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So you want to go to grad school?
Future grad students of the world unite!
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Hey! Are people still active here?

I'm applying to art history masters programs this year and I'm struggling to write my statement of purpose.

I am trying to weave my undergraduate studies in anthropology with my art history coursework and internship at an art institution. I feel pretty insecure about justifying the discipline switch, and have ended up dedicating a lot of copy to this in my drafts.

I am also having trouble incorporating my future research interests and their relationship to my past study. I am fairly eclectic. My main goal for graduate school is to force myself to focus and develop rigorous research practices.

If there are people still using this thread I will post a draft of my SOP for feedback!
6th-Jul-2016 02:00 pm - Apply to Cybersecurity

Hello. Please Help Me.

I Hope Apply To PhD. In Cybersecurity and I I need to choose between Nova Southeastern University and Capitol Technology University. If you know these programs which of This recommend Me and why?



It took me five years after I joined the Navy, to realise what years of dwelling upon the likes of Mutiny on the Bounty and Moby Dick inspired me towards, wasn’t really the rigours of life at sea, but a deep and lasting love for literature. It has been my diligent endeavour thereon, to pursue the subject as diligently and forthrightly as possible. Of course, knowledge or curiosity can’t be stagnated, neither can the mind. I majored in English followed by Psychology, while fulfilling the challenges arising from my profession and simultaneously negotiating, improvising, balancing the two disparate worlds of literature and naval warfare, that my passion and profession placed me in. It took me a while to see how one profoundly affected the other. Not surprisingly, my first Masters dissertation was a sustained argument involving the application of Roland Barthes’ principles of authorial autonomy to the political and military autobiography. My second Masters’ thesis was an attempt to study mental illnesses, with special emphasis on bipolar disorder and infanticide, through their representations in the 19th Century novel. It was fascinating to conduct an interdisciplinary study of a ‘difficult’ mental condition ie bipolar disorder, that had transformed as much in its therapeutic approaches as it had in its representation in the the novel. Indeed, one thing does affect the other.

I was fortunate to be recognised within the Navy for my academic excellence. Post my initial on-field stint, I was entrusted with academic responsibilities at the prestigious Centre of Excellence in Ethics, Leadership and Behavioural Studies in 2013. This is the flagship organisation of the Navy imparting ethics & leadership training to officers from a wide spectrum of seniorities and nationalities. My passion had finally become my profession. I was given charge of the Department of Ethics Studies after being awarded the prestigious United Services Institute Gold Medal for my research paper on military ethics. My paper argued against the existing ethics training methodologies and strongly suggested the inclusion of critical reading of the war novel and film appreciation in the syllabus. It seemed then that I would keep coming back to reading and teaching English. From here on, my research/teaching areas included not only moral philosophy, ethics, literature, military history, behavioural studies but pedagogy and film studies as well.

In my role as an instructor I innovatively used novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse 5, and films such as Paths of Glory and Apocalypse Now, to teach military ethics, morality and the complexities of war/conflict/nationhood. It was also a learning experience for me that helped me hone my own opinions, views and criticisms. Based on a paper “Kanhoji Angrey and His Motivations” presented during the prestigious Annual Maritime History Society seminar in 2013, I began a course on ‘Critiquing Military History through the Biography’, wherein I used biographies as an instrument to investigate and critique historical truths and fictions related to war/conflicts, foregrounding the ethical dimension of ‘history making’. Through all of this, my own understanding of the politics of nationhood, patriotism and the ‘creation of history’ and how it is deeply linked to the production and consumption of literature and film underwent a paradigm shift.

I have authored three major publications for the Navy – A Guidebook on Understanding Gender (2013), A Guidebook on Military Ethics (2014) and The Leadership Doctrine (2015). At a fundamental level, authoring three book-length publications helped me appreciate the complexities of researching from primary and secondary sources, organising vast amounts of disparate information/data into coherent parts and write about them in a critical, logical and sustained manner. Even though my work on Leadership Doctrine earned me a commendation award by the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, I consider the Guidebook on Gender to be the most interesting as it was a first of its kind, detailed study of participation of women in post-Partition conflicts, especially in the War of 1971 and the Naxalite movement. I used primary sources such as interviews and first-hand letters and secondary sources such as testimonials, government documents and monographs to construct a cogent historical narrative abounding in multiple perspectives. Writing the document brought me face to face with the mammoth complexities and dilemmas of ‘writing history’, taking me into the realm of personal narratives that often lie concealed between the folds of historical fictions and fictional histories.

Having managed to pursue my academic aspirations with the kind of diligence and alacrity I have, I strongly feel I am at a juncture to pursue a PhD. NYU, in view of its faculty, its eclectic course curriculum and course work and its interdisciplinary approach to research figures prominently on the choice of schools I see myself pursuing my further studies. I was glad to know that Professors of the stature of Gayatri Sundar Rajan and Toral Gajarawala are part of NYU’s faculty. I came across Professor Rajan’s work, The Scandal of the State: Women, Law and Citizenship in India while researching for the handbook in Gender. Furthermore, the arguments she posited have found deep reverberations in my own critical understanding of gender in context of the handbook. Further, Professor Toral’s Fictional Murder and Other Descriptive Deaths was a highly helpful guide while I was writing my own essay on “Death, dying and bereavement in the Post Colonial Novel”. I opine their readings in post-coloniality, the relationship between aesthetics and politics and gender will make my experience at NYU a fruitful and challenging one.

