Is it recommended to refer to research done by specific faculty members in a department in the SOP for graduate school admissions?

Does it not imply that you are interested in their research ONLY and thereby reduce your chances in case they don't have funding or had already other applicants/students who wanted to work with them?

If it can be beneficial, how can one address specific faculty research without limiting the audience of their application to them? (More specifically, consider physics PhD programs in US).

  • 3
    See my answer to a related question.
    – JeffE
    Dec 9, 2013 at 4:57
  • Thanks @JeffE. I read your answer once again. Please correct me if I misconstrue your answer. Is it recommended to explicitly mention the faculty members' papers which I have read before or I am currently reading?
    – trxw
    Dec 10, 2013 at 7:03
  • 1
    I don't think just mentioning papers is particularly useful; anyone can use Google to get a list of titles. But including a few sentences about why a particular faculty member's papers or research program is relevant to your own research interests is definitely worthwhile.
    – JeffE
    Dec 10, 2013 at 12:33
  • Invaluable +1 @JeffE
    – trxw
    Dec 12, 2013 at 7:21


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