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  1. I just finished my first week of a PhD program straight out of undergrad. I had some research experience in my B.A. and while I found it tedious, I figured a PhD would be worthwhile for the future job prospects. Besides, my parents both did it, and most graduates of my college go straight on to grad school. (Not a good rationale, I know). My major was interdisciplinary, with a science focus but no set career path, so I wasn't sure what else to do. I also wasn't/am not sure what exactly I want to work in (other than "not in academia"). I ended up throwing applications in several directions and seeing what I could get into with my major, figuring that'd be the best option. So, I ended up moving halfway across the country to a state I've never wanted to live in, to do a project I don't love, in a field that's just "okay". My lab group are all lovely people, my courses are fine, and I'm no longer having panic attacks about TAing, but I don't think I'll be happy staying here for four years (especially since my advisor is one of those "well I worked 70-80 hours a week" people). I want to at least stick out the semester (get some course credit, pay for my lease, don't leave my students in a lurch, give my advisor a manuscript draft), but I also don't look forward to faking my way through talk of the future and feel really guilty because I know my advisor will be FURIOUS if(when) I spring it on her in November, and she's really a good person. I don't want it to reflect badly on people from my (small) undergrad college or people without a master's who apply to the program in the future. I'm also homesick and in the throes of post-graduation depression, so as much as I'd like to go home this instant, that would be unwise. Part of me wants to suck it up and stay in the program all four years because that's stability. On the other hand, I don't enjoy the research process enough, I don't want to work super hard for nothing but a title, and I think if I ever go back to school later it'd be a master's, after enough work experience to know what I actually want. Is it ethically okay to still want to get something out of being here even if I don't want to stay? Do other people know they want to leave basically from the beginning? Do other people actually like the research process? Is there a future for PhD dropouts?
  2. Hi everyone, Hope everyone is good - my name is Kas, and I'm new to the grad cafe. I'm also a student on an innovation course and looking to create resources to support early career researchers in dealing with challenges they face when it comes to supporting their mental health and well-being. If you're a student or early-career researcher (self-defined), I'd love to have an informal chat with you. It will be quick (~15-20 minutes), and we can do Zoom or any other platform you want. Please drop me a message or reply to this thread, if you're interested. The questions would be around things like your workflow when you feel stressed/pressured, what is/was your process for finding a solution, how did you find that solution, and what were the barriers to finding it. Your feedback will help to create resources and tools for early career researchers to deal with the crazy stress and pressure of academia. Thanks, and I hope to chat soon, Kas
  3. Hey all, just joined the site and I'm not sure if this topic is covered elsewhere. Anyway, here's the deal: I have anxiety and depression, usually have it well-handled with therapy and meds. But now that I'm in the waiting zone for internship to start in the fall, I've had a pretty bad flare up. I'm actively working on it, getting the right treatment and adjusting my meds, but I can't shake this lingering fear that I'm going to crash and burn at internship. I'm most concerned about having to move away from my husband and entire social network. Is anyone else struggling with this? How are you coping? Words of encouragement?
  4. Hello, I'm a senior student right now waiting for offers and making decisions on where to go. I applied to mental health counseling programs but found limited resources on their comparisons in terms of qualities and all that. I got accepted by Northeastern Univ, , NYU, Boston College (all with mental health counseling master's) and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in master of social work program. I would love to hear some comments and suggestions in terms of what you think is a good choice or what are some good resources to look at other than their school websites. I have a last quick question on Columbia University, Teachers College. I applied to their mental health counseling program as well, but I noticed that they only have 5 or 6 faculty members in this department, and a ton of visiting lecturers. Is anyone currently studying mental health counseling at Teachers College and would like to let me learn a little bit on what your experience is with this program? Thank you!
