Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

Like many of you who have accessed this platform, I've also followed up with the fall 2016 phd thread and have obtained lots of useful information!
I wanted to generate this thread in hopes of serving a similar role for those applying for a PhD position in Criminology & Criminal Justice in the fall of 2017. 

I am a Canadian student (born and raised north of the border) and did my BA and MA (will graduate in the spring of 2017) in Canada as well. For my PhD, however, I really wanted to study in the States and will be applying to predominantly US schools and programs. I have not taken the GREs yet, but I plan on taking them in late Sept/early Oct given that applications are due in the winter.

I have 1 article published (forthcoming), 4 under review (submitted them, but they are currently being looked at and reviewed), and 1 that is being worked on currently. By the time I apply to programs in the fall, I will also have had two conference presentations in my CV. Additionally, I also have RA experience from both undergrad and grad school (2 from undergrad and 2 from grad school). My Master's GPA is 4.0 but my undergrad GPA was 3.2/4.0 (my freshman and sophomore year weren't superb to say the least, but redemption was made in my junior and seniors years, thankfully). 

The schools that I am super interested in are: (1) Northeastern; (2) Michigan State; (3) UC Irvine; (4) Penn State; (5) Indiana Bloomington; (6) UT Dallas; (7) UPenn  -- in that particular order. For those who are also applying to those schools and/or those who have applied and know what they're looking for specifically in terms of academic credentials, could you please share your wealth of knowledge and testimonial experiences? Anything will be appreciated given that I am at uncertain about a lot of things! 

Do these schools require a certain GRE score? Will my undergraduate GPA bring down my application despite my 4.0 in grad school and my publications? Are 'under review' publications still considered noteworthy from schools, or are only published/forthcoming articles looked favorably? I do not have any TA experience because I opted to partake in RA work -- does that affect my application in a bad way if I have no TA experience?

Thanks everyone! And I hope this type of thread can be as fruitful as it was for the class entering into their PhD this coming fall (congrats to all of you who are entering into your programs this fall)! Hopefully, many of us can also follow suit and have productive conversations, as well as make lasting connections with each other through this forum!

 

Edited by AspiringScholarPhD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Team,

Good luck on your aps!  How is the process coming so far?  SOPs written, GRE taken, letter writers contacted, etc? (FYI, I've completed none of <-- so kudos to you if you have).

I'm mainly applying to sociology programs, but my interest is in legal studies which overlaps with a few crim programs.  I will likely be applying to UC Irvine's Crim and Law program, & Berkeley's JSP program.

AspiringScholarPhD & RoadtoPhD: there's so much rumour and guesswork surrounding the process I can't give any concrete input, but take a look at the sociology forum.  An adcom from UNC answered a few questions over there, and I asked about both publications and GRE scores.  He said GRE scores are somewhat important- they can sink you, and are can possibly counteract poor grades, but otherwise are not important enough to compensate for other weak areas. He also said publications aren't really important, unfortunately for you AspiringScholar because you've got a great record!  NOTE: this is so sociology, so it might work a bit differently for crim programs, but I imagine the advice holds.

AspiringScholarPhD: Can I ask why you're so set on applying to American schools?  I'm Canadian too (BA & MA in Canada), so I'm just curious!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On August 1, 2016 at 3:13 PM, RoadtoPhD said:

Hi @AspiringScholarPhD

I am also planning on applying to PhD programs for the Fall 2017 semester. I'm currently in a Sociology masters program specializing in criminology. I have two articles under review, a book chapter in progress, and have presented at multiple conferences. GPA: 4.0 (masters) and 3.7 (undergrad). Retaking my GRE but so far 148Q and 159V- not sure if those scores are sufficient :X 

I am interested in: 1. UPenn 2. UT Dallas 3. Cincinnati 4. Maryland 5. Northeastern 6. UC Irvine 7. Florida State 8. Sam Houston and 9. Illinois @ Chicago-

More or less in that order. Any advice would be helpful for me as well- especially in terms of how much weight is given to GRE! 

