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European student dreaming of Ph.D in USA


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Hey everybody!

Maybe its a stupid question, but im thinking about it for a quite a while... so lets go!

It is my lifelong dream to pursue a Ph.D in the US. Now im wondering how difficult it is to get admitted into a Ph.D program in the US (top 100 Uni's).

I must admit im kind of insecure about my grades when I compare them to the US grading system. I would say they are okay but not extremely competitive. I do have some other strengths tho.. Im currently studying Philosophy at the university of Leuven, Belgium (1st Belgium, 31th worldwide) and will study at LMU Munich for 6 months next year (1st Germany, 14th worldwide). Also im fluent in Dutch, German, French and English + I will first complete a Ma degree (in English) before applying for a Ph.D. (Im especially interested in German and French 20th century philosophy.)

The question: How important would grades be in my case? Would I be a competitive candidate if I would be applying for a Ph.D at (for example)  the University of Virginia, University of Missouri or Georgetown? 

Anyway, thanks a lot! <3


 

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Like for pretty much all applicants, your writing sample will be most important, along with letters of recommendation. If you have a dynamite sample, and established professors who can vouch for you (and perhaps contextualize the grading system / address the grades), you should have a shot. So, writing sample writing sample writing sample. 

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On 3/19/2021 at 12:09 PM, Heidegger99 said:

Hey everybody!

Maybe its a stupid question, but im thinking about it for a quite a while... so lets go!

It is my lifelong dream to pursue a Ph.D in the US. Now im wondering how difficult it is to get admitted into a Ph.D program in the US (top 100 Uni's).

I must admit im kind of insecure about my grades when I compare them to the US grading system. I would say they are okay but not extremely competitive. I do have some other strengths tho.. Im currently studying Philosophy at the university of Leuven, Belgium (1st Belgium, 31th worldwide) and will study at LMU Munich for 6 months next year (1st Germany, 14th worldwide). Also im fluent in Dutch, German, French and English + I will first complete a Ma degree (in English) before applying for a Ph.D. (Im especially interested in German and French 20th century philosophy.)

The question: How important would grades be in my case? Would I be a competitive candidate if I would be applying for a Ph.D at (for example)  the University of Virginia, University of Missouri or Georgetown? 

Anyway, thanks a lot! ❤️


 

I don't think you'll be at a disadvantage coming from a European university. People here have heard of Leuven and LMU Munich. Those are schools with some prestige here, at least in philosophy. As @Marcus_Aureliussays, focus on your sample and getting strong letters from faculty.

If you want to work on 20th century German and French philosophy, though, Virginia and Missouri aren't going to be a good fit for you, so make sure you're applying to programs that make sense given your interests and the topic of your writing sample.

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