Although I am aware that it may be too soon to ‘arrive’ at a firm research topic, I would also attempt to explain it, in brief. There has been a stark variance in the methods/extent of representation that the Indian Armed Forces finds in Indian Literature as compared to the extent of representation it finds in Indian Cinema. This has intrigued me. Furthermore, having had closely interacted with the Armed Forces of other countries, and seen the manner in which their Armed Forces are/have been represented in their literatures (and this I say, specifically in respect to America, France and Pakistan), makes me wonder at the reasons – psychological, political, aesthetic and literary – that may be precipitating a difference in regard to India. In simple words, it would be my endeavour to engage with the question – Does the Literature of a country bear a moral responsibility to its Armed Forces, in regard to representation, just as the Armed Forces bear unlimited moral and legal responsibility to protect? I shall endeavour to explore the limits of nationhood and the politics of representation in the process.

It is my endeavour to continue to pursue my aspirations with the same diligence I have been for so long. I look forward to doing the same in a challenging and enriching environment provided at NYU.
royal tenenbaums watercolor

Hello all,

I am searching for a good Masters program in women's studies/gender studies program in the UK. I heard the program in SOAS and Lancaster University are good, but would like to checkout others as well. I would appreciate it if you can recommend me a program too.

Thanks in advance

17th-Feb-2015 06:29 pm - Wait Listed at Chicago Loyola
faith shock
Hi all,

was really excited to log in and see I was wait listed at Loyola University Chicago for their master's in public history (I've got a bad case if impostor syndrome, despite doing hardcore academic research for the last 4 years at my job, and being a strong writer. Was expecting rejections right away!)

Anyway, I'm curious if anyone else has gone through this with the same program? I already emailed to reiterate my interest, and was emailed right back about the large number of applicants, and the small class they are accepting. What do you all think this means for any opportunities in funding?

Also, they're not my first choice, but it'd be great to go. Any tips on how to not get too anxious during this process? I hadn't even considered being wait listed as a possibility, to be honest! I thought I'd get it, or I wouldn't.
5th-Dec-2014 06:12 pm - School visit -- what should I ask?
Hey, everyone. I've been here every once in a great while, but I'm finally reaching "go" time so far as getting into a program is concerned.

I'm going to apply to a health information management curriculum that's almost entirely online (it's an accredited program by CAHIIM, which is THE accrediting board in the field, so it's not a diploma mill or anything). I'm trying to schedule a visit to the school in order to speak with admissions, financial aid, and a professor. I have a couple of questions of my own, but I'd like to ask what questions you either did ask or wished you'd asked when you applied to graduate school.
Hi guys, I'm currently still in the early stages of applying (procrastination, eek) and wanted to get any insight possible. I'm applying to 8 terminal Master's psych programs, mostly MFT with a couple counseling ones. (If you're interested: Northwestern, Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois, SDSU, USD, Chapman, Thomas Jefferson, East Carolina)

My question is: how similar to a PhD SoP should my statement be? Since mine would be a clinical-based program, not research, should I even bring research up? I've done some, and it's obviously on my vita, but it's in a different psych area. I assume related internships would be more important. Also, should I mention current faculty that have similar interests/a good fit as is often suggested to PhDs, or forget it since I won't be doing research with them anyway?

Aside from that, I think I mostly know what I'm doing (maybe). It's just very difficult to find advice for non-research-based programs. Any insight is welcome, thank you!!
I have a bunch of questions, but a major one is about the lack of research experience in my background.

I'm applying for a MFA in design after a very long time out of school.  I took a liberal arts program, so there weren't necessarily labs, studios or the chance to work with professors.  I've written some undergrad papers that are directly related to my topic that I'm applying to in grad school, but worry that that lack of formal research in a lab or with a professor can affect my candidancy, and don't have a way to really include those papers in my application.  I did 2 professional certicates as well, but again, not really research oriented per se - or only specific to one very practice 'how you do usability testing' type topic, so the 'research' was more 'I created this project for an exercise' and not in depth papers.

I've mentioned one of the longer papers I wrote in undergrad in my Statement of Purpose, but probably silly to include it in my porfolio.  I've written reports as a professional in my field for clients, but don't know of a way to include those in a portfolio to demonstrate that I've synthesized my 'research' (i.e. user research) and created analysis out of it - just not in an academic setting.  The program I'm applying to seems to do a mix - lots of research, but students are evaluated on shorter projects, and the written thesis is not a lengthy one.

Any ideas? How did you address the lack of research as an undergrad? I hear that you're not supposed to address gaps, but other people also say you need to mention what you'll do to address an area where you haven't done something.
2nd-Sep-2014 07:38 pm - Universities for an MA in English
young boris
Good day!

I'm a Speech Communication major from the Philippines, and I'm planning to pursue an MA in English in my university, or in the US or UK. I'm interested in 20th Century American Literature, Modern British Literature, Science Fiction, and Literary Theory. Can you suggest universities that specialize in these areas?

Thank you so much!
9th-Aug-2014 06:36 pm - Major vs Cumulative GPA
Hi all,
It's been a while since I've posted. I just had a question about applying to grad programs in psychology. I'm planning on applying to MA Counseling Psychology or PhD Counselling Psychology/Clinical Psychology programs in the future. However, I realize that there is a bit of discrepancy between my major and cumulative gpa. My overall CGPA is a 3.62, but my major GPA (psychology) and last two years GPA is 3.5! Usually, people have a high gpa in their major and/or last two years compared to their CGPA, so I'm wondering if this may present a red flag to admission committees?

