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2020 FALL APPLICATION VENTING THREAD

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8 minutes ago, SocAnth_Lou said:

I only applied to the MAPSS with a Soc concentration, but I just got my acceptance letter on the website!

Yeah, I mean the PhD in Soc...I figure MAPSS is on a different schedule. Congrats though, MAPSS is amazing!

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Finally accepted offer from UPenn, and time to leave this thread behind. Thank you guys for your answers, suggestions and encouragement, and for creating a place of positive and good vibes for applicants to sociology programs this year! Good luck for those who are still waiting for decisions. The long waiting for decisions is super anxious but it will be behind you one day. Don't lose hope!

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1 hour ago, DisciplineSwitcher97 said:

Is anyone not flying to their open houses because of the Coronavirus?

I had mine last week and no one seemed overly concerned. Flights were rather empty; I had an open seat next to me for one. Has your department said anything about it? I know some have been canceled. 

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7 hours ago, passere said:

I had mine last week and no one seemed overly concerned. Flights were rather empty; I had an open seat next to me for one. Has your department said anything about it? I know some have been canceled. 

Yeah, my school hasn't said anything but it is in New Jersey and NY is a hotspot. I'm debating whether I should go. 

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18 hours ago, DisciplineSwitcher97 said:

Is anyone not flying to their open houses because of the Coronavirus?

I know someone who decided not to because they have at-risk family members. I expect more will cancel later in the month, and it would be especially bad if visit days were in April instead.

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

Congrats to the USC admit ! 

I am still waiting to hear from them.

 

 

 

 

Edited by SocFall20

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On 3/21/2020 at 7:47 PM, lkaitlyn said:

How's everyone doing amidst the chaos? This month has gotten crazy.

I've narrowed my decision down to 2 schools, which is a big accomplishment for how indecisive I am! I'm still having follow-up calls with a few professors and students just to make sure I have considered everything. It's challenging because the two schools are so different and therefore hard to compare. But I keep reminding myself that both seem great, and the opportunity to spend 5-8 years learning and doing sociology research is just so fantastic.

What about you?

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On 3/21/2020 at 7:47 PM, lkaitlyn said:

How's everyone doing amidst the chaos? This month has gotten crazy.

Honestly my biggest concern is the Fall 2020 semester being all/mostly virtual. I will not learn well at all. I'm considering asking about deferring my acceptance a year.

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On 3/21/2020 at 6:47 PM, lkaitlyn said:

How's everyone doing amidst the chaos? This month has gotten crazy.

My plan was to do my research in healthcare settings, which could be... concerning. There’s really no way of knowing how this will play out.

Moving work to online has been a bit of a mess but at least I think we’ve got it figured out now :) it’s hard getting high schoolers to do homework online when they don’t even have to go to school...

Seconding politicalsociology, how are you doing?

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I'm with @annetod in being concerned about how the fall semester will play out. It's hard enough to adjust to grad school without the possibility of the semester being disrupted by a pandemic. I'm also struggling with the stipend vs. COL with the school I'm leaning toward, so I'm worried I might need to work a year and reapply to make it feasible. Is that silly? Should I just take the offer while it exists this year since the recession might screw up admissions?

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I'm very nervous how things will play out now. Just before things started getting really bad I submitted a petition to have my funding increased, and I haven't heard back yet. I'm afraid with everything going on they may not increase my funding at all, or it may be a while yet before I hear back. I'm definitely regretting a lot of things right now and am worried about every little detail in my emails I sent. The longer it takes the more I over-analyze everything 😭 I'm also afraid how this will affect PhD applications next year or the following year, as I'm only going for a MA right now.

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3 hours ago, SocAnth_Lou said:

I'm very nervous how things will play out now. Just before things started getting really bad I submitted a petition to have my funding increased, and I haven't heard back yet. I'm afraid with everything going on they may not increase my funding at all, or it may be a while yet before I hear back. I'm definitely regretting a lot of things right now and am worried about every little detail in my emails I sent. The longer it takes the more I over-analyze everything 😭 I'm also afraid how this will affect PhD applications next year or the following year, as I'm only going for a MA right now.

