PhD Admissions

Pursuing a PhD is one of the most rigorous choices you can make as an academic. We're here to help.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch

Process

Ready for the academic rigor of a PhD?

Before you can dive deep into your field, you have an application process to navigate. We are here to help.

1

Start your research and planning early

Each PhD program, depending on the field, follows a different application process. Be sure to do your research so that nothing comes as a surprise down the road.
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2

Make a standardized test preparation plan

 Depending on the program, you may need to provide test scores with your application. Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam and official resources, and start examining the gaps in your knowledge.
Check out our GRE program here.
3

Craft and polish your applications

Writer’s block stops here. Our uniquely structured writing process guides you to a polished set of application materials.  We can also assist with navigating the critical writing sample.
From our blog: PhD writing samples
4

Request letters of recommendation

The vast majority of programs require letters of recommendation. Your coach helps you select recommenders and prepare any additional information needed.
From our blog: faculty recommendations
5

Prepare for your interviews

Some programs include an interview in their process.  Your coach guides you through messaging and rehearsal so you can be the best possible version of yourself come interview day. 
From our blog: interview tips

Coach spotlight

We are dynamic coaches who think strategically about helping our students gain admission into the most selective graduate schools. As a prerequisite, we only work with coaches who have attended the top institutions. But, we also look for experienced editors, smart project managers, and tactical thinkers.

Meet everyone

We are dynamic coaches who think strategically about helping our students gain admission into the most selective graduate schools. As a prerequisite, we only work with coaches who have attended the top institutions. But, we also look for experienced editors, smart project managers, and tactical thinkers.

Susan

Susan studied English at Rice and graduated summa cum laude. After serving in Teach for America, she earned her PhD in English at Harvard. She has held faculty positions at Wake Forest and Yale and currently lives in London.

Elliot

Elliot earned his BS in Biology at MIT, and his MSc by Research in Clinical Medicine on a Rhodes Scholarshop at Oxford University. Currently, he is an MD/PhD student in the the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.

Rehana

Rehana holds a PhD in Mathematics (Wesleyan). She has been faculty at several institutions, including Olin College and Harvard, where she recieved the Mentor of the Year Award from the Harvard Graduate Women in Science & Engineering.

Anna S.

Anna holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature (Harvard), an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature (MA), a BA in History and Philology (Russian State University) and a BA in Fine Arts (Pushkin State Museum Art College).

Amulya M.

Amulya is an Anthropology PhD candidate at Harvard University. She earned her Bachelor's in Anthropology from University of Chicago, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Allison H.

Allison recieved an MPhil in Modern Eastern Studies from University of Oxford and graduated from Williams College with a BA in Arabic Studies. Currently, she is a Center for Arabic Study Abroad Fellow.

Kate R.

At Columbia, Kate earned a BA in American History & African Studies (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). After completing a Fulbright, they earned a JD from Yale Law. Currently, Kate is a PhD candidate in History at Yale.

Ash

Ash earned a BA in Social Studies (Harvard), an MPhil in Intellectual History and Political Thought (University of Cambridge), and a JD (Yale). He is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at Columbia University.

Daniel Be.

Daniel is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and author of 5 books of literary nonfiction. He holds an MFA in Fiction (Columbia University), and has taught at Saint Ann's School, Columbia University, and elsewhere.

Sarah Y.

Sarah graduated from Brown with a BA in History & International Relations. She currently attends the University of Hong Kong and the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a History PhD candidate.

Mariam R.

Mariam currently teaches at UCLA in English and Comparative Literature, after earning her PhD there. She's also a Fiction MFA student at Columbia. She earned her BA in Comp Lit from Princeton (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and MSt in Islamic Art and Archaeology, with distinction, from Oxford.

Meghan M.

Meghan an MPhil student in Islamic Art and Archaelogy at Oxford. She holds an MA in Buddhist Art (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London) and a BA in Art History and International Affairs (George Washington).

Avery W.

Avery holds a BA in Public Policy & Global Health from Duke, and an MPH from Johns Hopkins. After working for Clinton Health Access Initiative, she's now earning her MBA at the University of Michigan.

Ellen S.

Ellen majored in English at Williams College and received her PhD in English from Duke University. She teaches American Literature in the History & Literature department at Harvard University.

Morgan B.

