Should I put application into /usr/local or /usr/local/share?

The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

21

What are the “standards” — should I put application (not just binary, but entire distribution) to /usr/local or /usr/local/share.

For example scala or weka — it contains examples, binaries, libraries, and so on. So it would be

/usr/local/scala-2.9.1 

or

/usr/local/share/scala-2.9.1

Since I am the only admin it is not a big deal for me, but I prefer to using something which is widely used, not with my own customs.

Important: I am not asking about cases, where you should split app into /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib and so on. Rather I am asking about case when you have to keep one main directory for entire application.

share|improve this question

  • 6

    I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

    – Faheem Mitha
    Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

  • @Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

    – greenoldman
    Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

  • @greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:06

  • For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:12

21

What are the “standards” — should I put application (not just binary, but entire distribution) to /usr/local or /usr/local/share.

For example scala or weka — it contains examples, binaries, libraries, and so on. So it would be

/usr/local/scala-2.9.1 

or

/usr/local/share/scala-2.9.1

Since I am the only admin it is not a big deal for me, but I prefer to using something which is widely used, not with my own customs.

Important: I am not asking about cases, where you should split app into /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib and so on. Rather I am asking about case when you have to keep one main directory for entire application.

share|improve this question

  • 6

    I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

    – Faheem Mitha
    Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

  • @Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

    – greenoldman
    Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

  • @greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:06

  • For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:12

21

21

21

4

What are the “standards” — should I put application (not just binary, but entire distribution) to /usr/local or /usr/local/share.

For example scala or weka — it contains examples, binaries, libraries, and so on. So it would be

/usr/local/scala-2.9.1 

or

/usr/local/share/scala-2.9.1

Since I am the only admin it is not a big deal for me, but I prefer to using something which is widely used, not with my own customs.

Important: I am not asking about cases, where you should split app into /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib and so on. Rather I am asking about case when you have to keep one main directory for entire application.

share|improve this question

What are the “standards” — should I put application (not just binary, but entire distribution) to /usr/local or /usr/local/share.

For example scala or weka — it contains examples, binaries, libraries, and so on. So it would be

/usr/local/scala-2.9.1 

or

/usr/local/share/scala-2.9.1

Since I am the only admin it is not a big deal for me, but I prefer to using something which is widely used, not with my own customs.

Important: I am not asking about cases, where you should split app into /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib and so on. Rather I am asking about case when you have to keep one main directory for entire application.

software-installation directory-structure application

share|improve this question

share|improve this question

share|improve this question

share|improve this question

edited Oct 14 ’14 at 21:39

derobert

73.9k8159213

73.9k8159213

asked Sep 13 ’11 at 7:35

greenoldmangreenoldman

2,517104259

2,517104259

  • 6

    I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

    – Faheem Mitha
    Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

  • @Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

    – greenoldman
    Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

  • @greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:06

  • For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:12

  • 6

    I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

    – Faheem Mitha
    Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

  • @Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

    – greenoldman
    Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

  • @greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:06

  • For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

    – MestreLion
    May 1 ’13 at 4:12

6

6

I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

– Faheem Mitha
Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

I think /opt is more customary in this sort of context.

– Faheem Mitha
Sep 13 ’11 at 8:56

@Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

– greenoldman
Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

@Faheem Mitha, very good point. Thanks to you I found such explanation “/opt/’provider’ directory tree, similar to the way in which Windows will install new software to its own directory tree C:WindowsProgam Files”Program Name” from linuxtopia.org/online_books/linux_beginner_books/… Could you please post your comment as answer, so I would mark it as THE answer? Thank you.

– greenoldman
Sep 13 ’11 at 10:22

@greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

– MestreLion
May 1 ’13 at 4:06

@greenoldman: also please realize that keeping all files in a single dir is not the “standard” way to install applications in Unix. /opt is indeed the right answer, but it is not “widely used” by traditional Unix/Linux software. There are great reasons to split your files in multiple dirs, and also to differenciate /usr from /usr/local

– MestreLion
May 1 ’13 at 4:06

For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

– MestreLion
May 1 ’13 at 4:12

For example, keeping all executables from all applications in a single /usr/bin (or /usr/local/bin) allows your $PATH to reach all software without needing to edit it for each software, a concept that does not exist in Windows

– MestreLion
May 1 ’13 at 4:12

4 Answers
4

active

oldest

votes

19

I think /opt is more standard in this sort of context. The relevant section in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is quoted below.

Distributions may install software in /opt, but must not modify or
delete software installed by the local system administrator without
the assent of the local system administrator.

 Rationale The use of /opt for add-on software is a
well-established practice in the UNIX community. The System V
Application Binary Interface [AT&T 1990], based on the System V
Interface Definition (Third Edition), provides for an /opt structure
very similar to the one defined here.

The Intel Binary Compatibility Standard v. 2 (iBCS2) also provides a
similar structure for /opt.

Generally, all data required to support a package on a system must be
present within /opt/, including files intended to be copied
into /etc/opt/ and /var/opt/ as well as reserved
directories in /opt.

The minor restrictions on distributions using /opt are necessary
because conflicts are possible between distribution-installed and
locally-installed software, especially in the case of fixed pathnames
found in some binary software.

The structure of the directories below /opt/ is left up to
the packager of the software, though it is recommended that packages
are installed in /opt// and follow a similar
structure to the guidelines for /opt/package. A valid reason for
diverging from this structure is for support packages which may have
files installed in /opt//lib or /opt//bin.

share|improve this answer

    5

    You should only use /usr/local/share for files which are not specific to a particular architecture / OS version.

    After that it’s up to you whether you distribute the files between the existing subdirs of /usr/local or if you create a new dedicated directory in /usr/local (but the latter will not already exist on the executable PATH, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, nor the MANPATH).

    Have a look at the FHS

    share|improve this answer

    • Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

      – greenoldman
      Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

    • @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

      – MestreLion
      May 1 ’13 at 4:09

    3

    Until /opt became common, the usual place was /usr/local/lib/<package>.

    share|improve this answer

    • 1

      From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

      – greenoldman
      Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

    0

    When installing local applications, there are multiple options depending on how you want to access and update. Also should be noted that some methods look more like the system you already have and some are more ad-hoc. I would suggest that the “best” solutions are the ones that make things easier to manage.

    I have split this answer based on the number of packages to make custom installs for. The splitting is based on my own experiences. These experiences weigh the time it takes to manage the packages and the risks of messing up something. I do not mean that I have the knowledge of common standards but mean this as a reference point to look when making the decision.

    For only few packages,I would to put add-on packages in /opt, where they are out of the way of everything else so nothing can mess them up and they can mess something else up. This is the method I use on my NAS. This method however keeps the binaries off your PATH, so you will need to add them manually. This works well if there are only few packages to install, but becomes quite a mess if there are many.

    Updating here is quite easy as you simply overwrite the directory.

    Pros:

    • simple
    • fast to setup
    • no chance at affecting other parts of the system
    • uninstall is as easy as install

    Cons:

    • Becomes rather tedious if the number of packages to install is large
    • Makes PATH look messy

    For more than a few packages, I would recommend using the /usr/local/<your package> and sym-linking the executable from /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin depending on if you need root privileges. This saves you from changing your PATH every time something new is added so the PATH stays clean. This is the method I use on my Arch laptop for all non-pacman packages and AUR packages.

    Updating is done by overwriting the package directory and checking that the symlink is still valid and fixing if it isn’t.

    Pros

    • Doesn’t make PATH messy
    • Doesn’t affect the base system
    • Still very simple to remove all add-ons and return to a clean base system

    Cons:

    • More work to setup
    • Removing only one package has some searching to do

    For many packages. As this isn’t the case you are wanting I will keep it brief. I would recommend splitting the package into bin, lib,share, etc. and installing them to /usr/local. This is to keep the structure clean. You can also specify who can write where and more. For example you don’t want people other than root modifying the executable.

    Here the updating gets a little more tricky as you need to write to more than a single directory. I would recommend packaging the whole thing and letting the package manager handle the rest.

    The share

    The share directory itself is for architecture independent files as noted in Faheem’s link and the architecture dependent files should go to lib, lib32, lib64, etc.

    share|improve this answer

    • Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

      – Alois Mahdal
      Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

    • Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

      – Alois Mahdal
      Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

    • And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

      – Alois Mahdal
      Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

    • It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

      – Lauri Tšili
      Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

    • And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

      – Lauri Tšili
      Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

    Your Answer

    StackExchange.ready(function() {
    var channelOptions = {
    tags: “”.split(” “),
    id: “106”
    };
    initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

    StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
    // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
    if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
    StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
    createEditor();
    });
    }
    else {
    createEditor();
    }
    });

    function createEditor() {
    StackExchange.prepareEditor({
    heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
    autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
    convertImagesToLinks: false,
    noModals: true,
    showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
    reputationToPostImages: null,
    bindNavPrevention: true,
    postfix: “”,
    imageUploader: {
    brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
    contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
    allowUrls: true
    },
    onDemand: true,
    discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
    ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
    });

    }
    });

    draft saved
    draft discarded

    StackExchange.ready(
    function () {
    StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f20600%2fshould-i-put-application-into-usr-local-or-usr-local-share%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
    }
    );

    Post as a guest

    Required, but never shown

    4 Answers
    4

    active

    oldest

    votes

    4 Answers
    4

    active

    oldest

    votes

    active

    oldest

    votes

    active

    oldest

    votes

    19

    I think /opt is more standard in this sort of context. The relevant section in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is quoted below.

    Distributions may install software in /opt, but must not modify or
    delete software installed by the local system administrator without
    the assent of the local system administrator.

     Rationale The use of /opt for add-on software is a
    well-established practice in the UNIX community. The System V
    Application Binary Interface [AT&T 1990], based on the System V
    Interface Definition (Third Edition), provides for an /opt structure
    very similar to the one defined here.

    The Intel Binary Compatibility Standard v. 2 (iBCS2) also provides a
    similar structure for /opt.

    Generally, all data required to support a package on a system must be
    present within /opt/, including files intended to be copied
    into /etc/opt/ and /var/opt/ as well as reserved
    directories in /opt.

    The minor restrictions on distributions using /opt are necessary
    because conflicts are possible between distribution-installed and
    locally-installed software, especially in the case of fixed pathnames
    found in some binary software.

    The structure of the directories below /opt/ is left up to
    the packager of the software, though it is recommended that packages
    are installed in /opt// and follow a similar
    structure to the guidelines for /opt/package. A valid reason for
    diverging from this structure is for support packages which may have
    files installed in /opt//lib or /opt//bin.

    share|improve this answer

      19

      I think /opt is more standard in this sort of context. The relevant section in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is quoted below.

      Distributions may install software in /opt, but must not modify or
      delete software installed by the local system administrator without
      the assent of the local system administrator.

       Rationale The use of /opt for add-on software is a
      well-established practice in the UNIX community. The System V
      Application Binary Interface [AT&T 1990], based on the System V
      Interface Definition (Third Edition), provides for an /opt structure
      very similar to the one defined here.

      The Intel Binary Compatibility Standard v. 2 (iBCS2) also provides a
      similar structure for /opt.

      Generally, all data required to support a package on a system must be
      present within /opt/, including files intended to be copied
      into /etc/opt/ and /var/opt/ as well as reserved
      directories in /opt.

      The minor restrictions on distributions using /opt are necessary
      because conflicts are possible between distribution-installed and
      locally-installed software, especially in the case of fixed pathnames
      found in some binary software.

      The structure of the directories below /opt/ is left up to
      the packager of the software, though it is recommended that packages
      are installed in /opt// and follow a similar
      structure to the guidelines for /opt/package. A valid reason for
      diverging from this structure is for support packages which may have
      files installed in /opt//lib or /opt//bin.

      share|improve this answer

        19

        19

        19

        I think /opt is more standard in this sort of context. The relevant section in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is quoted below.

        Distributions may install software in /opt, but must not modify or
        delete software installed by the local system administrator without
        the assent of the local system administrator.

         Rationale The use of /opt for add-on software is a
        well-established practice in the UNIX community. The System V
        Application Binary Interface [AT&T 1990], based on the System V
        Interface Definition (Third Edition), provides for an /opt structure
        very similar to the one defined here.

        The Intel Binary Compatibility Standard v. 2 (iBCS2) also provides a
        similar structure for /opt.

        Generally, all data required to support a package on a system must be
        present within /opt/, including files intended to be copied
        into /etc/opt/ and /var/opt/ as well as reserved
        directories in /opt.

        The minor restrictions on distributions using /opt are necessary
        because conflicts are possible between distribution-installed and
        locally-installed software, especially in the case of fixed pathnames
        found in some binary software.

        The structure of the directories below /opt/ is left up to
        the packager of the software, though it is recommended that packages
        are installed in /opt// and follow a similar
        structure to the guidelines for /opt/package. A valid reason for
        diverging from this structure is for support packages which may have
        files installed in /opt//lib or /opt//bin.

        share|improve this answer

        I think /opt is more standard in this sort of context. The relevant section in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is quoted below.

        Distributions may install software in /opt, but must not modify or
        delete software installed by the local system administrator without
        the assent of the local system administrator.

         Rationale The use of /opt for add-on software is a
        well-established practice in the UNIX community. The System V
        Application Binary Interface [AT&T 1990], based on the System V
        Interface Definition (Third Edition), provides for an /opt structure
        very similar to the one defined here.

        The Intel Binary Compatibility Standard v. 2 (iBCS2) also provides a
        similar structure for /opt.

        Generally, all data required to support a package on a system must be
        present within /opt/, including files intended to be copied
        into /etc/opt/ and /var/opt/ as well as reserved
        directories in /opt.

        The minor restrictions on distributions using /opt are necessary
        because conflicts are possible between distribution-installed and
        locally-installed software, especially in the case of fixed pathnames
        found in some binary software.

        The structure of the directories below /opt/ is left up to
        the packager of the software, though it is recommended that packages
        are installed in /opt// and follow a similar
        structure to the guidelines for /opt/package. A valid reason for
        diverging from this structure is for support packages which may have
        files installed in /opt//lib or /opt//bin.

        share|improve this answer

        share|improve this answer

        share|improve this answer

        edited Jan 28 at 10:05

        answered Sep 14 ’11 at 1:40

        Faheem MithaFaheem Mitha

        23k1881136

        23k1881136

            5

            You should only use /usr/local/share for files which are not specific to a particular architecture / OS version.

            After that it’s up to you whether you distribute the files between the existing subdirs of /usr/local or if you create a new dedicated directory in /usr/local (but the latter will not already exist on the executable PATH, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, nor the MANPATH).

            Have a look at the FHS

            share|improve this answer

            • Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            • @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

              – MestreLion
              May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            5

            You should only use /usr/local/share for files which are not specific to a particular architecture / OS version.

            After that it’s up to you whether you distribute the files between the existing subdirs of /usr/local or if you create a new dedicated directory in /usr/local (but the latter will not already exist on the executable PATH, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, nor the MANPATH).

            Have a look at the FHS

            share|improve this answer

            • Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            • @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

              – MestreLion
              May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            5

            5

            5

            You should only use /usr/local/share for files which are not specific to a particular architecture / OS version.

            After that it’s up to you whether you distribute the files between the existing subdirs of /usr/local or if you create a new dedicated directory in /usr/local (but the latter will not already exist on the executable PATH, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, nor the MANPATH).

            Have a look at the FHS

            share|improve this answer

            You should only use /usr/local/share for files which are not specific to a particular architecture / OS version.

            After that it’s up to you whether you distribute the files between the existing subdirs of /usr/local or if you create a new dedicated directory in /usr/local (but the latter will not already exist on the executable PATH, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, nor the MANPATH).

            Have a look at the FHS

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            answered Sep 13 ’11 at 15:11

            symcbeansymcbean

            2,29511221

            2,29511221

            • Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            • @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

              – MestreLion
              May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            • Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            • @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

              – MestreLion
              May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

            – greenoldman
            Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            Thank you. So, if it is an analogy from Windows, it should be /usr/local/SPECIAL_APP and inside there should be its subdirectories, right?

            – greenoldman
            Sep 13 ’11 at 17:38

            @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

            – MestreLion
            May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            @greenoldman: nope. No analogy will fit because Windows and Linux use different models: In windows, you usually keep all files in a single dir, where in Linux you usually split them over bin, share, lib, etc

            – MestreLion
            May 1 ’13 at 4:09

            3

            Until /opt became common, the usual place was /usr/local/lib/<package>.

            share|improve this answer

            • 1

              From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            3

            Until /opt became common, the usual place was /usr/local/lib/<package>.

            share|improve this answer

            • 1

              From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            3

            3

            3

            Until /opt became common, the usual place was /usr/local/lib/<package>.

            share|improve this answer

            Until /opt became common, the usual place was /usr/local/lib/<package>.

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            answered Sep 13 ’11 at 10:46

            TeddyTeddy

            1,227912

            1,227912

            • 1

              From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            • 1

              From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

              – greenoldman
              Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            1

            1

            From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

            – greenoldman
            Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            From what I read, /opt is pretty common, only not used widely, but this is not a surpise if you think of the amount of packages available in repositories.

            – greenoldman
            Sep 13 ’11 at 11:07

            0

            When installing local applications, there are multiple options depending on how you want to access and update. Also should be noted that some methods look more like the system you already have and some are more ad-hoc. I would suggest that the “best” solutions are the ones that make things easier to manage.

            I have split this answer based on the number of packages to make custom installs for. The splitting is based on my own experiences. These experiences weigh the time it takes to manage the packages and the risks of messing up something. I do not mean that I have the knowledge of common standards but mean this as a reference point to look when making the decision.