Good luck with your funding! MA funding is hard to come by anyway, so it's great you've got some and hopefully they can give some more.

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Yeah, I'm in the "I think the chaos is making everything go slower" group of people.  Still waiting on funding information from 3 schools.  It's so hard not to ask, but I know there's no point.  And if anything, I don't want to be a bother; that would only hurt me.  On the bright side, the school that waitlisted me contacted me today to see if I was still interested.  They had no new information for me, as I guess they're still waiting on accepted students to accept or reject the offers, but it was nice to know I'm still being considered.

I'm just worried, because I will most likely have to move across several states, and I want to start getting that all planned out.  But I can't do that until I know what school I'll be attending...

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On 3/26/2020 at 1:12 PM, lkaitlyn said:

I'm with @annetod in being concerned about how the fall semester will play out. It's hard enough to adjust to grad school without the possibility of the semester being disrupted by a pandemic. I'm also struggling with the stipend vs. COL with the school I'm leaning toward, so I'm worried I might need to work a year and reapply to make it feasible. Is that silly? Should I just take the offer while it exists this year since the recession might screw up admissions?

I would be worried about the recession messing with admissions. I'm also really worried about cost of living, but there's no guarantee for repeat offers...

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I can promise y'all that universities were being hurt and facing cuts because of the baby-bust (smaller population of 18 year olds) before the whole covid-19, and now my department isn't going to dip into our waitlist at all and just a smaller cohort. I bet the same will happen for next year as well, so everyone considering that ( @SocAnth_Lou , @annetod ) keep that in mind. 

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For those interested there is a petition going around to extend the April 15th Deadline to May 15th or later. If it will help you or anyone you know please share it. 

Council of Graduate Schools to extend the April 15th deadline to June 15th due to COVID19 Petition. http://chng.it/x4zFkY88

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On 3/26/2020 at 1:12 PM, lkaitlyn said:

I'm with @annetod in being concerned about how the fall semester will play out. It's hard enough to adjust to grad school without the possibility of the semester being disrupted by a pandemic. I'm also struggling with the stipend vs. COL with the school I'm leaning toward, so I'm worried I might need to work a year and reapply to make it feasible. Is that silly? Should I just take the offer while it exists this year since the recession might screw up admissions?

Hey, I've been following this without commenting, but wanted to jump in here. For @lkaitlyn or others thinking about reapplying next year in order to try to get into a better program or one in a more desirable location, I feel you, and have myself even thought about this, though only for a second. Here' why I think it would be a real risk, and ultimately a bad idea. I think you have to consider the quality of the program you got into, and weigh it against the chance of not getting in *anywhere* next year. If you got into a top 30 program, I would 100% jump on it. Sociology and other social sciences and humanities programs have gotten extremely difficult to get into recently. As we can see from some people's admissions results on this thread, programs ranked between, say, 11-30 seem to be almost as hard to get into as those ranked 1-10. I say this because there are plenty of people who were admitted to a given program and then rejected by a bunch of schools ranked *lower* than that program. 

The coming recession will make the competitiveness of these programs even more pronounced, as more people will apply to PhD programs in order to secure even the small stipend and health insurance that comes with it. This will be a simple economic decision, as the only alternative for many really smart people will be to work a minimum wage job, live with their parents, deal with unemployment and extreme precarity, etc. Given the very, very competitive nature of the application process, and the likelihood that it will continue to intensify, I think anyone who would give up a spot at a top 30 program this year, in order to try to get into a better program (or a program in a city that they like better, is cheaper, etc.), has to seriously weigh the risk of applying next year and not getting in anywhere.

If cost of living is an issue, you can take out student loans to top off your stipend, and make do. It's not ideal, but it's a whole lot better--it seems to me--than working a dead end job and making less than you would as a grad student. Hope this helps. Good luck everyone.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, juano20 said:

Hey, I've been following this without commenting, but wanted to jump in here. For @lkaitlyn or others thinking about reapplying next year in order to try to get into a better program or one in a more desirable location, I feel you, and have myself even thought about this, though only for a second. Here' why I think it would be a real risk, and ultimately a bad idea. I think you have to consider the quality of the program you got into, and weigh it against the chance of not getting in *anywhere* next year. If you got into a top 30 program, I would 100% jump on it. Sociology and other social sciences and humanities programs have gotten extremely difficult to get into recently. As we can see from some people's admissions results on this thread, programs ranked between, say, 11-30 seem to be almost as hard to get into as those ranked 1-10. I say this because there are plenty of people who were admitted to a given program and then rejected by a bunch of schools ranked *lower* than that program. 

