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What is a good number of PhD applications to send in?


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I did 6 applications and now I am beginning to think it was not enough. One of my programmes has already started accepting people (so far I am not one of them.)

Starting to panic a bit.

Edited by jk25
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1 hour ago, jk25 said:

I did 6 applications and now I am beginning to think it was not enough. One of my programmes has already started accepting people (so far I am not one of them.)

Starting to panic a bit.

I did 7 PhD and 2 MPP apps. So far I can assume 4 PhD rejections. The panic is extremely real. 

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Since HGSE wasn't accepting anyone this year, I did... one. But that one is a really good match for me (I just hope they can see that!). It really depends on what you're looking for in a program. 

 

The good news is that searching for results is super easy! 

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I mean, I’ve been recommended both cycles to submit 10+ applications but never followed the advice. I considered it for a while this year but ultimately decided not to and finished with eight applications. 

I think “the right number” depends most on your situation! Applications take so much time, energy, and money, so you have to take all of those into consideration. For me, because I have a full-time job and started my applications quite late this cycle, I thought spreading my eggs across 10+ baskets would hurt me more than submitting eight that I could feel more confident about.

I feel the panic more now, too, since I have fewer cards in the game. But I’m trying to remind myself that it was a deliberate choice that I knew was right for me at the time.

The other upside is that when (not if) you get your good news, it’ll up your success rate by a lot!!!

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I looked for places that are suitable for my research goals (shared interests with faculty, program specifications, etc.) So I have only applied to 3. 

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1 hour ago, gnina said:

I'm nervous with 8 applications 😂. Good luck! 

You got this!  I’m sweating. 😂 I’m constantly checking my email and portal.  

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I'll do a full blog post about this at some point, but I think that the number of applications you submit could(should?) be based on how strong your application is, and how selective your desired schools are. If you've got your heart set on 1 school with an acceptance rate below 5%, you're setting yourself up for stress and disappointment. If you don't get in, you don't even really have enough data to decide how to proceed forward:  it could be that your desired advisor is going on sabbatical, or that last year your concentration accepted 1 more student than usual, and this year it'll be one less. It could be that the lab you're trying to join was specifically looking for someone with psychometric research experience, and while you'd likely be accepted next year, this year you're rejected. More applications give you more data and also make it more likely that you'll get in somewhere. A win/win. Whatever you do, don't spend money and time on applying to schools that you're sure that you don't want to go to. ( For future applicants who end up reading this post)

Personally, I applied to 5: 3 in the top 5, and two local programs with higher acceptance rates that wouldn't require me to move.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/1/2021 at 7:24 AM, PenelopeWaiting43 said:

I'm nervous with 8 applications 😂. Good luck! 

Update:  I just received an acceptance email!  I’m thrilled!  Best of luck to you!

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  • 4 weeks later...
14 hours ago, PenelopeWaiting43 said:

Actually, I have already made my decision, and I'm thrilled!  I am waiting a bit for the pending programs to proceed with the formalities. 
What about you? Did you accept your offer?

Awesome!  So happy for you—congratulations! Yes, I accepted the very next day, haha!  

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