take into consideration that I did it in three years? Also any advice of things to do during my gap year to raise my chances? Any advice helps! Also sorry if this is too long.
  2. Hello everyone! I have a few questions about how PhD admissions may differ for those applying with a MA under their belt. I am a first year student in a funded psychology masters program and just finished my first semester. Unfortunately, I didn't do very well in terms of my gpa (<3.5) and didn't make as much progress on my research as I would have liked (i.e. I don't have enough ready for a poster at the moment). I struggled this past semester due to several things (time management/adjusting to grad school, imposter syndrome, moving far from home), but one very salient thing is that I am completely switching research focus from what I did previously in undergrad. This change took up a lot of my time as I had to get "up to speed" on the literature/research, so I'm not getting through my research as fast as I hoped. All of this has taken a toll on my self-perception, but I feel determined to bounce back and do better from here on. I will work hard to raise my gpa up to a 3.5 this semester and get my research in a good place, hopefully to present at conferences soon. Given that I only have 1 semester left to turn things around for the next application season, I began wondering about issues specific to applicants with a MA in social sciences: I assume that the "bar" might be set higher for applicants with an MA compared to someone applying straight from their BA. How important are publications for students applying to PhDs with a MA? Similarly, how many posters/presentations would I be expected to have? If my performance in my MA program isn't very competitive by the time I finish (i.e. <3.5 gpa, none or very few items in my CV outside of completing my MA thesis), would I be able to take a "gap year" doing work/research to boost my application for future seasons? Or would a weak MA be a "permanent scar" on my applications, causing admissions look at me unfavorably regardless? I have heard that MA gpas are judged more critically as there tends to be grade inflation in graduate school. While I don't feel that my MA program has a severe grade inflation issue, this makes me concerned that the usual 3.5 gpa "cut off" in PhD admissions might not be applicable for graduate gpas. Does anyone have any insight on this? For reference, my undergraduate gpa is fairly strong (3.7), so I'm not concerned about the UGPA portion of my application. Also, if anyone has any advice on how to improve myself outside of these factors, please let me know! Thank you all for your time. P.S. Sorry if this post is misplaced! I wanted to place this in the admissions/applications section, but some details of this situation may not neatly apply for applicants outside of the social sciences, so I thought this might be a better fit.
  3. Greetings~ I'm in a one year masters program, which I felt didn't give me enough time to prepare a successful PhD app [making a writing sample, getting letters of recommendation, really articulating what I want from a PhD program or faculty advisor, etc]. I will be taking a gap year before applying for PhDs in American Lit. I'll be staying in the same city, Pittsburgh, which has plenty of opportunities for English MAs. I'm not too worried about finding the best work for me, but I'm curious-- what are others doing for a gap year? If you did take a gap year, what did you do that made it successful? How did you balance work and preparation for applications? Were you very worried about finding something closely related to your field of study, or is Starbucks just fine? What do you think are the biggest differences between a gap year immediately after undergrad and gap years that are between graduate degrees?
  4. IceCream & MatSci

    Post Baccalaureate/Gap Year Question

    Hi there! I am currently taking a gap year. Since I don't have a job right now, I have bee focusing on my grad school applications. However, I hate just sitting around and not doing anything, so I was thinking of asking professors at the university I graduated from and in the field I am interested in for my PhD if they have any positions in their research group I could undertake. Do you all think this is a good idea? I am not sure how professors I have never contacted before will react to do this. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
  5. IceCream & MatSci

