Me and my girlfriend are currently studying in the same university and same department. We both applied couple of master's degree programs abroad.

One of the programs is in both our interest and she already got accepted for that program. I want to apply for the same program too but there is no question regarding your spouse / girlfriend etc. Should I notify the program about this in my application?


3 Answers 3


At best, that information would be (should be) irrelevant to them. You want to be accepted on your own merits in any case and a fair evaluation will, hopefully, assure that.

But you also need to be flexible in planning your own future. For example, if there are other universities nearby, it would be good to also make application there. Then, if you don't get accepted into the same place, your relationship can still survive.

But a relationship can, if strong, still survive a couple of years of separation.

But give it your best shot. Riding someone else's coattails isn't a strong point in your favor and people are unlikely to change relative rankings of candidates for such reasons.

And yes, it is ethical to apply to the same programs, if that is your real concern.

Let me give you a worst case scenario, though it would be unethical and I doubt that any university would follow it. But suppose you tell them and they decide not to accept you and think that she, then, won't come either. They then rescind her offer and offer it to someone else. Some programs, notably in medicine, need to fill every slot since it is expensive to run a program partially populated.

I seriously doubt this could happen, but I recommend against inserting wild cards into the decision process.

  • Thank you very much for the answer. We are both aware that we have to write our own futures and we honestly think that our relationship might not survive in the upcoming years since we will be in new environments, other country etc. We just want to be sure that it's not against ethics. Apr 12, 2020 at 22:52

I think it is a mild positive and you should let them know. At a minimum, it shows your geographic willingness to move. Probably also some social stability. Again, very mild. But still small favorability.

Note, universities routinely find jobs for spouses of in desire professors. And corporate recruiters know that two profession families have to consider both careers when moving cities. So this is not some evil situation.


Firstly, what you want to ask yourself is if you like that school that your girlfriend is going to.

You must prioritise your education before your girlfriend.

  • Is it in a decent city/area and easy to transport from an apartment/current home?
  • Have you been accepted to that school/able to go?
  • Is that school a high rated school?
  • Does that school participate in your interests (sports, programming, events etc.)?
  • Is the school specialised in your area of study?

These are some things you should consider. If the school is rubbish but you just want to be with your girlfriend I suggest you pick another school which is better.

However, if the school is decent/pretty good it's fine to go to the same school as your girlfriend, but don't just do it to be with her.

  • Welcome to Academia.SE. Note, however, that we require answers to address OP's specific question. In this case, OP asked about the ethics and whether the programs should be informed; not for general advice. Further, note that OP is asking about graduate school -- advice like "prioritize your education before your girlfriend" and to consider "sports" may be better suited for high schoolers than for adults seeking advanced degrees.
    – cag51
    May 14, 2020 at 0:45
  • 1
    Who are you to say that one must prioritise education over girlfriends??! -1.
    – user111388
    May 14, 2020 at 12:00
  • 1
    Not your place to offer this advice. -1 May 14, 2020 at 13:07

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