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Communication/Media Studies Ph.D Fall 2014--Apps, Decisions, and Waiting...

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Have any of you that have been accepted to UMass actually heard from the department?  I keep trying to contact people, but haven't heard anything.  About to accept on PSU if I don't hear soon...

They are sending out the funding information today, I believe. I know everyone gets funded + a stipend from assistantships. Did you receive your acceptance letter? 

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They are sending out the funding information today, I believe. I know everyone gets funded + a stipend from assistantships. Did you receive your acceptance letter? 

 

Yeah!  I finally just heard about funding! Do you happen to know if they have summer funding?  I couldn't find any info about it on their website and it wasn't in the letter.

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UIUC's Communication department (as opposed to ICR, which is already out) has been sent. Rejected, but that's not really surprising--I'm a much better fit for ICR, and really only applied to the Comm department as backup. Also, though this isn't Communication, per se, I heard back from IU's Information Science department (the joys of being kind of between fields!). I had an interview Tuesday. They asked who I'd like to work with today, and said they'd get back to me with a "detailed financial plan" early next week. That...sounds like a probably-acceptance, right?

Edited by betafish

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Congratulations on these! Are you talking about NYU MCC program?

Thanks! I've been wait-listed for PhD at Tisch School of the Arts, Cinema Studies. This entire process is like a maze! I am wondering if I'll have to let go of this in favour of admission at UT. The final dates of accepting offer of admission is the clincher and I don't have a clear picture about it!

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Thanks! I've been wait-listed for PhD at Tisch School of the Arts, Cinema Studies. This entire process is like a maze! I am wondering if I'll have to let go of this in favour of admission at UT. The final dates of accepting offer of admission is the clincher and I don't have a clear picture about it!

That's fantastic and you should be super proud! Do they have the same April 15th deadline? I wonder if you could find out where on the wait-list you are so you can get a sense of what you should do. I would hold on to both options for as long as possible! 

Edited by UC2011

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Yeah!  I finally just heard about funding! Do you happen to know if they have summer funding?  I couldn't find any info about it on their website and it wasn't in the letter.

Hooray! I don't think they do right now but I would email whoever you said you wanted to work with in your SoP and see. I have found it easier to get responses when I email faculty directly. 

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Rejected by UW Madison.

It seems that the official emails of notification will be coming soon, for those interested...

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That's fantastic and you should be super proud! Do they have the same April 15th deadline? I wonder if you could find out where on the wait-list you are so you can get a sense of what you should do. I would hold on to both options for as long as possible! 

Thanks! Yes, UT also has the April 15 deadline for the final decision. The letter from NYU mentioned that they don't release the information about any sequence on the wait-list. That would have made things clearer. Anyhow, I guess the only option is to wait to hear from NYU till the first week of April at least.

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Rejected by UW Madison.

It seems that the official emails of notification will be coming soon, for those interested...

 

I just got mine a few minutes ago... looks like I'll be in Chicago one way or another. 

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Still waiting to hear back from one school. Kansas had a pretty nice fellowship come out after their initial deadline closed and the applications for that re-closed tomorrow. Unless I get that, I'm probably headed to Raleigh. After visiting Utah, I still like the program but it's not the right choice for me.

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An entry in the results survey is claiming that if you haven't been interviewed for NYU-Steinhardt's MCC PhD, you're out of the running.

 

I wasn't interviewed.

 

Any reason to hold out hope for that program?

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An entry in the results survey is claiming that if you haven't been interviewed for NYU-Steinhardt's MCC PhD, you're out of the running.

 

I wasn't interviewed.

 

Any reason to hold out hope for that program?

 

They interviewed 16 and will be choosing their cohort from there.  I mean, anything is possible, but without an interview it is unlikely.  This is their first year doing interviews.

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They interviewed 16 and will be choosing their cohort from there.  I mean, anything is possible, but without an interview it is unlikely.  This is their first year doing interviews.

 

That is entirely too nervewracking, given the cohort size of 6! 

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For those waiting on MCC: I officially heard from them this morning

 

woohoo congratulations! I got nothing here, so I guess I'm out. 

