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Difference between European adcomms and American?


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I´m wondering if there is a significant difference that anyone is aware of between US/European adcoms and procedures...or let´s say perceived preferences and decision criteria.

Of course, there is the GRE requirement in America, which does not exist for many European graduate programs and which is considered widely in the USA.

Let´s say there is an applicant for competitive European programs and he easily gets into most of them (HEC Paris, CEMS, LSE), would it be reasonable to say that he is competitive for US top programs, such as Harvard, Princeton, etc?

I know this may seem like a stupid question, but I´m just thinking - just like everyone else here - about many of my US applications. Is there something that is totally different in the USA in regard to the admissions criteria compared to Europe (apart from GRE)?



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This is primarily in regards to UK programs, because that's what I'm most familiar with, but might apply throughout the EU. Here, you have to propose a detailed research plan, with a fairly solidified idea, because you jump right in with minimal coursework. The US PhD structure means that your research topic is sort of a rough idea and will likely change along the way. So my understanding is that UK programs evaluate feasibility, background knowledge on topic, etc, and in the US it's about already-present research skills, promise to further develop as a scholar, etc. One mentor of mine advised me to not make it seem my heart was set on a specific topic (when applying in the US) as some programs might see that as missed chance to mold you as a scholar from the beginning.

But in terms of a person being qualified, I think these differences might matter more in terms of fit than actual qualification.

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Yeah I second the previous poster. Research plan and being able to attach an already finished thesis/work with the application. Much more focused on the research than the education in Europe, or atleast for Sweden and Germany.

Edited by cherub
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