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  1. Hello everyone, In the last week before the decision deadline, I am debating between a PhD offer and a funded masters offer. The PhD is fairly low tier/low ranked school for my discipline, and my adviser is just in the beginning of their career. My academic goal and my current interests are of course to do research at the doctoral level, so many people are confused why I am having any dilemma over the two. My problem is that the PhD program, for my specific department, has had questionable placement history. It's not so much that it's "bad" placements-- people were able to find jobs. They are almost all in teaching institutions and no longer doing research. While it's reassuring that many people were able to find jobs, it's kind of discouraging that no one from any of the graduating classes has been able to break into any R1 schools. I also asked about any students that have been able to obtain post docs, and so far it seems like only one student from our department has done so. Again, it kind of concerns me. The one big career positive that the school likes to talk about, however, is the prospect of industry jobs. It seems that people have had more success with getting research positions within some prestigious tech companies, but the recruitment and placement data they're referring to is heavily made up of cognitive grads. The PhD acceptance I received is for a discipline outside of cognitive or human factors psychology, so I'm concerned that I won't be able to make my work applicable enough to get hired by these industries. I know that the motivation behind doing a PhD should be the love of research in an academic setting, but I have to make sure I meet in the middle between my passions and my (and my family's) need for financial stability. Also forgot to mention-- the program isn't fully funded, at least not guaranteed. Everyone says they're able to get funding for the years that aren't guaranteed through other means, but this is kind of scary, especially when I know that many comparable universities usually offer full funding. So now that I've laid out the context of this issue, the dilemma is basically: I'm concerned that I'm going into a PhD program with a very narrow pathway for myself to get a job worth the return of the time/labor/opportunity cost of a PhD AND allow me to continue doing research beyond my degree. Specifically, it's highly unlikely at this moment that I would get a tenure track job at an R1 school from this program. Of course, I know this is a difficult position to obtain from ANY PhD given how rough the academic job market is, but it's demoralizing to see that no one from our department has been able to get into an R1 school, with or without post doc. What I would need to do, is go into this program with at least the idea to make my work versatile enough to eventually land me an industry job in case, but that's difficult to do as a non-cognitive, non-human factors student. On top of this, pursuing such a research trajectory is very different from what I originally told my adviser, and may blatantly seem like I'm trying to go after industry jobs. Also, I'm still in undergrad and I realized through this application process that my research interests have changed quite a bit. I didn't really know what was out there for me to consider, and now I'm rethinking the research match between me and my potential adviser. This is also another reason why I feel like I should gain some more research experience and reapply. Given all of these concerns, my other option is to turn down the offer and reapply after doing some intensive work to make my application a lot better. This is with the hope that I'll get into programs with better placement records. That way I don't have to feel like there's only one possible career path that is realistically available for me to feel financially secure about. Right now, I'm thinking of doing this through taking on the funded research masters as this program has a reputation for doing well in preparing students for quality PhD programs. I am also going to make sure I spend my summers taking up any volunteer research positions and programs, in case the masters isn't research-heavy enough for my purposes. Am I being too naive about this? Or conversely, am I thinking too much? Thank you all in advance! I'm really sorry for how long this post is. I need to learn how to write concisely...
  2. 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.
  3. Question: Let's say I apply to school A, B, C, and D. A is my top choice; B, C, and D are my safety schools. If I'm rejected from A but accepted to B, C, and D, but I choose to take a year off in order to gain more experience and then reapply to all 4 schools, will my previous acceptance but non-attendance to B, C, and D hurt my chances of being accepted in the future? Basically, should I go ahead and submit applications to my safety schools even though I'm strongly considering taking a gap year if rejected from my top choice? Or would it be best to only submit applications to my top choice and one safety school this time around? I think I have a decent chance of being accepted to my top choice school, but it's definitely not guaranteed. Please let me know your thoughts!
  4. I am currently a first year Ph.D. student. I received two offers last year, both of which were really good (at least at that time). I ended up declining one but said yes to the current one. Now it seems that I am wrong, mainly because the environment of the group as well as what I am really interested. I just wondering what is the chance that I reapply the other school and still getting in.
  5. Hi, Last year I applied 5 schools for PhD and all have rejected me. I was a little bit late to apply. I completed my application in January and tried to contact in mid-January. Sent mails to 11 prof. and only 2 replied me. One of them said that he would take a look my application. The other prof usually do interview with all candidates in February, so we did it. At the end, I have not been accepted.This year, I will again apply for PhD. I will add other schools to my options. However, I would like to add some schools from previous years list. Is it fine to send an e-mail to a potential PhD advisor even he did not reply to my e-mail last year? If so, should I send in August or September or when?
