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SOP - mention some classes I would like to take?

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Working on improving my SOP for a PhD application and showing "fit" with the school/program. Do you think it makes sense to list a few graduate classes that I'm excited about taking at that university? I'm wondering whether this might show I've done some homework and have given some thought as to my PhD path at that school. In addition, does anyone list laboratory facilities, etc that you're excited to have access to?

I did this with my M.S. application a few years ago, but was wondering what the general consensus is for PhD apps...


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I wouldn't talk about classes. The PhD program is about research. Show that you are a good fit for the program by discussing how your research interests and goals mesh well with research currently going on in the departments to which you are applying. I'm not in your field, but I think that would naturally include the facilities you need to do your work.

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I would not mention classes either. I learned the hard way that most department's "list of classes" is not complete nor up to date. There are many schools with classes listed that have not been taught for 5, or even 10 years! In addition, a piece of advice you'll get if you're in a research focused PhD is to spend as little time as possible on classes and emphasize research, if you want to continue in academia. I'm not saying that you should just barely pass, but if it takes X hours to get an A-, and it would take 2X hours to get a A+, stop at the A-. From what I've heard, B+/A- seem to be the range to aim for!

As for facilities, I always mentioned the telescopes that each school had access to in my SOP because that's what I want to do in my research!

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I think it can differ depending on your field?

I actually got an advice from my professor that it could be a good idea to mention few classes that you would like to take.

This is what he said: "I’d suggest listing a few courses/subject areas of theirs that you’re interested in studying. That’ll show that you understand their program, and it’ll keep your interests from seeming too scattered"

My field is Communications, and I'm applying for PhD programs.

Edited by morningdew
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