Jump to content
GlobalHealthPhD2020

PhD Applicants: Fall 2020

Recommended Posts

12 minutes ago, LisaNucar said:

First, congratulations to everyone that has posted acceptances and decisions! Everyone's efforts and accomplishments have been so impressive these last few months.

Thank you all again so much for sharing your experiences and offering your support!

As for me: I am so thankful to have been received three funded offers (Pitt, Maryland, UIC). However, if I'm being real with y'all, I'm a little surprised I'm not more excited. With each program, I am a bit concerned about the level of funding support (on the lower end across the board) and research match. I mostly applied to schools where I thought I might have a chance to get in vs. best match. I'm trying to sort out whether this is just normal stress/nerves, a side effect of comparing myself to others and their offers (hey, I'm human!), or if none of these programs are truly the *right one* for me.

I also received offers for masters programs at Harvard (1/2 tuition scholarship, 1 year program) and Yale (nearly full tuition scholarship, 2 year program). I am also considering these, as I feel I could benefit from building my foundation in public health (as my previous education and research experience is in another field). Also, the Harvard program/mentor match is one I've dreamed of for years, so I might just be struggling to let this one go :)

I am sure both excitement and clarity will come with time, but I thought I would share this with my people,  in case anyone else can relate or has any words of wisdom :)

 

Wow your background and application must be very impressive, congrats on these great offers!

Speaking from my experience, I think you'd benefit by making the decision based on whether you have a clear line of research in mind now. Throughout my MPH, I didn't have an exact idea of what I want to do. My research interests formed gradually through my work (~3 years after MPH), and I think that clarity, even tho delayed, helped me a ton in phd applications. The masters program def helped with a foundation in public health as you mentioned. So if you dont have a relatively clear research interests yet and can afford to take time to explore, I'd say harvard or yale. Plus since you have a dream mentor match at harvard, i wonder if you could seek a research position there, which could be very rewarding. However, if you already have a quite clear goal, your phd offers arent bad options, except the funding. 

I also lived in chicago for a few years, so if you have questions about living costs when considering uic, let me know!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, fingazntoescrossd said:

Did anyone apply to Temple? Have you heard back?

I did and have not heard a peep. However, I have heard from someone who was admitted for SBS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, fingazntoescrossd said:

Did anyone apply to Temple? Have you heard back?

I did....nothing from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, phd93 said:

Hi! I interviewed at Northwestern HSIP last month and received a call this evening that I got accepted. I was told that the official decision letter and packet will be emailed in the next couple of days. I hope this helps! 

Congrats! I was also accepted by phone last night, and they followed up by email this morning with the official letter and funding info. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, fingazntoescrossd said:

Did anyone apply to Temple? Have you heard back?

I applied to their Health Policy/Health Services Research Program and was accepted. Process/Timeline was as follows: I had a phone interview with the POI I mentioned in my statement in mid-January, was accepted about two weeks later (by snail mail), and received funding info (by email) last week. Hope this helps!

Edited by HSRPhD_2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, phd93 said:

Hi! I interviewed at Northwestern HSIP last month and received a call this evening that I got accepted. I was told that the official decision letter and packet will be emailed in the next couple of days. I hope this helps! 

Congratulations! That's so wonderful- It helps a lot and I haven't been told no yet, which *knock on wood* is encouraging.  I applied to the Social Sciences & Health track.  I appreciate the encouragement @leafypoet.  I am happy with my other options, but VERY happy to know the ball is at least rolling with this one.  Patience is a virtue- that I am reallyyyy learning to have through this process haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LisaNucar said:

First, congratulations to everyone that has posted acceptances and decisions! Everyone's efforts and accomplishments have been so impressive these last few months.

Thank you all again so much for sharing your experiences and offering your support!

As for me: I am so thankful to have been received three funded offers (Pitt, Maryland, UIC). However, if I'm being real with y'all, I'm a little surprised I'm not more excited. With each program, I am a bit concerned about the level of funding support (on the lower end across the board) and research match. I mostly applied to schools where I thought I might have a chance to get in vs. best match. I'm trying to sort out whether this is just normal stress/nerves, a side effect of comparing myself to others and their offers (hey, I'm human!), or if none of these programs are truly the *right one* for me.

