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Strength of application without Honours (USA)

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Sorry to equivocate a bit, but I'll have to keep some personal details out. I'm almost done with my undergraduate studies (humanities) at a university in the Australia/NZ region, and am wondering if anyone from Australia or New Zealand has successfully applied for a PhD program at a top-tier American or British university without doing an Honours year (i.e. 4th year coursework/thesis)? 


I'm thinking of applying at the end of my third year and plan on using an interim GPA as I'll be finishing mid-year. Any ideas on whether this will detract from my application? (Either using the interim marks or not having Honours; but even if I were to do Honours, I wouldn't be able to submit my final grade due to midyear commencement.) 



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I'm with ttf on this - it will be very difficult for you to get into a PhD program in the US, especially if you want to continue right after finishing you undergrad.

Is there any reason why you would not want to graduate with honours and work on a thesis? Because if you have no other research experience (or work experience related to your subject area) it will be very difficult to convince an ad.com. that you are ready to embark on a PhD. I myself am wondering if you know what you are getting into if you are even reluctant (that's what it sounds like, but I may be wrong!) to graduate with honours from you undergrad. Many prospective grad students even get a Masters first in order to increase their chances. Also, bear in mind, that it is generally a bit more difficult for foreign students to get accepted simply because it costs a university a lot more money to support them.

As for the UK - I think it's not much different. I am UK educated and I know that it is possible to go into a PhD program straight from undergrad, but (at least in Scotland) this was only ever possible for anyone graduating with honours.

All in all I am not saying that it is completely impossible but based on my experience and from what I have learned from others in the past I do think you are really hurting you chances if you take this kind of short cut.

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Thanks for all the replies, and sorry for my own late response.


I get what you guys mean, for sure. I do actually have research experience in my field, which isn't the normal case in the humanities, and was simply vacillating on whether to go on to Honours for its extra year (i.e., on top of however many years to come). I do say 'was', because I know it was a bit of a capricious uncertainty than anything else. I likely will. It's definitely not reluctance to do a year of research, but rather the opposite; my projects are somewhat larger than a one-year thesis. Either way, I should add more importantly that, yes, applications are due in around October to December, but as I mentioned, I do finish my undergraduate around June, and so my Honours year grade wouldn't be ready by then if I were to start it in August. 


It's nice nonetheless to have perspectives as to how much it counts, so thanks!

Edited by arrantlybenighted
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I understand! But just to add this - quite a few people are going from undergrad straight into grad school so they will be finishing around the same time as you. I don't think that not getting your grade  in time will have an impact on your application - you may simply have a conditional offer that will be confirmed once the school is able to provide you with a letter of completion. Not unusual I think :)

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