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Hi everyone, 

First time poster here. I'm applying to the Prevention Science and Practice (Practice Strand) Program and am wondering what you think of my chances. A little background - I'm a professional athlete and have been playing for about 10 years (I'm 27). I finished my undergrad online while I was playing. I have worked with several non-profits over my career, however significantly in education, during a year where I was injured and couldn't play, I worked for a few months as a substitute teacher and volunteered at a non-profit that provides sports clinics for children with autism. I also started one of their programs in my hometown. I would really like to go into non-profit and/or consultancy - working with child and adolescent athletes. I only took the GRE once, I had intended to take it without studying to get a baseline and then study for it, but then I went back to playing after my injury healed quicker than anticipated. I won't take it again at least for this application. 

I am concerned how my non-traditional educational background and my pretty average GRE scores will affect my application. Is anyone else applying to this program or have been admitted and can give their thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Program: Prevention Science and Practice
GRE Score: 160V/154Q/4.5AWA 
GPA: 3.96 Psychology Major
Work Experience: 10 years as a professional athlete, several months as a substitute teacher
Undergrad Institution (Public, Private, Ivy, etc.):  University of Massachusetts Lowell
What Other Schools Are You Applying To: Harvard only

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11 hours ago, VKing89 said:

Hi everyone, 

First time poster here. I'm applying to the Prevention Science and Practice (Practice Strand) Program and am wondering what you think of my chances. A little background - I'm a professional athlete and have been playing for about 10 years (I'm 27). I finished my undergrad online while I was playing. I have worked with several non-profits over my career, however significantly in education, during a year where I was injured and couldn't play, I worked for a few months as a substitute teacher and volunteered at a non-profit that provides sports clinics for children with autism. I also started one of their programs in my hometown. I would really like to go into non-profit and/or consultancy - working with child and adolescent athletes. I only took the GRE once, I had intended to take it without studying to get a baseline and then study for it, but then I went back to playing after my injury healed quicker than anticipated. I won't take it again at least for this application. 

I am concerned how my non-traditional educational background and my pretty average GRE scores will affect my application. Is anyone else applying to this program or have been admitted and can give their thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Program: Prevention Science and Practice
GRE Score: 160V/154Q/4.5AWA 
GPA: 3.96 Psychology Major
Work Experience: 10 years as a professional athlete, several months as a substitute teacher
Undergrad Institution (Public, Private, Ivy, etc.):  University of Massachusetts Lowell
What Other Schools Are You Applying To: Harvard only

I think your interesting background (and the way you will tell your story in your SOP) will give you a very good chance of being admitted.  Your GRE scores are almost exactly the HGSE average---which means you shouldn't worry too much about them.  

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@Vulpix and @graciasadios -- how did you guys end up choosing HGSE? What are your favorite parts about being on campus? What challenges have you faced since arriving? I would love to hear more about your experiences! 

Also, if anyone is interested, I found an incredibly informative thread pinned in Sociology (link: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/40476-iama-grad-student-rep-on-a-adcomm/) from someone who was on an admissions committee a few years ago. I definitely recommend checking that out for those who are looking for ways to pass the time! 

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10 hours ago, Espeon said:

@Vulpix and @graciasadios -- how did you guys end up choosing HGSE? What are your favorite parts about being on campus? What challenges have you faced since arriving? I would love to hear more about your experiences! 

Also, if anyone is interested, I found an incredibly informative thread pinned in Sociology (link: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/40476-iama-grad-student-rep-on-a-adcomm/) from someone who was on an admissions committee a few years ago. I definitely recommend checking that out for those who are looking for ways to pass the time! 

I chose after visiting---it came down to the types of future classmates I met at HGSE seemed so much more diverse and interesting than other places I visited, and the incredible network of opportunity that HGSE could offer.  I wasn't wrong---every connection and opportunity I never even dreamed of pursuing prior to coming here has *actually* come true for me.  Without getting too specific, I've been connected with incredible people, found incredible internship opportunities, and will be traveling abroad as is relevant to my field. These things weren't handed to me--I had to pursue, compete, etc, but they were right there for the taking!

