I’m applying to computer science graduate schools for PhD programs. However, my application isn’t looking so great. I have 1 good recommendation and 2 okay ones. I’ve done some research, although I haven’t published anything.

The big thing is, I haven’t researched schools well enough to write great personal statements for each school.

The deadlines are in 2 days, and I’m not sure of my ability to make my application look good.

I’m wondering whether I should wait a year to submit my applications? I will have at least one more good recommendation then, and hopefully more research. However, if I don’t write great personal statements and have only okay recs this year, will that affect what the school thinks of me later years? In other words, if I apply next year, can my application from this year affect my results from next year?


  • Prof messaged me, interested in my CV

  • During my master’s in mathematical finance, I may have had one “publication” if a thesis (it wasn’t a thesis) counts.

  • While applying to (more) grad school (pure not applied), I’m currently working in the tutoring industry (I’m not teaching in a university) as I have been since grad school (tutoring industry is very serious in country A compared to country B), and my industry CVs/resumes consist mainly of tutoring jobs (I’ve never had a finance internship, but I did have a sort of statistics/economics research internship).

So while I’ve never made an academic CV, I believe the sort of publication counts, but am unsure about the minor research projects I’ve had in master’s (and a few in bachelor’s). Can I?

For example, I had a minor research project (by which I mean it was a non-exam requirement of a class during master’s) involving (applied) stochastic differential equations which was around 20 pages (to compare, my technical report, as Nate Eldredge might suggest was around 100 pages).

Can I include that? If so, then I have about 5-8 other projects to include.

Otherwise, this publication, and all my tutoring jobs are all I have going for me.

I can’t seem to find any templates listing research projects undertaken during bachelor’s/master’s. Please provide references.

Not being a native speaker, I would like to know how to best introduce myself, what sounds too formal, and what is maybe a bit too colloquial. I have a few questions I want to ask, but I am not sure how to start the email in the first place.

Also, for future, subsequent emails, can I just start the email with things like:

Dear John,
How are you? ... 

Dear John,
I hope all is well in Brighton. ...

Dear John,
I hope you are doing good! ...

In the course of my PhD I have written a few papers that I am planning on incorporating into my dissertation. I was first author on these papers and legitimately wrote and developed the high majority of the papers (as in, I wasn’t just gifted “first author” status). In the course of our papers, my co-authors and I used some computer simulations to verify our theoretical results.

While I developed all of the theory for the paper independently, another graduate student did some of the grunt work writing the code for one of the simulations. This was done mainly just to expedite the submission of our paper, and not because I had no idea what was going on with the simulations. I actually helped develop the intricacies of the simulation; it just was not my hands on the keyboard coding it. Can I just cite our own paper in my dissertation and use its results as if they are my own, or do I need to independently replicate the results that my fellow grad student found in order to use them in my dissertation?

The underlying question here comes down to how much I can “self-cite” a part of a paper that I was the main author for, but did not explicitly produce?

It seems like funding in the lab I work in is getting tight, and since I usually end up spending a fair amount of money buying supplies for the lab, It’d be nice to have an accurate picture of the lab’s financial situation so that I could make more informed decisions. I’ve pretty directly indicated to my adviser that I’m interested in more details about how the funding situation in the lab is, but it seems my adviser doesn’t want to talk about it. On the couple cases I’ve mentioned it, they’ve avoided directly talking about it or have given me very vague and not very useful responses.

I’m currently self-funded, so I’m not particularly concerned about losing my job or anything. I’m sure my adviser would tell me before things got too crazy bad, but I’d just rather not be so in the dark about these things. How unusual is it for advisers to hide this info from their students? Would it be appropriate / inappropriate for me to push further? I realize that funding is probably a somewhat sore & frustrating subject for many professors.

I am a first-semester master’s student in my field of study. However, I have a question about applying for funding/fellowship opportunities. For a fellowship that I am interested in right now, which is a foreign language-related one, I need two recommendation letters from professors. I only took the general courses that are needed to satify the mandatory course requirements for my major. I lacked enthusiasm in most of my courses that I took this semester, which led me to not forge close relations with my professors. Is it helpful to ask professors who taught me for a semester for a recommendation letter? Or, is it okay to ask a professor that will teach me next semester? My spring semester begins on January 17th, and the fellowship application deadline is February 1st.

