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If We Don't Get In Fall 2015

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Due to the cost, I only applied to two programs for the Fall, which was probably not a good choice. Although I've been waitlisted for one, it's still a good chance I won't get in this Fall. I'd like some advice on what is a good strategy for a backup plan. If this is your second round, what did you do after your first round of rejections? Share your plans for a year out of school.


Here are some ideas I have so far (no particular order):



Teaching Assistant, Public or Charter Schools

Museum/Park Public Education fields


I didn't prepare for anything besides graduate school, so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have a BA in anthropology, and my minor was a focus in environmental public health. Some experience with children and tutoring. 

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I know this doesn't particularly answer your question, but I don't really see why you wouldn't get in. You have pretty decent stats; your GRE scores > my GRE scores and I've already been accepted into at least one school.


But in case you don't get in, Peacecorp or Americop might be a decent option. At one of the programs I applied to they provide scholarships to members of those organizations.

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@CFBrown I think I have a good chance, but with all the budget cuts at the more popular schools and the fact I'm an anth not a comm undergrad, I think its likely I don't move off the wait list. The two programs I applied to blatantly told me they don't care for GRE scored for american students and my GPA is ok. I think americorp is a good chance, since funding is always my issue

@grad_wannabe I haven't looked into that! There are prob opportunities in Chicago as well (I live very close) I know there aren't any in the closest schools, but there are tons in Chicago and think tanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question. Does anyone know anything, or has transferred from one graduate program to another? I know it's not something people would normally advise (for one, a department is losing an investment!) but I'd like to look into it. 


I know people say getting a MA is important, doesn't matter what the name on the degree is, but I'm not one to believe that. Elitism is alive and kicking. If I could transfer from a local school to a research institution, I'd like to know how it works. 

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For what it's worth, my master's is in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Arkansas Tech University and I was admitted to the University of Oklahoma with full funding (that's the only place I applied). My letters of reference and academic writing samples meant a whole lot more than where I got my MS.

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I first applied to doctoral programs in 2010 for a 2011 start. I was finishing my masters from NYU (which I hadn't really stressed about getting into), I only applied to four schools, interviewed at one of them. Denied from all of them. 


Now, I had worked for 4 years before doing my masters, so I was already on a career path that I could return to, but I think the answer is the same.


You do something else. You intern. You volunteer. You get a job. I believe the statistic is that under 2% of people in the US get PhDs. That's a lot of people doing something else.


The first point would be if you are still in school, go talk to your career center. Every school has one. Just go and talk with an open mind about what's out there. Anthropology and Environmental Public Health? You could look at government jobs or corporate jobs that have an environmental component. Or non-profits that work in environmental policy.  Or any job that requires a clear and cogent writer. You have experience with children and tutoring? Look at the 826's in various cities.


Rather than a specific field, ask yourself what you like to do during the day. Is it writing? Is it working with a team? Is it a job that you spend 8 hours doing and then leave or do you want to have a job that has flexible hours? Those answers will guide you as you look at options.


Me? I connected my career with my interest in education and worked as staff in academia for three years before applying for PhDs again. 

Edited by hippocampus
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