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Questions tagged [graduate-admissions]

On strategies, procedures, and problems related to getting admitted to, or selecting students to be admitted to, a graduate degree program. Please click on “info” before asking a question.

119
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3answers
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How does the admissions process work for Ph.D. programs in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students?

When applying to a PhD program in the US, how does the admissions process work? If an applicant is weak in a particular area, is it possible to offset that by being strong in a different area? Note ...
39
votes
2answers
5k views

Graduate school admission with a degree in a different field

Can I be admitted to graduate school in a different field from my degree? Specific cases include: If I've taken plenty of advanced courses in field X in the process of completing a degree in another ...
107
votes
9answers
135k views

How do you get a bad transcript past Ph.D. admissions?

I have a master's degree in International Studies, and a double major with Computer Science from undergrad. My transcripts suck. There's no other way to dress it up. I have pretty good teaching ...
62
votes
1answer
18k views

Choosing research ideas to include in a statement of purpose

The internet is littered with information on what makes a good SOP, but I would like to ask a specific question regarding mentioning one's research interests in SOP. What points should a student keep ...
52
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4answers
24k views

How to contact professors for PhD vacancies?

I know many master's students who get an opportunity to talk to their potential PhD advisors well before applying. In most cases this opportunity is available by the professors with whom they worked ...
57
votes
6answers
29k views

Is it acceptable to write a reference letter for yourself?

If a student needs a reference letter for graduate admissions or that sort of thing, some profs will ask the student to write a reference letter for themself before sending it off to the prof for ...
45
votes
8answers
23k views

How old is too old for a PhD?

Are there any age limits (formal, informal, or guidelines) that schools use when deciding to accept someone into a PhD program? I'm most curious about the upper age limits. For example, will most ...
5
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3answers
3k views

With a background in mathematical finance and desire to apply for a mathematics PhD in another field, do I need a second master's?

Pardon the dumb question if ever. I notice similar questions all sound like "can I get a second master's?" but mine is "do I need?" I am nearly finished with my master in mathematical finance. I have ...
47
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6answers
9k views

I've been admitted to multiple PhD programs, how should I choose between them?

I've been admitted to more than one PhD program, and I'm having a very hard time making a decision. The programs I'm accepted to have advantages and disadvantages with respect to one another. How do ...
54
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10answers
7k views

Age and Graduate school

I am 33. I live in the US. I am a neither a US citizen, nor a green card holder. I have worked in various jobs as a research assistant (physics, biology, economics) usually involving programming, ...
36
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6answers
8k views

Points to remember when having to write recommendation letter yourself

While it is an unethical academic practice, it is a fact that most recommendation letters for MS degrees in US and Europe from countries like India and China are written by students themselves. ...
13
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3answers
3k views

How handicapped am I in graduate admissions if I graduated from a lower tier university?

Due to a combination of factors, I ended up going for my undergraduate studies to a relatively unknown university that was close to me geographically. Let's say that I have a relatively standard ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Undergraduate research field different from PhD field

I am a Physics undergrad who is interested in pursuing a PhD in pure maths in the future (algebraic geometry/topology) but I am a bit unsure. My question is quite general, and I don't wish to provide ...
27
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4answers
19k views

Prospective PhD contacts potential supervisor but receives no answer after 2-3 emails, what to do?

Say a prospective PhD has a high reply rate (90-95%) to first contact emails with potential superviors. He/She has a well thought out e-mail, but a particular professor (here: USA) that is in the top ...
26
votes
3answers
23k views

Rejecting a PhD offer after having accepted it. Advice?

I have accepted a PhD offer from a very good university to do a project very close to my interests. I have told the project supervisor I accept it. In the meanwhile I have managed to secure a PhD ...
8
votes
2answers
18k views

Does a bad grade in one course (with otherwise OK record) affect graduate admissions?

