We are often asked how we decide on admission to the ATLAS PhD program.  We consider three main criteria when reviewing applications:

  1. Do you have a clearly defined area of interest? 
    We understand that over the course of PhD study, interests may shift; we won't hold you to your initial expressions of area of interest.  And we don't expect that you know the topic of your dissertation when you apply to the program.  Still, having a clear idea of the topics to be explored in PhD study is a good indicator of future success.
  2. Do you have the background and skills to work in that area? 
    We look at whether you are prepared to begin working on the topics you identify as your area of interest.   For example, if you have a background in nuclear engineering and you plan to work on computer music, we'd like to know more about what skills you'll bring to bear on your new direction.  
  3. Do we have the capacity to supervise work in that area?
    We look at whether we have faculty members who can supervise research in your area of interest.  No matter how interesting the area of research, and how capable you are to work in that area, we can only take students for whom we have the faculty to advise and supervise.   We require a commitment from at least one faculty member to advise and fund any applicant we admit to the ATLAS PhD program.