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PhD Applicants Fall 2017

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42 minutes ago, PHNutr said:

I got a strange email from Columbia Mailman last evening...

"Thank you for submitting your application to the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health doctoral program. Your application is in the final stages of review.  Since our doctoral programs are highly competitive we wanted to reach out to you to ask if you are not accepted into the doctoral program would you be willing to be considered for our masters program?"

Did anyone else who applied to the Sociomedical Sciences PhD program receive something like this? Considering other people were accepted/rejected yesterday, this almost seems like they are trying to solicit me into paying for a (second) master's rather than make a decision on my application. Any thoughts?

Some institutions offer a spot in their master's program because your credentials are still desired by the institution. They might put you on the waitlist if you say no to the MPH consideration. 

If you already have a masters and have an offer from another institution, I would tell them that so they know your current application situation. 

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1 hour ago, nycpizza said:

People who got rejected from Columbia, what are your second choices/where do you plan to go?

Second choice was a school in Canada so I will be staying right where I am

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Has anyone heard anything from Hopkins Population Family and Repro Health PhD program? I've seen some rejections posted but not acceptances yet and my portal has had no updates..

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1 hour ago, 2016Epi said:

 

Hey! I have some friends doing PhDs right now. Packages are almost always 20 hours a week, and I've heard of earning between 16,000 and 30,000 per year on top of tuition remission. All schools I've applied to I've been able to look up exactly how much funding I could receive for RA or TA positions by googling graduate RA stipend and the school name. They usually list the minimum they're allowed to offer, and it doesn't include fellowships and stuff but that could help you figure out your baseline. I wish the schools that are going to help with funding would let us know already- all of them say you'll get an email about funding in the next few weeks and I've heard nothing so far!

Thanks so much for this answer!  Really helpful, and "duh" to me for not figuring out how to google sooner.   I have to admit that i'm a bit shocked with how low the minimums are.... 

Edited by melvina

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Just now, melvina said:

Thanks so much for this answer!  Really helpful, and "duh" to me for not figuring out how to google sooner.   I have to admit that i'm quite shocked how low the minimums are.... 

Completely agree with everything 2016Epi said. In fact, my min from one of the offers was 12k. Granted the cost of living there is fairly low, but 12k is still really low. 

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28 minutes ago, joshre01 said:

Completely agree with everything 2016Epi said. In fact, my min from one of the offers was 12k. Granted the cost of living there is fairly low, but 12k is still really low. 

It's below the poverty limit, so you'd qualify for food stamps though. Actually, college students in work-study programs qualify for food stamps, but hardly anyone ever takes advantage of that.

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1 hour ago, policy2017 said:

It's below the poverty limit, so you'd qualify for food stamps though. Actually, college students in work-study programs qualify for food stamps, but hardly anyone ever takes advantage of that.

Ha, not if you're an international student (which I am!)

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1 hour ago, joshre01 said:

Ha, not if you're an international student (which I am!)

I thought of that caveat a couple minutes after I posted! Ah, well.

C'mon, Harvard, tell me I'm rejected. I just wanna know for sure.

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On 2/27/2017 at 1:40 PM, marcphoenix said:

Suddenly I can't log-in to my JHU status page. That's an interesting way to provide a decision on your application. 

Have you heard anything back? All of a sudden I can't log in to mine either..

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5 hours ago, joshre01 said:

Completely agree with everything 2016Epi said. In fact, my min from one of the offers was 12k. Granted the cost of living there is fairly low, but 12k is still really low. 

out of curiosity, was the 12k a full stipend?  (just because i saw online there are also half stipends).

 

-- just checked the poverty threshold and there is a separate, lower one for 65+  :blink::blink:    As if the medical costs don't compensate a million times the potential difference in lower cost of living as an "older person".  Jeez. 

 

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9 minutes ago, melvina said:

out of curiosity, was the 12k a full stipend?  (just because i saw online there are also half stipends).

 

-- just checked the poverty threshold and there is a separate, lower one for 65+  :blink::blink:    As if the medical costs don't compensate a million times the potential difference in lower cost of living as an "older person".  Jeez. 

 

I'm not entirely sure, it just said '6000 per semester'.

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For those who were rejected to programs, did you contact the program to ask what were your weaknesses to improve your application? Is this a thing most people do? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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5 minutes ago, mtbe said:

For those who were rejected to programs, did you contact the program to ask what were your weaknesses to improve your application? Is this a thing most people do? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I do this and the only program that has rejected me so far has told me that it's because I don't have work experience. That was harvard health policy and management 

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3 minutes ago, ganhuahua said:

I do this and the only program that has rejected me so far has told me that it's because I don't have work experience. That was harvard health policy and management 

Thank you! Who did you call or email? 

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1 minute ago, mtbe said:

Thank you! Who did you call or email? 

