举办方：COPSY交流会http://copsy.org/ Application for PhD in Psychology March 25, 2012
Background• Application term: Fall 2012• Programs: PhD in Psychology• Psychology and Music, Bachelor of Arts at Mills College in May, 2012• Research experience: • Mills Cognition Lab May 2009 — Present • UCSF Memory and Aging Center June 2011 — Present • Mills Social Lab June 2011 — Present• Publication: 1 second author• Conference presentations: 5 poster presentations ( + 2 accepted)• Teaching experience: •TA for Analytical Psychology (sta) August 2010 – December 2010 •TA for General Chemistry August 2009 – May 2010 • Peer tutor 7 courses January 2009 – Present
Offers & Decision•Applied: Boston College, Cornell, McGill, MIT, Tufts, Stanford, UCBerkeley, UCSF, U of Toronto, U Michigan Ann Arbor• Interviews: Cornell, McGill, Tufts, Stanford, U of T, UM Ann Arbor• Offers: Cornell, McGill, Tufts, UM Ann Arbor• Rejections: UC Berkeley, UCSF• Decision: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Why PhD?• RESEARCH • Passionate about research • Curiosity • Producer of knowledge• EXPERTISE • Become the expert in the field you love • Have more flexibility to define your own work• CAREER • Academia (tenure-track faculty, research faculty, national labs) • Industry (industrial research lab, your own company, wall street)
Advice from Professors• How to pick schools? • What are the requirements? • What do you want to learn in grad school?/ Who do you want to work with? • Why are you a good fit?• How can I figure out my research interests? • Summarize your own research experience. Ask yourself what you like/dislike. • What did you find the most interesting when you took psychology classes/ read research articles/ books? • Do you have a big question that you want to ask/answer?• Do I need to Contact professors before applying? • YES! Write a well-structured, clear and eloquent email. • Inquire the possibility of working with the professor, introduce yourself and show interest.
Advice from Professors• What is the most important? GRE, RL, or PS? • Answers are quite mixed here. The general idea is that GPA, GRE and TOEFL are used to screen people at the very first round (if you have special qualities, like super niu Recommendation Letter (RL), never mind!). • Research experience is extremely important. Most American applicants spent some years in research lab after they graduated from undergrad！！ • RL and PS are both important. Different schools might have different ideas. Some professor only takes students recommended by the colleagues that they know. Most applicants have strong PS, and thus how fit it is for the program makes a difference. • Publication is big plus but not required. Conference experiences help.• Advice for decision (more for a career in academia)? • Professors > Psychology Ranking > School Ranking (reputation) • AT LEAST 2-3 professors you feel like you could work with in one department. (this advice is from a professor at Michigan) • Confirm with your final decision before declining other schools
Tips for interview• What does it mean to have an interview? • Congratulations! You impressed the professor(s). • All the school I interviewed with said that they ONLY take students who they have interviewed (phone/Skype/on site). • You get an opportunity to communicate with the people you might work with in the future. You are also interviewing them!• Preparation • Be very familiar with your own application, such as PS and CV. • Write short summary of your research/teaching/volunteer experience. Make sure you know the details too. • Google your interviewer(s) XD! Her/his/their CVs, research interests, publications (you can usually find them in their lab websites). • Read papers that she/he/they published in the past 2 years (at least). If you have a very specific interest fit, read those papers of interest. • Prepare questions to ask. Questions can related to their research, program and school.
Tips for interview• Interview • Dress nicely for skype interview. • Relax and be confident. Most of people speak way too fast during their interview. Take a little bit more time. • Don’t just read what you wrote. People can tell. • Communicate with the interviewer. Give her/him time to response/ask questions/think. When interviewer speaks, don’t be a passive listener. • Don’t know what to talk about? Ask this question: Do you have any on-going/current projects? You are not done yet after asking. Be prepared to ask more questions and relate them to what you have read from her/his papers (let them know you did your homework without telling them directly). • Not a good idea to start talking about such random things as weather or hobbies if the interviewer does not ask/mention.
Tips for interview• What questions are appropriate to ask during the Q & A section? • Research questions if there is any more. • Questions for the programs -Course workload, curriculum, special programs… -Financial assistance. TA? RA? Fellowship opportunity? • Questions for the lab(s) you applied to -How many graduate students are in the lab now? -Possible projects that you can work on if you are accepted• After Interview • Send a thank-you email. Appreciate interviewer’s time and consideration. Insist that you are very interested in her/his work. • If you have more questions, email and ask. • Be patient and wait.
After Acceptance• Response to the acceptance email, saying very politely that you appreciate theoffer and you will let them know your decision as soon as you can.• Contact your future advisor • Ask more detail questions about her/his lab - Potential projects. - Lab hours. When does she/he expect you to work? How long? - Summer/winter. Any financial support for those terms? How long is your vacation? - Ask your advisor for at least one student’s contact information.• Contact students who work in the lab (via phone or email) • Ask them questions related to housing, dining, driving and so on. • Ask whether they are happy or not in the school and why. What they like/dislike about the school. • Ask them what the expectations in the lab. How does the professor work (flexible or demanding)? How is the mentor relationship?