  5. The first college I attended right out of high school was highly selective and elite. While I was there I started experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder leaving me to have a psychotic break, C's in all my classes and an F in one class. I only spent that one semester at the school before moving into a mental hospital. 7 years later after years of working hard in recovery I am now enrolled at a new university with an almost straight A average with a few B's and two withdrawls. I am completely stable and highly functional. I am wondering when applying to grad school if it would be helpful to explain my failures at my first college by telling them about having an undiagnosed psychotic disorder and talking about how I overcame that disorder to have an almost 4.0 gpa. Will it be hurtful or helpful? I don't want them to hold my disorder against me. Thanks for your time reading this
  6. Hi all, angsting about this decision. They’re all terminal masters in counseling programs. I’ll also be hearing back from Columbia Teachers College in late April (recommendations not received in time for first wave of consideration). I’m also on the waitlist at Northwestern. I’ve received an offer for a graduate assistantship at Fordham but otherwise sporadic small scholarships and I have about a $6000 education award from serving in Americorps. I have an interview with the Wright Institute so not admitted yet. Otherwise Hunter is generally the most affordable. If a program is really above and beyond another program though I think it may be worth the investment. Any thoughts on how the quality of these programs compare?
  7. I’m applying to Csudh Msw fall 2019 program, if you have applied what are your stats and when did you or when are you turning in your application. Do you know when they start sending out acceptance or denials? Why did you choose CSUDH?
  8. Hey GradCafesians, I feel like I am at a grocery store choosing which red sauce to buy for pasta, except I will be eating sauce for the next 3 - 6 years. I have done extensive research on the varieties of red sauce (grad schools), yet am still indecisive. My main goal is to become a therapist and open my own private practice with other licensed therapists. Secondarily, I am also interested in doing clinical research at a University. I lean towards alternative therapies such as mindfulness (e.g., dbt) and spiritual approaches as well as working with patients with anxiety and mood disorders. However, I also see the benefit of going to a more normative institution to establish a traditional therapeutic framework, seeking specialized training after graduation. Where my decision making falls short is (obviously) the amount of paths I can take to become a therapist. PhD, PsyD, LPC, MSW ect. I have a 3.7 GPA, with 155 Verbal and 148 Math (ouch; might take again), and sig. amount of therapeutic experience in clinical and academic settings. If I were to apply to doctoral programs, I would reluctantly take the GRE again. I currently am leaning towards masters because of networking purposes and am honestly scared of being locked into a doctoral program for 5-6 years that may not be a good fit. On the other hand, masters programs are typically not paid for (right?) and getting a masters and PhD separately would take significantly longer then going straight for a PhD. I wanted to hear some of your experiences on obtaining these degrees and advice to a youngin' with both formal and informal therapeutic interests. Your help is much appreciated!
  9. Hi guys, I'm just gonna give this a shot even though I have no idea if I'll get helpful responses. Just a bit of background. I am a 22 y/o recent college grad who applied for the MPH program and got into the Boston University School of Public Health with a merit scholarship of about ~20k for this Fall 2019. However, because of some compelling circumstances, I am also currently in the middle of a job search (I had to resign from my previous job). I applied for an MPH with an intention of studying Mental Health Policy. However, I also got a job offer at a pharmaceutical company. I am deciding whether or not I should accept the job offer. If so, I'd have to defer my acceptance to BU until next semester or next year. If I defer, my merit scholarship will be reconsidered. I am torn about what to do. The pharma job will give me more experience in the adult world and entering the workforce (I just graduated and have little work experience) before I go to graduate school. However, it does not align or tailor to my interests or field I want to go into with the MPH. Should I postpone my education and risk losing my scholarship to gain real world experience and save up a little more money? Or should I forego this opportunity and continue to waitress and do customer service jobs until Fall when I can start the program at BU? I really don't see an obvious answer as to what is the smart thing to do and I need all the advice I can get!!!! thanks
  10. Hi all, I'm planning on applying to social work programs in a few months (NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Hunter, etc.) and my biggest concern is my statistics course grade. I am still taking the course and I already know I will not do too well. I am currently a sociology major so I am taking a sociology based statistics course. My overall GPA is a 3.49 and I am hoping it will go up after this semester to a 3.5-3.6 since I am doing very well in my other courses. I just want to know if statistics will hinder my acceptance? I have lots of experience working in preschools with special needs children, internships and a law firm where I worked with social workers, great letters of recommendations lined up and I am currently working on my personal statement. Thanks!!
