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Is it a good sign? Or should I be wary?

paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
Hi y'all,
I recently applied to BME Ph.D program at Stevens Institute of Technology. I have 167Q/161V/4.0AWA, 3.634 GPA in chemical engineering with double minors in math and Spanish, 3 years of undergrad researches and some on-campus work experience as a student assistant.

Couple days after I applied, the professor - let's call him Prof. K - and I had a 30 min+ phone call and discussed about his research interests and my reasons to go to grad school, which was to learn more professional knowledge about engineering in medicine and doing "my own things" to help medicine progress in long term. We ended phone call in a very positive note, and from what I felt,he seemed to like me and told me that "he hoped to talk to me soon again."

JUST yesterday, one of my recommender(let's call him Prof. W) forwarded me an email that Prof. K had sent him, which was on the line of "hey I am very excited about this kid's application but have some few question so I want to talk to you." Prof W asked me what selling points I wanted to emphasize, and I told him to talk about how great I am at adapting at different situation, how I worked hard to maintain good academic credential despite financial and status struggle, etc. And today, Prof. K emailed and asked me if I would be okay with waiting 1-2 weeks to get a decision from admission committee, which I said yes.

I am super nervous right now because I really want to go to grad school, and if I don't get in anywhere(i got 3 rejections so far), I will have to go back to Korea and waste 1.5 years in military, which will make it very hard for me to find a job due to an insane job competition. It looks like that Prof. K really likes me and wants to accept me, and from what I heard, it is ultimately up to professors to decide whether to accept me or not, but I know that anything can happen.

Should I take this as a good sign? Or should I be wary because the professor K may be contacting my recommender because he is somewhat doubtful of my ability?

Replies to: Is it a good sign? Or should I be wary?

  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Registered User Posts: 4,275 Senior Member
    This is a good sign. Potential advisors don't waste time on candidates they don't want.
  • erosemorinerosemorin Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    In my personal opinion, I would say you have a good shot. I agree with the previous poster that it's a GOOD sign.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    Prof. W told me that Prof K was "even more excited about me after the phone call and was going to call another recommender soon"!. I hope that another recommender doesn't mess up for me ;-)
  • erosemorinerosemorin Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    Yay! Keep us posted.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    Good news from a different school....a graduate student from a PI at UMD Food Science Dept contacted me, and he told me that the PI(let's call her Dr. Yu) wants to take me in, but most students in 1st semester tend to pay 5k-12k first and get full funding in subsequent scholarship! Even then, the professors will try to pay some of the cost for me. I am stoked! This is basically a yes! I just gotta figure out how my mom and sister can strategically pay for this...:-)
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,178 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    Bluntly — it is not a yes if they aren’t funding you. They might never fund you... there are still PhD programs accepting applications. You might want to apply to a couple more less selective programs that still fund if you really don’t want to go back to Korea.
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,132 Senior Member
    Pretty soon, you're going to run out of letters for these hypothetical professors!

    :)

    Good luck with this!
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    @intparent I shoulda clarified; UMD will fully fund me after the first semester.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,178 Senior Member
    Still... legit programs fund to start with.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    Eh, 5k~12k for just a semester isn't a lot at all, even for me. I should hear from Stevens tomorrow, so we will see

    EDIT: just talked to the potential PI, and if the funding decision comes well before the new semester I may get funded from the start.
  • HowardGradlyHowardGradly Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    Good luck Paul
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,178 Senior Member
    Have you visited these programs yet? My kid found her visits to the programs she was accepted to quite enlightening— and not in entirely positive ways. Usually the programs will pay for your visit if you are in the US now.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    V tech paid for my visit-but couldn't accept me due to funding ;-(.

    By the way, I got accepted to Stevens with full funding!
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,895 Senior Member
    Yay!! Congratulations!
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