            For only few packages,I would to put add-on packages in /opt, where they are out of the way of everything else so nothing can mess them up and they can mess something else up. This is the method I use on my NAS. This method however keeps the binaries off your PATH, so you will need to add them manually. This works well if there are only few packages to install, but becomes quite a mess if there are many.

            Updating here is quite easy as you simply overwrite the directory.

            Pros:

            • simple
            • fast to setup
            • no chance at affecting other parts of the system
            • uninstall is as easy as install

            Cons:

            • Becomes rather tedious if the number of packages to install is large
            • Makes PATH look messy

            For more than a few packages, I would recommend using the /usr/local/<your package> and sym-linking the executable from /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin depending on if you need root privileges. This saves you from changing your PATH every time something new is added so the PATH stays clean. This is the method I use on my Arch laptop for all non-pacman packages and AUR packages.

            Updating is done by overwriting the package directory and checking that the symlink is still valid and fixing if it isn’t.

            Pros

            • Doesn’t make PATH messy
            • Doesn’t affect the base system
            • Still very simple to remove all add-ons and return to a clean base system

            Cons:

            • More work to setup
            • Removing only one package has some searching to do

            For many packages. As this isn’t the case you are wanting I will keep it brief. I would recommend splitting the package into bin, lib,share, etc. and installing them to /usr/local. This is to keep the structure clean. You can also specify who can write where and more. For example you don’t want people other than root modifying the executable.

            Here the updating gets a little more tricky as you need to write to more than a single directory. I would recommend packaging the whole thing and letting the package manager handle the rest.

            The share

            The share directory itself is for architecture independent files as noted in Faheem’s link and the architecture dependent files should go to lib, lib32, lib64, etc.

            share|improve this answer

            • Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            • Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            • And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            • It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            • And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            0

            When installing local applications, there are multiple options depending on how you want to access and update. Also should be noted that some methods look more like the system you already have and some are more ad-hoc. I would suggest that the “best” solutions are the ones that make things easier to manage.

            I have split this answer based on the number of packages to make custom installs for. The splitting is based on my own experiences. These experiences weigh the time it takes to manage the packages and the risks of messing up something. I do not mean that I have the knowledge of common standards but mean this as a reference point to look when making the decision.

            For only few packages,I would to put add-on packages in /opt, where they are out of the way of everything else so nothing can mess them up and they can mess something else up. This is the method I use on my NAS. This method however keeps the binaries off your PATH, so you will need to add them manually. This works well if there are only few packages to install, but becomes quite a mess if there are many.

            Updating here is quite easy as you simply overwrite the directory.

            Pros:

            • simple
            • fast to setup
            • no chance at affecting other parts of the system
            • uninstall is as easy as install

            Cons:

            • Becomes rather tedious if the number of packages to install is large
            • Makes PATH look messy

            For more than a few packages, I would recommend using the /usr/local/<your package> and sym-linking the executable from /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin depending on if you need root privileges. This saves you from changing your PATH every time something new is added so the PATH stays clean. This is the method I use on my Arch laptop for all non-pacman packages and AUR packages.

            Updating is done by overwriting the package directory and checking that the symlink is still valid and fixing if it isn’t.

            Pros

            • Doesn’t make PATH messy
            • Doesn’t affect the base system
            • Still very simple to remove all add-ons and return to a clean base system

            Cons:

            • More work to setup
            • Removing only one package has some searching to do

            For many packages. As this isn’t the case you are wanting I will keep it brief. I would recommend splitting the package into bin, lib,share, etc. and installing them to /usr/local. This is to keep the structure clean. You can also specify who can write where and more. For example you don’t want people other than root modifying the executable.

            Here the updating gets a little more tricky as you need to write to more than a single directory. I would recommend packaging the whole thing and letting the package manager handle the rest.

            The share

            The share directory itself is for architecture independent files as noted in Faheem’s link and the architecture dependent files should go to lib, lib32, lib64, etc.

            share|improve this answer

            • Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            • Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            • And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            • It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            • And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            0

            0

            0

            When installing local applications, there are multiple options depending on how you want to access and update. Also should be noted that some methods look more like the system you already have and some are more ad-hoc. I would suggest that the “best” solutions are the ones that make things easier to manage.

            I have split this answer based on the number of packages to make custom installs for. The splitting is based on my own experiences. These experiences weigh the time it takes to manage the packages and the risks of messing up something. I do not mean that I have the knowledge of common standards but mean this as a reference point to look when making the decision.

            For only few packages,I would to put add-on packages in /opt, where they are out of the way of everything else so nothing can mess them up and they can mess something else up. This is the method I use on my NAS. This method however keeps the binaries off your PATH, so you will need to add them manually. This works well if there are only few packages to install, but becomes quite a mess if there are many.

            Updating here is quite easy as you simply overwrite the directory.

            Pros:

            • simple
            • fast to setup
            • no chance at affecting other parts of the system
            • uninstall is as easy as install

            Cons:

            • Becomes rather tedious if the number of packages to install is large
            • Makes PATH look messy

            For more than a few packages, I would recommend using the /usr/local/<your package> and sym-linking the executable from /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin depending on if you need root privileges. This saves you from changing your PATH every time something new is added so the PATH stays clean. This is the method I use on my Arch laptop for all non-pacman packages and AUR packages.

            Updating is done by overwriting the package directory and checking that the symlink is still valid and fixing if it isn’t.

            Pros

            • Doesn’t make PATH messy
            • Doesn’t affect the base system
            • Still very simple to remove all add-ons and return to a clean base system

            Cons:

            • More work to setup
            • Removing only one package has some searching to do

            For many packages. As this isn’t the case you are wanting I will keep it brief. I would recommend splitting the package into bin, lib,share, etc. and installing them to /usr/local. This is to keep the structure clean. You can also specify who can write where and more. For example you don’t want people other than root modifying the executable.

            Here the updating gets a little more tricky as you need to write to more than a single directory. I would recommend packaging the whole thing and letting the package manager handle the rest.

            The share

            The share directory itself is for architecture independent files as noted in Faheem’s link and the architecture dependent files should go to lib, lib32, lib64, etc.

            share|improve this answer

            When installing local applications, there are multiple options depending on how you want to access and update. Also should be noted that some methods look more like the system you already have and some are more ad-hoc. I would suggest that the “best” solutions are the ones that make things easier to manage.

            I have split this answer based on the number of packages to make custom installs for. The splitting is based on my own experiences. These experiences weigh the time it takes to manage the packages and the risks of messing up something. I do not mean that I have the knowledge of common standards but mean this as a reference point to look when making the decision.

            For only few packages,I would to put add-on packages in /opt, where they are out of the way of everything else so nothing can mess them up and they can mess something else up. This is the method I use on my NAS. This method however keeps the binaries off your PATH, so you will need to add them manually. This works well if there are only few packages to install, but becomes quite a mess if there are many.

            Updating here is quite easy as you simply overwrite the directory.

            Pros:

            • simple
            • fast to setup
            • no chance at affecting other parts of the system
            • uninstall is as easy as install

            Cons:

            • Becomes rather tedious if the number of packages to install is large
            • Makes PATH look messy

            For more than a few packages, I would recommend using the /usr/local/<your package> and sym-linking the executable from /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin depending on if you need root privileges. This saves you from changing your PATH every time something new is added so the PATH stays clean. This is the method I use on my Arch laptop for all non-pacman packages and AUR packages.

            Updating is done by overwriting the package directory and checking that the symlink is still valid and fixing if it isn’t.

            Pros

            • Doesn’t make PATH messy
            • Doesn’t affect the base system
            • Still very simple to remove all add-ons and return to a clean base system

            Cons:

            • More work to setup
            • Removing only one package has some searching to do

            For many packages. As this isn’t the case you are wanting I will keep it brief. I would recommend splitting the package into bin, lib,share, etc. and installing them to /usr/local. This is to keep the structure clean. You can also specify who can write where and more. For example you don’t want people other than root modifying the executable.

            Here the updating gets a little more tricky as you need to write to more than a single directory. I would recommend packaging the whole thing and letting the package manager handle the rest.

            The share

            The share directory itself is for architecture independent files as noted in Faheem’s link and the architecture dependent files should go to lib, lib32, lib64, etc.

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            edited Nov 26 ’15 at 16:54

            answered Aug 20 ’15 at 7:40

            Lauri TšiliLauri Tšili

            694

            694

            • Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            • Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            • And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            • It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            • And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            • Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            • Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            • And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

              – Alois Mahdal
              Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            • It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            • And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

              – Lauri Tšili
              Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            Giving advice based on number of packages is not useful; how do I know which group my package belongs to?

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:40

            Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            Also, when you say “it is recommended”, reference source or state clearly that it’s your recommendation (I’m guessing the latter…?)

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:41

            And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            And by the way, I don’t see how in /opt there would be lesser chance of things messing up your app than when it’s spread to /usr etc. Messing up other apps is mush more about naming things properly and not having bugs in install scripts.

            – Alois Mahdal
            Nov 20 ’15 at 14:43

            It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

            – Lauri Tšili
            Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            It is definitely about naming that makes things messed up. It is something that I have experienced in the past and that is why I like to keep my “extra” packages away from everything else. I still don’t want it to make things look ugly.

            – Lauri Tšili
            Nov 26 ’15 at 16:57

            And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

            – Lauri Tšili
            Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            And yes you are correct about the “it is recommended” as you may see from my answer I have used “I would recommend” everywhere else. I have now fixed my spelling and cleared why I would recommend something. Again it is just my perspective and not meant as a definitive answer.

            – Lauri Tšili
            Nov 26 ’15 at 17:04

            draft saved
            draft discarded

            Thanks for contributing an answer to Unix & Linux Stack Exchange!

            • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

            But avoid

            • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
            • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

            To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

            draft saved

            draft discarded

            StackExchange.ready(
            function () {
            StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f20600%2fshould-i-put-application-into-usr-local-or-usr-local-share%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
            }
            );

            Post as a guest

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Required, but never shown

            Submitting an official transcript vs unofficial transcript for postgraduate studies; why the difference?

            The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

            4

            What is the reason that some post graduate schools only require an unofficial transcript upfront vs. an official transcript(referring to online application submission). And if they require an unofficial transcript, but you have an official in pdf form, is that fine as well.

            Have schools come to the conclusion that an unofficial transcript is most likely valid, have there been less incidents involved in tampering with original documents? Is this related to how less schools are requiring standardized testing?

            share|improve this question

              4

              What is the reason that some post graduate schools only require an unofficial transcript upfront vs. an official transcript(referring to online application submission). And if they require an unofficial transcript, but you have an official in pdf form, is that fine as well.

              Have schools come to the conclusion that an unofficial transcript is most likely valid, have there been less incidents involved in tampering with original documents? Is this related to how less schools are requiring standardized testing?

              share|improve this question

                4

                4

                4

                What is the reason that some post graduate schools only require an unofficial transcript upfront vs. an official transcript(referring to online application submission). And if they require an unofficial transcript, but you have an official in pdf form, is that fine as well.

                Have schools come to the conclusion that an unofficial transcript is most likely valid, have there been less incidents involved in tampering with original documents? Is this related to how less schools are requiring standardized testing?

                share|improve this question

                What is the reason that some post graduate schools only require an unofficial transcript upfront vs. an official transcript(referring to online application submission). And if they require an unofficial transcript, but you have an official in pdf form, is that fine as well.

                Have schools come to the conclusion that an unofficial transcript is most likely valid, have there been less incidents involved in tampering with original documents? Is this related to how less schools are requiring standardized testing?

                application

                share|improve this question

                share|improve this question

                share|improve this question

                share|improve this question

                asked Jan 24 at 0:56

                BwoodsBwoods

                233

                233

                    1 Answer
                    1

                    active

                    oldest

                    votes

                    7

                    The primary issue is expediency. It can take time to issue official transcripts. The sooner a candidate has a complete application on file, the sooner it can be evaluated. In addition, most schools that may allow unofficial transcripts generally require an official transcript before matriculation. If it is found that the unofficial transcript doesn’t match the official transcript, then that would be grounds to cancel the offer of admission.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                      – guifa
                      Jan 24 at 6:13

                    • @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                      – aeismail
                      Jan 24 at 9:12

                    Your Answer

                    StackExchange.ready(function() {
                    var channelOptions = {
                    tags: “”.split(” “),
                    id: “415”
                    };
                    initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

                    StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
                    // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
                    if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
                    StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
                    createEditor();
                    });
                    }
                    else {
                    createEditor();
                    }
                    });

                    function createEditor() {
                    StackExchange.prepareEditor({
                    heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
                    autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
                    convertImagesToLinks: true,
                    noModals: true,
                    showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
                    reputationToPostImages: 10,
                    bindNavPrevention: true,
                    postfix: “”,
                    imageUploader: {
                    brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
                    contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
                    allowUrls: true
                    },
                    noCode: true, onDemand: true,
                    discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
                    ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
                    });

                    }
                    });

                    draft saved
                    draft discarded

                    StackExchange.ready(
                    function () {
                    StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f123671%2fsubmitting-an-official-transcript-vs-unofficial-transcript-for-postgraduate-stud%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                    }
                    );

                    Post as a guest

                    Required, but never shown

                    1 Answer
                    1

                    active

                    oldest

                    votes

                    1 Answer
                    1

                    active

                    oldest

                    votes

                    active

                    oldest

                    votes

                    active

                    oldest

                    votes

                    7

                    The primary issue is expediency. It can take time to issue official transcripts. The sooner a candidate has a complete application on file, the sooner it can be evaluated. In addition, most schools that may allow unofficial transcripts generally require an official transcript before matriculation. If it is found that the unofficial transcript doesn’t match the official transcript, then that would be grounds to cancel the offer of admission.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                      – guifa
                      Jan 24 at 6:13

                    • @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                      – aeismail
                      Jan 24 at 9:12

                    7

                    The primary issue is expediency. It can take time to issue official transcripts. The sooner a candidate has a complete application on file, the sooner it can be evaluated. In addition, most schools that may allow unofficial transcripts generally require an official transcript before matriculation. If it is found that the unofficial transcript doesn’t match the official transcript, then that would be grounds to cancel the offer of admission.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                      – guifa
                      Jan 24 at 6:13

                    • @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                      – aeismail
                      Jan 24 at 9:12

                    7

                    7

                    7

                    The primary issue is expediency. It can take time to issue official transcripts. The sooner a candidate has a complete application on file, the sooner it can be evaluated. In addition, most schools that may allow unofficial transcripts generally require an official transcript before matriculation. If it is found that the unofficial transcript doesn’t match the official transcript, then that would be grounds to cancel the offer of admission.

                    share|improve this answer

                    The primary issue is expediency. It can take time to issue official transcripts. The sooner a candidate has a complete application on file, the sooner it can be evaluated. In addition, most schools that may allow unofficial transcripts generally require an official transcript before matriculation. If it is found that the unofficial transcript doesn’t match the official transcript, then that would be grounds to cancel the offer of admission.

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    answered Jan 24 at 1:06

                    aeismailaeismail

                    161k31374699

                    161k31374699

                    • Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                      – guifa
                      Jan 24 at 6:13

                    • @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                      – aeismail
                      Jan 24 at 9:12

                    • Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                      – guifa
                      Jan 24 at 6:13

                    • @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                      – aeismail
                      Jan 24 at 9:12

                    Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                    – guifa
                    Jan 24 at 6:13

                    Expediency and cost. It’s one thing to pay for a handful of transcripts at 10-15 bucks a pop once. It’s a very different thing to pay for those at 10-15 bucks several times over.

                    – guifa
                    Jan 24 at 6:13

                    @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                    – aeismail
                    Jan 24 at 9:12

                    @guifa Reducing costs may be a concern for universities offering free applications but I doubt that schools charging $100 for an application are worried about the cost of the transcript.

                    – aeismail
                    Jan 24 at 9:12

                    draft saved
                    draft discarded

                    Thanks for contributing an answer to Academia Stack Exchange!

                    • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                    But avoid

                    • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                    • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                    To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                    draft saved

                    draft discarded

                    StackExchange.ready(
                    function () {
                    StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f123671%2fsubmitting-an-official-transcript-vs-unofficial-transcript-for-postgraduate-stud%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                    }
                    );

                    Post as a guest

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Required, but never shown

                    Custom desktop launcher search path in Ubuntu

                    The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                    6

                    I know I can write a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications, but can I add new folders to the search path similar to the $PATH environment variable?

                    For example, I want to put my .desktop files in ~/mydesktop/ and make them available to the open-with dialog in Dolphin or Nautilus.

                    share|improve this question

                      6

                      I know I can write a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications, but can I add new folders to the search path similar to the $PATH environment variable?

                      For example, I want to put my .desktop files in ~/mydesktop/ and make them available to the open-with dialog in Dolphin or Nautilus.

                      share|improve this question

                        6

                        6

                        6

                        I know I can write a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications, but can I add new folders to the search path similar to the $PATH environment variable?

                        For example, I want to put my .desktop files in ~/mydesktop/ and make them available to the open-with dialog in Dolphin or Nautilus.

                        share|improve this question

                        I know I can write a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications, but can I add new folders to the search path similar to the $PATH environment variable?

                        For example, I want to put my .desktop files in ~/mydesktop/ and make them available to the open-with dialog in Dolphin or Nautilus.

                        directory-structure desktop application

                        share|improve this question

                        share|improve this question

                        share|improve this question

                        share|improve this question

                        edited Oct 3 ’14 at 22:54

                        Gilles

                        532k12810661594

                        532k12810661594

                        asked Oct 2 ’14 at 20:43

                        qedqed

                        1,02141220

                        1,02141220

                            1 Answer
                            1

                            active

                            oldest

                            votes

                            0

                            You need to create a directory called applications, put your .desktop files in there, and then add the path of the parent directory of applications (not including the applications directory itself!) to the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable. Once you do that, your files will be picked up.

