A while ago I wrote a post on here about school rankings and how when you are deciding where to apply you should come up with your own ranking list. I would cross reference that here, but I'm writing my dissertation and it feels like more wasted time to do that. It's on here, look it up.
The main point of that post was that any ranking system is going to be flawed and that we, as senior members on this forum, use non specific terminology to reference program rankings intentionally.
I thought that I would share some of my experiences on what I wish I would have known before entering a PhD program. Let me be clear before I start though, things will work out. If you don't get this stuff done, it's not a huge deal, it will work out. So at this point a lot of you have your acceptances and are beginning to plan your PhD life. First of all congratulations, it's a big deal to be accepted, welcome to the fold. Also get ready for a life filled with stress and uncertainty. Also
Here's a typical post from a newcomer on this forum
Newcomer: "Hi here's a bunch of stats about me, please evaluate my chances and tell me where to apply."
"Senior" Member: "Generic advice and insights about profile, you should target T50 (T20, T10 etc...)"
Newcomer: "Wow here are some platitudes for you. When you say I should focus on T50, what specific schools are you talking about?"
"Senior" Member: "There
Continuing in my quest to help future students decide where to apply I present for your consideration:
"The XAres Simple Steps to Situational Systematic School Sample Selection (trademarked name)"
Deciding to go for a PhD is hard. Deciding where to go for a PhD is even harder. To give yourself some wiggle room and time, I'm going to suggest that you start early. Some people don't and they do perfectly fine in the applications. Ideally, though, you would start
Good morning children. In an ongoing effort to not write the papers that are due in two weeks, as well as the effort to better educate newcomers, I thought I would take a moment to discuss what I view as a growing problem many of us face when deciding where to apply. If you read through a lot of the posts on here asking about where to apply, you'll notice a trend: "The only places doing the type of research I'm interested in are HBS, Stanford, Wharton and Duke (paraphrased)."