applying for a phd with a girlfriend

postman
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applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby postman » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:35 pm

Hi everybody!

My girlfriend and I are international students, both studied in the same rather known physics institute in East Europe. This winter we are applying for a PhD in physics in the USA. Are there any special concerns for such a case?
What is the possibility of getting into the same top-20 school? We worked in the same lab and have quite intersecting applications, however she likes an experiment while I'm more a theorist.
Should we explicitly mention our relationship in our applications? Or may be it's better to marry and take the same surname?

Thank you. :)

geshi
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby geshi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:15 pm

As far as graduate school is concerned, I am pretty sure there are no special considerations for your situation. Honestly your best bet is to apply to the same schools or at least schools in the same city (might wanna check google maps just to see how far apart those schools are in a particular city).

If your applications are very similar (similar GPA, PGRE, research experience, etc), then you shouldn't have too much trouble getting into at least a couple of the same schools.

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noojens
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby noojens » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:29 pm

Even for the most qualified international students, admissions at a top 20 US university are a crapshoot. See the profiles threads for data on this. I suggest you both apply to a lot of schools -- think 15-20 -- if you want to have a non-vanishing chance of getting accepted at the same university. Regarding mentioning your relationship in your applications: I really don't know! I suggest talking to professors who have sat on admissions committees, either at your own university or (preferably) at the universities you're considering applying to.

Tough situation, postman. I wish you luck.

admissionprof
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby admissionprof » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:00 pm

I've been director of admissions at a top 50, but not top 20, school for over a decade. Given the huge number of international applications, the probability of getting offers at the same top 10 school is small. But if you apply to ALL of the top 15-20, then the probability of overlap isn't too bad.

If you think your applications are very strong (and check the previous years' results on this site to normalize), then you definitely should mention the relationship in your application (SOP is a good place). Getting married to share the last name won't matter. If you don't mention it (or even if you do), then the instant you (or your girlfriend) get the offer, then you should ask about the other. We all have waiting lists, and if we can get a really good student by moving the partner up a few notches on the list (or even accepting the partner), we'll certainly do so.

Most schools (and most profs on admissions committees) are very well aware of the two-body problem and are usually very sympathetic. But they need to know about it pretty quickly.

blacksl
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby blacksl » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:22 am

I had the same situation but we totaly failed!!
My wife and I applied for same universities and different ones. but unfortunately we didn't get the same university. Finally she decided to come as a dependent.
Graduate coordinator told me that, they didnt give any priority for her because its not good for others!!
now again we are going to apply and Im trying to transfer!!

Finaly I realized that life is hard!!! :(

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HappyQuark
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:56 am

blacksl wrote:Finaly I realized that life is hard!!! :(


You should feel fortunate if you are just now learning this first hand.

CarlBrannen
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:58 am

postman wrote:What is the possibility of getting into the same top-20 school?


Something you should take into account is that the US is a society that is shockingly mobile to the eyes of a lot of Europeans. So you really don't need to be in the same top-20 school. If y'all are one at Harvard and the other at MIT that will work out fine. So when choosing which top-20 schools to apply to, find them on a map and apply pins. If two schools are within 300 miles = 500 km of each other, you should apply to both. That gives you nine possible results that are acceptable rather than seven (out of the sixteen possible results). The numbers get even better when considering the schools in southern California.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:26 am

We all have waiting lists, and if we can get a really good student by moving the partner up a few notches on the list (or even accepting the partner), we'll certainly do so.


Does this seem wrong to anyone else?

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midwestphysics
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:09 am

twistor wrote:
We all have waiting lists, and if we can get a really good student by moving the partner up a few notches on the list (or even accepting the partner), we'll certainly do so.


Does this seem wrong to anyone else?



I don't know, I guess if an applicant is so good that they warrent two spots, which is basically the idea, then maybe. Honestly though, what "prospective" student can honestly be worth two spots, most of the time it's hard enough deciding whether they're worth one. Of course, if you're material for the #1 school in the country, your partner is material for #15-20, I could see it making sense that they would make room at a 10-15 school. They get a great applicant and a pretty good one. Would I prefer it to be that way no, but I can understand it.