I'm currently an M. Phil student in Math and I failed a course last semester because I was not able to hand in a home work assignment (which was worth 40% of my grade) on time (I was 30 minutes late). ...
24
votes
4answers
46k views

Importance of GPA and GRE scores for grad school admissions

I was reading the following article by Mathew Might. HOWTO: Get into grad school for science, engineering, math and computer science I saw the following the paragraph What doesn't matter GPA? ...
4
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3answers
4k views

Will one 'C' grade due to health issues ruin my chances of admission into a top grad school?

I am in the third year of my undergraduate degree now, and in the process of applying for Graduate schools and Med schools. I have a burning questions about a creepy "C" in my transcript. To ...
29
votes
3answers
89k views

How much detail to include in first email to potential PhD supervisor?

First, I must mention that I found these questions helpful: Prospective PhD contacts potential supervisor but receives no answer after 2-3 emails, what to do? What to do when emails to a potential ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

Priority of application materials for admission decision

As I've already saw, many people here are related to admission process. And I want to ask their opinion on what is priority of all stuff from application: what is the most important (letters of ...
9
votes
4answers
29k views

Can a masters student apply for a second masters in the same field at another university?

Are students with masters degree allowed to enter a masters program in the same area at a good university? Is second masters a good option for a better research experience and improving your CV ...
17
votes
3answers
14k views

How do the completion of online courses impact a Master's application?

I see places like Coursera, Udacity and EdX offer certificates upon successful completion of course work. Also most of the people doing recorded teaching at these places are famous and well known ...
13
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5answers
6k views

Implications of being accepted without funding to a computer science PhD in the United States?

I was accepted into Ohio State University CS PhD without funding. I have heard that people who can show their capability may get funding after getting into the program. Is this understanding correct? ...
39
votes
7answers
24k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to completing a Masters program before applying to a Ph. D program?

I've been considering applying to graduate school of some form or another in Mathematics. During my undergraduate years, I did decently on my undergraduate coursework (mostly A-s, some As, a B) but ...
38
votes
4answers
17k views

Can a professor influence the graduate admissions committee if he or she is interested in a particular student?

I've had a promising Skype interview with a great professor from a top-level university in US. Our research interests are closely related and he encouraged me to apply BUT he says that all decisions ...
10
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3answers
6k views

Does one need a master's in math before taking a PhD in pure math?

I finished bachelor's in mathematical finance and am nearly finished with master's in mathematical finance (I am already done with thesis), and I plan to pursue a PhD not in mathematical finance but ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How much will a poor first semester affect my grad school chances?

I'm studying Computer Science with a double major in Math at a public university. I hope to attend a private school like Vanderbilt (Nashville, USA) to pursue an MS or PhD. My GPA is still above a 3.0,...
48
votes
5answers
30k views

How to find a good topic for a PhD research proposal?

In many countries an application for a PhD position includes a written research proposal, so my questions is what are some advises/strategies to come up with a good topic/idea for a PhD research ...
21
votes
2answers
44k views

What is the median math GRE subject score for admission to a Group 2 or 3 PhD program in applied mathematics?

What are the typical (median or maybe third quartile) scores on the math subject GRE for successful applicants to a math program at the PhD level, in applied math, at a Group 2 or Group 31 school? ...
47
votes
6answers
14k views

Dressing etiquette for interviews in academia

Are there expected dressing norms at faculty interviews? Will a casual tee-jeans be discouraged? In the same vein, what is expected when a student visits the campus for an interview?
20
votes
8answers
6k views

Can an emotional letter of motivation be harmful in a PhD application?

Today some of my friends were discussing a motivation letter. One friend's application was rejected. One reason his friends find out is that the letter of motivation is very emotional. So I was ...
15
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5answers
5k views

After PhD in Aerospace Engineering, could I be admitted into a top university for a second PhD in Computer Science?

I currently work as an Aerospace Engineer for the Department of Defense for nearly 6 years now, and I have a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from a top-10 university in the United States. I am seriously ...
12
votes
7answers
15k views

Is it unwise to contact the professor directly before getting admitted to a program in US?

In his answer of Details an applicant should include/exclude in an introductory letter to a prospective grad school adviser?, aeismail says If the program in question is in the US, for instance, ...
18
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5answers
5k views

Trauma affected my grades while in undergrad, how will it affect me getting into graduate school?

