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Interviews/Acceptances/Rejections Fall 2019

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Business casual. Like business slacks / skirt with flats and a trendy blouse? Accessorize (jewelry)with something tasteful and not distracting. Definitely my favorite messenger bag / briefcase thing with a fancy notebook. You want to show you have a personality while still remaining professional. 

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1 hour ago, HumanHeatSOC said:

Was rejected by my own University today ( currently have a 4.0 at but in a different program for my masters, graduating this semester) but am still holding out for Yale's Africana/Sociology program. Congrats on all those who got in today!!!!!!

I got rejected by my own university, as well. I understand...

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1 hour ago, TheBunny said:

I got rejected by my own university, as well. I understand...

I have a paper due tomorrow... but they did me so dirty. To me its the equivalent of a breakup, but then still being required to finish out a lease with the same person who doesn't want you. I'm going to be so petulant in class tomorrow... ugh. I wish I was a better person.

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4 hours ago, socchi92 said:

Anybody have any thoughts on what they're wearing to visit days? How formal/casual are you thinking?

I visited three East Coast schools when the weather was on the verge of a blizzard. During the Brown visit, there was an actual blizzard that stranded all of us for a couple of days. I wore comfortable but stylish clothes, nice winter boots with good treads, and coordinating watches. There is a huuuuuge amount of walking involved during school visits, so paying attention to footwear is a must. Watches were good for keeping track of time while running to make meetings all the time in unfamiliar campuses. I wore a lot of cozy sweaters with woolen skirts (with elastic waists, lol), sometimes long-sleeved dresses, and tights. You will basically be wearing the same clothes from morning to night, so comfort and maybe an amount of unfussiness are good characteristics for your clothes to have. Also packed a lint roller and travel steamer, both of which were very handy.

It's super-stressful to make the decision, but please try to enjoy the visits! You will be treated like royalty and seriously wooed by faculty, administrators, and graduate students. If you have been admitted, they really want you there and think very highly of your potential to become a sociologist. Also as I told myself prior to the visits, it was likely the only time in academia when I would have so many offers to choose from, so I'd better enjoy myself!

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7 hours ago, syza said:

 

Sure, in case it helps!

By the end of February, I received all by rejections. I was devastated. I just could not process it or make any narrative sense of it. I was pretty confident that I will get in somewhere; my friends and recommendation letter writers were even more confident. It was suggested that I contact professors at schools I have applied to, asking what I could do to improve my applications next time. I just couldn't even muster the courage to do that. Really, it was a period of darkness until June. I won't torment you with my depressive state of being.

 Then in June, I took a 2 weeks vacation. It was a helpful change. After return back to work, I decided that I should reapply to grad schools again, after a lot of soul searching. My GRE were valid for one more year, and I was still passionate about doctoral studies, so decided to give it a shot. I read some of the statement of purpose of my friends that have gotten in. I realized they were more impersonal/citational/jargon-y in their statements, meanwhile I was more biographical and chronological. I also spotted that I had only applied to the top 10 schools (clearly overconfident, with a conflated sense of self). I decided to expand the range to top 40 instead. I decided not to apply to any below top 40, given that the job prospects are non-existent if you stray outside the hierarchy. I threw myself into the application process from July onward.

 Then came the process of selecting departments, working on writing samples, and writing the statement of purpose. I decided to apply to only those departments in the top 40 programs that had at least 6 professors that I would want to work with. Arbitrary number, but I needed some selection criteria. I found 18 programs that met this criteria. I then read at least 3 essay by these 6 professors in each program. After reading them, I read some more essays, especially those that were cited the most by the professors I had already read and those that stood out as particularly promising. After reading all of their essays, I ranked the professors from 1 to 5, based on my subjective interests in their work. This was really helpful in eliminating other schools. Being cost sensitive and focusing on quality over quantity, I decided to only apply to 10 programs. I ended up applying to the 10 programs that I gave the highest points, based on my essay readings.

This informal literature review process was very helpful in writing my statement of purpose and tweaking my writing sample. I wrote highly individualized statements, based on what the professors had said in the essays I read, especially making use to use the keywords, highlighting key problems, and talking about how I personally would expand on this research question. My writing sample was similarly reworked to incorporate all the essays I had read, although this wasn't individualized to each program as that would be just practically impossible.

 I kept reworking on this till the application deadline, and then I checked out. The rest in history.

I probably went overboard with this process. It was incredibly time consuming. But, I really enjoyed it. I am sure all those essays I have read will be very helpful for the actual graduate studies.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me anything else.

Hey! Super helpful! Thank you for taking the time to write out your process. 

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5 hours ago, HumanHeatSOC said:

I have a paper due tomorrow... but they did me so dirty. To me its the equivalent of a breakup, but then still being required to finish out a lease with the same person who doesn't want you. I'm going to be so petulant in class tomorrow... ugh. I wish I was a better person.

