The original thread was derailed into a slightly different (though informative) discussion, so I'm trying again on the original topic:
A student who was unsuccessful in his applications to PhD programs writes:
Would members of admissions committees be willing to share any information about the admissions process for their philosophy programs? For example, it would be helpful to know how many applicants and admitted students a given program had; whether they use GPA and GRE scores as an initial screen, and what numbers would pass that screen; whether they favor or disfavor applicants with other graduate degrees, such as an M.A. in philosophy or a law degree; whether they prefer applicants right out of undergrad or with work or other experience; or any other information they think might be helpful to applicants who are deciding where to apply.
I ask because I applied to 9 programs for 2007 and was denied admission to all of them, and I gather from various message boards, such as gradstudent.cafe and Who Got In? Philosophy, that many other students were shut out this year and that several successful applicants were applying again after being shut out last year. If I had known just how selective some of the programs I applied to were, I would have applied more cautiously. Just to give a few examples, I understand that Rutgers had 284 applicants for 7 places, Cornell had 240 for 6, and Toronto had 400 for 14. I've learned that I overreached this year, but I still don't know which programs are reasonably within my reach. If visitors to your blog could shed some light on how selective their schools are and/or what they want and don't want in applicants, it would be very helpful to me and other would-be grad students.
I would greatly appreciate your posting this, as I've seen such questions generate many illuminating comments in the past. Being shut out for a year is a tough way to learn that you and/or your advisers have an unreasonably lofty notion of your admissibility, and I think that making more information available about the harsh realities of the admissions process might spare others from suffering the same fate.
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