How to decide whether to attend an open house?

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How to decide whether to attend an open house?

Post by hopefulastro » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:13 pm

I've gotten some offers of admission for Astronomy/Physics PhDs and have consequently signed up for 5 open houses so far. I recently got another offer from a school that is slightly lower on my preference list: UMass Amherst. I anticipate that I'll end up deciding between OSU and Penn State, but I realize that things could change after the open houses, and it's possible that I could fall in love with an unexpected program (like UMass). As far as research goes, there are a few profs who I’d be interested in working with at UMass, but as of now I’m definitely more excited by the research at 2-3 other programs.

So my question is - how do you know whether or not it’s worth it to attend an open house? If I attend, it’s also a lot of traveling. I would then have an open house every single week beginning next week and lasting through the end of March, which would include 4 different trips to and from the east coast (I live on the west coast). If I don’t go, I’d have a week break in the midst of the traveling, but I might also have fomo.

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Re: How to decide whether to attend an open house?

Post by Nishikata » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:27 pm

Maybe first check with the university whether your labs of interest participate in the open house. Also check the agenda of the event, how much can you expect to find out? Is it only general information lecture, or a lab visit is possible?

Also, list down what you want to find out from the Open House event.
Try some google search and emailing them, see if you can find out these without attending the event.

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