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23 hours ago, sociologyheroine said:

Pretty rude. I hope you don't act this petty if you enter a PhD program. Academia does not have time and space for immature childish behavior. Very unprofessional.

Hate to break it to you, academia is a pretty petty place. In any case I apologize if I offended anyone. Cheers

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Moving on to a sunnier place...

Do you guys have any tips for ways to have the SOP reviewed? I've heard from a med student that she reviews SOPs for med school applicants anonymously online. Is there something like that for soc? Unfortunately I don't have a friend or faculty in sociology to have mine reviewed. For now, relying on yours truly O.O

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2 minutes ago, Shamon said:

Moving on to a sunnier place...

Do you guys have any tips for ways to have the SOP reviewed? I've heard from a med student that she reviews SOPs for med school applicants anonymously online. Is there something like that for soc? Unfortunately I don't have a friend or faculty in sociology to have mine reviewed. For now, relying on yours truly O.O

Can't you ask the 3 people who are writing you recommendation letters? If you are hesitant to ask them to look over your SOP, then that doesn't bode well in terms of letter strength (i.e., it would say a lot about your relationship with them).

Also, don't forget, reviewers don't have to be sociology faculty. You can, for example, ask political science or history or English professors as well. So if you made any connections with faculty, then shoot them an e-mail and ask.

You can also ask your parents and your extended family, especially if they're good writers.

Nothing wrong asking here, of course, but you probably don't want it just checked by a bunch of prospective grad students.

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2 minutes ago, iemons said:

Can't you ask the 3 people who are writing you recommendation letters? If you are hesitant to ask them to look over your SOP, then that doesn't bode well in terms of letter strength (i.e., it would say a lot about your relationship with them).

Also, don't forget, reviewers don't have to be sociology faculty. You can, for example, ask political science or history or English professors as well. So if you made any connections with faculty, then shoot them an e-mail and ask.

You can also ask your parents and your extended family, especially if they're good writers.

Nothing wrong asking here, of course, but you probably don't want it just checked by a bunch of prospective grad students.

Thank you for the quick reply. I've heard that it is common to have the rec writers review the SOP but I'm feeling really hesitant to bother them any further... Maybe I'll try and muster the courage to do it though - for now it is my best bet it seems.

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4 minutes ago, Shamon said:

Thank you for the quick reply. I've heard that it is common to have the rec writers review the SOP but I'm feeling really hesitant to bother them any further... Maybe I'll try and muster the courage to do it though - for now it is my best bet it seems.

It would actually be strange if your rec writers don't themselves ask for a draft of your SOP. Rec writers often rely on things like the person's statement, CV, transcript, etc. to be able to write a proper rec in the first place.

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19 minutes ago, iemons said:

Can't you ask the 3 people who are writing you recommendation letters? If you are hesitant to ask them to look over your SOP, then that doesn't bode well in terms of letter strength (i.e., it would say a lot about your relationship with them).

Also, don't forget, reviewers don't have to be sociology faculty. You can, for example, ask political science or history or English professors as well. So if you made any connections with faculty, then shoot them an e-mail and ask.

You can also ask your parents and your extended family, especially if they're good writers.

Nothing wrong asking here, of course, but you probably don't want it just checked by a bunch of prospective grad students.

They actually did. I'll have to nudge them for a brief feedback but I don't feel comfortable asking them to line-edit. Maybe that's just me.

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On 10/30/2015, 12:37:35, MelSoc said:

Greetings everyone,

I'm planning to apply to some programs for Fall 2016. I have a BA in English Literature (from a prestigious university in Turkey - though with a relatively low GPA [3.19]). I'm currently doing my masters in Cultural Studies and Media (my GPA is fine, around 3.8). So I'm a little worried about my background, which is slightly irrelevant to pursue a PhD in Sociology. I'm mostly interested in political sociology and class with a particular focus on the changing working class, immaterialization and feminization of the labor process and I intend to conduct a research on how the *new* working class relate to these changes. (I'll also integrate the notions of cultural capital, governmentality and neoliberal ethics - with some reflection on Bourdieu and Foucault) (I know it sounds a little vague but it is more complicated than I tried to summarize here - I don't want to bother you with too many details). 

I have checked several schools (including South Carolina, Stony Brook, UMass, New School and Boston Uni.) I only took a few sociology classes in the grad school. I'll take the GRE in two weeks (I'm a little late I know). I have good writing samples (mostly on cultural theory), more than 5 papers presented at undergrad and grad student conferences, a long-term engagement with political activism (which shaped my sociological interests), 5 years of experience as a freelance translator (hence my interest in changing labor processes) and strong recommendation letters. But I'm not sure if my academic background -and a low GPA- will have a negative effect on my application. I know it is possible to compensate for the GPA, but still. Should I rely on my other credentials and go for it (the application process is too costly and I don't want to shoot for the moon just for the sake of it)? Do I even have a chance for the schools Iisted above? 