I thought I'd touch on your post because I attended Cincinnati for undergrad and MS as well as being accepted to Florida State and Sam Houston. GREs can hurt you, if too low, but if the rest of your app package is decent then GREs are almost moot (again, if *good enough). Most schools use them as a cut-off tool or for scholarship decisions. Your letters, experience, statement and GPA are more important in the long term. 

 

TL;DR: get as high of a score as you can, but not at the expense of other application materials. If you have a non-existent statement of purpose, your GRE will be irrelevant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Beals Hi!

No, I haven't done any of that stuff yet, either! I am still working on my thesis and preparing for conferences! Anyone going to MCJA in September by the way? :)

Yeah, I have been getting mixed responses about publications -- some people have been telling me that since PhD programs are research based, a proven track record of academic research greatly supplements your application. But that being said, I've also heard the opposite to be true. At this point, I'm just doing anything and everything I can to have a positive CV, haha! Which would include a good GRE score...need to study for that soon, too! 

And yes, go Canada! :) I'm applying to PhD programs in the States because I heard that the US has more job openings and they acknowledge degrees from the States more so than other countries. On a more personal reason, I also just wanted to attend college abroad. Having been born and raised in Canada my whole life, I wanted to try something different and the States is recognized worldwide for its academic prowess, so that's also a driving factor in my ambitions. More job opportunities, but also the expansion of the field -- there aren't many crim programs in Canada.

UC Irvine is one of my top choices! It would be pretty awesome to attend Irvine with another fellow Canadian !

@RoadtoPhD I don't think you need to worry much -- albeit, easier said than done! Your scores seem good and your other credentials speak for themselves! Haha, super jealous that you have a set of GRE scores already! I'm extremely nervous about the test and need to prep hard for the quant section!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just chiming in again with an update.

Super nervous about this whole process as the due date for things are slowly, but surely, approaching its way!

I changed my school preferences (in order of preference): (1) Northeastern; (2) MSU; (3) U Cincinnati; (4) UC Irvine; (5) UT Dallas. No more Indiana, UPenn, and PennState.

Did I mention I was super nervous? I'm taking my GREs next month and I hardly prepared for them...Hoping my research experience, publications, letters, grad school GPA, and statement of interest are good enough to overlook my GRE scores! (Took the practice test and score a 150 on both V and Q).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long time listener, first time caller.

I will be applying to a few criminology/criminal justice programs in the next few weeks.

Undergrad GPA: 3.66 --- Masters GPA: 4.0 --- GRE: 153Q/157V

Unfortunately, I have had to work full time while attending school, so I have not published any work, and I was unable to work an assistantship. I have written a technical report for a probation department and am in the process of writing a qualitative thesis with completely original data (semi-structured interviews). I will also have one conference presentation by the time I apply.

The four schools I am definitely applying to are: (1) South Florida (2) Florida State (3) Michigan State (4) Arizona State. I might also apply to SUNY. I am very interested in critical and radical criminology among a few other topics. There aren't many professors that also have an interest in critical/radical criminology.

 

10 hours ago, AspiringScholarPhD said:

Did I mention I was super nervous? I'm taking my GREs next month and I hardly prepared for them...Hoping my research experience, publications, letters, grad school GPA, and statement of interest are good enough to overlook my GRE scores! (Took the practice test and score a 150 on both V and Q).

@AspiringScholarPhD Not to worry you, but I took one of the practice tests that ETS puts out and scored 157Q/157V but only scored a 153Q/157V on the actual test. I felt the quantitative section was more difficult on the actual test, obviously. With that said, that's a sample size of one, so you could do better on the actual test than the practice test! Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@OmarComin' you seem to have a solid score and a great GPA! Although it's easier saying now than when we are waiting for responses, I feel like you'll get in anywhere. Those are pretty decent scores on the GRE (considering all they want is at or above the 50th percentile) and your GPA is high.

While I'm not too familiar with the critical criminology population in the States, I know a school in Canada that is known for Critical Criminology. Let me know if you're interested! Being a resident of Canada, I know a lot about my country's crim programs but not so much about the ones in the States!

