Jump to content
IRgrad2012

List of Questions to Ask at Admit Days

Recommended Posts

First off, congratulations to all on the great outcomes I've seen on the board over the past few weeks.

Since Admit Days are coming up, I thought we could collectively brainstorm some "must-ask questions" - including those to ask to both admissions departments and current students. Also, for anyone who has been through the admit days already, any tips or advice?

A few admit day questions to start:

  1. (Asked to a current student) What is your usual schedule? Describe your day.
  2. What is the student-professor ratio?
  3. How accessible are facility outside of class? How difficult is it to get face time?
  4. How would you describe the student-faculty relationship?
  5. What is one thing about X school you wish you knew before you arrived?
  6. How easy is it to get funding for extracurricular activities? (E.g., are resources available to start a club, put together a dinner with a guest speaker, attend a conference?)
  7. (Asked to a current student) Where do you think X school could improve? What has been the most frustrating thing for you while at X school?
  8. (If applicable) Can you describe the RA/TA positions available? How do students pursue these opportunities? Are they competitive?
  9. Describe some of the weekend adventures/trips that students go on together.
  10. What fields/topics/concentrations are perceived as "strong" or "weak" within the school?
  11. What would you say the most popular class at X school is?
  12. Do you have any difficulty in registering for a class? Is class registration competitive?
  13. Since you have been here, has a class ever been canceled/not offered for lack of enrollment or lack of faculty?
  14. (If applicable) What are some examples of research that current students are working on?
  15. Are students competitive with each other?
  16. How much do grades matter?
  17. (Asked to a current student) What event at X school has been your favorite so far? Who was the best guest speaker at X school this past year?
  18. (If applicable) How difficult is it to find housing? Where do most students live? Average rents?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Can you survive without a car?

2. What is placement after grad school like (where do people go)?

3. Do you have time to take interest classes (such as a ballroom dancing class or something else)?

4. Make sure to ask professors what they like about the school. They often have interesting and enlightening responses.

I also found it helpful to gauge the interactions between students in the program, although I felt a community was really important for me. Maybe it is less important to other people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's one thing that I've found disturbing but none of the schools' marketing language has addressed.

I'm dying to know what the story is with all of these "unemployed or not seeking employment" grads you see in the employment outcome statistics. It's a distinct category from "pursuing further education." Are these people not seeking employment because they're all waiting on security clearances? How many of them are just unable to get a decent job after one of these elite degrees?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm dying to know what the story is with all of these "unemployed or not seeking employment" grads you see in the employment outcome statistics. It's a distinct category from "pursuing further education." Are these people not seeking employment because they're all waiting on security clearances? How many of them are just unable to get a decent job after one of these elite degrees?

I take the employment stats with an extremely large grain of salt, because as far as I know those are all self-reported. As in, X amount of people copped to not having a job, but what actual percentage is that of the graduating class? There's usually no category listed of "non-reporting", and stats are usually percentage-based with no mention of number of respondents--they're designed to showcase what sectors/firms their graduates enter into, without revealing how many of them are still looking for work. They're a decent metric for looking at the focus of school curricula (grads tend to go private/NPO/public) but not for employment rates.

For the OP, most of the questions I had thought of and a lot that I hadn't are covered by your list--I'm very impressed!

I would also ask:

1. What support is there for internships? Do schools directly arrange internships or keep a clearinghouse? Are there scholarships available for summer internships?

2. How do you find the student community? Are graduate student clubs/orgs active? Do you interact with your cohort much outside of class socially? Do you have the time for a social life?

3. How often do you find yourself in a class with undergraduates (excluding language classes)? Do you feel that detracts from the experience, or did the professor manage the balance well? How did they keep the course challenging for graduate students?

4. How many students leave graduate school without finishing? Do you keep statistics on why they don't finish?

5. How many 2nd-year funding opportunities are there? What percentage of your students work on campus as TA/research assistants?

Share this post


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.