Morgan holds Masters' degrees in Maritime Archaeology (University of Southampton) and European History (University College London). She is a member of the Oceangate Titanic Expedition scientific team.

Adrienne

Adrienne received her English PhD from Harvard University, her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and her BA from Princeton University. She is a nonfiction writer and poet, and teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University.

Daniel Fr

Daniel is a PhD candidate in Chinese History at UC Berkeley. He holds a BA in English & French literature and Chinese language (University of Texas), a JD (Yale Law), and an MA in Sinology (University of London).

Alexandra R.

Alex received her PhD from Harvard University in Clinical Science and her BA in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stress and Development Lab at Harvard.

Grey A.

Grey received his BA in English from Reed College, and his MA in French and his PhD in History from Yale. His dissertation, published in French in 2018 and under contract in English with Verso Books, examines the military coup that returned General Charles de Gaulle to power.

Emily F.

Emily is a PhD candidate at Columbia University in Religious Studies. She teaches Western and East Asian philosophy classes at SUNY Purchase, where she earned her BA in philosophy.

Wyatt S.

Wyatt holds an AB from Kenyon College and an MA from NYU, both in English. He's currently a PhD student in Harvard's English department.

Udodiri

Udodiri is a PhD Candidate in History of Science at Harvard University; she previously earned a BA in the same field at Harvard College. Her honors thesis on the biomedicalization of Civil Rights Protest in the 1960s and 1970s received the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize.

Nathan B.

Nathan is a lecturer in The Writing Seminars, the creative writing program at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his MFA at Hopkins, and also attended Emory University in Atlanta, majoring in English literature and creative writing and graduating summa cum laude.

Faith L.

Faith graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program at American University with a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics and a minor in International Studies. Faith is also an alum of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Now a second-year student at Yale Law School (YLS), Faith is an NAACP Legal Defense Fund Earl Warren Scholar and a YLS Connecticut Bar Foundation Fellow.

Camille

Camille attended UChicago to earn her BA in Psychology and Economics. She's currently pursuing a dual Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business.

Elisabeth

Elisabeth attended Cornell University, majoring in Communication and minoring in Human Development and Fine Art. After graduating magna cum laude, she is now a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Kaitlin S.

Kaitlin completed her undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College, where she majored in Sociology and Anthropology. She later completed a MSW at Smith College and is now pursuing a PhD at Harvard in the History of Science, with an emphasis on the history and philosophy of psychology, critical theory, and African American Studies.

Ubadah

Ubadah is a neuroscientist at MIT. He immigrated to the US and started community college when he was 16 years old. After spending three years there, he transferred to the University of Missouri, where he earned his BS in Biology. Ubadah then earned his PhD in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health at Virginia Tech.

Sam C.

Sam graduated with a degree in Physics from Princeton University. After graduation, she taught physics at a high school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She's currently pursuing her MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Sasha

Sasha earned her BS in Physics and Mathematics from MIT and her PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from MIT. Her PhD research focused on engineering new energy-efficient magnetic nanomaterials. While at MIT, she completed two research internships in France, worked as a visiting scientist in a German physics institute, and pioneered a new physics education program in Chile.

Miki

Miki received her PhD in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at UIUC. After receiving her BA magna cum laude from Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College, CUNY, she completed a U.S. Fulbright grant in Nepal, worked at the Harvard School of Public Health and NIH, and did MA studies at Universität Heidelberg in Health and Society in South Asia.

Rakeeb

Rakeeb graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in Biological Engineering. He then pursued a research position at Johns Hopkins University, where he discovered a passion for immunology that has since led him to become a PhD candidate in the Immunology program at Harvard.

Max Sh.

Max holds a PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia, an MA in Near Eastern Studies from NYU, and a BA in Philosophy from Vassar. An experienced classroom teacher, he currently teaches World History at Poly Prep Country Day School.

Michae O.

Michael holds a BA in Mathematics and American Studies at Wesleyan University, and a PhD in American Studies at Harvard University. His studies focus on 19th century US history and the history of the life sciences.

Akhil

Akhil holds a BA and MA in Political Science from Yale University. He is currently pursuing his MS in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar. Following his time in Oxford, he will begin studying for his JD at Yale Law School.

Connor M.