I also received offers for masters programs at Harvard (1/2 tuition scholarship, 1 year program) and Yale (nearly full tuition scholarship, 2 year program). I am also considering these, as I feel I could benefit from building my foundation in public health (as my previous education and research experience is in another field). Also, the Harvard program/mentor match is one I've dreamed of for years, so I might just be struggling to let this one go :)

I am sure both excitement and clarity will come with time, but I thought I would share this with my people,  in case anyone else can relate or has any words of wisdom :)

 

Hi There, I wanted to say that I DEFINITELY share your feelings about uncertainty.  For me, the decisions from programs were very different than expected.  And although accepted to four schools already (with two additional schools left to hear from), I was able to eliminate two choices (one due to funding & the other that was not a research match).  I am deciding between 2 schools and still waiting to hear from the other two.  One of the places I was accepted to is offering full funding/tuition, but a lower stipend and the other is offering a half tuition coverage at in-state price & a higher stipend.  It is really important to me to not acquire student debt (because I got a lot from my master's program).  Location is also a big piece for me.  Luckily, the two schools I'm deciding between, I really like the research advisors and areas that I would work.  

Another topic I wanted to ask about (and I hope I don't offend anyone), is the average age of cohorts.  I am 23. I went to an in person interview for one place, that I was accepted to, and noticed that most the applicants were in their 30's (and some 40's) and very clearly in different social stages in life than I am.  I am a really social person, but ever since that interview, I have started to worry that I won't have anything in common with my cohort or may even seem inexperienced or juvenille because of the things I'll care about socially (which could be a bit of imposter syndrome & overgeneralization).  I am curious if this is typical for most people entering PhD programs or if that program was an anomaly?  Can anybody else share their thoughts/experiences- I didn't know it was customary to wait. Or is it?

Also- my heart goes out to those of you choosing between programs in different locations as your partners, especially with a kiddo(s).  I hope y'all find a way to make things work (which I think you will) sending prayers and light!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, midwesternbelle said:

Another topic I wanted to ask about (and I hope I don't offend anyone), is the average age of cohorts.  I am 23. I went to an in person interview for one place, that I was accepted to, and noticed that most the applicants were in their 30's (and some 40's) and very clearly in different social stages in life than I am.  I am a really social person, but ever since that interview, I have started to worry that I won't have anything in common with my cohort or may even seem inexperienced or juvenille because of the things I'll care about socially (which could be a bit of imposter syndrome & overgeneralization).  I am curious if this is typical for most people entering PhD programs or if that program was an anomaly?  Can anybody else share their thoughts/experiences- I didn't know it was customary to wait. Or is it?

I totally understand this concern! I just turned 25 but definitely still mentally identify as "young 20s" :) So I just had a campus visit day for Michigan's health policy PhD program and though I don't think the average age was as high as your program (instead it was upper 20s to mid 30s) I did notice that quite a few of the 3rd-5th years were no longer in Ann Arbor because of various family commitments. I do not know anything about my own cohort because I could not make the official visit day, but I'm extremely curious to know what stage of life they're in and/or their age because I don't know anyone there and would definitely hope to socialize and make friends with my cohort if it worked out. I think in general, it's not something to weigh very heavily over professor/interests match and funding, because there will be many other graduate students around (maybe more likely to be master's though) that might be closer to your age if that's what you are looking for. At least, I hope so!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, mchph said:

For Arizona, you need to set up a meeting with Chris Tisch, the Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs. Were you accepted into the Epi program?

Yes, I was accepted to the Epi program. I have a meeting with Chris tomorrow on campus and didn't know if they had sent anything out prior. I already have funding through a TAship in the microbiology department if needed but I am hoping that isn't my only option! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HealthPolicyEconPhD said:

I totally understand this concern! I just turned 25 but definitely still mentally identify as "young 20s" :) So I just had a campus visit day for Michigan's health policy PhD program and though I don't think the average age was as high as your program (instead it was upper 20s to mid 30s) I did notice that quite a few of the 3rd-5th years were no longer in Ann Arbor because of various family commitments. I do not know anything about my own cohort because I could not make the official visit day, but I'm extremely curious to know what stage of life they're in and/or their age because I don't know anyone there and would definitely hope to socialize and make friends with my cohort if it worked out. I think in general, it's not something to weigh very heavily over professor/interests match and funding, because there will be many other graduate students around (maybe more likely to be master's though) that might be closer to your age if that's what you are looking for. At least, I hope so!