Just emailed MSU about GRE scores and all they want is at or above the 50th percentile -- which im estimating is around 150-155 on both sections. I have a month to study for them, so here goes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AspiringScholarPhD I appreciate the kind words, and I am sure that you will do well on the GRE. I purchased the 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems to, you guessed it, practice problems. I'm not sure how much it actually helped me though. I can tell you this much, I stressed out over the GRE unnecessarily. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be.

That's awesome there is an entire school focused on critical criminology. It's not insanely popular in the states, although there is an increased interest in green criminology (i.e. MSU).

Edited by OmarComin'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all!

Wondering how everyone's application process is going - I have not made nearly as much progress as I'd hoped to by now! I have to admit, I'm quite nervous about all of this... I have no clue what I'll be doing if I don't get in to a PhD program!

I'm applying for Fall 2017 as well, and I'm applying to: (1) University of Cincinnati, (2) Michigan State, (3) University of Nebraska at Omaha, (4) SUNY Albany. My area of interest is Corrections, so I'm really pushing for Cincy. The decision to apply to only four schools is part of what's making me so nervous, but I can't really afford to apply to any more.

I have a BA in CJ, GPA: 3.66, Major GPA: 3.72. I also have an MEd in Counseling and Development, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, GPA: 3.979, and I'll be receiving my MS in CJ in December (fingers crossed I finish my thesis!), GPA: 4.0. GRE scores were okay, but I took them 4 years ago, so I'm hoping that how old they are won't hurt me - V: 157 (75th percentile), Q: 159 (73rd percentile), A: 5.0 (93%).

Unfortunately, I won't have any publications under my belt before I apply. I will eventually be publishing my thesis (according to my thesis chair), but it won't even be under review by the time applications are due. I also don't have any conference presentations other than poster presentations, but I do have experience as a graduate teaching assistant and as a research assistant. I was also a counseling intern in a local jail for a year and a half during my previous master's program. Luckily, two of my recommendations will be coming from Cincy alumnae. Do you guys think I'll be severely hindered by lack of publications? I'm really hoping my other experience and recommendations will make up for it.

I'm really excited to see others that are applying to the same places as me, and I'm very glad I found this thread - we will get through this together! Best of luck to everyone :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, aml149 said:

Do you guys think I'll be severely hindered by lack of publications? I'm really hoping my other experience and recommendations will make up for it.

I sure hope that you aren't hindered by your lack of publications because if you are, I'm screwed! I cannot honestly say how likely it is that you'll get into a program because, like you, I am a prospective student. I would assume that you will get into a program, however.

I came across some information that a PhD program from a different discipline put out for their prospective students that helped to calm my nerves slightly. They said that they don't necessarily care whether you're published, they just want to know that you have done research (i.e. thesis, poster presentation, RA/TA experience).

Also, from what I understand, criminal justice/criminology PhD programs are just looking to see that you're able to score above the 50th percentile on each GRE section. Your scores far surpass that mark. Your GRE scores shouldn't faze you at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@OmarComin' critical crim isnt really well loved here as well (for probably the same reason in the states), but it definitely is cool to have a school where the core faculty members are vested in that area! 

 

@aml149 i dont think you have anything to worry about! Most applications wont have publications, or as nearly the high GRE score and academic credentials (degrees) as you do! Your gpa is really high and you clearly display great qualities of a scholar -- the heart of what these programs are looking for! I was just lucky enough to get one published and 5 currently under reivew. My undergraduate GPA was only a 3.2/4.0, and although my grad GPA is a 4.0, i dont think ill score as high as yourself on the GREs. Which is why im really hoping the admissions committees see my publications as positives to push me over the edge in filling in where my other academic scores fall short! 

Are you both going to ASC? We should meet up for coffee or drinks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2016 at 10:49 AM, aml149 said:

Hi all!

Wondering how everyone's application process is going - I have not made nearly as much progress as I'd hoped to by now! I have to admit, I'm quite nervous about all of this... I have no clue what I'll be doing if I don't get in to a PhD program!

I'm applying for Fall 2017 as well, and I'm applying to: (1) University of Cincinnati, (2) Michigan State, (3) University of Nebraska at Omaha, (4) SUNY Albany. My area of interest is Corrections, so I'm really pushing for Cincy. The decision to apply to only four schools is part of what's making me so nervous, but I can't really afford to apply to any more.

