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In at UPenn. I'm at a loss for words. I'm hoping everyone else who has been shut out so far receives some good news soon (hopefully a few more today who also get into Penn).

That was me.   I've applied for 4 rounds.   Finally.

Ok. So I'm a little jealous of lonestar.

 

I would actually call my future school (assuming I get the funding I'm hoping for) third-tier. There was a paper (posted here) about how 4 schools get about 50 percent of the hires. I would call that first-tier. The rest of the top 15 (I dunno, maybe 20), I would count as second-tier. Think schools like UCSD. I've known lots of student their over the years there, and it is crazy how low their confidence in finding a gig afterwards is. When I told them I wanted a PhD, about 70 percent would tell me not to do it there (I still applied though). 

 

All the rest, I'll call third-tier. I plan to go a third-tier myself. In all honestly, I think of these are "do-it-yourself" programs. They will offer up all the resources and opportunities required to conduct world-class research, but it is totally up to me to get through it and make my research something the intellectual community values. I'm going because I'm a big believer in myself and still believe academia is one of the few career paths that still offer enough intellectual honest that good research is what matters, not institution (though a good institution is a much safer ticket in). So, I may not go to Harvard, but I plan to bust my butt to make sure my dissertation is as good as a graduate from that, or any other, program. 

 

There's also some question floating around as to whether or not there's really any value added by going to "top tier" schools--the ones that the hires all seem to come from. And, frankly, going to a top tier school guarantees you nothing. All that hard work is still going to show in the final product (your dissertation, your future research, your professional demeanor). I think you're on the right track with your work-ethic!

 

And a caveat on my view of things: I landed on the schools I applied to by following the people I liked (where they got their degrees, what schools they were at, what my personal limits were) + a couple of applications because they're good programs (Michigan). My view on things is also a little skewed because I attended a tiny, insignificant teaching school for undergraduate that no one has ever heard of and had the most amazing experience with it. I went on to a graduate school that valued hard work above all else, with people who worked in their fields and wanted to show it to us. If it weren't for academics like that (who wanted to teach, who wanted to research the things they valued without concern for prestige, who had so few students that they genuinely cared when my personal life went to pieces during my undergraduate--then graduate--career and tried to help), I wouldn't be remotely interested in academe. So, I'm in this for doing things that way, and for doing research on a subject that I'm so passionate about, I'm going to find a way to research and work on it, even if I'm not a PhD.

 

tl;dr: yay, work ethic!

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I would actually call my future school (assuming I get the funding I'm hoping for) third-tier. There was a paper (posted here) about how 4 schools get about 50 percent of the hires. I would call that first-tier. The rest of the top 15 (I dunno, maybe 20), I would count as second-tier. Think schools like UCSD. I've known lots of student their over the years there, and it is crazy how low their confidence in finding a gig afterwards is. When I told them I wanted a PhD, about 70 percent would tell me not to do it there (I still applied though). 

Is this the study you're referencing?

http://chronicle.com/article/PhDs-From-Top/136113/

If so, it actually says that 11 programs get 50% of the hires. I think, the first four (Princeton, Stanford, Michigan, Harvard, not in this order) get 50% of these, while the next 7 (including UCSD, Yale etc) get another 50% (of those 50%), meaning each of these groups gets 25%. This would mean that there is some sort of cut-off after 11 (the top-10).

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I'm not sure whether to even post this in the results exactly, but I've got a conditional offer from Cambridge POLIS. It's a bit odd; I didn't even get an email, I just checked after someone else had posted an acceptance. Anyway, it's conditional on my being accepted by one of Cambridge's colleges and on receiving a 'distinction' in my current MA. There's also no information about financing. But hey, after two outright rejections, I'll take what I can get!  

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Is this the study you're referencing?

http://chronicle.com/article/PhDs-From-Top/136113/

If so, it actually says that 11 programs get 50% of the hires. I think, the first four (Princeton, Stanford, Michigan, Harvard, not in this order) get 50% of these, while the next 7 (including UCSD, Yale etc) get another 50% (of those 50%), meaning each of these groups gets 25%. This would mean that there is some sort of cut-off after 11 (the top-10).

That's the one. Thanks for the summary. so that is what I would call first (top 4) and second (next 7) and third (all the rest). I get that quality will vary a lot at "all the rest," and agree that it is all about fit between you and that program at that point.

 

It might be a defense mechanism, but I've been reading more from the department I plan to attend. Very excited to meet these profs in person during my visit!!! 

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That's the one. Thanks for the summary. so that is what I would call first (top 4) and second (next 7) and third (all the rest). I get that quality will vary a lot at "all the rest," and agree that it is all about fit between you and that program at that point.

 

It might be a defense mechanism, but I've been reading more from the department I plan to attend. Very excited to meet these profs in person during my visit!!! 

 

I might go ahead and suggest that those top 11 constitute the first tier. The second tier might be a bit fuzzier, but it seems that placement in R1 institutions isn't unreasonable or uncommon through the top 30, so maybe 12-30 or so would be roughly the second tier, and maybe 31-50/60 the third tier? After that most of the programs are producing private sector Ph.D.s. Just my thoughts on it - but there are great programs in the 20-30 range, like Penn State, doing pretty decently as far as placement goes. Of course all these lines are fuzzy because some schools carry more name recognition and therewith prestige and may perform better regardless of ranking.

