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Admissions Quick question about US grad admissions

  1. Sep 11, 2005 #1
    Hi,

    I'm going through the whole process of should I apply/shouldn't I apply II'm a UK student) and I was wondering is there any difference in applying for August admission or January admission? Is it easier to get admitted in August rather than Jan? In the UK, I here it is usually easier to get admitted for fall admission rather than january as departments only have funding available at certain times of the year is it the same in america?

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    Generally, yes, that is the same in the US as in the UK. Most grad programs are also geared toward course sequences and lab rotations for students beginning in the fall, so it can be difficult to start out in the spring semester off-sequence.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2005 #3
    Oh i see ok. So it would be difficult to start in the spring but is it harder to be admitted as well? Are there fewer places available for spring admission? Would it be worth deffering till the following summer?

    Thank you.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2005 #4

    Gokul43201

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    Yes, there are certainly fewer openings for the spring in most grad schools. In many schools, departments will admit students in the spring ONLY if they didn't "meet the quota" with fall admissions. But there are often fewer applicants as well; yet, on the whole I believe getting admitted (at a place you want to be in) in the spring term is harder than in the fall.

    In my dept. about 90% (or more) of the students get admitted in the fall (or sometimes, choose to start early, in the summer).
     
  6. Sep 14, 2005 #5
    Thanks for the reply. That certainly gives me something to think about. I was hoping to apply for spring admission in '07 as opposed to fall admission '06 so I could use some extra time study and try to attain good GRE scores. It also seems that you only receive financial support for fall admission as well so I'm probably better off deferring a year.
     
  7. Sep 14, 2005 #6

    Gokul43201

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    I strongly urge you to confirm our opinions here against better sources. For instance, you can directly email or call and speak to graduate secretaries at some of the schools you are interested in. This is really the only way to know for sure, and I highly recommend it.
     
  8. Sep 14, 2005 #7
    Yeah, I mean while I was waiting for a reply I just googled and randomly came up with a page Colorado school of mines (never heard of it) I e-mailed the professor there and within 5 mins he replyed back saying that financial support is only available for fall admission. A few other university web sites say the same thing though I think I'll e-mail a few more and see what they say. If one does defer for a year is it frowned upon?
     
  9. Sep 14, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    No, it wouldn't be frowned upon to defer for a year...as long as you do something productive in that year. If you're still taking additional classes or working a job that is relevant to your area of interest or even doing volunteer work. It would be bad if you just sat around doing nothing for a year or only got a job at a fast food joint or some such thing.

    You could also contact the schools you're interested in in the Fall and find out if they have any slots open for Spring admissions. They should know by then if they've filled their class or if there is still a slot or two open. Then you can selectively apply to just a few schools for Spring admission...if you get in, it's a half year you're ahead (just keeping in mind the possible issue of course sequencing...ask about that if you're going to apply), and if not, then apply for the remainder for Fall admission.

    I think you'd generally be at a disadvantage starting in the spring, not just because of the difficulty of admission or course sequence, but also because you'd miss out on the "orientation" type activities that departments do in the fall to welcome their incoming class. You might feel more like an outsider if you're joining late after everyone else already knows each other and has already had a semester of classes together, etc. You might be the only one admitted in the spring. But, as Gokul said, check on it.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2005 #9

    Gokul43201

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    One last point : it's just september. Most admission deadlines (for fall) are in december and january, many in feb. There's at least 3 months to go - that's plenty of time to prepare for the GRE general and subject tests.
     
  11. Sep 14, 2005 #10
    Hey moonbear thanks for your comments they're helpful. I think I'll do as you said. I plan on applying to some universities here in the UK if I get accepted at somewhere like cambridge then I'll take it without hesitation if not then I'll try spring/fall admission but like you said I don't want to go there and be an outsider so taking a year out to find work in a physics related job would be a better choice.

    My plan was to apply for fall '06 originally but it felt like I was rushing the process and I didn't want to waste money on applications etc if i wasn't properly prepared.. I'd rather take a year out and do things systematically and correctly.
     
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