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Social Psychology Fall 2017 Applicants

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20 hours ago, OptimiscallyAnxious said:

Congratulations on the invitation to interview, that's very exciting and encouraging. I see that you applied to several programs. Is this your top choice? 

no, frankly speaking i did not expect this. I did not contact her in prior to my application.

 

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Hi everyone! I hope no one is as much a nervous mess as I am, but if you are, my thoughts are with you :)

I applied to twelve programs, eight of them social (Cornell, Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, UMich, UMN, UW, and Yale), the others are a mix of community (UVA) and developmental (UCSC, MSU, Kentucky). I would prefer social psych but honestly I am just looking to work with a mentor with whom I share research interests, so area isn't my top priority. I know all the folks I'm applying to work with are accepting students, have emailed to various extents with each of them, and have had calls with two PIs and talked with a few other PIs' current grad students.

My pros: undergrad research with multiple national conference posters and one paper presentation, five publications (four first author), awarded undergrad research grant, currently in a "well-known" lab working on a "well-known" project (quotation marks because level of recognition is definitely subjective), and a second author publication coming out of the lab.
My cons: lab is developmental which probably won't help me much in the social/community areas and implies lack of consistency in research interest (social to developmental to social), terrible quant GRE scores (162V/158Q/5AW; I am slooow at solving math problems and didn't even finish the quant sections), some publications are in lesser-known journals, average GPA for the programs I'm applying to (3.8), niche research experience, small undergrad, 2 out of 3 letter writers aren't famous Ivy Leaguers.

I don't know which negatives will outweigh positives and vice versa. Almost all the programs I'm applying to are very selective (not my intention and regretting it) so I've kind of resigned myself to rejection and decided to be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointingly surprised. As much as I hate waiting, the stress of studying for the GRE and applying was way worse than what I'm experiencing now. I swear my weeks of tension headaches ended the day I submitted my last app! Good luck to everyone and I am sending you all good vibes!!

Edited by dormcat

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Ahhh! I just received an email from a POI at UC Davis saying that she's impressed with my app and that she wanted to let me know the date of the interview so I could 'save the date'! :D It's not an official invitation because she said that they're still making determinations but I'm on the short list!! It sounds really promising though since she wanted me to confirm my availability and said she would cover my travel expenses. I am about to die from how excited I am!!!

p.s. Does anyone know what a short list actually is? I assume it's a good thing!

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4 hours ago, dormcat said:

Hi everyone! I hope no one is as much a nervous mess as I am, but if you are, my thoughts are with you :)

I applied to twelve programs, eight of them social (Cornell, Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, UMich, UMN, UW, and Yale), the others are a mix of community (UVA) and developmental (UCSC, MSU, Kentucky). I would prefer social psych but honestly I am just looking to work with a mentor with whom I share research interests, so area isn't my top priority. I know all the folks I'm applying to work with are accepting students, have emailed to various extents with each of them, and have had calls with two PIs and talked with a few other PIs' current grad students.

My pros: undergrad research with multiple national conference posters and one paper presentation, five publications (four first author), awarded undergrad research grant, currently in a "well-known" lab working on a "well-known" project (quotation marks because level of recognition is definitely subjective), and a second author publication coming out of the lab.
My cons: lab is developmental which probably won't help me much in the social/community areas and implies lack of consistency in research interest (social to developmental to social), terrible quant GRE scores (162V/158Q/5AW; I am slooow at solving math problems and didn't even finish the quant sections), some publications are in lesser-known journals, average GPA for the programs I'm applying to (3.8), niche research experience, small undergrad, 2 out of 3 letter writers aren't famous Ivy Leaguers.

I don't know which negatives will outweigh positives and vice versa. Almost all the programs I'm applying to are very selective (not my intention and regretting it) so I've kind of resigned myself to rejection and decided to be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointingly surprised. As much as I hate waiting, the stress of studying for the GRE and applying was way worse than what I'm experiencing now. I swear my weeks of tension headaches ended the day I submitted my last app! Good luck to everyone and I am sending you all good vibes!!

Hi Dormcat, 

Your experience sounds super impressive! I don't think you should be too nervous about your stats. GRE scores are really only a small portion of your application and your work in labs definitely outweigh it. Plus I've heard from many faculty that your experience does not have to be exactly matched to your research interests, as long as you have had a hand in research, which you definitely have. I think it's great how much interaction that you've had with the faculty too, that's makes a huge difference since they actually know who you are. Don't sweat it too much! I think you've got a great chance of getting some interviews!

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Thanks for your reassurance canessa! 