    Post Baccalaureate Opportunities

    Hi all! I just got my Bachelor's in May, and am in the process of applying to PhD porgrams starting in the Fall 2019. I decided to take a gap year so I could focus on applying and hopefully obtain some additional research experience. I am having a rough time finding research opportunities, however. I have been searching since February, and one of the reasons I didn't find anything because most programs started during the summer and I was traveling then. Do any of you know of short-term research opportunities lasting 6 months or so? My background is in materials science and engineering, but I want to focus my PhD research in biomaterials and tissue engineering, which means I am applying to a lot of biomedical engineering grad programs. I appreciate any help! Thanks so much in advance!
  6. Hello! I couldn't find a thread for postbacc options, so here we go! Im graduating early, so decided a postbacc would be a great way to spend the year before applying to PhD programs. Ive applied to the NIH PREP program at Yale, Northwestern, Harvard, Mayo Clinic, Brown, and possibly one more!
  7. Hello, Please have a look at my profile page for more information "about me." I want to include details there to delete later. Building on what's on the "about me" page, I'm half-way through my gap year, which I've split into three main goals: refining my research agenda, learning German from zero to C1, and preparing for PhD applications (GRE, LOR, etc.). The decision to learn German (which I formulated one and a half years ago and never questioned) made this transitional experience (M.A. at home to PhD abroad) more challenging. Students from similar backgrounds (non-native English speakers) should normally be certifying their English skills, while my aim is to certify both German and English before starting the PhD phase. My English is native-like (I hope so ?), so it is just a matter of familiarizing myself with the test. My first motivation to learn German is personal, not necessarily to study in German and Swiss universities; though these are still my fourth option after the American, Canadian, and British. German will always be part of me even if I settle in a non-German country. As you can see from my 'about me' page, I'm not at all interested in any non-academic work. I'm worried whether this reclusive gap year and lack of work experience could have a negative impact on my application to North American universities; unlike these, German universities could easily see the point of spending much of the gap year learning German. I'm also worried that allocating so much time to learning German could be seen by North American universities as irrelevant to their main endeavour (sociological research and teaching in English). My (sincere) justification is that, being a cosmopolitan sociologist, I'm committed to maintaining a relationship with the German sociological community and media (as well as the Arab and the French). Assuming that I managed to convince the selection committee of the robustness and originality of my research agenda, and that I managed to get the highest certificate in German language, good TOEFL and GRE scores, would the reclusive gap year negatively impact my application to North American universities? In light of the information I shared, including the positive scenarios mentioned, how competitive is my application in North America? Thank you for your time.
  8. pinkingpsych

    non-Psychology Masters Programs?

    I got into the University of Michigan's Master's of Science in Information program, and I'm thinking about studying the computational social sciences track. If I do this, I would still like apply to PhD programs in clinical or counseling psych during my last year at UM. Do y'all think admissions would look favorably upon the degree? If you have any advice on how to stay a competitive applicant, I would greatly appreciate it.
  9. Hi all, I know there are a plethora of these posts out there, but they've seemed pretty helpful and I am, as the title states, overwhelmed. The run-down: I'm a current undergrad (psychology major and linguistics minor) set to graduate this June at UCSD; my GPA isn't the most stellar (3.5 Cumulative, 3.6 Psych) and I've yet to take the GRE. I ended up finishing all my coursework a year early due to funds and I'm planning to use that "fourth" year as a gap year so I can continue working at the two labs I'm currently involved in and figure out if I want to pursue psycholinguistics/ applied psych or school psych. One is more clinical and I mostly just help monitor assessments on children at risk for autism, while the other is more research-based and is focused on psycholinguistics, but I haven't been involved in any presentations or publications as of current. Volunteer-wise, I help out at the LGBTQ center on campus and I'm on the board for an org that sends undergrad volunteers out to partners schools around the city to work in classrooms and after-school programs. The problem(s): I'd really like to go to grad school in the future, but I feel like my experience and whatnot is inadequate compared to what I've seen from other applicants. As I mentioned before, I'll be taking the 2018-2019 year to continue working at my UG labs, but other than that I'm kind of lost. I definitely have to find a full-time job to support myself since I'm not originally from the area and have to rely on my own funds to repay my loans and rent, but relevant jobs I have found in psychology or teaching have all required reliable transportation ( aka a car ), which I don't have right now. I definitely don't mind just taking any job to pay the bills and beefing up my resume with volunteer experience, though. What should I do in my gap year to spruce up my admission chances? Is it important for my FT job to be relevant to psychology- in other words, will it hurt my application if it isn't? I appreciate any suggestions, advice, or comments!
  10. DippinDot

    Gap Year? Job? Masters?