My favorite part is just being surrounded by so much innovation and bustling campus life---there are so many things and it's great to be in such an environment and the people are incredible.  Biggest challenge has been the anxiety I've developed being here---it's mostly self-imposed, because I've also never been in a MORE nurturing environment in my life (and I went to a very small college where classes were very small and professors knew my name)... I think because it's a one year program, there is a lot of internal pressure to make the most out of everything, and even though it's december the stress of graduating/finding a job has already crept in.  

Edited by Vulpix

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Finishing up this application here! (It's about time!) In the "Academics" section of the application, it asks about research experience. What do I write here? I don't have any published research or an undergrad thesis. However, I did do multiple research papers in undergrad (about 15 pages each) and got As on all of them. Would it be worth mentioning research for National Model UN as well? I researched a topic - gender equality - that I am very keen to continue pursuing.

Also, any tips regarding the Statement of Purpose are welcome :-)

Program: IEP 
GRE Score: 165V/157Q/4.5AWA
GPA: 3.9 Political Science--International Security and Development
Work Experience: 1 year as a special education aide, 1 year volunteering in Cairo, Egypt for an Egyptian community development organization in donor relations, 1 AmeriCorps term as a site coordinator of a literacy intervention program at a Title 1 school.
Undergrad Institution: private liberal arts school

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2 hours ago, Nicole03 said:

Finishing up this application here! (It's about time!) In the "Academics" section of the application, it asks about research experience. What do I write here? I don't have any published research or an undergrad thesis. However, I did do multiple research papers in undergrad (about 15 pages each) and got As on all of them. Would it be worth mentioning research for National Model UN as well? I researched a topic - gender equality - that I am very keen to continue pursuing.

Also, any tips regarding the Statement of Purpose are welcome :-)

Program: IEP 
GRE Score: 165V/157Q/4.5AWA
GPA: 3.9 Political Science--International Security and Development
Work Experience: 1 year as a special education aide, 1 year volunteering in Cairo, Egypt for an Egyptian community development organization in donor relations, 1 AmeriCorps term as a site coordinator of a literacy intervention program at a Title 1 school.
Undergrad Institution: private liberal arts school

I had this issue too, I just wrote about different projects I'd worked on, but I one of the reasons I want to go back to grad school is to do research, so... I get you. Good luck!!

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On 12/22/2016 at 10:47 PM, Vulpix said:

I chose after visiting---it came down to the types of future classmates I met at HGSE seemed so much more diverse and interesting than other places I visited, and the incredible network of opportunity that HGSE could offer.  I wasn't wrong---every connection and opportunity I never even dreamed of pursuing prior to coming here has *actually* come true for me.  Without getting too specific, I've been connected with incredible people, found incredible internship opportunities, and will be traveling abroad as is relevant to my field. These things weren't handed to me--I had to pursue, compete, etc, but they were right there for the taking!

My favorite part is just being surrounded by so much innovation and bustling campus life---there are so many things and it's great to be in such an environment and the people are incredible.  Biggest challenge has been the anxiety I've developed being here---it's mostly self-imposed, because I've also never been in a MORE nurturing environment in my life (and I went to a very small college where classes were very small and professors knew my name)... I think because it's a one year program, there is a lot of internal pressure to make the most out of everything, and even though it's december the stress of graduating/finding a job has already crept in.  

Great questions @Espeon! @Vulpix appreciate the answers and wishing you luck in the job hunt! Wondering if most folks head back "home" wherever that is, or if there are opportunities to stay around the Boston area for work?

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30 minutes ago, hopefulPhD2017 said:

I had this issue too, I just wrote about different projects I'd worked on, but I one of the reasons I want to go back to grad school is to do research, so... I get you. Good luck!!

