Anyone else find the application process overwhelming? (1 Viewer)

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Right now I am applying to approximately 20 PhD programs while having to work a full time job and I think I am going to die. I constantly find myself having to spend hours and hours on websites digging through schools' websites to find information that is buried on how to apply, deadlines, etc. On top of that, the biggest time consumer are the essays. Each school pretty much requires different essays or ones tailored to their specific program, so 20 essays x 1000 words each=20,000 words. Anyone have any good tips on how to streamline this process any better? I try to recycle the essays as much as possible and change them for each school, but it is still a heck of a lot of work to have to go through and read about the on going research at each school, pick professors out that you want to study under, and talk about them in your essays. I'm going to die.
 

MathematicalPhysicist

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20 Phd programmes?!
I will never understand US education system.
 
20 Phd programmes?!
I will never understand US education system.
It's only because right now the economy is absolutely terrible and a lot of people are trying to hide from it by applying to grad schools. The competition to get into a lot of PhD programs is intense right now across the board in almost all disciplines, so if I want to get into at least 1, I need to apply broadly. There are only a few I really want to get into and I would apply to only those few if I had to, but I simply can not sleep well at night taking the risk of putting all of my eggs into such a small basket.


On a side not, they aren't all programs in the US. I'm looking at 2 ERASMUS programs in Europe, the National University of Singapore, and the Univ. of Toronto.


I just wish grad schools would use a centralized service like medical schools do in order to streamline the whole process much more instead of you having to worry about 20 different dates, fill out the same information for 20 different applications, and send your transcripts, LORS, etc. to 20 different locations.
 
It's only because right now the economy is absolutely terrible and a lot of people are trying to hide from it by applying to grad schools. The competition to get into a lot of PhD programs is intense right now across the board in almost all disciplines, so if I want to get into at least 1, I need to apply broadly. There are only a few I really want to get into and I would apply to only those few if I had to, but I simply can not sleep well at night taking the risk of putting all of my eggs into such a small basket.


On a side not, they aren't all programs in the US. I'm looking at 2 ERASMUS programs in Europe, the National University of Singapore, and the Univ. of Toronto.


I just wish grad schools would use a centralized service like medical schools do in order to streamline the whole process much more instead of you having to worry about 20 different dates, fill out the same information for 20 different applications, and send your transcripts, LORS, etc. to 20 different locations.
Even with the increased competition, 20 seems high. The advice I've always heard is to apply to one or two "easy" grad schools, ones that you should have no trouble at all getting into. A small state school, for example. Then apply to a moderate number of schools that might be a little of a stretch, but you still have a decent shot at. Maybe 3-5 of those. And then, a couple "shoot for the moon" schools that you'd LOVE to get into, but it will be very difficult.

With that formula, you apply to 6-10 schools, and you're almost sure to get in at least one of them, due to the inclusion of the "easy" schools.

My plan less than a year from now is to apply to 1 "easy" school, 3 "moderate" schools, and 3 "difficult" schools. There's no way I'd ever apply to 20.
 
Right now I am applying to approximately 20 PhD programs while having to work a full time job and I think I am going to die. I constantly find myself having to spend hours and hours on websites digging through schools' websites to find information that is buried on how to apply, deadlines, etc. .. I'm going to die.
yes, I'm also getting ready to apply to grad schools and its killing me. Having to look at all the professors website for details on their research, checking the deadlines for each school, and preparing for the GREs is taking up all my time
 

Vanadium 50

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Having to look at all the professors website for details on their research...taking up all my time
Then don't. If this is such a burden, why bother?
 
Right now I am applying to approximately 20 PhD programs while having to work a full time job and I think I am going to die.
If you applying to physics programs then I think you are applying to far too many. One of the more important things is going to be recommendations and since you need three of them per application, I really don't see how you are going to get sixty strong letters.

You are better off it you put in six to eight applications that are strong rather than 20 that are weak.
 

Vanadium 50

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He doesn't need 60 letters - he'll recycle. It's a pain in the neck for the professors' secretaries, of course.
 
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I applied to four programs and I thought that was a fair amount of work.
 

G01

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Even in the bad economy 20 is a bit high. Possibly consider dropping it to 10-12, at most.

Example:

3 reach schools
4 "good fits"
3 safeties
 

fss

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20 programs? Either you have a very low chance of getting into a school based on your grades and other qualifications, or you are overdoing it by a factor of 2, possibly 3.
 

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