    Hey everyone, I made a post earlier regarding WFU's masters program in particular, but I wanted to make a thread about the general experience of what people have chosen to do when they're not going to a PhD straight from undergrad. I'm new here so I'm still learning the posting etiquette on gradcafe, but I apologize if this topic is too closely related to the other thread. I feel that this is a different question though, whereas the other thread was about WFU specifically. Hopefully this is OK. Basically, I was wondering what people's experiences have been with doing a non-PhD grad program or a gap year. Specifically, has doing a masters program before applying to PhD in clinical and non-clinical disciplines ever worked against you in the admissions process? I hear some things about how doing a gap year is better because it's very independent, whereas masters programs are often very structured. However, I definitely see a lot of people successfully going to great PhD programs after completing a research masters, so I'm sure this is just unfounded/hearsay. What's everyone's experience with this? Does anyone do any applied masters programs (like MS or a licensing program)? I also hear things about Post Bacc programs, although rare. Or alternatively, has anyone tried to do a paid job or internship for their gap year before reapplying? Thanks in advance!!
  11. boopbop

    Should I be worried?

    Hello everyone,This is my first post on gradcafe. I'm trying to omit as much identifying details as I can, so I apologize in advance if this is confusing or lengthy. I got admission into the PhD program at the same university I attended for undergraduate. This was originally my "safety" option, and the mentor/adviser is someone I've worked closely with during my undegrad research years. I haven't gotten any interview offers for any of the other schools I applied to, and I'm starting to worry that I won't get in anywhere else. I could just take this admission, but I'm struggling to feel confident about this decision... for 2 reasons: 1. I'm not completely sure that I want to do this JUST this specific concentration of my discipline anymore. Basically, I've been trying to choose between 2 concentrations of my major, and my school only offers an official program for one of them. Which means there's no possibility for me to pursue the secondary interest in any capacity, whether it's through a second mentor or through applied work (as there is no dedicated department for it). The other schools I applied to have both of these concentrations as many people study an intersection of both. I was hoping to study in this intersection, or at least leave room for myself to do collaborative work that touches on both subjects.2. I feel that I wasn't well prepared to apply to grad school this cycle. I spread myself thin across many applications, and across several disciplines of my major. I think I ultimately didn't know what I wanted to research, and only realized it when I found myself in a circumstance where I couldn't have certain research topics as an option for my PhD. I feel that if I spent more time researching the programs and PIs early on, I would have been able to craft a much better application to the schools that I really wanted to go to. That, and taking the next year to do more research and applied work. I didn't contact PIs early and do the homework months ahead as many successful applicants have. I should've just narrowed down what I wanted to research and worked really hard on a handful of applications.These apprehensions are pretty fundamental to my career trajectory so I feel that I should turn it down and reapply to my dream programs next year. However, I'm concerned about turning down my adviser as I will need their recommendation letter again next year when I go through the application cycle again. Like I mentioned, I have worked with them intimately for the past years and they wrote my strongest recommendation letter. I'm sure they'll use a similar letter again, but I would still have to go through the motions of asking them whether they'd be willing to be my letter writer again. I feel like I have justified reasons for turning down the admission, but I'm scared that it will be awkward between me and them if I turn it down considering I'm not doing for another immediate acceptance. Should I be concerned, or am I worrying unnecessarily? I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to do because I am genuinely interested in this PI's research and this concentration of my major in general. I thought I would be okay with doing this program if I had been rejected by programs with more interdisciplinary emphasis, but I guess I was wrong. I also don't want to burn any bridges or hurt any feelings. Thanks in advance, and sorry about the super long post.