Thanks, that sounds like a good idea! And good luck to you too!

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On 12/22/2016 at 0:28 AM, Vulpix said:

I think your interesting background (and the way you will tell your story in your SOP) will give you a very good chance of being admitted.  Your GRE scores are almost exactly the HGSE average---which means you shouldn't worry too much about them.  

Thanks Vulpix! Your posts have been extremely helpful! 

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Dumb question. In the section that says "secondary school" - did HGSE mean high school? I assumed it was, but I recently decided to apply to another institution that said "secondary university" so I've started to question my original assumption.

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4 hours ago, jmaroon said:

Dumb question. In the section that says "secondary school" - did HGSE mean high school? I assumed it was, but I recently decided to apply to another institution that said "secondary university" so I've started to question my original assumption.

Yes, high school. Secondary school = school where pupils receive secondary education -- after primary/elementary education, and before higher education (college/university) or vocational training.

I think "secondary university" would be anywhere you studied an additional degree/certificate/diploma after your undergraduate/bachelor's degree (i.e., if that university were different to your undergraduate-degree-granting institution)

Edited by boscojoba

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Just found this nice letter online, written by a HGSE prof to PhD applicants. It illuminates some of the admissions process at HGSE and makes me feel a little better about not hearing back from a potential POI. ?

I hope someone else finds this useful!

Edited by hopefulPhD2017
Capitalization error

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On 12/19/2016 at 1:40 PM, graciasadios said:

Acceptance profiles of everyone admitted to HGSE during 2014-2015 from GradCafe

I did the above research last year. I figured it would be helpful to repost due to the GRE scores and financial aid info. Again, if I were you, I would read through the entire HGSE 2016 thread because it was super helpful and active. Feel free to send me a personal message if you have any questions. I am a current student at the Ed. School.

I know this isn't a full sampling of applicants, but it's really interesting to see it compiled in this fashion. Kinda helps to wrap my mind around things. Thanks for sharing!

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On 12/15/2016 at 9:47 PM, hopefulPhD2017 said:

Guys, I am FREAKING OUT

Is it over? Should I just assumed I'm screwed?

Thanks for any truth telling or soul calming words you might have.

It looks like you guys more or less figured this out, but I figured I'd chime in: there's a lot to be said for doing things correctly, but I don't think you have anything to worry about! I really doubt Harvard (or any other school for that matter) would throw out an excellent candidate over a misplaced GRE sheet. I obviously can't speak for anybody but myself, but I'd assume that as long as they get the scores into your packet before they start vetting it shouldn't have deleterious effects. 

Best of luck to you! :)

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14 hours ago, Kilos said:

It looks like you guys more or less figured this out, but I figured I'd chime in: there's a lot to be said for doing things correctly, but I don't think you have anything to worry about! I really doubt Harvard (or any other school for that matter) would throw out an excellent candidate over a misplaced GRE sheet. I obviously can't speak for anybody but myself, but I'd assume that as long as they get the scores into your packet before they start vetting it shouldn't have deleterious effects. 

Best of luck to you! :)

Would hope so too, @Kilos  Appreciate your sunny perspective--of course, I immediately catastrophized the GRE misplacement, but as you point out it is probably not that big of a deal.

Thanks!

Edited by hopefulPhD2017
silly spelling errors be gone

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I'm probably over-thinking my assumptions again, but any advice or past experience is appreciated! As I was reading through all the "simple" parts of the EdM app that I'd already completed, I noticed the transcripts portion says this: "Please upload a scanned copy or digital facsimile of your transcript from this institution. You may upload those pages now as a single- or multi-page PDF, or each page as a JPEG or TIFF image file. Your scanned document may be large and may take several minutes to upload depending upon the speed of your connection."