I am considering other options such as socio-behavioural sciences, public health or health policy, so I'm wondering if my marks will pose a red flag for admission to those types of programs as well?
17th-Feb-2014 11:05 am - Trying to choose
Hey all,

Posting again.

I've decided to keep my writing as a hobby for now, and if I do consider it as a career, I will hold off on an MFA. That being said, I have decided I'd really like to go to graduate school to specialize my interests and marine and environmental policy.

My problem is this. I have been accepted for fall 2014 into the University of Washington's Masters of Marine Affairs, which has been a top school choice of mine for awhile. Besides the fact that I love Seattle and half my friends live there, it's perfectly focused on combining my interests in marine conservation with policy, communication, research, and activism. They're well-funded with excellent faculty, classes, and travel opportunities. I could go on if you'd like.

I have also been accepted into the University of Tasmania's Masters in Environmental Management. The reason I applied for this is because I am living there now on a Working Holiday Visa because my boyfriend is Tasmanian. I have been here for two months, unable to find decent employment, and when I visited the school, I thought I'd apply because the faculty were doing research that aligned with my interests. The problem is that I have to pay my tuition and change my work visa to my student visa within the week because their classes start on February 26.

My first choice is to defer from Tasmania and continue to apply to my other graduate school choices (still want to hear if I get accepted from another top choice of mine, Monterey Institute for International Studies, which is due on March 1.)

Although it's true my boyfriend living here is a huge draw, I also love this place and am very interested in its environmental issues. Ideally, I would get my master's in Marine Affairs and then, if I wanted to, I'd go to Tasmania for my phD because what I would get to research there interests me more than the classes and master's type work. I don't know as much about UTAS as UW because they aren't as open with what goes on there during their year and a half degree. Their website is worse, and they can't give me e-mails for any of the students who graduated there. I also apparently cannot sit in on classes until I have paid, so that option may be out as well.

Nevertheless, if I did go there, I'd have a master's degree, a master's thesis, and a professional placement all under my belt by June 2015. And I would get to stay with my partner and make this place more of my home.

If I do go to UW, my boyfriend said he would eventually chase me to the states, and we would continue our relationship, but of course it wouldn't be ideal.

I'm 24 and know I should be just thinking about my career and not my love life, but he is very important to me, and it's not like going to UTAS would throw away my life, but a master's degree is a lot of investment financially and emotionally so I don't want to make a mistake.

I should also say that financially both are equal or it is not an issue at this time.

Any advice?
31st-Jan-2014 01:40 pm - Advice on writing sample?
Hey, so I'm looking to go back to school and apply to some grad programs. I am concerned because I do not have a writing sample. Sadly, all my final year writings disappeared in a computer death. It's been awhile since I wrote anything in a serious academic manner and am worried about crafting a writing sample from scratch.

I have some of my sophomore year writings, which are, well, sophomoric, but I suppose I could take one of those and tweak it. I'm just unsure what direction to take my writing.

I have a B.A. in philosophy and want to go back for that, though I have been working in a different (if vaguely related) field.

So, fellow applicants, what do you suggest? Start fresh with something or tweak a weak piece of writing?
Tobias Fabulous
Hi there!

I have one letter-writer who does everything last minute in terms of submission. When I worked for him as a researcher, everything we submitted was done last minute.

He agreed to write me a LOR but getting him to submit it has been a nightmare. I have read that the sooner you submit your apps, the better your odds are, but this guy is the only thing holding me back from submitting my application. And he's a crabby guy, who is difficult to deal with. How do I ask him tactfully to submit the letter when I send the links out?


Hey all,

I've thought about a lot since last time I posted in here and have accepted my love and passion for creative writing. I don't think I mentioned this in the last post but ever since I discovered this, I've tried to figure out what to do about it. I've found one school In Seattle called antioch university which has an ma program in environment and community and a creative project focus instead of a thesis with experimental, hands on focus.

So that was awesome but then I discovered chatham in Pittsburgh, which has an mfa in environmental writing. You can also concentrate in travel writing and it has a social justice component where they teach creative writing to prisoners.

I'm honestly so excited about this program I could cry. It's everything I truly want. A little bit of background about me and why this is so awesome: I've been writing since before i could actually read. I've published three young adult travel novels with a small company and done fairly well. I feel the urge to write all the time and love non fiction writing, nature writing, and young adult fiction (all of which you can focus on there). I care about alerting people to climate change and social justice issues and always thought I'd be best at this through writing stories. My heroes all are people in this field.

Now here is the risk of me sounding incredibly spoiled but money is NOT an issue with me so going here or anywhere is never going to be a waste of money.

I've been feeling good about it but my friend just laughed in my face and exclaimed what a waste of money that would be when I hesitantly told her. She said the job market was just too shitty.

I guess it could be a waste but honestly, I've been visiting those universities like you all said and I just haven't felt like any except antioch were what I wanted. Chatham takes it a step further.

This is honestly my dream, but I don't want to be stuck writing articles for an airplane magazine. Many of these alumni are pioneers in art social justice programs, published writers, and teachers.

At the same time, I don't care what anyone says. At the other time, my boyfriend and one of my best friends assured me it wasn't a career killer and go for it if you truly want it

I don't know if my mind won't change In 20 days or if I'll even get in, but I was wondering what you all think?

Should i listen to my "practical" friend or should I follow my dream? Or would it be best just to pursue something practical and write on the side? Hint: I know what I WANT to do but maybe I'm living in the clouds.


