Visiting Advice

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Visiting Advice

Post by YellowXDart » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:48 pm

I'll be visiting ASU next week, and I thought it would be helpful to get some advice from others about what to expect as well as pass on some advice that my professors have given me.

First off:
From those of you who have visited schools before, what should be expected? Will professors expect you to be well acquanted with their research or the way the department is run? What sort of clothes should be worn (formal or casual)? Any specific questions you feel should be asked or avoided?

From my professors:
If you're a female, make sure you find out if the department is female friendly. One professor mentioned that the University of Washington has a lot of inter-departmental conflict that can often affect grad students on a private level, if not a professional one, so it might be useful to ask other grad students if there are any (unfriendly) rivalries in the department.

It has also been discussed on this board that occasionally departments will force students out after completing only a Masters so they can use them as TAs without having to fund them through a PhD. It would be smart to ask other grad students about this issue as well.

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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Visiting Advice

Post by geshi » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:20 am

Everything I could possibly say is summed up very nicely at the bottom of this page: ... chool.html

Scroll to the bottom and there's a section on "Visiting Graduate Schools." I asked most of the questions on that list, and I found it to be extremely helpful. I visited a school, and I just wore what I would normally wear (for me, jeans a t-shirt). No one seemed to notice or care as most of the current students and faculty were wearing the same thing.

About your last question regarding forcing people out with a masters just so they have the TAs: I would ask about qualifiers. I asked both students and faculty about the difficulty, how many people passed them, etc. That is somewhat of a more subtle route (for the school I visited, I wasn't really concerned about it that much). If you're really concerned about it at a specific program, you could take a more candid route with the students and ask directly if that happens.

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