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Who here has applied... THREE times?


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If I decide to re-apply to grad school for my PhD once I get my MA in two years (assuming a PhD offer doesn't magically appear by April 15), I'd most likely be re-applying to grad school for my PhD.

Anyone been down this road three times? Four? How was your experience?

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*looks around then raises hand*

This is my third time applying (which might explain some of my freakouts lol). Right now I'm feeling pretty down about my chances but others keep telling me to keep my head up. Honestly, it's not that much different than applying for a second time, you already know what you have to do and what to expect...but it is frustrating going through it again. I also find it a little embarrassing to be honest, but I just have to keep reminding myself that the timing right now just plain sucks. It is what it is. Each time I apply I improve my application (first time retaking the GRE, second time enrolling - and soon earning - a masters degree, among other things) and make sure I am applying to the schools with the best fit. I guess I have come to the point that I am determined to get in no matter what that takes. If I don't get accepted this year, then I will apply one more time and after that...I'll figure it out then I guess.

I am really lucky that my advisor is on my side, backing me up, with all of this. I don't think he really understands just having him on my side really helps me keep applying. My family has been the type that just doesn't understand why I would do this (though they are slowly turning around) so having someone who understands the stress of this (especially with the multiple application cycles) has been so helpful.

If you (or anyone else) wants to PM about my experiences go ahead and I'll answer!

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*looks around then raises hand*

This is my third time applying (which might explain some of my freakouts lol). Right now I'm feeling pretty down about my chances but others keep telling me to keep my head up. Honestly, it's not that much different than applying for a second time, you already know what you have to do and what to expect...but it is frustrating going through it again. I also find it a little embarrassing to be honest, but I just have to keep reminding myself that the timing right now just plain sucks. It is what it is. Each time I apply I improve my application (first time retaking the GRE, second time enrolling - and soon earning - a masters degree, among other things) and make sure I am applying to the schools with the best fit. I guess I have come to the point that I am determined to get in no matter what that takes. If I don't get accepted this year, then I will apply one more time and after that...I'll figure it out then I guess.

I am really lucky that my advisor is on my side, backing me up, with all of this. I don't think he really understands just having him on my side really helps me keep applying. My family has been the type that just doesn't understand why I would do this (though they are slowly turning around) so having someone who understands the stress of this (especially with the multiple application cycles) has been so helpful.

If you (or anyone else) wants to PM about my experiences go ahead and I'll answer!

psychdork, that's really inspiring! I love that you're so persistent and believe so strong in this :) Embarrassment is a good word -- if I have to do this again, I'll be really embarrassed to go to my professors and ask for letters again... The cost doesn't help, either. I'm hoping that this Master's program I've been admitted to will work out, or of course, I hope that I'll miraculously get into a PhD program this year, but if not... it's encouraging to know that there are other people (you! :D) out there who don't give up. I really hope you get in this round!!! Persistence will be rewarded, eventually. That's something I firmly believe. And like Steve Jobs and many others have said: it's important that you love what you do. I love what I do. It's clear that you love what you do. And we'll keep pursuing it no matter what.

I have to admit, that I sort of wish we were back in the (insert any century pre-21st century here) Century, because I'm sure that applying to graduate school has never been more competitive, more emotionally draining, or more exhausting.

I wish you all the best! I hope you keep us posted!

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Depending on how you define it, this is my fourth time.

1st time: Senior in college, bad grades, decent research experience, applied to a variety of MS programs. Didn't get in anywhere.

2nd time: Had been working for about half a year, applied to post-bac CS program. Got in.

3rd time: Had been working for about a year and a half and was taking post-bac CS classes, applied to two MS CS programs. Got into both.

4th time: Finishing up part-time MS in CS, applying to PhD programs. Got into one, still waiting to hear from other two.

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this is also my fourth time:

1st time: i applied to 1 unfunded masters program and i attended it and completed the program.

2nd time: i applied to 2 PhD programs in a related field. (only applying to 2 was stupid) I was rejected by both.

3rd time: the year after that i applied to 10 PhD programs and was accepted to 2 - only 1 of which was funded. I attended the funded one and i am currently wrapping up the masters portion of it with the intention of switching fields.

4th time: PRESENT. I am applying to 5 programs in a different field from my previous 2 masters, but both of these masters certainly have relevance. Also this particular field is really what i've wanted to do with my life all along - ever since i was a little kid. The situations just didn't present themselves earlier in my academic career - or i was an immature idiot for not pushing myself in this direction all along.

live and learn.

