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embe87

Social Welfare/Work PhD applicants

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Thanks!! I'm very grateful for it @wongjcz

I didn't expect to get in anywhere because of my lack of research experience. I have high GRE scores, a 4.0 masters GPA in an applied discipline (counseling), excellent LORs and a ton of practice/supervisory experience. However, I had only one year of prior undergraduate research experience and not much to show for it at the time I submitted my application. My undergrad GPA was also kinda mediocre (3.64) because I struggled financially/with homelessness and couldn't really cope with it well when I was younger. I'm one of those people who has everything going for them except for a few fatal flaws, and the combined MSW/PhD programs are crazy competitive. If I had waited another year to apply, I would have had a totally different applicant profile due to opportunities I have had to present, publish, etc. through my job at hopkins, where I am actually involved in research now. I'm also 27 and did not want to wait. It sucks because it's difficult to prove your potential against institutional barriers that have kept Ya down for years, but UB draws a more radical crowd, anyway. It's important to me that I go somewhere where I can learn how to navigate academia tactfully, while staying true to a lot of my radical views on race, class, gender, etc. UB highly valued those views, despite past shortcomings. maybe it's a sign that going to a school that supports equitable access to higher education is the right choice for me.

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I guess I should say hello and join this community too! I applied for two joint Ph.D. and MSW programs in SW and Anthropology (BSW), I found out the hard way that there are only two programs in the nation offering this combo. I think that this is the best way for me to apply Social Work, the use of stories and data collecting through ethnographic research. I am really interested in how I can take the stories of those who are oppressed and create new methods of therapy that are not vessels for colonization for people of color. My application speaks specifically to trans-generational  trauma within Native American communities and how I could use stories and storytelling in creating these new models. I want to be able to work on a macro level to help on the micro level, you know, stop the falling into the river so that you don't need to pull them out anymore. 

Sooooo....As many people and @wisdomspeaks, I am waiting for UMICH to get back to me. I do have an interview Monday at 2 pm with Wayne State U. and I feel utterly unprepared. I have never had a formal interview, my last graduate program was so informal, you didn't even know you were being interviewed. Now I have a whole panel/committee to impress. 

It hasn't even hit me yet, the real anxiety and I am afraid that it will soon. 

On a less selfish note, I am hoping that everybody gets into a program and more importantly, it is one that  makes you happy, challenges you in the right ways and one that values all of the amazing potential you have to give. 

~C

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On 1/27/2016 at 6:26 AM, Happysoul said:

Hey Val

Thank you for your reassuring words. Already feeling better with your experience. My scores are more are less same as yours (i read your experiences of admission process from last year threads). Glad to see you making to your first preference :)

Just for information : is the funding offered by your college is good enough to survive or you are investing funds from your sources too ? 

Sorry for the delayed response... I check this blog a lot less these days!  

I am living off the stipend, although things are definitely tight.  I lucked out and found a pretty cheap housing situation and sold my car before I left so don't have to pay for transportation which also helps but after working in the field for 5 years and making a relatively decent salary it has been a hard adjustment, living pay check to pay check.  In the summer we can work an additional 20 hours a week and I have been offered a clinical position on a research grant doing clinical trials so I am hoping that will also help with some savings.  One of my peers in my class took out a federal loan, but she is also living in housing that is much more expensive than mine.  So really I think it comes down to your comfort level and what type of lifestyle you are willing to have.

Hope that is helpful :)

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I received a letter from Case Western today, that, if I didn't know the admissions committee hadn't met yet, would have me panicing. It was an offer to apply to one of their masters programs because they think I'm a "future leader & a great candidate."

 

 

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2 hours ago, _kita said:

I received a letter from Case Western today, that, if I didn't know the admissions committee hadn't met yet, would have me panicing. It was an offer to apply to one of their masters programs because they think I'm a "future leader & a great candidate."

 

 

I also applied to Case Western.:D Hope it goes well for both of us!

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Hello everyone! I applied to Wayne State, UM (Joint with Sociology) and MSU. The notification deadline is growing closer so I know we are all just holding our breaths! My fiance works in Michigan so I just applied to schools there, as we are getting married in July. I have a BA in Film and Sociology and an MSW. I have been working in domestic violence shelters the past 4.5 years.

Great GPA, Recs and GRE: Verbal: 166 Quantitative: 152 (yikes!)

I have an interview with Wayne this week, but alas have heard nothing else!

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Hi @MCinephile congrats on your engagement! I'm also getting married in July and applied to the joint social work sociology program at U-M. Good luck! Not just on getting into a school, but on planning both a move and a wedding. I know how stressful that is... I recently had a dream that we woke up on the day of our wedding at 2 pm and had done nothing to prepare at all and it was a total disaster. That's how behind we are on planning with everything else going on... Anyway, It sounds like you've done a lot of awesome things. I wouldn't be worried about your Quant score at all. your scores are still pretty competitive. Mine have that huge V-Q gap too and it seems to be pretty common.