EDIT: I think the international part makes it a deal breaker, it's hard enough for one let alone two.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby pqortic » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:06 am

twistor wrote:
We all have waiting lists, and if we can get a really good student by moving the partner up a few notches on the list (or even accepting the partner), we'll certainly do so.


Does this seem wrong to anyone else?

No. they sacrifice one applicant in favor of another so he can have safe sex during his studies. whats wrong with that?

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby admissionprof » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:22 pm

twistor wrote:
We all have waiting lists, and if we can get a really good student by moving the partner up a few notches on the list (or even accepting the partner), we'll certainly do so.


Does this seem wrong to anyone else?



I said a few notches, not that many. Of course it isn't wrong, and makes complete sense. Would you rather have the better student spending years away from his/her partner, being unhappy, and commuting many weekends, or have the better student (and his/her very good partner) happy, living nearby and stable for several years? If the only difference is precise location on the bubble, then it makes sense to push the partner up a bit. But this ONLY applies to someone who is very close in any event.

kroner
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby kroner » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:25 pm

It's also not just a matter of keeping them happy. They may decide not to attend if the school doesn't accommodate their spouse/significant other especially if they have competing offers that do. It can be a worthwhile trade in order to get top students.

CarlBrannen
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:21 pm

admissionprof wrote:I said a few notches, not that many. Of course it isn't wrong, and makes complete sense. Would you rather have the better student spending years away from his/her partner, being unhappy, and commuting many weekends, or have the better student (and his/her very good partner) happy, living nearby and stable for several years?


Hmmm. I've read that Richard Feynman liked to attend bars where women were paid to dance naked. I suppose if he met someone he liked there it would make sense to hire her, if it would contribute to keeping him "happy, living nearby and stable".

The word for hiring someone because of their relatives is "nepotism":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepotism

This sort of thing is frowned on in private industry, though it is said to be common in other parts of the world. For example, see wasta:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasta

The fact that it's not uncommon in academia is something that fascinates me. Maybe it has something to do with other academic privileges such as "tenure", which allows academics to retain (well paid) positions without continuing to contribute to science. It's not uncommon for elite groups in a society to grant themselves advantages that are not available to the common people.

A similar example is the insistence that a spouse be hired when the (presumably more desirable) partner is hired. See "dual career":
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/ ... areer.html

It's more common than most people would suspect that a student is married to, or has a sexual relationship with, their graduate adviser (or another faculty member who can provide them with assistance of one sort or another). In the real world this is called "sleeping your way to the top."

Each of these imply that it is, in fact, possible to sleep your way to an academic position. (It is also possible to buy your way to an academic position and with methods that are similar.) That is, it is possible, by choosing an appropriate sexual partner, to obtain an academic position that otherwise would be beyond your reach.

Before I forget, I should add a link to the big academic sex scandal at UNM, which has to do with, well, I'll let you read it:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=un ... l+academic
Last edited by CarlBrannen on Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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grae313
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby grae313 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:52 pm

Carl, I see what you're saying and I'm not sure where I stand on this issue at the moment. I just wanted to bring up the fact that it's already very difficult to have a family and be a professor, and the fact that some Universities (especially remote ones) make an effort to find work for people's SOs might be the only thing making it even remotely feasible.

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HappyQuark
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:57 pm

grae313 wrote:Carl, I see what you're saying and I'm not sure where I stand on this issue at the moment. I just wanted to bring up the fact that it's already very difficult to have a family and be a professor, and the fact that some Universities (especially remote ones) make an effort to find work for people's SOs might be the only thing making it even remotely feasible.


Just to add to what you are saying, I think it's probably fair to say that nobody understands the two body problem better than physics professor/researcher and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if part of the reason it persists is due to personal interest in the students relationship being successful.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:18 am

grae313 wrote:Carl, I see what you're saying and I'm not sure where I stand on this issue at the moment. I just wanted to bring up the fact that it's already very difficult to have a family and be a professor, and the fact that some Universities (especially remote ones) make an effort to find work for people's SOs might be the only thing making it even remotely feasible.