I just called admissions because I didn't hear anything and I asked them straight up if I've been rejected lol. Tried this with USC, UCSD/SDSU, and UCI but they all gave me the same answer of "We are still looking at applicants in waves idk" but I'm getting worried because it's so late now and I haven't heard anything

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1 minute ago, ganhuahua said:

I just called admissions because I didn't hear anything and I asked them straight up if I've been rejected lol. Tried this with USC, UCSD/SDSU, and UCI but they all gave me the same answer of "We are still looking at applicants in waves idk" but I'm getting worried because it's so late now and I haven't heard anything

Thanks this is very helpful. Good luck!!! 

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23 minutes ago, mtbe said:

For those who were rejected to programs, did you contact the program to ask what were your weaknesses to improve your application? Is this a thing most people do? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I asked my POI at Harvard and he said that there were 200 applicants for 7 slots and that I wasn't at the top of the applicant pool probably because of my GPA (Undergrad 3.2 but in major 3.6, Grad 3.8) and GREs (154V, 157Q, 4.5W). He gave me this as general advice tho because he said he was not a part of my application review process (surprising bc I mentioned him extensively throughout my statement).

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13 hours ago, epi_08 said:

Anyone want to claim the UNC Epi phd acceptance posted today? Which concentration are you?

found out their admitted students day is March 24th...so no news might not be good news at this point :/

That wasn't me, but I was just contacted by my POI at UNC Epi today to interview this week over the phone. She said that she had just finished reviewing my application. I get the sense they're wading through everything right now and will probably release decisions over the next couple weeks... 

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3 hours ago, mtbe said:

For those who were rejected to programs, did you contact the program to ask what were your weaknesses to improve your application? Is this a thing most people do? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I was rejected last year from three schools that I applied to (Harvard post-interview, Hopkins, and Columbia). I asked my interviewer at Harvard what I could do to make myself a more competitive applicant for the next round and I think the insight he gave me is really applicable to every research oriented PhD applicant. 

1. Publish. First author publications in fairly decent impact journals are a huge boost. The PhD is all about training to be a researcher and to produce publications, so showing to the admissions committee that you have successfully published and can do research is a big deal. 

2. Have GRE scores at a certain percentile threshold. You really can't do anything about GPA at this point, but you can do something about your GRE score. Some schools have basic minimum percentiles for applicants to be considered (like 50th percentile) but most competitive applicants will be in the 75th percentile and above. Having a score below that may be a tie breaker point when deciding between applicants that seem equally qualified but only one spot can be given. If you're going into a heavily quantitative field like Epi or Biostats, it's important to demonstrate a strong quantitative background and you can do that in part through the GRE quantitative section. 

3. Contact people from the department/school before applying. It helps to put a face or voice to a name and to have some recognition of that person before admissions committees review the applicants. It also helps you craft and refine your personal statement to fit the resources and interests of the department. By talking to the faculty there, you'll get insider knowledge as to what the department values and would be looking for in a good fit candidate.

4. Choose letter writers well. If you have a well known scholar in the field as your letter writer who can vouch for your potential as a scholar, that's going to carry you a long way in getting recognized as a strong candidate by the admissions committee. If you don't know any prominent professors then it's important to make sure you have letters from professors who know you well and can talk more concretely about your skills, ability to produce as a PhD student/researcher, and probably something about your personality. 

 

In the end, it's about how good of a fit you are for the program/department and if you have a publication/research track record that suggests you'll do well in the future.  GPA/GREs need to meet a certain acceptable minimum. Great LORs will carry you a long way, especially if they're from prominent scholars in your field of interest. 

 

As I said before, I applied last year to Harvard, Hopkins, and Columbia and wasn't accepted by any of the schools. This year I applied to UNC, Minnesota, UW, Michigan, and Berkeley and have received interviews at all schools except Berkeley and been accepted into two programs thus far with multi-year funding offers from both schools. Still waiting to hear back from the other three, but I've felt very successful so far after following this Harvard professor's advice during my second round of applying. 

 

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6 hours ago, etherealhav0c said:

I was rejected last year from three schools that I applied to (Harvard post-interview, Hopkins, and Columbia). I asked my interviewer at Harvard what I could do to make myself a more competitive applicant for the next round and I think the insight he gave me is really applicable to every research oriented PhD applicant. 

1. Publish. First author publications in fairly decent impact journals are a huge boost. The PhD is all about training to be a researcher and to produce publications, so showing to the admissions committee that you have successfully published and can do research is a big deal. 

2. Have GRE scores at a certain percentile threshold. You really can't do anything about GPA at this point, but you can do something about your GRE score. Some schools have basic minimum percentiles for applicants to be considered (like 50th percentile) but most competitive applicants will be in the 75th percentile and above. Having a score below that may be a tie breaker point when deciding between applicants that seem equally qualified but only one spot can be given. If you're going into a heavily quantitative field like Epi or Biostats, it's important to demonstrate a strong quantitative background and you can do that in part through the GRE quantitative section. 