Let me tell you a sadder thing, I don’t even get shortlisted for the sociology program. The official rejects did not come yet but I was told that if I was not interviewed, I had been rejected. The thing is I had great relationship with the professors (including DGS) and I am currently working on a prestigious project with these professors. They always said that how they want me to stay and continue to be on the project. At the end, I did not even get shortlisted.

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6 minutes ago, TheBunny said:

Let me tell you a sadder thing, I don’t even get shortlisted for the sociology program. The official rejects did not come yet but I was told that if I was not interviewed, I had been rejected. The thing is I had great relationship with the professors (including DGS) and I am currently working on a prestigious project with these professors. They always said that how they want me to stay and continue to be on the project. At the end, I did not even get shortlisted.

I am really sorry to hear that! Yes, Receiving my masters had no direct connection to a sociology PhD program so I take a bit of comfort in that but I will say I am all the way done with this whole thing. I’m mad at everyone and I can’t even stand myself most of all. Ive moved away from Eurocentric behaviors I’ve known my whole life, suddenly replaced with consulting tarot, dissecting my natal chart, playing rogue games of “Mash,” and trying to tap into the power of my own soul. I’ve never wanted something so badly while simultaneously being this run done with anxiety. Smh. Which in a way makes me think I don’t deserve it in the first place. I feel like becoming the worst version of yourself, in pursuit of knowledge no less, is just indecent! 

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10 hours ago, syza said:

Sure, in case it helps!

By the end of February, I received all by rejections. I was devastated. I just could not process it or make any narrative sense of it. I was pretty confident that I will get in somewhere; my friends and recommendation letter writers were even more confident. It was suggested that I contact professors at schools I have applied to, asking what I could do to improve my applications next time. I just couldn't even muster the courage to do that. Really, it was a period of darkness until June. I won't torment you with my depressive state of being.

Then in June, I took a 2 weeks vacation. It was a helpful change. After return back to work, I decided that I should reapply to grad schools again, after a lot of soul searching. My GRE were valid for one more year, and I was still passionate about doctoral studies, so decided to give it a shot. I read some of the statement of purpose of my friends that have gotten in. I realized they were more impersonal/citational/jargon-y in their statements, meanwhile I was more biographical and chronological. I also spotted that I had only applied to the top 10 schools (clearly overconfident, with a conflated sense of self). I decided to expand the range to top 40 instead. I decided not to apply to any below top 40, given that the job prospects are non-existent if you stray outside the hierarchy. I threw myself into the application process from July onward.

Then came the process of selecting departments, working on writing samples, and writing the statement of purpose. I decided to apply to only those departments in the top 40 programs that had at least 6 professors that I would want to work with. Arbitrary number, but I needed some selection criteria. I found 18 programs that met this criteria. I then read at least 3 essay by these 6 professors in each program. After reading them, I read some more essays, especially those that were cited the most by the professors I had already read and those that stood out as particularly promising. After reading all of their essays, I ranked the professors from 1 to 5, based on my subjective interests in their work. This was really helpful in eliminating other schools. Being cost sensitive and focusing on quality over quantity, I decided to only apply to 10 programs. I ended up applying to the 10 programs that I gave the highest points, based on my essay readings.

This informal literature review process was very helpful in writing my statement of purpose and tweaking my writing sample. I wrote highly individualized statements, based on what the professors had said in the essays I read, especially making use to use the keywords, highlighting key problems, and talking about how I personally would expand on this research question. My writing sample was similarly reworked to incorporate all the essays I had read, although this wasn't individualized to each program as that would be just practically impossible.

I kept reworking on this till the application deadline, and then I checked out. The rest in history.

I probably went overboard with this process. It was incredibly time consuming. But, I really enjoyed it. I am sure all those essays I have read will be very helpful for the actual graduate studies.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me anything else.

This is awesome! Props to you for such dedication. I know how devastating it can be to receive only rejections. So glad you were able to find your path! 

I want to reiterate how helpful it was to read successful SOPs. I was fortunate enough to be in contact with a professor at Chicago who sent me the personal statements of six successful students--three who got into Berkeley, one who got into Yale, one who got into Penn, and one who got into UCLA. They were SO much better than my first draft--so specific and thoughtful. I noticed my mention of professors was all pretty surface-level: "Professor X's work on Y interests me" while these students were saying things like "Professor's X approach to Y using methodology Z would complement my work on A, B, and C and would help expand my development of D, etc. etc..." I spent three months tinkering with my personal statement until it looked like that. 

Another thing that I found helpful was to email graduate students currently in my programs of interest who were doing the kind of work I would want to do. Over 75% of these graduate students responded to my emails and were generally very detailed in their responses. I asked them if there were any 'nuances' to the departments of which I should be aware. For example, the graduate student at Yale told me that it's not uncommon for professors X and Y to invite prospective students to workshops and then to chat with them afterwards. Following his advice, I emailed these two professors, and just like he'd said, they invited me to attend a workshop (I'm fortunate enough to live within a few hours of New Haven and to have a car). I spoke to each of the professors for ~30 minutes after the workshop, after which they told me they would look out for my application. I'm 100% sure that one-on-one time in November was what got me in. 