I agree; I'm not sure how I stand on it either.

I do not expect the world to be a fair place; it's a brutal place. A lot of the unfairness exists for reasons having to do with subtle efficiencies and a lot is simply the discrepancy between the way we would wish to imagine a simplistic and unrealistic ideal world and the way it actually is. My suggestion is that if the political situation is such that you are able to obtain an apparently unfair advantage, then you should use that advantage while it's still around. But we should recognize our advantages for what they are. It's pointless to try and deny their existence when they are obvious to everyone.

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midwestphysics
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:11 am

Good post Carl. Still, a big reason I think people deny the existence of an advantage is actually not far from your suggestion. By denying it you prolong the advantage, and therefore can further utilize it. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, I can understand the approach.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:38 am

I said a few notches, not that many. Of course it isn't wrong, and makes complete sense. Would you rather have the better student spending years away from his/her partner, being unhappy, and commuting many weekends, or have the better student (and his/her very good partner) happy, living nearby and stable for several years?


I'm far from being a moralist but I don't think it's right to deny a student whose earned an admissions slot on his or her own merit said slot because you want someone else more. In other words, what you're doing is in effect giving two admissions slots to one person. This wouldn't be so bad if the slot contest weren't a zero-sum game, but it is.

I think you should consider the consequences of what you're doing. If the couple is married then they have a decision to make: if only one is admitted do they move together or not? Real life marriages face these questions every now and then -- that's life.

If the couple is unmarried it's not your job to get involved. Suppose you give those two admissions slots away to grab that one student you really wanted and six months later they broke up? Now you've fucked up someone's opportunity to get into your program over a relationship that didn't even last. Better to stay out of it and play it fair.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby pymtab » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:03 am

twistor wrote:
I said a few notches, not that many. Of course it isn't wrong, and makes complete sense. Would you rather have the better student spending years away from his/her partner, being unhappy, and commuting many weekends, or have the better student (and his/her very good partner) happy, living nearby and stable for several years?


I'm far from being a moralist but I don't think it's right to deny a student whose earned an admissions slot on his or her own merit said slot because you want someone else more. In other words, what you're doing is in effect giving two admissions slots to one person. This wouldn't be so bad if the slot contest weren't a zero-sum game, but it is.

I think you should consider the consequences of what you're doing. If the couple is married then they have a decision to make: if only one is admitted do they move together or not? Real life marriages face these questions every now and then -- that's life.

If the couple is unmarried it's not your job to get involved. Suppose you give those two admissions slots away to grab that one student you really wanted and six months later they broke up? Now you've fucked up someone's opportunity to get into your program over a relationship that didn't even last. Better to stay out of it and play it fair.


As already said, the issue here is not about keeping them happy - it is about getting them to attend in the first place. Now, if you have a very talented student and his/her wife/husband who would be less than average in a given program, they have to decide if its better to have one great and one weak student on top of having two average students. Sometimes it's better for the research in the department to have one great and one weak student, and there's nothing wrong or unprofessional about it. In fact, if anyone knows that girl from the 2011 admissions thread who is from MIT and has a 990 PGRE, please tell her i'm available :lol:

By the way, I don't think it's considered nepotism. Nepotism would be if you already had a job, and you use your connections to get your relatives in.

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midwestphysics
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:25 am

twistor wrote:
I said a few notches, not that many. Of course it isn't wrong, and makes complete sense. Would you rather have the better student spending years away from his/her partner, being unhappy, and commuting many weekends, or have the better student (and his/her very good partner) happy, living nearby and stable for several years?


I'm far from being a moralist but I don't think it's right to deny a student whose earned an admissions slot on his or her own merit said slot because you want someone else more. In other words, what you're doing is in effect giving two admissions slots to one person. This wouldn't be so bad if the slot contest weren't a zero-sum game, but it is.

I think you should consider the consequences of what you're doing. If the couple is married then they have a decision to make: if only one is admitted do they move together or not? Real life marriages face these questions every now and then -- that's life.