Read more...Collapse )

17th-Oct-2013 09:53 pm - A Frantic Psychology Student
Hi all,

My first time writing! Actually, my first livejournal post, ever... I came across this blog and think it's awesome. I am currently a senior Psychology major and Spanish minor at a small liberal arts school, applying to APA-accredited Clinical Psychology PhD programs this fall. A lot of the pages I've been reading have discussed the upside of waiting a few years, but I'm applying anyways in the chance that things work out (fingers crossed). I really, really don't want to take time off if I don't have to. I guess I'm basically your average overachiever that is frantically worrying that what I've done thus far as an undergrad is not nearly enough for admission to a highly competitive grad program (although I've practically killed myself to get ahead after declaring Psychology late). But anyways... I truthfully don't know if I have a shot, so that's why I'm here. Can anyone shed some light on this based on your own experiences, and from looking at my stats and experience thus far below? Would taking time off be beneficial for me before applying next year? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So here's my stats as of right now. I have a cum. GPA of 3.73, a Psychology GPA of 3.88, am in Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psych), and am currently doing an Independent Study (IS) with one of my professors. I'm also the editor for my school's Psych department newsletter. I've done four volunteer placements/internships this year alone- varying between research internships and clinical volunteerism in inpatient units and hospitals. I did two at the same time this summer. Beyond my IS I've also done two other research studies with other students, and am planning to publish my IS this spring (hopefully). That would be my first publication.

My GRE scores are, eh,... 53% verbal and 57% quantitative I believe with a 4.5 in writing. Not great, and I'm not happy about them, but frankly I don't have the money or the time to take them again. In terms of applying, I have several schools in mind and am planning to email the faculty members I'm interested in to start building rapport ASAP. I'm also in the process of my personal statements- I'm trying to incorporate in the theme of 'taking initiative' as my token, basically since I've pushed myself like crazy and tried hard to make myself a suitable candidate despite declaring pretty much halfway through undergraduate (advice on this idea for a statement is appreciated as well).

I guess it sounds like I have a lot going on when I finally start putting it into words, but I'm still wary to think that my application will even be competitive, since I really don't know what kinds of applicants I'm up against. The programs I'm looking at generally take 10 people, and receive roughly 300 applications >:(. Any advice based on past Clinical Psych PhD experiences? Critiques? Help? Would all be greatly appreciated :) Thanks!

Hi all,

This is my first post in this comm! I'm a recent graduate with a BA in Psychology and I am currently applying for Masters in Counselling Psychology programs. I think my Statement of Intent is finally at the "ready to be torn to shreds by everyone with input" stage of writing, so I'd like to put it forward here for review. :) I would truly appreciate your feedback and comments, so if you get a chance, please let me know what you think.

Here is the prompt from the school that this is written for: "Please provide a two-page statement of intent indicating general areas of research and applied interest, previous academic and practical activity, and plans upon graduation."

Statement under the cutCollapse )

12th-Oct-2013 06:17 pm - A few questions
Hi all,

This is my first post here (or anywhere). I recently graduated from Reed College and am busy applying to graduate schools. My questions are:

1) How many graduate schools should I apply to? I know a few that I'd like to apply to, but not sure if I need to find more.

2) How many professors should I contact at each institution I'm applying to?

3) How much does a personal statement need to be customized to an individual program?

4) Can anyone suggest a few good plant genomics programs?

Thank you all in advance for the help.
10th-Oct-2013 04:38 pm - introduction
HI Guys

my name is ariyona Horton, but you can call me Ari. im 14 years old and in highschool.
I jus have a few questions and I wonder if u can help me graduate. okay so um.....

1. if the teachers want us to graduate then why we don't get books?

2. when it comes to English, how do u understand it without txtbooks?

3. I just don't understand world history at all.

im a freshman so its kinda confusing to me .
30th-Sep-2013 11:09 am(no subject)
Hi guys!

I've never posted here before, so here goes: but I'm 25 and I'm applying to both JD and PhD programs, preferably joint JD-PhDs. Don't try to talk me out of this, this is truly what I want.

Now in some respects I'm quite lucky. I went to Cornell University for undergrad and have amazing professors who are very well respected in their fields, who I get along with really well, and who will write me letters of recommendation. Also, on my last practice LSAT, I scored a 177. I'm taking the LSATs this Saturday, so hopefully I'll score similarly. Likewise, I have a possible "in" at one of the tippy top law schools, which I feel like a spoiled whatever admitting, but I do know that the dean of that particular law school will be taking a "personal" look at my application, so here's to hoping.

Now here's the respects in which I'm not lucky: I didn't do amazingly well in undergrad. I had a 3.43 overall GPA and a 3.63 departmental GPA. However, I did go to Cornell and I know that we're known (rightfully) for grade deflation, so I'm hoping that this will help? Also, I haven't taken the GREs yet, but I heard that they're almost more of a formality for the programs to which I'm applying? I mean, I usually test well so I'm not super worried about them, I'm signing up to take then November 15th, and hoping to have out my applications by December 1st.

Here's what I'd like to do: I want to do research on topics in political economy and political and economic theory. I'm really interested in topics like the paradox of sovereignty, or the works of Giorgio Agamben and the relationships between elements of ontology, sovereignty and dehumanization. I'm also quite interested in legal history and jurisprudence. I've always wanted to be a professor, but I would also like to be able to work for think tanks, work as a practicing attorney for a bit in intellectual property rights and/or non-profit work and/or public interest work, but ultimately I want to publish and teach. I think that the JD will really complement the types of research that I want to do academically and also allow me to practice in fields that I also think will help inform me more on the topics that I want to research.

