Sponsored Ad:
See the top rated post in this thread. Click here

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

  1. #11
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    41
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Sponsored Ad:
    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    When I am reading apps, many applicants list names that don't make any sense. Folks who have left or people who don't fit the research areas the students say they are interested in. I mostly ignore it, but it certainly doesn't help the application. My advice--if you really have a reason for wanting to work with a particular faculty member it's fine to mention. But trying to game the process doesn't work.
    Thank you for your input starz.
    If I mention one professor for the reason that you mentioned above but that professor happens to be leaving, would that lead to a negative impact on my chance of getting admitted?

  2. #12
    economist
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    571
    Rep Power
    10


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    I pay very little attention, so it wouldn't matter. Can't speak for what others do.

  3. #13
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    41
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    I pay very little attention, so it wouldn't matter. Can't speak for what others do.
    Thank you again.
    What would be the most important part of the statement then?
    Future interests? I feels like other than future interests the rest section is rather very general, talking about coursework and research experience?

  4. #14
    economist
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    571
    Rep Power
    10


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    To me, very little of the statement is important...but others differ.

    Talking about specific research you have done is sometimes valuable. If you have a credible reason for signaling that you would accept an offer to join the program, like "my husband will be a second year PhD student in microbiology at your University," that can help.

    This is also the place to explain something special that looks like a problem. For example, "You will see that I got B's in linear algebra my sophomore year. I was being treated for cancer. Fortunately, the treatment was successful and you will see that I got an A+ in real analysis as a junior." [Showing you have overcome the problem is important here. Otherwise, leave it alone.]

  5. #15
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    41
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    To me, very little of the statement is important...but others differ.

    Talking about specific research you have done is sometimes valuable. If you have a credible reason for signaling that you would accept an offer to join the program, like "my husband will be a second year PhD student in microbiology at your University," that can help.

    This is also the place to explain something special that looks like a problem. For example, "You will see that I got B's in linear algebra my sophomore year. I was being treated for cancer. Fortunately, the treatment was successful and you will see that I got an A+ in real analysis as a junior." [Showing you have overcome the problem is important here. Otherwise, leave it alone.]
    Thank you so much for your insightful advice!

  6. #16
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    69
    Rep Power
    8


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    We read the SOP to get a sense of your general areas of interest (so we know if you are a good fit with our department) and whether you can communicate clearly. No need to name professors.

    In many cases, naming professors backfires because three professors work in very different areas, or one is retired, or doesn't work with graduate students, or isn't research-active, etc.

  7. #17
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    60
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Just think about this: will they reject you if you don't mention at all who you want to work for? I guess the answer is probably no. I do agree that simply name dropping will make you look ignorant since you probably didn't read through carefully the research of the person you mentioned. Additionally, simply name dropping will take up space where you could have said more about your research interest. It would probably save you much more time by not including names of the professors.
    And also, I've heard that for top schools, they only care about your SOP once they decide to admit you.

  8. #18
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    9
    Rep Power
    1


    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    I pay very little attention, so it wouldn't matter. Can't speak for what others do.
    And what are your thoughts on reaching out to professors before the application expressing interest, asking whether they are accepting students or not and similar questions?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by mkumar49; 01-03-2019 at 11:29 PM. Reason: minor grammar error

  9. #19
    economist
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    571
    Rep Power
    10


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkumar49 View Post
    And what are your thoughts on reaching out to professors before the application expressing interest, asking whether they are accepting students or not and similar questions?
    Thanks!
    Please, please do not. All this shows is that you do not know how American economics departments work.

  10. #20
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,853
    Rep Power
    15


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Is it always better to mention specific professors in SOP?

    ^I don't think applicants should necessarily be dissuaded from asking such questions. After all, they're paying an application fee, and it's somewhat justifiable to ask such a question if there are only 2-3 potential advisors in a department. If an applicant wants to ask a professor personally about his status, and a professor is willing to respond, that's not a problem.

    But to the original poster of that question - it's important to recognize that most Econ PhD students start specializing in a field only after their 1st year coursework and qualifications, and build up their dissertation committee in their 2nd or 3rd year. If you reach out to a professor directly before applications, or before admissions decisions are released, your expression of interest will be regarded as very premature by most economics professors. This means you're unlikely to receive responses, and perhaps more importantly, it doesn't give you any advantage in the admissions process.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-28-2012, 02:50 PM
  2. Getting in touch with specific professors?
    By rvalchev in forum PhD in Economics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-06-2009, 09:06 AM
  3. Should I mention about that?
    By EconGrad08 in forum PhD in Economics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-06-2007, 10:08 PM
  4. Should LoR be specific written by specific prof. ?
    By Yalee in forum Graduate Admissions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-28-2005, 08:20 AM
  5. So should I mention the GPA or not??
    By gforce in forum Graduate Admissions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-15-2004, 05:30 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •