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I'm feeling more and more pessimistic about this application cycle. Trying to avoid feeling like my soul is being crushed. How can I work to make myself a better applicant next time around? I had a very sub par undergrad GPA due to personal struggles. I took a semester off following undergrad and then jumped into a neuroscience MS program. I did extremely well (3.8 GPA) but then personal struggles came back out of the shadows to bring me down, hard. I left the program after one semester. I took a little over a year to pull myself up and become a better person. I got a job as a research assistant in 2015 at a highly regarded institution. I enrolled in a psychology MS program at a local university, completed a thesis and will be graduating this May (as of right now I have a 4.0 and I am working like hell to make sure this is my GPA when I graduate). I have one publication as first author and I am working on a few others. I have two poster presentations. Lastly, my GRE scores were horrendous. I can study and retake those but I am wondering what else can I do? I have worked so hard to overcome struggles and weaknesses of my past but I just don't know what else I can do to prove myself. :(:unsure:

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I've received 3...THREE...rejection emails from the same school in a 2 1/2 week period. Like, I get it. I'm rejected. Please no more emails. 

I recently received a rejection letter immediately following an exhausting but positive day-long interview. Because of that weird juxtaposition, I just wanted to send everyone words of encouragement a

Hey all! Thanks again for everyone who offered encouragement after I was super worried about my shaky phone interview. If you wanted an update: I received an email yesterday with an invite for the ons

6 hours ago, cindyboop said:

I'm feeling more and more pessimistic about this application cycle. Trying to avoid feeling like my soul is being crushed. How can I work to make myself a better applicant next time around? I had a very sub par undergrad GPA due to personal struggles. I took a semester off following undergrad and then jumped into a neuroscience MS program. I did extremely well (3.8 GPA) but then personal struggles came back out of the shadows to bring me down, hard. I left the program after one semester. I took a little over a year to pull myself up and become a better person. I got a job as a research assistant in 2015 at a highly regarded institution. I enrolled in a psychology MS program at a local university, completed a thesis and will be graduating this May (as of right now I have a 4.0 and I am working like hell to make sure this is my GPA when I graduate). I have one publication as first author and I am working on a few others. I have two poster presentations. Lastly, my GRE scores were horrendous. I can study and retake those but I am wondering what else can I do? I have worked so hard to overcome struggles and weaknesses of my past but I just don't know what else I can do to prove myself. :(:unsure:

I had a subpar undergrad GPA as well but a good MA GPA helped me out there. It's impressive that you have a pub and the posters are good too. Try to make sure you apply to programs with a really good research fit for the experience and interests you have. That is the most important thing, in my opinion. 

Finally, you need to get your GREs up. There are rare exceptions here and there, but you should look at what the average GRE scores for admitted students into programs are to get a sense of what you should be shooting for. A lot of schools use GRE scores as an easy screener. 

A lot of people typically have to apply more than once before getting in. Many of professors had to apply twice. It's a very competitive process and part of it is also dumb luck honestly (I know that isn't reassuring). If you don't hear back from any of your programs, take a couple of weeks or a month to just feel like crap and ruminate and all that. But then, no more of that, you get your bootstraps and start preparing for the next time you interview. Build a comprehensive plan, do research, talk to your mentors or really anyone who'll give you time, and see how you can improve every aspect of your application. 

I hope my advice didn't come off mean, I have a tendency to be blunt! 

Edited by Sherrinford
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18 hours ago, Sherrinford said:

I had a subpar undergrad GPA as well but a good MA GPA helped me out there. It's impressive that you have a pub and the posters are good too. Try to make sure you apply to programs with a really good research fit for the experience and interests you have. That is the most important thing, in my opinion. 

Finally, you need to get your GREs up. There are rare exceptions here and there, but you should look at what the average GRE scores for admitted students into programs are to get a sense of what you should be shooting for. A lot of schools use GRE scores as an easy screener. 

A lot of people typically have to apply more than once before getting in. Many of professors had to apply twice. It's a very competitive process and part of it is also dumb luck honestly (I know that isn't reassuring). If you don't hear back from any of your programs, take a couple of weeks or a month to just feel like crap and ruminate and all that. But then, no more of that, you get your bootstraps and start preparing for the next time you interview. Build a comprehensive plan, do research, talk to your mentors or really anyone who'll give you time, and see how you can improve every aspect of your application. 

I hope my advice didn't come off mean, I have a tendency to be blunt! 

You didn't come off as mean at all, I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that out for me! I was hoping my MS GPA would negate my GRE scores. Wishful thinking. I will take a month like you said and then find a more effective way to study. One of my bosses highly recommends taking a prep course, she said she wouldn't have done as well on the GRE as she did without it and she really believes her GRE scores are what gave her a ton of funding. 

It is just really discouraging though. I thought my interview went really well, I did a ton of prep work and I tried to be personable but I don't know. It is so hard to tell how things go. I guess the only thing I can do is just try harder next time around. 

Thanks again! Just having someone take the time to listen to my woes and give some great advice really made me feel better!

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For those who have been accepted to University at Buffalo's Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD program, are you planning on declining the offer? I am on the waitlist and this is my top choice program so I am hoping to hear good news soon! 