  11. I am currently a Master's student; the program is great and I am confident that I could get a lot from it, but I am feeling burnt out and unable to engage meaningfully with the material. I am thinking about withdrawing from the program after this semester, but I am curious how that would affect my chances of getting into other schools. What I would ideally like to do is reapply for a Master's program this semester, withdraw after this fall semester is over, and then hopefully resume my studies Fall 2019. Naturally, there is the potential of not getting in, and I wouldn't want to either alienate/offend my professors or hurt my chances of getting into a PhD program in the future. I am curious about what you think about withdrawing, just in general, and also leaves of absence on a transcript. Also, how offensive is it to a professor if you withdraw from a program but also simultaneously ask for a letter of recommendation? Definitely don't want to scorch any earth here, but also don't really want to finish the program.
  12. Does anyone have any advice/experience with disclosing a mental health condition or chronic illness to an adviser? I have schizophrenia and it is very well-managed, but I was thinking I might let my adviser know in case I happen to have any relapses in symptoms. I am an incoming Master's student for Fall 2018. I have been stable for two years now - I take my medication, go to therapy, and see a psychiatrist on a monthly basis, and this has gotten me through the graduate school application process without any issues. I understand graduate school will be challenging, which is why I'm asking these questions now! I am in a MUCH better place than I was in undergrad, where I was forced to disclose and take time off due to psychotic symptoms, but I want to be prepared in case anything happens again. How should I go about disclosing my condition to my adviser in terms of timing (when to disclose), specificity (how much to disclose), and planning (how to prepare for any problems)? Thank you in advance for any advice!
  13. Hi all! I’m currently preparing for the upcoming application cycle, and I will apply to both phd and masters programs, with masters being my backups. I want to ask how are these following types of masters programs different in terms of training and job outlook: Mental health psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, social work, marriage and family. Also, how can I tell if a program is good or not ? Thank you!
  14. I'll be entering Columbia GSAS in fall 2019. I have a psychiatric disability and would like to request to have an emotional support cat(s) in graduate housing, even though ordinarily pets are not allowed. Has anyone else been through the process of making such a request?
  15. Long story short, my application for medical leave for mental health reasons was denied (thankfully I had this semester "forgiven" in a sense). I talked with my dad and after some back and forth he thinks I should drop out, take a year off, focus on work and my health, and then reevaluate my options next fall. Overall meaning delaying grad school by 2 years or so (assuming I don't start reapplying at this moment). Talking with my mother yielded the same result although she thinks I should somehow appeal the decision (not sure on how to do this since I was denied based on a technicality). for leave because this was/is my first semester at the university. There's also a situation with my landlord where I've told him, in writing and with his written confirmation/agreement that I will be terminating the lease at the beginning of the year, so I'm not sure if I can possibly back out of this if I need to. Basically it seems like my only two options are to drop out and reevaluate my situation, or step up and go back to school. I'm leaning towards going back to school with the only issue being the landlord thing mentioned earlier. But, I'm not sure I'm ready to yet considering the circumstances as to why I left for the semester. I know that ultimately it all depends on me and what I want (I am an adult as you know), but what are your opinions? Should I dropout and reevaluate things, or should I pack my bags and head back to school? Many thanks in advance!
