I just finished my last exam and i am going to expect a mediocre GPA for my masters. However, I am also working full time and as such, its really challenging for me to maintain a higher grades. However, i have a published conference paper previously and a 2:1 in my undergraduate. May I know what are my chances in admitting into fully funded phd in US or europe.
I don't know much about US application system and I am from the UK.
I didn't get a great 2:1 and only got an okay dissertation mark (again 2:1) with no conference paper (congrats on that) and I still got a fully funded PhD. From what I have been told, is that I nailed my application essay and my interview. So it is possible.
There are academic snobs who look down on all 2:1 students but if you get to an interview make it clear that you had a full time job which prevented you fully focusing on your degree. They will most likely take that into consideration but you will need to show them something else to compensate. In most courses, you get a good grade by just regurgitating information and good exam techniques and potential supervisors know that. What they are looking for is usually someone with good basic knowledge, hard working and have a clear logical thinking (I am oversimplifying this I know). So you need to show that in your application if you want to succeed.
So yes you can get a fully funded PhD.
rewt. Given that you achieved a 2:1, I would suggest you are not well placed to give advice on what it takes to get a 1st.
You may well have got by simply by regurgitating information and developing good exam technique but you shouldn't project that onto those who achieve superb grades.
The original poster should be able to get a funded PhD position but it may take time and it may not be for the PhD position they really want. Grades are everything at this stage unless you are lucky enough to find nobody else applying.
pm133, I am not saying that everyone who gets good grades is just regurgitating information and I know that a lot of people of who got good grades who did work really hard and totally deserved it. I apologise that I overgeneralized and not trying to demean people who got superb grades.
But there are people who just regurgitate information and had exam technique that inflated their grades despite them being oblivious. Grades are a good indication of how you will succeed in a PhD but you can succeed in undergrad with a completely different skill set to the one required to do well as a postgraduate. The potential supervisor should know that and is looking for the right skills/attitude as well as grades.
I didn't do much regurgitation as I was that guy that barely turned up after the first year, drank like a fish and literally rocked up to exams having barely done any work. Though I finally found a topic in my final year that actually interested me, worked my ass off and managed to impress the interviewers enough to give me a chance (and there were other applicants). I am not saying it is easy to get a PhD with a 2:1 but that is possible if you show the interviewers something else.
I really followed the general advice from the internet for writing the proposal and interview.
Though I did my research and learned everything I could about the topic. I tried to understand every intricacy of the area and knew the key authors/papers. Plus I expressed my honest opinions about what I thought about all their work (in hindsight a lot of what I said was wrong) and how I could develop on their work.
In the interview, I also explained my rough plan (with gantt chart) for what I wanted to do and I have now found that my plan matched the plan proposed in the grant application. It was scary how similar the grant application was with my application proposal, considering they only advertised the title with no helpful blurb. So I knew the sub-topic quite well at the interview stage as it genuinely interested me and had similar expectations to the supervisor. Based on that the best way might be to immerse yourself in the topic when applying because you are going to have to do it anyway if you get it.
Though as pm133 did point out I am probably not the best person to give advice.
Not to put to fine a point on it, age discrimination does happen, maybe not in computer science, but certainly in the social sciences. I received some great feedback during the summer when I was emailing potential supervisors regarding my PhD. This senior academic from a respected university gave me some very useful information how to go about it, even though my topic wasn't outside of her expertise/interest, and so she could not supervise my thesis unless I make fundamental changes . Along with the helpful advice was the comment that in her experience (and she did say that she shouldn't really be saying this), funded places are usually for budding academics, and so younger applicants (those in their 20s and early 30s) tend to be looked upon more favourably. That is not to say that us oldies have no chance of funded places, just that with all things being equal, younger applicants do tend to get the nod.
FFS, I was looking at some student accommodations in Leeds, and some of the student halls (note; privately run student halls, not shared rented houses where the sitting tenants express their preference about a new housemate) have a stated maximum age of 32. Is this even legal?
Thank you so much for all your responses. I think all the posts have good points in them. Granted, someone with a 2:1 will lose to a 1st. My masters adviser actually asked me to continue on my dissertation topic for my phd but i wanted to try something out of my home. Like rewt said, its not going to be easy with a 2:1 but im going to take a shot.
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