I was traumatized by an abusive relationship. While in the relationship, my grades were affected. Out of the relationship, I chose to stay in school and struggle with my studies instead of medically ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Psychiatrist from whom I requested documentation doesn't believe in accommodations for adults with ADHD/“hyperkinetic disorder” taking meds

Update (October 24/25): You were approved for 50% extended time, breaks, water in the testing room, separate room, pens for scratch work, and extra scratch paper Update (October 12/13): Please ...
59
votes
3answers
4k views

How to evaluate potential advisers on grounds other than their research/publications?

While accepting an offer to grad school, one is basically entering into a lasting relationship with one's adviser - most likely, someone whom the applicant has never met before, and the only exposure ...
40
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it ethical to apply different criteria for graduate admissions based on country of undergraduate study?

We have undertaken a small statistical study of M.S. students in our department, including their application information and their eventual performance in our program. The goal is to develop criteria ...
20
votes
4answers
7k views

PhD in pure mathematics for a student in computer science

I'm a student currently pursuing my masters in computer science. My present area of research is computational algrebraic geometry (theory of grobner bases and tropical geometry). Afterwards, I'm ...
21
votes
4answers
18k views

What do admission committees look for in a diversity essay?

I'm sitting here with my friend, who is in the process of applying to graduate school. She's come across a prompt that looks like this: If you are a member of a community that has historically been ...
38
votes
7answers
95k views

3.8 GPA, but 3 Fs and 1 D on transcript [duplicate]

So here's a funny thing: I have 3 Fs and 1 D on my transcript, but my GPA is ~3.8, which is "high" because I double majored in math and computer science. The reason for those 4 bad grades is that I ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I link my research in my SOP?

I have done some independent research that I wish to mention in my SOP. The full account of what I have done till has been published as an e-print on arxiv.org. Can I give a hyperlink to this e-print ...
20
votes
5answers
9k views

Do admissions care how close a TOEFL score is to the minimum?

I work with some students who will attend graduate school in the US. The schools they are applying for list minimum required TOEFL scores. Some have just reached the minimum scores required for ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How much detail about mental health issues should one include in “Special Circumstances” section of graduate school applications?

This question is inspired by answers and comments to the question "Should a postdoc talk about his depression with his mentor?" on this website. Suppose that an applicant to a graduate program ...
25
votes
1answer
141k views

How to write a Cover Letter for applying to a PhD programme

I am applying for a PhD programme in Europe. For that I need to write a cover letter. It will be more like a SOP (technical but shorter version, as it's one page) or it can be more general stuff, as ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Does rigor/thoroughness of undergraduate program matter (for graduate/PhD applications)?

I am an undergraduate at a large public research university in the US, finishing my second year. I have done some theorycrafting around my graduation course requirements, and I have realized that it ...
30
votes
9answers
10k views

What if my professor writes me a negative LOR, in order to keep me working with him?

I am a undergrad student, and I am currently conducting summer research under a professor. During our last meeting, I have revealed that I wish to go to school A for my graduate study. But my prof ...
13
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2answers
4k views

Is research experience in a different field relevant for PhD application?

I am a economics major undergraduate student who will apply for grad schools in the coming semester. I think I have quite a strong research experience in mathematical statistics (asymptotic statistics ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How are GPAs from different universities evaluated for admissions to MS programs in the USA?

I am about to apply for a Master program in U.S. as I am about to graduate in Bachelor of Engineering. Though I heard that all my grades during all my academic life is taken into consideration (GPA). ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Math: Perception of only or mostly doing research in Master's for Ph.D. admission folks

Background: I'll be starting a 1.5 - 2 year master's program in mathematics this coming Fall in the US. Because of my non-degree graduate courses relevant to the program and my research interest, I ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How does one change to engineering for graduate school after undergrad in a science field?

I've always had an interest in electrical engineering (actually all engineering in general) and I've decided that I'd like to pursue a graduate degree. I guess I'm wondering if I should really try to ...