Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I have received some contradictory advice regarding whether I should mention professors in my SoP.  I know that mentioning a few professors can be risky, but I was trying to mention professors who may share my research interests as a way of showing my "fit" and explaining why I chose that program. Of course, I am aware that my fit is mainly signaled by my research interests, but I wanted to say something about the department and program/why I am applying there. I would like to hear your opinion on this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think mentioning particular faculty members you want to work with shows that you have done your homework on the department and chose to apply to it based on some degree of fit. The downside of course is that you don't know a lot of things - you may mention somebody who is about to retire or move or be denied tenure, or simply not taking new doctoral students for whatever reason. Because of this, if you do list faculty members, make sure it will be three or four professors. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm listing one professor who I've gotten in touch with and heard that they're willing to potentially supervise and I say that I can envision them as a potential supervisor. I then list 1-2 other profs whose interests would also be supportive and just put that in there to show that I've done a little research on the department as a whole. 

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advice from a faculty member at Stanford: mentioning 3-5 faculty members and briefly addressing their work and your interests at the end of your SOP. To him, it is a must when he reads applicants' SOP.     btw, he also told me if you cannot list out 3, it probably means this school does not fit you well. 

 

dont just put one or two. As posts above said, we are not sure if they still take students or not. So 3-5 is much safer (its extremely unlucky if none of them takes more students)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that mentioning a few is good practice!

+ If you have time, it's worth it to look up what is said of them (what they are known for) and to perhaps listen to one of their interview or to read one of their non-academic publications. It shows what they do and what they are invited to speak about, which is not captured easily by their CV's list of publication.

Last year, I mentioned a professor very well known for statistical analysis to illustrate my motivation in formal theory, because I had noticed that he had published about formal models once. The faculty probably thought it was weird that I would pick him for formal theory and not stats, and in a way it revealed that I had done my homework but had no real familiarity with their work in the bigger picture. I think that I could've easily found out about my mistake if I had even just read their wikipedia page.

It won't be a red flag if you make a similar mistake, but it won't hurt to double check if you have time. Don't panic if you haven't done it though, looking at their list of publication or so is sufficient to ensure they are at least relevant to your SOP! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.