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Programs Does age have a factor with PhD programs?

  1. Feb 5, 2012 #1
    Hello all,

    I am sure this has been asked before, but just can't seem to find a thread.

    To make a long story short I have been on the 10 year track to my Bachelor's degree; there are a lot of outside factors. I am getting my BS in mechanical engineering and want to go on to a PhD in aerospace concentrating on electric propulsion systems.

    The thing I am worried about that will be at least 28 by the time I graduate with a BS, and haven't been able to get involved with any research. I have been working in an engineering role though in a manufacturing company. Will all that have any bearing on getting into a program?

    I am going to apply regardless; I was just wondering if those will be major factors against me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2012 #2


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    If it took you 10 years to complete a bachelor's degree because you were partying too much and studying too little, failed out of many classes or were just generally lazy, then yes, that will affect your graduate application.

    If on the other hand (and as you seem to have indicated) you were holding down a part-time job or had other factors to contend with (such as family or health issues) then no, it won't affect your chances of admission.

    I have never seen age itself factor into an admission decision.
  4. Feb 5, 2012 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    To add to what Choppy said, these outside factors need to be demonstrably no longer present. Otherwise, they will think they will have a 20-year grad student on their hands.
  5. Feb 6, 2012 #4
    Thank you for the advice. When I first started college, and not knowing what I wanted to do, I did slack off and party a bit too much. But mostly I have had to take a semester off here and there to make money, as when I started college that's when the economy tanked, so I my parents weren't able to help out. That's when I kicked it into high gear and now I'm in the final stretch.
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