If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.
5

The underlying issue is that if the university reimbursed you, you'd essentially have made money. That's because you end up with the university's money plus the flight credit. That seems like a good deal for you, and that makes it a bad deal for the university. In many cases, airlines give you a choice: (i) take the flight credit for a future flight; (ii) ...


5

The starting point is probably to respond politely but firmly to the academic in charge of the admissions process, pointing out that you cannot eat a flight credit, and that the grad school's actions have led to a substantial and unexpected hole in your budget. Frame it as a 'moral' obligation rather than a 'legal' one. If you've had significant interactions ...


4

Funded masters degrees are getting generally phased out in most fields. They seem to be replaced with unfunded masters' degrees, and/or all students are getting funneled into the funded PhD programs. The prevailing wisdom (as far as I can tell) is that funding masters students is a waste because as soon as you've trained them to know stuff they leave, ...


4

The class in question is a not a major or graduation requirement Assuming you want to go to graduate school in a topic closely related to your major, taking one unrelated course pass/fail will not matter under normal circumstances. It will matter even less because everybody knows students are being encouraged to take classes pass/fail during the pandemic.


4

There is nothing out of the ordinary here - they made an offer, you declined, they inquire if there is anything they could do to change your mind (presumably you did not provide a concrete reason for declining, otherwise they would have probably made an offer that potentially changes this reasoning or, if that's not possible, wouldn't even have asked). How ...


3

Given that you prefer an offer from them to all others, I suggest the following. First, the opening and closing remarks are a bit trite unless you know this person already. You aren't writing to a friend, so keep it professional. I sometimes use "Stay safe" as a closing salutation now days, but nothing else. But the important point is to leave out most ...


2

I don't expect this to be an issue. I have been at departments where two spouses were faculty members. I have also received and evaluated applications where there were references for the same candidate from academics who I know are close collaborators and friends. In each case, the natural assumption was that they have their own careers, working style, ...


2

The email is perfectly appropriate and not offensive. However it is a bit confusing and the clarity can be improved. Specifically, your email does not clearly highlight the question your asking and it is easy to ignore or misunderstand the purpose (why you are writing) because there is a lot of other stuff in it. That other stuff is definitely good to ...


2

You're stuck in a conundrum you'll encounter all through your life: You have a girl/boy friend and you wonder whether it's worth committing and getting married -- but you keep wondering whether anyone better might come along eventually. You have a job offer from a well-paying company, but you still have that application pending with Google. You have a grad ...


2

Given that you're a sophomore at a fairly selective liberal arts college [*], you still have plenty of time. Indeed, in two years time the work you're doing now might seem rather simplistic and quaint to you, due to your likely much greater "maturity" in relevant subject-matter knowledge by then. [*] You mentioned this in a comment. You should probably ...


1

Congratulations on your offers. This is really four questions. Would I benefit from a deferment? It sounds like you feel bad about "abandoning" your current program. You should not. You probably owe them nothing. PhD programs benefit universities more than students. Completing your master's will do nothing to change the fact that you are switching ...


1

Can a Guest Lecturer be my Referee? Yes, they can. To determine if they are the best referee for a graduate application, try answering the following questions: Can this person attest for my strong research potential? (Not just performance in coursework) (e.g. did you talk to them after lecture about ideas outside the scope of the course? Did they seem ...


1

Your research experience counts! Specifically, you are getting experience in the process of "doing research": finding a question, reading the literature, forming hypotheses and figuring out how to test them, etc. These are important skills, even moreso than (say) knowing your way around a specific instrument's console. Admission committees also know that ...


1

There are basically two scenario's here. The professor still has an open PhD position, and you're not going to take it. That means he'll have to find someone else. But why didn't you accept that position? Was that purely because of reasons that are particular to you? If so, tell the professor. That means he might have more luck with the next candidate. But ...


1

As Mad Jack pointed out, for students, Emailing faculty is not all that easy. I'm a (relatively) new grad student and have been through the process more than once. At least for three of the PhD programs I got offers from, I responded very late and very minimally, even though a few faculty did reach out to me. I wish I was more responsive and honestly, I was ...


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