I’m a relatively old student (29F) Currently applying for PhD positions in ecology, mainly in Europe.

Many applications encourage adding 3 letters of recommendation. I have two solid ones related to my MSc thesis topic. I’m on the fence about what to add as a third reference. I worked as a research assistant in various projects. Most of the time, I worked alongside PhD students. They know me well and could write informative statements. The profs who are running the projects haven’t really worked with me, even though I was officially hired by them.

My question is: Should I go for a general letter from a prof who doesn’t know me, or go for a statement from A PhD student who can write better, more informative things about how I work? How important are the letters anyway?

I’m not sure if this is the right place, but stack exchange users are the best, so here goes. My daughter is a junior in high school and needs to begin picking schools to apply/submit SAT. She is in the top 5% in her class and wants to go for pre-pharmacy. We are located in Lancaster, PA and are looking for schools within 6 hrs (~300 miles) for her. However, we are a bit lost. College websites all say basically the same thing and I can’t find real information about what might be best for her. I’m not concerned about public/private schools, but we are hoping for a scholarship because money is a big issue. Looking for any help!

I have been offered admission in a top-25 university, and a RA position in a lab that works on my area of interest. I am pretty happy with this offer and I would feel comfortable accepting it. However, I still have not heard back from some top-10 institutions.

I am concerned that the professor might feel upset if I take too long to answer the offer. What should I do?

I should mention that I am an international student applying to Engineering PhD’s.

It is common for professors to have cordial relationships with their colleagues who work in different institutions (obviously), and I was wondering if it is also common for them to exchange info about their PhD applicants during the application review season. For example, if a promising candidate has applied to the chemistry programs at University X and University Y, would the people in the admissions committees of these two chemistry programs potentially contact each other to discuss the prospects of this student?

I’m a graduate student in STEM applying for some mini-courses and summer schools, most ask for a cover letter. I haven’t done much research yet as a grad student yet, and the projects I am working on aren’t really related to what will be covered in these courses.

I’ve done a fair amount of coursework that relates to the topics that will be covered in this courses, and I’ll mention that, but I’m not sure what else they want to hear about. What else should go in a cover letter for this kind of application?

I’m about to complete my B.A. in philosophy, and I want to pursue a PhD in philosophy. I’m aware that it’s a long, difficult, lonely process and that doesn’t scare me off. But I can’t help compare myself to the grad students who TA in my school’s philosophy department. In particular, I lack the clarity of argument (especially verbal) and originality of thought that they regularly exhibit. I know these skills are developed, but I wonder if any part of them is innate. That is to say, it seems to me unlikely that everyone who desires to get a PhD and go into teaching is capable of doing so, just like not everyone’s capable of being a professional basketball player, regardless of desire or training. Obviously you should go for your dreams, but it’s important to be pragmatic and recognize your limitations.

My question is this: what would it look like if someone wasn’t cut out for a PhD program, and how would they know? I ask because I want to be sure (as much as is reasonable) that I’m capable of being accepted to and eventually completing a program before I invest a lot of time and money into the application process.

I’m about to complete my B.A. in philosophy, and I want to pursue a PhD in philosophy. I’m aware that it’s a long, difficult, lonely process and that doesn’t scare me off. But I can’t help compare myself to the grad students who TA in my school’s philosophy department. In particular, I lack the clarity of argument (especially verbal) and originality of thought that they regularly exhibit. I know these skills are developed, but I wonder if any part of them is innate. That is to say, it seems to me unlikely that everyone who desires to get a PhD and go into teaching is capable of doing so, just like not everyone’s capable of being a professional basketball player, regardless of desire or training. Obviously you should go for your dreams, but it’s important to be pragmatic and recognize your limitations.

My question is this: what would it look like if someone wasn’t cut out for a PhD program, and how would they know? I ask because I want to be sure (as much as is reasonable) that I’m capable of applying to, being accepted to and eventually completing a program before I invest a lot of time and money into the application process.