I am considering applying for PhD programs in CS. I've been reading about the process, reading the sorts of things that programs want and I would say that I am an OK (but not stellar) applicant. For instance, I'm missing some math classes that I could take next year. I've also been working in industry, so I could certainly get more involved with research (I'm working on a few in-progress papers now). I think that if I waited a year I would be a more competitive applicant. Is there any particular reason not to apply now, see how I do, and then potentially reapply in a year? If anything, applying a second time (as a stronger applicant) would show that I really want to do this. Right?

  • 1
    Each round of applications will probably cost you $500-$1000, if that matters. Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 3:53
  • @BenBitdiddle What the what??? How many schools are you applying to?
    – JeffE
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 6:41
  • When I applied to PhD programs, application fees were typically in the $50-100 range per school. Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is anything wrong with this, as long as on the 2nd application a year later, it is made clear that something changed in the year prior. This could be additional courses taken, higher test scores (GRE for example), etc. I think if your application is legitimately improved over the year, no one would ever have a problem with this, but a potential reviewer might be annoyed if they receive the same application year after year without notable changes/improvements.

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