What I'd previously done was go to my undergrad university's student portal, hit "unofficial transcript" and saved it as a PDF. I read this on the FAQ page: "At this stage of the application process, you may upload unofficial or student copies. All transcripts should show courses completed, grades received, duration of study, and degree or diploma received, if applicable. " - So I assumed unofficial transcript in ANY form was okay as long as it showed the required info, but maybe they need to be hard copy transcripts that are scanned?

What has everyone else done?

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6 hours ago, jmaroon said:

What has everyone else done?

I agree that you may be overthinking it, but since you asked, I scanned my official (paper) transcript as a multi-page .pdf file and uploaded it. I think all they're looking for is a general copy of an unofficial transcript. Harvard requires official transcripts only after you've been accepted; they seem to be running off the knowledge that most applicants will generally be honest, while reserving the right to rescind their decision should that unspoken trust be violated. Long story short, while I cannot speak for the institution, I think they're just looking for the information and probably aren't too finicky about the method of transmission.

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9 hours ago, jmaroon said:

I'm probably over-thinking my assumptions again, but any advice or past experience is appreciated! As I was reading through all the "simple" parts of the EdM app that I'd already completed, I noticed the transcripts portion says this: "Please upload a scanned copy or digital facsimile of your transcript from this institution. You may upload those pages now as a single- or multi-page PDF, or each page as a JPEG or TIFF image file. Your scanned document may be large and may take several minutes to upload depending upon the speed of your connection."

What I'd previously done was go to my undergrad university's student portal, hit "unofficial transcript" and saved it as a PDF. I read this on the FAQ page: "At this stage of the application process, you may upload unofficial or student copies. All transcripts should show courses completed, grades received, duration of study, and degree or diploma received, if applicable. " - So I assumed unofficial transcript in ANY form was okay as long as it showed the required info, but maybe they need to be hard copy transcripts that are scanned?

What has everyone else done?

I sent an unofficial, online PDF that I downloaded from my undergrad student portal as well, and I got in :) 

Edited by Vulpix

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@jmaroon I'd go ahead and scan in official copies anyhow to have on hand. Different schools have different requirements, and I was held up the day beforemy apps were due because one school required official and front/back and I only had unofficial and/or single sided of a few of my transcripts. I'd never paid much attention before! Good luck to you!

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6 hours ago, hopefulPhD2017 said:

@jmaroon I'd go ahead and scan in official copies anyhow to have on hand. Different schools have different requirements, and I was held up the day beforemy apps were due because one school required official and front/back and I only had unofficial and/or single sided of a few of my transcripts. I'd never paid much attention before! Good luck to you!

Once admitted, you have a few weeks to get in your official ones.  It's good to have on hand but for HGSE, you won't need them until March when admissions results are out.

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Idk if this is appropriate or already known to PhD applicants, but I have a friend who works at HGSE... we spoke this afternoon and he mentioned that their PhD committee met earlier today and that mid to late next week is when they send out interview notifications. Didn't realize the process was already so far along! But makes sense since apps were due over a month ago.

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1 hour ago, jmaroon said:

Idk if this is appropriate or already known to PhD applicants, but I have a friend who works at HGSE... we spoke this afternoon and he mentioned that their PhD committee met earlier today and that mid to late next week is when they send out interview notifications. Didn't realize the process was already so far along! But makes sense since apps were due over a month ago.

Thanks for this awesome info! In past years the first interview invites have gone out 1/18-1/23; it's great to have confirmation.

Just got a major case of the nerves.

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2 minutes ago, hopefulPhD2017 said:

@jmaroon Great information, glad to hear it from an inside source! Appreciate you passing that along. @Kilos no kidding about the nerves--this just got real. Eeekk!!

My thoughts exactly. ha. This HDLT program has been my top choice since I first found out about it. No other program/school/environment/faculty seems to so perfectly align with my interests and passions. I've built this up into an enormous, life-changing event in my head, even knowing how unbelievably competitive the process is, and now, after years of waiting and preparing, I'm trying to brace myself for the rejection letter. haha. I just keep telling myself it'll all be over soon.

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