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Glad to know that I'm not the only one who still hasn't heard from several schools. I'm guessing a lot of rejections are going to come on the 15th. But maybe acceptances too! 

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I've gone to two interview weekends now and here's what my experiences have been: You usually stay with a graduate student host, they're a really good source of info and you tend to get really c

AHHHH I GOT ACCEPTED INTO TWO OF MY THREE DREAM PROGRAMS!! When I got my first acceptance a few weeks ago I just started bawling. And then I just got accepted to my other dream school, laughed because

I.JUST.GOT.MY.FIRST.ADMISSION.AT.UNIVERISITY.OF.ILLINOIS.AT.URBANA.CHAMPAIGN.   SLAP.ME.AND.TELL.ME.THIS.IS.REAL.....

5 minutes ago, SocCog said:

Glad to know that I'm not the only one who still hasn't heard from several schools. I'm guessing a lot of rejections are going to come on the 15th. But maybe acceptances too! 

Things start moving around more rapidly after mid-March bc by that time, everyone's done all their visits and is starting to make decisions. So the little waterfalls start in which one person might reject an offer, which is extended to a second person, who accepts that and rejects their offer from their 2nd top choice, and so on. :)

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So I need some advice.

I interviewed at UCSB back in the first week of February. The POI's told me that they were going to have an additional alternate interview weekend since so many applicants couldn't make it to the first one. After my interview, my POIs told me that they would be making final decisions only after they met with all of their applicants. The alternate interview day was last weekend (so an entire month after mine). I've been really antsy about knowing if I got in or not, it's driving me crazy! I've been waiting to hear back for an entire month while the people who just interviewed have only been waiting a couple days. I don't want to see impatient about knowing if I got in or not but the wait is totally killing me. Should I e-mail the POI asking if we should be hearing back soon? Or should I text my grad student host and ask her if she knows anything? Or should I just keep waiting it out? 

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On 3/9/2017 at 10:08 AM, marsbars said:

Has Alabama contacted anyone ? 
It is still "sent to department for review" on the webpage

Same with Mississippi. 

Anyone gotten a response?

 

Bueller ? Bueller? Bueller?

I interviewed at Alabama February 10th and received a quick decision the week afterwards. The date I attended was actually the clinical interview weekend. The formal social interview weekend was February 3rd. Hope this helps. 

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53 minutes ago, canessa said:

So I need some advice.

I interviewed at UCSB back in the first week of February. The POI's told me that they were going to have an additional alternate interview weekend since so many applicants couldn't make it to the first one. After my interview, my POIs told me that they would be making final decisions only after they met with all of their applicants. The alternate interview day was last weekend (so an entire month after mine). I've been really antsy about knowing if I got in or not, it's driving me crazy! I've been waiting to hear back for an entire month while the people who just interviewed have only been waiting a couple days. I don't want to see impatient about knowing if I got in or not but the wait is totally killing me. Should I e-mail the POI asking if we should be hearing back soon? Or should I text my grad student host and ask her if she knows anything? Or should I just keep waiting it out? 

Personally, I would wait. I know you're feeling anxious since you've been waiting significantly longer than the rest of the prospective students, but I feel like you could come across as impatient especially since your POI knows they told you about the alternate weekend and when it was (in other words, you couldn't act like you just didn't know there was a second weekend). They're making a really difficult decision as well so it's understandable it would take them longer than a week if need be! I think it'd be okay to text your host if you really can't stand to wait a few days longer. Rather than asking outright, if it was me I'd probably try to find out by asking if they remember about how long after their interview weekend they received an offer. But that's just me because I'm overly cautious. I'm sure just asking if they have any idea as to when you'll hear back would be fine! 

Edited by 01848p
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9 hours ago, canessa said:

So I need some advice.

I interviewed at UCSB back in the first week of February. The POI's told me that they were going to have an additional alternate interview weekend since so many applicants couldn't make it to the first one. After my interview, my POIs told me that they would be making final decisions only after they met with all of their applicants. The alternate interview day was last weekend (so an entire month after mine). I've been really antsy about knowing if I got in or not, it's driving me crazy! I've been waiting to hear back for an entire month while the people who just interviewed have only been waiting a couple days. I don't want to see impatient about knowing if I got in or not but the wait is totally killing me. Should I e-mail the POI asking if we should be hearing back soon? Or should I text my grad student host and ask her if she knows anything? Or should I just keep waiting it out? 

