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how to ask hard questions during the campus visit

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If I were to go through this process again, I'd ask:


To the DGS/Chair:

1.  How many students from your program are currently on the market?  Of those, how many have received academic job offers? (R1 schools are basically done hiring, so while some students will still get VAPs and LAC positions, the best batch of jobs have already been allocated).

2.  What % of your students who have been on the market in the last couple years have rec'd TT jobs?

3.  Do you offer summer funding?

4.  Do you offer paid semesters/years/summers for me to work on my own research?

5.  Can I take dept funding abroad (i.e if I need to do fieldwork?)

6.  How many student/faculty coauthored pieces of come out in the last couple years?

7.  Does the department provide incentives for faculty/student collaboration/coauthoring?

8.  What is the average time to completion? 


To the POI(s) you want to work with:

1.  Tell me about your students (or some such question to gauge how well they're able to talk about the students they advise.  Iif they can't say much or just speak in generalities this will give you an idea of how actively involved (or completely not involved) they are with their students.

2.  Are you taking new students? (could be applicable if the POI is pretty old)


To the current grad students:

1.  Ask if faculty are helpful/good mentors

2.  Ask how prepared they feel to go on the market

3.  If you have kids, try to track down students with kids to see how well they manage family/student responsibilities in the dept 

4.  Ask if grad students are treated as students or future colleagues by the faculty.  Different depts manage this differently.

5.  Ask if the dept provides opportunities for students to workshop their own work with other students/faculty.


Off the top of my head, I'd ask these.  If I think of anything else, I'll add!

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