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I recently applied to and been accepted by the University of the Cumberlands, PhD in Information Technology program. It’s been a long-time interest of mine to pursue a PhD so that I can gain the kind of research skills I need to be able to publish in the academic literature. My research interests lie at the intersection of public policy and computing, and so an applied program like the PhD in Information Technology is a perfect fit.
The application process is very straightforward. You create an account on the Patriot Portal and enter some basic information about your educational history. You are then prompted to upload your transcripts (unofficial at first, official later.) They require a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. In my Bachelor’s degree I have a 3.5/4.0, in my MBA I have a 3.7/4.0 and in my MS in Data Science I have a 3.8/4.0 – so I’m covered there.
After submitting unofficial transcripts, I had to send away for official transcripts. This is more of a hassle for me than it normally would be, because I attended 5 schools (Durham College, Trent University, Athabasca University, Quantic School of Business and Technology, and Eastern University.)
The longest part of the process was actually waiting for my transcripts to be received because I applied during the holidays when all of these schools were closed. Once they opened back up, my transcripts were received and my Patriot Portal was updated.
My transcripts were received on January 12 and on January 19 I received an update with an admissions decisions.
I clicked the letter, and saw my admission decision: I’m in!
My understanding is that unlike a lot of schools which try to limit the number of applicants based on their past experience, University of the Cumberlands takes a more open admission policy and allows you to prove yourself in the coursework. The program is rigorous and those who can’t meet doctoral program standards will not succeed.
Some applicants were required to complete an interview but luckily I did not. So after receiving my admissions decision all I had to do was accept.
I accepted my admission decision and am now awaiting next steps. I was contacted by my enrollment coordinator to register for my first classes. I completed the course preference form and a few days later was successfully registered.
Next steps will include filling out my financial aid form (FAFSA) and then I’ll be ready to go for class.
My Thesis Topic
I don’t know yet what I’ll be writing on, but I have an idea. The biggest issue will be that it involves an interdisciplinary area between machine learning and political science and I’ll need to be careful about how I couch the theory.
Of course, once I get through the coursework (estimated to take 3+ years if I take one class at a time), I may have a totally different idea. We’ll see!