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Mentioning Professors Outside of the Department


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I am applying to Stanford and in my SOP, I am mentioning 4 professors that I am very interested in working with.Three of these are within the department I am applying to, whereas one happens to be outside of it. However, due to the inter-disciplinarity of my research interests, their work falls within the realm of what I would like to do. Do you think it is a bad idea to mention professors outside of the department you are applying to? I don't want them to think: "If he wants to work with Prof. ___, why doesn't he just apply to ____ department?"

Thank you for your help!

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I did the same thing, IMHO it shows you're thinking bigger picture by wanting to work with professors outside the dept (this probably depends on the field of study). From what I gather, at least in my field, profs are working on more interdisciplinary teams these days...

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I had a similar angle with my UCLA application. There's a social psych prof there, whose work on relationships is fabulous. I made sure to distinguish between profs I'd like to mentor me and profs I'd like to collaborate with. I don't want a social psych PhD, so I mentioned that I wanted to pursue a PhD in quantitative methods twice.

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I did the same for one of my schools but was told to make sure that the professor has some connection to your program of choice. It would probably enough if he teaches a class that you are eligble for or has collaborated with faculty in the program etc etc. If not then I would not mention it - for all they care the professor might as well be at another school.

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