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I have been invited to an upcoming interview day. The invitation states that I will be interviewed by two faculty members. They did not specify which professors would be conducting the interviews. I was well prepared for my previous interviews but not sure what to do for this one. Do I need to familiarize myself with every professor on staff or just focus on my requested POI’s even though I’m not sure if I will be meeting with them. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you. 

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15 minutes ago, 2ndTimeHopeful said:

I have been invited to an upcoming interview day. The invitation states that I will be interviewed by two faculty members. They did not specify which professors would be conducting the interviews. I was well prepared for my previous interviews but not sure what to do for this one. Do I need to familiarize myself with every professor on staff or just focus on my requested POI’s even though I’m not sure if I will be meeting with them. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you. 

It might be helpful to skim over the broad research areas offered by that particular program; but really, focus more on calming your nerves and treat the upcoming interview as just a meaningful conversation with two people. From what you had described, it sounds like they aren't expecting you to overly prepare - just talk to them as regular people while being engaged in the conversation. Also, make sure you try to weave anything related to your career field that you're particularly passionate about, and you'll be fine ^_^

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It's been 12 days since my interview weekend with a program and I have had no word back yet about a decision. When my POI answered my thank you email she said "the faculty are set to meet and discuss candidates" and she "should be back in touch soon with a decision." I have read other posts that make it seem like longer waits = rejection/waitlist. Am I reading too much into this? I really love this program so it's hard to stay calm and not over think everything. I was the only one my POI invited out of the 6 of us interviewing, but the program usually only accepts around 2-3 students. I would appreciate any personal experiences/advice!

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On 2/22/2018 at 1:07 PM, psycphd said:

It's been 12 days since my interview weekend with a program and I have had no word back yet about a decision. When my POI answered my thank you email she said "the faculty are set to meet and discuss candidates" and she "should be back in touch soon with a decision." I have read other posts that make it seem like longer waits = rejection/waitlist. Am I reading too much into this? I really love this program so it's hard to stay calm and not over think everything. I was the only one my POI invited out of the 6 of us interviewing, but the program usually only accepts around 2-3 students. I would appreciate any personal experiences/advice!

Ugh I'm in a similar boat. It's been 9 days since my interview and I haven't heard anything. Of course, I forgot to ask about when I would hear back at the interview...            Anyone know if this is normal?? 

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1 hour ago, DevSci said:

Ugh I'm in a similar boat. It's been 9 days since my interview and I haven't heard anything. Of course, I forgot to ask about when I would hear back at the interview...            Anyone know if this is normal?? 

Does anyone know when a reasonable amount of time is to inquire about your status? I don’t want to ask too early but “soon” is so vague? It’s been 2 weeks so I feel like it’s a rejection. 

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31 minutes ago, psycphd said:

Does anyone know when a reasonable amount of time is to inquire about your status? I don’t want to ask too early but “soon” is so vague? It’s been 2 weeks so I feel like it’s a rejection. 

I’d personally just wait it out. It sucks, I know. I’m in the same position. But eventually we’ll find out. Try your best to distract yourself until then.

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5 hours ago, psycphd said:

Does anyone know when a reasonable amount of time is to inquire about your status? I don’t want to ask too early but “soon” is so vague? It’s been 2 weeks so I feel like it’s a rejection. 

Only if you’re holding an offer you’d turn down if the school you are waiting on accepts you. Otherwise, waiting is key. 

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Hi guys,

I'm an applicant for I/O program and waiting for the final decision from a university. Actually I've had two talks with professors there and I guess I can get a result this week. However, my POI contacted me just now and wanted to have one more talk with me. I'm very anxious. Have you ever met this situation before? I even don't know what he plan to talk with me and fear if it's a type of waitlist:(

 

I really want to hear your views. Good luck to everyone!

 

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8 minutes ago, PsyJessica said:

Hi guys,

I'm an applicant for I/O program and waiting for the final decision from a university. Actually I've had two talks with professors there and I guess I can get a result this week. However, my POI contacted me just now and wanted to have one more talk with me. I'm very anxious. Have you ever met this situation before? I even don't know what he plan to talk with me and fear if it's a type of waitlist:(

 

I really want to hear your views. Good luck to everyone!

 

I bet he's going to give you an offer.

 

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4 minutes ago, psych0 said:

I bet he's going to give you an offer.

 

Really? I hope so but he didn't mention the admission and the intention of the talk in the email, which may be a little bit strange. Anyway fingers crossed...Thanks for your kind reply and good luck to you, too!

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Also... if anyone hears anything about the University of Pittsburgh (clinical, social, developmental, health, etc.), please let me know! Pitt's departments seemed pretty entangled with each other, so I imagine admissions for those might come all at once. 

Edited by corbeau
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I thought everyone here would like this:

Somone on Reddit estimated decision timelines based on GradCafe data. For each university and program you will find three graphs:

  • Decision timeline as a cumulative sum of decisions (accept, reject, interview, waitlist) as a function of time between Jan 1 and May 1 for the last five years combined.
  • Boxplots of GRE Q and GRE V for people who reported both scores.
  • Histogram of GPAs (from 2.5 to 4.0 with 0.1 step).

https://www.reddit.com/r/gradadmissions/comments/7srxxy/decision_timelines_for_particular_universities/

 

Brilliant!

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