  12. Help a girl out here, y'all. I've been set on taking a gap year before applying for grad school. Most of my classmates are applying this Fall and during this whole summer I've been watching them freak out over their apps, GREs, etc. and I'm just here not worrying about it since I'm planning to apply next Fall. I just feel like I am not ready for grad school yet, feel like I haven't done enough to boost my apps or get to know my professors enough, you know? But now, I'm really having second thoughts. I'm super conflicted. I feel like I might miss my chance if I don't apply now. Plus all the other issues like, who am I gonna ask for my letter of recs in a year when I'm not attending school anymore and all that stuff. I freaking doubt you can recycle LoRs (or can you? ) If anyone here is on the same boat, feel free to reply and freak out with me. If anyone here has taken a gap year and got into grad school anyway, please take me as your young Padawan and school me of your ways. If anyone here is totally against a gap year, please enlighten me as to why.
  13. Hi everyone, Hope you can help me. I'm currently a senior studying political science with minors in Spanish (did it for the language skills) and marketing (did it for the quantitative research skills). I want to get a PhD in political science eventually but want to spend (at least) a year working before applying to graduate school. I will likely apply this fall to PhD programs. I applied to several fellowships and was even made a finalist for a couple of them but nothing has panned out so far, I've applied to a couple of jobs and have also been rejected from all of them and I feel quite. I'm a first-gen college student, and only child, and my parents don't even speak English so that's no help. I just feel like there are no entry-level positions for me. I'm super interested in studying conflict and my research experience supports that but really I would take anything related to research or political science, at a think tank or something like that. I have a good GPA (slightly above 3.75), and quite frankly a lot of research (honors thesis, independent research grant on a separate topic, and I work as a research assistant; have taken two graduate-level courses in quantitative research, one in the poli sci department and one in the marketing department) and student leadership experience. I don't know where to continue searching, what to look for, or how to improve my luck. All of my friends have jobs and I feel very discouraged. Really any sort of advice would be helpful to me, I'm happy to share my resume or CV via PM. What should I be looking for in order to improve my profile? I hope this post is okay and I'm sorry if I haven't been more specific, but like I said even being pointed in a good direction would be so helpful for me. Please let me know if there is any other information I should provide on here and I will edit accordingly. Thank you in advance for the help!
  14. So after an relatively unsuccessful application season, I am currently meditating on how to best spend a gap year. I'm confident with my GRE and Subject Test scores so I won't be retaking those, but I do want to polish my BA Thesis for use in the next application cycle as well as writing a whole new paper for those schools that require two writing samples. I can't afford to take extra classes, so I was thinking I would do research on my own and look at online resources (been wanting to watch some of the Harvard youtube classes in full). Unfortunately, I don't know how successful my research will be without access to a library and databases that I rely on so much now. I was also thinking about tutoring high school students or some other kind of teaching work (I've already missed the deadline for teaching abroad and Teach For America I think). So basically I'm at a total loss. Has anyone had a really successful gap year? Any suggestions for options for work (paid or volunteer) that will show that I'm not just wasting the year off?
  15. cat1taylor

    PhD in Clinical Psychology Wanted

    Hello, I recently graduated from my undergraduate studies in December with my bachelor of science in psychology. I have some research experience and independent research experience as well. My GRE scores need to be better, but with this time off I am going to be focusing on bringing those scores up, but I am also wondering if I am making the right decision. I recently received a job offer to be an early childhood behavior coach through a program that assists children with autism. I am going to be receiving ABA training and I will be a BCaBA once I am certified. It is a full time job and I will be assigned my own children that I work with individually once I am trained. Since I do want a doctorate in clinical psychology and want to continue to work in the mental health field, is this a step in the right direction with taking this job offer? I know that research is key, but I am planning to try and volunteer and get more research experience once I am settled into this new job. Is this job going to be more than just something to put on my resume? Is it really going to help me get in a good PhD program? because by then I will have been working there for over a year. Please let me know all of your all's opinions, and even questions if any! Thanks so much.
  16. sassquatch

