Jump to content

Does extracurricular activities matter at all for PhD admissions?


Recommended Posts

It will help show enthusiasm/interest, which is important and will come through in your letters of recommendation hopefully, but this isn't going to make a huge difference.  If you were like a Division 1 athlete and had a great background, I could see something like that being impressive to adcoms, but in general extracurriculars aren't considered to be very important.  I would not go out of your way to become the VP of the AI Club just to improve your profile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check out this article: https://stattrak.amstat.org/2016/02/01/gradadvice/

In it Professor Banks provides the answer: 

"Sadly, many undergraduates think having multiple majors and minors is impressive, as is leadership in various university clubs, participation in sports, summer research experiences, and volunteer work for the community. But the admissions committee only cares about whether the applicant will thrive in its department’s PhD program in statistics.

All the other résumé padding is at best irrelevant, or perhaps even evidence of distractability."

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Stats MS to PhD said:

Much thanks for the replies @bayessays and @icantdoalgebra! So I should exclude this information (VP of AI Club) from my application package?

No, I don't think so.  I think that professor's opinion is very extreme - it is unlikely to help you significantly, but I would say it is certainly much more likely to help than hurt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I interpreted the statement as having only one thing (like VP of a club) is not an issue or would be beneficial, but if you're in 4 different clubs (even if they are all related to statistics) would be problematic. However take what I say with a grain of salt since I'm just somebody who applied this cycle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with @bayessays. As an anecdote, I had a bunch of different clubs and activities on my CV, most of which weren't stats-related. Some people even brought them up at visits, in a positive way. I think other things like grades and letters of rec are of much higher significance, so extracurriculars probably won't push you one way or the other. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.