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SOP: Knowing graduate programs' attitudes??


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I am in the process of applying for MPH programs and have read on several forums that graduate applicants should find out what the attitude is of the particular program they're applying to: ie - do they have a pet methodology? What is their attitude toward collaboration, innovation, quant/qualitative research? Do they emphasize teaching or not?

But how?

Where should I look to find out how the program "works" and therefore be able to describe how I would fit into that program?

I've read professor profiles and have started reading some their published articles, but what else should I be reading?

Should I be talking to anyone within the dept?

How do I find out if I would fit into the dept well or not?

Thank you for you help!!

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It may be helpful to also look at what kind of work the programs' current students are doing. Can't really answer your question, but I just thought I'd stress that it's great you're reading the professors' work. Doing so will give you a better idea of what kind of methodologies they like, what kind of discussions they find valuable, etc., and will allow you to speak more comfortably and fluently about your proposed research in your SOP. Keep at it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I sent a couple of feeler emails to the DGS's at the schools I was interested in. Each email was tailored to the school - explaining my interest in their program. I also provided them with my GPA's and GRE scores. This might open some doors for you to have the kinds of conversations you're talking about. If the profs don't have the time or inclination to talk to you, ask if they can provide you with the email addresses of some current students. This can be very valuable to you - these are the folks who recently applied and successfully at that!

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