I`ve had my phone interview followed by a campus visit for a tenure faculty position. I was wondering if anyone has an experience as for when references are usually contacted?. This is in reference to universities in the U.S. Thanks,

  • 5
    My (top 5 CS) department automatically contacts referees for all assistant professor applicants as soon as they apply. But practices vary significantly by field. What's yours?
    – JeffE
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 2:32
  • I have recently been offered a more or less equivalent position to assistant professor ("lecturer") in the UK. My references were contacted after they unofficially made me the offer. The official offer will be made after positive reference letters have been provided.
    – Miguel
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


In my experience, with universities that are often considered to be among the top 50 institutions in North America, referees will be contacted prior to a campus visit. Often times the decision to invite someone for a campus visit is expensive - time and $$$ - and universities/departments use as much information as they can get beforehand to decide on inviting a candidate for a visit.

  • Thanks. I agree. They really spent a lot of money on my visit and this is one of the best programs in my field in the U.S. I`m going to follow up with my references to know if they have been contacted. But at the same time some departments contact the references only after the campus visit. I also heard that some universities contact references after they made the offer.
    – Change
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 23:43
  • Are you not being reimbursed for the cost of your visit?
    – Thomas
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 23:44
  • 1
    @Change, most places will obtain references ahead of time when they are recruiting for a starting position (Assistant Professor, for example). When recruiting a more senior candidate for, say, a full professor position there may be some reasons to delay the reference request.
    – GSat
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 3:28
  • @Thomas. I didn't pay anything. The University made the flight reservation, hotel, meals, car and trip insurance and car insurance. Any other expenses that came up, they will reimburse. I still didn't send the receipts for the small amounts because they paid a lot of money already.
    – Change
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 23:14

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