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questions for grad school visits

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Hi all,

I'm visiting two of the MA programs in lit I was admitted to next week. I'm trying to bring a list of questions with me for my meetings with professors and, at one school, the director of graduate studies. I also have a TA-ship at both places so I want to ask general questions about how each TA-ship is structured, and in addition to talking to my specific interests with profs who specialize in those areas, want to find out things like:

- Is there support and opportunity for students to publish papers while in the program, or are papers written and revised with an eye toward publication as its ultimate goal? (I want to know if their students publish papers, even though I know that is probably very difficult to do in an MA program, and if they are taught how to do so).

- How much opportunity is there to participate in things like graduate student focus groups or clubs?

Do those questions sound reasonable, and what else would all of you ask?


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Hi Chanel: I think those are reasonable questions to ask, but you might want to think about asking a few more to help you decide between the two programs. One thing that has been important to me in both my MA and PhD programs has been the sense of community and collegiality among my cohort. You might talk with professors (and ask if you can talk with current grad students) about their view of collegiality. Also, you might want to ask about funding for professional conferences and if it is expected that you attend one or two conferences a year. You also want to ask about where the graduates of the MA programs go to after graduating. Are they going on for PhDs (and where) or doing something else instead? Good luck in your meetings.

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The director of the PhD program at my school put together a pretty comprehensive list of questions to ask, here's the link. He also suggested asking a current graduate student what the worst thing that ever happened to him/her in the program was (did a professor steal a student's research, etc.).

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I found the link contained within the quoted text to be enormously helpful. B)

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