Comparison of Old and New Ms/PhD Application Process
Before automation, graduate program/doctorate applications at METU were
made using application forms. There were difficulties of this system;
applicants had to come to university to make application, they could not
be aware of the results unless they have contacted to the department or
taken the result letters. Moreover, since the application information
was not kept in a central place, there were conflicts on the information
kept in different places, the same information was entered by different
units (student, institute, departments, Registrar's Office etc.) more
than once, and there were difficulties in accessing the information. Finally,
all these handicaps were inhibiting the continuity of the process.
The new system is a web-based system that starts with preparation of
system by institute and filling of the application form by applicants
and ends with letters send to the applicants by institute. Figure 1 is
the name and order of the process steps, you can find brief explanations
of these steps in following section, Figure 2 is Ms/PhD application system
before and after automation, and last section explains improvements on
Figure 1: Process Steps of masters/doctorate application system
First of all, Institute enters last application date, and
then defines programs that will take application and degree, such as masters,
doctorate, and second education masters, of each program. Also the preparation
of the web page and the announcement on the web address is in the responsibility
of the institute.
Then Applicants fill application form. They notify two
basic information; the applicant profile information and the information
of the program application. "Applicant Profile" information
should be entered once, however being a program specific, information
on "Program Application" should be entered for each applied
program. In applicant profile information applicants are expected to give
information about their "Personal Profile Information", "Academic
Information", "Graduate Examinations", "English Examinations",
"Employment Information"; while in program application part
they give, "Program Information" (program name and degree to
be applied), "Recommendations" (the people who recommend the
applicant to METU), the "Letter of Intention" of the applicant
and the "Support" type which the student demands from the University.
Finally, the applicant "Freeze"s his/her knowledge. Whenever
student clicks freeze button, system checks the application for completeness,
if all of the information is not completed, system does not let the student
to freeze the application. After application(s) freeze, application information
cannot be updated or deleted, and the working copy of application form
turned to final copy. Then the final copy of application form is printed
and signed by the applicant. The form should be brought or sent to the
institute with required documents. It is the turn of the institute again.
Institute controls the documents such as English examination
result/application, graduate examination result/application, transcript,
references and application fee. If all of these documents are checked
for completeness, system gives permission to the institute to approve
the application, unless application cannot be accepted.
After all application files- application forms and related documents-
are taken by institute, and they are send to departments to be evaluated.
Departments make decisions on applicant. The applicant
can be ACCEPTED, REJECTED or taken to WAITING status by the department.
If department accepts the applicant, it enters accepted semester, accepted
year and assigns advisor to applicants. Whenever applicant accepted, METU
identification number is given to applicant and registration information
created automatically. Moreover, department can make the necessary changes
(update) on the grades.
At the end of the evaluation procedure, as a final stage, all the applications
are submitted to institute committee. If the institute committee
accepts the application, the applicant is a METU student, and an acceptance
letter is sent to the applicant. If the application is not accepted, a
letter, which tells the applicant the conditions that are not fulfilled,
is sent. Letters are prepared by the system for each applicant, including
necessary information and addresses, institute prints and sends those
Comparison of Old and New Ms/
PhD Application Process
Figure 2: Ms/PhD application system before and
The main purpose of this project was to increase productivity, make life
easier, overcome the geographical distances, reduce the human related
deficiency, decrease the workload of units and decrease the load during
form submission. In fact, there is noteworthy decrease in workload and
improvement in process after automation of the Ms/ PhD application. Some
of these improvements are:
- Some of the processes are eliminated:
- Once data entered to the database by applicant, it has used by
all parties, so there is no need to enter the same data over and
- One copy of the application information already exists in the
system; so no more need to take and to check second copy of the
- Registration info is automatically created. So the enter registration
info process by register's is also eliminated.
- Closely monitoring process status:
Whenever information entered to the database; departments, institute
and registrars' office will be able to reach it, and they will be able
to follow up decisions of other departments on applicants. Following
the information of the applicants will be easier and more secure. Moreover,
applicant can follow up all steps and his/her last status.
- Overcome the geographical distance.
Being a web-based system, applicants do not have to come to the university
- Some of the processes are transformed from sequential to parallel.
- Reduced process time.
- Decreased human work.
- Reduced paper consumption.
- Speeded processes.
- Decreased queue during form submission.
The project will continue with thesis protocol entrance and thesis advisor
assignment, thesis jury assignment, thesis committee assignment, and integration
of this new system to the "Student Affairs Information System".