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Switching an application


sea_shell
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It seems I had a miscommunication with a potential PI, in that she expected me to apply for the masters program and I thought we agreed I would apply for a PhD. She just contacted me to let me know that - oh no - she won't be accepting me for a PhD, only for a masters. Since I would be happy doing a masters first I replied that I'm happy to switch my application. However, just now she let me know that since the deadline is passed the switch is not possible. 

 

She suggested that I could apply again next year...but I think I will get a couple offers this year. The offers I expect will be a) not a great research match, I'd have to sort-of switch fields and B) good fit but very little funding (from 20hr/wk TA/teaching work) requiring me to take out loans (maybe ~10k/year). I'm not sure if this masters program would be funded, but it is an excellent research fit. 

 

Don't schools sometimes accept students into programs they do not apply for? Would you just accept the missed opportunity? Should I press for an option this year or wait it out? I'm not getting any younger so I'd like to get started in school ASAP but I know it's still to head into it without a great fit. 

 

Any comments are appreciated. 

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I thought that when applying to a PhD if you are not quite ready but the Department wants you, you would be admitted into a Masters degree... no need to apply separately. Or maybe this changes from Uni to Uni... I would ask her if it would be possible to accept you into a Masters with your PhD application. And I wouldn't get into any program that is not a great fit... you have to be filled with what you are doing, otherwise it is a waste of money and time. But that is just my opinion.

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