Doctorate Program in Los Angeles

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Martin van Burden, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Okay, I've given it some thought and I've decided that I want to apply for a Ph.D. program in sociology for next fall (2008). I really feel good about UCLA's program. It is a top-ranked program in the country, and I think I have a good shot at getting in. I plan on buckling down and figuring out my own research interests and those professors who might share them. In the meantime, I'm trying to get some perspective from people who currently live in Los Angeles.

    I'm probably more concerned about expenses than anything else. If I work a teaching assistantship, you think I'll have enough money to get by? Any parts of town I should avoid? How else would a "country boy" like me get accustomed to the big ol' city? Let me know.
     
  2. HotBulge

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    DeeBlackThorne,

    Good for you!. IT's a big step to go the route of the Ph.D, but you should defnitely pursue it if you(1) love the subject (2) don't mind teaching it to others and (3) have research ideas for growth.

    You may be from Lexington, KY, but you'll adjust to LA - I'm sure. Stay relatively close to the UCLA for your first few years, and then consider moving farther away once you've become established. While you are in the process of taking coursework for your masters and fulling TA duties, you'll want convenient access to campus. Once you've completed your masters, you can change gears and move elsewhere.

    During your masters phase, do what it takes financially to be able to focus fully on your work. It is legitimate to borrow money for your education: the payoff will occur later on. ... Also ....Since you are studying sociology, make certain that your coursework includes a strong statistical component to it so that you will be "marketable" in many areas.

    Once you've completed your masters, you will need to adopt a new mindset where you should view your doctoral research as a job. Maintain the same routine that a professional worker who spends 50+ hrs/week maintains. You should also try to associate yourself with well-funded research studies where you are making ~ $20/hr to perform the analysis. (This is where having a decent quantitative background helps). Your department mentor will hopefully have connections and can help associate you with those research studies. Who knows ... some of those funded studies could lead to your own doctoral thesis.

    Above all, try to get your entire coursework finished in 6-7 years. Anything longer becomes too painful. Grad students tend to lose focus or are exploited by professors who use them for their own research rather than guiding them along the process. Also, don't get into the TA trap: it's fine to TA a course or two over 2.5 years, but you don't want to be a serial TA, especially once you start your dissertation.

    Good luck!
     
  3. SpeedoGuy

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    This comment bears out my observation as well. Strong statistical skills are a must in the sciences in general and sociology in particular.

    Agree with this as well. Something to be careful of.
     
  4. rubberwilli

    rubberwilli Member

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    I worked for the School of Communication at Northwestern University and we were always working to find money/donations for undergrad students who were going to do internships in the entertainment biz.

    I'd say try to use student housing if it's possible. My alma mater, Indiana University had a graduate dorm that was reserved for grad students, and it helped alot with costs and had a professional and graduate atmosphere to it.

    I'm sure there are cheap ways to do the LA thing. I have quite a few friends out there as well so I'll see if they have any advice and report back anything that is helpful.
     
  5. D_N Flay Table

    D_N Flay Table New Member

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    were going to kick it were going to kick it were going to kick it!!!
    yay DEE!
     
  6. oldbodybuilder2004

    oldbodybuilder2004 New Member

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    Dee:

    I currently live in LA burbs. I am afrid it is too far to ccommute from here to UCLA. Just a tought!!
    OBB2004
     
  7. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Just some clarification. I already have an M.S. degree. I spoke with my buddy in St. Louis who's teaching now. He had nothing but good things to say about UCLA, but he couldn't afford it -- and by that, he means he didn't want to take out much in the way of student loans. Since I've still got about 20K to go on mine, I'm not too worried as I know I can pay them off if I get a career in academia.

    Heh. I know I need to look into student housing at least six months in advance. I'm also going to make a weekly goal of doing something worthwhile in pursuit of UCLA, like writing down my research interests or planning to sell my things or looking up professors.

    I'll also want to plan a trip out there to tour the campus.
     
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