 

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@wisdomspeaks congrats on your engagement as well. I have replaced the free time I used for PhD applications for wedding planning lol I went down a three hour rabbit hole on this site yesterday and feel somewhat assuaged that I will at least know by the end of the month! I really want to get into MSU because they have a research consortium on gender based violence and I feel that too often policy initiatives are not informed by the practical realities of working with survivors. I'm particularly interested in housing related issues. I wish it was a more transparent process!

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@MCinephileThanks!! We just can't get our acts together. My fiancé works different hours than I do because she is a chef, so we don't have much time to actually go to the venue together and much of our planning requires a better understanding of the space itself. We rented a campground and there is no refrigeration so not sure how we are gonna pull dinner off...

i have definitely been living in the same rabbit hole for awhile now. Welcome! I literally created an excel spreadsheet from the past five years of results for each of my schools and have a pretty good idea of when we should hear back. your interests are very important, though! You're right. There is definitely a huge gap between policy and practice across so many dimensions, but especially with regard to IPV and sexual violence at the intersection of race and gender. For the most part, policymakers are detached from what that actually looks like for women in general, but specifically for women of color and trans women. Not just the experience itself, but interactions with agencies, the criminal justice system, etc.

i am broadly interested in cultural identity development, and more specifically interested in transracial placements in adoption and foster care and the legal barriers we face in developing healthy cultural identities. Thus, I'm more concerned with law and social policy than I am with micro level social work. For example, one of my biggest interests is in confidentiality statutes (re: closed records in domestic adoptions) and coercion/cultural erasure in international adoption placements. There are so many families overseas who are completely unaware of what they are getting themselves into when they give up their children to adoptive parents in the U.S. And a lot of times are practically manipulated into making that choice due to language barriers between the adoptive and biological families. Adoptions often take place within a context where the affected parties do not actually communicate and the translators aren't being honest about that their children are permanently leaving the country. That's something I would like to address, but recently I have done more stuff with closed records because even domestic adoption is so complicated and I haven't really seen my own experiences reflected in the literature. 

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@Val006

Thanks for the revert. This surely helps. 

Glad to see the thread bursting into life. 

@wisdomspeaks and @MCinephile

Congratulations to both of you  :)  

With your kind of scores, I won't be much worried. You both stand a very good chance of making it.

I did rather quite bad in my GRE (both Q and V have less than avg percentiles) but Val006 has given me hope of sailing through. 

 

Edited by Happysoul

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Hi everyone! So glad to see some action on this thread!

Some updates since I started the thread. I ended up only applying to two schools, UC Berkeley and McGill (Canada). Axed potential applications to Education or Communication after I realized Social Welfare/Work is a better fit for my overall work. Just got an offer today from McGill. What a relief to know I will for sure be a doctoral student come September.

Are other Berkeley applicants also thinking we should hear back by end of this week? 

Sending positive vibes to everyone! 

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@embe87 I applied to Berkeley as well for Social Welfare... and I am not sure if we are suppose to hear back this week. I know of one person who already got a rejection letter, but that is all I have heard of. Good Luck to you!

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I think I should also say hi to everyone and thank you for all the updates ! I am currently a policy track student at Columbia University. I applied two social work program and one public administration program. I have a BA in international relations (GPA 3.9). GRE: verbal :155, quantitative: 170 (I took it two years ago). I have no post-master work experience (which I am extremely worried about). I only did part-time research works for several government agencies and a tons of volunteer works. My research interests are urban poverty and urbanization issues. I haven't heard anything back. :unsure:  Good luck to everyone!!! 

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@Happysoul I hate standardized testing. The first time I took the GRE my quant score was in the 37th percentile, so like a crazy person, I spent 1000+ dollars on a personal tutor with unused student loan reimbursements and took ten full length tests. I studied for 4 months and still got a pretty mediocre quant score. But having the high verbal and aw scores kinda helped my case because I couldn't really afford to do poorly on the GRE, considering how behind I was in having formal research experience. the scores don't mean anything because the GRE is pretty much a test of time and strategy. Just because you can't perform your best in a ridiculously short amount of time or easily learn all the stupid tricks that are necessary to improving your speed, doesn't mean you're less capable than others. I think most admissions departments understand that standardized testing isn't for everyone and isn't always reflective of ability. I wouldn't stress about the scores because they don't really speak to your potential overall. People have gotten into some great schools with some pretty low scores, lookin at the results section. I am sure there are a ton of other things about your app that make it amazing and I'm glad this forum has eased your worries a bit. Where did you apply? my phone is not letting me scroll up to search for previous comments atm and this thread has gotten lengthy

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@wisdomspeaks

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am hoping for the best :) 

Congrats on making it to UB. 

I am an International applicant (from India) and i have already done MSW followed by MPhil - community health (intermediate degree here on the way to PhD). I have 12+ years of experience in both practice and policy including a little bit on research side across  funding agencies and NGO's including UN and ActionAid. 

