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Was this a particularly hard year to apply for a PhD or something?


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I had a 160/170/3.50 V/Q/AW on the GRE, 3.8 GPA with several grad courses taken, several TA positions, 2 years of research and 3 excellent letters of rec and I've been rejected from 7 schools, accepted to 1, and haven't heard anything back from 4 others (I'll just assume those are rejections given the pattern). I only applied to 2 schools in the top 10, the other 10 schools were uniformly distributed in the 11 - 40 range. Have all y'all been getting wrecked this application cycle or is it just me?

Edited by ProspectiveStudent42310
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Could be high number of applications, randomness, or something in your application. Folks here will be quick to focus on the third possibility but I'd say it's more likely the first two. Unfortunately it often works out that even good candidates have a relatively low acceptance probability at various programs, which works out to a fairly low probability of at least one acceptance.

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It's an unfortunate truth that every year programs receives large number of applicants. People might think their profile is great, but it is very likely that many applicants at top programs share the similar profiles. To get into Phd program, someone has to be really competitive. 

 

Also, Phd programs generally faces the situation in which there are way way more applicants than open spots. Phd are supported by faculties funding. And a faculty in any given year can only take 1 ~ 5 Phd students. 

Edited by zliu224
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You didn't mention research experience.  Did you have any?  If not, that was probably a contributing factor.

The other thing that no one seems to mention is the sequester.  It had a serious impact on people's post-doc search (probably still does, but none of my friends are going through that process this year).  Even some star researchers missed out on funding.  My guess is that the sequester is also squeezing prospective PhDs.  

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I think funding has been a bit tighter ever since the recession started, not just the past couple years. To make matters worse, tons of undergrads are applying to grad school to avoid having to get a real job in an attempt to ride out the depression, which makes things much more competitive.

 

Although it's still reasonable to get into good grad programs, summer funding will become much more competitive than it was before in my opinion.

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I had a 160/170/3.50 V/Q/AW on the GRE, 3.8 GPA with several grad courses taken, several TA positions, 2 years of research and 3 excellent letters of rec and I've been rejected from 7 schools, accepted to 1, and haven't heard anything back from 4 others (I'll just assume those are rejections given the pattern). I only applied to 2 schools in the top 10, the other 10 schools were uniformly distributed in the 11 - 40 range. Have all y'all been getting wrecked this application cycle or is it just me?

 

I have similar GRE scores and a similar undergrad GPA. I also was a TA (in a senior-level undergrad course) and did two years of undergrad research. My second year of undergrad research culminated in an honors thesis, but I have no publications. I also have the diversity thing going for me. I only got into two out of seven schools; I'm lucky one of those schools was my top choice from the start.

 

Also got rejected from two fellowships so far. Only one left. Really nervous about summer jobs. Can't imagine living in Seattle off of nine months of income. 

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I applied to 7 places, out of which 3 made me offers. Considering how many applications UW received this year, I'm really lucky to get the offer.

 

BTW, if I were to start over all over again, I'd spend more time on my statement of purpose. I felt embarrassed when professors I met during visits recalled minute details from my statement xP

 

Really nervous about summer jobs. Can't imagine living in Seattle off of nine months of income. 

 

I asked several people about this at my visit at UW. Basically, your advisor can come up with additional funding to support you over the summer if you're doing research for him/her. The reason for not including summer support in the package is that some people choose to do industry internship instead.

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I asked several people about this at my visit at UW. Basically, your advisor can come up with additional funding to support you over the summer if you're doing research for him/her. The reason for not including summer support in the package is that some people choose to do industry internship instead.

 

Thank god. I just placed an offer on a condo and affording it is totally contingent upon those three extra months of funding haha

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