Part of the questions on the Academia.SX mainly focus on admissions procedure in different countries. One of the best questions, succeeded to cover questions about application procedure in the United States, link; was previously opened and attracted huge amount of attention of the users.

What is the process for PhD applications and contacting professors in France?

Right time to start applying for PhD - Germany

Is it possible to be admitted to a masters in Germany with a 3-year bachelors from another country?

Can I get into an Australian PhD program in computer science without a masters degree, with a dual BSc degree?

My question is particularly about questions which have similar concept, but are mainly about application procedure in other countries, like France, Germany, Asian universities, etc.

As an instance, if somebody has question about application procedure for starting a PhD program in Austria, is it better to form his question as the above mentioned question (something like: How does the admissions process work for PhD programs in Austria, particularly for weak or borderline students?) or should he ask his question the same as any other normal question on this site and exactly point to his main point of question?

In my opinion, having similar format of question like our How does the admissions process work for PhD programs in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students? has some advantages and disadvantages, can easily lead users with similar questions directly to their point of vagueness which has brought them to our site, but can mislead users by wrapping many questions in just similar formats.

Not to mention that, this question should not lead to opening as many questions as we can (serial questions/ one question for each country!) and questions should specifically be written and opened if any user has indeed some problem during his PhD application.


2 Answers 2


If a question is about an admissions system that is replicated throughout a country, and it’s not covered by a canonical question, there’s no reason not to ask it, particularly if it’s a country not often represented. However, if it’s a feature covered in one of the systems here, we should point that out and refer the reader to the appropriate existing question.

If it’s about the practices at an individual institution (“How many recommendations do I need for the PhD program in Widget-Making at The University of Northern Southern Azkaban?”), it should be closed for being institution-specific.


I disagree. There are questions about admissions that are a good fit for the SE Q/A format and questions that are a bad fit. The SE model is to help people get good answers to the questions that fit and close the questions that don't fit. A while back, we decided to deviate a little from this model and create a canonical question about PhD admissions in the US. The canonical question is not a great question for the SE format, but it grew out of a meta discussion where it became clear that our community did not want to just close these bad questions as depending on individual factors (that is usually what makes the questions a bad fit) and instead wanted to do our best to help these, often new, users. The existence of the canonical question should not influence what happens when we get a good (i.e., one that works well with the SE format) admissions question, we still answer those.

I think my feeling is that we should continue to close highly specific admissions questions for which the answer depends on individual factors for countries other than the US. If at some point in the future we reach a critical mass of these types of questions for a particular, somewhat unified, system, then we can make another CW question, if we have someone who will answer it (creating a canonical question without an answer is not so helpful).


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