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2013 Doctoral Application Thread

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by Vayu, Oct 15, 2012.

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  1. Vayu

    Vayu

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    Howdy all!

    Figured it was a good time to start a doctoral apps thread. Is anyone at SDN applying to PhD, ScD, DrPH or other doctoral degree programs this fall? I just started my apps (yikes!), and would love to have a pal or two for commiserating.

    My particular interests are Community and Behavioral Health Sciences.

    Anybody else?

    -V
  2. mandyL

    mandyL mandyL

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    I'm applying to PhD in health economics/decision science/pharmacoeconomics. I'm interested in cost-effectiveness analysis. My application has been moving very slowly so far because I'm terribly busy with school work. :(

    Meng
  3. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    As in past years, anyone with any questions, I'll help out with my insight into the process.
  4. Vayu

    Vayu

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    Thanks Stories. Are you at USUHS now? I noticed the bethesda marker on your profile. What are your impressions of the area?
  5. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    No. The other biomedical institute across the street :)

    The DC-area is nice. I'm loving living here. It's expensive, but there's a lot to do, it's safe, and living on a subway line is fantastic. That said, salaries don't keep up with cost of living, the weather leaves a lot to be desired, and there are parts of DC which are very unsavory. Overall, though, it's an easy place to recommend for the opportunities. There's also GW which has a reasonably strong public health presence. And about 40 miles northeast, there's Hopkins which is obviously a huge public health presence. Although Baltimore isn't somewhere that I'd want to live, the cost of living is very cheap there.
  6. mandyL

    mandyL mandyL

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    thanks for the comment on Baltimore, Stories. ;)
  7. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    No prob :laugh::D
  8. Vayu

    Vayu

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    I know there are more doctoral applicants out there!

    I've submitted all GRE Scores and transcripts to SOPHAS as well as to individual graduate schools where indicated. Now i've got to shell out about $1000 in application fees, personalize the statement of purpose for the schools, and convince my references to submit their recommendation 6 more times on my behalf.

    I'm applying to PhD as well as DrPH programs, but only one program per school. All except one are currently CEPH accredited.
    My mistake last year was applying to one school and ending up wait-listed. I've been working in the field since then.

    I expect all applications to be finalized by next week excluding references which should all be in by mid-November.

    Wish me luck! I expect that applying to graduate school may be more difficult in some respects than graduate school itself :)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  9. nemo16

    nemo16

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    I'm so glad there's already a thread for 2013! Just submitted apps for 3 Epi doctoral programs on SOPHAS & I'm working on 2-3 more. Any other Epi's out there? :oops:
  10. jitsdentmph

    jitsdentmph

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    Hi!

    Nice to see u here. Even I will be applying for PhD epidemiology program for Fall 2013. Just being little lazy:sleep: to start the application process yet . Good this thread has started, I will get some drive to start working on my application.:oops: I am a 2nd year MPH student at UT School of Public Health, Houston.I have been working as a RA since last 7-8 months(sad thing: no publications yet).My stats-- Gre 1450, undergrad:Bach of Dental Surgery(india) GPA:3.94, MPH GPA:4(current). I have shortlisted only 2 schools yet--- UTSPH and Yale
  11. loopsonflowers

    loopsonflowers

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    Hi there!

    I also just really got started on applications (taking a break from trying to draft my statement(s) of purpose right now), and am also interested in doctoral degrees in behavioral sciences type areas.

    I'm glad to see that so many people are also slow to get started on their applications! It makes me feel a little calmer.

    I've got about 15 programs on my list right now, but the application fees are so high! I've got to prune, and I'm pretty unwilling to prune the "higher tier" programs, but am also nervous that if I eliminate too many lower tier programs, I'll be putting myself in a bad position. When I applied to MPH programs, the people I was working with were generally pretty helpful with this kind of thing, but the level of communication at my new job, and I think also the more nuanced nature of doctoral admissions has me a little unsure of what to do. Oh well!

    Commiserate away! Good luck to you and everyone else in the thread!
  12. Vayu

    Vayu

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    Good luck everybody. Most of the programs I am applying to have deadlines of 12/1 - 12/15, with a couple farther out. However, some programs require early application for fellowship consideration.

