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Programs How truthful should I be on PhD application?

  1. Jun 29, 2011 #1
    I am your regular White guy and a Texan for 6 generations.
    The PhD application form asks for your place of birth.

    Now I was actually born in Mexico but soon after I was born, my mother married a guy from Romania and moved to Romania. He wanted to immigrate to the US, so he registered himself as my biological father and put down my place of birth as Romania. Thankfully my mom divorced this guy in a couple years. Or maybe he used my mom and divorced her after he moved to America. That's the background.

    My official documents still show my place of birth as Romania even though I was born in Mexico. Even my American passport shows my place of birth as Romania. All that mess was created by a man my mother married when I was an infant and none of the mess is my fault. I tried correcting the mess but it was too complicated and an attorney advised me to "let sleeping dogs lie."

    Now the PhD application asks for my place of birth. Should I be truthful and put it down as Mexico? Or should I go as per what is on my official records, driver license application, American passport, etc and put it down as Romania?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2011 #2
    Would it make any difference at all? Your records say you were born in Romania, so use what is officially on paper.
  4. Jun 29, 2011 #3
    But won't I be lying if I put it down as Romania?
    (I wish application forms didn't ask such questions).
  5. Jun 29, 2011 #4
    So what if they see your application form, go look at the official records and see that you've put Mexico, but your records say Romania?
  6. Jun 29, 2011 #5
    The attorney was right. It'll be easier for you if all your records say the same thing.
  7. Jun 29, 2011 #6
    If you interpret the question to mean, "What is your documented place of birth?", you won't be lying. The school probably cares more about what your documents say, than where you were actually born. Your real place of birth is rarely that important, unless you are trying to be a US president. It's about as relevant as where you were conceived, or what countries your mother visited while she was pregnant.

    Same thing with your "Father's Name". The school will care more about what legal document's say, and they are not likely to try and do a DNA test anyway.
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