                            It is important to note that the path needs to be added to this variable before your desktop manager is started. How this is accomplished will vary by distro and/or login manager. See also this answer on the subject.

                            The documentation for on the XDG_DATA_DIRS variable can be found here: https://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/ar01s02.html

                            $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/
                            This directory contains a .desktop file for each possible menu item. Each directory in the $XDG_DATA_DIRS search path should be used (i.e. desktop entries are collected from all of them, not just the first one that exists). When two desktop entries have the same name, the one appearing earlier in the path is used.

                            The element in a menu file indicates that this default list of desktop entry locations should be scanned at that point. If a menu file does not contain , then these locations are not scanned.

                            share|improve this answer

                              Your Answer

                              StackExchange.ready(function() {
                              var channelOptions = {
                              tags: “”.split(” “),
                              id: “106”
                              };
                              initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

                              StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
                              // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
                              if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
                              StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
                              createEditor();
                              });
                              }
                              else {
                              createEditor();
                              }
                              });

                              function createEditor() {
                              StackExchange.prepareEditor({
                              heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
                              autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
                              convertImagesToLinks: false,
                              noModals: true,
                              showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
                              reputationToPostImages: null,
                              bindNavPrevention: true,
                              postfix: “”,
                              imageUploader: {
                              brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
                              contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
                              allowUrls: true
                              },
                              onDemand: true,
                              discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
                              ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
                              });

                              }
                              });

                              draft saved
                              draft discarded

                              StackExchange.ready(
                              function () {
                              StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f158946%2fcustom-desktop-launcher-search-path-in-ubuntu%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                              }
                              );

                              Post as a guest

                              Required, but never shown

                              1 Answer
                              1

                              active

                              oldest

                              votes

                              1 Answer
                              1

                              active

                              oldest

                              votes

                              active

                              oldest

                              votes

                              active

                              oldest

                              votes

                              0

                              You need to create a directory called applications, put your .desktop files in there, and then add the path of the parent directory of applications (not including the applications directory itself!) to the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable. Once you do that, your files will be picked up.

                              It is important to note that the path needs to be added to this variable before your desktop manager is started. How this is accomplished will vary by distro and/or login manager. See also this answer on the subject.

                              The documentation for on the XDG_DATA_DIRS variable can be found here: https://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/ar01s02.html

                              $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/
                              This directory contains a .desktop file for each possible menu item. Each directory in the $XDG_DATA_DIRS search path should be used (i.e. desktop entries are collected from all of them, not just the first one that exists). When two desktop entries have the same name, the one appearing earlier in the path is used.

                              The element in a menu file indicates that this default list of desktop entry locations should be scanned at that point. If a menu file does not contain , then these locations are not scanned.

                              share|improve this answer

                                0

                                You need to create a directory called applications, put your .desktop files in there, and then add the path of the parent directory of applications (not including the applications directory itself!) to the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable. Once you do that, your files will be picked up.

                                It is important to note that the path needs to be added to this variable before your desktop manager is started. How this is accomplished will vary by distro and/or login manager. See also this answer on the subject.

                                The documentation for on the XDG_DATA_DIRS variable can be found here: https://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/ar01s02.html

                                $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/
                                This directory contains a .desktop file for each possible menu item. Each directory in the $XDG_DATA_DIRS search path should be used (i.e. desktop entries are collected from all of them, not just the first one that exists). When two desktop entries have the same name, the one appearing earlier in the path is used.

                                The element in a menu file indicates that this default list of desktop entry locations should be scanned at that point. If a menu file does not contain , then these locations are not scanned.

                                share|improve this answer

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  You need to create a directory called applications, put your .desktop files in there, and then add the path of the parent directory of applications (not including the applications directory itself!) to the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable. Once you do that, your files will be picked up.

                                  It is important to note that the path needs to be added to this variable before your desktop manager is started. How this is accomplished will vary by distro and/or login manager. See also this answer on the subject.

                                  The documentation for on the XDG_DATA_DIRS variable can be found here: https://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/ar01s02.html

                                  $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/
                                  This directory contains a .desktop file for each possible menu item. Each directory in the $XDG_DATA_DIRS search path should be used (i.e. desktop entries are collected from all of them, not just the first one that exists). When two desktop entries have the same name, the one appearing earlier in the path is used.

                                  The element in a menu file indicates that this default list of desktop entry locations should be scanned at that point. If a menu file does not contain , then these locations are not scanned.

                                  share|improve this answer

                                  You need to create a directory called applications, put your .desktop files in there, and then add the path of the parent directory of applications (not including the applications directory itself!) to the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable. Once you do that, your files will be picked up.

                                  It is important to note that the path needs to be added to this variable before your desktop manager is started. How this is accomplished will vary by distro and/or login manager. See also this answer on the subject.

                                  The documentation for on the XDG_DATA_DIRS variable can be found here: https://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/ar01s02.html

                                  $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/
                                  This directory contains a .desktop file for each possible menu item. Each directory in the $XDG_DATA_DIRS search path should be used (i.e. desktop entries are collected from all of them, not just the first one that exists). When two desktop entries have the same name, the one appearing earlier in the path is used.

                                  The element in a menu file indicates that this default list of desktop entry locations should be scanned at that point. If a menu file does not contain , then these locations are not scanned.

                                  share|improve this answer

                                  share|improve this answer

                                  share|improve this answer

                                  answered Jan 6 at 20:16

                                  PatrickPatrick

                                  50.2k11127179

                                  50.2k11127179

                                      draft saved
                                      draft discarded

                                      Thanks for contributing an answer to Unix & Linux Stack Exchange!

                                      • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                      But avoid

                                      • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                      • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                      To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                      draft saved

                                      draft discarded

                                      StackExchange.ready(
                                      function () {
                                      StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f158946%2fcustom-desktop-launcher-search-path-in-ubuntu%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                      }
                                      );

                                      Post as a guest

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      Required, but never shown

                                      To do another Master’s, already holding a PhD

                                      The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                      20

                                      If a STEM PhD holder applies for a Master’s in another STEM major, would this be an advantage or disadvantage in the eye of the admission committee?

                                      share|improve this question

                                      • 9

                                        Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                        – noslenkwah
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      • 2

                                        Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                        – Azor Ahai
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      • A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                        – Marcin
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      • need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                        – aaaaaa
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      • @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      20

                                      If a STEM PhD holder applies for a Master’s in another STEM major, would this be an advantage or disadvantage in the eye of the admission committee?

                                      share|improve this question

                                      • 9

                                        Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                        – noslenkwah
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      • 2

                                        Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                        – Azor Ahai
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      • A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                        – Marcin
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      • need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                        – aaaaaa
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      • @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      20

                                      20

                                      20

                                      5

                                      If a STEM PhD holder applies for a Master’s in another STEM major, would this be an advantage or disadvantage in the eye of the admission committee?

                                      share|improve this question

                                      If a STEM PhD holder applies for a Master’s in another STEM major, would this be an advantage or disadvantage in the eye of the admission committee?

                                      phd masters application

                                      share|improve this question

                                      share|improve this question

                                      share|improve this question

                                      share|improve this question

                                      asked Dec 25 ’18 at 13:45

                                      feynman

                                      24217

                                      24217

                                      • 9

                                        Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                        – noslenkwah
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      • 2

                                        Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                        – Azor Ahai
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      • A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                        – Marcin
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      • need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                        – aaaaaa
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      • @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      • 9

                                        Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                        – noslenkwah
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      • 2

                                        Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                        – Azor Ahai
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      • A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                        – Marcin
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      • need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                        – aaaaaa
                                        Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      • @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      9

                                      9

                                      Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                      – noslenkwah
                                      Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      Is there a reason you are considering a masters over a postdoc?
                                      – noslenkwah
                                      Dec 26 ’18 at 14:48

                                      2

                                      2

                                      Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                      – Azor Ahai
                                      Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      Reposting my comment because I didn’t realize it had gotten cut off: Can you be more specific? Applying to an MEd or a speech path master’s (or other professional degree) might get different answers than applying for a biology master’s when you hold a psych PhD.
                                      – Azor Ahai
                                      Dec 26 ’18 at 16:19

                                      A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                      – Marcin
                                      Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      A friend recently did this. It’s going to make it very easy to get in.
                                      – Marcin
                                      Dec 27 ’18 at 16:54

                                      need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                      – aaaaaa
                                      Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      need more specifics: Which country you are in? What are specifics of PhD and Masters degrees? What is desirable outcome after getting master? AFAIK, masters are mostly paid degrees (you pay), so more available than PhDs
                                      – aaaaaa
                                      Dec 27 ’18 at 22:01

                                      @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                      – feynman
                                      Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      @ noslenkwah it’s another major than my phd, so i’m not eligible for doing a postdoc in a new field
                                      – feynman
                                      Dec 30 ’18 at 14:44

                                      6 Answers
                                      6

                                      active

                                      oldest

                                      votes

                                      40

                                      If you ever want to leave academia, it could be seen as a disadvantage. It suggests you are a “perpetual student” rather than someone who actually wants to do some (real-world) work.

                                      The main point of a PhD is not that you learned some (random) snippet of new information while doing it, but that you demonstrated you can learn new stuff on your own with minimal supervision.

                                      That is what you should expect to be doing for the rest of your working life, either inside or outside academia, but expecting to keep getting more “awards” for doing that is rather like a kid in school expecting to get another gold star for every good piece of homework they turn in – most people grow out of it.

                                      share|improve this answer

                                      • 8

                                        Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                        – Hakaishin
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                      • 6

                                        This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                        – MathematicsStudent1122
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                      • 1

                                        In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                        – Discrete lizard
                                        Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                      • 1

                                        @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                      • 1

                                        @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                      38

                                      Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

                                      Sorry, but you walked into that joke. Actually, such an application would occur so infrequently that it might result in a few chuckles. But I don’t think it would have a lot of effect. But certainly not a big advantage.

                                      In fact, people, including myself, will wonder why a person would bother. After all, the applicant can study and learn effectively and evidenced by the doctorate, so what is the need of a formal program. It might be a disadvantage in some places where the available slots are limited and people would feel they should be given to someone who needs the training more.

                                      On the other hand, if a lab needs particular skills that you have, they might be interested, just for that.

                                      Thus, it is impossible to say in general as local needs/beliefs will dominate such a situation.

                                      share|improve this answer

                                      • 9

                                        I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                        – DetlevCM
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                      • 4

                                        @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                      • 2

                                        @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                      • 18

                                        Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                      • 3

                                        @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                      15

                                      Not a direct answer to your question, but a personal experience. I got a PhD in EE and am now one semester away from finishing my masters in CS. Three years after my PhD, I changed careers from EE research to a data science. My EE PhD provided me background in linear algebra, partial differential equations and numerical computations. The primary motivation for me going into MSCS was to develop intuition in certain areas which I wasn’t exposed to, but became important in my new career: combinatorics, statistics, probabilistic modeling, optimization, operating/distributed systems, and computer networks to name a few. Following a masters curriculum guided me on what areas are (roughly) considered important and also brought a (forced) discipline to my studies.

                                      If an application of MS followed by a PhD crossed my desk, I’d laud your discipline, but also probe on why you went that route. You need to have a good answer for that.

                                      share|improve this answer

                                      • @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                        – feynman
                                        Jan 3 at 8:25

                                      3

                                      In terms of competency, I can’t imagine why it would be seen as a disadvantage. If anything – it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.

                                      The only scenario I could imagine where this may be an issue is if the Master’s program is affiliated with some scholarship program, where the scholarship terms & conditions require that the applicant does not hold an advanced degree. If you’re applying for a non-scholarship program then I can’t imagine why they would reject your application – you are willing to pay good money and are likely to successfully graduate.

                                      Another issue might be if you’re applying to a STEM program that’s very far from your PhD degree (say, from theoretical physics to zoology). If your bachelor’s degree does not fit the prerequisites for the program you may have an issue, and the PhD won’t help (but probably won’t hurt).

                                      Good luck!

                                      share|improve this answer

                                      • 3

                                        “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                      • At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                        – Spark
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                      • I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                      • I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                        – CJ59
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                      • 3

                                        “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                        – David Richerby
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                      3

                                      Would not be any purpose of doing two different STEM MSc:s. After one you are supposed to be able to learn similar level stuff even faster on your own.

                                      I could understand wanting to do an economy MSc to complement your STEM knowledge. Quite some people ending up as CEO or CTO of medium or large size firms seem to have double degrees: one in tech and one in econ.

                                      share|improve this answer

                                        2

                                        It’s a plus on the side of competency to complete it, but a concern on the side of whether you would actually enroll and finish the degree if you are accepted. But the school, year and discipline of the PhD, the school and discipline of the Master’s, and why you are switching play hugely into it. Also, frankly, your standardized test scores and ability to fund your own education, just like anybody else. I’d recommend talking to an admissions person at the school you are considering, as well as a hiring manager in the field you are considering. (BTW, I’m a PhD in Management Information Systems who was in academia for several years but have spent the last 12 years in industry.)

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                          – feynman
                                          Jan 3 at 8:35

                                        • 1

                                          For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                          – Larry Seligman
                                          2 days ago

                                        Your Answer

                                        StackExchange.ready(function() {
                                        var channelOptions = {
                                        tags: “”.split(” “),
                                        id: “415”
                                        };
                                        initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

                                        StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
                                        // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
                                        if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
                                        StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
                                        createEditor();
                                        });
                                        }
                                        else {
                                        createEditor();
                                        }
                                        });

                                        function createEditor() {
                                        StackExchange.prepareEditor({
                                        heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
                                        autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
                                        convertImagesToLinks: true,
                                        noModals: true,
                                        showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
                                        reputationToPostImages: 10,
                                        bindNavPrevention: true,
                                        postfix: “”,
                                        imageUploader: {
                                        brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
                                        contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
                                        allowUrls: true
                                        },
                                        noCode: true, onDemand: true,
                                        discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
                                        ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
                                        });

                                        }
                                        });

                                        draft saved
                                        draft discarded

                                        StackExchange.ready(
                                        function () {
                                        StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f122106%2fto-do-another-masters-already-holding-a-phd%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                        }
                                        );

                                        Post as a guest

                                        Required, but never shown

                                        6 Answers
                                        6

                                        active

                                        oldest

                                        votes

                                        6 Answers
                                        6

                                        active

                                        oldest

                                        votes

                                        active

                                        oldest

                                        votes

                                        active

                                        oldest

                                        votes

                                        40

                                        If you ever want to leave academia, it could be seen as a disadvantage. It suggests you are a “perpetual student” rather than someone who actually wants to do some (real-world) work.

                                        The main point of a PhD is not that you learned some (random) snippet of new information while doing it, but that you demonstrated you can learn new stuff on your own with minimal supervision.

                                        That is what you should expect to be doing for the rest of your working life, either inside or outside academia, but expecting to keep getting more “awards” for doing that is rather like a kid in school expecting to get another gold star for every good piece of homework they turn in – most people grow out of it.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 8

                                          Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                          – Hakaishin
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        • 6

                                          This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                          – MathematicsStudent1122
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        • 1

                                          In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                          – Discrete lizard
                                          Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        • 1

                                          @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        • 1

                                          @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        40

                                        If you ever want to leave academia, it could be seen as a disadvantage. It suggests you are a “perpetual student” rather than someone who actually wants to do some (real-world) work.

                                        The main point of a PhD is not that you learned some (random) snippet of new information while doing it, but that you demonstrated you can learn new stuff on your own with minimal supervision.

                                        That is what you should expect to be doing for the rest of your working life, either inside or outside academia, but expecting to keep getting more “awards” for doing that is rather like a kid in school expecting to get another gold star for every good piece of homework they turn in – most people grow out of it.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 8

                                          Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                          – Hakaishin
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        • 6

                                          This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                          – MathematicsStudent1122
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        • 1

                                          In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                          – Discrete lizard
                                          Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        • 1

                                          @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        • 1

                                          @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        40

                                        40

                                        40

                                        If you ever want to leave academia, it could be seen as a disadvantage. It suggests you are a “perpetual student” rather than someone who actually wants to do some (real-world) work.

                                        The main point of a PhD is not that you learned some (random) snippet of new information while doing it, but that you demonstrated you can learn new stuff on your own with minimal supervision.

                                        That is what you should expect to be doing for the rest of your working life, either inside or outside academia, but expecting to keep getting more “awards” for doing that is rather like a kid in school expecting to get another gold star for every good piece of homework they turn in – most people grow out of it.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        If you ever want to leave academia, it could be seen as a disadvantage. It suggests you are a “perpetual student” rather than someone who actually wants to do some (real-world) work.

                                        The main point of a PhD is not that you learned some (random) snippet of new information while doing it, but that you demonstrated you can learn new stuff on your own with minimal supervision.

