autumn7

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In doctoral programs, how much overlap do cohorts have (in practicum, in classes) with students in the cohort one year above?

I notice that a former classmate of mine is a first year doctoral student in one of my top choice programs. If I were to get into this program, I wonder how much I would interface with him. We briefly dated, if I must be more clear.

Ah well, adults work through these things. I just wonder if there is any chance of being supervised by someone a year ahead of you? I have heard of these 'tiered' supervision plans at some sites. Unlikely, but just curious.
 

Justanothergrad

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Sure. It happens pretty regularly for cohorts plus or minus 1 year. If there is a conflict of interests because of multiple roles just let it be known when they are assigning supervisors and folks work around that when assigning other supervisors.
 
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AcronymAllergy

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Happens pretty commonly in classes for a variety of reasons (e.g., took something else the year before when both classes were offered at the same time, the class wasn't offered the previous year). Also pretty common in practica for a one-year difference. If you're in the same professor's lab, there will be a lot of additional interaction. Otherwise, outside of class, it'll depend on the specific program and cohorts.
 
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Topspin1

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Dec 16, 2011
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Anecdotally, my program offers some classes once every two years due to the small cohort size in my program. I hear it's relatively common across other programs to take classes with students one cohort above or below, even in larger programs. Some programs also have a form of 'professional development' seminar that all students in the first 2-3 cohorts are required to attend.
 
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Kadhir

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Nov 13, 2015
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Pretty unlikely you'd be supervised by him. Even if it was a possibility, it would likely be avoidable.
 
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Meteora

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Dec 14, 2015
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Thought you were my ex for a second...

I'd say it's definitely possible especially with electives. There's also a chance you might eventually have the same placement and overlap there etc.
 
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foreverbull

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In my program we had a lot of overlap in classes and practicum with students a year below and a year above, partially due to many of my cohort having masters degrees, partially just because we had flexibility as to when to take certain classes. We also socially overlapped at parties and get-togethers with many cohorts, but adjacent years (1 below and 1 above) were the closest by far. Research groups led by faculty also offered more opportunities for overlap with other cohorts.
 
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I would say the chances of social or coincidental overlap are pretty high (invited to the same social gatherings, in the same classes, maybe occasionally have to do something together for class), but the odds of being directly supervised by your ex are pretty low (and even in situations where there is tiered supervision, the supervisor of record is still the psychologist supervising the "supervising" student). And, if that were a major conflict, you could likely get assigned a different supervisor. I wouldn't let an ex keep you from applying or going to a program that's otherwise a good fit for you, though! Unless we're talking about some really major problem (he or she was abusive, there's a protective order against one or both of you, etc.), I suppose, but I wouldn't let the idea that it'll be awkward keep you away if you otherwise want to be there. Just my 2 cents!
 
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