If the couple is unmarried it's not your job to get involved. Suppose you give those two admissions slots away to grab that one student you really wanted and six months later they broke up? Now you've fucked up someone's opportunity to get into your program over a relationship that didn't even last. Better to stay out of it and play it fair.



I'm not saying I personally like it but it makes sense. Also, your idea that in real life people make these decisions, yes in some cases they do, but only if they can’t negotiate the terms to not have to. If you’re highly sought after they’ll make things work for you, businesses give stipends like that all the time just to move your family to say Europe. My brother is moving to Germany, they’re paying his wife to leave her job and giving her a monthly stipend because they want him real bad, they’re even considering hiring her just to make him happy. To them, that’s the cost of recruiting talent; they see it as an investment. I imagine the academic world doesn’t venture too far from that idea either. I can’t really call it unfair, because it is good business. It’s not like you’re being beat out by that person pushed up the list, you’re being beat out by the person at the top of the list. I wouldn’t hold it against them for rejecting me, or not hiring me because a slot was given away like that. I don’t consider it being treated unfair in favor of the person who was lower than me, but rather beat out by the talent and the pull of the person much higher than me on the list. It sucks, but that’s the world, and in this case it does actually make sense.
Last edited by midwestphysics on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby kroner » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:31 am

twistor wrote:I'm far from being a moralist but I don't think it's right to deny a student whose earned an admissions slot on his or her own merit said slot because you want someone else more. In other words, what you're doing is in effect giving two admissions slots to one person. This wouldn't be so bad if the slot contest weren't a zero-sum game, but it is.

I think you should consider the consequences of what you're doing. If the couple is married then they have a decision to make: if only one is admitted do they move together or not? Real life marriages face these questions every now and then -- that's life.

I don't disagree that some people get screwed when a less qualified spouse gets picked over them, and that sucks. But you could just as easily say "that's life" about that situation.

Right or wrong, it's the best strategy for the department to get the best students it can.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:38 am

Absolutely, because people are not really losing to the less qualified spouse, they're losing to the one far higher than them. The problem in grad school though is as I said earlier, is any applicant worth two spots? I'm not sure anyone like that exist, well concerning the top uni's

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:51 am

Right or wrong, it's the best strategy for the department to get the best students it can.


"Right or wrong, it's the best strategy for Exxon to trash the environment."

The strategy that gives you the advantage is not always (in fact, rarely is) the ethical one.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:52 am

midwestphysics wrote:Absolutely, because people are not really losing to the less qualified spouse, they're losing to the one far higher than them. The problem in grad school though is as I said earlier, is any applicant worth two spots? I'm not sure anyone like that exist, well concerning the top uni's


Losing is losing, no matter how you cut it.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:59 am

twistor wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:Absolutely, because people are not really losing to the less qualified spouse, they're losing to the one far higher than them. The problem in grad school though is as I said earlier, is any applicant worth two spots? I'm not sure anyone like that exist, well concerning the top uni's


Losing is losing, no matter how you cut it.


Yes it is, but someone has to win, and in this case the stronger person did. Life doesn't make sense if everyone is a winner, but we just look to make sure that a loss is justified and fair. This loss does make sense, they're getting the best applicant, just at a high price.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:13 am

midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:Absolutely, because people are not really losing to the less qualified spouse, they're losing to the one far higher than them. The problem in grad school though is as I said earlier, is any applicant worth two spots? I'm not sure anyone like that exist, well concerning the top uni's


Losing is losing, no matter how you cut it.


Yes it is, but someone has to win, and in this case the stronger person did. Life doesn't make sense if everyone is a winner, but we just look to make sure that a loss is justified and fair. This loss does make sense, they're getting the best applicant, just at a high price.


