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Is applying to the same exact PhD program a second time worth it?


noumenope
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I applied to some doctoral programs right out of undergraduate (really before I was ready, and only to reach schools), and now, several years later, with some great job experience on my resume, I'm ready to apply again. It's really important that I get full funding (as we all know), since this is PoliSci and I'm not wealthy at all, so I'm going all out and applying to 11 or 12 programs that I'm interested in.

My question is this - would someone on the other side, looking at my application and seeing that I've applied to the program and been rejected before, automatically look differently at it? Basically, would my hurdle automatically be that much higher, and would I be better off applying to another program that is similarly regarded/difficult to get into/etc.?

Edited by noumenope
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It doesn't matter that you applied before. I think it's unlikely that anyone will even remember your application, and I've never heard of an automatic rejection because the applicant applied in a previous year. If you're applying year after year without much change to the application, you might not get much attention, but since your application will be substantially different, I don't think there is any reasons for concern here. 

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It doesn't matter that you applied before. I think it's unlikely that anyone will even remember your application, and I've never heard of an automatic rejection because the applicant applied in a previous year. If you're applying year after year without much change to the application, you might not get much attention, but since your application will be substantially different, I don't think there is any reasons for concern here. 

 

I doubt anyone will remember that you applied several years ago. The bar wouldn't be any higher than it would be for any other applicant at this point. 

They wouldn't remember my having applied, but I definitely remember that pretty much every program I applied to the first go around also asked if I had applied to the school before and if so, in what capacity. That's the only reason I'm asking, and I can't think of what other purpose that question might serve in their application process. I'm hoping you're right though, because 2 of my top 3 choices fit into that category.

Edited by noumenope
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For what it's worth, I was told by a professor that there is no stigma at all about a second application. For a third, according to this professor, some people will start to become quite leery, and after that the school is probably not going to give the application much of a read. This is, of course, just one academic's advice—and, in any case, your second application is totally fine. Go for it and good luck. 

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Thanks guys! You think it's worth addressing in my SOP for those 2 programs?

Why would you mention that you applied years ago? How does saying that enhance your application or strengthen your SOP? I wouldn't mention it.

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