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Undergraduate to PhD?


sofmeister
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I have been told COUNTLESS times that senior undergraduates get accepted in PhD programs "all the time"--that this is "traditionally" and "ideally" how it is done. And yet, given the amount of MA applicants, all of whom are teeming with other accomplishments, in particular publications and research experience outside of a senior thesis, one cannot imagine this being the case. 

Am I crazy? I feel like I am being led astray, but I think too highly of my academic advisor and professors to truly give up hope. 

Someone wanna help me connect the dots, and maybe offer a few recommendations for those of us who feel extremely inferior within this application process? 

Yours truly,

A fellow social science nerd :P 

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Check the student profiles of programs where you're looking to apply and see what backgrounds they're coming from. For example, where I applied, most were definitely coming in with work experience + a masters degree. I personally don't understand this advice of go straight from undergrad to PhD. You gain a lot from work experience and a masters degree can help you figure out what you want to research in the long run + gives you an edge when you apply for PhDs. Just my two cents.

Also, have you read through the other posts? This cycle has been a nightmare, and the next one probably will be, too. People who had a solid chance in the past no longer do because competition is soaring even higher than usual now.

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In my cohort, there are 6 people with master's degrees and 11 people without. 6 of the people with bachelor's came straight after undergrad, and the rest worked for a bit (or awhile). That's a decently even split between coming from MA/work/undergrad. I think admissions committees hold different people to different standards. It's not whether you can compete with master's students, but whether you can compete with other undergrads. The person who did the best with the resources they had isn't necessarily the person with the best resources. The professors don't rank everyone according to their achievements and let the top ones in--they ask themselves who would be a good fit for their institution.

I applied in the fall following my undergrad graduation, which is kinda a gray area. I included myself in the "straight from undergrad" numbers, because that's what it felt like. I had no grad experience or significant work experience when I applied.

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