The following question maybe the case for any country but I mentioned Italy to know if there are special conditions or rules.

Is this possible for a sibling to get admission from the same university and in the same program. They are working on different research plans (e.g. software engineering and data science but both are in the information engineering department/program) but they are coauthors in some publications.

Specifically, I mean is this possible that their relationship affect the committee's decision on accepting both of them (if they are qualified based on their own records) in the same program?

Or may the simultaneous applications make their chance lower, at least for one of them?

  • FYI: Both Christopher Musco and Cameron Musco did PhDs at MIT's in Computer Science between 2013 and 2018. They have coauthored several papers together, although I'm not sure if any are from before they were admitted.
    – JimmyK4542
    Jun 26, 2021 at 18:59
  • @JimmyK4542, Thank you for this, but the main question here is what about Italy? Since I heard from a professor that there is a hard bureaucracy in Italy and it may complicate the situation.
    – Eilia
    Jul 3, 2021 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


Edit: None of the below is Italy-specific. It would be my general understanding from working in several places across Europe, often along side Italian colleagues who previously worked at Italian Universities. If I am correct in assuming that asking you to confirm whether your co-author is your sibling would be a privacy breach, this would apply across EU. Any Italy specific insight would be great.

As long as none of the publications look out of place on either of the applicants' profiles, I wouldn't expect it to affect either applicant at all. Just make doubly sure you highlight your own name in each of the author's lists to make it easier for the committee to know who is who. And ensure that if asked to describe your contributions, you can do it for each of the publications.

In fact, it might be some sort of a privacy breach to even ask the applicants whether their co-author is their sibling (people with same last names do exist outside of family relations after all!).

If some of the publications look really out of place on one, or both, profiles (i.e. they are on topics which bear no relation to how that person presents themselves), and they frequently happen with the same co-author, this would look bad regardless of whether the applicants/authors share a last name or not. (As it might indicate somebody was "trading" publications and inflating their publication count artificially and not through work and contributions).

However note that if you are applying to a doctoral programme, a fairly diverse publication profile is not unusual (as is no publication profile up until this point), since you are after all still often "finding yourself" during your MSc.

  • 2
    I have a favor to ask, since you don't identify a place in your profile. Do you have the experience to answer this specifically for Italy?
    – Buffy
    Jun 24, 2021 at 15:27
  • Thanks for your answer, as @Buffy said, how is the condition for Italy? As I know, things may change drastically from one country to another.
    – Eilia
    Jun 24, 2021 at 15:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .