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PhD admission percentage

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New post 15 Jan 2005, 20:03
I once asked a prof in a top 20 school why the admission percentage for PhD is so low. He said that, out of the 700 admission he received, about 300 to 400 are from Asia, and most of these applicants went to some "no name" university (or universities that are not well known). Therefore, when he reviews the application, he will probably discard all these applicant.

In addition, in most cast, it is likely that the same 1000 people applied to the top 20 schools.

Let's do some math. For the top 20 schools, it is likely that there are only 1000 applicants, 500 of which are not likely to be reviewed. Therefore, only 500 of those are the serious one. In addition, each of the top 20 universities are accepting abou 10 to 15 students, that makes it to be 250 new PhD student each year for the top 20 schools. In that case, if I apply to all these 20 schools (assume that I am from some "reasonable" university), the admission percentage is actually 250 out of 500 (i.e. 50%)

Obviously, this would be a general number because the statistic for different department would be different.

did I make a false assumption in my calculation?
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New post 17 Jan 2005, 07:46
u have a point there but i wouldn't be relying on your premise that much. phd admission is extremely competitive. not all applications from asia 'coming from a no name uni are discarded' , you have to think of a way to differentiate yourself form the common applicant pool by stressing out certain parts of your app whether they may be GMAT score, recos,essay, SOP etc. relying loosely on statements by some adcom member is not strong evidence of possible admission chance. normaly top schools admit 3-4 students in their various phd specializations. check out the specific school you're applying to and see how many the admit and how many apps they receive. then you can calculate a more reasonable probability. good luck with your apps hope that helps.

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New post 18 Jan 2005, 16:17
Hpun makes an excellent point. Simply considering the admit rate of a particular school and assuming that will be your probability of acceptance can be very misleading. It is critical to remember that there is a fairly homogenous group of individuals applying to each of the top 20 institutions. Although I'm not sure what specific criteria would exclude an application from consideration (low GMAT, low gpa, poor recommendations are all possibilities), it is safe to say that competitive applicants have a much higher chance of being accepted than is suggested by the admit rates of top schools (~5-7%). What that rate is specifically is anyone’s guess, although 50% seems a little optimistic.
  [#permalink] 18 Jan 2005, 16:17
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PhD admission percentage

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