I think the whole process of searching for the schools has already discouraged me. I also checked some programs in cultural studies but it is really hard to find a fully-funded program which is not a 'top-tier'. I would love apply to Cultural Studies PhD in Southern California but you know it would be nothing but a waste of money and time.

Thank you all and wish you the best luck with applications!

Hi, MelSoc! It seems to me that your sociological interests are well-developed and that you have a good grasp on theory as well.   I don't think that having an English BA and a Cultural Studies Masters will ruin your changes of getting an offer of admission to a sociology PhD program.  Your grad GPA, academic experience, and activism experience will reflect your abilities as a strong candidate.  Undergrad GPA might be a deterrent to adcoms though, who knows?

As for whether you have a chance at the particular schools listed above, I really don't know enough about them to be able to give you a helpful answer.

Don't grow too discouraged.  I say just go for it!  

Let us know how your GRE goes, too!

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7 hours ago, gingin6789 said:

Hi, MelSoc! It seems to me that your sociological interests are well-developed and that you have a good grasp on theory as well.   I don't think that having an English BA and a Cultural Studies Masters will ruin your changes of getting an offer of admission to a sociology PhD program.  Your grad GPA, academic experience, and activism experience will reflect your abilities as a strong candidate.  Undergrad GPA might be a deterrent to adcoms though, who knows?

As for whether you have a chance at the particular schools listed above, I really don't know enough about them to be able to give you a helpful answer.

Don't grow too discouraged.  I say just go for it!  

Let us know how your GRE goes, too!

To build on Gingin's advice... MelSoc, I myself have an undergrad GPA as low as yours and it is in a discipline *completely* irrelevant to sociology but I'm still giving it a shot. As Gingin said, your ideas seem interesting and if you can show in your SOP that you've thought deeply about it and that you have experiences to show it, you might just see yourself in a great program next fall. Even better if those grad conferences relate to sociology or your topic.

Choosing schools can be daunting. Following Gingin's advice, I've looked through the ASA guidebook to find programs with my focus; I saw multiple "rankings" of sociological programs to find out which institutions would be appropriate for me in terms of competitiveness; and I read the bio of faculty at each of those institutions. If you are very new to sociology like myself, this can be a long, tedious task so keep aside a week or two for it.

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1 hour ago, isthisagoodidea said:

Brandeis sociology is begging me to apply (constant emails and fee waiver offers, etc). 

Are they any good in Marxism/economic sociology/sociology of law/inequality? 

Johns Hopkins is really good for that. They're pretty competitive (great stipend, small cohort) and admit you based on your geographic interests though. Wisconsin and Yale might also be good fits. 

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1 hour ago, Yiwan_Soc_2016 said:

A simple question. Does GRE matter much if you have a master in a related field? I don't have time to retake it this year.

Yes. GRE will still matter. However, if you have an excellent masters thesis (which presumably will be your writing sample), then ACs may overlook a relatively low GRE.

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1 hour ago, iemons said:

Yes. GRE will still matter. However, if you have an excellent masters thesis (which presumably will be your writing sample), then ACs may overlook a relatively low GRE.

Thanks. My thesis still have many minor issues. I decided to submit my Event History paper instead, which I think it's better.

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1 hour ago, Yiwan_Soc_2016 said:

Thanks. My thesis still have many minor issues. I decided to submit my Event History paper instead, which I think it's better.

Honestly, that would be a bad idea. You've presumably spent 1-2 years working on the masters thesis. And yet, if it isn't presentable enough as a writing sample (in abridged form or full), then that may be considered pretty damnning.

By the way, what was your undergrad GPA?

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Question like this: Would you like to be considered for program/department fellowships and support? Did anyone choose No. Will it affects chance of admission? Just curious.

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On 11/10/2015, 8:15:01, iemons said:

Honestly, that would be a bad idea. You've presumably spent 1-2 years working on the masters thesis. And yet, if it isn't presentable enough as a writing sample (in abridged form or full), then that may be considered pretty damnning.

By the way, what was your undergrad GPA?

That's my concern too. Our MA program is 1 and half year. We started writing thesis this spring, and it's too long for WS 50+ pages. Undergrad GPA is 3.7

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31 minutes ago, Yiwan_Soc_2016 said:

That's my concern too. Our MA program is 1 and half year. We started writing thesis this spring, and it's too long for WS 50+ pages. Undergrad GPA is 3.7

You should be able to abridge the thesis within WS limit. 

Answering no to the fellowships/financial support may (positively) affect your admission chances. But it has a minimal impact at best, not to mention it's not worth it, financially speaking.

