Monday, September 6, 2010

PhD Application Grumble

I'm going through the application materials for the schools I am applying to (at least, those which have application materials available so far). I'm making notes about what, in particular, certain schools want to see in their personal statements/statements of interest, etc. etc. (One school in particular wants to know why, if there is a significant gap between previous school and PhD land. I am assuming 10+ years counts as significant).

Here is what has me stumped and grumbly: the GPA. I did my undergraduate and MA level schooling up in The Great White North. The Great White North does not (or at least, did not, when I was there) bother itself with Grade Point Averages. That was an American thing... like calling universities colleges, and second year students sophomores. For the record, in TGWN, universities are universities; colleges are colleges; and your second year of university is referred to as your second year.

One university has specifically requested that students with international credentials just leave the GPA thing alone, and they'll figure it out when they get the transcripts. Another school gives no guidance, and I've popped off an email. This is why starting so freaking early is a Good Idea; grad school applications are rife with niggly bits that take time to sort out.

So, while I am frustrated that I can't just answer the question, at least there is time. What I *am* worried about are these online recommendation letters that require me to complete my application online before recommendation letter requests are sent out to recommenders... it means I have to have all my shit sorted and complete sooner rather than later, including those personal statements...


Anonymous said...

Arrrgh! I remember the craziness of the application process and wish you the very best with it all!

Digger said...

Thanks, Inky!

The good news is, for schools with online applications (which is all of them, I believe) the recommendation letter process can be started while the rest of the application is pending. Whew.