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Grad School: Apply now & defer, or apply later?

  1. Jul 8, 2010 #1
    Hi all

    I've got one more year left in my undergraduate degree at a Canadian university in physics. I'll be taking a year off after graduating before (hopefully) going to the US for grad school in synthetic biology. My question is, should I write the GRE and apply to grad school now and then defer a year, or do this next year?

    I'd prefer waiting a year before applying simply because I think I can have a stronger application (more research experience, higher GPA, etc). However, I've already talked to one advisor who thought that applying on my year off would make me seem like a bit of an unfocussed flake. I'm planning on moving to Qu├ębec and teaching English at a school (while learning French). I'm also hoping to do some physics tutoring (though this will depend where I go). So it's not like I'm just staying drunk and stoned for a year or something like that.

    Anyways, any thoughts? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2010 #2


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    Why are they mututally exclusive?

    Could you not apply this year and plan to defer acceptance, and then if it doesn't work out they way you would like, apply the following year?

    I think the big danger in waiting a year is that despite the best intentions, when you leave academia, it can often be difficult to get back in. People do do this. But many more attempt this, get into a comfortable position out in the real world, and decide they don't want to return to student life.

    Maybe 'danger' isn't the right word though. I shouldn't imply that one path is better than the other.
  4. Jul 9, 2010 #3
    If I am not accepted one year at a particular school, does this lower my chances of getting accepted the next year? I'm not worried about whether I'll go back to school or not, more about when I should apply.
  5. Jul 10, 2010 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Is there even such a thing as deferring for graduate school? I've never seen such a thing - you usually apply to start the program in a particular year. If you want to start a year later, you apply a year later.
  6. Jul 11, 2010 #5
    I hadn't heard about it either, but my adviser seemed to think it was an option. I guess it's something to verify.
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