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7 hours ago, hardatwork said:

Anyone still waiting on UPenn and Penn State? I feel like I've been ghosted by all of Pennsylvania! 

Not sure if they're done making decisions, but Penn State started sending out acceptances in late January 

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8 hours ago, hardatwork said:

Anyone still waiting on UPenn and Penn State? I feel like I've been ghosted by all of Pennsylvania! 

In the same boat with UPenn 😕 Not sure if this means I'm in the longlist or if this is just a surefire rejection at this point, but it's kind of making me anxious. Message me if you want to commiserate!

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17 minutes ago, hotsawce said:

In the same boat with UPenn 😕 Not sure if this means I'm in the longlist or if this is just a surefire rejection at this point, but it's kind of making me anxious. Message me if you want to commiserate!

UPenn has sent out their admits already, there is no waitlist. Sorry man! I haven’t received my official rejection either, but received a personal email from the chair. 

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Has anyone ever responded to a rejection email to clarify "concerns" about your application and gotten a different answer?

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I just got an email from Johns Hopkins that reads, "Your application for Ph.D. in Sociology Program is now complete and will be reviewed shortly." Seems a little late to just be reviewing my application. I saw that acceptances were sent out already, so I am sure I am rejected. Did anyone else get the same email?

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8 hours ago, Averinnna said:

Anyone waiting for Maryland? It seems quite late compared to past years.

Yes! I’m also still waiting on Maryland. This is very late for them, considering past years on the results board here. When I spoke with my POI in January they mentioned that UMD took so many applicants last year that they would only take 3-5 this year. I’m assuming that means they haven’t finished cutting down the pool or they have sent out first round acceptances and are waiting on confirmations from those people before sending out rejections. Just an assumption though, take it with many grains of salt.

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13 hours ago, socchi92 said:

Anybody have any thoughts on what they're wearing to visit days? How formal/casual are you thinking?

Honestly, I wore jeans and a t-shirt for my last visit day, with some comfortable boots. I'm glad I did. There is a lot of walking as they show you around campus. The last thing I wanted was to cut the tour short because of my own needs. It was also raining a lot, so I had to wear my rain jacket over everything. 

I spent most of the time with other graduate students, who probably don't mind what I wear. Sociology is also accepting in this way, anyway. :)

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10 hours ago, HumanHeatSOC said:

I have a paper due tomorrow... but they did me so dirty. To me its the equivalent of a breakup, but then still being required to finish out a lease with the same person who doesn't want you. I'm going to be so petulant in class tomorrow... ugh. I wish I was a better person.

This has got to be difficult! I think I would be pretty short with people for a while... it's hard to handle rejection. 

I have heard plenty of times that a department's PhD program will not take their own undergraduate or masters students. They want to bring in new students, have more connections, more diversity, and so on. They also want their previous students to expand their own networks by going somewhere else. I can imagine these connections are invaluable in research or whatever else... so much so, that they will reject their current students regardless of their ability. 

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5 hours ago, hotsawce said:

In the same boat with UPenn 😕 Not sure if this means I'm in the longlist or if this is just a surefire rejection at this point, but it's kind of making me anxious. Message me if you want to commiserate!

I emailed to ask since I have a week of spring break and could go for a visit then, but wanted to know if I need to hold the time. I'll let you know what they say. 

 

With Penn State, according to the results board acceptances were released in batches last year. I live ever hopeful that it's the same this year. 

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Has anyone heard anything recently from Ohio State? I know there were a bunch of acceptances around a month ago, but my portal status still has me as “pending”. Maybe it’s an implied rejection, but if anyone has any info I’d appreciate it!

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3 hours ago, Birdie13 said:

Has anyone heard anything recently from Ohio State? I know there were a bunch of acceptances around a month ago, but my portal status still has me as “pending”. Maybe it’s an implied rejection, but if anyone has any info I’d appreciate it!

Do you meanThe Ohio State University? If so, I think they let everyone in at once, since I've been receiving group emails with about 25 other students. The visit day is this Friday, so I think they might have admitted everyone they intend to. 

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29 minutes ago, CalState said:

Do you meanThe Ohio State University? If so, I think they let everyone in at once, since I've been receiving group emails with about 25 other students. The visit day is this Friday, so I think they might have admitted everyone they intend to. 

Shoot ... thank you for letting me know, though! I just wish they’d tell me I was rejected instead of leaving my portal as “pending” 😂

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Who can claim the GMU masters admittance? (Congrats!)

I was actually just about to apply there. I was just surprised they already sent out acceptances when deadline is on Friday.

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Got dinged by UCSD just now, but I got formally accepted to UW-Milwaukee last night - my first acceptance this cycle! Will be attending! Just waiting for info on funding right now, but I believe it would be more than sufficient. :)

Thank you, everyone, for all your support out here, really! It meant a lot - and i'm so glad that you guys were here to keep me hanging in there! :) 

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