I am on the waiting list for a Ph.D. program I applied to. I sent an email indicating that the program in question is my top choice and that I am interested in discussing my qualifications.

In reply I received an email asking whom I see as potential advisors.

The reply also indicated that the department is looking in to some of the issues I discussed in my application, and that there are multiple things to consider including how well research interests match, funding and time constraints.

I've set up a meeting with the person to discuss these topics. I've already updated my list of potential advisors, but there was not sufficient time to contact them.

How should I prepare for this meeting?

1 Answer 1


For each faculty member you would be willing to accept as an advisor, know at the abstract level what their recent papers are about. Search for grants they just received to determine what areas they may be hiring in.

In the meeting, express enthusiasm for all of these subjects and describe how your background prepares you to work on them.

It sounds like this department has space in only one or a few research groups. You have no way of knowing which group(s) that is. If you want to get in, you should market yourself as suitable for as many groups as you can. It is normal for the openings available to vary by chance and for you to have no information about it; much is left to chance in graduate admissions.

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