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Is it wrong to choose one graduate school to apply to?

  1. Jan 2, 2013 #1
    I know the school that i'd like to go to(Clemson) it's close to home, the program is more applied than theoretical, the campus has a nice home-y feeling to it, i very much like the graduate programs that i'm looking at (mathematical sciences and computer science), etc.

    I know people say that you shouldn't pick a school for its location or the weather so that's why i'm asking this question.

    I've been trying to find other schools that i'd like to attend, but i'm just so sure that Clemson is the school i'd like to go to for my graduate studies that i don't even want to apply to other schools. I guess i almost feel that if i went to another school i wouldn't be too happy.

    What do you guys think? Should i at least apply to some other schools?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2013 #2


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    Who ever told you that location isn't a factor obviously values different things than you. You'll find that being happy at a location will be vital in your success at graduate school. For some people that means being at the best ranked school or working with professor x, for others that means being near home or enjoying the environment.

    You should apply to other schools just for the in case Clemson rejects you. It never hurts to have a safety.
  4. Jan 3, 2013 #3
    As long as you are fine with not going to graduate school at all, there is no need to apply to more than your first-choice school.
  5. Jan 3, 2013 #4


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    You do need to apply to other schools. Clemson isn't all that hard to get into if you've got good grades, general GRE scores (they don't require the physics GRE), and research experience, but you might want to connect with someone on the faculty there - get a tour of the lab, meet other grad students, let them know you're really interested. They are getting more selective as the school gains in the rankings (overall, not so much in physics, but they've really got a good, if small, program). There are other schools you can apply to with similar weather - U South Carolina, UNC Chapel Hill, U Georgia, UF.
  6. Jan 3, 2013 #5


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    If you don't apply to other schools, then you're making a decision that if you don't get in to Clemson, you won't be starting grad school the coming year. If that's a conscious decision on your part, then that's fine. It's not an irrevocable decision -- if you don't get in, you can always apply to more schools the following year.

    Why would you not take those criteria into account? You're going to be living there for something like 5 years, and you don't want to be miserable.
  7. Jan 4, 2013 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    I agree with Ben, although this does raise a bit of a red flag. It raises questions about how badly one wants a PhD. (If the answer isn't "pretty doggonne badly", your odds of completing the program go way down)
  8. Jan 4, 2013 #7


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    I think location is not a bad way to sort graduate programs, if sorting by reputation would not be possible due to a weak application. My buddy really wanted a phd, but he had a sort of weak gpa (3 < GPA < 3.4), so he applied to schools he thought he could get into in beautiful areas of the country. He now goes to a decent school in a great climate, and hes very happy.

    I think only applying to one program for your reasons shows a questionablecdrive to go to grad school.
  9. Jan 4, 2013 #8
    I don't want a PhD at all. I do want my masters degree but i'm not in any rush (i have a pretty nice CS job right now)
  10. Jan 7, 2013 #9
    If you know you want to go to that school, I don't see any harm in not applying anywhere else. HOWEVER I DO recommend you apply to a similar school because if they offer you funding you can use that as a way to barter with Clemson to give you a better deal!!!
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