    Sending transcripts, GRE scores, and SOPHAS can all take up to 4 weeks, not to mention most folks writing recommendations will be at APHA next week and may need some post-conference encouragement.

    I'd advise you all to grab the bull by the horns and aim for 11/1 as your final deadline to make sure you beat those early application cycles.
  13. hereticmnk

    hereticmnk

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    Hey, let me know how the application process goes. I would be interested to see where you end up :)
  14. mandyL

    mandyL mandyL

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    sure. :)
  15. soomee

    soomee

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    ahh I guess I'm not the only one who needs to start working on those apps.

    Has anyone heard anything about the PhD Clinical Epi at UCSF? I'm applying to PhD Epi and that program looks really interesting, but it only got started in 2010.
  16. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    That is the approach I took when applying. I was better off for it as I had a wide spectrum of options to chose from. Thankfully, I got into one of my top two programs.
  17. Vayu

    Vayu

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    Probably a good idea to select 8 - 10 choices. I'm having trouble asking my professors to submit 7 different recommendations... 15 would seem extreme!

    Re: fees. Yes, we are cultivating very expensive, time-consuming letters of rejection ;)
  18. nemo16

    nemo16

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    Thank you! Your stats look great - I'm sure you'll get in :)

    Just a few Q's for you those who have already completed the process in previous years:

    1. I have 1 professor who's taking awhile to submit her letter of recommendation - how often do you recommend I send her reminders? I contacted all of them back in May & sent them my ps/resume/etc in August so they've all had enough time.

    2. Do you think it's sufficient to apply to 2 'reach' schools, 2 mid-range, and 2 'safety' schools? It's been awhile since I applied for programs so I was just wondering.

    3. After you hear from schools - at what point do they let you know about funding availability/stipends/etc? Some schools have this information clearly posted on their websites, but others don't.. would this be an appropriate question to ask during interviews?

    Thanks a bunch & good luck to all!


  19. soomee

    soomee

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    How important is it for a PhD program to be accredited? I'm looking into the PhD Epi at UCSF and USC, but neither are listed on CEPH's site.
  20. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    1.) A friendly (non-direct) email maybe a month before is fine. Most schools also give a little leeway.

    2.) I don't think that's enough mainly because you don't know about funding. Personally, I'd apply to only 'good fits'.

    3.) Varies from school to school. Some with acceptance, some after acceptance, some once you arrive. Go at your own risk.

    If you want to go into academia or research, it's not a big deal. In general, PhD isn't directly related to public health, but a much more specialized degree for your field, so you don't have the same guidelines as to what constitutes a PH education.
  21. nemo16

    nemo16

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    Thanks for the input Stories. I guess I'll just have to wait and see about funding :p

    Taking a wild guess that you're at nih? How do you like the post-doc experience? I miss it there :)


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  22. nemo16

    nemo16

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    Surprisingly I haven't heard much about their epi phd program. Quickly browsing their website - the phd program seems to be similar to many others but "3 to 4 year course of study" seems short to me since all the programs I've contacted/researched are 4+ years (usually closer to ~5 years on average). With such a new program, I would try contacting their academic coordinator and/or professors you're interested in working with to answer any questions.

  23. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    Yup! :) I'm liking it a lot! It's a great work environment and living in Bethesda is fantastic.
  24. Vayu

    Vayu

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    A program I was considering just informed me that all students are funded at $15,800 stipend and 20 hours tuition over 9 months.

    Unfortunately, that stipend is way below my needs for cost of living so I will no longer be applying to the department. I'm just glad I discussed this with the department before spending the $75 application fee.

    I'm in a bind here - I have the desire to pursue doctoral education but may not be able to live on a PhD budget.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  25. soomee

    soomee

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    It is unusual for programs to guarantee funding for only one year? I have a friend at UCLA right now and she says she doesn't know what funding will be like for next year...
  26. DeeLovely79

    DeeLovely79

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    It all depends on the school, with places like Emory and Michigan offering full rides for all four years. Most schools will only guarantee aid for the first year. The expectation is that you should make connections with faculty/research groups/funding organizations during your first year that will lead to future funding opportunities. As you're still I the application phase I suggest you apply to every school that seems to be a good fit (has faculty, students and research grants in your areas of interest). Don't worry about financing until after you've received decisions from most of your schools.

