Are the fellow Bachelor's students that graduated from the same university given any advantage over the students that apply from a foreign, possibly less accredited university? Of course we're talking about equivalent degrees.

  • For Example - Harvard university has fellow undergraduate students that after graduating want to pursue Master's degree at Harvard. Do they get any advantage over let's say an applicant from Cambridge that has the same results as the local harvard students?
  • Does it differ worldwide? Is there some universal guideline for universities to follow?
  • 1
    This is impossible to answer as each institution - and indeed different programs within an institution - has a different procedure. The best guide are the admissions guidelines of each specific program. Jan 5, 2020 at 23:13
  • Sure, but there has to be some general procedure for institutions to follow, because if not, then how can we put trust on these institutions in the first place, if we don't really know and can't unify their core admission structures? Jan 5, 2020 at 23:22
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    There are no universal guidelines in the U.S., because universities are not centrally controlled or organized. In contrast, perhaps in France or UK there are national/uniform guidelines. Jan 5, 2020 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


There is probably a small overall effect. But most universities are interested in diversity, and many universities encourage their students to move on after graduation. The reason is that, if the faculty in a (sub) field is small, then you will benefit from wider exposure to ideas. You may have learned about as much as you can from a given faculty.

Some places will have strict rules that every applicant is to be treated similarly.

But the effect that I suspect is there is that some students develop a research association with a faculty member or group and there is reluctance on both sides to break it. Those students may have an advantage in continuing due to the letters of recommendation etc. that they bring.

But there are forces pulling both ways. And you need to do well, in any case, to take advantage of any asymmetry.

Students, on the other hand, often want to continue at the same institution. There may be geographical associations and a feeling of comfort. "BA, MA, PhD, University of Michigan" is a pretty common sort of thing to see.

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