Applying again while in the phd program.......

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
HTN
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:31 am

Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby HTN » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:38 am

I am left with the choice of doing my phd in the school where I recently have taken my masters, so I will be in the phd program here starting this August. I am thinking about applying to phd programs for the Fall 2014 while I will be in the phd program here ( possibly with some different ones this time).

I want to know if anyone of you have any opinion, thoughts or suggestion on the following concern of mine :

Will the schools that I will apply have prejudice or any reservation against me just because I will already be in a phd program?

y45askel
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby y45askel » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:11 am

HTN wrote:I am left with the choice of doing my phd in the school where I recently have taken my masters, so I will be in the phd program here starting this August. I am thinking about applying to phd programs for the Fall 2014 while I will be in the phd program here ( possibly with some different ones this time).

I want to know if anyone of you have any opinion, thoughts or suggestion on the following concern of mine :

Will the schools that I will apply have prejudice or any reservation against me just because I will already be in a phd program?

Not at all. You may want to state why you are applying to different PhD programs though (different research interests other than the ones offered at your current institution, or different advisers you would like to work with at the other schools you are applying to).

I was in a master's program this year (first year of grad school for me) and I applied to other master's program because I didn't like the course content that I was doing at my current school and it was looked favorably as me gaining more experience with graduate level math and I was accepted to many great schools at which more of my research/academic interests are listed at for the upcoming fall.

HTN
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:31 am

Re: Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby HTN » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:28 am

y45askel wrote:
HTN wrote:I am left with the choice of doing my phd in the school where I recently have taken my masters, so I will be in the phd program here starting this August. I am thinking about applying to phd programs for the Fall 2014 while I will be in the phd program here ( possibly with some different ones this time).

I want to know if anyone of you have any opinion, thoughts or suggestion on the following concern of mine :

Will the schools that I will apply have prejudice or any reservation against me just because I will already be in a phd program?

Not at all. You may want to state why you are applying to different PhD programs though (different research interests other than the ones offered at your current institution, or different advisers you would like to work with at the other schools you are applying to).

I was in a master's program this year (first year of grad school for me) and I applied to other master's program because I didn't like the course content that I was doing at my current school and it was looked favorably as me gaining more experience with graduate level math and I was accepted to many great schools at which more of my research/academic interests are listed at for the upcoming fall.


Thank you for your reply. So in your SOP, you stated the program content as the main motivation for you to apply other programs? That sounds a nice thing to mention.

math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Re: Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby math_applicant » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:09 am

Well, you gotta be careful! I am not sure about the situation with y4askel, but it seems he left a master's program to another which is quite a different story from leaving a PhD program to another. I know that in the US it is looked negatively upon people leaving PhD programs by the sending and receiving institutions. The institution one leaves might think that one is abusing their funding to strengthen his/her application to move to another better institution. This might get in the way of getting strong recommendation letters. Also, generally speaking, in the US, the MS degree that is awarded on the way to the PhD is meant to provide "weak" students (those who dont pass the candidacy or do bad in their courses or don't have potential and so on) with a way out of the PhD program with some degree in hand. (note this is different from the standalone master's degree, not sure which one is your case). Now, its easy to avoid this impression by getting strong recommendation letters justifying why you are leaving and you are back to the first problem.
My opinion is that, depending on your relationship with the professors at your current institution, it is a delicate procedure. If you can frame your desire for changing institutions in "valid" terms (research fit, family reasons, or anything other than ambitious reasons), I think you can easily overcome both of the problems I mentioned by getting those strong letters.

Good luck!

HTN
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:31 am

Re: Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby HTN » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:55 pm

math_applicant wrote:Well, you gotta be careful! I am not sure about the situation with y4askel, but it seems he left a master's program to another which is quite a different story from leaving a PhD program to another. I know that in the US it is looked negatively upon people leaving PhD programs by the sending and receiving institutions. The institution one leaves might think that one is abusing their funding to strengthen his/her application to move to another better institution. This might get in the way of getting strong recommendation letters. Also, generally speaking, in the US, the MS degree that is awarded on the way to the PhD is meant to provide "weak" students (those who dont pass the candidacy or do bad in their courses or don't have potential and so on) with a way out of the PhD program with some degree in hand. (note this is different from the standalone master's degree, not sure which one is your case). Now, its easy to avoid this impression by getting strong recommendation letters justifying why you are leaving and you are back to the first problem.
My opinion is that, depending on your relationship with the professors at your current institution, it is a delicate procedure. If you can frame your desire for changing institutions in "valid" terms (research fit, family reasons, or anything other than ambitious reasons), I think you can easily overcome both of the problems I mentioned by getting those strong letters.

Good luck!


Thank you. Indeed, research fit is the motivation for me to apply again. The department I am in now mostly does applied math and almost no professor does pure math research not to mention graduate students. I am interested in pure math. Also my adviser has already expressed that he encourages me to apply again but I am not really sure how the other two recommendation letter writers think while one of them is the graduate director of the department.

Do you think the receiving institution you were referring to also looks upon me negatively because of the same reason ?

y45askel
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Applying again while in the phd program.......

Postby y45askel » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:23 pm

HTN wrote:
y45askel wrote:
HTN wrote:I am left with the choice of doing my phd in the school where I recently have taken my masters, so I will be in the phd program here starting this August. I am thinking about applying to phd programs for the Fall 2014 while I will be in the phd program here ( possibly with some different ones this time).

I want to know if anyone of you have any opinion, thoughts or suggestion on the following concern of mine :

Will the schools that I will apply have prejudice or any reservation against me just because I will already be in a phd program?

Not at all. You may want to state why you are applying to different PhD programs though (different research interests other than the ones offered at your current institution, or different advisers you would like to work with at the other schools you are applying to).

I was in a master's program this year (first year of grad school for me) and I applied to other master's program because I didn't like the course content that I was doing at my current school and it was looked favorably as me gaining more experience with graduate level math and I was accepted to many great schools at which more of my research/academic interests are listed at for the upcoming fall.


Thank you for your reply. So in your SOP, you stated the program content as the main motivation for you to apply other programs? That sounds a nice thing to mention.


Yes and before I did any of this, I did indeed inform my current grad school and informed them that I was planning on applying to different schools to make sure that I did get their consent and approval so you may want to do that with your current PhD institution. They should be understanding as what you do your disseration/thesis on will impact your future job prospects in the future. I am quite the opposite, the school I am currently at is strictly pure and I am more interested in applied and so this is what I told them and they were completely okay with it.

In my SOP I did state that at my current school majority of the research interests were in pure math and I am much more interested in Applied. As math_applicant said, I know tons of students who are in the PhD program at my school who plan on getting higher funding and will leave with just a master's degree. While that is indeed unfair to other students who are masters and usually get lower funding, it does happen. IT truly does depend on the school though because some will give you a master's degree if you fail the quals at PhD, while others will insist that you satisfy the master's degree requirements in order to obtain that degree. IT's best to check in with your school as well as the other schools you plan on applying to in order to see what they want/desire/approve of. :)




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