Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:34 pm
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You have a strong profile but numerical astrophysics is competitive. You have a good chance to get into some top school, but if you want to be 100% certain that you will get accepted somewhere I do recommend you apply to a wider range of schools.
I disagree - 3 first author works before your PhD is an incredible accomplishment you should feel proud of. Many people reading would/should be envious of your position. Some astrophysicists finish their entire PhDs with that many total. Your 'scientific ability' to make new discoveries and share them in papers/talks will determine your success in academia. Other factors can sink you in admissions, especially at top schools; you want high grades to show their courses won’t trouble you, proof you can effectively communicate in English, and to fit the needs/openings they have. But with 3 papers you will be seriously considered at every program.
Most people don't say exactly that, the point is that more informative data is available about professional outcome. If the past PhD students of the professor you want to work for became professors themselves, or rich data scientists, that is a far better predictor of how you will do working with that adviser, rather than just the university/department's ranking as a whole. But the best professors are generally at the best schools, so if for some reason things change and you can't/don't want to work with who you applied to work with, you'd be better off at a highly ranked school. Ranking definitely matters, both in and outside of academia. But if you are applying for a second time you know that this process is hard so finding the easiest school to get into with the best adviser in your field is a reasonable application strategy. And, of course, you would already understand that applying to only top schools carries the risk of total rejection. That’s the point of adding safer options, because you’d rather go somewhere than nowhere.
These are all things which are hard to gauge and you have no control over. If applying twice and having a masters carry some negative affect, it is small. Plenty of internationals with high PGRE scores get rejected from every top school, and I just met an international with a relatively low score who got in to a top program due to a stellar publication record -- it is possible this move just shifts the focus onto your excellent publication recordgaugeinvariance wrote: ↑Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:34 pmAlthough the GRE is now accessible by most students, some schools (such as CALTECH) still would not accept any GRE scores. Without the GRE scores, is my profile competitive enough? If not, how could I increase my odds to be admitted to top schools?
I have applied to most of the schools in the last cycle. Would there be a penalty score for students who applies for the school twice?
Is it true that schools prefer not to admit students with Master's degrees, even if it is not a MSc?