                                        That is what you should expect to be doing for the rest of your working life, either inside or outside academia, but expecting to keep getting more “awards” for doing that is rather like a kid in school expecting to get another gold star for every good piece of homework they turn in – most people grow out of it.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        answered Dec 25 ’18 at 18:19

                                        alephzero

                                        2,322913

                                        2,322913

                                        • 8

                                          Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                          – Hakaishin
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        • 6

                                          This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                          – MathematicsStudent1122
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        • 1

                                          In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                          – Discrete lizard
                                          Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        • 1

                                          @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        • 1

                                          @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        • 8

                                          Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                          – Hakaishin
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        • 6

                                          This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                          – MathematicsStudent1122
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        • 1

                                          In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                          – Discrete lizard
                                          Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        • 1

                                          @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        • 1

                                          @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                          – feynman
                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        8

                                        8

                                        Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                        – Hakaishin
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        Very opinion based and narrow minded answer. See the other answer for a bigger horizon
                                        – Hakaishin
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 10:55

                                        6

                                        6

                                        This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                        – MathematicsStudent1122
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        This is an absurdly incorrect answer.
                                        – MathematicsStudent1122
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 16:50

                                        1

                                        1

                                        In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                        – Discrete lizard
                                        Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        In view of the above comments, let me try to give a slightly more constructive (or at least more detailed) critique of this answer: This does not really answer the main question on what the admission committee would think, but sort of challenges the premise of the question whether doing a Master’s after a Phd is a good idea in the first place. Considering the value of that decision seems out of place here: the answer to it is highly dependent on the motivations for obtaining a Master’s and therefore needs more context than is given here, or at least a much broader perspective.
                                        – Discrete lizard
                                        Dec 28 ’18 at 10:12

                                        1

                                        1

                                        @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        @ alephzero of course a phd can learn anything on their own. but most of the time employers prefer candidates holding a related degree than being able to self learn, dont they.
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:50

                                        1

                                        1

                                        @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        @ Discrete lizard i need to jump into another field where there’re more jobs. academia is too crowded
                                        – feynman
                                        Dec 30 ’18 at 14:52

                                        38

                                        Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

                                        Sorry, but you walked into that joke. Actually, such an application would occur so infrequently that it might result in a few chuckles. But I don’t think it would have a lot of effect. But certainly not a big advantage.

                                        In fact, people, including myself, will wonder why a person would bother. After all, the applicant can study and learn effectively and evidenced by the doctorate, so what is the need of a formal program. It might be a disadvantage in some places where the available slots are limited and people would feel they should be given to someone who needs the training more.

                                        On the other hand, if a lab needs particular skills that you have, they might be interested, just for that.

                                        Thus, it is impossible to say in general as local needs/beliefs will dominate such a situation.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 9

                                          I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                          – DetlevCM
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        • 4

                                          @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        • 2

                                          @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        • 18

                                          Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        • 3

                                          @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        38

                                        Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

                                        Sorry, but you walked into that joke. Actually, such an application would occur so infrequently that it might result in a few chuckles. But I don’t think it would have a lot of effect. But certainly not a big advantage.

                                        In fact, people, including myself, will wonder why a person would bother. After all, the applicant can study and learn effectively and evidenced by the doctorate, so what is the need of a formal program. It might be a disadvantage in some places where the available slots are limited and people would feel they should be given to someone who needs the training more.

                                        On the other hand, if a lab needs particular skills that you have, they might be interested, just for that.

                                        Thus, it is impossible to say in general as local needs/beliefs will dominate such a situation.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 9

                                          I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                          – DetlevCM
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        • 4

                                          @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        • 2

                                          @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        • 18

                                          Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        • 3

                                          @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        38

                                        38

                                        38

                                        Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

                                        Sorry, but you walked into that joke. Actually, such an application would occur so infrequently that it might result in a few chuckles. But I don’t think it would have a lot of effect. But certainly not a big advantage.

                                        In fact, people, including myself, will wonder why a person would bother. After all, the applicant can study and learn effectively and evidenced by the doctorate, so what is the need of a formal program. It might be a disadvantage in some places where the available slots are limited and people would feel they should be given to someone who needs the training more.

                                        On the other hand, if a lab needs particular skills that you have, they might be interested, just for that.

                                        Thus, it is impossible to say in general as local needs/beliefs will dominate such a situation.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

                                        Sorry, but you walked into that joke. Actually, such an application would occur so infrequently that it might result in a few chuckles. But I don’t think it would have a lot of effect. But certainly not a big advantage.

                                        In fact, people, including myself, will wonder why a person would bother. After all, the applicant can study and learn effectively and evidenced by the doctorate, so what is the need of a formal program. It might be a disadvantage in some places where the available slots are limited and people would feel they should be given to someone who needs the training more.

                                        On the other hand, if a lab needs particular skills that you have, they might be interested, just for that.

                                        Thus, it is impossible to say in general as local needs/beliefs will dominate such a situation.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        answered Dec 25 ’18 at 14:10

                                        Buffy

                                        38.6k7125200

                                        38.6k7125200

                                        • 9

                                          I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                          – DetlevCM
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        • 4

                                          @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        • 2

                                          @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        • 18

                                          Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        • 3

                                          @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        • 9

                                          I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                          – DetlevCM
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        • 4

                                          @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        • 2

                                          @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        • 18

                                          Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                          – user71659
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        • 3

                                          @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        9

                                        9

                                        I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                        – DetlevCM
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        I have seen a number of people with multiple Masters on their CV. – The advantage can be getting additional knowledge in a related subject quickly. A Masters takes 1 (UK) to 2 (rest of Europe) years, while a PhD takes at least 3 (UK, 4 years limit) to potentially 6+ years. – In addition, it can be easier for people to do a part time Masters than a part time PhD to extend their knowledge. It also avoids the repetition of the introduction from an undergraduate degree.
                                        – DetlevCM
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 19:50

                                        4

                                        4

                                        @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        @DetlevCM Perhaps the most prominent example I recall is Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 22:34

                                        2

                                        2

                                        @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        @DetlevCM You’re comparing a master vs a PhD or undergrad while Buffy is asking why someone who has shown the ability to learn information on their own would need any formal program at all to pick up new information. You can find the books, papers and exercises without troubles online so giving a limited spot to someone who doesn’t really need it, instead of someone who has yet to learn all those essential skills might be considered bad use of resources by some (and yes, there are certainly some immaterial advantages to studying in a formal program that you won’t get from self-study, I agree)
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:48

                                        18

                                        18

                                        Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        Major cases: to be a licensed engineer you must have a degree in engineering. So if you get all your degrees in a non-engineering field and then decide you need engineering licensure, you have to take a Master’s. This also applies to some science fields like geology, you need a degree in the field.
                                        – user71659
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 6:45

                                        3

                                        3

                                        @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        @user71659 Licensing or similar bureaucratic requirements would be the key reason I can think of. My wife suspended her PhD program at ABD status to get a master’s in education because she decided to teach high school. She tentatively plans to resume her PhD after she has her full license, but the Masters became an urgent and separate requirement once she made the decision.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:13

                                        15

                                        Not a direct answer to your question, but a personal experience. I got a PhD in EE and am now one semester away from finishing my masters in CS. Three years after my PhD, I changed careers from EE research to a data science. My EE PhD provided me background in linear algebra, partial differential equations and numerical computations. The primary motivation for me going into MSCS was to develop intuition in certain areas which I wasn’t exposed to, but became important in my new career: combinatorics, statistics, probabilistic modeling, optimization, operating/distributed systems, and computer networks to name a few. Following a masters curriculum guided me on what areas are (roughly) considered important and also brought a (forced) discipline to my studies.

                                        If an application of MS followed by a PhD crossed my desk, I’d laud your discipline, but also probe on why you went that route. You need to have a good answer for that.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                          – feynman
                                          Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        15

                                        Not a direct answer to your question, but a personal experience. I got a PhD in EE and am now one semester away from finishing my masters in CS. Three years after my PhD, I changed careers from EE research to a data science. My EE PhD provided me background in linear algebra, partial differential equations and numerical computations. The primary motivation for me going into MSCS was to develop intuition in certain areas which I wasn’t exposed to, but became important in my new career: combinatorics, statistics, probabilistic modeling, optimization, operating/distributed systems, and computer networks to name a few. Following a masters curriculum guided me on what areas are (roughly) considered important and also brought a (forced) discipline to my studies.

                                        If an application of MS followed by a PhD crossed my desk, I’d laud your discipline, but also probe on why you went that route. You need to have a good answer for that.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                          – feynman
                                          Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        15

                                        15

                                        15

                                        Not a direct answer to your question, but a personal experience. I got a PhD in EE and am now one semester away from finishing my masters in CS. Three years after my PhD, I changed careers from EE research to a data science. My EE PhD provided me background in linear algebra, partial differential equations and numerical computations. The primary motivation for me going into MSCS was to develop intuition in certain areas which I wasn’t exposed to, but became important in my new career: combinatorics, statistics, probabilistic modeling, optimization, operating/distributed systems, and computer networks to name a few. Following a masters curriculum guided me on what areas are (roughly) considered important and also brought a (forced) discipline to my studies.

                                        If an application of MS followed by a PhD crossed my desk, I’d laud your discipline, but also probe on why you went that route. You need to have a good answer for that.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        Not a direct answer to your question, but a personal experience. I got a PhD in EE and am now one semester away from finishing my masters in CS. Three years after my PhD, I changed careers from EE research to a data science. My EE PhD provided me background in linear algebra, partial differential equations and numerical computations. The primary motivation for me going into MSCS was to develop intuition in certain areas which I wasn’t exposed to, but became important in my new career: combinatorics, statistics, probabilistic modeling, optimization, operating/distributed systems, and computer networks to name a few. Following a masters curriculum guided me on what areas are (roughly) considered important and also brought a (forced) discipline to my studies.

                                        If an application of MS followed by a PhD crossed my desk, I’d laud your discipline, but also probe on why you went that route. You need to have a good answer for that.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        edited Dec 26 ’18 at 16:34

                                        answered Dec 26 ’18 at 4:14

                                        RDK

                                        25113

                                        25113

                                        • @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                          – feynman
                                          Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        • @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                          – feynman
                                          Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                        – feynman
                                        Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        @ RDK very good answer. seemingly ur EE phd and CS MS look quite similar. then u had an argument to support the necessity of doing the CS MS
                                        – feynman
                                        Jan 3 at 8:25

                                        3

                                        In terms of competency, I can’t imagine why it would be seen as a disadvantage. If anything – it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.

                                        The only scenario I could imagine where this may be an issue is if the Master’s program is affiliated with some scholarship program, where the scholarship terms & conditions require that the applicant does not hold an advanced degree. If you’re applying for a non-scholarship program then I can’t imagine why they would reject your application – you are willing to pay good money and are likely to successfully graduate.

                                        Another issue might be if you’re applying to a STEM program that’s very far from your PhD degree (say, from theoretical physics to zoology). If your bachelor’s degree does not fit the prerequisites for the program you may have an issue, and the PhD won’t help (but probably won’t hurt).

                                        Good luck!

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 3

                                          “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        • At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                          – Spark
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        • I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        • I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                          – CJ59
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        • 3

                                          “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                          – David Richerby
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        3

                                        In terms of competency, I can’t imagine why it would be seen as a disadvantage. If anything – it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.

                                        The only scenario I could imagine where this may be an issue is if the Master’s program is affiliated with some scholarship program, where the scholarship terms & conditions require that the applicant does not hold an advanced degree. If you’re applying for a non-scholarship program then I can’t imagine why they would reject your application – you are willing to pay good money and are likely to successfully graduate.

                                        Another issue might be if you’re applying to a STEM program that’s very far from your PhD degree (say, from theoretical physics to zoology). If your bachelor’s degree does not fit the prerequisites for the program you may have an issue, and the PhD won’t help (but probably won’t hurt).

                                        Good luck!

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        • 3

                                          “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        • At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                          – Spark
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        • I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        • I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                          – CJ59
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        • 3

                                          “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                          – David Richerby
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        3

                                        3

                                        3

                                        In terms of competency, I can’t imagine why it would be seen as a disadvantage. If anything – it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.

                                        The only scenario I could imagine where this may be an issue is if the Master’s program is affiliated with some scholarship program, where the scholarship terms & conditions require that the applicant does not hold an advanced degree. If you’re applying for a non-scholarship program then I can’t imagine why they would reject your application – you are willing to pay good money and are likely to successfully graduate.

                                        Another issue might be if you’re applying to a STEM program that’s very far from your PhD degree (say, from theoretical physics to zoology). If your bachelor’s degree does not fit the prerequisites for the program you may have an issue, and the PhD won’t help (but probably won’t hurt).

                                        Good luck!

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        In terms of competency, I can’t imagine why it would be seen as a disadvantage. If anything – it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.

                                        The only scenario I could imagine where this may be an issue is if the Master’s program is affiliated with some scholarship program, where the scholarship terms & conditions require that the applicant does not hold an advanced degree. If you’re applying for a non-scholarship program then I can’t imagine why they would reject your application – you are willing to pay good money and are likely to successfully graduate.

                                        Another issue might be if you’re applying to a STEM program that’s very far from your PhD degree (say, from theoretical physics to zoology). If your bachelor’s degree does not fit the prerequisites for the program you may have an issue, and the PhD won’t help (but probably won’t hurt).

                                        Good luck!

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        answered Dec 25 ’18 at 16:46

                                        Spark

                                        1,908114

                                        1,908114

                                        • 3

                                          “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        • At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                          – Spark
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        • I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        • I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                          – CJ59
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        • 3

                                          “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                          – David Richerby
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        • 3

                                          “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                          – Voo
                                          Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        • At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                          – Spark
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        • I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                          – TimothyAWiseman
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        • I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                          – CJ59
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        • 3

                                          “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                          – David Richerby
                                          Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        3

                                        3

                                        “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        “Huh so the guy finished their PhD and then instead of working in their chosen field and applying their knowledge they decided to instead enroll in a different field, mhmm I wonder why”. That’s the first thought that would go through my mind if I saw that CV on the stack of job applications. So there’s certainly some possible downside to it.
                                        – Voo
                                        Dec 25 ’18 at 23:50

                                        At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                        – Spark
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        At the very least it would make me want to interview this person and ask them why, not outright reject them.
                                        – Spark
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 8:16

                                        I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        I’m with Voo. I can think of reasons to get a master’s after a PhD, my wife is doing something analogous (suspended her PhD program at ABD status), but it calls for a real reason such as licensing requirements or moving to a radically different field with almost no overlap.
                                        – TimothyAWiseman
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 17:18

                                        I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                        – CJ59
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        I’ve seen a fair number of people who get a STEM masters (almost always CS related) after a PhD. They have, without fail, been people who did very poor PhDs and are functionally unemployable. I certainly wouldn’t ever hire them for a position that required their PhD, and I’d be skeptical of hiring them at all. On paper there’s no downside, but the hundred terrible idiots that did it before kinda ruined it as a career path.
                                        – CJ59
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 20:01

                                        3

                                        3

                                        “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                        – David Richerby
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        “it shows that you are capable of successfully completing an academic program.” Didn’t the undergrad degree, the PhD and possibly the master’s from before the PhD already prove that two or three times? Why go back to prove it again?
                                        – David Richerby
                                        Dec 26 ’18 at 22:48

                                        3

                                        Would not be any purpose of doing two different STEM MSc:s. After one you are supposed to be able to learn similar level stuff even faster on your own.

                                        I could understand wanting to do an economy MSc to complement your STEM knowledge. Quite some people ending up as CEO or CTO of medium or large size firms seem to have double degrees: one in tech and one in econ.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                          3

                                          Would not be any purpose of doing two different STEM MSc:s. After one you are supposed to be able to learn similar level stuff even faster on your own.

                                          I could understand wanting to do an economy MSc to complement your STEM knowledge. Quite some people ending up as CEO or CTO of medium or large size firms seem to have double degrees: one in tech and one in econ.

                                          share|improve this answer

                                            3

                                            3

                                            3

                                            Would not be any purpose of doing two different STEM MSc:s. After one you are supposed to be able to learn similar level stuff even faster on your own.

                                            I could understand wanting to do an economy MSc to complement your STEM knowledge. Quite some people ending up as CEO or CTO of medium or large size firms seem to have double degrees: one in tech and one in econ.

                                            share|improve this answer

                                            Would not be any purpose of doing two different STEM MSc:s. After one you are supposed to be able to learn similar level stuff even faster on your own.

                                            I could understand wanting to do an economy MSc to complement your STEM knowledge. Quite some people ending up as CEO or CTO of medium or large size firms seem to have double degrees: one in tech and one in econ.

                                            share|improve this answer

                                            share|improve this answer

                                            share|improve this answer

                                            edited Dec 26 ’18 at 18:37

                                            answered Dec 26 ’18 at 18:26

                                            mathreadler

                                            987510

                                            987510

                                                2

                                                It’s a plus on the side of competency to complete it, but a concern on the side of whether you would actually enroll and finish the degree if you are accepted. But the school, year and discipline of the PhD, the school and discipline of the Master’s, and why you are switching play hugely into it. Also, frankly, your standardized test scores and ability to fund your own education, just like anybody else. I’d recommend talking to an admissions person at the school you are considering, as well as a hiring manager in the field you are considering. (BTW, I’m a PhD in Management Information Systems who was in academia for several years but have spent the last 12 years in industry.)

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                • @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                  – feynman
                                                  Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                • 1

                                                  For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                  – Larry Seligman
                                                  2 days ago

                                                2

                                                It’s a plus on the side of competency to complete it, but a concern on the side of whether you would actually enroll and finish the degree if you are accepted. But the school, year and discipline of the PhD, the school and discipline of the Master’s, and why you are switching play hugely into it. Also, frankly, your standardized test scores and ability to fund your own education, just like anybody else. I’d recommend talking to an admissions person at the school you are considering, as well as a hiring manager in the field you are considering. (BTW, I’m a PhD in Management Information Systems who was in academia for several years but have spent the last 12 years in industry.)

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                • @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                  – feynman
                                                  Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                • 1

                                                  For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                  – Larry Seligman
                                                  2 days ago

                                                2

                                                2

                                                2

                                                It’s a plus on the side of competency to complete it, but a concern on the side of whether you would actually enroll and finish the degree if you are accepted. But the school, year and discipline of the PhD, the school and discipline of the Master’s, and why you are switching play hugely into it. Also, frankly, your standardized test scores and ability to fund your own education, just like anybody else. I’d recommend talking to an admissions person at the school you are considering, as well as a hiring manager in the field you are considering. (BTW, I’m a PhD in Management Information Systems who was in academia for several years but have spent the last 12 years in industry.)