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Sigh. Embarrassing is right. My first round of applications was in 2009 (for an MA in English). I say round, but it ended up being only one app because my father died suddenly right before Christmas and one was all I could muster. Somehow I miraculously got waitslisted, which gave me hope. In 2009 I applied to 3 programs, one of which was for an MLS, which I'm finishing up this semester. Rejected from both English programs. So far I've applied to 7 programs and been rejected from 4. I've tackled a different aspect of my application for each round. I know for a fact it can't be my CV because that's frickin' amazing, so I have to chalk it up to just not being a good fit for the programs I'm applying to and/or my writing sample. The idea of doing this again makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry, but I'm already looking toward next year's application season. I repeat: sigh.

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Is my 3rd round of PhD applications.

First time I applied to 10 PhD programs and later to two masters. Was rejected by 9, waitlisted by one, then applied to 2 masters. Was accepted by both, and even a 3rd, one of which was at a top 10 uni, and was able to find funding. I attended the masters.

Second time I only applied to 2 schools because my application-season was cut short by a job-offer I could not refuse. Was accepted into one, deferred it.

Third time, applied to 3 schools. Accepted into top school, still waiting on 2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone, I just found out today that I wil be applying a third time. I think embarrassed is the right word... funny part about it is I did a little better my first year:

1st year: 5 schools - wait listed to top-choice, didnt get in and admitted to unfunded masters (didn't take it...)

2nd year: 8 schools - interview at one and rejected from all.

I'm feeling really down, I just dont know what I did wrong. I have no idea how to navigate it from here but I dont want to do anything else besides research in cultural anthropology... I work as a research assistant at the anthro dept at the Smithsonian full-time and I have good research background... I just wish someone would give me real feedback, not the "I remember your application last year and it was good" but something like your SOP is so off or your GRE score isn't high enough.... I guess it's lottery odds... Best wishes to everyone our diligence has to pay off!

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This is my second time. I did a bit better than last time but not good enough I guess. Do I do this again next year?

I'm 35. Single. And I fear I have put my life on hold for what appears to be a club that does not seem to want to let me in.

Sweet.

:( I feel for you...

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This is my third time as well.

First time (2009): Applied to one MLA program, I was accepted BUT without funding. I couldn't afford the program.

Second time (2011): Applied to two programs, and was rejected by both.

Third time (current): I have been wait listed at one program and am waiting to hear from the other.

If it doesn't happen this time around for me, I'm a little at a lost of what to do. I know applying to only 1-2 programs a year is risky, and applying to more could improve my chances, but it's very expensive (one of my schools had a 200.00 app fee!).

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  • 8 months later...

This is my second time. I did a bit better than last time but not good enough I guess. Do I do this again next year?

I'm 35. Single. And I fear I have put my life on hold for what appears to be a club that does not seem to want to let me in.

Sweet.

Hang in there. Everything always falls into place. We're all rooting for you...

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I think it helps to have a team of people cheering you on. I hope that this is the last year for all of us! Cheers to all of you who have the persistence to stick it out. It's tough, but you all are amazing for following your dreams. It's so easy to give up when you feel defeated, but you have all chosen to make options even when it didnt appear that there were any. Keep it up! It all falls into place...eventually. Virtual hugs. :)

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This is "only" my second time, but it is stressing enough as it is... the first time I had an interview at NYU for the PhD program in Spanish and Portuguese. I have three published books, I work as an editor, and have been organizing international conferences... at NYU, so, what's wrong with me? This year I retook the GRE and rewrote my SOP's... I can only hope...

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This is "only" my second time, but it is stressing enough as it is... the first time I had an interview at NYU for the PhD program in Spanish and Portuguese. I have three published books, I work as an editor, and have been organizing international conferences... at NYU, so, what's wrong with me? This year I retook the GRE and rewrote my SOP's... I can only hope...

 

I can relate on the "what's wrong with me?" part.  I won't go into specifics, but there isn't any part of my application that has a glaring flaw.  Now, I would most likely never get into a school like Harvard, but I'm definitely qualified (and competitive) for many other excellent schools and yet this is my fourth round.  This past year I did the same thing as you (while continuing to work in my field), and I'm hoping that maybe that will finally work.  Hopefully it will for both of us!

