I am going to apply for a PhD in an Australian University and I will have an academic interview.

I am going from a BSc to a PhD in applied mathematics.

At the interview, they usually give me time to ask my own questions. So, I want to ask whether I can take one or two theoretical coursework that is taught in the university, if I feel like it is required. Is this a good question to ask at the end, or does it sound like I am not confident about my undergraduate theoretical knowledge, and would reflect negatively.

Also, in a question such as Why choose particularly that university is it okay to mention that I found that the university offers several scholarship and that having a scholarship benefits me immensely to carry out my studies. This I am going to mention after saying about the university and the department's recognition, and of a particular professor's work and that his work seems to suit my interests. Here, is it acceptable to mention the professor by name?


I never had to do an interview for my PhD position in the US, but it seems like asking process questions is reasonable. Going straight from a BS to a PhD program in the US is pretty common, but you generally do most of a Master's degree on the way by taking lots of graduate-level courses. I understand that this is less common in other country's systems.You should read as much as you can about the requirements for a PhD in your target university so that you know as much as you can about the process, and then ask, as knowlgeably as you can, questions like the one you've asked here. If you've done your homework, your question will sound informed, and they can fill the gaps in your knowledge without thinking you to be too ignorant about what's allowed and what's expected of you before you join the PhD program.

I wouldn't be too effusive about the program or professor when you are asked about your interest in the program. It might sound like you are trying to flatter your way into it which might be off putting to some interviewers. You should be fine saying that you are interested in topics like what Prof. X is working on, etc., but I wouldn't say that they're the best thing since sliced bread. Be honest without over selling it.

  • Here in Sweden most PhD students have a Master's degree, but they are still expected to complete some courses.
    – Axeman
    Jun 20 '16 at 9:42

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