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                It’s a plus on the side of competency to complete it, but a concern on the side of whether you would actually enroll and finish the degree if you are accepted. But the school, year and discipline of the PhD, the school and discipline of the Master’s, and why you are switching play hugely into it. Also, frankly, your standardized test scores and ability to fund your own education, just like anybody else. I’d recommend talking to an admissions person at the school you are considering, as well as a hiring manager in the field you are considering. (BTW, I’m a PhD in Management Information Systems who was in academia for several years but have spent the last 12 years in industry.)

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                answered Dec 27 ’18 at 18:22

                                                Larry Seligman

                                                211

                                                211

                                                • @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                  – feynman
                                                  Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                • 1

                                                  For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                  – Larry Seligman
                                                  2 days ago

                                                • @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                  – feynman
                                                  Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                • 1

                                                  For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                  – Larry Seligman
                                                  2 days ago

                                                @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                – feynman
                                                Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                @ Larry Seligman my english test scores all expired but i dont want to retake them again. if i argue i worked in english speaking countries for quite a few years, would that be convincing?
                                                – feynman
                                                Jan 3 at 8:35

                                                1

                                                1

                                                For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                – Larry Seligman
                                                2 days ago

                                                For me personally, it would not be convincing since doctoral programs are so reading and writing intensive. But that’s just me. I’d recommend contacting the admissions department of the school you are interested in, as well as the department chair of the department of your interest. You should do that anyway; putting a face to a name is always a big plus, and for doctoral programs the department has most or all of the decision input. You can also give the department chair first hand experience on how well you can interact in English.
                                                – Larry Seligman
                                                2 days ago

                                                draft saved
                                                draft discarded

                                                Thanks for contributing an answer to Academia Stack Exchange!

                                                • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                But avoid

                                                • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                Some of your past answers have not been well-received, and you’re in danger of being blocked from answering.

                                                Please pay close attention to the following guidance:

                                                • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                But avoid

                                                • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                draft saved

                                                draft discarded

                                                StackExchange.ready(
                                                function () {
                                                StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f122106%2fto-do-another-masters-already-holding-a-phd%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                                }
                                                );

                                                Post as a guest

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Required, but never shown

                                                Is it possible to make SecureCRT display multiple lines of text at once?

                                                The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                0

                                                I’m using SecureCRT as my terminal. When a command outputs many lines of text, it seems SecureCRT display them line by line. See below gif for details. I want to know if it’s possible to let it display all at once. I’ve tried MobaXterm and it also works like this. Hope someone can point me the right direction.

                                                enter image description here

                                                share|improve this question

                                                  0

                                                  I’m using SecureCRT as my terminal. When a command outputs many lines of text, it seems SecureCRT display them line by line. See below gif for details. I want to know if it’s possible to let it display all at once. I’ve tried MobaXterm and it also works like this. Hope someone can point me the right direction.

                                                  enter image description here

                                                  share|improve this question

                                                    0

                                                    0

                                                    0

                                                    I’m using SecureCRT as my terminal. When a command outputs many lines of text, it seems SecureCRT display them line by line. See below gif for details. I want to know if it’s possible to let it display all at once. I’ve tried MobaXterm and it also works like this. Hope someone can point me the right direction.

                                                    enter image description here

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                    I’m using SecureCRT as my terminal. When a command outputs many lines of text, it seems SecureCRT display them line by line. See below gif for details. I want to know if it’s possible to let it display all at once. I’ve tried MobaXterm and it also works like this. Hope someone can point me the right direction.

                                                    enter image description here

                                                    ssh application

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                    asked Dec 25 ’18 at 0:03

                                                    Ogrish Man

                                                    4831415

                                                    4831415

                                                        0

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        Your Answer

                                                        StackExchange.ready(function() {
                                                        var channelOptions = {
                                                        tags: “”.split(” “),
                                                        id: “106”
                                                        };
                                                        initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

                                                        StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
                                                        // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
                                                        if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
                                                        StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
                                                        createEditor();
                                                        });
                                                        }
                                                        else {
                                                        createEditor();
                                                        }
                                                        });

                                                        function createEditor() {
                                                        StackExchange.prepareEditor({
                                                        heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
                                                        autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
                                                        convertImagesToLinks: false,
                                                        noModals: true,
                                                        showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
                                                        reputationToPostImages: null,
                                                        bindNavPrevention: true,
                                                        postfix: “”,
                                                        imageUploader: {
                                                        brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
                                                        contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
                                                        allowUrls: true
                                                        },
                                                        onDemand: true,
                                                        discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
                                                        ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
                                                        });

                                                        }
                                                        });

                                                        draft saved
                                                        draft discarded

                                                        StackExchange.ready(
                                                        function () {
                                                        StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f490825%2fis-it-possible-to-make-securecrt-display-multiple-lines-of-text-at-once%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                                        }
                                                        );

                                                        Post as a guest

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        0

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        0

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        draft saved
                                                        draft discarded

                                                        Thanks for contributing an answer to Unix & Linux Stack Exchange!

                                                        • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                        But avoid

                                                        • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                        • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                        To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                        Some of your past answers have not been well-received, and you’re in danger of being blocked from answering.

                                                        Please pay close attention to the following guidance:

                                                        • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                        But avoid

                                                        • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                        • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                        To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                        draft saved

                                                        draft discarded

                                                        StackExchange.ready(
                                                        function () {
                                                        StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2funix.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f490825%2fis-it-possible-to-make-securecrt-display-multiple-lines-of-text-at-once%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                                        }
                                                        );

                                                        Post as a guest

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Attachment or no attachment?

                                                        The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                        8

                                                        I am currently applying for a PhD position and have emailed many professors. My emails often include a general introduction and my CV plus a research statement is attached.

                                                        I try to be brief in the email text, as I know professors get tons of emails like mine and don’t have time to read a long one. That’s why I just mention my interests in the body with the reference to my research statement for the detailed explanation.

                                                        Up until now, the replies were only about positions, funding, etc. But today I got an email expressing this about the email itself:

                                                        I recommend that you briefly describe the focus of your research interests in an e-mail (main body, not as an attachment) when contacting a suitable member of staff in order for the staff member to assess their suitability as a potential supervisor in that area.

                                                        […] As a principle, we do not encourage sending e-mail attachments in initial correspondence, as a public institution we receive a lot spam and potentially harmful e-mails with attachments.

                                                        I was wondering, is this the prevalent routine that I should consider for my emailing other institutes/professors as well? Or is it just their principle and others’ may differ?

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        • 3

                                                          There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                          – Matthew Leingang
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        • 2

                                                          Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                          – JeffE
                                                          Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        8

                                                        I am currently applying for a PhD position and have emailed many professors. My emails often include a general introduction and my CV plus a research statement is attached.

                                                        I try to be brief in the email text, as I know professors get tons of emails like mine and don’t have time to read a long one. That’s why I just mention my interests in the body with the reference to my research statement for the detailed explanation.

                                                        Up until now, the replies were only about positions, funding, etc. But today I got an email expressing this about the email itself:

                                                        I recommend that you briefly describe the focus of your research interests in an e-mail (main body, not as an attachment) when contacting a suitable member of staff in order for the staff member to assess their suitability as a potential supervisor in that area.

                                                        […] As a principle, we do not encourage sending e-mail attachments in initial correspondence, as a public institution we receive a lot spam and potentially harmful e-mails with attachments.

                                                        I was wondering, is this the prevalent routine that I should consider for my emailing other institutes/professors as well? Or is it just their principle and others’ may differ?

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        • 3

                                                          There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                          – Matthew Leingang
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        • 2

                                                          Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                          – JeffE
                                                          Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        8

                                                        8

                                                        8

                                                        1

                                                        I am currently applying for a PhD position and have emailed many professors. My emails often include a general introduction and my CV plus a research statement is attached.

                                                        I try to be brief in the email text, as I know professors get tons of emails like mine and don’t have time to read a long one. That’s why I just mention my interests in the body with the reference to my research statement for the detailed explanation.

                                                        Up until now, the replies were only about positions, funding, etc. But today I got an email expressing this about the email itself:

                                                        I recommend that you briefly describe the focus of your research interests in an e-mail (main body, not as an attachment) when contacting a suitable member of staff in order for the staff member to assess their suitability as a potential supervisor in that area.

                                                        […] As a principle, we do not encourage sending e-mail attachments in initial correspondence, as a public institution we receive a lot spam and potentially harmful e-mails with attachments.

                                                        I was wondering, is this the prevalent routine that I should consider for my emailing other institutes/professors as well? Or is it just their principle and others’ may differ?

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        I am currently applying for a PhD position and have emailed many professors. My emails often include a general introduction and my CV plus a research statement is attached.

                                                        I try to be brief in the email text, as I know professors get tons of emails like mine and don’t have time to read a long one. That’s why I just mention my interests in the body with the reference to my research statement for the detailed explanation.

                                                        Up until now, the replies were only about positions, funding, etc. But today I got an email expressing this about the email itself:

                                                        I recommend that you briefly describe the focus of your research interests in an e-mail (main body, not as an attachment) when contacting a suitable member of staff in order for the staff member to assess their suitability as a potential supervisor in that area.

                                                        […] As a principle, we do not encourage sending e-mail attachments in initial correspondence, as a public institution we receive a lot spam and potentially harmful e-mails with attachments.

                                                        I was wondering, is this the prevalent routine that I should consider for my emailing other institutes/professors as well? Or is it just their principle and others’ may differ?

                                                        application correspondence

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        asked Dec 19 ’18 at 12:50

                                                        Mahm00d

                                                        1464

                                                        1464

                                                        • 3

                                                          There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                          – Matthew Leingang
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        • 2

                                                          Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                          – JeffE
                                                          Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        • 3

                                                          There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                          – Matthew Leingang
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        • 2

                                                          Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                          – JeffE
                                                          Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        3

                                                        3

                                                        There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                        – Matthew Leingang
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        There once was a virus (Sircam) that transmitted through email. People would get a message saying “I send you this file in order to have your advice”, and an attachment. Opening the attachment installed an executable file, which promptly mailed itself (as an attachment, with the same message) to everybody in the users’s address book. So there’s some wisdom behind not opening messages that are attachment only.
                                                        – Matthew Leingang
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 17:45

                                                        2

                                                        2

                                                        Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                        – JeffE
                                                        Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        Put your work on the web, and include the URL in your email. If they’re interested, they’ll follow it.
                                                        – JeffE
                                                        Dec 20 ’18 at 3:21

                                                        2 Answers
                                                        2

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        16

                                                        The writer of that response has given you a valuable clue. If, having read the email body, the recipient does not already have an active interest in working with you, the recipient is very unlikely to look at the attachments.

                                                        Instead, include a short paragraph about your research interests and a short summary of your CV in the body of the email and offer to send details if requested.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                          – Bob Brown
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        8

                                                        The advice is good. The recipient wants to know at a glance whether it is worth following up. You can say at the bottom that CV and SOP are available on request – or even put them online somewhere so they can be directly accessed.

                                                        But a further bit of advice, though I realize that you didn’t ask for it. Do your research first in to the potential interests of anyone you send such an email to. Some people blast out a huge number of “requests to join your research project” when the background of the sender has nothing whatever to do with the research of the recipient. These, of course get sent to the junk folder immediately and your future attempts will go there also. You don’t suggest that you are doing this, of course, but I still suggest (to others reading this) that they don’t do that. People with a background in “Waste Water Recovery Engineering” don’t have a lot in common with Computer Science or Mathematics, but I still get such letters of interest – years after my retirement, actually.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • 1

                                                          Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        Your Answer

                                                        StackExchange.ready(function() {
                                                        var channelOptions = {
                                                        tags: “”.split(” “),
                                                        id: “415”
                                                        };
                                                        initTagRenderer(“”.split(” “), “”.split(” “), channelOptions);

                                                        StackExchange.using(“externalEditor”, function() {
                                                        // Have to fire editor after snippets, if snippets enabled
                                                        if (StackExchange.settings.snippets.snippetsEnabled) {
                                                        StackExchange.using(“snippets”, function() {
                                                        createEditor();
                                                        });
                                                        }
                                                        else {
                                                        createEditor();
                                                        }
                                                        });

                                                        function createEditor() {
                                                        StackExchange.prepareEditor({
                                                        heartbeatType: ‘answer’,
                                                        autoActivateHeartbeat: false,
                                                        convertImagesToLinks: true,
                                                        noModals: true,
                                                        showLowRepImageUploadWarning: true,
                                                        reputationToPostImages: 10,
                                                        bindNavPrevention: true,
                                                        postfix: “”,
                                                        imageUploader: {
                                                        brandingHtml: “Powered by u003ca class=”icon-imgur-white” href=”https://imgur.com/”u003eu003c/au003e”,
                                                        contentPolicyHtml: “User contributions licensed under u003ca href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”u003ecc by-sa 3.0 with attribution requiredu003c/au003e u003ca href=”https://stackoverflow.com/legal/content-policy”u003e(content policy)u003c/au003e”,
                                                        allowUrls: true
                                                        },
                                                        noCode: true, onDemand: true,
                                                        discardSelector: “.discard-answer”
                                                        ,immediatelyShowMarkdownHelp:true
                                                        });

                                                        }
                                                        });

                                                        draft saved
                                                        draft discarded

                                                        StackExchange.ready(
                                                        function () {
                                                        StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f121861%2fattachment-or-no-attachment%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                                        }
                                                        );

                                                        Post as a guest

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        2 Answers
                                                        2

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        2 Answers
                                                        2

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        16

                                                        The writer of that response has given you a valuable clue. If, having read the email body, the recipient does not already have an active interest in working with you, the recipient is very unlikely to look at the attachments.

                                                        Instead, include a short paragraph about your research interests and a short summary of your CV in the body of the email and offer to send details if requested.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                          – Bob Brown
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        16

                                                        The writer of that response has given you a valuable clue. If, having read the email body, the recipient does not already have an active interest in working with you, the recipient is very unlikely to look at the attachments.

                                                        Instead, include a short paragraph about your research interests and a short summary of your CV in the body of the email and offer to send details if requested.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                          – Bob Brown
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        16

                                                        16

                                                        16

                                                        The writer of that response has given you a valuable clue. If, having read the email body, the recipient does not already have an active interest in working with you, the recipient is very unlikely to look at the attachments.

                                                        Instead, include a short paragraph about your research interests and a short summary of your CV in the body of the email and offer to send details if requested.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        The writer of that response has given you a valuable clue. If, having read the email body, the recipient does not already have an active interest in working with you, the recipient is very unlikely to look at the attachments.

                                                        Instead, include a short paragraph about your research interests and a short summary of your CV in the body of the email and offer to send details if requested.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        answered Dec 19 ’18 at 13:28

                                                        Bob Brown

                                                        18.1k85377

                                                        18.1k85377

                                                        • Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                          – Bob Brown
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        • Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                          – Bob Brown
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                        – Mahm00d
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        Well, my understanding was adding the SOP would be a positive point in itself, as it shows that I have thought about the subject I want to do research on. Can a short paragraph convey that?
                                                        – Mahm00d
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 13:53

                                                        6

                                                        6

                                                        @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                        – Bob Brown
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        @Mahm00d The goal of that initial contact is to get the recipient’s attention. If you accomplish that, there will be plenty of time to go deeper.
                                                        – Bob Brown
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 14:04

                                                        8

                                                        The advice is good. The recipient wants to know at a glance whether it is worth following up. You can say at the bottom that CV and SOP are available on request – or even put them online somewhere so they can be directly accessed.

                                                        But a further bit of advice, though I realize that you didn’t ask for it. Do your research first in to the potential interests of anyone you send such an email to. Some people blast out a huge number of “requests to join your research project” when the background of the sender has nothing whatever to do with the research of the recipient. These, of course get sent to the junk folder immediately and your future attempts will go there also. You don’t suggest that you are doing this, of course, but I still suggest (to others reading this) that they don’t do that. People with a background in “Waste Water Recovery Engineering” don’t have a lot in common with Computer Science or Mathematics, but I still get such letters of interest – years after my retirement, actually.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • 1

                                                          Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        8

                                                        The advice is good. The recipient wants to know at a glance whether it is worth following up. You can say at the bottom that CV and SOP are available on request – or even put them online somewhere so they can be directly accessed.

                                                        But a further bit of advice, though I realize that you didn’t ask for it. Do your research first in to the potential interests of anyone you send such an email to. Some people blast out a huge number of “requests to join your research project” when the background of the sender has nothing whatever to do with the research of the recipient. These, of course get sent to the junk folder immediately and your future attempts will go there also. You don’t suggest that you are doing this, of course, but I still suggest (to others reading this) that they don’t do that. People with a background in “Waste Water Recovery Engineering” don’t have a lot in common with Computer Science or Mathematics, but I still get such letters of interest – years after my retirement, actually.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • 1

                                                          Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        8

                                                        8

                                                        8

                                                        The advice is good. The recipient wants to know at a glance whether it is worth following up. You can say at the bottom that CV and SOP are available on request – or even put them online somewhere so they can be directly accessed.

                                                        But a further bit of advice, though I realize that you didn’t ask for it. Do your research first in to the potential interests of anyone you send such an email to. Some people blast out a huge number of “requests to join your research project” when the background of the sender has nothing whatever to do with the research of the recipient. These, of course get sent to the junk folder immediately and your future attempts will go there also. You don’t suggest that you are doing this, of course, but I still suggest (to others reading this) that they don’t do that. People with a background in “Waste Water Recovery Engineering” don’t have a lot in common with Computer Science or Mathematics, but I still get such letters of interest – years after my retirement, actually.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        The advice is good. The recipient wants to know at a glance whether it is worth following up. You can say at the bottom that CV and SOP are available on request – or even put them online somewhere so they can be directly accessed.

