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Canadian applicant....

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:05 pm
by meek
Hi y'all....

long time lurker, first time poster. I am an applicant for Fall 2008.

I was wondering if anyone has insight into how Canadian applicants are evaluated? Are you basically thrown into the "international" pile, or the "domestic" pile of applicants?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:12 pm
by grae313
hello and welcome! you should post as much of your profile as you are comfortable with in the stickied profile thread. As for your question, I think everyone who is not a US citizen falls under the "international" heading in terms of funding, which is a negative. However, being from Canada the admissions people will not be worried about your English, so I imagine you will have a slight step up on other international applicants in that regard. Also, I've read that it is hard for admissions committees dealing with foreign applicants from schools they have never heard of, so if you are from a program they would be familiar with that will also be a big help.

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:19 pm
by vicente
A prof told me that they judge Canadian applicants as domestic in terms of academics but international in terms of funding.

I think it varies with the department, and whether people on the admissions committee are familiar with Canadian schools.

Does your school use a 0-4 GPA system? Some Canadian universities don't.

EDIT: I know for sure that I was thrown into the "International" pile at UT Austin as they sent out all their domestic decisions this week already. They're one of many state schools that do this, where they judge domestic applicants first and leave us Canadians to compete with the hordes of Chinese and Indian 990s.

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:05 pm
by funkoliteus
scratch that...

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:07 pm
by twistor
funkoliteus:

I think he means he's a Canadian applicant applying to US schools, not vice versa.

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:47 pm
by Geoff Olynyk
I too am a Canadian applicant for some American schools for Fall 2008. In speaking with one researcher, I got the impression that "officially" Canadians are treated as international students, but in the minds of the review committee, we are treated like domestic students.

For example, at Princeton, the deadline for application is December 15th for International students, but December 31st for domestic students and Canadians.

Obviously, for the purposes of the State Department (visas, etc.) we are international students, though even that part of the process is "easier" for us. When I asked the researcher I was talking to about the visa situation, he said something like "Oh, hell, you Canadians are practically domestic students. The paperwork is way easier for you than some of our students here."

For example, a friend of mine who started a physics Ph.D. at an American institution in Sept. 2007 didn't have to apply for the F-1 visa the "official" way, with a visit to the embassy, an interview, etc. He just had to show up at the border with the paperwork and the application fee, get fingerprinted, and he was on his way. The proof of financial sufficiency was not a problem since his fellowship was listed on the immigration forms as income! (Even though he never saw a dime of it -- the school just paid it to themselves, so to speak.)

About grading: I went to Queen's University for engineering and we got all our marks out of 100. I didn't even try to convert to a 4.0 GPA system when applying; I just reported everything as a percentage, just as it was on my transcript.