3. Contact people from the department/school before applying. It helps to put a face or voice to a name and to have some recognition of that person before admissions committees review the applicants. It also helps you craft and refine your personal statement to fit the resources and interests of the department. By talking to the faculty there, you'll get insider knowledge as to what the department values and would be looking for in a good fit candidate.

4. Choose letter writers well. If you have a well known scholar in the field as your letter writer who can vouch for your potential as a scholar, that's going to carry you a long way in getting recognized as a strong candidate by the admissions committee. If you don't know any prominent professors then it's important to make sure you have letters from professors who know you well and can talk more concretely about your skills, ability to produce as a PhD student/researcher, and probably something about your personality. 

 

In the end, it's about how good of a fit you are for the program/department and if you have a publication/research track record that suggests you'll do well in the future.  GPA/GREs need to meet a certain acceptable minimum. Great LORs will carry you a long way, especially if they're from prominent scholars in your field of interest. 

 

As I said before, I applied last year to Harvard, Hopkins, and Columbia and wasn't accepted by any of the schools. This year I applied to UNC, Minnesota, UW, Michigan, and Berkeley and have received interviews at all schools except Berkeley and been accepted into two programs thus far with multi-year funding offers from both schools. Still waiting to hear back from the other three, but I've felt very successful so far after following this Harvard professor's advice during my second round of applying. 

 

Excellent. Thank you for advice. For international students Verbal section is very hard. but quantitative can be competitive 

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8 hours ago, etherealhav0c said:

That wasn't me, but I was just contacted by my POI at UNC Epi today to interview this week over the phone. She said that she had just finished reviewing my application. I get the sense they're wading through everything right now and will probably release decisions over the next couple weeks... 

Thanks for the useful information!

If you don't mind me asking, when did you apply? And what's your area of concentration?

Good luck with the interview!

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8 hours ago, etherealhav0c said:

I was rejected last year from three schools that I applied to (Harvard post-interview, Hopkins, and Columbia). I asked my interviewer at Harvard what I could do to make myself a more competitive applicant for the next round and I think the insight he gave me is really applicable to every research oriented PhD applicant. 

1. Publish. First author publications in fairly decent impact journals are a huge boost. The PhD is all about training to be a researcher and to produce publications, so showing to the admissions committee that you have successfully published and can do research is a big deal. 

2. Have GRE scores at a certain percentile threshold. You really can't do anything about GPA at this point, but you can do something about your GRE score. Some schools have basic minimum percentiles for applicants to be considered (like 50th percentile) but most competitive applicants will be in the 75th percentile and above. Having a score below that may be a tie breaker point when deciding between applicants that seem equally qualified but only one spot can be given. If you're going into a heavily quantitative field like Epi or Biostats, it's important to demonstrate a strong quantitative background and you can do that in part through the GRE quantitative section. 

3. Contact people from the department/school before applying. It helps to put a face or voice to a name and to have some recognition of that person before admissions committees review the applicants. It also helps you craft and refine your personal statement to fit the resources and interests of the department. By talking to the faculty there, you'll get insider knowledge as to what the department values and would be looking for in a good fit candidate.

4. Choose letter writers well. If you have a well known scholar in the field as your letter writer who can vouch for your potential as a scholar, that's going to carry you a long way in getting recognized as a strong candidate by the admissions committee. If you don't know any prominent professors then it's important to make sure you have letters from professors who know you well and can talk more concretely about your skills, ability to produce as a PhD student/researcher, and probably something about your personality. 

 

In the end, it's about how good of a fit you are for the program/department and if you have a publication/research track record that suggests you'll do well in the future.  GPA/GREs need to meet a certain acceptable minimum. Great LORs will carry you a long way, especially if they're from prominent scholars in your field of interest. 

 

As I said before, I applied last year to Harvard, Hopkins, and Columbia and wasn't accepted by any of the schools. This year I applied to UNC, Minnesota, UW, Michigan, and Berkeley and have received interviews at all schools except Berkeley and been accepted into two programs thus far with multi-year funding offers from both schools. Still waiting to hear back from the other three, but I've felt very successful so far after following this Harvard professor's advice during my second round of applying. 

 

This is all very helpful! Thank you very much and congrats on your acceptances :D Did you publish papers?

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2 hours ago, anthrostudentcyn said:

to the NYU admit: have they sent out all their acceptances?

I called yesterday as I'm also waiting to hear back. They stated we should hear back within the next few days (I'm taking that to mean this week?)

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3 minutes ago, epi-PH_PHD_2017 said:

I called yesterday as I'm also waiting to hear back. They stated we should hear back within the next few days (I'm taking that to mean this week?)

well it seems that if one person was admitted, we would be waiting mostly for waitlists or rejections! or at least that's how im taking it

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