So I am currently a PhD student (rolling to PhD after finishing my MS), and now trying to transfer to a different PhD program, hoping to do better research in the field I am interested in.

I just applied to three top schools, let us call them X, Y, and Z. I also got my recommendations from three professors, A (MS superviser), B, and C. I got rejected from all schools; haven’t even been interviewed by any. It was hurting to hear such news as I though I had a good academic and research profile, and was also fully funded. I have a very good GPA in my undergrad and a 4.0/4.0 GPA during my master’s, and got 5 published conference papers (3 first author) and 4 accepted conference papers, and have submitted two (first author) journal papers and is working on the third. I have a work experience for few months at a company, and have been working as a teaching assistant and as a mentor for national/international students during both my graduate and undergraduate studies.

What went wrong? Is it the fact that I am transferring to a different PhD program, or is it one of the references? Were my applications bad, or am I a bad student?

My MS study

I have always wanted to study abroad (especially for MS and/or PhD). Due to some financial reasons, I had to do my MS in a local school, which is the best in the country so far and thus not a bad destination. I joined a fresh professor’s group, and have been his one-and-only student for around one year. When I started, I was an engineering student with an engineering background (just like him). However, I am also concept-driven and have always been more interested in doing science and theoretical work. He surely understood my passion and let me choose my research topic freely. After many weeks of literature review, I came up with an interesting topic in physics, and he approved and became interested too. Given that both me and him had no background in this topic, it was tough two-years for me. However, I managed to get through it. I published conference papers in very competitive conferences and wrote “a superb thesis”, quoting my professor.

Reasons of transfer

My professor knew very-well that I wanted do my PhD abroad in a top school, I told him that during our first meeting. After completing my master’s studies, I could not apply due to the same financial (and sadly also some family) reasons, and had to find an alternative plan until everything is resolved. I knew my professor really wanted me. I am so glad that I built a great relationship with him. I asked him if he could find me a “researcher position” here until I obtain an offer from the university of my choice. He answered: “unfortunately, I talked to the dean and this isn’t allowed here, but you can just roll to PhD and work as a researcher for me; it is the same thing, and from that you will also help establish the group and also publish papers to get your acceptance easily”. I accepted his offer, hoping to both help myself and him and learn from this experience, and all I can say now is “I wish I knew better”…

Now that one year has passed and everything financial has been resolved, I am seriously working on obtaining an admission from a top school. I told my professor and he was kind of shocked from what I have said. I quote “I am surprised, I really don’t think it is a good idea and it is better for you if you pursue your PhD here”. He asked me for my reasons and I told him it is very personal and I hope he understands. He answered “yes”, but seemed unsatisfied. I have two reasons for my transfer (I still don’t know why I haven’t told him the truth):

(1) I have always wanted to obtain my PhD abroad from a top school. This was my initial plan, I never thought or intended to pursue my PhD in my current university here.

(2) There is an under-representation of my field here (in terms of faculty and facility too). That is, my research interests do not match that of my superviser (nor his expertise) or that of the faculty here, and sometimes I cannot conduct interesting experiments due to the lack of some necessary equipment and material.

My applications

  • To universities X and Y: Submitted in January 2018, after contacting professors in both. Applications included a research proposal (no personal statement). Professor A, B, and C submitted the references. I was not interviewed, and got rejected in March 2018 for X, and April 2018 for Y.

  • To university Z: Submitted in February 2018, after contacting a professor. Applications included a personal statement in which I mentioned point (2) above regarding my reason of transfer. Professor A and C submitted the references. I was not interviewed, and got rejected in April 2018.

I would appreciate if someone could help guide me on what went wrong. I am currently waiting for my fourth top choice, and thinking about submitting many more. Should I discuss a specific issue in the personal statement? What I should I say?
Should I write an appeal? I got 3 conference papers accepted since the submission, and have submitted one conference paper (first author).

Recently, I got admission to a PhD program in the United States. And they have prepared my I-20 and the other documents to send me by mail.

They have offered me to provide them my credit card number, and the expiry date of it. So, they can send it by an express post service. They also offered a free regular service too.

So, I am wondering, how safe is to provide my card information to an admission team? I know, probably, they will not misuse it, but do they protect it afterward too?
I mean, they dont have any commitment for the protection of the information. Do they?