CONGRATULATIONS on your save the date! 

56 minutes ago, canessa said:

p.s. Does anyone know what a short list actually is? I assume it's a good thing!

All applicants are on the long list. The best applicants make the short list. :) 

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Hoping I can get your opinion on this, friends!

I applied to work with two different POIs at a university. I received an interview invitation email the other day, indicating that a POI who I had not indicated wanting to work with is interested in working with me. From what I can tell, this individual has very little research interests that are a match with my own. Thinking perhaps it was a mistake, I emailed the POI who indicated that they wanted to work with me just a brief thank you for the interview invite email, just to see if they would respond saying "Who are you?!" but instead, they responded that they were excited to meet me as well. So it does not seem as if this was a mistake.

So, how exactly should I be taking this? Is it possible that they are changing their research line entirely? I do research on gender (specifically masculinity) and what implications the social construction of masculinity has on intergroup relations. This POI does research on psycholinguistics and is very heavily cognitive in their research. While I am not one to complain about an interview (heck yes!), I am a bit confused. Any insights? This ever happen to anyone else? I am just worried about being able to sound like a competent individual in the interview, which may be difficult considering I have very little prior knowledge on anything this individual researches!

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52 minutes ago, MyDogHasAPhD said:

Hoping I can get your opinion on this, friends!

I applied to work with two different POIs at a university. I received an interview invitation email the other day, indicating that a POI who I had not indicated wanting to work with is interested in working with me. From what I can tell, this individual has very little research interests that are a match with my own. Thinking perhaps it was a mistake, I emailed the POI who indicated that they wanted to work with me just a brief thank you for the interview invite email, just to see if they would respond saying "Who are you?!" but instead, they responded that they were excited to meet me as well. So it does not seem as if this was a mistake.

So, how exactly should I be taking this? Is it possible that they are changing their research line entirely? I do research on gender (specifically masculinity) and what implications the social construction of masculinity has on intergroup relations. This POI does research on psycholinguistics and is very heavily cognitive in their research. While I am not one to complain about an interview (heck yes!), I am a bit confused. Any insights? This ever happen to anyone else? I am just worried about being able to sound like a competent individual in the interview, which may be difficult considering I have very little prior knowledge on anything this individual researches!

How long have they been at the university? If they're new, they could've fought for a strong applicant (you) to get their lab going. Or, if they think your particular research background may provide useful insight and unique perspective on their work, they may see the value in having you work with them. A friend of mine getting her PhD in school psychology had something similar happen; she applied to work with someone but got an interview with a different PI entirely. Maybe the two people you applied to work with realized they couldn't take students, or this professor has first dibs and "claimed" you, or they thought there was a better match for them but the program really wants you? The whole thing, I agree, is very odd, but you might as well see at the interview what they have to say. 

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I was starting to lose hope that I would get an interview with any of the programs I applied to, but I've just gotten a phone call from an ADCOM member from UCI's Psychology & Social Behavior program. Interviews are January 21-23. I feel a sense of relief that I've least I have one interview to look forward to. 

Edited by OptimiscallyAnxious

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With regard to @OptimiscallyAnxious's comment (congrats btw!), and I'm sure many others of us who are feeling the same way ("how come others are getting pre-interview interviews and save the dates and I'm not?"), just remember that every PI moves at a different pace. None of the grad students I know heard back about interviews before Christmas/January. While some schools had earlier deadlines (e.g., Berkeley was mid-November and they say they'll get to students around 12/21) many programs don't even break out the applications until the semester ends mid-December and it's barely past mid-December. So if you're seeing that someone who applied to your top choice got an email from their POI, that doesn't mean the PI you want to work with has discarded your application (or, as in my nightmares, set it on fire while laughing maniacally). I know this is a really stressful time but the reality is that most of us won't hear from the majority of our programs until January, and that doesn't mean we are less desirable candidates! :) 

Edited by dormcat

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1 hour ago, dormcat said:

With regard to @OptimiscallyAnxious's comment (congrats btw!), and I'm sure many others of us who are feeling the same way ("how come others are getting pre-interview interviews and save the dates and I'm not?"), just remember that every PI moves at a different pace. None of the grad students I know heard back about interviews before Christmas/January. While some schools had earlier deadlines (e.g., Berkeley was mid-November and they say they'll get to students around 12/21) many programs don't even break out the applications until the semester ends mid-December and it's barely past mid-December. So if you're seeing that someone who applied to your top choice got an email from their POI, that doesn't mean the PI you want to work with has discarded your application (or, as in my nightmares, set it on fire while laughing maniacally). I know this is a really stressful time but the reality is that most of us won't hear from the majority of our programs until January, and that doesn't mean we are less desirable candidates! :) 

Thank you so much for this post, because hearing this really helps ease some of the stress and anxiousness we are all feeling right now. 