Hello, 30-something here. I've been asking the inverse of this question - out of fear I wouldn't have too much in common with a cohort of mostly 20-somethings. The resounding response I keep getting over and over is that people aren't even necessarily sure how old some people in their program are, because it doesn't matter too much - it seems that the shared experience of being in the department and going through the PhD is enough glue to help people make friends with their cohort! I have to say I'll be very happy to make friends with my cohort regardless of demographics, especially since I am heavily leaning toward going to a program that will require moving and being away from my long-term partner for most of the duration of the PhD (hoping to spend more time back home on winter/summer breaks if possible). :) And to me, part of the point of doing a PhD is to build that network, as well. Also, I wanted to say that my undergrad had some non-traditional students who were doing their bachelor's degree in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and that some of them were my best friends in school even though I was barely a teenager/in my 20's. I often turned to them for perspective based on the experiences they'd had before school, and I really valued everything they had to share with me; they seemed to do the same with me, even though I had significantly less experience than them. Also, in my current career I work with a few people who are fresh out of undergrad, and I think they're terrific and genuinely enjoy having lunch with them/hanging out. I have had some great conversations with them and look forward to keeping in touch through the years! Hope this perspective helps. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, midwesternbelle said:

Hi There, I wanted to say that I DEFINITELY share your feelings about uncertainty.  For me, the decisions from programs were very different than expected.  And although accepted to four schools already (with two additional schools left to hear from), I was able to eliminate two choices (one due to funding & the other that was not a research match).  I am deciding between 2 schools and still waiting to hear from the other two.  One of the places I was accepted to is offering full funding/tuition, but a lower stipend and the other is offering a half tuition coverage at in-state price & a higher stipend.  It is really important to me to not acquire student debt (because I got a lot from my master's program).  Location is also a big piece for me.  Luckily, the two schools I'm deciding between, I really like the research advisors and areas that I would work.  

 

Wanted to chime in on @LisaNucar's post as well - I got in to one of my top two choices and am very carefully making my final decision between it and a school that has not been at the top of my list - my sense is that decision time is intense no matter what, and I may be having cold feet about changing some areas of my life (like giving up a career to build another - very large opportunity cost!). I keep reminding myself that there were reasons I applied where I did and didn't apply where I didn't -- was your only reason fear of rejection? Or were there other reasons that are worth recalling? I think in each case, it comes down to what you value most. Are you ok in terms of timeline/financially to do a master's before a PhD? Will you gain additional value from either route? Depending on how important it is to you to finish your schooling within a certain time frame, you might weigh your options accordingly. When you say research match isn't great, is it that it's not ideal or that it really isn't a match? Is the difference between what you want to do and what your advisor would do workable? The dissertation is probably one area where you could explore your interests a bit more if RAships can't meet that need. Just some food for thought that no PhD program is perfect--although I keep reading and hearing that the single most important determinant of a good vs. not good PhD experience is advisor fit (especially in terms of personality/working style). I would also ask - do you think you're going to want to become a professor after the PhD? I've read that it helps a lot if you go to a Top Ten (although this is probabilistic and not deterministic) because faculty positions are so few and far between; if you don't want to be a professor, ranking probably matters less (some see this as the opposite based on external name recognition, but for whatever it's worth one of my former professors mentioned that going to a Top Ten  helps in the academic job market). And if nothing else, know that there are no wrong decisions in this situation; by its very definition, "decide" means to cut out options (from Latin "de"=off; "-cide"= root derivative of the Latin word for "cut"), so something's always lost, and something always gained. YMMV, but I find it comforting that deciding, by its very nature, entails giving something up (to gain something else)! Whatever you decide, just make sure you embrace it fully once you make the decision, which will help you leverage it to its fullest! Sending good vibes for everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, midwesternbelle said:

Another topic I wanted to ask about (and I hope I don't offend anyone), is the average age of cohorts.  I am 23. I went to an in person interview for one place, that I was accepted to, and noticed that most the applicants were in their 30's (and some 40's) and very clearly in different social stages in life than I am.  I am a really social person, but ever since that interview, I have started to worry that I won't have anything in common with my cohort or may even seem inexperienced or juvenille because of the things I'll care about socially (which could be a bit of imposter syndrome & overgeneralization).  I am curious if this is typical for most people entering PhD programs or if that program was an anomaly?  Can anybody else share their thoughts/experiences- I didn't know it was customary to wait. Or is it?

