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Mentioning Affiliate Faculty in SOP -- Yes or No?

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Hi all,


I am applying to PhD programs in sociology. A few of the programs I am applying to have affiliated faculty in related disciplines (e.g. public policy, education) that I am really interested in working with.


In describing my fit within the department in my statement of purpose, is it acceptable to mention a faculty member that is merely affiliated with the department, but not necessarily a full member of that department? 


Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Edited by langston
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This is one of those things that depends on the department's culture. In some departments, affiliated faculty are very well integrated and participate in department life. In others, not so much. Sometimes it even depends on the particular individual in question. I'd first try and find out if the faculty member you want to mention appears to work with students in your prospective department. If you know anyone you can ask, then I'd ask more generally about the department's culture. If students work with this professor, then it's likely that they will have conference presentations or papers together with the prof that you can find on their CVs, or that you'll see mentions of joint projects in the department's newsletter (if they have one) or on their website. You could also try emailing a few current students to ask about this. I'd start by asking about the facts ('do students work with Prof. X?') and not the why (if not, there is probably some amount of politics involved in this, and people might not want to share that with strangers). If you do choose to mention affiliated faculty, I suggest doing that only after discussing at some length the core faculty and how they could support your research, and mention the affiliated faculty as a secondary reason why you are interested in the school.  

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