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I'm applying to social and forensic PhD programs as well (in Canada though)! So far I've applied to a couple applied social psychology programs, one social-personality program, one forensic psychology program, and I have one more forensic psych application due in the fall. My research interests are focused on the study of sexual violence, sex offenders, and risk assessment for sexual offenders. 

The good stuff: I have several volunteer and paid research experiences in my area of interests and a couple unrelated ones, 2 submitted manuscripts (not in psychology) and 2 more that are almost ready to be submitted, 5 national/international conference presentation and several more local/provincial ones, and I'm 2nd on a $15,000 grant. 

The not so good: Due to some unforeseen circumstances, my MA thesis is more health psychology focused (and I find it terribly dull). The 2 submitted manuscripts I have are not in psychology and are in low impact journals (which is normal for the discipline) and I have nothing accepted so far. 

Overall, I feel pretty okay about my application but I can't help but be nervous! I hate all of the waiting 

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Update:

I completed a Skype interview with my POI at UCSD about a week and a half ago.. and have a Skype interview with my POI at UCSB this Tuesday! 

Haven't heard from the 8 other schools I've applied to x.x

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20 hours ago, OptimiscallyAnxious said:

Thank you so much for this post, because hearing this really helps ease some of the stress and anxiousness we are all feeling right now. 

Hi, 

I received the interview invitation from UCI too! 

Good luck to everyone.

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2 hours ago, milkymamahdf said:

Hi, 

I received the interview invitation from UCI too! 

Good luck to everyone.

Congratulations and best of luck. May we all continue to receive good news and hopefully it's sooner rather than later. 

What other programs have you applied to? 

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Has anyone heard back from Stanford or UMN? I've been looking through the threads from past years and it seems like Stanford professors begin to contact the students they're interested in for a preliminary phone call around this time

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2 minutes ago, 01848p said:

Has anyone heard back from Stanford or UMN? I've been looking through the threads from past years and it seems like Stanford professors begin to contact the students they're interested in for a preliminary phone call around this time

I would also be interested to know about Stanford, if anyone has heard back, please. 

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1 hour ago, milkymamahdf said:

Any one hear from Berkeley today? Their website says that emails for interview invitations all went out on 12/21. 

I haven't, but it's my worst "fit" so I'm not expecting anything (of course, it would be nice to get good news!). However, their website does say around 12/21, and based on past years on TGC results, it looks like it could be anytime this week. I saw someone from developmental got an invite, but am not sure if that means all psych interviews went out or just dev so far. Also not clear if 11% chosen to interview means 11% of dev apps or all apps. Bleh. 

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2 hours ago, milkymamahdf said:

Any one hear from Berkeley today? Their website says that emails for interview invitations all went out on 12/21. 

 

32 minutes ago, dormcat said:

I haven't, but it's my worst "fit" so I'm not expecting anything (of course, it would be nice to get good news!). However, their website does say around 12/21, and based on past years on TGC results, it looks like it could be anytime this week. I saw someone from developmental got an invite, but am not sure if that means all psych interviews went out or just dev so far. Also not clear if 11% chosen to interview means 11% of dev apps or all apps. Bleh. 

I had applied and didn't get an email... I just assumed that I was not one of the lucky few selected to interview. 

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For anyone wondering about Berkeley, I got invited to interview week from UC Berkeley during the afternoon Dec 21st. So it seems like the invites went out. Sorry to those who didn't get an email :-( , but congrats to those who did! Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back from their schools!!

Edited by canessa

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On 12/20/2016 at 11:42 PM, ZosoPage said:

I recently had an interview at UNC-Chapel Hill for the Social Psych program!

 

Congrats on that! I applied as well - which PI did you apply for? 

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7 hours ago, canessa said:

For anyone wondering about Berkeley, I got invited to interview week from UC Berkeley during the afternoon Dec 21st. So it seems like the invites went out. Sorry to those who didn't get an email :-( , but congrats to those who did! Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back from their schools!!

Thanks for letting us know and good luck on your interview! :) 

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Update: Got invited to campus interview @ UNC-Chapel Hill on February 10th (Social / Neuropsychology).

 

Just received an invite for a phone interview @ Duke University for tomorrow. My POI implicated that invites were going out today and tomorrow (before Christmas). 

 

Best of luck to you all!

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