Connor is a PhD Candidate in Religion at Columbia University; his dissertation focuses on the relationship between religion, science, and technology in contemporary America. He also holds an MPhil and MA in Religion from Columbia, an a BA in Religion from Vassar College.

Courtney P.

Courtney is a recent JD and MSW graduate from the University of Michigan. Previously, Courtney received her BA in Sociology and Religious Studies from Grinnell College with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Kiran

Kiran is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Political Science from Barnard College.

Kendall G.

Kendall is a doctoral candidate in Politics at the University of Oxford with a specialization in political theory. Before moving to the United Kingdom as a Marshall Scholar, Kendall attended Tulane University, where she graduated summa cum laude in two degrees – a BA in Political Science and a BSM in Legal Studies in Business.

Isaac Jf.

Isaac is a doctoral student at Yale University in the Departments of African-American Studies and American Studies. His research interests include black studies, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and sound studies. Previously, Isaac earned his BA from Columbia University in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, graduating cum laude.

Alexandra F.

Alexandra holds a BA in Social Studies Education from Miami University and Master of Arts degrees in History from Miami University and University of Reading (UK), where she was a 2019/2020 Fulbright Scholar. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in History of Science from Harvard University, where she is pursuing a PhD in African American Studies.

Meet everyone

Testimonials

“Olivia provided insightful and relevant feedback. She was understanding and flexible in her approach, always prepared, and was a pleasure to work with. Her help was invaluable.”

KarolinaPhD Applications

FAQs

  • When are the deadlines to apply to PhD programs?

    Typically, applications for PhD programs are due in the late fall of the year before you're aiming to matriculate (typically December or January). The exact deadlines to submit differ from program to program, however, so be sure to check each school's individual website for official dates and deadlines.
  • What are the components of a PhD application?

    Many of the requirements for PhD applications are the same from program to program. They include: your undergraduate transcript (as well as transcripts from any past graduate study), score report(s) from the GRE and/or GRE Subject Test, a resume of relevant work experience, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Many PhD programs also request a writing sample from applicants. Requirements vary from program to program, however, so it's important to check the admissions requirements for the specific programs to which you're planning to apply. 

  • Do I need to sit for the GRE in order to apply for a PhD?

    Not necessarily! More and more PhD programs are going test optional or entirely test blind. That said, some programs do require a GRE score, so it is important to check the specific requirements for your schools of interest. 
  • How about GRE Subject Tests?

    Certain PhD programs will require a GRE Subject Test score report to be included in your application materials. Math and physics PhD programs, for example, most often require the GRE Subject Test in those fields. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your programs of interest when deciding whether or not to take a subject test.

Plans

We've created a structured, yet flexible plans that offer everything you need to succeed throughout the admissions process.

Choose a Tutor Tier

Hourly Rate

1 Hour

All of our coaching is available on an hourly basis. If you're not sure how much coaching you'll need, you can enroll in our "pay as you go" option.

$ 140

$ 180

$ 260

$ 340

First Time Package

3 Hours

The is an opportunity to meet your coach and get started on your applications. Depending on where you are in the process, we may cover your school selection, recommendations, strategic positioning, and/or statement of purpose outlines.

$ 420

$ 540

$ 780

$ 1020

Basic Package

20 Hours 5% OFF

This package is specifically geared towards the applicant's statement of purpose and CV. It generally allows for regular meetings throughout the process, as well as remote feedback and editing on application materials by your coach. Represents our best estimate; students may need more or less time with their coach.

$ 2660 You save $140

$ 3420 You save $180

$ 4940 You save $260

$ 6460 You save $340

Comprehensive Package

40 Hours 10% OFF

For applicants who want to go through the process in the most efficient, effective way, this package represents our comprehensive approach to PhD admissions. Your coach will manage your process start to finish, including dialogue about your research agenda and tactical advice around professional positioning. We can also customize this package for you based on your specific needs.

$ 5040 You save $560

$ 6480 You save $720

$ 9360 You save $1040

$ 12240 You save $1360

Tutor Tiers

We have 4 tiers of coaches. The coach’s tier is based on the experience level of the coach with our team. All coaches begin working with Cambridge Coaching at the Standard tier.

  • Standard

    0-150 hours
    $140/hour

  • Senior

    150-200 hours
    $180/hour

  • Guru

    250-300 hours
    $260/hour

  • Master

    350+- hours
    $340/hour

Ready to get started?

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