    Unrelated Gap Year

    Hi, I'm new to this site and I'm trying to get a more informed opinion on whether doing an unrelated gap year would ruin my chances for a PhD. Most students I know, and a lot on this site, who decide to take a gap year end up in a research lab gaining more experience. However, I currently have a high-ish gpa (~3.7) that I plan to maintain, hopefully a good gre, and research experience (2 years related in an honors thesis, and 1 unrelated year researching bees). So I don't think I need more research experience and I would like to consider doing a gap year teaching English abroad and getting rid of any last wanderlust before chaining myself to a lab bench. I love research but I don't particularly want to be a lab monkey for minimum wage for a job I don't plan to stay in more than a year. Would I come back and realize I have no shot at getting a PhD, or reduced chances?
  17. Hello I have just graduated Rutgers University the New Brunswick campus with a a major of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and minor of Statistics. My GPA at the end of college was a 3.3 out of a 4.0 scale. I know this is a very low GPA. I want to do PhD, in the life sciences, and have done research for the past two years and completed an Honors Undergraduate Thesis. I was planning on taking a year of, so i could study for the GRE in the summer and take them in September or October so I could try to get a great GRE score so it could offset my low GPA.During this time I applied for a masters program, M,A in biotechnology at Columbia University which did not require a GRE. I got into the masters program, however I am now unsure if I should still take a year off or i should rather take this prestigious opportunity and then after the Master program apply for PhD which would then enable me to get into a stronger PhD program which i would be unable to after just undergrad. I have also been told I might be published end of this year. I have listed the Pros and Cons below. Please let me know if in your opinon i should still take a year off or I should take the Master program and then apply to PhD program. i really want to attend Columbia but wanted to get others opinion.Pros:-Attending Columbia's Master program will ;provide me the ability to get into a top PhD program due to the prestige of the faculty and status of the school-Help me expand my network of connections-Expand my Knowledge-ITS COLUMBIA LOL-Columbia might give me that distinction which might differentiate me from other candidates when applying for PhD.Cons:-I will be spending 65K for a a`1 year master program. (Very expensive)My C.VEducation: Rutgers University, School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick, NJMajor: Molecular Biology and BiochemistryMinor: StatisticsRelevant Courses: Molecular Pathways, Gene Regulation in Cancer and Development, Special Topics in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: The Biology of Aging, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Introduction to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Laboratory, Organic Chemistry, Computer and Graphical Applications Statistics, Regression Methods, Introduction to Experimental Design, Statistics for Quality Control, Basic Statistics for Research, Introduction to Computing Statistics, Basic Statistics and Probability, Calculus, Physics, Biology, ChemistryExperience1. Undergraduate Research Assistant at Rutgers University- September 2014- Current• Received Highest Honors after successfully defending my Honors Thesis titled, "The Role of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 1(GRM1) in Exosome Production and Melanoma Metastasis: Determining the Cellular Origin of Exosomes in Circulation".2. Research Assistant at Avatar Biotechnologies (Brooklyn) - June 2nd 2014- August 23rd 2014• Worked on an independent project to see if certain insertions in Influenza Virus’s Hemagglutin would provide an in-vitro headless HA molecule.• Provided assistance to an intern, on how to perform certain assays3. Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Basic Statistics for Research (Rutgers University) January 2014-December 2014• Provided assistance to the professor in preparation of assignments.4. Worked for Barbra Buono for Governor Campaign (New Brunswick, New Jersey)- May 30th 2013- August 15th 2013• Voters were informed of Barbara Buono’s belief’s allowing me to develop strong communication skills.• Supervised volunteers and other interns.5. Internship at International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Manhattan New York)- August 2011• Learned about the different components of a non-profit organization and learned how to apply money saving tactics in research.• Understood the process of quality control, writing grants, and the functionality of non-profit companies.Honors/Awards1. Highest Honors Awarded to my Senior Thesis (Rutgers University)• Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry awarded me highest honors after successfully defending my thesis and on the quality of my thesis.2. School of Arts and Sciences Paul Robeson Scholar (Rutgers University)• Distinction given by the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, to Undergraduates completing an Honors Thesis.3. Aresty Research Center Undergraduate Research Fellowship (Rutgers University)• Awarded funding allocated towards my Honors Thesis4. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (Earnest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University)- May-August 2015• One of the 24 students who were accepted into the program.• SURF fellow at Rutgers and also an American Society of Pharmacological and Experimental Therapeutics SURF Fellow.5. Dean’s List• Given to students who have obtained a 3.5 GPA at the end of the semester.6. Eagle Scout• Only 5% of boys entering Boy Scouts are awarded Eagle Scout rank. This status defines me as a strong leader, someone who can be trusted, and be given responsibilities. The two leadership roles I held were: senior patrol leader and troop guide.