The coming recession will make the competitiveness of these programs even more pronounced, as more people will apply to PhD programs in order to secure even the small stipend and health insurance that comes with it. This will be a simple economic decision, as the only alternative for many really smart people will be to work a minimum wage job, live with their parents, deal with unemployment and extreme precarity, etc. Given the very, very competitive nature of the application process, and the likelihood that it will continue to intensify, I think anyone who would give up a spot at a top 30 program this year, in order to try to get into a better program (or a program in a city that they like better, is cheaper, etc.), has to seriously weigh the risk of applying next year and not getting in anywhere.

If cost of living is an issue, you can take out student loans to top off your stipend, and make do. It's not ideal, but it's a whole lot better--it seems to me--than working a dead end job and making less than you would as a grad student. Hope this helps. Good luck everyone.

Just to clarify, for me it's totally not about a desirable location or something. It's purely an affordability thing of stipend relative to COL. I love the program(s) I've gotten into. I've heard taking out loans for a PhD program is a bad idea given the terrible job prospects. I'm personally not convinced loans for a social sciences PhD (or ANY PhD for that matter) are a good idea, but I guess it could depend on the person and circumstance. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

To add, I definitely agree that anyone waiting should be prepared for getting in nowhere, especially given the terrible funding situation nationwide and subjectivity of admissions in any given year.

Edited by lkaitlyn

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If I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten it together and applied to 10 or more PhD programs this cycle and been more intent on it. (aka, I would have gotten my sh*t together sooner)....I also hate the idea of taking out a lot of loans for the MA I got into, but with everything going on right now, I think it may be worth it. I'm hoping that if I can get an MA it will help improve my application for the next round of PhD applications. And if I don't get into a PhD program next cycle, I'm hoping the MA can help me get a more relevant job, hopefully some sort of research job, until I can fight my way into a PhD program...idk. This is all so stressful.

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On 4/1/2020 at 3:16 PM, lkaitlyn said:

Just to clarify, for me it's totally not about a desirable location or something. It's purely an affordability thing of stipend relative to COL. I love the program(s) I've gotten into. I've heard taking out loans for a PhD program is a bad idea given the terrible job prospects. I'm personally not convinced loans for a social sciences PhD (or ANY PhD for that matter) are a good idea, but I guess it could depend on the person and circumstance. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

To add, I definitely agree that anyone waiting should be prepared for getting in nowhere, especially given the terrible funding situation nationwide and subjectivity of admissions in any given year.

Also to clarify for me: I wasn't talking about reapplying, I was talking about inquiring with my program about deferring for a year. I don't know if they would've let me, but I decided against it anyway. 

For what it's worth, I agree with @lkaitlyn that nobody should be taking out loans for a PhD...you shouldn't go get your PhD unless your tuition is totally free and they are also paying you a stipend.

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Hi everyone! What is the general reputation surrounding Columbia's MA Sociology program in terms of future applications to PhD programs? Any thoughts/advice on this would be greatly appreciated! 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, asamsoc said:

Hi everyone! What is the general reputation surrounding Columbia's MA Sociology program in terms of future applications to PhD programs? Any thoughts/advice on this would be greatly appreciated! 

Not sure re: placement (it does seem they have historically placed people, but I'm not sure how many get in vs. the number in the program who apply), but I can say more generally that they have some great faculty in the department, but the MA is expensive and Columbia has a lot of unnecessary stress. Plus Columbia is currently fighting the grad union on protections against sexual harassment among other things so there's a likely strike when school starts back up in person. I'd also ask around to figure out what the dynamic is between faculty and the MA program given that they have many PhD students to advise as well.

Edit: Grad housing is actually pretty good if you can get it. Not a Columbia grad student but I have a friend who is and her place is nice.

Edited by lkaitlyn

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