                                                        But a further bit of advice, though I realize that you didn’t ask for it. Do your research first in to the potential interests of anyone you send such an email to. Some people blast out a huge number of “requests to join your research project” when the background of the sender has nothing whatever to do with the research of the recipient. These, of course get sent to the junk folder immediately and your future attempts will go there also. You don’t suggest that you are doing this, of course, but I still suggest (to others reading this) that they don’t do that. People with a background in “Waste Water Recovery Engineering” don’t have a lot in common with Computer Science or Mathematics, but I still get such letters of interest – years after my retirement, actually.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        answered Dec 19 ’18 at 13:33

                                                        Buffy

                                                        37.2k7119190

                                                        37.2k7119190

                                                        • 1

                                                          Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        • 1

                                                          Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                          – Mahm00d
                                                          Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        1

                                                        1

                                                        Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                        – Mahm00d
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        Thank you for the advice and the further one. Putting the CV and SOP online is an actually good tip, I like it better than saying I’ll provide them upon request.
                                                        – Mahm00d
                                                        Dec 19 ’18 at 14:31

                                                        draft saved
                                                        draft discarded

                                                        Thanks for contributing an answer to Academia Stack Exchange!

                                                        • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                        But avoid

                                                        • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                        • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                        To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                        Some of your past answers have not been well-received, and you’re in danger of being blocked from answering.

                                                        Please pay close attention to the following guidance:

                                                        • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

                                                        But avoid

                                                        • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
                                                        • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

                                                        To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

                                                        draft saved

                                                        draft discarded

                                                        StackExchange.ready(
                                                        function () {
                                                        StackExchange.openid.initPostLogin(‘.new-post-login’, ‘https%3a%2f%2facademia.stackexchange.com%2fquestions%2f121861%2fattachment-or-no-attachment%23new-answer’, ‘question_page’);
                                                        }
                                                        );

                                                        Post as a guest

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        Required, but never shown

                                                        What’s wrong with my e-mail to potential PhD supervisors?

                                                        The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                        up vote
                                                        21
                                                        down vote

                                                        favorite

                                                        11

                                                        I recently sent some e-mails to potential supervisors asking information for a PhD with them, I obtained no answers. I share my doubts and then copy the standard mail I sent.

                                                        1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.
                                                        2. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve for future e-mails?
                                                        3. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?
                                                        4. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send them?
                                                        5. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                        Here’s a copy of my e-mail

                                                        Dear professor XXX,
                                                        I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX thinking about applying for PhD in FIELD X, therefore your group at the university of YYY attracted my attention.
                                                        I’d like to ask two questions about the possibility of being admitted at your university:

                                                        1) Is there a good chance your group is going to look for PhD students in 2019/2020?

                                                        2) Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application? For example, what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                        This is a very important question for me as it will have a great impact in my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis.

                                                        Thank you in advance for your time and help if you decide to answer me.

                                                        Best regards,

                                                        ZZZZ

                                                        Addendum 1: as suggested by iayork I have to be more precise and state that I’m European writing to professor in Europe and that I wasn’t trying to bypass the application system by writing to them but instead following. As suggested I share the example of a professor I didn’t write to:
                                                        https://www.ics.uzh.ch/~jyoo/home.htm
                                                        In the section jobs he says he has to be contacted for information by possible PhD students. Another example from a university I didn’t write to: http://www.en.physik.lmu.de/promotion/berechtigung/index.html
                                                        The point 1 is to find an advisor getting in touch with him/her

                                                        Addendum 2: Since it’s creating a bit of confusion I have to precise that Topic Y in the letter is far from the research interests of the group contacted, I should have been more explicit in the mail and here explaining that the point of that question was to know if I had a chance even with such a thesis, and in case of negative answer I would change my master thesis advisor and topic to produce a thesis that allows me to have a chance to be taken in consideration by the group.

                                                        Thank you in advance for any help.

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        • 78

                                                          I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                          – chessofnerd
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        • 12

                                                          @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        • 1

                                                          how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        • 5

                                                          4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        • 1

                                                          Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                          – ZeroTheHero
                                                          Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        up vote
                                                        21
                                                        down vote

                                                        favorite

                                                        11

                                                        I recently sent some e-mails to potential supervisors asking information for a PhD with them, I obtained no answers. I share my doubts and then copy the standard mail I sent.

                                                        1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.
                                                        2. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve for future e-mails?
                                                        3. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?
                                                        4. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send them?
                                                        5. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                        Here’s a copy of my e-mail

                                                        Dear professor XXX,
                                                        I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX thinking about applying for PhD in FIELD X, therefore your group at the university of YYY attracted my attention.
                                                        I’d like to ask two questions about the possibility of being admitted at your university:

                                                        1) Is there a good chance your group is going to look for PhD students in 2019/2020?

                                                        2) Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application? For example, what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                        This is a very important question for me as it will have a great impact in my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis.

                                                        Thank you in advance for your time and help if you decide to answer me.

                                                        Best regards,

                                                        ZZZZ

                                                        Addendum 1: as suggested by iayork I have to be more precise and state that I’m European writing to professor in Europe and that I wasn’t trying to bypass the application system by writing to them but instead following. As suggested I share the example of a professor I didn’t write to:
                                                        https://www.ics.uzh.ch/~jyoo/home.htm
                                                        In the section jobs he says he has to be contacted for information by possible PhD students. Another example from a university I didn’t write to: http://www.en.physik.lmu.de/promotion/berechtigung/index.html
                                                        The point 1 is to find an advisor getting in touch with him/her

                                                        Addendum 2: Since it’s creating a bit of confusion I have to precise that Topic Y in the letter is far from the research interests of the group contacted, I should have been more explicit in the mail and here explaining that the point of that question was to know if I had a chance even with such a thesis, and in case of negative answer I would change my master thesis advisor and topic to produce a thesis that allows me to have a chance to be taken in consideration by the group.

                                                        Thank you in advance for any help.

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        • 78

                                                          I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                          – chessofnerd
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        • 12

                                                          @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        • 1

                                                          how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        • 5

                                                          4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        • 1

                                                          Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                          – ZeroTheHero
                                                          Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        up vote
                                                        21
                                                        down vote

                                                        favorite

                                                        11

                                                        up vote
                                                        21
                                                        down vote

                                                        favorite

                                                        11
                                                        11

                                                        I recently sent some e-mails to potential supervisors asking information for a PhD with them, I obtained no answers. I share my doubts and then copy the standard mail I sent.

                                                        1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.
                                                        2. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve for future e-mails?
                                                        3. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?
                                                        4. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send them?
                                                        5. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                        Here’s a copy of my e-mail

                                                        Dear professor XXX,
                                                        I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX thinking about applying for PhD in FIELD X, therefore your group at the university of YYY attracted my attention.
                                                        I’d like to ask two questions about the possibility of being admitted at your university:

                                                        1) Is there a good chance your group is going to look for PhD students in 2019/2020?

                                                        2) Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application? For example, what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                        This is a very important question for me as it will have a great impact in my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis.

                                                        Thank you in advance for your time and help if you decide to answer me.

                                                        Best regards,

                                                        ZZZZ

                                                        Addendum 1: as suggested by iayork I have to be more precise and state that I’m European writing to professor in Europe and that I wasn’t trying to bypass the application system by writing to them but instead following. As suggested I share the example of a professor I didn’t write to:
                                                        https://www.ics.uzh.ch/~jyoo/home.htm
                                                        In the section jobs he says he has to be contacted for information by possible PhD students. Another example from a university I didn’t write to: http://www.en.physik.lmu.de/promotion/berechtigung/index.html
                                                        The point 1 is to find an advisor getting in touch with him/her

                                                        Addendum 2: Since it’s creating a bit of confusion I have to precise that Topic Y in the letter is far from the research interests of the group contacted, I should have been more explicit in the mail and here explaining that the point of that question was to know if I had a chance even with such a thesis, and in case of negative answer I would change my master thesis advisor and topic to produce a thesis that allows me to have a chance to be taken in consideration by the group.

                                                        Thank you in advance for any help.

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        I recently sent some e-mails to potential supervisors asking information for a PhD with them, I obtained no answers. I share my doubts and then copy the standard mail I sent.

                                                        1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.
                                                        2. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve for future e-mails?
                                                        3. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?
                                                        4. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send them?
                                                        5. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                        Here’s a copy of my e-mail

                                                        Dear professor XXX,
                                                        I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX thinking about applying for PhD in FIELD X, therefore your group at the university of YYY attracted my attention.
                                                        I’d like to ask two questions about the possibility of being admitted at your university:

                                                        1) Is there a good chance your group is going to look for PhD students in 2019/2020?

                                                        2) Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application? For example, what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                        This is a very important question for me as it will have a great impact in my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis.

                                                        Thank you in advance for your time and help if you decide to answer me.

                                                        Best regards,

                                                        ZZZZ

                                                        Addendum 1: as suggested by iayork I have to be more precise and state that I’m European writing to professor in Europe and that I wasn’t trying to bypass the application system by writing to them but instead following. As suggested I share the example of a professor I didn’t write to:
                                                        https://www.ics.uzh.ch/~jyoo/home.htm
                                                        In the section jobs he says he has to be contacted for information by possible PhD students. Another example from a university I didn’t write to: http://www.en.physik.lmu.de/promotion/berechtigung/index.html
                                                        The point 1 is to find an advisor getting in touch with him/her

                                                        Addendum 2: Since it’s creating a bit of confusion I have to precise that Topic Y in the letter is far from the research interests of the group contacted, I should have been more explicit in the mail and here explaining that the point of that question was to know if I had a chance even with such a thesis, and in case of negative answer I would change my master thesis advisor and topic to produce a thesis that allows me to have a chance to be taken in consideration by the group.

                                                        Thank you in advance for any help.

                                                        phd advisor application career-path email

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        edited Dec 8 at 9:18

                                                        einpoklum

                                                        23.3k138135

                                                        23.3k138135

                                                        asked Dec 6 at 15:22

                                                        Run like hell

                                                        259127

                                                        259127

                                                        • 78

                                                          I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                          – chessofnerd
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        • 12

                                                          @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        • 1

                                                          how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        • 5

                                                          4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        • 1

                                                          Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                          – ZeroTheHero
                                                          Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        • 78

                                                          I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                          – chessofnerd
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        • 12

                                                          @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        • 1

                                                          how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        • 5

                                                          4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                          – aaaaaa
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        • 1

                                                          Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                          – ZeroTheHero
                                                          Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        78

                                                        78

                                                        I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                        – chessofnerd
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        I recommend not ending you email with “Run Like Hell” 😉
                                                        – chessofnerd
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:03

                                                        12

                                                        12

                                                        @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                        – Run like hell
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        @chessofnerd You think they may have followed the advice and that’s why they didn’t answer? 🙂
                                                        – Run like hell
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:06

                                                        1

                                                        1

                                                        how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                        – aaaaaa
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        how long haven’t you heard from them? Does your current PI knows any of them? Have you ever met with them face-to-face?
                                                        – aaaaaa
                                                        Dec 6 at 18:08

                                                        5

                                                        5

                                                        4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                        – aaaaaa
                                                        Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        4 days is a short period for people to respond in academia. PI=principal investigator, someone you’ve done research before
                                                        – aaaaaa
                                                        Dec 6 at 19:43

                                                        1

                                                        1

                                                        Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                        – ZeroTheHero
                                                        Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        Sorry to be abrupt but the email is funny: it talks about chances as if getting into a lab was a draw at some lottery. I habitually ignore such generic emails.
                                                        – ZeroTheHero
                                                        Dec 8 at 2:34

                                                        11 Answers
                                                        11

                                                        active

                                                        oldest

                                                        votes

                                                        up vote
                                                        70
                                                        down vote

                                                        The statements

                                                        what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                        and

                                                        it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis

                                                        tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here.

                                                        Are you interested in working with this prof or just shopping around? Giving general application advice to strangers isn’t high on the list of the average professor’s priorities.

                                                        (My direct experience is with German and Austrian universities. Programms with centralized admissions are becoming more frequent in continental Europe as well, but in general professors have more leeway here over whom to hire or take on as PhD students than in the US.)

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • 19

                                                          You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                          – henning
                                                          Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                        • 10

                                                          @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                          – henning
                                                          Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                        • 6

                                                          @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                          – terdon
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                        • 1

                                                          @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                          – terdon
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                        • 2

                                                          A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                          – Peter A. Schneider
                                                          Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                        up vote
                                                        35
                                                        down vote

                                                        [This answer is relevant mainly for North American universities. In other systems, professors may be more easily able to staff their own labs without requiring admission beforehand.]

                                                        For many universities, this letter is pointless and the professor can’t offer any useful or helpful advice. In the US and Canada (and probably elsewhere but I’m familiar with those) students are admitted, not to a professor’s group, but to the overall departmental pool of graduate students. After admission, the students are expected to identify faculty with whom to do their PhDs.

                                                        Individual professors typically have nothing to do with the admissions process. They can’t promise admission, they don’t know who will be admitted, they can’t bypass the normal admissions process, and therefore they can’t make any statements about openings in their groups.

                                                        No matter how compelling your letter to them is, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. The only answer they can give you is, “Go through the usual admission process, and if you’re admitted we can talk then.”

                                                        Typically professors with any kind of profile will get literally dozens of letters like this each month, or each week. Some professors are kind enough to have a standard copy-and-paste reply, telling the writer to look at the admissions page.

                                                        Of course, the fact that someone sends this kind of letter indicates that they haven’t done any background research and have no understanding of the admissions process. Someone who is willing to waste a professor’s time without bothering to do any background research is probably not a good candidate for their lab, so most such letters are deleted after a quick glance.

                                                        If you absolutely must send letters to individual professors, it’s critical to indicate that you are aware of the admissions process. Perhaps you could say something like “I have already started the admissions process, and am trying to learn about my options if and when I am admitted.”

                                                        But in general, writing to a professor at this stage is like writing to Beyonce saying you might be interested in her latest music, could she advise you on the contents and where it could be purchased? There’s very little incentive for her to write back to you.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • 5

                                                          In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                        • 14

                                                          @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                          – Bryan Krause
                                                          Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                        • 1

                                                          I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                          – D.W.
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                        • 3

                                                          This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                          – user71659
                                                          Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                        • 1

                                                          @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                          – Dan Romik
                                                          Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                        up vote
                                                        18
                                                        down vote

                                                        [I’m answering from a US perspective. In many European PhD programs, advisors advertise funded PhD positions directly, only after funding is approved, and they have complete control over admission into their group. My advice may not apply in that setting.]

                                                        1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is
                                                          the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are
                                                          flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                        As others have pointed out, professors are busy. In particular, we get a lot of emails like this, mostly from students who are poor fits for our groups and who appear to be spamming every professor they can think of. (“After looking at your research record, especially your paper [random paper title], I think I would be a great match for your group; I am also interested in high-temperature ceramics!”) And there is little advice we can give other than “I can’t judge your chances without seeing your complete application, I won’t know for months whether I’ll have funding, and admission isn’t up to me anyway. Just apply.” So many of us simply find it easier to ignore almost all emails from prospective graduate students. No, it’s not friendly, but we don’t have time to be friendly to everyone who asks.

                                                        On the other hand, if a colleague introduces me to a prospective applicant, I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond. In particular, if a prospective PhD student writes with a substantive technical question about my research area (not just a copy-pasted paper title), that question marks them as a colleague, and I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond.

                                                        1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too
                                                          long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar
                                                          mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve
                                                          for future e-mails?

                                                        Remember that by requesting this information you are asking a stranger to do work on your behalf. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they decline.

                                                        1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                        You should interpret the silence as “They must be busy”. Nothing more. Contacting them again will not help; they’ll still be busy. If you are interested in working with them, apply.

                                                        1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to
                                                          send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send
                                                          them?

                                                        Email is asynchronous. It doesn’t matter when you send it. On the other hand, even under the best of circumstances, from a professor who thinks you’re a perfect match for their group, you should not expect a reply in less than a week.

                                                        1. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                        Figure out where you want to go. Apply there.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • Thank you very much for the structured, clear answer and for the helpful advices, pointing out helpful things I didn’t think about.
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 17:52

                                                        • I answered this question myself, but I’ve learned a lot from this answer about how the admissions process works in (I presume) the US from the professors’ perspective. My impression is that in Europe professors have more discretion about who to take on.
                                                          – henning
                                                          Dec 6 at 18:28

                                                        • @henning It seems the same to me, that’s why as a European applying in Europe I found your answer very on point.
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:44

                                                        • @henning Yes in Europe professors – in a some universities at least – have more authority over who they take on, but the rest of the answer still applies. They rarely know long time in advance when they’ll have an open position. Once they have an open position they typically advertise that through their standard channels and not by 1-to-1 communication (unless they already personally know a student) and then go through the applications. So the best advice imho is to check their pages (or the ones of the university) for their standard application process and see if there are any openings.
                                                          – Darkwing
                                                          Dec 7 at 14:15

                                                        up vote
                                                        9
                                                        down vote

                                                        The concern that you indicate in your email, whether you intend to or not, is that you are asking for your own benefit rather than theirs. You are cold-calling someone and asking them for advice and to save you time. You probably aren’t going to get a response unless they are really desperate for a student and know for sure they will have funding, and even then you might get ignored.

                                                        1) Make sure you understand the admissions process at these institutions: how do you apply, who makes admissions decisions, etc.

                                                        2) Assuming that applications are managed through a program rather than individual professors, just apply to the program you are interested in, and then when you contact a professor tell them that you are applying/intending to apply and let them know you are interested in their research if you are accepted.

