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Schools asking for other programs I am applying to

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Basically what the title says. Some of my applications ask me what other programs I am applying to. The question is mostly optional, but should I include them in my application? Would it be a drawback or a potential benefit or just something they want for their records? Any info appreciated. 

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23 minutes ago, DigitalHubris said:

 It's just the program trying to get the lay of the landscape, see how their competition fluctuates each year. 

I agree I don't think it matters all that much either. More often than not this question is simply for the school's admission's department to get an understanding of the schools they compete with for graduate admissions. 

There are some instances where schools will use this information as a sort of litmus test for where you're likely to go. As an extreme example, if you've applied to all the Ivy League schools and one small state school, the state school may look at that and conclude (rightly or wrongly) that they're your safety school. Or as another extreme example if you've applied to several schools on the west coast and then one in the midwest, the midwest school may conclude (again rightly or wrongly) that you have a geographic preference for the west coast. 

More often than not POIs look at the list to get a gage of the direction you're heading in,  the strengths of the programs you're applying to, etc.

It won't hurt you if you don't answer it, it most likely won't hurt you if you do.

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1 hour ago, DigitalHubris said:

I don't think it really matters either way. It's just the program trying to get the lay of the landscape, see how their competition fluctuates each year. There are a bunch of discussions on reddit about this portion of the application each year.

Cool, thanks! I wonder how I missed that with how often I lurk reddit lol. 

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53 minutes ago, CN0rd said:

I agree I don't think it matters all that much either. More often than not this question is simply for the school's admission's department to get an understanding of the schools they compete with for graduate admissions. 

There are some instances where schools will use this information as a sort of litmus test for where you're likely to go. As an extreme example, if you've applied to all the Ivy League schools and one small state school, the state school may look at that and conclude (rightly or wrongly) that they're your safety school. Or as another extreme example if you've applied to several schools on the west coast and then one in the midwest, the midwest school may conclude (again rightly or wrongly) that you have a geographic preference for the west coast. 

More often than not POIs look at the list to get a gage of the direction you're heading in,  the strengths of the programs you're applying to, etc.

It won't hurt you if you don't answer it, it most likely won't hurt you if you do.

Yeah, I figured it was mainly to see what other schools students look at but I wanted to make sure before answering. Thanks! 

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