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I was swiftly and punitively rejected for admission for the PhD at my host institution back on Jan. 27th.  They met the previous Wed, and I got the email on Monday morning 1/27 at 9 am.  Although I received a very nice long letter from the Chair indicating I could contact him to discuss, I have put this off.

 

I think I am still licking my wounds over it a bit since I was told that to be successful in academia, you must get papers accepted to conferences, publish papers and identify/obtain funding for your research.  So, I put my head down into it as an M.A. and am about to publish in a top peer-reviewed journal, got a paper accepted to ICA's Health Communication Division for presentation in May in Seattle and identified $50,000 in funding that I could apply for towards my intended dissertation topic.  

 

Today, I found out that I was also declined admission to the only other program I applied.  Because I am "geographically challenged" I could only apply to two institutions.  

 

To make matters even more interesting, I just received an email this morning from one of my professors asking me if I know of anyone or would be interested in adjunct teaching a class at my host institution.  The fact that I graduated in December and have not been accepted into their PhD program also leaves me out in the cold regarding the travel funding to get to ICA, so must foot the bill myself.  And, yes, it was accepted as a sole student authored paper.  I'm going anyway, because it would be a good experience to present my research and I would get to see Seattle.  So, doesn't it seem strange that they seem to be saying, "You were good enough for our M.A. program, but you're not good enough to be accepted into our PhD program, but we think we might like to hire you to be one of the faculty?!  

 

I have run this by two current professors in this field at other institutions and they are quite astounded and confused by it as well.

 

However, right now, I would really like to hear from others in the field regarding this very unique situation.  Because, clearly I am pondering whether to even continue down the academic path and re-attempt for Fall of 2015, or just chalk it up, move on and get a real job far away from this seemingly political mess.

 

Thanks for any input you can give me.

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I am quite sorry to hear of your situation, but I would say that if you're interested in Academia then trying again next year would be a good choice.  I know of no way to accurately predict which committees like or dislike one's application.  I just know that if I applied to two programs, there would have been a very high chance of not getting an offer.  Over this season I have received four offers, with the distinct possibility of a fifth (or more), but I applied to eleven programs, and at my two in-state institutions I am assuming rejection.  With a journal publication and an ICA presentation I think you would be in very strong shape to get very good admits in any cycle, and perhaps if there are weaker parts of your application you can use some of the time to improve them.  Best of luck in whatever path you choose !

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I agree: academia (like any profession) is a very specific industry that requires the same kind of motivation that pursuing "more risky" jobs like music or acting require. Whether you ultimately decide to pursue academia or not, it's helpful to keep in mind that the real world has its fair share of political messes as well. 

 

The crap shoot about admissions is that much of the final outcome is out of your hands. Most programs have acceptance rates comparable, if not smaller, than some Ivy League schools (including the Ivy League programs obviously). The applicant pool, available funds, department dynamics/politics, the phase of the moon: all of these will toss and turn any potential outcome. Sometimes, it seems like having a stellar application is just the fee to get into the door to even be considered. 

 

My advice: if you feel like academia is truly worth the pursuit, go ahead and apply the next cycle, or the following one. The important thing to remember is that your feelings right now will change, one way or another. As I mentioned in this thread before, I graduated in 2012 from my masters program and was shot down from 10 separate PhD programs. I left feeling like I was ready to experience the real world. Eventually, I felt like some time off was great and made me prepared to pursue academia. This feeling still wavers (even on a daily basis). This time around, I decided to be more strategic with my selections and applications.

 

The other crap shoot about this process is that often it's a simple numbers game. I'm not sure what circumstances make you geographically challenged, but honestly it's not surprising that you didn't have much luck with just two potential programs. This time, I applied to 8 programs: I've been accepted to two and waitlisted by one. I was just thrilled to get accepted by one (especially after hearing "no" ten different times before). 

 

Obviously there's no guarantee the next time around, but circumstances will be different for both you and the rest of the world next time. So, if anything, at least remember that your next admission cycle will be a whole new ball game. 

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I know the feeling. The last 3 semesters of my undergrad I took graduate courses with both MA and PHD students and maintained a 4.0 average. I was waitlisted by the school and took another offer before hearing back any further. I was pissed, but I also realized that it's much more complicated than just checking off boxes. Schools are only accepting a very small % of applicants and even then, they are rejecting overqualified people. You've done everything they've told you to do, so the next step is to just bolster those opportunities. I would take the adjunct job, and keep writing, as long as it would pay your bills.