                                                        3) “Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application?” is a question for your current mentors (and maybe even StackExchange), not for professors you haven’t met. Asking them if they’d accept someone who did a master’s degree in Y sounds silly to me. It makes you sound insecure and clueless about admissions decisions. Tell them what your master’s thesis is on and what you are interested in doing in a PhD. You aren’t asking about some mythical person who might possibly exist who has maybe done work in a certain area, you should be advocating for yourself.

                                                        Asking about your chances is just asking for them to save you the time of submitting an application. If you submit an application it will get reviewed by the same process as everyone else and what matters is not your chances but whether or not you are accepted.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                        • Thank you, all the answer here are helping me in different way. About point 3, I’m not sure about asking to my current mentors or people in my university in general, there isn’t a group working in the field the professor I contacted work. So my e-mail was mainly about knowing if a thesis in field Y would compromise my chances to work with them, and I couldn’t think about better people to answer this question than them. I should have made it clearer in the e-mails and in the question
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 19:51

                                                        • 2

                                                          @Runlikehell Even so, what does the answer change? If they say it’s no problem, you apply. If they say it’s a problem, you don’t apply. This only saves you time, not them. In your email you are sort of trying to apply without going through the work of applying, which makes it seem like your email is just a spam to a hundred people to narrow down your focus.
                                                          – Bryan Krause
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:03

                                                        • Of course it only saves me time, and I think the work of applying shouldn’t be a waste of time, I want to apply where there’s a chance to be taken, I don’t want to apply to 100 universities, 90 of which aren’t interested in me so I prefer asking beforehand and save my time, and their time since the professor may not directly look at the application, but somebody will, and 90 useless applications is a lot of time of people I wasted
                                                          – Run like hell
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:09

                                                        • 2

                                                          @Runlikehell Except from the professor’s perspective, it isn’t just you, it would be everyone else with a similar question. You need to do the work of narrowing it down, not them (which you have already done if you narrowed it down to 5, but your email sounds like it comes from someone who is trying to figure out which of 100).
                                                          – Bryan Krause
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                        • 2

                                                          @Runlikehell Yes I do think you should just apply; I think if you did get an answer to one of the emails you sent it would be “apply and find out, your application cannot be evaluated by one small factor.”
                                                          – Bryan Krause
                                                          Dec 6 at 20:28

                                                        up vote
                                                        8
                                                        down vote

                                                        A professor at the University of Victoria in BC has written a post about how to write convincing emails to potential applicants, although this is more targeted at undergraduates:

                                                        So you want to go to grad school but can’t figure out why no one is answering your emails….

                                                        Additionally, because professors can literally get hundreds of emails a day, you might want to make yours short and more ‘to-the-point’ while still keeping it polite.

                                                        Hello Dr. Professor,

                                                        My name is Student, I am an undergraduate at Masters University, and I would like to join your research group for a PhD. I have research experience in XXX and have studied YYY, and my Master’s thesis topic is in ZZZ. I want to do research in QQQ and your group’s research aligns with my interests. My CV and transcript are attached to this email.

                                                        Thank you,
                                                        Student

                                                        …CV and transcript Attachments…

                                                        The short email should be the ‘hook’ that catches their attention and the CV is there to fill in the details if they are interested in looking further. The transcript may or may not matter depending on where you apply. Sometimes you need decent grades for scholarships.

                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                          up vote
                                                          6
                                                          down vote

                                                          Asking

                                                          1) Is there a good chance your group is going to look for PhD students in 2019/2020?

                                                          might show that you haven’t done your research, since professors usually advertise whether they are hiring. Do the professors you’ve contacted have positions advertised? Are they actively advertising that they aren’t hiring?

                                                          Also, you’re asking a subjective, probabilistic question “is there a good chance,” which isn’t trivial to answer, and “in 2019/2020” is ill-defined (what does it mean?).

                                                          Show you’ve done you’re research and ask a straightforward, more-direct question, e.g.,

                                                          a) I see that you are currently advertising for X, will a similar offer be available in MONTH YYYY?

                                                          Many professors simply won’t know the answer if MONTH YYYY is too far ahead, but at least they are then informed about what you are looking for.

                                                          Asking

                                                          2) Is the topic of the master’s degree thesis fundamental for a strong application? For example, what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                          might also show that you haven’t done your research, because you should know whether TOPIC Y is interesting to the group.

                                                          The question is again rather indirect and non-trivial to answer. It may possibly reflect negatively on you, because the topic is fundamentally important, but there’s lots of leeway and you needn’t be focusing on the professor’s area of interest to be taken on as a student.

                                                          Show that you’ve done your research into the group’s topics, explain why your TOPIC Y will help you be a successful PhD student, and ask if you could visit or talk by phone.

                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                          • Thanks, some of them advertise while in some of their university you have to send e-mails to ask them about it. I know topic Y isn’t interesting for the group, but topic Y is what I’m better at the moment and it’s probably gonna be the best choice for my thesis ( I could do a better job in less time), hence the question if I could get a PhD there with a thesis in a partially uninteresting topic. Should I let them know that I know it’s not really interesting for them and I’m asking only to understand if my PhD application with them is pursuable?
                                                            – Run like hell
                                                            Dec 6 at 15:33

                                                          • So the first question should be more precise, and you’re right I’m too vague, but what if I can’t be more precise? I have some family issues that could take or not take a lot of time in the next months and I’m not sure when exactly I will finish the thesis. Should I wait for a time where i could be more precise to send these e-mails ? The problem is that applications require you to move in advance by a lot of months
                                                            – Run like hell
                                                            Dec 6 at 15:37

                                                          • 2

                                                            a thesis in a partially uninteresting topic isn’t something that professors are looking for. It reflects badly on you, IMO.
                                                            – user2768
                                                            Dec 6 at 15:44

                                                          • Should I wait for a time where i could be more precise to send these e-mails ? There are too many variables to offer an answer.
                                                            – user2768
                                                            Dec 6 at 15:45

                                                          • 1

                                                            @Runlikehell I would recommend contacting research groups for whom the topic is actually interesting to maximize your possibility of success.
                                                            – fa__
                                                            Dec 6 at 17:44

                                                          up vote
                                                          4
                                                          down vote

                                                          There may be several reasons that you didn’t get a response. But your email is just very bad.

                                                          Dear professor XXX, I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX
                                                          thinking about applying for PhD in FIELD X, therefore your group at
                                                          the university of YYY attracted my attention.

                                                          This sentence alone would make your email be ignored.

                                                          What is an ideal PhD student for a professor: someone who shares research interests, who is interested in research in his/her group, and who really wants to work with him/her.

                                                          That sentence alone showed that you have none of the above.

                                                          • “FIELD X” ? Terms such as Machine Learning, Software Engineering, etc are too broad that they mean nothing, while PhD is about working on a very narrow topic.
                                                          • The fact that his/her group attracts your attention because they work on the general FIELD X means you know nothing about research in his/her group. You just want to be admitted in a PhD on FIELD X, and not really want to work with him/her.
                                                          • I’m not a native English speaker, so my feeling can be wrong. Somehow this sentence sounds very arrogant to me.

                                                          If this sentence doesn’t stop a professor from reading the rest of the email, other parts are just very weird.

                                                          what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would
                                                          have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a
                                                          group like yours?

                                                          Why would you want to do a PhD when you are not able to do your own homework? Why would the professor should waste his/her time answering your basic questions.

                                                          This is a very important question for me as it will have a great
                                                          impact in my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the
                                                          advisor for the thesis.

                                                          This also sounds very arrogant. It implies the professor needs (to try his best) to explain so you can select him as advisor.

                                                          Thank you in advance for your time and help if you decide to answer
                                                          me.

                                                          This sentence is really weird. It shows that you have poor communication skills.

                                                          In summary, this email alone shows many evidences that you are an incompetent candidate for his/her group, and that’s why you are ignored.


                                                          I guess, just guess, you would have higher chance to be responded if you wrote something like:

                                                          Dear Prof. XXX,

                                                          I’m a … I’m really interested NARROW-FIELD and, I’m very impressed
                                                          with your recent work published in WELL-KNOWN-CONFERENCE (2 or 3 papers), in which you
                                                          discovered/improved blah blah.

                                                          During my Master, I worked on TOPIC Y, which is also very related (or NOT?).
                                                          So I believe my background will be a good fit with your research.

                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                          • Thanks for the feedback, I’m learning a lot from the point you’re all making, I didn’t feel it was that bad when I wrote it but now I see a lot of mistakes have pointed out. IIhave to edit the question at this point to precise that Topic Y is not their field of research and mine was a request to know if I had a chance to work with them even if I had such a thesis
                                                            – Run like hell
                                                            Dec 7 at 8:31

                                                          up vote
                                                          1
                                                          down vote

                                                          If an email like this came to me, I might reply, but it would not be a priority. I would assume that you meant to email Graduate Studies. What would work better for me, is if you emailed to introduce yourself, and asked if I had any time to have a phone call or video conference in the next 3 weeks etc. This would be more intriguing, and the email is very formulaic. I also think your instinct is good about the timing. I often miss emails that come in on Sundays, because Monday starts off with a bang and they just get forgotten about. Good luck with your applications!!

                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                          • Thank you for the insights, so not only it’s not a bad thing to ask for some extra time for a phone call or a video conference, but you say it may even be good. I thought I would go to far and maybe harsh asking for something like this
                                                            – Run like hell
                                                            Dec 6 at 17:54

                                                          • 1

                                                            Absolutely. They can still ignore the request, that is their choice. You would catch my attention and it would show you were serious. I wish you luck!
                                                            – Holly
                                                            Dec 7 at 19:16

                                                          up vote
                                                          1
                                                          down vote

                                                          1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                          No, if you ask a simple question, you would likely get a response.

                                                          1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve for future e-mails?

                                                          In my opinion, it is not direct enough, and not clear what you are asking, or why you are asking it.

                                                          1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                          It’s not clear to me how these answers will impact the decision making process, so I would not push it.

                                                          1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send them?

                                                          It shouldn’t matter. Trying to guess the optimal time to send emails likely isn’t worth your time. A simplistic message is more important.

                                                          1. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                          The questions should be more direct. If you want to work with the professor, ask them that. Keep in mind they can’t speak for other professors and that they don’t know who you are.

                                                          For your second point in the email, asking if your thesis work will get you admitted shouldn’t be asked to a professor, it should be included as part of the application process.

                                                          I would suggest rewording into something simple to answer, such as:

                                                          Dear professor XXX, I’m a student of XXX at the university of XXX interested in working towards a PhD in FIELD X.

                                                          I am attracted to your research group.

                                                          Are you (or other professors in the group) accepting new PhD students? My master’s thesis work was on TOPIC Y.

                                                          Thank you in advance for your time. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

                                                          Best regards,

                                                          Run Like Hell.

                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                          • Thanks for the very structured answer, I really like this kind of answer. My writing not being direct enough is a point that emerged a lot in the answer, thanks for having suggested a potential solution writing a more direct sample of a mail.
                                                            – Run like hell
                                                            Dec 6 at 20:01

                                                          up vote
                                                          0
                                                          down vote

                                                          As many have pointed out, this just isn’t the work flow for PhD admission. We get dozens of mails like this a year, and many are from students sending out what seems to be hundreds of messages hoping for a hit– because their research interests have nothing to do with mine. We ignore them.

                                                          If you’re really interested, officially apply to the department. If you’re offered a visit, send a message to the prof stating that you’ve applied, you’ll be visiting, and you hope you can schedule an on site interview.

                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                            up vote
                                                            0
                                                            down vote

                                                            I see many emails like yours. I appreciate many applicants are sincere, but not realistic. PhD students are a source of income to our School. Their fees are paid for by their governments, institutions, or themselves.

                                                            If you have no funding, a random application is pointless as you could not be admitted. When funded PhD places are rarely available, they must be advertised openly. Preference then goes to students who have already studied with us, or published, or both.

                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                            New contributor
                                                            eBox is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                                                            Check out our Code of Conduct.

                                                              protected by eykanal Dec 10 at 1:53

                                                              Thank you for your interest in this question.
                                                              Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

                                                              Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

                                                              11 Answers
                                                              11

                                                              active

                                                              oldest

                                                              votes

                                                              11 Answers
                                                              11

                                                              active

                                                              oldest

                                                              votes

                                                              active

                                                              oldest

                                                              votes

                                                              active

                                                              oldest

                                                              votes

                                                              up vote
                                                              70
                                                              down vote

                                                              The statements

                                                              what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                              and

                                                              it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis

                                                              tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here.

                                                              Are you interested in working with this prof or just shopping around? Giving general application advice to strangers isn’t high on the list of the average professor’s priorities.

                                                              (My direct experience is with German and Austrian universities. Programms with centralized admissions are becoming more frequent in continental Europe as well, but in general professors have more leeway here over whom to hire or take on as PhD students than in the US.)

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • 19

                                                                You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              • 10

                                                                @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              • 6

                                                                @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              • 1

                                                                @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              • 2

                                                                A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                                – Peter A. Schneider
                                                                Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              up vote
                                                              70
                                                              down vote

                                                              The statements

                                                              what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                              and

                                                              it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis

                                                              tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here.

                                                              Are you interested in working with this prof or just shopping around? Giving general application advice to strangers isn’t high on the list of the average professor’s priorities.

                                                              (My direct experience is with German and Austrian universities. Programms with centralized admissions are becoming more frequent in continental Europe as well, but in general professors have more leeway here over whom to hire or take on as PhD students than in the US.)

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • 19

                                                                You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              • 10

                                                                @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              • 6

                                                                @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              • 1

                                                                @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              • 2

                                                                A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                                – Peter A. Schneider
                                                                Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              up vote
                                                              70
                                                              down vote

                                                              up vote
                                                              70
                                                              down vote

                                                              The statements

                                                              what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                              and

                                                              it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis

                                                              tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here.

                                                              Are you interested in working with this prof or just shopping around? Giving general application advice to strangers isn’t high on the list of the average professor’s priorities.

                                                              (My direct experience is with German and Austrian universities. Programms with centralized admissions are becoming more frequent in continental Europe as well, but in general professors have more leeway here over whom to hire or take on as PhD students than in the US.)

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              The statements

                                                              what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours?

                                                              and

                                                              it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis

                                                              tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here.

                                                              Are you interested in working with this prof or just shopping around? Giving general application advice to strangers isn’t high on the list of the average professor’s priorities.

                                                              (My direct experience is with German and Austrian universities. Programms with centralized admissions are becoming more frequent in continental Europe as well, but in general professors have more leeway here over whom to hire or take on as PhD students than in the US.)

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              edited Dec 7 at 7:20

                                                              answered Dec 6 at 15:59

                                                              henning

                                                              17.8k46089

                                                              17.8k46089

                                                              • 19

                                                                You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              • 10

                                                                @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              • 6

                                                                @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              • 1

                                                                @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              • 2

                                                                A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                                – Peter A. Schneider
                                                                Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              • 19

                                                                You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              • 10

                                                                @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              • 6

                                                                @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              • 1

                                                                @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                                – terdon
                                                                Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              • 2

                                                                A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                                – Peter A. Schneider
                                                                Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              19

                                                              19

                                                              You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                              – henning
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              You have to read between the lines in your message to actually understand that it’s an application (or some kind of pre-application inquiry). Put this upfront. Tell them you want to work with them (or the institution or the group) and why, and leave the rest for when they get back to you. You should ask questions about application strategies to your current BA supervisor or browse this site.
                                                              – henning
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:12

                                                              10

                                                              10

                                                              @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                              – henning
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              @Runlikehell also tell them why you are a good fit, i.e. why you picked them and why they should pick you.
                                                              – henning
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:22

                                                              6

                                                              6

                                                              @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                              – terdon
                                                              Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              @Runlikehell also clarify that your master’s thesis was on TOPIC Y instead of generalizing to “a student”. Reading your mail I couldn’t understand if you had actually done a master’s thesis on the subject or were considering it for the future.
                                                              – terdon
                                                              Dec 6 at 20:07

                                                              1

                                                              1

                                                              @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                              – terdon
                                                              Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              @Runlikehell yeah, that’s the sort of thing you need to clarify. As is the fact that you haven’t yet finished your masters so aren’t actually considering applying now.
                                                              – terdon
                                                              Dec 6 at 20:22

                                                              2

                                                              2

                                                              A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                              – Peter A. Schneider
                                                              Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              A cursory reading makes it sound as if you’ll choose your PHD thesis supervisor, but you are talking about your master thesis supervisor. (I understand that’s why henning emphasized it and thought it sounds like “shopping around”.)
                                                              – Peter A. Schneider
                                                              Dec 7 at 6:44

                                                              up vote
                                                              35
                                                              down vote

                                                              [This answer is relevant mainly for North American universities. In other systems, professors may be more easily able to staff their own labs without requiring admission beforehand.]

                                                              For many universities, this letter is pointless and the professor can’t offer any useful or helpful advice. In the US and Canada (and probably elsewhere but I’m familiar with those) students are admitted, not to a professor’s group, but to the overall departmental pool of graduate students. After admission, the students are expected to identify faculty with whom to do their PhDs.

                                                              Individual professors typically have nothing to do with the admissions process. They can’t promise admission, they don’t know who will be admitted, they can’t bypass the normal admissions process, and therefore they can’t make any statements about openings in their groups.

                                                              No matter how compelling your letter to them is, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. The only answer they can give you is, “Go through the usual admission process, and if you’re admitted we can talk then.”

                                                              Typically professors with any kind of profile will get literally dozens of letters like this each month, or each week. Some professors are kind enough to have a standard copy-and-paste reply, telling the writer to look at the admissions page.

                                                              Of course, the fact that someone sends this kind of letter indicates that they haven’t done any background research and have no understanding of the admissions process. Someone who is willing to waste a professor’s time without bothering to do any background research is probably not a good candidate for their lab, so most such letters are deleted after a quick glance.