I am a fellow 23 year old, but I would agree with what has been said above. In my current research position, I am friends with many of the PhD students at my institute and even though some of them are married with children and in a different life stage, we all get along great and will do social things outside of work. When I was a doing my masters degree, there were definitely some masters student\phd student friendships due to similar ages and interests, so I think that will be a possibility as well :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, NotaBene said:

Wanted to chime in on @LisaNucar's post as well - I got in to one of my top two choices and am very carefully making my final decision between it and a school that has not been at the top of my list - my sense is that decision time is intense no matter what, and I may be having cold feet about changing some areas of my life (like giving up a career to build another - very large opportunity cost!). I keep reminding myself that there were reasons I applied where I did and didn't apply where I didn't -- was your only reason fear of rejection? Or were there other reasons that are worth recalling? I think in each case, it comes down to what you value most. Are you ok in terms of timeline/financially to do a master's before a PhD? Will you gain additional value from either route? Depending on how important it is to you to finish your schooling within a certain time frame, you might weigh your options accordingly. When you say research match isn't great, is it that it's not ideal or that it really isn't a match? Is the difference between what you want to do and what your advisor would do workable? The dissertation is probably one area where you could explore your interests a bit more if RAships can't meet that need. Just some food for thought that no PhD program is perfect--although I keep reading and hearing that the single most important determinant of a good vs. not good PhD experience is advisor fit (especially in terms of personality/working style). I would also ask - do you think you're going to want to become a professor after the PhD? I've read that it helps a lot if you go to a Top Ten (although this is probabilistic and not deterministic) because faculty positions are so few and far between; if you don't want to be a professor, ranking probably matters less (some see this as the opposite based on external name recognition, but for whatever it's worth one of my former professors mentioned that going to a Top Ten  helps in the academic job market). And if nothing else, know that there are no wrong decisions in this situation; by its very definition, "decide" means to cut out options (from Latin "de"=off; "-cide"= root derivative of the Latin word for "cut"), so something's always lost, and something always gained. YMMV, but I find it comforting that deciding, by its very nature, entails giving something up (to gain something else)! Whatever you decide, just make sure you embrace it fully once you make the decision, which will help you leverage it to its fullest! Sending good vibes for everyone!

I've also been told by colleagues and friends that advisor fit is essential. To that end, I was curious if anyone had any thoughts or experience regarding programs that assign you to advisor at the time of admission vs. those that do not/or assign to a general advisor while you get to know faculty in the department/program? Is one approach necessarily better than the other? I can see pros/cons of both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, HSRPhD_2020 said:

I've also been told by colleagues and friends that advisor fit is essential. To that end, I was curious if anyone had any thoughts or experience regarding programs that assign you to advisor at the time of admission vs. those that do not/or assign to a general advisor while you get to know faculty in the department/program? Is one approach necessarily better than the other? I can see pros/cons of both. 

The options I am considering all assign an advisor at the beginning of the program - but in both cases the graduate handbook says it is possible to petition to switch advisors should there be a need to do so (hopefully not since I can imagine it would be really delicate/difficult). I actually kind of wish there was less pressure to commit to an advisor so early - thankfully, I think all my prospective advisors are fantastic, but this is based on just a few conversations with each, and it'd be great to have more data points. I suppose it is something to consider, but as you say, there are pros and cons to each approach. My thinking throughout this process has been to make sure there were at least a few people with whom I could work if something happens and for whatever reason working with one person doesn't work out - regardless of when official assignments take place. I have been thinking about getting a PhD for a good while, and since I first started thinking about it some professors I was interested in changed institutions; sadly, one even died. :( I guess I would prioritize being sure you have at least a plan A and B in terms of possible advisors more so than time of assignment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats @LisaNucar on your acceptances!

You know, after I go accepted to PhD programs this cycle I felt like a deflated balloon. I talked to folks who said they also felt less 

1 hour ago, HSRPhD_2020 said:

I've also been told by colleagues and friends that advisor fit is essential. To that end, I was curious if anyone had any thoughts or experience regarding programs that assign you to advisor at the time of admission vs. those that do not/or assign to a general advisor while you get to know faculty in the department/program? Is one approach necessarily better than the other? I can see pros/cons of both. 

Two thoughts. First, many programs assign academic advisors, but a few years in you will choose a research/dissertation advisor (and broader committee). So you aren't necessarily locked in with your assigned advisor if you do not want to be. I also know a few people who switched their advisors during their PhD as their research interests evolved. 

Second, advisor fit isn't just about research. It's about whether their mentorship style works well for you, and whether they will be an advocate and ally in the process.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely good to have a backup, even if it is just for funding reasons. That's assuming one of the faculty you identified has funding. 

So far, I am waiting on 2 programs (Pitt, UW) that dont have funding. Struggling whether to accept and hope funding opens up in fall, or just call it quits now and accept I failed this cycle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hello, is it still good idea to apply to PhD Epidemiology programs at this point or am I simply going to just donate $200 to 3 universities. With no acceptance so far and out of almost $1K,  I can not decide anymore. Help? 

Edit: Apologies for quoting you. It wasn't my intention to do so.