Is it a common offer in all the USA?

So I will be applying to fairly quantitative (PhD level) Master’s degree in this Fall. Even though the degree is not research-based, they require high level of math skills.

I seriously lack Math background required from the program. However, they do have a list of recommended books for those who are applying. I already have reached out to students who already got admits and they confirmed that covering those books would be “more than enough” to ace the Program’s entrance test. Please note that this program DOES NOT require GRE/GMAT, they have their own tests.

Now my issue — I have recently taken Calc series and Linear Algebra through UIUC’s NetMath program (their method of teaching is somewhat different, but I have no other option to verify my ability). I did very well – all A’s. However, I do not think they have the right courses for me when it comes to Real Analysis, Probability Theory, and Statistics courses. I am planning to get all the recommended books and go through them as much as I can.

How can I convince Admission Committee that I am worth a chance? What is the best way to showcase my ability in the subjects highlighted above? Universities around me do not offer courses for those who are not doing a degree.

I would really appreciate any input and ready to give more info if required. Thank you!

I was a Business major during my undergrad. But I covered Statistics, Matrix Algebra, calculus I/II, and some probability theory during my bachelors degree. I also did Masters in Risk, where I had some more exposure to Econometrics and Statistics. I completed my BSc ad MSc back in 2009 and 2011 respectively. I just wanted to show that I have refreshed all the courses and still able to perform.

I have completed my bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering(2017)and planning to do Masters in Photonics(in germany) in 2020.Currently,im working as Project Associate in a project related to laser in one of the Indian institute of technology.

Now,I have an opportunity to do Master degree in IIT and i feel that before doing masers in photonics,like to explore more in optics side and have a idea of doing masters in applied optics(this year) from IIT before doing master in photonics(germany) in 2020.

i like to know whether is it a good idea of doing two master degree

Four weeks ago, I had a meeting over Skype with my potential PhD supervisor for an open PhD position in his group. He initially expressed interest in my work and asked me to arrange for two recommendation letters in order to know more about me and then later, we discussed about my current/past research works, my future plans and intricacies of his work for about 45 minutes over Skype. He had also specified that both of my letters were good and will discuss with his boss (his group leader) regarding my academic background and research experience. Finally he told that he had applied for a grant and will let me know once he gets to know about the outcome. Overall, the meeting went quite well. Since then, I haven’t heard back from him. He also hasn’t responded to a couple of my reminder emails. Should I be optimistic about this?

So I will be applying to fairly quantitative (PhD level) Master’s degree in this Fall. Even though the degree is not research-based, they require high level of math skills.

I seriously lack Math background required from the program. However, they do have a list of recommended books for those who are applying. I already have reached out to students who already got admits and they confirmed that covering those books would be “more than enough” to ace the Program’s entrance test. Please note that this program DOES NOT require GRE/GMAT, they have their own tests.

Now my issue — I have recently taken Calc series and Linear Algebra through UIUC’s NetMath program (their method of teaching is somewhat different, but I have no other option to verify my ability). I did very well – all A’s. However, I do not think they have the right courses for me when it comes to Real Analysis, Probability Theory, and Statistics courses. I am planning to get all the recommended books and go through them as much as I can.

How can I convince Admission Committee that I am worth a chance? What is the best way to showcase my ability in the subjects highlighted above? Universities around me do not offer courses for those who are not doing a degree.

I would really appreciate any input and ready to give more info if required. Thank you!

I was a Business major during my undergrad. But I covered Statistics, Matrix Algebra, calculus I/II, and some probability theory during my bachelors degree. I also did Masters in Risk, where I had some more exposure to Econometrics and Statistics. I completed my BSc ad MSc back in 2009 and 2011 respectively. I just wanted to show that I have refreshed all the courses and still able to perform.

I did all my Gen Eds is high school, and spent six years on my undergraduate (with a gap year in my degree due to burn out and two medical withdrawals during the Fall and Spring a year later due to serious depression) taking almost only upper division undergraduate and graduate level courses in genetics, biochemistry, statistics, computer science and math. I’m a math major with a 3.71 GPA from a good state school. I have high functioning autism. I got an A in abstract algebra; however, my grades in real analysis (a core class) are sub par. In the undergraduate series of analysis I got a B- and an B+. In the graduate series of analysis I got a B+ and a B+. I have a B+ in mathematical modeling in biology, and A’s in my other math courses.

