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psycgrad37

Rejected from PhD but offered Masters acceptance

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I was rejected from a PhD program without being offered an interview but was offered acceptance into Masters with a small scholarship. The scholarship is not enough to cover tuition or living expenses. I am not planning to accept. However, my question is more about these programs. I am very skeptical of programs that offer you acceptance without an interview. It seems that a lot of private universities are doing this (Columbia, Boston College, NYU, etc.). What is the point? Is it worth it to attend their Masters program or is it better to attend one that has a more selective admissions process (one that requires an interview)?

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I don't think the interview has anything to do with selectivity. The most prestigious school that accepted me did away with the interview. They said they did not think it was fair to interview only people who had the means to fly out to see the school, and that it biased their selection process so they made all final decisions without any interviews.

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It seems that interviews are far and few between for a Masters.  Typically PhD is more likely to require this due to the close working relationship you'll have with faculty to assess cohesion and ability to work together.  Similar research interests also help.  A Masters is a stepping stone to this.

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I also think for MA it's not necessary of interview processes, so I would not say MA admission without interview means less strict selectivity. 

BTW, anyone considering MA programs in NYU?

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I just found it odd that seemingly everyone that got rejected for the PhD automatically got the offer for Masters with a scholarship. 

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On 1/28/2016 at 11:36 AM, psycgrad37 said:

I just found it odd that seemingly everyone that got rejected for the PhD automatically got the offer for Masters with a scholarship. 

It's not odd. It's a money grab - masters programs are some of the most profitable programs for colleges since they KNOW people use them as stepping stones to PhDs, as requirements for work, etc. And of course, they aren't fully funded. They assume that because you were interested in them for PhD, surely you would also be interested for a masters. I think there are upsides and downsides to choosing to complete a masters program (I'm in one myself), but it definitely depends on your situation and the college in question. Boston College, for example, actually has a killer masters program; they get lucrative practicum/internship placements every year since they're so well known in the Boston area.

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I took the bait when I was offered a spot in a Master's program with 1/2 tuition funding when I applied to clinical programs a few years ago. I would NOT recommend it! I would advise extreme caution anyone considering taking such an offer - as another user said above, it was a complete money grab. I was told that I could work with the professor I had interviewed with (wrong) and that the funding would cover me up to three years if I re-applied and was accepted into the PhD program (wrong - I didn't end up applying as my interests shifted to educational psychology, but this was the case with another student in my cohort). 

It retrospect, it was a very predatory approach and took advantage of how low I was feeling after being rejected from the program. Interestingly, they also offered to consider me for their developmental PhD track and I declined because I was so set on clinical at the time. Developmental is closer to my interests now, but I would be so miserable to be stuck in that department for 3+ more years. Sometimes it really does feel like things happen for a reason.

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I got the rejection from BC with the offer for the MA too - don't do it. Most PhD programs will have you earn a Master's while you're in it, and having a Master's going in will not cut down on the time it takes to get the PhD. Don't go into debt for a non-terminal degree. You're better off taking the year to get a research job in the field that your ideal mentor(s) are in. 

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5 minutes ago, fancyduckie said:

I got the rejection from BC with the offer for the MA too - don't do it. Most PhD programs will have you earn a Master's while you're in it, and having a Master's going in will not cut down on the time it takes to get the PhD. Don't go into debt for a non-terminal degree. You're better off taking the year to get a research job in the field that your ideal mentor(s) are in. 

I got one more question about this research job issue. Is it very rare and difficult for an international student to find this kind of research assistant job in the USA?

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2 hours ago, lovemc said:

I got one more question about this research job issue. Is it very rare and difficult for an international student to find this kind of research assistant job in the USA?

I'm not sure - it might vary from state to state. Mental hospitals/general hospitals usually have a lot of openings for research assistants but I don't know how that works in terms of foreigners being able to find jobs. :( Sorry!  

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2 hours ago, lovemc said:

I got one more question about this research job issue. Is it very rare and difficult for an international student to find this kind of research assistant job in the USA?

I don't have a ton of knowledge about this, but my *guess* is that international students applying for RA positions likely wouldn't face as many issues as they do when applying to funded graduate programs, only because (in the case of funding grad school) international students can't apply for a lot of government-funded things, like NSF -- but since faculty hiring full-time RAs are going to pay their RA the same salary no matter who it is, I wouldn't imagine that you'd be at a disadvantage from a funding perspective. (Things like work visas are a different story, but that would be true for all international folks, not just ones applying for academic jobs.) I think the main thing when applying for these jobs is to make it very clear that you would be willing to move to take the position. I myself (though I live in the US) applied for RA jobs all over the country, and some of the faculty I interviewed with seemed concerned about whether I would actually move across the country to take the job if offered (this puzzled me, as I wouldn't have applied if I wouldn't be willing to move for it! But apparently faculty do have this concern).

If it's encouraging, I'm in my second year as a lab manager/RA at an Ivy now, and a LOT of our paid research assistants/lab managers/visiting students/post docs are international. 

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I recently got an offer from Vanderbilt--the "you're a strong master's candidate but didn't make the PhD cut" standard. I am not sure how many others got a similar offer, and it looks as if the master's program is at least partially/mostly funded. My professors are supportive of this avenue, and I am considering it (I'll see where it goes). I am slightly unsure about it but it warrants further investigation. Anyone have thoughts/advice on this?

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