  16. Hey all! I just joined GradCafe, and I am so stoked but also nervous about the fact that applying for grad schools is just around the corner. Right now I am feeling so nervous because I know my credentials are not where they need to be. I'm graduating early in December, but since most grad schools don't do spring start and heading straight to grad school with no break would be INSANE, I am planning on finishing out my lease here. Then I'll be applying for summer and fall start dates at multiple schools. I have a few school ideas, which I'll state down below. I plan to earn a Masters in Social Work, potentially with a concentration in mental health. First, I wanted to give you an idea of my stats (no judgment--from the threads I have read so many of you have intensive experience and stellar GPAs :/ ): Undergraduate Degree @ University of South Carolina -- Experimental Psychology major with two minors: Social Work; Counselor Education GPA - 3.0 overall, should be closer to a 3.1 by the time I graduate (Yes, I know, it's low...it's not horrible, but if college had been a little less rocky I could have done super well ) Member of Psi Chi, International Honors Society in Psychology Member of a panhellenic sorority through which I have volunteered and participated in philanthropy events Was in charge of a philanthropy within my sorority where sisters help a local blind man with every day tasks This is it so far, however I have a few plans under my belt that I am almost positive I can follow through with: This semester I will be completing at least 45 service hours with a local organization that provides lower-income individuals with housing (definitely happening, it's a part of a practicum I'm taking) If all goes well, I plan to intern in Rome for 8 weeks with a social service organization this summer. I should be working about 20 hours a week. I plan to join Delta Alpha Pi, an Honors Society for people with disabilities (I have severe depression which has contributed to my mediocre GPA). I plan to get involved with the Undergraduate Social Work Student Association at my school. I haven't taken the GRE yet, so it could definitely still be a factor in boosting the impressiveness of my application. I am a strong reader and writer. If anyone has specific tips about the GRE, please let me know! ^^^So this is what I plan to achieve before I have to do applications (in the fall for the summer 2019 start, and in the winter for the fall 2019 start I suppose). For some reason, I have had a hard time finding paid opportunities/internships in the city of Columbia that are geared towards psychology or social work. I am going to keep looking, but the opportunities seem few and far between. That being said...what do you all think? What are some things you suggest I do, between now and the time I apply, to make my application as impressive as possible? I know I can't take back my GPA, but I can try to make up for it in other respects. From what I have read on here, those with low GPAs have been able to impress graduate schools in other ways. Again, if yo've got tips, let me know! Lastly, I wanted to list some schools that I am considering. I am going to rank them in order of my interest right now. If any of you know anything about these school's admission rates or have any specific insider info about a school, PLEASE contact me. I would love to get in touch with some of you and potentially ease my fears about applying for grad school! Here's my list: 1. University of Denver 2. San Diego State University 3. University of Southern California (the other USC...hehe) 4. Arizona State University 5. Florida International University and some maybes: Cal State - Long Beach; San Jose State University; Metropolitan State University of Denver As you can see, I really want to go far away and preferably out west (I've lived in SC my entire life). I am not sure about the admission rates of these schools, though I have heard that SDSU and USC are more competitive. I would love to hear thoughts on your experience with applying (especially to any of the schools above), selectiveness of these schools, my potential chances of getting in, and their quality of education. Thank you for anyone who actually took the time to read all of this!!! Any help at all would be so appreciated, even if it is constructive criticism. ~PeaceLoveSocialWork~
  17. Hi everyone, So I figured I'd start this thread not to encourage pessimism, but to talk about the realistic possibility of receiving all rejections. I have personally applied to seven Psychology PhD programs with no response (as of January 13th) and I think a forum like this would help those of us, like me, who are facing this anxiety. This is my first round of graduate school applications and I think this could be a beneficial space to maybe hear words of encouragement from those students who went through a rotation without any acceptances? "Everything happens for a reason" is a great quote but not necessarily one someone wants to hear after years of their hard work doesn't get recognized the way it should. I hope whoever joins this conversation can give advice on how to stay motivated, what to do in regards to self care, and address the "what nows?" that have infiltrated our thought process. Again, I really don't want this to come across as pessimistic or too hopeless, rather a realistic approach to this tough process. I wish everyone on here the best of luck in regards to admissions. Applications: UT Austin (Counseling Psych); University of Houston (Clinical Psych); University of Louisville (Counseling Psych); Florida International University (Clinical Psych); Clark University (Clinical Psych); Harvard University (Clinical Psych); USC (Clinical Psych) Acceptances: ?/7; Interview Notifications: 0/7; Interviews: 0/7; Rejections: ?/7
