The tricky part of Admissions….

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  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

FNR
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:48 pm

The tricky part of Admissions….

Postby FNR » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:49 pm

I want to know what would happen when the Admission committee needs to make difficult choices.

Consider this:
A Physics department has 10 available positions in Theoretical and 4 available position in Experimental for incoming grad students. This year, over 100 prospective grad students applied for position in Theoretical and only dozens applied for position in Experimental.

Would their application be considered separately? I imagine that there must be Theoretical Admissions team and Experimental Admissions team within the Admission committee to maintain the balance of incoming grad students, but I’m not very sure….

I might be wrong, but I don’t think the committee would only choose the best-of-the-best prospective students without even considering their research interest. I mean, it is rather unwise to accept all the best if ‘the best’ only wants to do research in certain area and ‘don’t give a damn’ to the other ongoing research. :?

Would the committee choose to accept the not-that-good students to fill in the positions suitable with their interest over the best-of-the-best students that have no matching interest with the currently available research positions? Could anybody enlighten me here? :|

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: The tricky part of Admissions….

Postby admissionprof » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:56 pm

FNR wrote:I want to know what would happen when the Admission committee needs to make difficult choices.

Consider this:
A Physics department has 10 available positions in Theoretical and 4 available position in Experimental for incoming grad students. This year, over 100 prospective grad students applied for position in Theoretical and only dozens applied for position in Experimental.

Would their application be considered separately? I imagine that there must be Theoretical Admissions team and Experimental Admissions team within the Admission committee to maintain the balance of incoming grad students, but I’m not very sure….

I might be wrong, but I don’t think the committee would only choose the best-of-the-best prospective students without even considering their research interest. I mean, it is rather unwise to accept all the best if ‘the best’ only wants to do research in certain area and ‘don’t give a damn’ to the other ongoing research. :?

Would the committee choose to accept the not-that-good students to fill in the positions suitable with their interest over the best-of-the-best students that have no matching interest with the currently available research positions? Could anybody enlighten me here? :|


It's not that simple. At some places, such a separation does exist. But I think that at most places, the best students are simply accepted, independent of their field (as long as it matches something in the department). For the next tier (ones that aren't obvious accepts), then one does look at the field more closely, compares with the top tier and looks at possibilities in the department (how many openings in area X are expected in the next couple of years). I don't think it's formalized as you suggest at most places. But I could be wrong--I only know about how a few places do it.

FNR
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The tricky part of Admissions….

Postby FNR » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:21 pm

Guys,

I do not know how the Admissions really work, and so please consider this:

I asked the Graduate recruiter about the outcome of my application. He answered that ‘the good news you have been accepted in our program. I need graduate school to give permission to make it officially’. :D

Of course, I asked the Graduate school to verify this decision (since my on-line status still shows ‘pending’). To my surprise, she told me that ‘Your application is complete and we will review it before deferring it to the department.’ :shock:

What the…?!? Who decides who’s in and who’s out actually?

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: The tricky part of Admissions….

Postby nathan12343 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:34 am

FNR wrote:Guys,

I do not know how the Admissions really work, and so please consider this:

I asked the Graduate recruiter about the outcome of my application. He answered that ‘the good news you have been accepted in our program. I need graduate school to give permission to make it officially’. :D

Of course, I asked the Graduate school to verify this decision (since my on-line status still shows ‘pending’). To my surprise, she told me that ‘Your application is complete and we will review it before deferring it to the department.’ :shock:

What the…?!? Who decides who’s in and who’s out actually?


Is this your first encounter with a bureaucracy or something? The left hand may not know what the right is doing.

If the person in the department told you you got in, you're in. They told you it's only a provisional acceptance since the graduate school still needs to rubber stamp the department's decision.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: The tricky part of Admissions….

Postby grae313 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:27 am

FNR wrote:Guys,

I do not know how the Admissions really work, and so please consider this...


Only the graduate school can officially admit you. The department picks who they admit, then "recommends" these people to the graduate school, which puts the official approval stamp on your application, as Nathan said. It means you're in, now you have to wait a bit for the official notification while your acceptance works its way through the system.




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