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My wife and I are applying to US universities for master's and PhD programmes. We both have a electrical engg. degree and are applying to the same department. However we would like to get into the same university.

Is it possible to mention this in the application? Do universities take this into consideration when making admission decisions?

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    Do you mean you will both be seeking a doctorate or one of you a masters and the other a doctorate? – Buffy Jul 15 at 11:41
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    both doctorate at some unis, and both masters at some unis. – Harvey Jul 15 at 12:00
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Different universities will have different rules. At some you will be strictly considered as individuals. At others some accommodation might be made, but only at the margins. You can just state in your cover material that you are seeking positions together for personal reasons.

But it is worth mentioning, so that the admissions committee is aware that you have some constraints. But if you are both marginally qualified, by their rules, it would be more a reason to reject both than to admit both.

But is is unlikely that one would be admitted if unqualified even if the other is highly qualified. Being married is probably better than just being "together".

Another possibility for you, however, if you are willing to live in a large city, is to make applications to several universities in some city, like NYC or San Francisco. Then it would be feasible to attend different universities, though such places tend to be expensive to live in.

And the application would be for the doctorate. It is unnecessary to mention a masters in such an application. A masters is normally earned "along the way" to the doctorate, sometimes just by asking and sometimes with some fairly minor additional requirement.

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Is it possible to mention this in the application?

Yes it is possible to mention it, but it is unlikely to help and unwise.

Do universities take this into consideration when making admission decisions?

Possibly, if one of you is admitted and the other is not, mentioning you need a second offer to enrol might result in a second offer. If you have a credible alternative (another university that admitted both of you) this might be more effective.

Some cities have more than one good PhD program.

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    but it is unlikely to help and unwise. - Can you explain why? I often hear this about for job applications, but grad school applications are rather different from tenure-track applications, especially in the US---e.g., there's typically no interview and very little negotiation. And even for job applications I don't think this statement is always true, even though it seems to be the standard advice. – Kimball Jul 15 at 13:29

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