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I'm not sure whether to even post this in the results exactly, but I've got a conditional offer from Cambridge POLIS. It's a bit odd; I didn't even get an email, I just checked after someone else had posted an acceptance. Anyway, it's conditional on my being accepted by one of Cambridge's colleges and on receiving a 'distinction' in my current MA. There's also no information about financing. But hey, after two outright rejections, I'll take what I can get!  

Did you have an interview? Mine still says "Under consideration by department", but then again, the graduate school withdrew it before reinstating, so might take longer!

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I'm not sure whether to even post this in the results exactly, but I've got a conditional offer from Cambridge POLIS. It's a bit odd; I didn't even get an email, I just checked after someone else had posted an acceptance. Anyway, it's conditional on my being accepted by one of Cambridge's colleges and on receiving a 'distinction' in my current MA. There's also no information about financing. But hey, after two outright rejections, I'll take what I can get!  

 

Congratulations! I believe being accepted into a college is merely a formality although you may not get your first choice. :) 

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I might go ahead and suggest that those top 11 constitute the first tier. The second tier might be a bit fuzzier, but it seems that placement in R1 institutions isn't unreasonable or uncommon through the top 30, so maybe 12-30 or so would be roughly the second tier, and maybe 31-50/60 the third tier? After that most of the programs are producing private sector Ph.D.s. Just my thoughts on it - but there are great programs in the 20-30 range, like Penn State, doing pretty decently as far as placement goes. Of course all these lines are fuzzy because some schools carry more name recognition and therewith prestige and may perform better regardless of ranking.

 

I would agree with this. CHYMPS is often thrown around as being in a class of its own, at least in terms of name recognition, but if anything, I would say it's more like Tier 1A and Tier 1B than Tier 1 and 2. It does, however, also depend on what you're looking at. I think programs are diverse enough that within those most differences depend more on what you get out of it!

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On the off chance that the admissions committee at Stanford completely overlooks "fit" and calls me with an acceptance offer this morning, they're going to get an earful of the loudest, most ridiculous hiccups ever.

 

Wouldn't Murphy's law suggest that they'd be calling you, then? Considering you have these hiccups etc.

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I might go ahead and suggest that those top 11 constitute the first tier. The second tier might be a bit fuzzier, but it seems that placement in R1 institutions isn't unreasonable or uncommon through the top 30, so maybe 12-30 or so would be roughly the second tier, and maybe 31-50/60 the third tier? After that most of the programs are producing private sector Ph.D.s. Just my thoughts on it - but there are great programs in the 20-30 range, like Penn State, doing pretty decently as far as placement goes. Of course all these lines are fuzzy because some schools carry more name recognition and therewith prestige and may perform better regardless of ranking.

This breakdown seems about right to me. The line between second and third tier may be a bit fuzzier when you start looking at the specific placements out of certain institutions, but as a rule of thumb, this seems right. Remember though, outside of perhaps H/P/S/M?, the number and especially quality of publications you have as you come into the market makes a huge difference. Likewise, your ability to demonstrate quant skills cannot be understated. For example, a tier two or three applicant with some killer papers in top journals and a dissertation well on the way to book quality offers something different to a selection committee than an unpublished tier one applicant. This type of person may never teach at Harvard, but there are many good R1s out there where this applicant will be taken seriously. Anyhow, these are just my views after having talked for a long time to a lot of profs...To continue a theme, there is always hope, and hard work goes a long way...

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On the off chance that the admissions committee at Stanford completely overlooks "fit" and calls me with an acceptance offer this morning, they're going to get an earful of the loudest, most ridiculous hiccups ever.

 

Do you sound like Beaker? Because then it is surely going to happen. (I get Beaker hiccups, and then my roommates suggest all their different fixes to me until I retreat.)

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Two things:

 

1)  I have been accepted to Northwestern, but I was just curious about the application website, so I checked it and it still says a decision has not been rendered.  So I wouldn't take that as a reliable source.

 

2)  The job placement article folks have been discussing here (as well as another one I have seen float around) only deals with job placements at PhD-granting institutions.  So not only would a tenure-track position at the state school I am currently attending not count, but neither would a job at a prestigious 4-year institution.  I understand that the end goal for many people on this board is a job at one of these top schools, but I am also aware that many would be happy with a position at Beloit College, for example.  My current department has only one professor that attended one of the "top four" universities, but they all publish, go to conferences, etc.

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About the rank issue:

I'm quite worried about carrer prospects after the PhD. What are the things that matter for this?

-How well they teach you what you want to learn.

-How well they teach you what to want to learn - in order to be successful on the job market.

-Opportunities to network (that includes research centers, research assistanceships, travel money etc).

-Training\experience in teaching, programming, and other transferable skills. 

 

Isn't everything else secondary with respect to making this thing a career? And do rankings reflect how well programs offer these things?

My guess is that name recognition only matters if you leave the academic discipline.

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NYU scared me to sh*t this morning. The wording at the start of their email to check wait-list people's status is really like a rejection off the list.

 

I told them NYU is still my top choice due to family reasons. Hope they show some sympathy and let me in.

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I still can't figure out which University the C in CHYMPS stands for.

 

I think I'll call Northwestern in a little bit to see what's going on.

 

I've been wondering about that. Consensus seems to be either Columbia or California (for Berkeley), although apparently it used to stand for Chicago, which has experienced a huge drop in the last 20 yers or so.

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