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What will adcoms think about me graduating early?


MyWorkIsDone

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I'm currently a third year undergrad, applying next fall for PhD programs. I have an internship lined up in London for this coming fall semester, and after that I have the option of not going back to school to finish my senior year, since I'm already a fourth year by credit levels. 

It's a pretty big decision, so I was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts on it. I would save a ton of money by skipping the last semester, not to mention I could live with my parents and work full time before (hopefully) heading to grad school the following fall. So I think it's the best plan financially. But how do you think the admissions committees will view it? I didn't see why it would be an issue, but someone mentioned to me that it might make me look like I'm eager to rush through an education...


Thoughts?

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It certainly won't look great, but also might not hurt you. It could be argued that you'd be at a disadvantage due a "lack of experience." But as long as you have all your ducks in a row it should be fine.

The main question is whether your application will convince them that you're ready for graduate school.

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Thanks for your answer! 

I guess I'm just wondering why this would put me at a disadvantage. I'd really only be missing one semester, and hopefully I could get a museum internship while working...if anything it seems like I would end up with more experience than if I go back for the last half of senior year. I'm in my school's honors program and I have a great GPA, so I would hope it wouldn't appear that I was trying to slack off...


Just thinking out loud here. I really appreciate the feedback!!

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Have you written a senior thesis yet? If you're applying to a PhD program straight from undergrad, it's key to show admissions committees that you can carry out an extensive research project, and a thesis is the best way to do that. Otherwise, they may question whether you're ready for graduate level research.

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Guest lefilsdhomme

Have you written a senior thesis yet? If you're applying to a PhD program straight from undergrad, it's key to show admissions committees that you can carry out an extensive research project, and a thesis is the best way to do that. Otherwise, they may question whether you're ready for graduate level research.

And, if you write a stellar senior thesis that has been vetted by multiple faculty members, you already have a well conceptualized writing sample to submit with your application.

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I do have a paper directly related to my field of interest, which I was planning on using for my writing sample. It got a really good response from my prof, and I've been accepted to present it at a conference this spring, so I figured it would probably be a good bet. Of course I'd like to make some tweaks to it, and I think your suggestion of having multiple faculty look at it is a really good idea! 

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