Who the *** cares if they get the best applicant if you're the guy that doesn't get in because some dipshit got his cuntass girlfriend into the program instead of you. So while she's taking remedial math and studying to be an "actress" while working at Hooters to get this shithead's baldheaded-failed-abortion-of-a-child into pre-school you're studying second rate physics at a second rate university. QE motherfuckin' D.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:24 am

twistor wrote:Who the *** cares if they get the best applicant if you're the guy that doesn't get in because some dipshit got his cuntass girlfriend into the program instead of you. So while she's taking remedial math and studying to be an "actress" while working at Hooters to get this shithead's baldheaded-failed-abortion-of-a-child into pre-school you're studying second rate physics at a second rate university. QE motherfuckin' D.



Lol, Not sure what the last little sentence meant, but that was entertaining. As for who cares, obviously the school if they make the decision, still as I said I don’t see any case strong enough when talking about grad school to do this.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:26 am

Right, so you agree with me. Then what the hell are we arguing about?

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:32 am

twistor wrote:Right, so you agree with me. Then what the hell are we arguing about?


Not sure :) , I only said I could understand the logic if it did happen, I just don't see how the benchmarks could be met to make it happen.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:33 am

midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:Right, so you agree with me. Then what the hell are we arguing about?


Not sure :) , I only said I could understand the logic if it did happen, I just don't see how the benchmarks could be met to make it happen.


Well, I understand the logic in robbing people for money but that doesn't mean I think people should rob others.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:36 am

Btw:

Image

Kudos if you know why I'm pasting that.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:42 am

twistor wrote:Btw:

Image

Kudos if you know why I'm pasting that.


I think so, and if I'm right it's noted, and then disregarded.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:45 am

midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:Btw:

Image

Kudos if you know why I'm pasting that.


I think so, and if I'm right it's noted, and then disregarded.


:(

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:48 am

I take that to mean I was right :twisted:

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:48 am

twistor wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:Btw:

Image

Kudos if you know why I'm pasting that.


I think so, and if I'm right it's noted, and then disregarded.


:(


I must say, I find your post count to be quite leet!

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:55 am

Huh? I was referring to my user weight.... 8.67... because 867 is the first three numbers of the song "867‒5309/Jenny"....

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midwestphysics
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:57 am

twistor wrote:Huh? I was referring to my user weight.... 8.67... because 867 is the first three numbers of the song "867‒5309/Jenny"....


Oh, lol, I thought you were telling me to stop posting, a.k.a. for me to STFU.

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twistor
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:59 am

ha....well.....

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midwestphysics
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:01 am

twistor wrote:ha....well.....


See, even if you didn't know it I was somewhat right. :)

I still stand by my earlier statement then, noted, and disregarded... obivously.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby kroner » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:17 pm

twistor, I concede the point to you that the system is unfair, because you are the most elite hacker.

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:53 pm

twistor, I concede the point to you that the system is unfair, because you are the most elite hacker.


***, if that's all it takes to win arguments around here...

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby kroner » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:08 pm

twistor wrote:
twistor, I concede the point to you that the system is unfair, because you are the most elite hacker.


***, if that's all it takes to win arguments around here...

You say that as if it's any small feat. You may reign for now, but tomorrow who can say?

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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby CarlBrannen » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:40 am

twistor wrote:Huh? I was referring to my user weight.... 8.67... because 867 is the first three numbers of the song "867‒5309/Jenny"....


While teaching a "conceptual" physics class at ITT with the subject "significant digits", I arranged for a multiplication to give the result 1.8675309, (you need the "1" because 8675309 happens to be prime). Of course no one in the class got the joke. So I had to say something like, "Hmmm. That seems like a familiar number. Oh yeah," and starting singing the song.

P.S. See
http://www.math.com/students/calculator ... number.htm

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twistor
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby twistor » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:01 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:
twistor wrote:Huh? I was referring to my user weight.... 8.67... because 867 is the first three numbers of the song "867‒5309/Jenny"....


While teaching a "conceptual" physics class at ITT with the subject "significant digits", I arranged for a multiplication to give the result 1.8675309, (you need the "1" because 8675309 happens to be prime). Of course no one in the class got the joke. So I had to say something like, "Hmmm. That seems like a familiar number. Oh yeah," and starting singing the song.