Going to contradict the other person and say it's ok to ask if UCSB is one of your top choices. Because that is a fantastic reason to be antsy about getting a response from a school. I don't see why it'd be irritating to the professor (much less the grad student) if you were super excited about UCSB and wanted to know an answer so you could inform any other school you're accepted to that you will need to reject their offer.

If they're not one of your top choices, though, I suppose you could pretend like they are. o_0

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@almondicecream @01848p

You both make really good points...! I think I'm going to wait until Monday evening and if I don't hear anything by then I might check up on my grad student host to see if she's gotten wind of anything. Thank you for the advice!!

 

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1 hour ago, canessa said:

@almondicecream @01848p

You both make really good points...! I think I'm going to wait until Monday evening and if I don't hear anything by then I might check up on my grad student host to see if she's gotten wind of anything. Thank you for the advice!!

 

I clicked super well with a grad student at one of my programs. She even added me on FB after interview weekend so when it came to talking about what she's heard, she was really cool about filling me in on what was going down with during their lab meetings/who was getting offers. If you feel like you've established a solid relationship, I don't see the harm in it. If you don't feel like you know the grad student that well though, I'd hold off on asking. I'm sure they department will be letting you know soon!

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On 3/11/2017 at 3:01 PM, Calmankpin said:

I interviewed at Alabama February 10th and received a quick decision the week afterwards. The date I attended was actually the clinical interview weekend. The formal social interview weekend was February 3rd. Hope this helps. 

WOW, they must wait until April 15 to send out rejections :( Thank you for letting me know ! 

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I have a question for you all, which I hope does not come off as elitist or ungrateful. 

This is my third application cycle, and I have only received one offer from a very small program. The research fit is solid, but the program itself does not even place in NRC rankings (and is in an undesirable location, to top it off). During my interview, faculty members struggled to tell me if past graduates had been successful in pursuing their desired careers, and the current students, by and large, seemed miserable. 

I have turned down PhD offers in past years for similar reasons, but know that I cannot just keep doing the same and wasting years of my life. I can't imagine not being in the field (I have dedicated the last 6 years of my life completely to social psychology), but, at the same time, know that this program has a poor track record in successfully placing graduates. So, the overarching question: Is a good research fit enough to overcome a weak program?  (Will also reiterate that I am grateful to have received this offer, but am questioning how this will affect my life in the long run...)

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I would be pretty worried if the current graduate students seemed miserable and if the program doesn't have a record of getting people the jobs they wanted (not that it's all on the program, but most good programs have at least a decent chance of guiding people in the right direction).

Research fit is of course absolutely vital, but I'm not sure that research fit alone can overcome a weak program (you still have to survive 5-6 years in the program and the job market after graduate school is ultra competitive).

My perception talking with grad students and faculty is that nothing is a guarantee (a good program doesn't equal a tenure track job), but it's usually best not to hope for exceptions (e.g., if no one from a program has been getting good jobs out of said program, don't bank on being the exception).

On the flip-side if you have no other options and don't foresee that changing, there might be an argument for going all on (although again, it sounds like a risky proposal).

----

Declined my first offer today, felt surprisingly stressful, I really liked the POI but just wasn't as sold on the research fit and the university required a lot more TAing than any of the other places I had offers from while also providing a far smaller stipend (although that seems to be the norm in Canada), which was kind of a big deal breaker.

Edited by C is for Caps Locks
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@thirdfromthesun I don't think you sound ungrateful or elitist at all. Not to be melodramatic, but it's a huge decision that'll impact the rest of your life. Makes sense you want to be sure the program is right for you. For me, knowing that the students are miserable, the location is undesirable, and the faculty can't confidently tell you about their placement record would be extremely troubling. But you also say there is a great fit. How does your PI rank in their field? Are they young or experienced but still doing a lot of work? You say this is maybe a pattern for you. How many schools have you applied to each cycle and did they vary in rank, or are you interested in a specific research question that isn't common? I obviously can't tell you what's best for you, but I think the big things to weigh are the miserable students with the good fit. Did they go in thinking they had good fit too? Do you have a contact with a student in the program you can get some more detailed info like why they're miserable and if they have advice for avoiding that experience?

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9 hours ago, thirdfromthesun said:

I have a question for you all, which I hope does not come off as elitist or ungrateful. 

