I'm about to apply for a short "visiting and orientation program" at a large prestigious university where I may be interested in applying for graduate school.

This program lasts a couple of weeks and consists of

  • several courses that present the research done by every research group in the math department;
  • meetings with the faculty members and current students.

For the admission, I'm required to submit a statement of purpose.

Now, the scope of statements of purpose written for graduate admission is quite clear: they need to show research potential and experience in an area of interest.

However, I'm confused about what makes a good candidate for a PhD "visiting and orientation program".

That is, what kind of information, qualification, and motivations may admission committees be looking for in a candidate for such a program?

  • Can you say what country this is in? I've never heard of such a program in the US.
    – Tom Church
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


I speculate as I do not know the faculty and their philosophy. To my own experiences (PhD 20 years ago, and had some DBA students on my own before I went back to industry), I would suggest you differentiate between research potential and experience against "visiting and orientation". For an orientation program, ...

  • I would expect people to be open to all directions of learning, in our own as well as in different areas.
  • The ability to network,
  • ability for out-of-the box thinking,
  • ability for telling ideas but also listening.

Think about onion rings around the exploration of your topics.

How do you show those abilities? Examples from your life?

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