I am going to apply for a PhD program. What does mean when one requirement is "Outstanding academic record".

  • This is probably too hard to answer. What discipline? what university? May 15, 2021 at 5:58

2 Answers 2


That means you have to have demonstrated that you're a really good student. Your "academic record" is what your undergraduate career says about you (transcripts, letters of reference, publications, awards). It must be "outstanding" - top of the heap.

Only very select schools (or those that think very well of themselves) can ask this explicitly of their applicants, though many require it.

  • 3
    I like and strongly agree with "those that think very well of themselves"
    – Yacine
    May 15, 2021 at 7:16
  • @Younes Or maybe "those that think too well of themselves" :)
    – iBug
    May 15, 2021 at 11:20
  • Have you (co-)published a peer-reviewed article?
  • Have you presented at a scholarly conference?
  • Have you served as a research assistant?
  • Have you served as a teaching assistant?
  • Have you won any prizes, grants and awards for your studies?
  • Have you had exceptionally good grades?
  • Have you shown community engagement for your fellow students?
  • Have you attended voluntary, extracurricular, academic activities (e.g., summer schools in Europe)?

If the response to any of the question is yes, then list it.

  • Have you got an especially good relationship with a few professors?
    – Buffy
    May 14, 2021 at 15:38
  • 5
    Have you attended summer schools? --- Perhaps reword this slightly? In the US this is a route often taken by students who failed a course during the Fall or Spring semesters. May 14, 2021 at 16:42
  • Thank you, @DaveLRenfro, I changed it to "voluntary, extracurricular, academic activities". I didn't know about the U.S. connotation regarding summer schools.
    – anpami
    May 15, 2021 at 8:41

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