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I can relate on the "what's wrong with me?" part.  I won't go into specifics, but there isn't any part of my application that has a glaring flaw.  Now, I would most likely never get into a school like Harvard, but I'm definitely qualified (and competitive) for many other excellent schools and yet this is my fourth round.  This past year I did the same thing as you (while continuing to work in my field), and I'm hoping that maybe that will finally work.  Hopefully it will for both of us!

 

This is my second and last effort for the time being.  I've pretty much addressed any flaws in my application to the best of my ability, and if that's not good enough, then I'm just going to have to accept that I'm not what they're looking for (or willing to take, I suppose).  I can't really imagine asking my referees for another batch of letters.  I would expect the "coming to Jesus" conversation from them at that point.

 

I *should* be decently competitive at the programs to which I applied, though.  :)   There's no "reach schools" or anything like that this year - and my GPA/GRE/Letters/Statement are all to par as far as I can tell.  My only concern right now is the 3.5 AW score on the GRE, but a quick survey of the first paragraph of one of my sops should eliminate any concerns there (one can hope, right?). 

 

Financial reality is quite literally right on my heels, and if it weren't for my family, there would not have even been a round 2.  So if it doesn't pan out this time, I guess I'm going back to work as an accounting clerk and living at home until I'm 45 and my loans are paid off.  After all the ordeals I had to contend with and still managing to graduate cum laude - that idea really feels like a kick in the gut.  :(

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  • 3 months later...

Interestingly, I've applied to the same program three times. The first two, I got in with no funding, and the third time I got in with full funding! I'll be going in the fall. I have slightly difficult academic interests (Mediterranean archaeology intersecting anthropology) so it's been difficult to find program with a good fit.

 

Here is what happened to me:

Round 1: Senior year of college. 1 PhD acceptance (no funding); 3 MA acceptances with funding

Round 2: Finishing MA #1. PhD acceptance (same school no funding). 2 MA acceptances

Round 3: Decide to do a second MA (this is a big decision and I only recommend it if you have a strong idea rom faculty that it could help your education).  While in the second year, I apply, and get 3 PhD acceptances, all funded.

 

I say it's worth a shot. If they want you, they'll take you. In my case I had difficulties due to a restricted search region and my own research interests, as well as the fact that languages are not my strong point and they are really emphasized in Mediterranean archaeology. Hence doing two MA's to build up those skills.

 

Keep your chin up! I know it's hard, I've been there.

 

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this is my second attempt....i am an international student....first time i applied to programs in sociology without having ever taken a socio course in my life....applied to 5 places..got rejected everywhere...this time i applied to social work which is what i did for my MA and have 3 years research exp...i had applied to 4 places and really wanted to get into only one...my dream school waitlisted me....then interviewed me via skype a week before april 15 and then said that they may have a spot...but a week later told me that there was no spot since no one declined and that they were trying to get additional funding but they have no word on when it will work out!!! thank god i got accepted to another school which is also a good fit with full funding....i wonder sometimes if i shd apply a third time to get into dream school! losing a year is super expensive though! and applications are a hole in the bank and your soul!

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  • 3 weeks later...

This was my third time applying. First time was 2008 - 10 schools, one interview, no offers. Then 2009 - 10 schools again, nothing. I thought if I applied to different, less-competitive schools I stood a better chance - wrong. Don't make this mistake, kids. Less competitive schools, at least in this field, are still very competitive. I did not make enough use of that year to improve on my weaknesses. Anyways, third time was this year after some serious application upgrades - 5 schools, 5 interviews, one great offer. I'm older than I'd like to be starting a 5-7 year program, but this is what I wanted to do, and damn, I'm in.  

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That is one extremely competitive program to get into. Getting in at any age (or even the third time around) is a HUGE accomplishment. Congratulations!!

   

This was my third time applying. First time was 2008 - 10 schools, one interview, no offers. Then 2009 - 10 schools again, nothing. I thought if I applied to different, less-competitive schools I stood a better chance - wrong. Don't make this mistake, kids. Less competitive schools, at least in this field, are still very competitive. I did not make enough use of that year to improve on my weaknesses. Anyways, third time was this year after some serious application upgrades - 5 schools, 5 interviews, one great offer. I'm older than I'd like to be starting a 5-7 year program, but this is what I wanted to do, and damn, I'm in.  

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