Here's my question: does anyone know of PhD programs that would match up well with these interests in political economy and theory and that are doable with my GPA? Trust me I have a bunch picked out right now, but I want to see if I'm overlooking anything that could be really quite perfect. And of course it's okay if it's not a joint JD-PhD. Depending on the strength or areas of focus of the PhD, I'd be willing to forgo the JD. However, I've been doing quite well on my practice LSATs and I know that with a top law school JD, I can go straight into academia, or nearly straight into academia, with just the JD. So I'm fine with also finding other JD programs that are known for eventually being "feeders" into academia or have strong theoretical coursework. Does anybody have any ideas for which other law schools aside from the top 3 are helpful for pursuing a career of legal scholarship?

Also, two last things: 1) I know I didn't specify a department, but that's because what I want to research is so interdisciplinary. For example, University of Arizona has a program that I love in which you work towards a joint JD-PhD with the PhD in philosophy, particularly political philosophy, headed by an amazing political philosopher who essentially does the type of life work that I want to do. Then Georgetown has a joint JD-PhD whereby the PhD that I would want to apply for is in Government. So it seems to me less about the particular discipline and more about which department has the appropriate faculty and resources. 2) I'm from NYC and would prefer to not go to school in NYC. Aside from that, I'm fine with absolutely anywhere in the country or even abroad. Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the UK could all be possibilities for the right program.
29th-Sep-2013 02:05 pm - Graduate school concerns

I am a 24-year old American female with some grad school questions. I'll try to keep it short because my mind is reeling and I have so much to think about.
Some background: I graduated in 2012 with a BA in Environmental Studies and Sociology from a small liberal arts college. I want to continue going in that direction, with some more practical applications towards real world skills, such as improved non-profit, management skills and basically just skills that would allow me to become a leader in the environmental/nonprofit field. I have a particular passion for empowering communities and learning/teaching/improving aquatic environments, specifically oceans and rivers. I also would love to focus on climate change as well.

A year ago, I was traveling/completing an internship in Tasmania and I met this awesome guy there. Through a long distance relationship, we've been dating a bit over a year now, and we mean a lot to each other. I'm going back there in December on a work visa, where I just want to build our relationship, while I continue to volunteer and find some part time work there and develop my resume/help out with climate-environmental issues. Not only do I love my boyfriend, I really do love it there and could see myself making a life there. Besides my friends and just natural attachments to my home, I don't mind becoming an ex-pat in the future, as most of my friends are scattered across the country anyway.

However, I am an only child and my father is pressuring me to go graduate school ASAP as he believes I will be screwed if I don't go IMMEDIATELY. I am currently an AmeriCorps volunteer with two months left at an estuarine research reserve where I've been coordinating internship programs. So, yes, I would like to go eventually, but I feel like I need to get my personal life straightened out, as well as get a better idea of where I'd like to go. Not to mention, my mother passed away 2 1/2 years ago, and it's taken me awhile to recover from that. I've had some severe anxiety issues in the past year and am only now recovering.

I'm not sure exactly how to think about graduate school. I don't want to go into research as a career field, but I wouldn't mind doing it during graduate school. So I'll end this rant with three main questions:

Questions under cutCollapse )

Any more suggestions regarding graduate schools based on what I've told you about me or general life advice would be great :p

19th-Aug-2013 11:25 pm - Suggestions on improving SOP
Hi there. This is my first post here. Please make some suggestions so that i can improve my statement of purpose.

A baby is born in the middle of the night in a small rural clinic. The midwife's work is lit by a
rusty kerosene lamp that belches fumes but gives the light she needs. The baby's first breath
takes in the fumes. But there is a better way: the electricity that we take for granted is for many
a miracle that can transform lives. Yet some 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity
today. A stiff challenge for engineers indeed.
We cannot look forward into the future without thinking of access to energy. Energy is a means
to many ends. It makes progress possible across countless fields, schools, health clinics, water
pumps and irrigation systems among them. It is important to find ways to meet energy needs
because otherwise progress is stymied. And it is crucial to do it in ways that do not worsen our
environmental problems or rob resources from future generations. That is where my
motivation for becoming an electrical engineer comes from.
Keeping up with my inspiration, I completed my B.Sc.Engg.(Electrical and Electronic) from
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET) in April 2012, obtaining a
cumulative GPA of 3.53/4.00.
I would like to pursue my Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the fields
of energy systems, preferably power system protection, operation and control and sustainable
energy systems.
Being a student at the top ranked engineering school of my country, I have constantly felt the
urge to make myself better. It is true that sometimes I have failed to maintain good grades,
especially at the initial stage. It has only motivated me to work even harder. I feel that my
undergraduate curriculum have given me enough exposure to various fields of research and I
have chosen the field for which I have both an aptitude as well as a liking. Having always been
mesmerized by power grids and transmission lines, I chose Power as my undergraduate major.
My thesis was titled “Cost Analysis of Solar Wind Base Hybrid System for A Remote Tourist
Spot and Design of a Sample Small-capacity wind turbine” . It included a feasibility study of
remote locations of the country which are continuously gaining popularity as tourist spots. Due
to the isolation, however, power transmission through grid at those spots is infeasible. Me
along with my group attempted to suggest a cost-effective hybrid sustainable energy based
system which would ensure power supply at those spots, at least to a certain extent. We
travelled to certain parts of the country to collect required data by ourselves.
Having worked at the factory of the biggest power engineering company in Bangladesh has
provided me with a direct insight into the functioning of a power system. A hands-on
experience on power system protection and control is something noteworthy. I have been
supervising the production of switchgear equipments which promptly find their place in power
grids nationwide.
I believe that a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering will not only enhance
my knowledge but also prepare me to propel through the obstacles in my professional career as
an engineer. At this age of competition, everyone is trying to be one step ahead, and a Master’s
Degree from ___ is the next stepping stone that I personally am looking forward to, to keep
myself in the fray. The vision and the focus of research in energy systems of the ECE
Department has instilled a strong sense of belief in me that I can actually augment my
understanding in the aforementioned field of study, with due help from faculties and fellow
Hello. I've watched this community for a while, but I figured I'd join and ask some questions.

