Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Musing: Touring Prospective Ph.D Programs

These last two weeks have been whirlwind. While the week before was spent midterming and conference paper writing, this past week was spent on the road. In a seven day period, I spent time in three different cities (Nashville, home, and Stillwater, OK) and did just about everything but get some good rest. But I got to see family, go to the fair, and see one of my longest and best friends get married. Overall, it was fun (I just wish I got a little bit more sleep than I actually did)

But my fall break wasn't much of a break in the long run. Since three out of the four classes that I'm in are online, I still had assignments due and I still had to get my hours in for job #2. Still, my mom and I carved out some time to tour and e-tour some more colleges on my Prospective Ph. D Program list.

It's actually been really fun getting to research different places and learn more about them because I didn't really do that for undergrad or grad school. This last degree though, I'm going all out  and doing everything I didn't get the chance to do when I was seventeen...or twenty four....

Since traveling to each and every place would be a very cumbersome process since between my mom and I, we have four jobs (plus I have school to balance) so I was very happy to see that three of my options (Kansas, Illinois State, and Ohio) have e-tour options. It's not the same as actually be on campus, but it did in a pinch. 

While those three options were too far away for a quick trip, Oklahoma State was not. So, road trip to Stillwater! I had to do the undergrad tour, but I still learned a lot about the campus and got to see where everything was. OK State was one of my top options going into high school because (at least back then) Texans paid in-state tuition. Fast forward all these years, it's once again one of my top options both program-wise as well as proximity to home.

Oh...and they have a common foe as UT (mom is a life-long Orange Blood, so this was fun to capture during the tour)

This now makes 7/14 prospective programs in the states that I've visited or e-toured (I've already seen the University of Houston and Texas Tech and since both of my parents graduated from UNT and I grew up around there, I'm familiar with that one as well). Not sure if or how I'll be able to see the Georgia, Georgia State, University of Denver, the University of Utah, USC, and Wisconsin, but they remain options as do the schools in Canada, Ireland, and the UK.

Quick update to the list: Mizzou is now off the list after hearing from a current student kind of confirmed that it might not be the best fit for me. Also teetering with the University of Denver. I really like the program, but I've already taken off two other schools that asked for the GRE Subject Test (may not have time to take it plus retake the GRE and get the score that I need in time). If I keep UD on, I'll just add the other two back.

And October's Never Have I Ever: been to Stillwater. The town itself is pretty small, but it had everything that I needed (including public transportation, which I have sorely missed the last few years since I don't really like to drive anymore)

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