Applying to two departments at one school

<p>I'm thinking about applying to two departments at the same school. I'm doing research in Materials Science and the research itself is closely related to my major, namely Electrical Engineering.</p>

<p>As of such, I'd like to apply to both programs. My question, in your honest opinion, how is this looked upon? I'm personally not sure how ad coms feel about this. For example, at MIT they allow you to apply to several departments, but I feel at such competitive schools that might be all the more reason to reject you (seeing how you may be perceived as not really knowing what you want to do).</p>

<p>There is also the option of getting a degree from one program and doing research with someone that is primarily teaching in the other program? I am facing a similar problem myself. I have a BME undergrad and currently, my work experience revolves around Polymers/Biologic materials. I am going to apply for the Fall'11 semester, but I am wondering if I should apply for the Chemical/Materials program or for the BME program. </p>

<p>I almost think that I should try into the easier of the two programs when it comes to a top tier school. For example, MIT would be a tough admit for me for Chemical than Biomedical.</p>

<p>I would definitely think it a problem if the two areas were widely seperated - art history and plasma physics, for example - because you might appear uncommitted. An interest in several facets of the same problem is not a problem, however. In your case I think it will depend a lot on your desired focus - if you are primarily interested in one side, then only apply there, but if you could go either way, then and only then apply to both.</p>

<p>When I was applying for grad schools I ran into this problem at one place. I wanted to apply for both the umbrella program containing Microbiology as well as for Immunology. It seems that some schools divide the two fields and frown on cross disciplinary studies (here's looking at you Boston school). They insisted that I only apply to one department but offered me assistance in deciding which was best to choose. Perhaps you can speak to the graduate director for each department, explain your desires and get his insight.</p>

<p>Know that applying to just one department won't limit your research options (probably). Students can work with advisors from outside departments.</p>

<p>(I was in the same boat as you, EE and MatSci, but I ended up just applying to a single department at each school, even when multiple departments interested me.)</p>

<p>Slorg, did you apply to the easier of the programs? Also did you explicitly state (in your SOPs) that you were interested in research in the other department?</p>

<p>Desiyankee:</p>

<p>I would not mention that your are interested in another department in your SOP unless you have already discussed this with someone at the school. Your application will get tossed fast if you indicate something like that and it is not feasible for the departments.</p>

<p>No, I didn't apply to the easier of the programs (I didn't even know which ones were easier. For the most part, I applied to EE or the more unique sounding departments (to increase the variance of my choices, post acceptance)).</p>

<p>And I didn't state in my SOPs that I was interested in research in the other department. Although I did mention that I was interested in the devices and materials side of EE and MatSci.</p>