  18. I recently completed (or will complete) my first semester as a computer science PhD student. However, I had to withdraw for the semester due to mental health issues (attempted suicide, you get the picture) and am seeking a medical leave of absence for the Spring semester to get my mind back in order (partially moved back home, seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist, finally have a PCP, yada yada yada). My question is, how is this going to affect me academically? My school's policies aren't too clear on what happens when granting a leave of absence (for whatever reason) other than re-enrollment costs nothing. Can I repeat classes (which I need to do because of my withdrawal) or do I pick up where I left off? Am I still bound to do my QEs in the allotted time period? Basically, what are your guys' experience with medical leave? Secondly, how will this affect my RA? My advisor has said the department will stop paying my stipend when I announce my leave, i.e. when and if it is approved (not a big deal since I have a second job and RAs here are renewed by the semester so I wouldn't get it next semester anyways). Basically, will I be able to come back to my RA after my leave or am I SOL in this regard? Thanks in advance! (I submitted this originally in the wrong forum)
  19. I recently completed (or will complete) my first semester as a computer science PhD student. However, I had to withdraw for the semester due to mental health issues (attempted suicide, you get the picture) and am seeking a medical leave of absence for the Spring semester to get my mind back in order (partially moved back home, seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist, finally have a PCP, yada yada yada). My question is, how is this going to affect me academically? My school's policies aren't too clear on what happens when granting a leave of absence (for whatever reason) other than re-enrollment costs nothing. Can I repeat classes (which I need to do because of my withdrawal) or do I pick up where I left off? Am I still bound to do my QEs in the allotted time period? Basically, what are your guys' experience with medical leave? Secondly, how will this affect my RA? My advisor has said the department will stop paying my stipend when I announce my leave, i.e. when and if it is approved (not a big deal since I have a second job and RAs here are renewed by the semester so I wouldn't get it next semester anyways). Basically, will I be able to come back to my RA after my leave or am I SOL in this regard? Thanks in advance!
  20. Hi everyone! I wasn't exactly sure whether to file this under Professional Studies or Social Sciences so hopefully it reaches the right people! I was just accepted into a counseling program and am having a bad case of indecision. Technically, I have about a year until I really need to declare this but since I'm trying to get work experience and hate having loose ends, I figured maybe you guys could try to help me now. The programs/careers that I'm stuck between are School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health. On the school's website, they even seem to be selling Mental Health more as they list a bunch of different options for it and only talk about the classes needed for the School Counseling page. Anyway, my issue is that I live in NJ and this is a tough area to get a job in anywhere really and schools tend to be who you know. My boyfriend works for the Board of Ed as a custodian so potential in there but who knows. What's holding me back from deciding besides potential jobs is what the actual work environments are like. My concern with school counseling is that I'll be stuck doing all administrative work and barely get to interact with students other than college admissions and class schedules if I'm working in a high school. I want to actually be able to counsel people and feel like I reached them. Moving on to Mental Health, what is it like to work in this field? How stressful is it?How difficult would it be for me to find a job being my Bachelor's is actually in English? I currently volunteer for a crisis hotline and am trying to get some work experience (though I'm not sure where the best place to go with no experience is) but I know some places may be weary to hire someone who didn't have an undergrad degree in a social science. Sorry for rambling everyone, just trying to figure things out!
