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What should I do in MA program?


bialetti-overdose

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Hey, guys,

I think I may get into Boston University and NYU for their MA psychology program.

My goal is to pursue PhD in another school upon completion of MA in these institutions.

In order to further strengthen my PhD application in the future, what should I do extra during MA program?

Should I publish something with my name? (I heard it's hard even for MA students)

Should I suck up to a professor who has connection with the university that I would like to go for PhD?

Should I just focus on maintaining my GPA?

Should I retake GRE? (current GRE score: V: 710, Q: 780)

Should I broaden my "connections" in psychology conferences?

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Hey, guys,

I think I may get into Boston University and NYU for their MA psychology program.

My goal is to pursue PhD in another school upon completion of MA in these institutions.

In order to further strengthen my PhD application in the future, what should I do extra during MA program?

Should I publish something with my name? (I heard it's hard even for MA students)

Should I suck up to a professor who has connection with the university that I would like to go for PhD?

Should I just focus on maintaining my GPA?

Should I retake GRE? (current GRE score: V: 710, Q: 780)

Should I broaden my "connections" in psychology conferences?

Your GRE is fantastic so don't worry about that. You didn't mention having any research experience so I would think that would be a top priority for being competitive for PhD programs.

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Your GRE is fantastic so don't worry about that. You didn't mention having any research experience so I would think that would be a top priority for being competitive for PhD programs.

oh yes, I have gained a year of research experience so far after the graduation of Bachelor's.

I have worked in an university as RA for three months and right now I am working at a private research institution like Gallop.

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Hey, guys,

I think I may get into Boston University and NYU for their MA psychology program.

My goal is to pursue PhD in another school upon completion of MA in these institutions.

In order to further strengthen my PhD application in the future, what should I do extra during MA program?

Should I publish something with my name? (I heard it's hard even for MA students)

Should I suck up to a professor who has connection with the university that I would like to go for PhD?

Should I just focus on maintaining my GPA?

Should I retake GRE? (current GRE score: V: 710, Q: 780)

Should I broaden my "connections" in psychology conferences?

NYU's MA program is general and there is no financial support. Obviously it's up to you, but I would not go into $50k of debt for a MA.

Should you publish? Yes. This is more important than anything. Of course, easier said than done...

GRE/GPA? Not priority. Your GRE scores are great. You want to do reasonably well in your classes but research is about 10x as important.

Connections/sucking up? Sure, but again easier said than done. It can't hurt to introduce yourself to somebody at a conference so that they (might) remember your face and name, but chances for this are often few and far between. And there's a thin line between sucking up and being obsequious and irritating.

I'm not sure what you mean by doing something "extra" during your MA. The point of a research-based MA is to refine your ideas, (ideally) get some of them published somewhere, and demonstrate your research acumen/independence. It's not extra; it's the whole reason for doing it.

Edited by lewin00
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NYU's MA program is general and there is no financial support. Obviously it's up to you, but I would not go into $50k of debt for a MA.

Should you publish? Yes. This is more important than anything. Of course, easier said than done...

GRE/GPA? Not priority. Your GRE scores are great. You want to do reasonably well in your classes but research is about 10x as important.

Connections/sucking up? Sure, but again easier said than done. It can't hurt to introduce yourself to somebody at a conference so that they (might) remember your face and name, but chances for this are often few and far between. And there's a thin line between sucking up and being obsequious and irritating.

I'm not sure what you mean by doing something "extra" during your MA. The point of a research-based MA is to refine your ideas, (ideally) get some of them published somewhere, and demonstrate your research acumen/independence. It's not extra; it's the whole reason for doing it.

Thanks for your reply.

Of course I am aware of the pure purpose of going into MA program.

However, my dream is to attend Ivys. (I know, I know i should look more into "fit" than "name")

What I meant by "extra" was my asking how to strengthen my future application besides the stuff that I might already know or something that can make me stand out from the packs

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What I meant by "extra" was my asking how to strengthen my future application besides the stuff that I might already know or something that can make me stand out from the packs

Gotcha gotcha. Good luck! :)

(Publications are more important than anything, also the hardest.)

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The most important thing to do at a MA institution is to obtain any experience that you can that will set you apart from the other applicants for PhD programs.

