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Applying to two programs in the same school ?


shai
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I've been told that it's not a good idea, because it makes you seem unfocused. Many of the schools I'm looking at specifically state that you can't apply to more than one program per cycle. The obvious exception would be joint programs like a Ph.D./J.D.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It depends....

If the school offers a joint degree and you're interested in both degrees, do it. But if they dont, you might not want to, as it signals to potential programs you're not sure what program you want to enter into and/or you're using the other program as a backup plan.

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I think many, if not most, schools have a policy on this, and it should be somewhere on that school's general graduate school website. I would double check for each school that interests you.

As a general policy, though, unless you're aiming for a joint degree, you might be better off choosing one program over another -- perhaps the one that seems more open to your taking courses in other departments, so that you can take as many in the other attractive department as you like.

Departments/programs each have different sorts of requirements for their students. See if one program's requirements don't suit your needs more. Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I applied to two programs in two "separate" schools - Columbia doesn't allow you to apply to two programs in the same school. But since the MPH is technically housed at the school of public health and the Ph.D is technically housed at the Graduate School, I was able to apply to the MPH and the Ph.D in the same field.

The admissions committee understood exactly what I was doing - namely, that I was applying to the Ph.D but that if I didn't get in, I wanted to get my MPH there. They didn't really seem to mind much (the same professors saw both applications) and we had a rather amusing conversation about it when I visited after I was admitted to the Ph.D program. I was asked if I wanted to complete an MPH/Ph.D as opposed to an MA/Ph.D, since I was technically admitted to both, but I declined. (It would've taken me more time and shifted the focus to professional preparation instead of research.)

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It depends on the school.

Where I am, Trent U, it's not only welcome, but you can apply to a couple programs on the same application fee.

Some programs are interdisciplinary, and some research topics (like mine) can fall into multiple categories. If a school you are interested in allows it, it's worth considering.

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  • 1 month later...

Contrary to what people seem to have said to this, two potential advisors I contacted (one a face-to-face informational interview) advised me to apply to multiple programs at their respective universities (MIT and U Washington).

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Contrary to what people seem to have said to this, two potential advisors I contacted (one a face-to-face informational interview) advised me to apply to multiple programs at their respective universities (MIT and U Washington).

Yes--a professor at Michigan suggested that I apply to two related but separate programs in order to, as she put it, "increase my chances of acceptance to the school." I didn't end up applying to the second program, because while it was related to my interests, it was a little too divergent for my tastes.

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I agree with the above; I don't think it makes one seem unfocused by applying to two different programs within the same school, particularly if they're in interdisciplinary fields. (Or we can hope that the two different colleges within the same institution don't communicate :P)

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I think what seems unfocused is if you apply to two different schools with two totally different proposed courses of study. But applying to, say, anthro and af. am. studies is not a stretch. I applied to two programs at one school but I spoke about the same proposed course of study -- that will work in either discipline and would actually use about the same committee members -- at the advice of a prof at the school.

To not appear unfocused don't be unfocused. But if two disciplines intersect at your interests and you can explain how then I do not think it is frowned upon.

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I think what seems unfocused is if you apply to two different schools with two totally different proposed courses of study. But applying to, say, anthro and af. am. studies is not a stretch. I applied to two programs at one school but I spoke about the same proposed course of study -- that will work in either discipline and would actually use about the same committee members -- at the advice of a prof at the school.

To not appear unfocused don't be unfocused. But if two disciplines intersect at your interests and you can explain how then I do not think it is frowned upon.

I think it really depends on the program and the discipline. If your field studies "topics" its not a problem, but if your field has a "method" it might be. Sociology programs, for example, generally frown on applications to other programs (I know this from emailing professors). I heard several times that it would show that you're, quote, note a serious student, endquote. Religion programs, on the other hand, don't really seem to care.

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