• Developed a project that would help beautify Edison High School, by planting plants around ten trees, using bricks to make a boundary around each of those ten trees and make a bench and place an Eagle Statue on pedestal.Projects1. Basic Statistics for Research- Fall 2013• Created projects which incorporated ANOVA, Regression Analysis, Pareto Analysis, and the Cause and effect Diagram/Ishikawa diagram was used to study various lecture topics.2. Computing and Graphics in Applied Statistics- Fall 2015• Worked in a group of three to develop a 30 minute presentation on the topic, Regression Model Building using Multiple Comparison Testing. In our presentation we built a regression model to analyze the relationship between the length of the cuckoo egg and the host bird species. We used ANOVA for our multiple comparison test for the four different variables, hedge sparrow, pied wagtail, meadow pipit and robin, to conclude which variable (bird) was significant to be included in the model. The conclusion the multiple comparison test lead to the rejection of the null hypothesis for Hedge Sparrow = Meadow Pipet. This allowed us to determine that the hedge sparrow and meadow pipit are significant in the regression model.Laboratory Skills• Total Exosome Isolation• Transform and Transfect Cells• Minipreps and Maxipreps• Genomic DNA Extraction• Protein Extraction• Polymerase Chain Reaction assays• Gel Electrophoresis• Immunoblotting• Elisa• Protein Assay• Spectrophotometer• Microscopy• Write research proposal• Knowledge of proper laboratory ethicsComputer Skills• Proficient in using ImageJ software• Proficient in the use of excel to do statistical analysis, using the tools data analysis and pivot.• Familiar with R- Programming and SAS-Programing• Proficient in using Microsoft Office, Google Documents.
  18. Hi everyone, Excited to join the community and (eventually) go through the application cycle--this is exactly what my question is about. I'm interested in applying to PhD programs in political science. Unfortunately, my parents didn't go to college and I don't have siblings so I really don't have a good frame of reference for admissions at all besides some conversations with professors and one of my best friends who graduated this past year (chemical engineering, he's getting his PhD at MIT starting this upcoming year--he's a genius!) In any case, I'm an incoming senior at a school consistently ranked around #15-ish in undergraduate rankings (side question: how much does this matter?) I have a decent, but not amazing cumulative GPA (3.73) and a great major GPA (3.9), although my GPA has consistently improved over time (my weakest point was freshman year). Not sure how I would do on the GREs, but I test well and am good at math. In terms of research experience, I received a grant to do my own project over the summer last year, which was great, not-publishable as it stands (working on improving it) but I got an award for the best social science poster in my school's undergraduate research fair which I guess is pretty cool. This summer, I'm working doing policy research at a central bank not in the US--I'm a dual citizen of a Latin American country and found a cool opportunity there (another side question--I speak fluent Spanish, does that help?). This upcoming year I received a fellowship to work as a research assistant over the course of the whole year with a faculty member here, and I'll be writing a (separate) honors thesis so those will be two other cool separate projects. I also have very strong leadership in extracurriculars at school. I've heard it doesn't matter much, which is understandable, but does it matter at all/should I talk about that in my statement of purpose? As it stands, I'm leaning toward taking a gap year for several reasons: 1) my letters of rec will probably be stronger after completing my research assistantship and my thesis. I have a great one from the professor who advised my independent project, but I was thinking my thesis advisor and the person who I'm helping research wise would be better than my other potential letters (a professor I took a research seminar and several other classes with and did well in those--completed a 20ish page research paper he liked). How valuable would a letter from my current employer be? 2) My GPA will probably be better by the end of the year, I'll be doing an independent study and my thesis seminar which *should* mean relatively easy A's 3) I'll have more time to focus on the GRE rather than studying for it after work hours this summer My biggest worry is that I have no idea what I would do over the course of the year while I wait to apply again. Any suggestions? Finally, any advice for schools to look at? I've already started a very cursory search. I'm interested in comparative politics. Specifically, I'm interested in intrastate conflict, corruption, and development and how these intersect. I know that's super broad haha! Wow, this post ended up being much longer than I intended over a relatively simple question, if you made it down here, thanks for putting up with that wall of text. Any and all advice would be so appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!
  19. Hi all, I am thinking about taking a gap year before I start applying to grad school. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. However, am still not sure what exactly I would be doing in that gap year to strengthen my application. What did you guys do during your gap year and what are some things you wish you had done? Here are some things about me: I plan on getting my PhD in Cognitive Psychology. I just finished my junior year and I am currently double majoring in Biochemistry and Psychology with a 3.6 PGA. I have 1.5 years of lab experience and have worked in a social, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience labs so far -- I plan to stay an RA the rest of my undergrad career. I have no publications yet though, which is what I plan to work on during my gap year so far. Thanks in advance!
  20. I graduated a semester early with a 3.7 in International Relations (minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures), but now I face an awkward gap year before I can apply to go for my MPP in Fall 2017. Every summer/break of my undergrad career, I was always either working part time or had some kind of internship going on in the background. I just finished working on a conference as a temp job, and am currently working part-time as a managing teacher at a learning center. My question is: are grad schools going to be critical of my choice to work part-time rather than pursuing a public policy related internship? Should I be spending this gap year on another internship/fellowship, or is it okay to take a break from academia, focus on taking the GRE, and trying to save up a bit of money? I've never taken a break before, so any suggestions about what to do with myself for the next year or so would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  21. nelson678