                                                              If you absolutely must send letters to individual professors, it’s critical to indicate that you are aware of the admissions process. Perhaps you could say something like “I have already started the admissions process, and am trying to learn about my options if and when I am admitted.”

                                                              But in general, writing to a professor at this stage is like writing to Beyonce saying you might be interested in her latest music, could she advise you on the contents and where it could be purchased? There’s very little incentive for her to write back to you.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • 5

                                                                In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              • 14

                                                                @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                                – Bryan Krause
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              • 1

                                                                I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                                – D.W.
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              • 3

                                                                This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                                – user71659
                                                                Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              • 1

                                                                @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                                – Dan Romik
                                                                Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              up vote
                                                              35
                                                              down vote

                                                              [This answer is relevant mainly for North American universities. In other systems, professors may be more easily able to staff their own labs without requiring admission beforehand.]

                                                              For many universities, this letter is pointless and the professor can’t offer any useful or helpful advice. In the US and Canada (and probably elsewhere but I’m familiar with those) students are admitted, not to a professor’s group, but to the overall departmental pool of graduate students. After admission, the students are expected to identify faculty with whom to do their PhDs.

                                                              Individual professors typically have nothing to do with the admissions process. They can’t promise admission, they don’t know who will be admitted, they can’t bypass the normal admissions process, and therefore they can’t make any statements about openings in their groups.

                                                              No matter how compelling your letter to them is, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. The only answer they can give you is, “Go through the usual admission process, and if you’re admitted we can talk then.”

                                                              Typically professors with any kind of profile will get literally dozens of letters like this each month, or each week. Some professors are kind enough to have a standard copy-and-paste reply, telling the writer to look at the admissions page.

                                                              Of course, the fact that someone sends this kind of letter indicates that they haven’t done any background research and have no understanding of the admissions process. Someone who is willing to waste a professor’s time without bothering to do any background research is probably not a good candidate for their lab, so most such letters are deleted after a quick glance.

                                                              If you absolutely must send letters to individual professors, it’s critical to indicate that you are aware of the admissions process. Perhaps you could say something like “I have already started the admissions process, and am trying to learn about my options if and when I am admitted.”

                                                              But in general, writing to a professor at this stage is like writing to Beyonce saying you might be interested in her latest music, could she advise you on the contents and where it could be purchased? There’s very little incentive for her to write back to you.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • 5

                                                                In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              • 14

                                                                @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                                – Bryan Krause
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              • 1

                                                                I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                                – D.W.
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              • 3

                                                                This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                                – user71659
                                                                Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              • 1

                                                                @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                                – Dan Romik
                                                                Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              up vote
                                                              35
                                                              down vote

                                                              up vote
                                                              35
                                                              down vote

                                                              [This answer is relevant mainly for North American universities. In other systems, professors may be more easily able to staff their own labs without requiring admission beforehand.]

                                                              For many universities, this letter is pointless and the professor can’t offer any useful or helpful advice. In the US and Canada (and probably elsewhere but I’m familiar with those) students are admitted, not to a professor’s group, but to the overall departmental pool of graduate students. After admission, the students are expected to identify faculty with whom to do their PhDs.

                                                              Individual professors typically have nothing to do with the admissions process. They can’t promise admission, they don’t know who will be admitted, they can’t bypass the normal admissions process, and therefore they can’t make any statements about openings in their groups.

                                                              No matter how compelling your letter to them is, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. The only answer they can give you is, “Go through the usual admission process, and if you’re admitted we can talk then.”

                                                              Typically professors with any kind of profile will get literally dozens of letters like this each month, or each week. Some professors are kind enough to have a standard copy-and-paste reply, telling the writer to look at the admissions page.

                                                              Of course, the fact that someone sends this kind of letter indicates that they haven’t done any background research and have no understanding of the admissions process. Someone who is willing to waste a professor’s time without bothering to do any background research is probably not a good candidate for their lab, so most such letters are deleted after a quick glance.

                                                              If you absolutely must send letters to individual professors, it’s critical to indicate that you are aware of the admissions process. Perhaps you could say something like “I have already started the admissions process, and am trying to learn about my options if and when I am admitted.”

                                                              But in general, writing to a professor at this stage is like writing to Beyonce saying you might be interested in her latest music, could she advise you on the contents and where it could be purchased? There’s very little incentive for her to write back to you.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              [This answer is relevant mainly for North American universities. In other systems, professors may be more easily able to staff their own labs without requiring admission beforehand.]

                                                              For many universities, this letter is pointless and the professor can’t offer any useful or helpful advice. In the US and Canada (and probably elsewhere but I’m familiar with those) students are admitted, not to a professor’s group, but to the overall departmental pool of graduate students. After admission, the students are expected to identify faculty with whom to do their PhDs.

                                                              Individual professors typically have nothing to do with the admissions process. They can’t promise admission, they don’t know who will be admitted, they can’t bypass the normal admissions process, and therefore they can’t make any statements about openings in their groups.

                                                              No matter how compelling your letter to them is, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. The only answer they can give you is, “Go through the usual admission process, and if you’re admitted we can talk then.”

                                                              Typically professors with any kind of profile will get literally dozens of letters like this each month, or each week. Some professors are kind enough to have a standard copy-and-paste reply, telling the writer to look at the admissions page.

                                                              Of course, the fact that someone sends this kind of letter indicates that they haven’t done any background research and have no understanding of the admissions process. Someone who is willing to waste a professor’s time without bothering to do any background research is probably not a good candidate for their lab, so most such letters are deleted after a quick glance.

                                                              If you absolutely must send letters to individual professors, it’s critical to indicate that you are aware of the admissions process. Perhaps you could say something like “I have already started the admissions process, and am trying to learn about my options if and when I am admitted.”

                                                              But in general, writing to a professor at this stage is like writing to Beyonce saying you might be interested in her latest music, could she advise you on the contents and where it could be purchased? There’s very little incentive for her to write back to you.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              edited Dec 6 at 23:35

                                                              answered Dec 6 at 16:08

                                                              iayork

                                                              12.2k53244

                                                              12.2k53244

                                                              • 5

                                                                In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              • 14

                                                                @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                                – Bryan Krause
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              • 1

                                                                I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                                – D.W.
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              • 3

                                                                This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                                – user71659
                                                                Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              • 1

                                                                @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                                – Dan Romik
                                                                Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              • 5

                                                                In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              • 14

                                                                @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                                – Bryan Krause
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              • 1

                                                                I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                                – D.W.
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              • 3

                                                                This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                                – user71659
                                                                Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              • 1

                                                                @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                                – Dan Romik
                                                                Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              5

                                                              5

                                                              In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                              – Run like hell
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              In 4 out of 5 cases it was explictly written to contact the head of the group for information about open positions and PhD opportunities there. Also could you address point 1, 3, and 4, since they are pretty general they could help me a lot in the future.
                                                              – Run like hell
                                                              Dec 6 at 16:17

                                                              14

                                                              14

                                                              @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                              – Bryan Krause
                                                              Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              @iayork Although I agree with you that in the US it is typical to apply to programs, it is also typical for programs to encourage students to contact professors they are interested in working in, and doing so may make it more likely that they are granted an interview, especially if the professor has funding and is looking for a student. OP should acknowledge understanding the process in their email, though.
                                                              – Bryan Krause
                                                              Dec 6 at 17:46

                                                              1

                                                              1

                                                              I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                              – D.W.
                                                              Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              I hope you won’t delete this answer! It’s very well written and makes an important point. Questions like this are useful beyond the specific circumstances of any one person, and this seems like the answer that most people in this situation most need to see.
                                                              – D.W.
                                                              Dec 6 at 19:03

                                                              3

                                                              3

                                                              This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                              – user71659
                                                              Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              This is completely incorrect in the US for a R1 PhD and is bad advice. A professor who wants a student and has funding will be granted admission. The committee will assign the level of support to a professor who wants a student but does not have funding. After that, only then are the remaining seats are filled up by the committee with unassigned students. I suspect you’ve confused admissions for a professional/terminal master’s program with a full PhD program. The majority of PhD students in all of the schools I’ve been at go through professors first.
                                                              – user71659
                                                              Dec 8 at 0:10

                                                              1

                                                              1

                                                              @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                              – Dan Romik
                                                              Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              @user71659 iayork’s answer is 100% applicable to my department’s (US, R1, mathematics) graduate admissions system.
                                                              – Dan Romik
                                                              Dec 9 at 20:06

                                                              up vote
                                                              18
                                                              down vote

                                                              [I’m answering from a US perspective. In many European PhD programs, advisors advertise funded PhD positions directly, only after funding is approved, and they have complete control over admission into their group. My advice may not apply in that setting.]

                                                              1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is
                                                                the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are
                                                                flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                              As others have pointed out, professors are busy. In particular, we get a lot of emails like this, mostly from students who are poor fits for our groups and who appear to be spamming every professor they can think of. (“After looking at your research record, especially your paper [random paper title], I think I would be a great match for your group; I am also interested in high-temperature ceramics!”) And there is little advice we can give other than “I can’t judge your chances without seeing your complete application, I won’t know for months whether I’ll have funding, and admission isn’t up to me anyway. Just apply.” So many of us simply find it easier to ignore almost all emails from prospective graduate students. No, it’s not friendly, but we don’t have time to be friendly to everyone who asks.

                                                              On the other hand, if a colleague introduces me to a prospective applicant, I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond. In particular, if a prospective PhD student writes with a substantive technical question about my research area (not just a copy-pasted paper title), that question marks them as a colleague, and I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond.

                                                              1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too
                                                                long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar
                                                                mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve
                                                                for future e-mails?

                                                              Remember that by requesting this information you are asking a stranger to do work on your behalf. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they decline.

                                                              1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                              You should interpret the silence as “They must be busy”. Nothing more. Contacting them again will not help; they’ll still be busy. If you are interested in working with them, apply.

                                                              1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to
                                                                send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send
                                                                them?

                                                              Email is asynchronous. It doesn’t matter when you send it. On the other hand, even under the best of circumstances, from a professor who thinks you’re a perfect match for their group, you should not expect a reply in less than a week.

                                                              1. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                              Figure out where you want to go. Apply there.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • Thank you very much for the structured, clear answer and for the helpful advices, pointing out helpful things I didn’t think about.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:52

                                                              • I answered this question myself, but I’ve learned a lot from this answer about how the admissions process works in (I presume) the US from the professors’ perspective. My impression is that in Europe professors have more discretion about who to take on.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 18:28

                                                              • @henning It seems the same to me, that’s why as a European applying in Europe I found your answer very on point.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:44

                                                              • @henning Yes in Europe professors – in a some universities at least – have more authority over who they take on, but the rest of the answer still applies. They rarely know long time in advance when they’ll have an open position. Once they have an open position they typically advertise that through their standard channels and not by 1-to-1 communication (unless they already personally know a student) and then go through the applications. So the best advice imho is to check their pages (or the ones of the university) for their standard application process and see if there are any openings.
                                                                – Darkwing
                                                                Dec 7 at 14:15

                                                              up vote
                                                              18
                                                              down vote

                                                              [I’m answering from a US perspective. In many European PhD programs, advisors advertise funded PhD positions directly, only after funding is approved, and they have complete control over admission into their group. My advice may not apply in that setting.]

                                                              1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is
                                                                the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are
                                                                flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                              As others have pointed out, professors are busy. In particular, we get a lot of emails like this, mostly from students who are poor fits for our groups and who appear to be spamming every professor they can think of. (“After looking at your research record, especially your paper [random paper title], I think I would be a great match for your group; I am also interested in high-temperature ceramics!”) And there is little advice we can give other than “I can’t judge your chances without seeing your complete application, I won’t know for months whether I’ll have funding, and admission isn’t up to me anyway. Just apply.” So many of us simply find it easier to ignore almost all emails from prospective graduate students. No, it’s not friendly, but we don’t have time to be friendly to everyone who asks.

                                                              On the other hand, if a colleague introduces me to a prospective applicant, I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond. In particular, if a prospective PhD student writes with a substantive technical question about my research area (not just a copy-pasted paper title), that question marks them as a colleague, and I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond.

                                                              1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too
                                                                long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar
                                                                mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve
                                                                for future e-mails?

                                                              Remember that by requesting this information you are asking a stranger to do work on your behalf. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they decline.

                                                              1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                              You should interpret the silence as “They must be busy”. Nothing more. Contacting them again will not help; they’ll still be busy. If you are interested in working with them, apply.

                                                              1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to
                                                                send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send
                                                                them?

                                                              Email is asynchronous. It doesn’t matter when you send it. On the other hand, even under the best of circumstances, from a professor who thinks you’re a perfect match for their group, you should not expect a reply in less than a week.

                                                              1. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                              Figure out where you want to go. Apply there.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              • Thank you very much for the structured, clear answer and for the helpful advices, pointing out helpful things I didn’t think about.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 17:52

                                                              • I answered this question myself, but I’ve learned a lot from this answer about how the admissions process works in (I presume) the US from the professors’ perspective. My impression is that in Europe professors have more discretion about who to take on.
                                                                – henning
                                                                Dec 6 at 18:28

                                                              • @henning It seems the same to me, that’s why as a European applying in Europe I found your answer very on point.
                                                                – Run like hell
                                                                Dec 6 at 19:44

                                                              • @henning Yes in Europe professors – in a some universities at least – have more authority over who they take on, but the rest of the answer still applies. They rarely know long time in advance when they’ll have an open position. Once they have an open position they typically advertise that through their standard channels and not by 1-to-1 communication (unless they already personally know a student) and then go through the applications. So the best advice imho is to check their pages (or the ones of the university) for their standard application process and see if there are any openings.
                                                                – Darkwing
                                                                Dec 7 at 14:15

                                                              up vote
                                                              18
                                                              down vote

                                                              up vote
                                                              18
                                                              down vote

                                                              [I’m answering from a US perspective. In many European PhD programs, advisors advertise funded PhD positions directly, only after funding is approved, and they have complete control over admission into their group. My advice may not apply in that setting.]

                                                              1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is
                                                                the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are
                                                                flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                              As others have pointed out, professors are busy. In particular, we get a lot of emails like this, mostly from students who are poor fits for our groups and who appear to be spamming every professor they can think of. (“After looking at your research record, especially your paper [random paper title], I think I would be a great match for your group; I am also interested in high-temperature ceramics!”) And there is little advice we can give other than “I can’t judge your chances without seeing your complete application, I won’t know for months whether I’ll have funding, and admission isn’t up to me anyway. Just apply.” So many of us simply find it easier to ignore almost all emails from prospective graduate students. No, it’s not friendly, but we don’t have time to be friendly to everyone who asks.

                                                              On the other hand, if a colleague introduces me to a prospective applicant, I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond. In particular, if a prospective PhD student writes with a substantive technical question about my research area (not just a copy-pasted paper title), that question marks them as a colleague, and I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond.

                                                              1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too
                                                                long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar
                                                                mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve
                                                                for future e-mails?

                                                              Remember that by requesting this information you are asking a stranger to do work on your behalf. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they decline.

                                                              1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                              You should interpret the silence as “They must be busy”. Nothing more. Contacting them again will not help; they’ll still be busy. If you are interested in working with them, apply.

                                                              1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to
                                                                send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send
                                                                them?

                                                              Email is asynchronous. It doesn’t matter when you send it. On the other hand, even under the best of circumstances, from a professor who thinks you’re a perfect match for their group, you should not expect a reply in less than a week.

                                                              1. Feel free to give me any kind of advice you think could be helpful.

                                                              Figure out where you want to go. Apply there.

                                                              share|improve this answer

                                                              [I’m answering from a US perspective. In many European PhD programs, advisors advertise funded PhD positions directly, only after funding is approved, and they have complete control over admission into their group. My advice may not apply in that setting.]

                                                              1. I sent it to 5 different professors in different universities, is
                                                                the sample too small to expect some answers? I know professors are
                                                                flooded with e-mails so it could be normal not receiving answers.

                                                              As others have pointed out, professors are busy. In particular, we get a lot of emails like this, mostly from students who are poor fits for our groups and who appear to be spamming every professor they can think of. (“After looking at your research record, especially your paper [random paper title], I think I would be a great match for your group; I am also interested in high-temperature ceramics!”) And there is little advice we can give other than “I can’t judge your chances without seeing your complete application, I won’t know for months whether I’ll have funding, and admission isn’t up to me anyway. Just apply.” So many of us simply find it easier to ignore almost all emails from prospective graduate students. No, it’s not friendly, but we don’t have time to be friendly to everyone who asks.

                                                              On the other hand, if a colleague introduces me to a prospective applicant, I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond. In particular, if a prospective PhD student writes with a substantive technical question about my research area (not just a copy-pasted paper title), that question marks them as a colleague, and I’m much more likely to pay attention and respond.

                                                              1. Can you point out something I did wrong in my email such as: too
                                                                long, too short, harsh, too many details, not many details, grammar
                                                                mistakes (I’m not a native speaker), anything, to help me improve
                                                                for future e-mails?

                                                              Remember that by requesting this information you are asking a stranger to do work on your behalf. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they decline.

                                                              1. How do I have to take these silences? Should I solicit an answer or simply accept that they are not interested in answering?

                                                              You should interpret the silence as “They must be busy”. Nothing more. Contacting them again will not help; they’ll still be busy. If you are interested in working with them, apply.

                                                              1. I sent them on a sunday night, is this a bad moment to
                                                                send such e-mails? if it is what are the best days and time to send
                                                                them?

                                                              Email is asynchronous. It doesn’t matter when you send it. On the other hand, even under the best of circumstances, from a professor who thinks y