Following some tips about graduate study, I have contacted the professors before the admission cycle, and managed to secure some appointments with them. I have read through their publications that match my research interests, and prepared some brief write up about my research experiences (though I had sent them my CV beforehand).

I am just confused about what I should expect from such meetings. To be frank, do you think to impress them to the point that they agree to accept me is a feasible thing? Or I should aim for something simpler, like maintaining relationships with them through this semester?

2 Answers 2


I endorse such meetings, but keep them brief. Prepare a couple of questions, not too many, listen to them talk about their research (and maybe their graduate program), thank them, and get out of their hair.

I don't know what "maintaining relationships with them through this semester" means, but unless it involves you having something to offer them, or having particular questions which are uniquely important to your case, and whose answers can't be determined by looking at the department's website, then I recommend against it.

Good luck to you.

  • 1
    Hi, thanks for your comment. So, could that imply that to contact the professors in person before the admission to increase the chance is just a myth? Says, if he "likes" me, can he do anything at all to interfere with the admission process? I am talking about the graduate programs that do not require contacting the home faculties. For the ones that require, I assume that such meetings is a must
    – Silentio
    Aug 10, 2013 at 16:39
  • 1
    I don't know whether it's a myth or not. Individual professors certainly can influence the admissions process, but generally choose not to, unless there is a very particular and specific reason. Also, I'm not aware of programs that require such meetings, which suggests that maybe your corner of academia is far from mine, in which case please take my advice with a grain of salt.
    – Anonymous
    Aug 11, 2013 at 15:51

As a rule, I think such meetings are a bad idea. At a minimum you should go in with no admissions agenda. If you are interested in research and only research I think the meeting will go well. But if your real agenda is to help the admissions process, they will read through the facade and probably be annoyed.

  • 1
    exactly what I have been pondering on. Thanks.
    – Silentio
    Aug 10, 2013 at 14:43

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