I have one year of research experience in bioinformatics, but I didn’t finish my project in the time-frame my professor wanted under the scholarship I got. My professor told me to forget the project. I am going to finish it on my own over the next two years (I have permission), publishable or not. However, my professor will NOT write me a letter of recommendation, despite saying I have very good potential if I improve my work ethic, because I did not meet his standards due to my work ethic. After failing to finish the project, I took a gap year and changed my major from Microbiology to Mathematics.

Over the next two to three years, I plan to live with my parents and volunteer in a statistics/microbiology laboratory to collaborate a lot. I hope to publish a paper in this time.

I am also going to complete 12 classes in computer science, possibly take Measure Theory, study the GRE and Math Subject Test GRE, hopefully work on a patent, and finish my previous research project as the sole author (I have permission since I did the entire project on my own under the scholarship using my professor’s idea).

I’ll be applying to a PhD in Statistics with a minor in Computer Vision / Machine Learning in two years when I turn 26. Unfortunately, real analysis is VERY important for statistics, so I don’t know how that will affect me. Maybe I can get two to three recommendations from my volunteer experience.

I want a job for money but don’t have time. Maybe, after a few months, I can get hired at the lab I volunteer in.

Questions: What do you think about my story?

Lastly, I’ve been told that my idea for getting a PhD seems superficial based off what I said above. That I seem stuck on the goal of a PhD for no reason. I’ve been told that I’ve already run into academic issues, mental health issues, and research issues, and that I have a penchant for planning my future out in detail. From this, a number of people have told me that graduate school won’t be a good fit for me. Do you support these claims? However, I’ve also had a lot of people judge my intent and say if I’m interested in a PhD then I should start one ASAP. What happens from here, especially if there’s a couple ideas in Machine Learning I want to study in depth? I want to work in industry.

This is edited from my reddit posts. I suspect this will be downvoted/closed, but I really trust you guys. If this is off-topic I promise to delete it when it is declared as such.

I am currently a senior in college who got accepted into a math PhD program in the US. This semester I slack off a little bit and as a result, I might get a B and B- in two math courses (I got an A in the third math class). Is it possible that the school will rescind my offer, given that the two courses that I got a B and B- are math courses?

So, I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands.

I took a gap year after graduating from college, and I thought I was going to go straight to grad school after. I got accepted to multiple programs, and I already declined all of the programs except one.

Here’s the problem: I also applied to a competitive, two-year fellowship with a government organization, and I made it to the interview stage! And now, I changed my mind about going to grad school and I’d like to get more experience on my hands. Unfortunately, we won’t know if we get the position by July. Point is: there might be a chance I might decline the school after I accept my intent to go there if I get the fellowship. I know that grad schools (I applied to both public health and heath administration) allow deferment for only a year, but I’d like to have a backup plan just in case I don’t get the fellowship (which is go to grad school).

So let’s say if I do get the fellowship, should I just be honest with the school I accepted and tell them I want to do the fellowship? Or take a risk and decline the school and I hope I get the fellowship?

If I do the former, I just hope that this won’t hinder me from other schools considering my application the next time I apply to grad school. I’m applying right after the fellowship, and this time I INTEND to go back to school.

Thanks.

PhD programs in US usually include an MSc degree and many of the admitted students don’t have an MSc. In Europe however, with just a few exceptions, everywhere requires an MSc for a PhD. There are also quite a few differences in the structure of the undergrad in US and Europe.

I was wondering if it is easier for someone with a US undergrad degree to get into an MSc in Europe than PhD in US? Are the PhD admissions in US more competitive?

If I have an offer from a couple of top US schools (by “top” I don’t mean Harvard and MIT, I mean around a dozen (national) ranks below that… say, top 30-40 in global rankings), should I be confident that I can get into one of the few MSc programs in Europe I’ve applied to? (The programs are top/best programs in Europe, but the universities are essentially on par with the US school in global rankings. Perhaps some of them have a better global reputation in the specific field.)

Note:

1 – By Europe I am referring to Western Europe, excluding UK. More specifically, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria.

2 – The field is Mathematics, if that makes a difference. (I think it might, given the reputation of places like Heidelberg, Bonn (Hausdorff Institute), and the universities in Paris have in Mathematics.)