    HELLPPPP MEEE

    Hello, Does deferring admission to a school mean that you have to attend that school? Or can I defer and then apply to other places? Thanks!
  22. Hello everyone, I have a pretty serious problem. Until 4 years ago, I was a straight-A student in the middle of an undergraduate degree in International Affairs/Economics at a quite prestigious European university. I had a minor sports injury which severely affected my performance (due to chronic pain) and reduced my integrity to prepare for exams. To distract myself and breathe new air, I started a gap year and soon created a few businesses, which have brought me into various countries of the world, however neither of those initiatives was really related to my studies (internet marketing and tourism/entertainment) and, despite the great experience and exposure, they were ultimately a failure - in part due to my own loss of motivation. The year after, I started working on a fixed contract basis for a big and famous company, though still somewhat unrelated to my degree (financial services), and after finishing there I realized that what really motivated me was to work in the field of the degree I had chosen to study: international relations, intl organizations, diplomacy/related, etc. I would never go back in time, because during these years I have met wonderful people, learned a new language, and done things which I probably would have never done otherwise. But the price was high: I will be graduating almost three years later than the normal duration of my degree and with grades which, while not being bad, probably do not meet the requirements to enter a good grad school or even an internship in the field I desire to work in (I was basically doing the exams during these two "gap years", self-studying and not going to lectures). And all experiences I gained in these years "off track" are not formalized. There is no "certificate" for them (at least, not pleasant-looking ones...), no credentials. I would appreciate any advice on how I could ultimately return to the career I had in mind. For example, do you think I could/should write about all this in motivation letters despite not meeting the requirements of the places I apply to? Won't everyone think that if I failed once, I will fail again?
  23. So, question for everyone: How did you decide whether you were going to go straight to grad school or take a year (or multiple years) off? And if you did take some time off, what did you do during your time off? I'm considering taking a year off because I would be going into grad school at 20 and I don't want to get burnt out. However, I am afraid I wouldn't be able to find something to do that isn't retail/fast food/restaurant work for that year and I would end up not helping my CV or being bored to tears.
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