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opinions, please!


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Perhaps this is the wrong place to post this, but here goes.

I have applied to a PhD program that is perfect for my future career goals (trying to be vague here so I can't be identified). The school also has a MS program that I am interested in as well, but I already have another Masters degree that is not completely unrelated.

My question is this: If I have not heard at all from the PhD program by the upcoming MS deadline (March 1), would it be a good thing or a to apply for that program as well? I fear that if I do, they may consider me less interested in the doctoral degree. This PhD is my ultimate career goal, and I would rather be in a program year next working towards an MS that would lead to the PhD, than not in a program at all.

Opinions? Advice? Should I drink a hot cup of chill out be patient?

Edited by hockeygay
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I think that if you are really that set on being in school, then sure, go ahead and throw out a few MA applications (but not to the same schools that you applied to phd programs). However, ask yourself a few questions (1) am I willing to pay thousands and thousands to settle for an MA? (2) if a PhD is my academic goal, then will this MA help me get there? (3) what are my chances of getting into the schools I most recently applied to? (4) can I apply again to other phd programs next year with a good chance of getting in?

Personally, my profile after my undergraduates was so crappy that I did an MA in order to become a better and more prepared applicant this year.

Good luck!

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Well you need to find out if you can apply to a master's and PhD at the same time at that school. If you can and the programs are in different departments then the same people (most likely) will not be evaluating your application. If the two programs are in the same dept and the same or similar people will be on the adcom for each program then that would make it more difficult I would think because they would be confused about your academic goals and wondering why you applied to a PhD program and a master's program.

Maybe it makes more sense in this situation to inquire about your status on your PhD app so you know how to proceed. Good luck!

Edited by ZeChocMoose
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Well for somewhere like NYU, for example, because they have so many different schools, the MS and PhD programs may each fall under different schools, in which case, the adcom is likely different. For example, getting a MS at NYU in biology is associated with the "Graduate School of Arts and Science" but if you were going for a PhD in "Cellular and Molecular Biology", that would be associated with the "Sackler Institute". If you investigate the schools and see if there is overlapping faculty, that will help you figure out if there is a possibility of any part of the adcom being the same.

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thank you both. Yes, the adcomm for both programs would be the same people. Ok, I will not do that, but wait patiently (ugh) to hear something (anything).

The only other thing I can think of (you may want to proceed with caution) is to ask someone in the department or school that knows about admissions policies (preferably someone who works in admin not a professor) if your application can be considered for the MS program if you get rejected from the PhD program. The only issue I can see if your inquiry gets back to the adcomm which may be negative towards your PhD app. You could call and ask. Sometimes that don't ask for your information if you call.

Also have PhD applicants in the past heard back before the master's deadline? If so-- then you might not need to do anything but wait to see what happens and then respond accordingly.

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Also have PhD applicants in the past heard back before the master's deadline? If so-- then you might not need to do anything but wait to see what happens and then respond accordingly

I wish I knew! The only stats I can find are how many PhDs have graduated per year in the past five or so years. Nothing about admissions.

I called the department secretary to inquire about when decisions are typically made, but she had no clue, and her only suggestion was to transfer me to the department head, and since he is on the adcomm, I politely declined. ;-)

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