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Meeting with Professor on Friday


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Hello GradCafe,

I accepted UCSD's admission offer ~1 month ago and I'm very excited to attend.


Before accepting UCSD's admission offer, I spoke with a professor on the phone about the program. He invited me to come to UCSD to speak with him in person, visit his labs, and meet his other graduate students. He also invited for me to join his lab (although he cannot offer funding. I said this was perfectly fine). This professor is well-published, and his current research projects are very interesting. I meet with him on Friday.


This is not a formal admissions interview, and although there is no pressure since I'm already admitted, I still want to show that I am interested and competent. I'm tempted to ask questions such as, "Can I use the research in your lab towards my thesis?" or "How many hours/week do you expect for me to be in the lab?" but I don't know if these questions are insightful or rude. Which questions should I be asking?

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I don't think those questions are rude, they are pracitical. You might want to phrase the first one in a different way, such as, "are there any projects going on in the lab that I can be involved with?" Just straight out asking to use archival data for your thesis is a bit pushy. Get involved in a project and then that might lead to something coming out of it that is related to your thesis.


Remember, this is a 2-way relationship, it's not just about impressing your supervisor or making him happy, this is about your career too. You shouldn't fee bad asking pragmatic questions that affect your thesis or your work schedule.

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