This is my third application cycle, and I have only received one offer from a very small program. The research fit is solid, but the program itself does not even place in NRC rankings (and is in an undesirable location, to top it off). During my interview, faculty members struggled to tell me if past graduates had been successful in pursuing their desired careers, and the current students, by and large, seemed miserable. 

I have turned down PhD offers in past years for similar reasons, but know that I cannot just keep doing the same and wasting years of my life. I can't imagine not being in the field (I have dedicated the last 6 years of my life completely to social psychology), but, at the same time, know that this program has a poor track record in successfully placing graduates. So, the overarching question: Is a good research fit enough to overcome a weak program?  (Will also reiterate that I am grateful to have received this offer, but am questioning how this will affect my life in the long run...)

I say yes because you do need to move on with life but if it's like something really bad? But if it's some shortcoming then I don't think that is a reason to miss out on great research experiences. I have been at a small school now for a while riding out till I'm ready and waiting to get in to Phd but I do think I like the small feel. I can be more independent for the most part and am working for a brilliant neuropsychologist and surrounded by other individuals that care and you aren't just another grad student. I hope that helps a little. 

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Hello everyone,

I need some suggestions in making a decision between school A and B:

School A

  • pros
    • The PI is more productive in pulling off publications per year. But I don't know to what extent she is enthusiastic about me since she waitlisted me in the first place
  • cons
    • The PI is more of a cognitive psychologist than a social psychologist. She studies emotion and memory, and I'm less interested in the cognition piece.
    • School A is strong in health psychology, which is not something I'm particularly interested in or wanting to pursue

School B

  • pros
    • The PI likes me a lot and has been really supportive. 
    • There is also someone there who I can collaborate with to continue my current work 
  • cons
    • There is a gap in the PI’s publication history; she doesn't have any publications from 2010-2012. And I got suspicious about that.

Any feedback would be highly appreciated! Many thanks, guys!

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@milkymamahdf 2010-2012 is 5-7 years ago. Is it a very competitive program where PIs should be publishing tons? Is it possible she had a child around that time and slowed down her work load for a couple years? Maybe she was between grants, or between grad students? This isn't something that would concern me unless she was currently in a dry spell. And part of a PI's publication history depends on their students' work, maybe she had a particularly disinterested student who wanted to go into industry and didn't care too much about publishing. Option B sounds way better. 

Edited by dormcat
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2 minutes ago, dormcat said:

2010-2012 is 5-7 years ago. Is it a very competitive program where PIs should be publishing tons? Is it possible she had a child around that time and slowed down her work load for a couple years? Maybe she was between grants, or between grad students? This isn't something that would concern me unless she was currently in a dry spell. And part of a PI's publication history depends on their students' work, maybe she had a particularly disinterested student who wanted to go into industry and didn't care too much about publishing. Option B sounds way better. 

Thank you very much for your reply! It is indeed a competitive program, I think. She was pretty young back then, and I'm pretty sure that it wasn't her child. Do you think it'd be offensive if I ask her directly? 

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4 hours ago, milkymamahdf said:

Thank you very much for your reply! It is indeed a competitive program, I think. She was pretty young back then, and I'm pretty sure that it wasn't her child. Do you think it'd be offensive if I ask her directly? 

I'm not sure, it really depends on her personality and your relationship with her. It could be something straightforward and professional like "I had two graduate students who didn't chase pubs" or it could be very personal (illness, death in the family, etc.). My two cents, this wouldn't even register as a con compared to working with someone you don't feel connected to/supported by in a program that is less than ideal. 

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8 hours ago, milkymamahdf said:

Hello everyone,

I need some suggestions in making a decision between school A and B:

School A

  • pros
    • The PI is more productive in pulling off publications per year. But I don't know to what extent she is enthusiastic about me since she waitlisted me in the first place
  • cons
    • The PI is more of a cognitive psychologist than a social psychologist. She studies emotion and memory, and I'm less interested in the cognition piece.
    • School A is strong in health psychology, which is not something I'm particularly interested in or wanting to pursue

School B

  • pros
    • The PI likes me a lot and has been really supportive. 
    • There is also someone there who I can collaborate with to continue my current work 
  • cons
    • There is a gap in the PI’s publication history; she doesn't have any publications from 2010-2012. And I got suspicious about that.

Any feedback would be highly appreciated! Many thanks, guys!

Are these the only factors that seem important at this point? 

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