application without finishing the dissertation

phy_lov
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 11:09 am

application without finishing the dissertation

Postby phy_lov » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:42 am

Hello, I am planning to apply to grad school in upcoming session. But with GRE/PGRE and finals i think i could not finish my master's thesis on time. So my question is-- Could i apply without finishing my dissertation, however i will have mark-sheets of all other courses i took. Will it be serious disadvantage in my profile? By the way i am international if that matters. I hope someone will answer my question. Thank you.

astroprof
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: application without finishing the dissertation

Postby astroprof » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:05 am

A Master's degree is not required for entry into graduate school in the United States, so you do not need to complete your current degree before applying to graduate school this fall. However, letters of recommendation are very heavily weighted in the application process. You risk a bad letter of recommendation from your current research advisor if you do not complete your master's project in a timely manner.

phy_lov
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 11:09 am

Re: application without finishing the dissertation

Postby phy_lov » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:42 am

astroprof wrote:A Master's degree is not required for entry into graduate school in the United States, so you do not need to complete your current degree before applying to graduate school this fall. However, letters of recommendation are very heavily weighted in the application process. You risk a bad letter of recommendation from your current research advisor if you do not complete your master's project in a timely manner.


Thanks for reply astroprof...I have only three years Undergraduate, so that it makes Master degree a necessity. I am working with my advisor for a year now, and he knows me well. I had talked about it and he had no problem writing a letter of recommendation. It's just i might not be able to finish dissertation before deadlines of some universities(those early deadlines - Dec./Jan.). Even if i defended the thesis, it would take time to receive transcripts. My concern is that my profile might be considered inadequate.

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: application without finishing the dissertation

Postby TakeruK » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:55 pm

phy_lov wrote:Thanks for reply astroprof...I have only three years Undergraduate, so that it makes Master degree a necessity. I am working with my advisor for a year now, and he knows me well. I had talked about it and he had no problem writing a letter of recommendation. It's just i might not be able to finish dissertation before deadlines of some universities(those early deadlines - Dec./Jan.). Even if i defended the thesis, it would take time to receive transcripts. My concern is that my profile might be considered inadequate.


You are not usually expected to have all your degree requirements completed at time of application. For "traditional" students in North America, we submit our applications in the first few months of the fourth year of school and get our results back in the spring, which is a few months before we would even graduate and finish our bachelor's degrees. This is fine -- you just have to show that you will be finished before you start grad school and you will probably have to send in proof of completion in the summer / before you start. This was what I did between my BSc and MSc.

I also applied to PhD programs at the start of my second year of MSc. Although the MSc (from Canada) is not part of the PhD (USA) entry requirements, the school still wanted to see proof of completion since I was accepted on the assumption I would have finished my MSc by the time I started. I finished all of my MSc requirements in late August (7 months after being accepted to the new school) and started the PhD program in late September. My old school was able to give me a temporary letter that said I did complete everything in August but I didn't get the actual degree (and for it to appear on my transcript) until November, which was the date of the graduation ceremonies. But, my new school was okay with it as long as I got them the paperwork before the start of the second semester (January).

phy_lov
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 11:09 am

Re: application without finishing the dissertation

Postby phy_lov » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:02 am

Thanks TakeruK...That helped to clear my confusion.




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