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How much of an advantage is this...


Abigail

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Okay here it goes... my husband was interested in working with a particular professor for his Ph.D. Last summer he met with this professor, who expressed that she was very interested in working with him. Since he missed the deadline for fall 2009, this professor suggested entering as a non-degree seeking student for fall 09/spring 2010 (they only accept for fall admissions). He did this and has done great work and gotten to know several professors (and them him). He sent in his application... one of his LOR is a good friend of the committee chair. Another thing is they program is a masters into Ph.D... he already has his masters and one of the professors (also on the admissions committee) said this would be an advantage. Another professor said the non-degre seeking route was a 'back door' into the department.

He has good GRE scores...publications/conferences...good GPA and an established research topic (along with a years research in his field with a foreign university - and an LOR from that professor as well)

As you can imagine, the stress level of waiting for official yay or nay is killing him and I'm just looking to ease his mind - even a little bit. What do you think his chances are based on this?

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Okay here it goes... my husband was interested in working with a particular professor for his Ph.D. Last summer he met with this professor, who expressed that she was very interested in working with him. Since he missed the deadline for fall 2009, this professor suggested entering as a non-degree seeking student for fall 09/spring 2010 (they only accept for fall admissions). He did this and has done great work and gotten to know several professors (and them him). He sent in his application... one of his LOR is a good friend of the committee chair. Another thing is they program is a masters into Ph.D... he already has his masters and one of the professors (also on the admissions committee) said this would be an advantage. Another professor said the non-degre seeking route was a 'back door' into the department.

He has good GRE scores...publications/conferences...good GPA and an established research topic (along with a years research in his field with a foreign university - and an LOR from that professor as well)

As you can imagine, the stress level of waiting for official yay or nay is killing him and I'm just looking to ease his mind - even a little bit. What do you think his chances are based on this?

I would say this significantly ups his chances from an anonymous nobody applying to the school with unknown LORs, etc. but as its been said everywhere on this board - grad school admissions is sometimes a crapshoot. I personally don't think he has anything to worry about, and if he/his LOR feel strongly about it, and those are the sorts of comments he's gotten - he sounds like he has a very good chance.

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Yes I agree (as usual) with what Modernity has said: the professors on the adcomm knowing you is a plus, high scores are a plus, having the people on the adcomm know your LoR writers is a plus, high performance at the graduate level is definitely a plus, publications are definitely a plus (especially if they are prestigious for where they were published, or if your husband has his name first), research experience is a plus. Obviously, that's a lot of pluses (but I'm sure you knew that already and just needed someone to write it down so you can tell your husband to relax). While it's a crapshoot, your husband has done a lot of proactive things to improve his odds and that will be noticed.

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