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Do universities usually invite two people who want to join the same lab to a graduate recruitment even?


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I've been invited to an interview at a University for graduate studies. I was wondering if universities will invite two people who want to join the same lab during the same graduate recruitment event?

I'm asking because the 20-something of us who will be going to visit the school during the graduate recruitment weekend have been introducing ourselves via email. There was an email from someone who sounds like they may be wanting to research the same things as I do and that makes me nervous.


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All the programs I know do not admit by faculty interest. Interests change, as do labs' space for students, so it is impossible to predict how lab choices will turn out. Therefore, it's a useless factor for admission decisions.

That said, if you convey interest in only one or a few faculty at a particular institution, and it is likely none of them can take on students for the coming year, you will probably not be admitted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think it depends entirely on how the program is run. At once place I interviewed, I was directly admitted to a certain lab that was only taking one student. But keep in mind that even if the other person is admitted over you, they might choose a different school and leave the spot open for you. On the other hand, the program I ultimately chose to attend has lab rotations and doesn't require first-year PhD students to officially join a lab until the end of the first year. I met somebody at the recruitment weekend who wanted to do the same kind of research I do, but she and I ended up joining two different (but similar) labs. I wouldn't sweat it; just let the chips fall where they may.

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