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What do you ask about when a department calls you?

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No, but seriously.  I know there's tons of things you need to know as a prospective attendee at a school, but when a program notifies you of your acceptance and then immediately asks you if you have any questions about their program... what do you ask about?  What are good things to know?  What are bad things to ask?


I am TERRIBLE at the phone thing as it is, and I just don't know what the protocol for these things is.  Another program e-mailed me, then said they'd call tomorrow so I could ask questions, and I'd really like to not repeat my "well, I'm sure I do have Qs, but I'm stunned and can't think of any right now!" performance.


Any tips? What do people usually ask about/what does the prospective need to know?  And importantly, what should I NOT be asking... XP


I know there's another Decisions forum for this, but I figure the Lit questions probably don't have much bearing on questions you'd ask another department.

Edited by kalliel
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davis & UCLA, i presume?




a couple of potential questions you may want to ask (unless they've already been covered):


  • who would be your faculty advisor if you accept?
  • what's the anticipated size of the incoming cohort/how does it compare to recent cohorts?
  • will they be having a welcome weekend so that you can see the campus/sit in on classes/meet your potential fellow cohort members?
  • what sort of funding package do they anticipate they'll be able to offer?


i'd also ask about any extracurriculars that might interest you in particular.


*shruggles* hope this helps!

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I'm glad someone asked this. Not that I'm expecting any phone calls, but I'm terrified what I'd say if they do call. I feel like I should keep my notes on the programs with me at all times so that I can say "Oh! University of Freedonia! Yes! Yes! I'm so glad you called! I would be happy to attend because I'm such a big fan of Professor Harpo's paper on the strategic use of silence and bicycle horns in subverting ideological state apparatuses." Instead I'm probably just going to say "THANK YOU! NOW GOODBYE!"

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Another good question to ask is what the atmosphere in the department is like among PhD and or Masters students (depending on your program). Some schools are pretty laid back and some are pretty competitive. Also if you don't have an adviser right out of the gate ask about how competitive it is to get advisers in your department. The last thing you want is to go to a school where the people you thought you'd get to work with are already overloaded with students and can't take you on.

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When the DGS from Delaware called about the MA, I definitely didn't have any questions prepared (though I wasn't expecting the call at all - esp. since it was 9 PM). I basically just listened to the information he gave, expressed my interest in the program, thanked him for the offer, and when he asked about questions I did say that I know that I will have a lot of questions that I can't think of at the moment, do you mind if I contact you later?


It ended up working out really well, and I dug deeper into the intricacies of the program, came up with a list of questions and sent them, and then he called me to go through them.


I wouldn't worry too much about it if you blank on questions (the questions people suggested above are excellent ones to ask though, and ones I did end up asking). I think it's good to do a bunch of your own investigating and then be able to ask really specific questions, so that you get the clearest answers possible.


Congrats on your acceptances!!!

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