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Insight into the GWU Sociology Program


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I've begun to move into the deciding stage of my graduate school process. I have 2 acceptances under my belt and I'm waiting to hear from 2 more. I hope they send out information within the next few weeks, as I plan to make my final decision well before the end of April. 


I'm a 1st gen graduate student. One other person in my immediate family has attended grad school and finished, and it was for mathematics. However, my mother is currently in graduate school pursing her masters, so I'm getting some insider experience from that. I'm a bit lost on what things I should consider between schools, what to look out for during visitations, funding, etc. I was a bit surprised that I didn't see a thread in the forums for something like this. Not everyone has family members or friends that have attended graduate school. Some people are completely left in the dark when it comes to this stuff. But, I digress...


I'm very interested in the Sociology program at George Washington University. I was incredibly shocked when I was accepted, considering it has a pretty decent ranking nationally (Tied 54th with Ohio State University in National Ranking according to US News), and its private. Let's just say that my undergraduate experience was rough. But, I have a great work history, research with professors and volunteer experience to make up for that. I've heard very positive things about the university considering its location. But, I want to hear specifically about the Sociology department. I've gone through their website and was surprised that they didn't have much of a section for their alumni or current graduates. I may have missed it, but it would be wonderful to hear from people who are either in the program or have finished it. 


I plan to visit the campus and take a tour in late April. I plan to speak with Professor Ivy Ken before I travel to arrange a brief meet and greet with her and the department, if possible. I applied because of their demonstrated research in social inequality and urban sociology. Hiromi Ishizawa and Antwan Jones are two professors, besides Ken, that stick out to me the most in these areas. 


Besides the department, I would love to hear more about campus life. Is it diverse? Are there plenty of events or places to go in the area? I know that D.C. is a great city, as I've been there a few times myself. But, from a student's perspective, what can you do? How are the communities? What's the living situation like? Is it easy to find roommates near campus?


I was also not given funding (No assistantships or fellowships) and this is a major factor in my decision process. I understand that I may have to take out loans, as I had no choice but to do so in undergrad. But, is it indeed as expensive as many people have stated? I don't expect to live on campus, so that knocks some cost out of the way. But, what other options do you have for funding at GWU?


If you've completed the program, how easy was it for you to transition into the field? Was it a smooth transition from grad school to a job or was it a horrible process?


If you have any other information to share, please feel free! Of course, if anyone else is in the same boat, comment as well. Any insight and help would be greatly appreciated!

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just a small anecdote, but the campus culture is quite fragmented and mostly comprised of very wealthy and snobby undergraduates. it will be very difficult to get by without funding in that area of dc, though the metro is efficient and you can live a bit away for cheaper, i'm sure. i think it is a place that is not entirely conducive to sociological research and thought (more poll sci/econ focus, and i'm sure research grants and funding will reflect that there) so i would be cautious. that being said, i have a very brief experience with the school and not as a phd student, so take my commentary with a grain of salt. i just do not think it is a very warm place, taking place as a very broad and space-specific term. the department is something with which i am entirely unfamiliar, and i hope that someone who is will offer a better and more comprehensive perspective.


feel free to pm me if you want to talk more.

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