  6. Hi, everyone. I just wanted to know what the GRE scores of people who were accepted into programs such as University of South Carolina (ONLINE), Eastern New Mexico(HYBRID), University of Georgia, and University of West Georgia. My stats: 153 V (60th percentile), 4.0 AWA,,and 144 Q; Overall GPA 3.67; last semester GPA 4.05; CSDCAS CSD ;GPA 3.67. The GRE scores you see above are from taking it twice. I have leadership experience as a NSSHLA officer, working with students who have autism, and also observation hours in different settings. This will be my 2nd time applying, and I am just really nervous because at first I was placed on the wait list at my alma mater, but they didn't use it this year. So, I'm going to reapply. However, I want to show the committee that I really tried to improve and gain more exposure to the field. I'm looking at more programs this time around and trying to get a realistic idea of if I have a chance of getting in somewhere. I'm noticing that some schools say they require a certain GRE/GPA range on their website and ASHA Edfind but then I see people in the results forum with stats way below it getting accepted. I'm happy for them. I just want to know how that works. I already signed up to take the GRE again just to see if I could increase my verbal score to 160 and AWA to 5.0 even though others have told me that I should just focus on getting more outside experience at this point. This would be the last time that I take it because I don't want to keep stressing on the GRE as if it's the only component of my application. Any tips? Thanks in advance!
  7. My overall GPA is a 3.6. However, my major GPA is a 3.2. I got a B- in two of my prerequisite classes. I know most programs ask for a B or better. Would retaking these classes be a good option?
  8. Hi everyone, So to keep this brief, I applied to PhD programs in health policy this year and was fortunate enough to be accepted to multiple great programs. That said, I am based in Boston - where I live with my partner - and was hoping to get admitted to my top choice program in Boston (Harvard). I was, however, waitlisted, and while they have assured me I am at the top of the wait list, they were not particularly optimistic about any movement happening this year. I am planning to revisit the programs I was admitted to to be sure they would even fit well with me, but if they do I am really caught between a rock and a hard place here. My partner is a medical student in Boston, and has no flexibility to move any time soon. Going to this program would mean moving out of our apartment, splitting up our pets from their owners, etc. I have spoken to Harvard and they said a reapplication would never be guaranteed admission, but reapplicants have been successful in the past (no idea on the frequency). In addition, there is another program in Boston that I could go to and would have a strong chance of admission based on my results this year (I did not apply there this year), but it would definitely be a drop in program quality. I guess these are my questions: (1) If I turned down the programs I was admitted to this year, would there be any chance I could apply again in the future, possibly when my partner has more flexibility? I know that this should have been taken into account this year, I was just told that advisors that I would most likely get into my top choice so it didn't seem like a huge potential problem. (2) What is the general consensus on reapplying? Assuming I don't get in off of the wait list, the program director said I was a great applicant who very well could have gotten in this year, the cards just didn't fall in my favor...so I know I am competitive, but I'm afraid I'd wait a year and then end up in the same position. (3) Would going to a lesser program really hurt my career overall? Thanks everyone!
  9. Hello Everyone, I am in a bit of a quandery, and I was hoping that their might be someone on this forum who can offer me some advice. I was accepted into Florida International University's history Ph.D. program last month and was nominated for funding - I won't find out the results until sometime in April, and only after I accept their offer of admittance. There were the only program to admit me this cycle (1st time applying for doctoral programs). However, I am currently on the fence as to whether or not I should accept the offer and attend (if I receive funding), or return to my home in southwest Michigan and get a job (either full-time or part-time) to pay down part of my student loan debt. I currently have about 75k to 85k in debts, the majority paying for my M.A. degree. I figure that I would work for 2-5 years, reapplying every so often, and then continue on course for a history Ph.D. Can anyone offer some advice about this? Personal experiences, or similar situations? P.S. I am hoping to work in academia after completing the Ph.D. by the way.
  10. Hi everyone, I'm a 2nd-time applicant to a PhD program in the social sciences. I was waitlisted last year at this program, and it is the only program that I would like to attend at this point--no safety schools for me! Yikes. Last year I nearly lost my mind with anxiety during the loooong wait. I'm doing my best to prevent that from happening this year (it helps that I'm much busier this time around), but I can't help my lame tendency every day to uselessly "calculate" my chances. I've searched the forums on this topic but have found little information: Does anyone have experience reapplying to a program after being waitlisted? Does anyone think that a previous waitlist status works in your favor? I imagine that it probably depends a lot on the current crop of applicants, but I've significantly improved my application through work experience and I've addressed the two comments I received from the admissions officer (contacted faculty, tailored my statement a bit to emphasize fit). I'd appreciate any feedback, cheerleading, or gradcafe equivalent of an anxiolytic. Happy waiting, everyone!
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