I’m an English major and planning to apply to graduate schools. My freshman year I originally planned to be a bio major due to pressures from my family. I had to take chemistry and biology, which soon enough turned into a disaster. I dropped chem, but since I needed enough credits to be considered full time, I was forced to keep with bio. I ended up with a D- in the course. If it wasn’t my freshman year, I honestly would have probably done better, but I was having a rough time settling into college with homesickness and depression. Aside from that one hiccup, however, the rest of my grades are As with a couple B+. So what I’m wondering is would that badly affect my application or even receiving scholarships?

I’m applying to grad school, and I have 3 wonderful recommenders. The problem is this: I realized that I didn’t notify my third recommender that I would require another recommendation letter (I added on a last application rather last minute). They have already left the country for research over break, and I honestly feel that it would hurt our relationship if I asked them at such late notice (as it quite frankly should). On the other hand, I would look incredibly ill-prepared if I admitted my predicament to my other recommenders.

Is it worse to notify them that I won’t be submitting that application now or simply not mention it?

Unlike the other programs I’m applying to, none of my recommenders know anyone at this college, so I doubt they’d find out quickly on their own.

I am an international student in my 2nd year of the current PhD program(in Math). I don’t have an adviser yet. The department is good(though it does not have a good reputation for undergrad studies), but it turns out that there is only one professor I would like to work with here(call it prof. X). The others either left or are a bit arrogant(I don’t like them as people).

Roughly said, I like one particular area most, but prof.X works in a different area, which is also interesting, but not exactly what I like most. In addition, I recently got(and developed partially) two research ideas, which will probably lead to publications in good journals(I got confirmations from two professors/one of which is very famous/ by e-mail that these ideas and results are very interesting) and another paper in journal with good IF is submitted after revision and it’s expected to be published soon.

What I’m thinking about is to take 1 year off(leave of absence)from the program in order to work a well paid(and prestigious) job in finance during that time, to finish these paper ideas and to re-apply in some top 10 programs during the same one year period. Places I’m thinking about are like Berkeley, CMU, Cambridge, EPFL. Yes, I am also considering Europe, since I already lost 2 years. Another nice thing is that one of my future recommendors is a prof. that taught recently at Berkeley on an exchange program. Below are some pros/cons.


  • My chances for tenure-track position will also increase. Otherwise, I am afraid I’d need to look for a second post-doc(as many do) and lose 2 years then.
  • My chances to get in would increase after publishing these 3 works(though this is not absolutely sure).

  • Moving to such top program will help my publication record(new people — new potential collaborators).

  • the industry experience I’ll gain might help too.

  • Being in well-known school will weight more when I eventually return to my home country permanently. This will help a lot even if I quite academia after graduating.

  • I am used to live in warmer places and the wheater of the place of my current program is pretty bad
  • prof. X may retire soon


  • I will miss some good friends here.

  • The place of the current program is closer to home(Europe) than the California’s places I would apply.

  • I already know that prof. X is willing to work with me. He is also very good as a person!

  • 2 years already spent in my current program and one more will be lost for the sabbatical(the leave of absence)
  • I am already used to everything here. Many things could go wrong in the new place

Do you think that the Pros are valid and worth enough? THANKS!

Some similar questions that I read are:
Transferring to a Top-10 PhD program in Theoretical Physics from a Top-50 program in US for better job prospects in Academia?
and Is it a good idea to leave a PhD program for another one in a better school after two years?

I was conditional accepted to an MSCS program. My conditions are: Must maintain a 3.2 GPA and Complete 2 specific classes with a B or higher. I have till the spring semester to complete those conditions. I’m very likely to make a C in one of those conditional courses I’m required to make a B or higher in. I was wondering how those are conditions are general evaluated, and if I’m likely going to have to take that course again?

Edit– And it rounded to a B, but thank you for the responses!