I have a BA in CJ, GPA: 3.66, Major GPA: 3.72. I also have an MEd in Counseling and Development, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, GPA: 3.979, and I'll be receiving my MS in CJ in December (fingers crossed I finish my thesis!), GPA: 4.0. GRE scores were okay, but I took them 4 years ago, so I'm hoping that how old they are won't hurt me - V: 157 (75th percentile), Q: 159 (73rd percentile), A: 5.0 (93%).

Unfortunately, I won't have any publications under my belt before I apply. I will eventually be publishing my thesis (according to my thesis chair), but it won't even be under review by the time applications are due. I also don't have any conference presentations other than poster presentations, but I do have experience as a graduate teaching assistant and as a research assistant. I was also a counseling intern in a local jail for a year and a half during my previous master's program. Luckily, two of my recommendations will be coming from Cincy alumnae. Do you guys think I'll be severely hindered by lack of publications? I'm really hoping my other experience and recommendations will make up for it.

I'm really excited to see others that are applying to the same places as me, and I'm very glad I found this thread - we will get through this together! Best of luck to everyone :)

Hi! You should be fine for Cin based on your experiences, scores and fit. I did my undergraduate at FSU and my professor told me that doctorate programs really look at overall fit in the program based on interests. So for instance, someone with perfect scores and gpa would still have a hard time getting into a school that doesn't have their area of focus. 

 

Ps it's also one of my top schools but for their focus on biosocial and developmental crim! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AspiringScholarPhD Thanks for that reassurance! Definitely something I needed to hear. I think your publications will definitely make you stand out from other applicants and show that even if some of your scores aren't as high as you'd like them, you are obviously capable of succeeding in the research world. (I won't be attending ASC, unfortunately.)

@OmarComin' That's good to hear, I think it's just intimidating when you see other applicants have publications. I voiced my concerns to my thesis chair and her response was, "you're not expected to have publications yet!" So I think we'll be okay in that realm :)

@RoadtoPhD We'll have to keep in touch throughout the application/decision season! It would be fun to meet up during the campus visit weekend if we are both accepted! I met a few of the PhD students there when I visited over the summer and they seemed to love the program, although their focus was also in corrections. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aml149 I sure hope so! I honestly don't think my GRE scores will be strong. While i'm hoping for around the 50th percentile, given that i only have a month to prep, I think i'll fall short of that mark. At this point, I just want to have a number in place so I can ask around and see what my chances are realistically.

Given that we're not expected to have publications yet at this level, i'm honestly banking on them seeing my work ethic and determination through my publications. Hopefully they don't judge me too severely based on one test score.

UCin is also one of my top choices. I'm going to call Dr. Sullivan next week to ask more about the program. nervous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, AspiringScholarPhD said:

UCin is also one of my top choices. I'm going to call Dr. Sullivan next week to ask more about the program. nervous!

I met with Dr. Sullivan over the summer - he's probably one of the nicest people I have ever spoken to, so don't be nervous! He gave me a lot of excellent advice, and he seemed to truly want to help students be successful in applying there. Here's hoping your conversation goes well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aml149 spoke w dr sullivan and you're right, he's an incredibly nice man. Very professional and caring. 

He told me not to worry too much about the GREs and to just work on my statement of interest. He also told me to drop by the reception at ASC! 

Speaking of which, anyone else attending? Should we do an informal get together on one of the nights? Thoughts? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/27/2016 at 8:39 PM, AspiringScholarPhD said:

@aml149 spoke w dr sullivan and you're right, he's an incredibly nice man. Very professional and caring. 

He told me not to worry too much about the GREs and to just work on my statement of interest. He also told me to drop by the reception at ASC! 

Speaking of which, anyone else attending? Should we do an informal get together on one of the nights? Thoughts? :)

I'm speaking on the phone with him soon as well, so that's nice to hear! I'll be at ASC so sounds like a great idea to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2016-10-28 at 10:01 AM, OmarComin' said:

@AspiringScholarPhD I will be at ASC this year. I'm not sure what my plans are while I'm there, so I'll have to play it by ear, but I'm sure I'll be available to get together on one of the nights.