 

Some things I could think of that might be worth looking into for you: How many applicants did they get? How many did they accept? Are the people you want to work with currently taking students? Would the people you want to work with be able to take on what you want to do for your dissertation? Were there any flaws in your application at all?

 

My adviser is also our DGS and she has flat out told me that when they have too many people they have to nit pick the smallest details. Availability of faculty becomes a huge consideration at that point.

 

I'm also convinced that in the end, they flip a coin on some people.

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I agree with all of you: personally, I am still mystified at the admissions process.  I got flat-out rejected at places where I thought my interests were an awesome fit with faculty, and offers at places I'm shocked I even heard back from.  I applied to 10 and got 3 funded offers and 1 waitlist.  I'm just excited to get in anywhere.

 

I am convinced it has all to do with random factors we can't possibly imagine. And magic, of course (like the Internet, which I still maintain is magical.  There's no way Muggles came up with this awesomeness.) 

 

I know it's tough, comicalgirl, but I'd hang in there and apply again next cycle.  :)

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comicalgirl, I recommend having that dreaded meeting with the chair.  There could have been interdepartment factors (like faculty coming/going) that may be completely unrelated to you.  This may put your mind at ease.

 

I am curious: did professors at your current institution write your LORs?  If so, they should have been a relatively accurate indicator as to whether or not you would get into the program. 

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I heard back from all of my places. It's a choice between UIUC's ICR with three years of assistantship (and likely a fourth), or IU's Information Science department, where I'd get to work with a professor I deeply admire, and got one year of fellowship/three of assistantship. I'm worried that it's boiling down to a choice between critical theory and quantitative analysis...and I'm interested in both. I have no idea what to do; I'd be so excited to attend either!

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I heard back from all of my places. It's a choice between UIUC's ICR with three years of assistantship (and likely a fourth), or IU's Information Science department, where I'd get to work with a professor I deeply admire, and got one year of fellowship/three of assistantship. I'm worried that it's boiling down to a choice between critical theory and quantitative analysis...and I'm interested in both. I have no idea what to do; I'd be so excited to attend either!

A good problem to have, but a huge problem nonetheless! 

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Hi All! Had no idea there was such a forum. Out of 8 applications I was accepted to DU(with funding) and NCSU (Still waiting on funding). My hope is that NCSU will come through(my top choice). Congrats to you all who got an offer!

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Thanks for all the helpful responses.  Here are a few answers.

 

Host institution is lower ranked.  Received 26 applications for about 5 funded spots.  The other institution is very highly ranked with 83 applications for 6 funded spots.  

 

Yes, two members of my thesis committee were asked to and seemingly, happily and willingly provided LOR's for both host and the other institution applications.  I was given a sort of "heads up" by one of those profs who was on the selection committee that 16 apps had been read near the deadline and that this person expressed concern that my application might not warrant a top spot.  After deliberation over this news, I quickly and swiftly, applied to the other higher ranked institution who said, "we'd really like to see your application" with enthusiasm after initial contact regarding application submission.

 

Can not relocate due to personal circumstances and there is no salary of any kind here to assist me.  Meaning, no spouse, nothing.  Also have a young child.  So, I think as a single mother with zero income and no ability to re-locate since child loves school and father is nearby, leaves me at a severe disadvantage to begin with.

 

Not to mention, I wonder some days how I was able to accomplish what I did under those circumstances and I might add an hour and a half commute each way, which sometimes involved me spending the night in a cheap motel, for all this time in the M.A. program.

 

So, again, realistically, how can I agree to adjunct at only $2,000 per class (apparently the going rate in my area) and pay the bills?  I think not.  Must now pursue options like working in the field, or in admin in higher ed somewhere.  It's all really quite a shame.  To have that type of success at academia and then feel like the rug was pulled out from under you as a "non-traditional student".  Just really did not want to lose momentum or institutional access which would also be required in order for me to continue my research and keep going prior to attempting Fall 2015.  

 

Thanks again for all your responses.  I am pondering and working out plans C, D, E, and F.  :-0  

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