    Even if a school has a set level of financing there are many internal scholarships/fellowships that you may be eligible, but you won't be informed of them until after your acceptance. Many departments have to officially accept you before you can be entered into these competitions. I was offered fellowships from a few schools but I wasn't informed of them until Feb-April.
  27. zikaRed

    zikaRed

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    Hey Vayu,
    did you make the Nov 1st deadline you suggested?
    I'm also applying for PhD programs (most in Epi) at 8 schools and just have to get over the final hurdle- the personal statement *ugh*
    The thought of customizing it for 8 different schools is making me procrastinate even more and time is ticking :scared:
  28. JMM051

    JMM051

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    zikaRed-I was fixing some of my personal statements up until the DAY of. You will feel relief for approximately a day until you become crazy and check your e-mail, mail, etc constantly until you get your results. Good luck!
  29. Vayu

    Vayu

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    I didn't make the 11/1 personal deadline, however I did e-submit with SOPHAS today, and all four of my academic references have been completed. I had initially chosen 8 programs to which to apply, however after discussions with faculty members about funding and student living, I narrowed it down to 4 programs. The 4 programs I chose also use SOPHAS as a central application point. As of today, my applications are complete to those programs... now I just have to wait 2 - 4 months for interviews and rejection notices :)

  30. waitinggames

    waitinggames

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    I've been lurking around this forum and gradcafe for the past few weeks now and decided to pipe in. I submitted all of my applications a few weeks ago to 6 PhD PH programs and one health policy program... and I'm already sick of waiting to hear back! I'm applying to Columbia (Sociomedical Sciences), Harvard (Health Policy, Medical Sociology), Berkeley (HSPA), UNC (Health Behavior), Emory (Behavioral Sciences), Johns Hopkins (Health Behavior), and UIC (Community Health Services). I applied last year to three programs and was rejected by all of them, so I'm super nervous about this year... I won a Fulbright Research Grant last year, though, and am currently in Russia working on my research and am hoping that this experience will make me a stronger applicant this time around.

    Best of luck to all, especially in staying sane for the next few months :)
  31. Mazaya

    Mazaya

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    I too finished my applications a month ago and am anxiously awaiting responses from the universities! I have applied to 9 programs focusing on health economics in developing countries. Best wishes and good luck to everybody!

    M.
  32. soomee

    soomee

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    did anyone get an email from Emory's Laney school to answer some video questions? apparently it is optional and i think you record your answers.

    i'm just kind of nervous because i don't know what to expect and i don't know if i get to re-record if i mess up...

    (i applied for PhD Epi)
  33. Pokkit

    Pokkit

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    I am applying for a PhD in Epi from UPitt, and a PhD in Health Services Research from Boston U and St Louis U. I have everything in to SOPHAS except for one transcript (hopefully there by the end of this week) and I e-submitted, but my first deadline isn't until Jan 15th. So I'm not worried about the deadline.
  34. Manda12

    Manda12 Manda MSN

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    Is anyone applying to a DrPH program? Just wanting input on good DrPH programs.
  35. JMM051

    JMM051

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    I don't have specifics for you but I have a friend in a DrPH program at GW and she seems to really enjoy it.
  36. nemo16

    nemo16

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    me too (tired of waiting)!! which programs/schools did you apply to last year?

    recently received an email from BUSPH saying application is complete & decisions will be sent by the end of feb. harvard also sent an email saying their decisions will be sent during march. (may be repetitive info for some of you who've also received them!) it's a bit of a relief not having extra travel expenses to worry about since many schools aren't doing in-person interviews, but also nerve-wrecking knowing they're making decisions based on our applications alone.. at least there's only a couple more months to go! :clap:



  37. waitinggames

    waitinggames

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    I hear you re: in-person interviews... I'm out of the country so there is not way I will be able to afford traveling to in-person interviews. I'm hoping if any of the schools I apply to require them that I'll be able to do a phone or skype interview instead.

