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# how many schools do you apply?

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how many schools do you apply? [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2007, 17:43
I'm applying fall 2008. How many schools do you apply?

I'm looking into 8. Is it too many? Will reference professors annoyed by those forms and letters?

thanks
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01 Dec 2007, 18:36
Whether the profs would get annoyed depends on his characters and his relationship with you. It differs from person to person.

There is no magic number. Personally, I think 4 to 6 is the ideal range.

All the best!
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Re: how many schools do you apply? [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2007, 18:56
jesdyy wrote:
I'm applying fall 2008. How many schools do you apply?

I'm looking into 8. Is it too many? Will reference professors annoyed by those forms and letters?

thanks

i agree with tkkoh. there is no magic number. i would worry less about recommenders though... it is whether you can get 8 good applications... after all each application is essentially different at list by a bit from the others. so there is some extra research of schools and some thinking about different strategies and some editing and rewriting involved. so it all depends on how much time you invest in it.

i think it is better to have 4 good applications than 8 average.

I myself planned 6 applications last year, but eventually could do only 4.

however, there were people on this forum last year who applied to more than 8. so i guess - as tkkoh said, there is no right or wrong. do the best you can.

and good luck.
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03 Dec 2007, 19:45
I don't think 8 is too many. It's just that there is a lot of uncertainty in the process when you first apply, so it isn't necessarily a bad idea to cast a wide net. The recommenders typically use a common letter, so the main headache for the recommender is navigating each school's unique and often idiosyncratic recommender form (which often has a small or not so small custom recommendation section). Make life easy for them when possible. If there are paper recs (a few still seem to be around), prep all the envelopes and give them to your recommender. Give your recommenders a list of your schools with the app deadlines. Some will just do all at once, others may do a couple here and there, and for the latter type, you might be able to save them some trouble if you decide not to apply to some of the schools with very late deadlines (e.g., if you've already gotten in to a better program).
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18 Dec 2007, 10:58
Hello everybody!

For various family reasons, I am applying to 12 schools. Thankfully, my recommenders have been gracious and understanding of my situation.

Now that I have already sent 5 apps out, I have been a bit nervous about my prospects. Some days, I think I will fare well, and on other days, I think I will have to say farewell!

At the risk of being very easily identifiable to admissions spies ( ), here is a quick profile:

GMAT: 740/97% (Q 50, V 40) AWA 5.5

Grad: Masters in IT (in 2008), Harvard
GPA to date: 3.74
Program is through continuing ed division.

UG: BA in Economics (1988), Pennsylvania
GPA: 2.65

Experience: 17+ years in technology management primarily in printing and media realms, including 7 years with Disney. Last employment as VP of a software company serving clients such as E!, Fox, Disney.

SOP: My interests are along the border of strategy, technology, and management. So I am applying to IS programs where faculty and curriculum have a strategic/impact leaning, or strategy/policy programs where there is a technology interest.
Interest in applying object-oriented analysis in other realms (strategy, organization). I have developed a generic model over the past 10 years to glue management and technology together.

Research: Currently serving as RA developing a game theory tournament application for use in Harvard courses. Will be using it as a test bed for some of my supervisor's teaching and work. I am adding several tests in there as well.

Recs: 2 from Deans (1 Assoc. who runs the IT program, 1 Asst. who is my research supervisor), another is professional from 9 year colleague/client, another is from course instructor from last year (where I can put more than 3).

Other: current president of student association... Phillips Andover grad... no honors, awards, publications... PhD project participant... Hispanic... some community activism/leadership history (not major)... California native.

Would any of those out there currently in a program care to give feedback on my SOP? Would love to get some perspective and hear your thoughts on my prospects.

Thanks to all and wish me luck!
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18 Dec 2007, 17:08
I don't see any weaknesses at all. Any chance of getting something submitted to a journal or presentation at a conference? That is about the only thing that would make your app any stronger.

As long as your essay isn't complete garbage, and letters of rec are not totally negative, you should have your pick of schools.

I am happy I didn't compete against you for my spot! (Although I am in OB, just the same...)

If you already sent out apps, then your SOP is pretty much set. As long as you said the critical things: research, research, research--you should be fine.

Although a couple questions:

(Is your Harvard degree an MA or MS? and any way you can avoid using non-academic references?)
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18 Dec 2007, 20:34
Josh,

Thanks for the reply. Here are answers to your questions.

Regarding a submission to a journal or presentation at a conference: Nothing is on the map at this point unless I discover something amazing in the next 2 months in my research project. However, this is extremely unlikely.

About the app: I don't think the essay is complete garbage, but I may be a bit biased. I have been told the recommendations are extremely positive. I surrrre hope so!

About your spot: Congrats on getting in. Where are you?

About the SOP: it is all about research, and in particular, about my interest and experience in blending disciplines. I highlighted the length of my work on my OO enterprise model, and other areas where technology practices can be flipped to illuminate management practices. (As opposed to management practices being applied to technology.)
Having a few more schools to go, I was wondering if more tweaking would be necessary or if my vision would be clear enough to those experts in their fields.

About my Harvard degree: As I mentioned, the program is in the continuing education division, not Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or the new School of Engineering. The degree is Master of Liberal Arts. (ALM here.) In the future, this is slated to be more appropriately designated Master of Professional Studies.

About non-academic references: my one non-academic reference was originally going to be a reserve. However, because he covers almost 10 years of my professional background, his perspective on the duration of my interests – spanning to when I first met him – might be enlightening to a faculty committee. In short, my passion for this stuff is far from new.
One school actually instructs applicants to supply a professional reference if out of school for some period of time. A staff person at one very prominent program also suggested this, but because I had such a long professional record.

Thanks again for your thoughts. I look forward to seeing more!
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Re: how many schools do you apply? [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2008, 13:50
Didn't want to start a new topic as I think these questions can be pretty annoying. Anyway, hope someone will comment.

I’m going to be applying to O/B PhD programs this fall. And while I feel as though I’ve got a pretty strong profile and believe I can come up with solid references and a good SOP, I’m worried about how to divide up my applications. I’m trying to limit myself to 8 schools and was thinking 5 in top tier (Berkeley, Northwestern, MIT, Stanford, Chicago), 3 mid tier (Boston College, Wisconsin, Minnesota). I hate to ask this but would anyone care to offer their thoughts on this division based on the information below? It would be much appreciated.

GPA: 3.7ish (small Canadian school) experimental psychology
GRE: 95th verbal, 90th quant, 56th AWA
Research Experience: About 4 years
Publications/Presentations: 1 peer review (second author), 2 internal, 2 presentations (American Sociological Ass), Course Materials
Re: how many schools do you apply?   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2008, 13:50
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# how many schools do you apply?

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