Under the cut.Collapse )
14th-Aug-2013 11:24 pm - Master of Arts in Teaching?
This is my first post to this community!
I am interested in teaching as a career and I've been searching around the web for programs that look like they might be a good fit.  I would like to apply to a Master of Arts in Teaching program. The only issue is that I'm interested in teaching English but my bachelor's degree is not in English...Is this a problem or are there universities which will still accept me? If not, does anyone have any suggestions?
24th-Jul-2013 02:25 pm - GRE personalization
Almost Famous
Heyyo all you good people! I've taken the GRE once and was pretty satisfied with my Verbal and QR scores. The writing section, however, left some to be desired. I want to retake the GRE again, but only the writing section. Is that a possibility, or do I have to do the entire thing all over again?

PS I've searched all over the ETS site and done a bunch of searches but haven't been able to find anything, so any help is certainly much appreciated.
Hi all. I only decided to go for ph. D in English this June. I've done nothing for the application besides asking my MA teachers for help and registered for a GRE test on Aug 31. Yesterday, I did the practice test of GRE in English Lit and found that I am disastrously under-prepared for the test. Originally, my plan is to apply this December and start next September, but now it seems unlikely that with this rushed schedule, I'll end with excellent scores on both GRE tests and other required documents needed in the application. Understanding this situation, would you suggest that I still this December or use the year to prepare myself better for the 2014 application?
Hi there, I'm planning on taking the GRE writing next Thursday, and I was wondering what is considered an acceptable score for a Ph.D philosophy program. As it stands now, I'll score well in math and verbal, but the writing section is making me a bit anxious. I've heard 4.5 is a cut off. Has anyone in this community applied to Ph.D programs in philosophy, and, if so, does anyone have any idea of what is considered fine/acceptable/threshold? How much weight is put on the writing section? Thanks for any info!
royal tenenbaums watercolor
Hi all.
I am a journalism graduate and I'm interested to work as a feminist clinical psychoanalyst to treat women victims of violence. Are there good schools for this? I browsed the program at York - the psychology program there works with the Feminist Centre. I was planning to take this program OR do a Master's in women's studies and then take a Master's in psychology. What do you think? FYI, I am interested in other anti-oppression frameworks as well, such as anti-racism and disability rights. In the meantime, I am in between jobs and I was thinking of going to the UK to be a psychiatric aide (to assess whether mental health is actually the field for me). Input would be much appreciated.
7th-Jun-2013 10:35 pm(no subject)
faith shock
How have you/would you address the need for funding for an MLS in an SOP?

I work in a place now that I thought would provide more institutional support, if not funding/opportunities to find funding, than it has. I've also been taking a non-matriculated class in library science at CUNY-Queens College taught by someone a million years old who spent the entire semester bitching about the internet. Queens COllege also recently lost its accreditation. These things have sort of made me disillusioned with pursuing a graduate degree, but I'm wondering if I should push past that.

I'm looking at UAlbany's MSIS program and, while I know funding at a master's level, especially for a master's in library science, is severely limited...I know I absolutely would not be able to pursue the degree without significant support.

I work now in an archive/research institution dealing with a Latin@ diaspora. I plan to continue work in this direction and believe there's a severe lack of Latin@/Spanish-speaking librarians. People have told me to write about this in an SOP as that would be a good push towards getting funding. I am wondering how does one address the need for tuition funding as a determining factor in an SOP?

Thanks, and sorry if this was ramble-y!
4th-Jun-2013 03:55 pm - MSIS at U Albany
faith shock
Is anyone currently enrolled in/has anyone completed the MSIS program at U Albany and would be willing to talk about their experiences? I'm looking into the program and have some school/area-specific questions. Thanks so much.
I have a question about how people apply to doctoral programs while they are in a master's program without taking a year or more off.
Cause let's say you're in a 1 year master's program that begins in September. And most PhD apps are due December 1. You can't possibly ask your professors who you've barely gotten to know in a couple of months, and probably barely even submitted anything to get graded, to write you a letter of recommendation for those applications, right? And furthermore, you can't really write much about your master's degree experience or thesis in your SOP since you only just started your degree? So basically, I guess my question is, if you're doing a 1-year MA do most people apply the following year
& take a gap year (a year wasted)? Or am I missing something here. Cause the only other thing I thought about was to get undergrad profs to write the LORs, but I don't think they would like it if you're in a MA program-that would look weird, right or no?
When I first applied for financial aid, I wrote that I Was going to be staying on campus. However, I now have to commute. Do I have to file my FAFSA again or is it okay to just take out the part of the loan that isn't for housing and decline the amount that's for housing?

I've been calling and emailing the school and FAFSA for one week and it has gotten me nowhere.

1st-Apr-2013 10:22 pm - I Need Help
Sherlock Smoking
Hi guys!
I'm finishing up my undergrad in psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and due to some mental health problems that have pushed me back a bit and caused me to get behind, I have just now decided that I want to go to graduate school. The semester before I graduate.

