Can who you pick as "faculty members of interest" make-or-break your PhD application?
If one happens to pick only faculty who aren't taking in PhD students will that doom ones application? If-not, will the PhD acceptance board try to pair you with a faculty member you did not list – assuming the applicant is of high-quality?
I applied for a PhD program in Computer Science. I will be funded through a Think-Tank/Research-Institution – to which I am a full-time employee. I put this on my application. I did not think too deeply about the faculty of interest.
I considered also applying PhD program in Computer Science & Engineering. However, here's the catch. If I apply using the same "faculty members of interest" as the PhD in Computer Science application, I believe my chances of acceptance do not increase. I believe if those faculty members would not have accepted me into their labs as a PhD in Computer Science, they also would not have accepted me into their labs as a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering. However, filling out two
Is filling out two PhD applications in similar domains with the same "faculty members of interest" somewhat pointless?
Is it worth reaching out to admissions to ask to change your "faculty members of interest" after submission if a better fit is found?