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Importance of Conference Presentations for PhD Applications


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Hey guys,

I am currently a first-year master's student, so I will be applying for PhD programs next year. I think I have a good idea of the relative importance of the writing sample, languages, GRE and GPA, and rec letters. How important are conference presentations and the place where you present? I am just now settling on my thesis topic within my field, and I won't get to the archives until this summer. Once I have something, should I try to present it at one/several conferences or it does not matter much as long as my writing sample is solid? Does the place where you present (e.g. national conference for your field/local conference across many fields) matter much at this level? I haven't seen much on this forum or anywhere else regarding conference presentations and their weight in the application process, so I'd appreciate any input.

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The first conference at which I presented was in the 3rd year of my PhD. Don't worry about it! @TMP, who helped guide me through my application season way back in the day, has the right idea as usual--your writing sample and statement of purpose should be your focus. Good luck!

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