  21. Hi all, I am currently a Registered Nurse working in Alberta, Canada. I am planning to apply for MPH for Fall 2017, with the intention of focusing in promotion and behavioural sciences. My area of interest is in child and adolescent mental health promotion. In particular, I am interested in promoting the development of emotional and social awareness, regulation and skills in children. I am also interested in nature based experiences in relation to mental health promotion. I would like to go into program development upon graduation, and potentially policy work as well. I was initially planning on a professional, practicum based program, however it has been suggested to me by some connections that I consider a thesis based MPH or Master of Health Sciences program instead. I am not currently intending to pursue a PhD, but am not against the idea either. Any opinions on the pros or cons around these options, and which would be most suited for my goals would be much appreciated! Currently I am considering UVic, UBC, U of A and Waterloo as my first choices for schools. Thanks
  22. Hello, I'm 30 years old and have been working in human services for the past 9 years; 3 in in-home care, 6 in mental health/suicide prevention. I have reached a point where I need to either get an advanced degree or change fields. I'm very passionate about empowering others and am intrigued by the opportunities that an advanced degree would offer. I was thinking of getting an MSW with the intent to eventually become a LCSW. That said, I've heard every extreme from, "you will never earn anything, get any recognition, and be completely burnt out" to "an LCSW is a great opportunity and the median salary is $65,000; naysayers are thinking of a BSW." Could anyone help me to parce out these variances in opinions? I'm aware of the good, bad, and the ugly of social work in general but not in terms of an advanced degree. I have a heart for both macro and micro social work and am not in it for the money, but I would like to have the ability to one day own a small home, pay basic expenses without sleepless nights, be able to occasionally go out with friends or take a modest vacation, and have an emergency savings. All things that are difficult for me right now. Essentially; to live a very modest middle-class lifestyle. Is this possible? Would I be better to change fields? Is there another degree that would be similar but more suitable for this? (Since I've been working privately for the past 3 years and just moved to a more metropolitan area I feel a bit out of touch in terms of who to ask of my contacts.)
  23. Hey everyone! Long time scowler of these forums but first time poster! I'm looking for some opinions/insight concerning my decision for a graduate program starting in the fall. I attended Sacred Heart University for my undergrad and graduated Summa Cum Laude with my b.s. in psychology. After many applications and acceptances/denials I had finally made the decision to attended Adelphi University for their mental health counseling masters program. However, just two weeks ago I heard back from Teachers College at Columbia University and was accepted to the Psychology in Education (general psych) masters in the clinical department. So here lies my dilemma...I am so drawn to the name on the diploma when it comes to Columbia but I know that the program will not end in licensure. I would be open to attending a PhD program to become a licensed psychologist after Columbia but I would hope to gain acceptance to a fully funded program which I know is extremely difficult. My end goal is to become a practicioner whether that be as a licensed psychologist or licensed mental health counselor. However I'm also aware that as a mental health counselor I will be making significantly less money than if I had a PhD. So my questions are 1) does anyone have opinions on the TC program? I've heard the professors don't pay much attention to the masters students which concerns me. 2) if I get my psychology in education (general psychology) masters from TC at Columbia what are my chances of gaining acceptance to a PhD program? Specifically a fully funded program. 3) should I be more concerned with the name on the degree or the licensure that will be granted after the 2 year Adelphi program? And 4) if I attended Columbia and got the General masters and then decided not to pursue a PhD what could I do as far as career options with just the masters? All opinions are welcome, especially if you have personal experience or knowledge of either program! I need to make a final decision by July 1st so please contribute. Thank you!!
  24. Hi! I am going into my junior year of college as a Social Work major, and I'm looking into grad schools to get my MSW (a little early I know, I just like to plan).I'm currently looking at U of M, USC, and UCLA. I was wondering if anyone could give me some information on how the program is at UCLA and details about their focus and what they really prepare you for? I'm planning on working with mental health, so I want to make sure wherever I go will prepare me for something along the lines of a Mental Health Counselor. Also if there are any other programs that might be a good fit for this path let me know! Thanks in advance
  25. Hi, GradCafe! I used to have another account here when I was just starting to apply to grad school and I'm glad to be back on here. Grad school can be *SO* stressful, and I think that our loved ones often have no idea what we're going through or how to check in with us. We so often say "fine" when asked how we are, but that doesn't really get at how we're feeling. I made (with the help of a bunch of other grad students) this video to help people understand how to check in with the grad students in their life: I hope you all like it!
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