1. Research. This is obvious, given that psychology PhD programs are all about research. If you can demonstrate that you have excellent skill in independently conducting empirical research, then your credentials will significantly strengthen.

Research also can open doors for other great opportunities, including conference presentations and even publications. I'm personally finishing an MA right now and through the whole experience did a bunch of conference presentations, got a first authorship publication, and have several others in progress among other things.

2. Service. This is a largely under-looked aspect of application. Professors partake three general activities: research, teaching, and service. By service, I mean things like reviewing journals and the like. Ask your advisors to see if you can review journal articles that they are asked to review with them. This is a great way to gain experience into the publication process; it also allows you to get a first hand look at the newest research being conducted. My advisor has been great with this, so I have reviewed multiple articles for top journals such as JPSP and SPPS.

Also, many student organizations, like SPSP and APS, always look for students to review various things. I've reviewed posters for a poster competition for SPSP's conference last year and recently reviewed a grant for a student grant competition hosted by APS. These are definitely important.

3. Classes. You can get a lot of experience taking good classes that will come in handy later on when you transfer to a PhD. If you are in social psychology, for example, obviously take a social psychology class, but also expand your horizons and take things like cognitive science or other related courses. The more ideas you embody, the better. Take those statistics classes too. A solid quantitative background is very attractive.

4. Teaching. As a master's student, seek opportunities to give lectures for your professors once in a while, or even take undergraduates to work with you; mentoring relationships like that could also look impressive later on.

5. Use your head. If you are trying to get into Ivy schools just because they are Ivy schools, then you are set for disaster; you seem to know that though. Don't apply to Harvard because it is Harvard. If you are going to apply there, make sure you have a good fit with the faculty there. Remember that Ivy schools are super competitive, with people from all over the world competing with you for a few spots.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received when I was an undergrad was "It is not about the name of the school, it is about what you do there."

I believe that maxim is true. You could go to a top school but not really do anything impressive there, which will in turn hinder your chances of finding a good job. On the other hand, you could go to a school that may be less recognized, but do a lot of great work, which will lead to publications, and in turn, a good chance at securing a position as a faculty member at a top school.

6. Pay attention to the research people are doing. Glance at abstracts being published by top journals in your field to see what people are doing. This will also give you an idea of what is going on where, which may even help you learn more about programs that are out there that you may have not considered the first time around.

7. Go to conferences. Even if you don't have anything to present, go to a conference just to take it all in: the talks, the posters, the vibe. You will meet many people – both grad students and faculty – which will help you build connections. Don't "suck up," no one wants a brown-noser. Rather, just casually talk with people, and show genuine interest in what they do. You can make a lot of friendships this way. It is a great experience.

An MA degree is a great way to discover your own interests concretely, and gain valuable experience for the PhD. Use your head and you will be fine.

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Hey, guys,

I think I may get into Boston University and NYU for their MA psychology program.

My goal is to pursue PhD in another school upon completion of MA in these institutions.

In order to further strengthen my PhD application in the future, what should I do extra during MA program?

Should I publish something with my name? (I heard it's hard even for MA students)

Should I suck up to a professor who has connection with the university that I would like to go for PhD?

Should I just focus on maintaining my GPA?

Should I retake GRE? (current GRE score: V: 710, Q: 780)

Should I broaden my "connections" in psychology conferences?

What makes you think you got into the BU program? Just asking because I applied there as well, but haven't heard anything yet (but since I took the GREs on Jan 22nd, my app is probably not officially processed and complete yet). I had kinda written BU off though, since I think they don't give funding?

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What makes you think you got into the BU program? Just asking because I applied there as well, but haven't heard anything yet (but since I took the GREs on Jan 22nd, my app is probably not officially processed and complete yet). I had kinda written BU off though, since I think they don't give funding?

Well, i was free basing my acceptance to be honest. It is one of those feeling that when you were HS student, you are applying to safety schools. However, if that made you feel uncomfortable, sorry about that.

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Well, i was free basing my acceptance to be honest. It is one of those feeling that when you were HS student, you are applying to safety schools. However, if that made you feel uncomfortable, sorry about that.

Haha no, why would that make me feel uncomfortable? Their acceptance rate is quite high, I think because they charge tuition and don't provide funding. It was a "safety school" for me as well. I was just wondering if you had heard something, since the application process takes so long and I hate waiting :-)

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