Jump to content

Is fit the most important aspect?


Recommended Posts

Is fit with professor X at school Z the most important aspect? The more I read the more it seems it is. After reading the "get a B" thread and others like it, one can see that many, many people will have 3.5-4.0 gpa. Many will have master's degrees and multiple ones at times. It seems like connecting with a POI before hand is one of the most important aspects, if not the most important. Obviously SOP is very important, but if I have made connections with professor X before at SBL, email, conference then it can overrule everything else. Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the university. Some schools have a direct admit system, meaning the POI has a 90% say in who gets in. Other schools have a committee that choses who gets in, and your POI does not have as much say. In those cases Fit matters, but its fit with the school not the POI. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jimmy,


I'm a newb to this forum and to the PhD application process, but I have been admitted at one school, and from my many hours of conversation with my own professors and the experience so far, it seems that you are right.


As you mentioned, everyone will have good GPAs, good GRE scores, Statements of Purpose, etc.  

From what I can tell, other than getting a sense of your actual personality (from interviews), it's the research interests you have for your dissertation and the specialization of the faculty at the school you are applying to that make the biggest difference.  And it makes sense from their end...why admit somebody who wants to do a dissertation on something that nobody in the faculty is particularly knowledgeable about?  It'd be a waste of funding resources for the school and a frustrating experience for the student.


Again I've never been on an admissions board or anything, but at the school I was admitted to, I had a lengthy interview with a former graduate who gave me some insight about how to present my research ideas and what professors to single out.  It seems to have worked!  I also interviewed at another school, and intentionally mentioned a professor whose dissertation is in an area that I want to do research on.  That got me on the short list of invitees for interviews.

Hope this helps.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

This really depends on the school. Some schools want the best applicants, and don't even really think about who they will work with at the admissions stage. Other programs require you to list POIs on your application and then let those POIs rank the applications as part of their admissions process.


Does fit matter? Of course it does. If the adcom reads your SOP and can't even plausibly come up with three names to serve on your committee, that's not a good thing for you. Or, they could let you in and expect you to just figure it out somehow. 


*shrug* Who really knows? (And I say this as someone that has had peeks into the admissions process in multiple departments and on more than one occasion).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use