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17 hours ago, Yiwan_Soc_2016 said:

That's my concern too. Our MA program is 1 and half year. We started writing thesis this spring, and it's too long for WS 50+ pages. Undergrad GPA is 3.7

My thesis will be too long to use as a writing sample, too, so I'm using my thesis proposal as a writing sample.  It has an abstract, intro, literature review, [proposed] methods section, and conclusion. It still demonstrates my knowledge of my thesis subject and the proposed methods section demonstrates that I know what I'm doing, methodologically. 

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6 hours ago, gingin6789 said:

My thesis will be too long to use as a writing sample, too, so I'm using my thesis proposal as a writing sample.  It has an abstract, intro, literature review, [proposed] methods section, and conclusion. It still demonstrates my knowledge of my thesis subject and the proposed methods section demonstrates that I know what I'm doing, methodologically. 

Thanks. How many pages you have in your abridge thesis. The writing sample I had is a completed empirical work on urban family (25 pages), which is my proposed areas of interests. I don't know if this paper will be better choice than my thesis. By the way, my Master is in quantitative research not sociology. 

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13 hours ago, Yiwan_Soc_2016 said:

Thanks. How many pages you have in your abridge thesis. The writing sample I had is a completed empirical work on urban family (25 pages), which is my proposed areas of interests. I don't know if this paper will be better choice than my thesis. By the way, my Master is in quantitative research not sociology. 

Well my writing sample is my thesis proposal rather than an abridged version of my final thesis.  My writing sample is around 17 pages without references.  I have a further abbreviated version of 10 pages because one of the programs I applied to has a 10-page limit.

 

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Hello! Just submitted my apps last week; the anxiety of waiting has already started to sink in, so I thought I'd come here and introduce myself.

 

I'm worried that I've wasted my time in applying. I've been working for the past three years as a high school teacher. I tried to craft a narrative in my SOP that explained how my motivations for pursuing a career in teaching were related to my motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. (I'm interested in the performance of identity in adolescents and sociology of education).

Undergrad GPA (double major in English and soc): 3.89, Phi Beta Kappa at a prestigious school

Grad GPA (master of arts in teaching): 3.97

GRE: V-- 165, Q-- 160, W-- 5.0

Decent writing sample, very strong LOR.

 

But no publications and I'm coming from a career as a teacher (I'm worried the career change might hurt my chances). Thoughts?

 

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50 minutes ago, c11 said:

I'm worried that I've wasted my time in applying.

I don't think you've wasted your time. Lots of people apply to PhD programs after having worked for a few years, sometimes in professions that have little or nothing to do with what they want to study (although in your case it seems that your research interests do align with your professional experience). You have solid GRE scores and impressive GPAs at the undergrad and grad levels.

And given that you were a PBK English major, I have a feeling that your writing sample is more than "decent" ;) 

 

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23 hours ago, SocIsCool said:

I don't think you've wasted your time. Lots of people apply to PhD programs after having worked for a few years, sometimes in professions that have little or nothing to do with what they want to study (although in your case it seems that your research interests do align with your professional experience). You have solid GRE scores and impressive GPAs at the undergrad and grad levels.

And given that you were a PBK English major, I have a feeling that your writing sample is more than "decent" ;) 

 

Exactly, I agree with all of this.

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Thank you both! I appreciate the reassurances. I know how competitive it is, but I get in my own head too much and convince myself I have no chance at all. Time will tell! Is it bad that I'm counting down and apps aren't even due yet?

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On 04.11.2015 18:04:41, gingin6789 said:

Hi, MelSoc! It seems to me that your sociological interests are well-developed and that you have a good grasp on theory as well.   I don't think that having an English BA and a Cultural Studies Masters will ruin your changes of getting an offer of admission to a sociology PhD program.  Your grad GPA, academic experience, and activism experience will reflect your abilities as a strong candidate.  Undergrad GPA might be a deterrent to adcoms though, who knows?

As for whether you have a chance at the particular schools listed above, I really don't know enough about them to be able to give you a helpful answer.

Don't grow too discouraged.  I say just go for it!  

Let us know how your GRE goes, too!

Hi gingin6789, thanks for the reply. I've been spending less time on the Internet lately - getting ready for the GRE. I got 162 on verbal (around what I expected) and 164 on quant, which is surprisingly good. TOEFL is also fine (113/120) so I'm more or less ready to apply now, all I need to do is work on revising SOPs. I've added a few more schools to my list and decided to give up on Stony Brook (they require an evaluation of my transcripts which would cost me a huge lot) and include Notre Dame, possibly Emory and Columbia (though my chances seem pretty slim). How are you (and others) doing with the application process?

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