Sounds good to me!

17 hours ago, RoadtoPhD said:

@RoadtoPhDI'm speaking on the phone with him soon as well, so that's nice to hear! I'll be at ASC so sounds like a great idea to me. 

I hope the call goes well!

 

Don't know about you all, but I'm very tired and stressed already! Haha, and it isn't even December yet. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone applying to Maryland and/or Penn?

I was considering Penn but I heard that they only want people who are interested in neurocriminology/biosocial.

anyone know about their programs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2016 at 8:12 AM, AspiringScholar17 said:

Don't know about you all, but I'm very tired and stressed already! Haha, and it isn't even December yet. 

I hear you! I'm hoping to be done with everything by the beginning of December. Only thing I think I'll have left to do is upload my writing sample, which I can't do until I defend my thesis at the end of November. 

Has anyone done the video essay for Cincinnati yet? I'm so stressed out about it! (To be clear, I am not asking what the question is, just what your experience was like if you have done it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aml149 that's great! I plan to submit all my applications in mid-december as well (before Christmas)! 

I spoke w Dr. Sullivan about the video essay and he said not to worry about it. It's a new system the school is trying out - not the department - so he said that they're (the committee) probably not going to look at it. Im trying to quote him verbatum from my memory but he did say not to worry about it, as in don't bother. 

 

PS. Just did my GRE (first standardized test ever as im from Canada) and i did meh... 

V 149 ; Q 146 . These are the unofficial scores that are given after the test but i figure these wont change. I think ill be getting a good grade on the writing though (i figure 5-6)! 

These are pretty mediocre scores...and it's not that im incompetent, but my nerves got the best of me and i lost a lot of time before of it.

thoughts? Retake in early december? Sigh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, AspiringScholar17 said:

Just did my GRE (first standardized test ever as im from Canada) and i did meh... 

V 149 ; Q 146 . These are the unofficial scores that are given after the test but i figure these wont change. I think ill be getting a good grade on the writing though (i figure 5-6)! 

These are pretty mediocre scores...and it's not that im incompetent, but my nerves got the best of me and i lost a lot of time before of it.

thoughts? Retake in early december? Sigh...

The 149/146 will not change.  They are referred to as unofficial because your writing portion isn't yet graded; therefore, the test hasn't "officially" been graded.

This is straight from USF's webpage regarding GRE scores for their criminology PhD program: "A score of 153V (53rd percentile), 144Q (18th percentile) or higher on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to be competitive."  I know you're not considering this program, but it's good to know.

Personally, I would retake the test.  I understand that those scores are not indicative of your level of intelligence and determination and that it's frustrating, but I think you might be better suited to retake the test.  I absolutely HATE standardized tests.  They have never reflected my grades or ability to write/conduct research, but alas admissions committees seem to love them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AspiringScholar17 Wow! I can't even tell you how much relief I am feeling! Thank you so much for that information! To clarify, when you say he essentially said don't bother, do you mean don't bother to even do it? I know it said it wasn't actually required, just recommended.

When I initially talked to Dr. Sullivan, I asked about GRE scores and he said if your scores are at the 50th percentile or above, they don't really care how much over that mark they are since everyone is fully funded, and really it's more of a suggestion than a cut off point (Cincinnati was the only place I asked about this). Schools where not all students are fully funded may care more about the score, though. If you can afford to retake it, I would suggest doing so. It's also very possible that since you've done it once and know exactly what to expect, you won't be as nervous the second time around. Whatever you decide to do, remember that GREs are one small piece of your overall application, and you've proven yourself already with your publications and Master's GPA.

 

Edited by aml149

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aml149 he said don't bother as in don't do it because they won't even look at it! I'm not going to do it because, again, why bother when they're not even going to look into the video essays :) 

@OmarComin'and yes! Thank you both!! I will retake it in December and if I don't do well again, that's okay! I'll submit my applications and hope for the best! 

ASC bound! Excited

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.