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USC Annenberg PhD apps - when are rec letters due?


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Hi all, thanks in advance. (cross-post from the Journalism board.) 

 

I'm strongly considering applying to the USC Annenberg PhD in Communication.

 

I see that at the application deadline of November 1st (which is EARLY!) they don't ask for rec letters, but only the contact info of your references, to whom they then send an "online form" to fill out. 

 

I'd like to give my references as much time as humanly possible to fill these out - does anyone know when these "online forms" are due? (I already got approval from the letter writers, back in August.)

 

Thank you!

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. I spoke with the admissions office today. The letters are indeed due November 1st, though they have a buffer period until the 10th. 

 

This is a big bummer - an entire MONTH before every other school's apps are due at the very least. Looks like I won't be applying to USC. That's just not enough time to give to my recommenders, since i want to give them completed Statements of Purpose a solid three months before their letters are due. 

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I agree. I double-checked their website when you emailed me and was thrown by the November 1 deadline. I started researching programs last year so I figured they'd stick with the Dec 1 deadline. 'Fraid not. 

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. I spoke with the admissions office today. The letters are indeed due November 1st, though they have a buffer period until the 10th. 

 

This is a big bummer - an entire MONTH before every other school's apps are due at the very least. Looks like I won't be applying to USC. That's just not enough time to give to my recommenders, since i want to give them completed Statements of Purpose a solid three months before their letters are due. 

 

This is sad.  However, its not as bad as with some disciplines like philosophy where certain programs are not even announcing whether they are taking applications until Nov. 1.  

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This is SO WEIRD...the apps were definitely due on December 1st last year. New department head must be changing things up.

 

I would definitely still apply. Giving your recommenders 3 months lead time on the letters of rec is a LOT of extra time and generally far more than any professor who is on top of his or her game would need. I mean, it's fine to *ask* if they will do it for you several months ahead, that's a great idea (like I'd ask NOW), but giving them your SOP three months early is just not practical (unless you're hoping they'll help give you feedback and edit them? Even then...) I would ask them 3 months ahead and then get them your SOP 3 to 4 weeks before the letters are due...and it doesn't have to be the final version (like you can still tweak little things here and there), just a complete draft. Plus your CV/resume. So I'd aim to give your recommenders an SOP & CV between October 1 and October 7; that gives you several more weeks to work on it. It *can* be done! You can't get in if you don't apply.

 

Also, keep in mind many professors (arguably problematic, but still) ask for their students to send them a draft of the letter they'd like written, and they will modify it. By *no means* should you *suggest* this, but be prepared for the possibility for them to say they do this. (Hopefully they'll tell you when you ask ahead of time if this is their modus operandi.) So you may have more writing on your horizon.

 

Departments are excruciatingly aware of professors doing things after deadlines, which is why they have the November 10 buffer. It won't hurt you if a prof gets it in within that time. Also, the part of the app where you ask for the letters of rec will send out the "GW has requested a letter of recommendation!" email before you have completed the rest of the application (so you can fill out that part of the app around Oct. 1-7 as mentioned above), and it will also show you if your recommenders have completed it or not and let you send reminders. 

 

Hope this helps!

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Thanks TheRufus!

 

I decided to go ahead and apply to USC. I did indeed ask my letter writers, back in July, and they all said yes. I figure if I give them a Statement of Purpose by this Monday, that's 6 solid weeks until the buffer acceptance date, and that should be enough time. 

 

May I ask how you chose 'SC?

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