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For potential PhD applicants

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For potential PhD applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2007, 06:29
From the "good news, bad news" thread, I observe some common myths in PhD applications that have been challenged.

Myth 1: High GMAT is good enough.
MIT, Stanford rejected applicants with 770, 780 GMAT. Not that surprising since they are MIT and Stanford. Kellogg also rejected the same people. As the season unfold, we could see "lower ranked" schools doing the same?

I guess what NYU says is really true. "GMAT scores are mentioned because they are an easy number to summarize. As stated earlier, test scores are only one of the elements we consider. We accept the students whom we feel have the aptitude, background and motivation to produce first quality research in the future."

So high GMAT will not get you in automatically. (It would be good if we can see relatively lower GMAT scorers getting into "top" programs. Please let me know if you see any.)

Myth 2: If you are older than 30 years old, you are too old to apply.

Wharton offered to at least two over-30 years old applicants for Fall 2007. Period. (See http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=42128)

(Any more examples?)

Myth 3: You need to have some pubs (in top journals preferrably) to stand a chance.

From the profiles that I can see, only a handful mentioned that they have some pubs. Of course, having a few pubs in hand would make you a little more outstanding. Having none, though, may not cause you to be standing outside.

Anymore observations to add?

Potential applicants should hence not be discouraged from applying just because of one or two weaknesses.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2007, 09:27
I'd agree with all of those. On myth 3, someone knowledgeable told me that he's never had personal experience with an incoming student who had published in a top journal. It's even hard to do prior to graduating from Ph.D. Solo publishing success might be a significantly strong indicator, but that's just a hunch.

Another possible myth: you must get recs from well-known profs in the field in which you are interested and that know the profs at the other schools. How true is this one? FYI, I did not have any.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2007, 10:47
bauble wrote:
I'd agree with all of those. On myth 3, someone knowledgeable told me that he's never had personal experience with an incoming student who had published in a top journal. It's even hard to do prior to graduating from Ph.D. Solo publishing success might be a significantly strong indicator, but that's just a hunch.

Another possible myth: you must get recs from well-known profs in the field in which you are interested and that know the profs at the other schools. How true is this one? FYI, I did not have any.


regarding the recommendation "myth": i heard it as well and was terrified because of that...
to support this myth here is a quotation:
Quote:
Getting into a good PhD program is extremely competitive and professors are strongly motivated to identify and attract the best possible research students to their group. At any department you would want to go to (including UVa), the acceptance rate is usually in the single digit percentages. At the most competitive departments, only a few slots every year are awarded to students without recommendation letters from people the faculty know well.

taken from: http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/advice/prospective.html

it is not specifically business related... but certainly support the myth...

on the other hand - i got into wharton with 3 recommendations - 2 from musicology professors from my home country (which i think nobody in wharton have heard their name before), the 3rd was a junior faculty from HUJI business school - again, i doubt that anyone at wharton know her, and she is probably not well known... (although she is a bright researcher and an excellent teacher)

on yet another hand (i have three :) ) - given my ding from kellog and MIT maybe my admit into wharton was a sheer luck?
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2007, 12:26
A truly strong rec from a prominent prof in the field, where the applicant has worked closely with the prof, might be uncommon (?). If the applicant has only taken a class from this prof, the rec would be solid, but perhaps not a "dealmaker" since this type of rec is probably more common and not as strong an indicator.

One takeaway for me is that we shouldn't get too mired down by all the myths and get completely discouraged out of putting a strong application to good schools. This is not to say that getting in is easy (with single digit accept rates this would be foolhardy), but it is worth a try for those who have some strengths in their profiles.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2007, 12:49
Nice summation. I will now say I know much more about whom the faculty would admit to their shortlist at my University (top 10)

(a) GMAT score >700
(b) Research Experience - Nil/RA /Publications all are ok
(c) Industry experience - Nil to 12 years experience is ok
(d) SOP - No spelling mistakes, not more than 3 pages. Talks about why you want to do PHD, and if you have either experience of research or industry - you do explain why you want to do PhD NOW. Theme of SOP - Want to enter academic life - for the rest of my life.
(e) Decent Undergrad and Grad school
(f) If you do not have masters degree , you have a 4.0 (or about that GPA ....:P )
(g) Recommendation letters - At my Univ 3 letters are needed, at least 2 need to be from Professors. Even If you have not seen the professor for 10 years, it still has to be written by a professor. IF you have a masters degree, at least one LOR from Grad school is compulsory. If you have masters and some experience, you should have ideally two Grad LOR's and one from your supervisor or one undergrad LOR, One Grad LOR and one supervisor LOR. Theme of LOR should be - Capability of doing research. General LOR's saying how great a person you are, are useless.

Hope it helps... May not hold for every univ, but it would be quite similar for most.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2007, 16:25
This all sounds good, but remember it depends on the school/program you are interested in. The magical term "fit" is probably more critical. Also, making a connection in some way with faculty... if any of them are on your side, that is a HUGE advantage to getting in. Faculty want to know you will finish the program and be a productive researcher, they don't want to take a risk on someone that they don't know.

Remember, the "top 10-20" schools thing really means very little, it depends more on the research being produced and who is producing it. If you want a particular area of accounting or management, or want a certain size program or quality of life during the program, or are interested in more of a teaching position, then the exact "right" school will vary depending on what you want. Ideally, the PhD is for career academics. At some level, it doesn't matter where you go if you can produce research, you will be successful. If you go into a program that takes you from your family for the next five years and want to work at a major research school that requires a major effort to make tenure, it matters where you go and a "top 20" (whatever that means) might be for you. So, talk to as many people as possible and remember there are fantastic schools out there that aren't Stanford, Harvard or Wharton. And the right school might be the one that accepts you ;)

BTW:I do not have a stellar GMAT, yet I was accepted to a good program.

cheers
  [#permalink] 23 Jun 2007, 16:25
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