My S is applying for PhD programs in Physics. He has a good advisor and a thesis/research advisor and I am confident his application process is fine. He showed us his candidate statement and some other essays etc.
I am totally unfamiliar with graduate schools outside of professional (MD, JD etc) ones. Now that his apps are in, I have no idea what comes next. He says it's not like undergrad admissions where everything is systematic ("basically the physics profs decide who they want . . .") Here are some of the questions running through my head:
1. Do schools have a date they release decisions on? Do they send out some acceptances and wait to see if they enroll and then send out more? How do they control yield?
2. Will acceptances come with stipend and fellowship dollar offers? Will he be able to compare apples to apples in terms of expected work load and stipends/housing etc?
3. What else should he consider if he is lucky enough to have more than one offer? He is already researching the cities where his schools are located, incase he has a preference for some over others. But he thinks that PhD admissions are quite difficult and he will be happy to be anywhere at all next fall.
Any other advice welcome!