PhD Programs

Application Evaluation

Applicants to the PME PhD program are evaluated in a holistic, equitable process, based on a rubric-driven assessment of distinct metrics correlated with success in graduate school.  The process is designed to recognize and account for heterogeneity in the opportunities available to applicants. A high or low score according to any single metric is insufficient, in isolation, to indicate high or low probability of admission. We holistically assess a candidate’s potential by integrating scores across the following five categories:

  • Academic Excellence – Rigor, depth, and breadth of academic preparation; evidence of high academic performance, growth, and potential.
  • Research Excellence – Research experience and accomplishments; understanding and appreciation of research goals; research advisor evaluation of performance, growth, and potential.
  • Demonstrated (Non-Research) Excellence – Participation in leadership, teamwork, and/or community engagement activities; persistence and resilience in the face of personal or professional adversity; extracurricular activities and/or part-time/full-time jobs; personal growth trajectory
  • External Evaluations (Recommendation Letters) – Evaluation of applicant performance, growth, and potential; concrete supporting examples; consistency of evaluation across referees
  • Programmatic Fit / Interest – Demonstrated understanding of and evidence of interest in PME faculty research programs; relevance of applicant background and skills for PME programs; likelihood of productive research with PME faculty member; interdisciplinarity