    Are you applying anywhere else besides BU and Harvard? I'm hoping to get at least *some* news in January; last year Emory sent out interview invites in the beginning of January and I'm pretty sure UNC let some people know towards the middle of January.

    I applied to Pitt, Harvard, and Berkeley last year.

    Good luck!!
  38. jonu3

    jonu3

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    Not sure if this is too late, but I did the video response it seemed a little weird to me I'm not sure why they do that but you can re-record--took me about 3 times before I liked one enough to submit
  39. waitinggames

    waitinggames

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    I did a video response, too, but it was part of the Laney graduate school application, not a separate email. It was only one question and it was actually much easier that expected, even kinda fun :)
  40. nemo16

    nemo16

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    agreed (phone interview)! yes i'm applying to a few others as well: Pitt, SUNY & UIC - almost added Berkeley but decided its too far from family/friends. i'm hoping for news in jan too - have you visited Pitt's campus at all? i haven't visited any of these campuses so hopefully ill get a chance to in the spring. good luck to you too!
  41. soomee

    soomee

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    is anyone still waiting for SOPHAS to verify their GPA?
  42. blackmetal

    blackmetal

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    Yes, I'm still waiting, I e-submitted 11/30.
  43. chonhoi55

    chonhoi55

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    Yes, I e-submitted on 11/24 but my 2 LORs completed on 11/27 and the last LOR on 11/30 :( have to wait!
  44. Shostakovich

    Shostakovich

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    I'm in Biostats, and the video thing was actually an optional part of the application. To be honest it seemed like a pretty lame thing to do on their part, so I skipped over it. Application was free if it was submitted in October iirc, so nothing lost on my part.
  45. aaftmb

    aaftmb

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    Hi all!

    I am currently doing a master's in public health in an epi program.

    Undergraduate GPA: 3.5 (Biology)
    Graduate GPA: 3.8 (Epidemiology)
    GRE: 80% Q, 80% V, 45% W
    Applying to PHD programs in Epi.
    International Student.

    I went straight from undergrad to MPH program and now hopefully MPH straight to a phd program.

    Some relevant public health work experience in summers.
    Some relevant "research" projects.
    no publications.

    Applied to Harvard, UCLA, Emory, Hopkins, and Columbia
    Submitted on 12/1/2012

    As of 12/27/2012: SOPHAS still has to calculate my GPA and
    Hopkins still has my transcript as not received--though I sent both.

    good luck to everyone!
  46. wealhtheow

    wealhtheow

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    I feel your pain aaftmb. SOPHAS still had transcripts from last year's application cycle, so all they needed to do was calculate GPAs for 4 classes. The transcript arrived 11/30...and SOPHAS still hasn't calculated the GPA so no applications have been mailed. It's so frustrating!
  47. VBD

    VBD

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    Hello all!
    I'm applying to PhD programs in Environmental Health. I applied to 8 programs, and am now simply playing the waiting game.

    I will add in a gripe about SOPHAS taking weeks to calculate my GPA and then ultimately lowering both UG and my Grad GPAs by .1-.2.
  48. jonu3

    jonu3

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    I know its still kind of early but has anyone heard anything back re:interviews, visits etc? the waiting is killing me

    a friend of mine had heard back from Drexel (phd epi) for a phone interview so just wanted to see if anything else was going on
  49. VBD

    VBD

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    I've heard from UNC, but again, it might all be within the department and not the school. I was told that we should be expecting flurries of email notifications (if chosen for interviews) early February-ish? It does not assuage my anxiety though.
  50. waitinggames

    waitinggames

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    Haven't heard anything from anyone. <checks email again>... still nothing! So ready for the wait to be over. I'd be happy with just one acceptance from any program I applied to, so at least I can rest easy that I'll be going back to school somewhere...

    What's especially anxiety-inducing is when people hear back from schools I applied to, but from other departments. My heart flutters every time I see a gradcafe results post up.

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