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Thread: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

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    2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

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    Hi guys,

    I would like to know how adcom think of a paper under review vs under revision, especially that paper is not related to the discipline?
    Last edited by tm_associate; 09-05-2015 at 02:13 PM.

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    2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Threat

    Hi everyone,

    Looks like the beginnings of another application season is here. In the spirit of last year's "ask a current student thread", here is the start of this cycles questions.

    Last year's thread can be found here:

    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-busin...nt-thread.html

    Good luck to all aspiring applicants this year!

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Under revision implies past first round of reviews, hence immensely better.
    Under review for x round at y journal, is also very good because it tells the adcom exactly where your paper is at.
    Papers not related to your discipline... like not at all? For example, if you're in consumer behavior or micro ob and you have a psych paper under review, I would consider that related to your discipline...
    If it's completely unrelated, then it's a weak positive signal... yes you know how publishing works, but in a different field with slightly different sets of rules, and norms.
    Also consider the impact factor of the journal. If it's close to zero, then it's not going to be much of a signal, also.

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Everything evergreen said. It all depends on the degree to which the field is unrelated. If it has some chance of being somewhat related (i.e. you can make it related) it will be a benefit. If the paper is in a horrible journal in a completely unrelated field, I'd say it's probably best to just leave it off of your SOP. Include it in your CV, but no need to mention it anywhere else.

    Under revision is a much better signal. That signals you're almost there.
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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Hi all,

    Does it matter when you turn your application in? Do schools typically begin reviewing the apps as soon as they are received or do they wait until after the application deadline? Is there any advantage to being the first or last to apply? I think I have seen this question answered on here before but I wanted to ask again in case anything has changed. I'm curious because I am planning on attending the DocNet event in Chicago in mid-November. I was going to wait to finalize my applications until after that event in case I learned anything that could help my application. Thanks in advance for the help. Good luck everyone!

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Unless the school specifically states on their website that they do rolling admissions (this is where applications are reviewed as they come in, and it's not common at all), there is no benefit to being first, and a bit of risk to being last (what if you are late because you forget to submit on time as a result of waiting till the very last minute).

    You should submit your application when you feel you have done everything you can on it and anticipate no major improvements before the deadline date.

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    I remember seeing some interviews for schools on grad cafe before their deadlines. In general there is no need to be on the early side, but I would aim for a week or two before applications are actually due. That school's deadline was in mid-January. So it was a little later in the deadlines anyway.

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    What the others have said. Most schools do not begin reviewing until the deadline, but you should submit the applications whenever you are done with them. Sitting around tinkering with them is not going to make them any better, but waiting for the last minute can have a significant impact, if you forget something.

    Two other quick points, I believe that the schools who interview before their deadlines probably had a prior connection with the students (i.e. they were waiting for the application to make it official, but they knew they were going to interview that person anyhow). The exception for this is the schools who have deadlines in February. Almost all schools will begin review in January before the semester gets going too hard. Second point, I think (meaning I'm not positive) the department doesn't see each individual application. The grad school (which is outside of the specific department) generally gets first crack at the applications. They have arbitrary cut-offs for things like GPA, GMAT etc... Only once you pass this threshold are you passed on to the department for review in a large batch, so there is no way to know who was first, last etc...

    Continuing this point, even if the department gets all of the applications, they will use these arbitrary cutoffs to decide which applications to read. There isn't enough time to read all the applications, so the departments generally look for specific numbers or LOR writers who are known. This allows them to decrease the number of applications substantially.
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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    In my conversations with several PhD students/PhD graduates/professors, I hear repeatedly that he/she got in through a direct recommendation from his/her professor to a professor at the target school, he/she had a direct discussion with his/her intended advisor at the target school through someone who connected them, or each person who got in to the program has some sort of ties to some faculty member in the school. My serious question is - do people who don't have such connections get in? Are some schools known to be more about such connections? Also, for people who don't have such connections, what can they do to up the chance to getting themselves on the radar screen (assuming the person is a strong candidate) to the relevant faculty members?

    Thanks!

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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by globalcitizen15 View Post
    In my conversations with several PhD students/PhD graduates/professors, I hear repeatedly that he/she got in through a direct recommendation from his/her professor to a professor at the target school, he/she had a direct discussion with his/her intended advisor at the target school through someone who connected them, or each person who got in to the program has some sort of ties to some faculty member in the school. My serious question is - do people who don't have such connections get in? Are some schools known to be more about such connections? Also, for people who don't have such connections, what can they do to up the chance to getting themselves on the radar screen (assuming the person is a strong candidate) to the relevant faculty members?
    So most people I know in programs didn't have a direct connection beforehand. In fact the few that did seem to be the minority at mid-level schools. I would hazard a guess that this connection happens more at top schools, but not for reasons you might expect. For example to get into a top program you generally need relevant research experience with known professors. Simply having this would increase the possibility that your LOR writer would know someone else at a top school. So rather than the top schools only accepting people who have connections, it's that the top schools only accept people with relevant research experience shown through working with faculty who work with professors at top schools, and the cycle continues.

    But that is not everyone at the top schools. What you can do is to show research potential. Generally this is through previous research exp and LOR's. You also need to make sure that your SOP and research interest fit with the schools to which you are applying. This will go a long way in getting your application read. If you provide clear support for why you want to research with a specific professor, and you have background to support that, you'll do fine.

    Here's the thing, don't beat yourself up over not having any connections. I didn't and I'm at a great program. Just make sure you apply widely and base your school choices on research, not name brand. Do that, and, assuming you're a strong candidate as you stated, you'll be fine.
    Til now I always got by on my own
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