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I'm thinking about applying for some US physics graduate programs. In the graduate admission procedure about where to send the TOEFL scores, I've often read the sentence "use the institution code ****, department code is not needed." However, the ETS website forces me to choose a department code. Now there seem to be two possible choices: there's the department code 76(physics), and there's the code 99 for "other subjects not in the list". The latter might at first seem ridiculous, but I found some schools explicitly demand department code to be chosen as 99. So for the schools that do not make such explicit statement, which code should I choose? Does it matter at all?

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    You would better to ask the department you are applying for. Call them or send them an email to them. – Enthusiastic Engineer Jul 12 '14 at 11:09
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    @Parsa: thanks for the advice, I'll probably do that. I ask it here simply because there are many schools that are not explicit on this, so I thought there might be a general rule. – Jia Yiyang Jul 12 '14 at 11:17
  • My assumption on schools that request 99 for other is so that the results will definitely end up in some central office if that is institution policy. – Ben Norris Jul 13 '14 at 19:39
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As far as each department or university has it's own code for English tests such as IELTS or TOEFL; it is better to visit the admissions web pages of the universities or schools you are going to apply. If you do not find the code you are looking for, directly contact the admissions department to ask for their reference code for the tests. Besides, some codes of the institutes may be published on the website of each test (but the contacting the school is more sure in my opinion).

As a general rule in my academic life, the only sure source for such information is the website, help desk or contact person of the institute you are applying to. Asking these questions here or from your friends generally do not help you because they may not be sure about the piece of information they are giving and you may face difficulties for the wrong directions. So, always stick to the source of information you need to boost your progress up and avoid difficulties.

  • Thanks, this is a possibility I've thought about, but it is good to have it confirmed. – Jia Yiyang Jul 14 '14 at 14:31

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