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Applying to Grad Schools in Dec/Jan visit them now?

  1. Jul 23, 2013 #1
    I haven't take the PGRE yet, but would it be beneficial to me to visit institutions I would be interested in now to get my name out there? Or is this unheard of / faculty has no time?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2013 #2


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    The summer before the final year of undergrad would be a great time to visit because in most cases students don't have a lot on their plates (at least relative to other times of the year) at that time. The story might be a little different when you've got three assignments due and the GRE to study for and a job and ....

    Remember, the main purpose of visiting a potential graduate school is so that you can make the assessment as to whether that school will be the right fit for you.

    Going a little earlier will give you time to mull over what you saw, the interactions you had, read up on any projects that you might discuss, and generally sleep on the decision well before anything is due.

    Yes some professors will be busy. Some will be away. But that will always be the case.
  4. Jul 23, 2013 #3


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    Well, it is a legitimate deficiency of visiting outside of the designated visiting times. It seems during the visiting days, professors make the effort to have open office hours, give presentations on their research, and generally not be in another country at a conference if they can avoid it. From my own experience, visiting Caltech and seeing that virtually none of the professors in the area I was interested in were there basically immediately crossed the school of the list. Not only does it mean you have no real idea what to expect, but it does reflect on the student/professor relationship.

    Fortunately, it's very easy to e-mail the few professors you may be interested in (as well as the department liaison person who coordinates graduate student affairs) and check what kind of accommodations can be made.
  5. Jul 24, 2013 #4
    I think this is especially the case during summer terms, given that not all profs get funding to conduct research during summer terms and take the opportunity to travel/conference/stay at another institution or lab.

    It sounds like just the right time to speak with actual grad students though, since they'd be less occupied with courses + studying for quals etc., so you'd be likely to catch them with a little more free time on their hands than usual.
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