General Information for Ph.D. Applicants
Thank you for your interest in the PhD program. The most important point
about our admissions process is that we look at each student as an
individual and review the complete application for strengths and indications
of ability to be successful in our program.
We make our final decisions about offers of admission based on whether a
student's interests are a match for one of the faculty who has decided to
admit a student for the coming year. Thus, it is possible for a student to
apply with solid credentials, but not have a place in the PhD program because
there is no research match with an available faculty member. Applicants
should, therefore, carefully read
faculty profiles and learn
about the various department sponsored labs and
described elsewhere on this website.
The faculty who can serve as primary mentors for PhD students include:
- Marina Bers
- Eileen Crehan
- Ann Easterbrooks
- Sasha Fleary
- Calvin Gidney
- Sara Johnson
- Richard Lerner
- Tama Leventhal
- Christine McWayne
- Jayanthi Mistry
- Ellen Pinderhughes
In addition to matching with a faculty member, we look at several other
factors when deciding if a candidate is a good fit for our department.
- Generally, the median verbal GRE score among our
enrolled (not our accepted) applicants is low 600. The median math GRE
score is 700. The GRE is one piece of a student's information that we
review when considering applicants. When applicants present with scores
outside our range, we look for other indications that they might be
successful in our program.
- We look for experience in research and/or applied settings.
We admit students who have diverse combinations of research and applied
experiences. Typically, applicants with strong profiles who have had no
experience with research might be offered admission into our MA/PhD
program, through which they would first complete their MA thesis before
undertaking the PhD program. These students, if successful in completing
the MA thesis, move on to doctoral work without reapplying. Other
applicants who lack research experience might be offered admission into
our MA program in order to allow them the opportunity to obtain that level
training while demonstrating their ability to handle graduate level work.
In those cases, MA students interested in the PhD program would reapply.
- Letters from references from 3 individuals who have
taught or advised the applicant, are very important as they typically
address the applicant's ability to thrive in an academic setting. We also
look to letters from references who supervised the applicant (or a
colleague of the applicant) as they can provide important information
about the applicant's intellectual work, ability to work with others,
- The personal statement is extremely important as it
provides an indication of how the applicant has thought about the match
between his/her interests and what Eliot-Pearson as well as specific
faculty members have to offer. The personal statement is also used as an
indication of the applicant's writing ability.
- Finally, we also give consideration to the undergraduate
experience, the course of study undertaken, and GPA at the
respective institution where the applicant studied.