I have applied to UC-Berkeley, USC, U-Chicago, UW-Seattle, UM-Ann Arbor and Brandeis.

Haven't heard from anyone yet. Lets see how it goes. 

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@embe87  and any others who applied to UC Berkeley for PhD in Social Welfare, I just got off the phone with admissions, and they said decisions will be sent out this week!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!!

 

@wongjcz  I also spoke with Penn admissions, and they said that the Feb 15th date is completely wrong. They have had several people call regarding this. They said that they are still very much being reviewed by the committee and that they are shooting for late Feb to early March... They said it would be a miracle if we hear a decision on Feb 15th. 

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On 2/1/2016 at 8:34 PM, wisdomspeaks said:

@MCinephileThanks!! We just can't get our acts together. My fiancé works different hours than I do because she is a chef, so we don't have much time to actually go to the venue together and much of our planning requires a better understanding of the space itself. We rented a campground and there is no refrigeration so not sure how we are gonna pull dinner off...

i have definitely been living in the same rabbit hole for awhile now. Welcome! I literally created an excel spreadsheet from the past five years of results for each of my schools and have a pretty good idea of when we should hear back. your interests are very important, though! You're right. There is definitely a huge gap between policy and practice across so many dimensions, but especially with regard to IPV and sexual violence at the intersection of race and gender. For the most part, policymakers are detached from what that actually looks like for women in general, but specifically for women of color and trans women. Not just the experience itself, but interactions with agencies, the criminal justice system, etc.

i am broadly interested in cultural identity development, and more specifically interested in transracial placements in adoption and foster care and the legal barriers we face in developing healthy cultural identities. Thus, I'm more concerned with law and social policy than I am with micro level social work. For example, one of my biggest interests is in confidentiality statutes (re: closed records in domestic adoptions) and coercion/cultural erasure in international adoption placements. There are so many families overseas who are completely unaware of what they are getting themselves into when they give up their children to adoptive parents in the U.S. And a lot of times are practically manipulated into making that choice due to language barriers between the adoptive and biological families. Adoptions often take place within a context where the affected parties do not actually communicate and the translators aren't being honest about that their children are permanently leaving the country. That's something I would like to address, but recently I have done more stuff with closed records because even domestic adoption is so complicated and I haven't really seen my own experiences reflected in the literature. 

That is much needed work! I just read this article: https://newrepublic.com/article/127311/trouble-christian-adoption-movement and it really opened my eyes to the complex and outright criminal elements in international adoptions.

 

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@CrimsonEyes Ahhhhhh! My heart skipped a beat when I saw your message! I don't want to be the source of incorrect information!

OK!! Maybe it's different for me!!

Background:

I was accepted into a phd program at the university of Melbourne (a university in Australia). The program starts on the 29th of February, and is my back up back up. In Australia, uni starts late February/early March because of our different seasons. 

But, I intend on discontinuing the program in Melbourne if I get into a U.S. program. (I didn't post this information on this thread because the phd is in economics, not social welfare/work. There's a whole back story on why I applied, which I won't go into).

I felt really really guilty about my duplicity. I even had a Skype conversation with my undergraduate supervisor to tell him of my dilemma and guilt, and to ask for the best way to proceed! So I sent an email to all the chairs of the doctoral programs I applied to (including Melbourne) to let them know of my intentions. For UChicago and upenn, I also asked when I could possibly hear back about admission decisions. I really don't want to start my program in Melbourne only to stop it 6 months later. It's not very nice!

I was told by upenn that doctoral decisions would be made by the 15th of February. If I don't hear back by then, I was told to email the chair of upenn's program directly to ask for the outcome. 

So, I was told that decisions would be made by the 15th, but wasn't told that decisions would be released on the 15th. I should have made that distinction clearer.

I'm so sorry for the confusion. oh my goodness. I feel terrible. Maybe their timeline has changed? most likely I wasn't clear enough in my last post. :( 

@CrimsonEyes, thank you for calling admissions to clarify. I'm sorry for all the people who read my previous post and got confused. I was just trying to be helpful. Eurgh!

Edited by wongjcz

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@wongjcz Hey its totally Ok!!! No need to apologize.... After reading your last post I didn't realize you were an international student... So the date that was told to you was maybe for international students only... But then there is also the possibility that the person I spoke with at UPenn may not be properly informed either. So please do not feel bad!!! 

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@CrimsonEyes thanks for understanding. I just can't believe I've unintentionally become the fountain of potentially inaccurate information! It's a scary place to be. 

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@wongjcz I hear what you are saying. If you feel like you want to clarify with people you have told or will tell, I would just mention that as an international student, you were told Feb 15th decisions were being made. That way you cover your basis... just in case lol 

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@wongjcz But honestly... It is completely ok!!!! Thats why I had tagged you in my post so you would see it.. But I think it could be different for international applicants. So please, don't feet bad...  but also, I think you can hide the posts or edit them! 

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