Jump to content

Bringing up Correspondence with Potential Advisors in SOP

Recommended Posts

Just wanted to check with other applicants on here: is it OK/customary to write about your correspondence with potential advisors in your SOP?

My current advisor recommended I do this, but she hasn't been on an ad-com in a while, I think, so I was wondering if other people have gotten this advice.

I just don't want to come off as desperate or overly eager in my SOP! Any and all feedback is appreciated, as always. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't see why not.

To get accepted you probably need to get someone excited about your application and fight for you. If each professor chooses their own advisees you definitely want your app to go to the right people and not have the adcom guess. If admissions are department-wide and not advisor specific you still want to show you're a good match with the department and reminding professors that you've already had successful correspondence with them certainly shouldn't hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with fuzzy.

A point that you may hear frequently concerning applications is that you need to go where your interests will be served and your research will be able to thrive. Having departmental support will be key. If you've got a VIABLE person in mind and you've already touched base to affirm interest alignment (or, at least, viability), that shows the committee that you recognize that importance and can take steps to plan accordingly. Having been on an adcomm, I can tell you that unconfirmed/inept assertions regarding supervisors can induce groans. If someone says that they want to work with Prof. X, and Prof. X is retired (or something else that can be ascertained by looking at the faculty page or sending a single advance e-mail), then that's not good! Alternatively, if you say you want to work with Prof. Y, and the adcomm people know that Prof. Y is taking students or is a good choice given your interests, then that's good.

The one caveat that I would add, then, is to not overstate or misconstrue the correspondence. If you just touched base to confirm viability, then that's fine, say that. DON'T say, "Prof. Y has agreed to supervise me" if THEY ACTUALLY HAVE AGREED TO NO SUCH THING. It seems obvious, but I say this because, as is evident by the fact that you've put this query out there, it can feel insufficient to spend precious SOP space just to say "we're in touch". But it is worth it, as fuzzy said, at least for purposes of arguing a match of interests and helping the adcomm to "see" you in the department.

Link to comment
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.