Ridiculous, I know.

Here's my thing: I'm a huge mental health advocate -- that's what I'm most passionate about. Also, I want to write. I have a journalism background, and what I want to do is maintain my blog on mental illness professionally, and maybe have my own column or something for an organization such as NAMI, DBSA, or AFSP, and do some freelance work, etc. etc.

I've been looking into programs in my state (Virginia) because I can't afford out-of-state tuition, and so far, from what I can tell, the program that seems best for me is the MA in English with the focus in Writing & Rhetoric.

Does this sound right? Would you maybe lean more towards the Journalism degree? I feel overwhelmed by everything, I'm kind of stuck, and I don't know where to look!
23rd-Mar-2013 09:10 am - Thanks everyone!
Thank you guys for helping me throughout my application process! I applied to 3 MSW programs (didn't finish applying to a fourth because I already got an acceptance letter for a school) and have decided to go to NYU :) hoping i get a lot of financial aid but i have to wait to hear about that!
Hi all-Just wanted to get your opinions on a situation, if you don't mind: If you are in a MA program and want to continue and do the PhD there, and when it's time to apply for the PhD you decide to ask for letters of recommendations from your current professors who teach there, is it a bad idea to also ask them for letters for other schools too? Or will that look bad? Will it look like you're considering going elsewhere, when really you're just applying elsewhere as a back up plan just in case you don't get in (cause it's a competitive program and just cause you're a MA student doesn't mean you're automatically accepted into the PhD program)?

Or should you only ask the professors for letters for the current school, and if you don't get accepted, wait until the following year and ask them again and apply to other schools/back up schools, even though you'll have a whole year wasted? What do you all think?
I'm a 4th year senior (going to take a lap year)  who is struggling to get over an episode of depression.  So far, my college transcripts have shown that I am a good student and that I have mostly A's and B's and my overall grade point average right now is an A-.
However, I messed up last winter semester and ended up getting D's in two courses which I had to retake in summer school (got an A and B) and unfortunately due to issues of depression (again), I recently failed a midterm and I am probably going to end up with a C in that class. My major is psychology and the courses that I did badly on were in my major.

I'm worried about how this is going to look on my transcript when I apply for graduate school in the future because they are going to see TWO winter semesters where I took certain courses and did poorly in them. I am going to do another summer session this year (to catch up on courses that I haven't taken yet and to retake this C), but I'm not sure if graduate schools will see this as a red flag.

Does anyone know if my transcripts will get extra scrutinized because of this or am I worrying about nothing? I want to apply to graduate programs in both clinical psychology and/or human development and family studies so I'm feeling anxious about applying in a year or two. 
21st-Jan-2013 11:50 am - FAFSA and enrollment dates
Okay, so I've gathered that I need to file my FAFSA as soon as humanly possible (I'm just waiting on my W2 from my last job, which will hopefully be here by the end of the month), but it occurs to me that I might have a problem given my intended enrollment date.

The majority of the programs I'm applying to (elementary/special education) offer a summer start date; some flat-out require it. This is fine with me, but it seems it might not be fine with FAFSA, which considers starting in, say, June 2013, to be part of the 2012-13 school year, for which financial aid has presumably been exhausted at this point. Correct?

The FAFSA FAQs suggested calling programs to discuss for which academic year I should submit, which I intend to do this week, but I'm just wondering if anyone can shed some light on this matter or share any personal experience. Should I be deeply concerned about not being able to pay for my first semester of school? Is there some key piece of information about this that I'm missing?

I was fortunate enough to not have to deal with financial aid as an undergraduate, so this is new and anxiety-producing territory for me. Thanks in advance for any insight!
20th-Jan-2013 02:35 pm - Grad Application Resume
Does anyone know of any websites, books or possible templates that would help assist me in tightening up my resume for applications?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
17th-Jan-2013 09:44 pm - New school for social research
Anyone know how competitive entry to the new school for social research is? particularly for a post-grad in economics. I was looking into it and I like a lot of their research areas and thought it would be a good alternative to Columbia which I figure a long shot.

Also on a side note does anyone know of a good summer course in economics? Diploma/credit at undergrad level? Want to do something useful over the summer before grad school.
I recently heard of someone who was thinking of sending out a thank you card to the college that accepted them upon receiving their acceptance letter, cause they got accepted into a program with massive funding and I never heard of that. Is that common?
Okay. I'm freaking out. I already submitted my essay, and now I can't change it. While revising, in the first paragraph, I stated which two professors I was excited to work with and why, and in the third paragraph, I did the same thing. One professor in the third paragraph was the same, but the other professor was different. I know I could have messed up worse, but who wants to mess up at all in an essay?!!!

I revised my essay, and though I had it revised by others (thank you everyone on here for helping), I made changes and did a quick skim and submitted it. Do you think the admissions committee will hold this against me?

1st-Jan-2013 01:32 am - University of London Online
I'm very interested in the University of London's online masters program in international development. Has anyone heard anything about it or have any experience with it? Particularly with how valuable it might be in getting a job.
Thanks and happy New Years!

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

30th-Dec-2012 11:33 pm - Submitting unsolicited material
fields of gold
What's the generally accepted view on this?

I was caught off-guard when I realized one of my programs did not have a writing sample requirement. In fact, I cannot find one single reference to a writing sample requirement (optional, required, or otherwise) on their website. On the one hand, I feel as if submitting a sample cannot hurt too much, especially since they can hypothetically just throw it away if they don't want to read it. Better to have it than not, no?