P.S. See
http://www.math.com/students/calculator ... number.htm


Glad at least a few professors maintain a good sense of humor.

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sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby sphy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:01 pm

postman wrote:Hi everybody!

My girlfriend and I are international students, both studied in the same rather known physics institute in East Europe. This winter we are applying for a PhD in physics in the USA. Are there any special concerns for such a case?
What is the possibility of getting into the same top-20 school? We worked in the same lab and have quite intersecting applications, however she likes an experiment while I'm more a theorist.
Should we explicitly mention our relationship in our applications? Or may be it's better to marry and take the same surname?

Thank you. :)

Did some body notice something that the original poster/author stopped logging in to PGRE after Oct 27, but we kept the flame burning till Dec 28 (I mean Feb 3 to be precise, but this is for rest of us....)


Hallo what happened to you and your girlfriend?

Goran15
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby Goran15 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:01 pm

and since we're on a subject my girlfrend just graduated psychology. Can I get her in on my application? :D

Ryalnos
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby Ryalnos » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:21 pm

Glancing through this thread, I don't like how people are claiming that boosting the SO is giving two slots to the better candidate. The situation Admissionprof discusses is one in which the SO is already a reasonable application by their own merit.

I gather it's hard enough to distinguish between applicant strengths on the wait list anyway, and it makes sense to boost one out of that pool in order to guarantee that one of the very strong students gets admitted. If you look at it from a utilitarian perspective, one student may miss out on admission, but a nearly equivalent student is admitted AND the couple is happy.

postman
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:26 pm

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby postman » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:55 am

Hi, everybody. Thank you for your advices! For those who are interested in our situation:

In the first week of February, I have been accepted to a top-10 school in Physics, and two top-25s. All three schools support a fellowship. No rejections, four decisions yet to come.
My SO has not yet received any decision, and I have no solid understanding of what should I do. I doesn't seems that I should ask this Top-10 school, because I don't expect that they lack good applicants (this school has a BIG NAME).

BTW, she is not going to be an actress. She has good research experience as an experimentalist and a pair of first-author publications in decent journals. The only her problem is low PGRE scores (750<PGRE<800).

Thanks.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:01 am

postman wrote:I have been accepted to a top-10 school in Physics, and two top-25s. All three schools support a fellowship. No rejections, four decisions yet to come.
My SO has not yet received any decision, and I have no solid understanding of what should I do. I doesn't seems that I should ask this Top-10 school, because I don't expect that they lack good applicants (this school has a BIG NAME).
She has good research experience as an experimentalist and a pair of first-author publications in decent journals. The only her problem is low PGRE scores (750<PGRE<800).

Most top schools havent finished their admissions. Hold tight. Fellowship offers have gone out, but most big schools haven't filled their TA positions. I shouldn't say this, since your SO is in direct competition with me (similar stats), but if you send an email that probably wouldn't be inappropriate. They obviously like you (they gave you a fellowship), and if accepting your SO (who has an application that indicates she'd be successful as a grad student) gave them a better chance of keeping you, they have a good incentive to accept her over similar applicants (like me :( ). Good luck!

EDIT: To be clear, an experimentalist with a PGRE in the 65-80th %ile range is not a bad applicant; that's not a bad PGRE score for an experimentalist. It's a good score. Assuming good LoR's and good grades, she stands a good (<30%) chance of getting into top schools on her own merit (this is from the mouth of my PI at a top 5 school). Emailing the department is just giving them a reason to break the ties at the fringe of the acceptance pool (which is where someone with those stats will normally lie) in favor of your SO.

EDIT2: I forgot you were an international. That changes things. Where has she published, and does she have US LoR writers? If so, she has a good chance. If not, that PGRE might be the only data point they trust 100% (it's hard to compare GPA/LoR's across cultures). In that case, still try, but don't get your hopes up.

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WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
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Re: applying for a phd with a girlfriend

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:02 am

bfollinprm wrote:To be clear, an experimentalist with a PGRE in the 65-80th %ile range is not a bad applicant; that's not a bad PGRE score for an experimentalist.


It also helps that she is female of course.

-Riley




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