If early decision existed for physics PhD admissions...

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Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

If early decision existed for physics PhD admissions...

Postby Catria » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:16 pm

... would you use ED on any one school, provided that school in question offered that option? If so, which school?

I knew ED was used in graduate education (e.g. law school, med school, business school) but not for a physics PhD program.

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: If early decision existed for physics PhD admissions...

Postby TakeruK » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:42 pm

I don't think this undergraduate model of admission would work for graduate education because graduate admission is so different from undergraduate admission.

One major difference is that in undergrad admission, there are thousands (or more!) or seats, so the school can afford to do something like set aside some fraction of the seats and offer them to the top X% of early decision applicants knowing that these are students they would have accepted anyways. However, PhD programs are more specialized and with the smaller number of applicants and openings, it's not really viable.

Most PhD programs will want to see all of the applicants in order to pick the best ones, especially since they might want to do things like balance subfields and other factors. In addition, the only students that will probably be so good that the school wants them without even seeing the rest of the applicants are going to be the ones who get good offers from many schools. Thus, it's not in the best interest of these students to commit to only a single school. This case would be helpful when a really strong student really wants to go to a single school only, but I think these are really rare!!

So, I think the only people that would benefit from this type of program are the students who are only interested in one single school AND somehow need to know the decision in e.g. late Fall instead of Feb-Mar. I think this population is so small that it's not worth implementing all the logistics to evaluate applications early.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: If early decision existed for physics PhD admissions...

Postby Catria » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:57 pm

At least now I understand why there is no such thing as ED for a PhD program...

TakeruK wrote:So, I think the only people that would benefit from this type of program are the students who are only interested in one single school AND somehow need to know the decision in e.g. late Fall instead of Feb-Mar. I think this population is so small that it's not worth implementing all the logistics to evaluate applications early.


That sort of students could find themselves in this situation because of some external funding issue or some visa issue, if international...

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: If early decision existed for physics PhD admissions...

Postby TakeruK » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:41 am

Catria wrote:At least now I understand why there is no such thing as ED for a PhD program...

TakeruK wrote:So, I think the only people that would benefit from this type of program are the students who are only interested in one single school AND somehow need to know the decision in e.g. late Fall instead of Feb-Mar. I think this population is so small that it's not worth implementing all the logistics to evaluate applications early.


That sort of students could find themselves in this situation because of some external funding issue or some visa issue, if international...


This might be true in a very strange and atypical case. But again, this population is so small. I think if someone has a really strange situation that required them to know in the fall, they can contact the school directly and make arrangements to submit their application early and ask if they can get an early decision. Although another option that they might have to take is to just defer for a semester if things like visas don't come through.

External funding in Canada and the US (and maybe others) tend to release their decisions in late March/early April anyways, in time with grad school decisions. But even so, you usually can choose your start date and it can usually be deferred to match your program's start date!




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