On the other hand, it certainly runs the risk of making a bad impression. Getting marked as that one student who can't follow simple instructions can be detrimental.

It's too close to the deadline for me to check with the program itself. I think I am probably not going to submit my sample, but I would like some opinions.
Hi all,
Long-time lurker, first time poster. I'm applying to a handful (four) MA programs in Women's Studies, film, and literature (they're all through the literature department). My professors have, rightfully so, suggested that I apply to more programs to increase my chances of acceptance. However, I've had a hard time locating schools that I think would be a good fit, and since my university does not have a strong women's studies program, I lack a well-rounded knowledge of current scholars and their research in these fields. (Because of this, I've considered taking another year or two off to educate myself more thoroughly on these subjects, but that's what schools is for anyway, right?)

I'm particularly interested in narratives about the female/female body in film and literature, especially as portrayed in works by male artists. I also want to study visual culture in conjunction with these fields, but I feel like I might be narrowing my options even more. Basically, I was wondering if anyone could suggest strong MA programs or well-known scholars in these areas?

Much appreciated!
On one of my apps, I am asked: "Are you presently active in the professional field to which you are applying?"

It is for an MSW program. It says to include volunteer work. I am currently volunteering at a hospital, I volunteer at the geriatrics department and I speak to the patients regularly to make sure they're not confused and stay int he right state of mind. I am going into psychotherpay with an MSW, so should I include this as a "current" thing? In my opinion, it can tie into social work.

Hello good people,

I just received my first admissions to a PhD program this Friday. It came with the offer of full funding and a nomination for a prestigious diversity award. My predicament is that I'd like to wait a little bit longer to hear from other schools or at least investigate how long I must wait to hear from other schools.

Can someone help me to draft an appropriate email response to the committee?

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21st-Dec-2012 12:42 pm - Letter of Intent
Hello! I previously posted a draft of my letter of intent, and the main problem with it was that it was too emotional and not specific enough, I am now working on a new draft and this what I have. Please only focus on content, as I'm still working on grammar. What do you guys think?

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I know this has been asked many times, but what's the difference? I know people say a CV contains more detail, but from the samples I've seen, my resume contains those details as well. I have down what I've done as a teaching assistant (grading exams and teaching a recitation class once a week) and a research assitant (I explained the study thast was conducted and what I did), but they're just not in full sentence format.

I asked the schools I'm applying to which they'd prefer, and they all said either a resume or a CV is fine. One said "Whichever one you think is better for the program."

Does anyone have samples of CVs that don't resemble resumes?

16th-Dec-2012 11:32 pm - Is this personal statement okay?
I had my English professor review it, and want to get opinions from all of  you as well. My main concern is my first paragraph. How can I make it more interesting?

These are the questions:

1. What are your reasons for applying to the Rutgers University School of Social Work?
2. Discuss your personal values, philosophy, knowledge of social issues,
and the professional and community experiences that have influenced your
decision to enter the profession.
3. Comment on your skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
4. Describe your reasons for choosing a particular focus in the field of social work.
5. Discuss your plans for a career in social work.

Here's the essay after making a few quick changes based on peoples' comments: 


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12th-Dec-2012 05:53 pm - Four quick questions
fields of gold
1. What type of format is standard for writing samples? Do they want to see a title page, abstract, and an outline? Last name in the header in addition to application number (if provided) and page number even if it is technically "wrong" according to the citation method you are using? How did you format your writing sample?

2. Some of the schools I'm applying to have sub-sub-departments within a sub-department within a department. The sub-departments are, of course, specified on the applications through drop-downs. The sub-sub-departments (and smaller) are not. It's pretty clear which track/sub-sub department I intend to work in just by reading through my SOP, but should I be more explicit? In some cases, the distinction between two of the sub-sub-departments is not entirely clear, which is why I am hesitating for some schools, and I'm unsure if these specialty tracks are "technically" decided later when you've already been accepted.

3. Personal history/diversity statements: How casual can these be? I am under the impression these are not truly read by departmental adcoms or really given any weight unless you are Truly Diverse in terms of admissions -- though ofc they may help with funding.

4. If you are applying to your undergrad institution for a PhD in the field you are currently majoring in ... I am unsure how to revise my SOP for this one, to be honest. It feels awkward to write. Any tips for revisions? (To be more specific on this last question: In my other SOPs, I mention I work on a project for a professor here and that it has led me to appreciate blahblahblah, which is present at Other University. Of course, when writing this in for my current school, I would need to tweak this. Yes, it has led me to appreciate said blahblahblah, but should I then say, "If accepted, I fully intend to continue working on said project?" Little things like this.)

sad leia

I'm hoping someone might have a little advice to share about what to use as my writing sample. Most things I read say to use a report or paper that got a good grade as part of an advanced level course and to maybe polish it up a bit. The problem is, my last period of research in an advanced course was 12 years ago when I did my Master's in Library and Information Science and though I'm going for an Info sci PhD, I'm having trouble trying to determine if it would actually be better to turn in a writing sample from a graduate course I did 12 years ago, or should I try to come up with something new. The new thing would'nt be research though and as well written as they are, the strategic planning, governemnt reporting and policy writing I've been doing for the last 12 years doesn't really meet the level of academic writing.

So, should I a) Posh up the 12 year old paper (whose topic was how the book/ebook future looked) or  b)come up with something new that won't be as serious an academic treatment as I'd think they'd want.

Thoughts?? Help?? Askance looks wondering how old do I really think is too old to try to start a PhD?

Help Please!
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