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Demonstrated Interest for PhD Applications


nanakimmy9
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Hello. I’ve heard that for masters programs, generally it is the admissions office that makes the decision of who to accept or reject. For PhD programs, however, the professors themselves have a say in who to admit. In the humanities field that I’m interested in, nearly all of the schools that I’m applying to said that the PhD admissions decisions will be made not just by faculty alone but by admissions staff as well. (The guaranteed full funding for all accepted students is paid by the school and is not contingent on the advisor’s available funds, which is why you don’t need to secure a position with any professor in this particular field prior to applying. At least, that seems to be the norm to the select schools I’m applying to.

In such a case (where admissions staff are also responsible for making the decisions instead of individual professors alone), do schools care how much interaction you have with admissions: whether you’re attending admissions events, whether you’re meeting with admissions directors or representatives, etc.? Basically, is a demonstration of interest something that is considered for PhD?

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When I applied to MS programs I didn't interact with admissions at (other than to submit my app) and was accepted. Scholarship applications happened after the fact. For my PhD I know that an applicant file was opened on a type of chat board and all faculty could comment and there was a vote involved.

During my time there, I know someone who was on the payroll and applied for an MS and was denied until their supervisor (faculty) stepped in. This would lead me to think that the decision was made at the admissions level without faculty comment.

Just one empirical case, so just my 2 cents.

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3 hours ago, nanakimmy9 said:

Thank you for your response! Do you mean this part about masters or PhD? I'm applying for the latter this time and was curious about it.

MS was at the admissions level (unless faculty went out of their way to step in). PhD was the chat board/vote.

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