Edited by Inf_emgPH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all! For those who were accepted to Michigan, what kind of funding offers did you receive? (especially for out-of-state students)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, lovetolearn said:

Definitely good to have a backup, even if it is just for funding reasons. That's assuming one of the faculty you identified has funding. 

So far, I am waiting on 2 programs (Pitt, UW) that dont have funding. Struggling whether to accept and hope funding opens up in fall, or just call it quits now and accept I failed this cycle. 

I really hope funding comes through. I didn't get into a program that I thought was a truly excellent fit and felt deflated; I later learned that they have a quota for students working on specific subject matters and were taking 1-2 students in my subject matter of interest. I share this just to say if you have to reapply to get a funded offer you are not a failure. It really seems there is an element of luck that does play into this process. I don't think not getting in is a reflection on you and your worth as a researcher- just of some really tight budget constraints in public health, especially under the current political climate. And it does seem like this year was especially rough, based on a few conversations I have had. Chin up!

Edited by NotaBene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Epi2020 said:

Hi all! For those who were accepted to Michigan, what kind of funding offers did you receive? (especially for out-of-state students)

Hi! I'm not Epi but I can tell you the health policy PhD info if you want to compare School of Public Health funding packages in general.

Michigan offered full tuition and fees, health insurance, and a stipend of $25,000. First year is guaranteed no matter what, and 2nd - 5th years students are expected to apply for funding but with Michigan funding as a backstop if you don't get anything. And I'm out of state. 

Hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Inf_emgPH said:

Hello, is it still good idea to apply to PhD Epidemiology programs at this point or am I simply going to just donate $200 to 3 universities. With no acceptance so far and out of almost $1K,  I can not decide anymore. Help? 

Edit: Apologies for quoting you. It wasn't my intention to do so.

Hi There! I would say that it depends how much you like these other programs/think they would be a good fit for you.  If you would apply just to get in somewhere this cycle, then I would say wait and try again.  But, if you actually like those programs and research areas they would allow you to study under, then I say go for it.  Also, look to see what type of funding those programs offer.  What do you know now about programs that you wish you knew when you were applying back in December?  I think that whatever decision you make, it'll be a great one.  Feel free to DM me if you just need somebody to bounce ideas back and forth with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HealthPolicyEconPhD said:

Hi! I'm not Epi but I can tell you the health policy PhD info if you want to compare School of Public Health funding packages in general.

Michigan offered full tuition and fees, health insurance, and a stipend of $25,000. First year is guaranteed no matter what, and 2nd - 5th years students are expected to apply for funding but with Michigan funding as a backstop if you don't get anything. And I'm out of state. 

Hope that helps!

Thank you, this helps a lot!! This is basically the offer I received in Epi and I am a bit concerned given the cost of living in Ann Arbor 😕 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, midwesternbelle said:

Hi There! I would say that it depends how much you like these other programs/think they would be a good fit for you.  If you would apply just to get in somewhere this cycle, then I would say wait and try again.  But, if you actually like those programs and research areas they would allow you to study under, then I say go for it.  Also, look to see what type of funding those programs offer.  What do you know now about programs that you wish you knew when you were applying back in December?  I think that whatever decision you make, it'll be a great one.  Feel free to DM me if you just need somebody to bounce ideas back and forth with!

Thanks. I have applied and will apply only to schools that have at least 2 faculty with research interest same as mine. I was complete in Feb 25 at 1 school and got rejection on Mar 03 (just 1 week. Also, it was my 1st choice with most number of faculty research match of all schools I applied so far. This makes me suspect probably schools have already filled their classes and even though they are still taking application its probably just going to be a donation for the applicant). Hence, my dilemma to whether or not to apply to schools that have deadline until Apr 01. One of these schools has so far the most research match, but not sure whether I should spend $100 on supplemental fee. I am just disheartened with no acceptance so far. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Epi2020 said:

Thank you, this helps a lot!! This is basically the offer I received in Epi and I am a bit concerned given the cost of living in Ann Arbor 😕 

Hi! I'm also admitted to Michigan Epi. Is your funding package coming from RA/TA positions? Do you know if they have a standard rates or the stipend varies from people to people? I was under the impression that Michigan has one of best funding packages for Epi programs.

Feel free to DM me if you want to talk!

Edited by meatbao

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@meatbao and @Epi2020 congratulations on the admit! also admitted (and committed to) Michigan Epi. Have some insight with regards to funding as I did my MPH here and would be happy to share what I know. Also concerned about COL in Ann Arbor after having been here a few years, but current PhD students reassured me that it's very manageable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.