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Thread: Visiting schools and contacting professors

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Mystic, CT
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    Visiting schools and contacting professors

    Hi all,

    Given my work schedule last summer/fall (12-hour days, gah!) and my wedding in November, I was unable to go to any open houses or school tours. Most of the schools that I'm applying to don't have official tours anymore. However, since I've moved and started working remotely, I have a lot more flexibility to visit schools and contact professors.

    Of course, I know that since all of my schools have January application due dates, that the admissions departments and professors are probably quite busy. Does anyone have any advice as to how I should go about visiting schools and contacting professors without being too much of a bother? As of right now, I'm planning on contacting professors whose work I've read about to discuss their research and emailing the admissions departments to tell them I'm visiting / ask for anything special I can do on my visit.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2005
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    American Riviera
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    Hi there, I donít see anything wrong with it. The admissions departments should be happy to find someone to give you a tour, or give you whatever help they can, they want to make a good first impression as well. If the professors have no time on the days you will be visiting, they will let you know, but they can generally find a few minutes to discuss their research. Good luck!

  3. #3
    This happens all the time. Go for it. It might also be a good idea to contact the Admissions Coordinator for the department. Outside of open house, there would be the occasional email sent out on the department's listserv asking for volunteers to host potential applicants from out of town.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2011
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    Mystic, CT
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    Thanks, terraplnr and OfficialPlanner!

    Now that I've turned in all my applications, I'm excited about having time to contact professors and discuss their research.

    This is going to make me sound like an awful brown noser, but I was wondering how much difference it makes in the admissions process for students to contact professors--is it something that most people do (for the more theory-oriented schools, at least)? If so, maybe I'll plan the order I contact professors more strategically/on a schedule--if not, I'll just contact them in the order of "I want to learn more about such-and-such"-ness.

    Thanks again for your tips/advice!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    May 2008
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    North America
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    I have an affiliation with MIT. If you're truly interested in their program then it's extremely important to meet with a few professors and discuss your goals and expectations. (Tip: most MIT profs have more free time during the January intersession.)

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