Application FAQ

Application is a complicated mission. Here is my correspondences with my friends or the admission coordinators of several universities. Hope these information will help you.

  1. Should I waive my right to see the letters of recommendation? – In order to show your respect to your recommender, you should waive your right. (Xin Sun)
  2. Should I submit my online application as early as possible? – If you are applying for a Ph.D. program, there is no advantage to hand in early. Most of the schools start to review your materials after the deadline. (Xin Sun)
  3. My TOEFL score might have been sent to the maths department for I entered a Department code when requesting additional delivery. Will the letter of the test score be directed to the Graduate Admission Division? – You need to contact ETS and ask them if/when they sent the score to Stanford. They will be able to tell you if, when and where your score was sent. (Stanford)
  4. Shall I specify the department code when I designate the receiver for my TOEFL score? – Please use the department code 72. (UC Berkeley)
  5. Is it recommended if I submit 4 / 5 recommendation letters? – 3 letters are required.  You may submit 3 additional ones if you want. (Stanford) – We prefer three letter but will accept five. (UC Berkeley) – Three letters of recommendation are all that are needed.  The additional space is intended for those students who reapply.  You can of course submit more than three if you feel it is necessary. (MIT) – We require at least three letters. You may submit four, but I can’t say if that will improve your chances of admission. (Harvard) – You may submit 4 letters. (Columbia) – You can submit a fourth recommendation. (CMU) – You can submit 4 letters. (NYU) – Yes, 4 is fine. (Chicago) – Four recommendation letter is fine it will not have any negative influence on my admission. (UCLA)
  6. Shall I send it to the mathematics department or to University of Washington by airmail? – Please do not send anything by mail, or airmail.  Our entire application process is taking place online, so you must submit everything electronically. Everything is to be submitted online. The TOEFL and GRE scores are submitted to UW electronically from ETS, so we do not need copies of those reports. (U Washington)
  7. Shall I request IELTS test center to send my score to the maths department by airmail? – If you have sent the TOEFL scores, there is no need to submit the IELTS score. (UC Berkeley)
  8. One of my recommender prefers to paper recommendation. Shall I register him as a recommender in the online application system? – Yes, you should list him as a recommender and then just have him send the paper letter. (MIT) – Yes, you may still list him in the Recommender list on the application. (Cornell) – Yes. You need to list each and every recommender on the online system. (NYU)
  9. Do you prefer TOEFL or IELTS? – You can submit both. (U Washington) – We prefer to have the TOEFL.  Of course, you may send the IELTS as an extra document if you wish. (CMU) – You may submit both scores. The IELTS scores must be sent by mail. ETS may report the TOEFL score to us electronically.  Our ETS school code for GRE and TOEFL is COLUMBIA U GRAD SCH ART&SCI/MORNG (2162) You can choose any department code, even the default code of all nines (9), since regardless of the code designated, all scores are reported to the office of admissions only. (Columbia) – It is your choice to send both which should be sent electronically. (Chicago) – You can send both your scores. Either way is fine electronically or by airmail. (UCLA) Usually the TOEFL score is sent electronically to the university through one universal code.  But the IELTS scores arrive on paper from the IELTS office.  These scores are usually sent to the dept at the address in my signature. (Wisconsin Madison)
  10. Should I submit my online application before December 1? If so, can I submit the online application without my GRE Sub score for I have not received it yet? – You have until January 1st.  Please don’t worry about submitting your application before then. (U Washington)

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