Graduate Admissions Interview Questions

Graduate Admissions Interview Questions


Insightful questions are one of the best ways to convey a deep understanding, and this is no less true when it comes to a graduate admissions interview. In contrast to a traditional professional interview, a lot of your one-on-one time with faculty will actually be you asking questions about their research and the department. What you choose to ask reflects a lot about you and your interests. If you’re looking for information on what you’ll be asked, read our page on what to expect at a graduate admissions interview.
There will never be a one size fits all set of questions because each program is different and each advisor/department has a unique amount of information they’re willing to share online. You absolutely need to go through the department and faculty webpages before attending a visit weekend or interview, if only so that you know what information is already readily available. At that point you should have a good idea of what isn’t available that you need or want to know.
Below is a list of sample questions to ask when face to face with a professor at a graduate admissions interview. Please remember that these are just suggestions, and that you should tailor your list of questions to your special circumstances. The list below is comprised of questions that you should know the answers to before accepting an offer of admission, and they are also questions that will make you look knowledgable and mature to faculty members.

 

Questions for Faculty

How many students are you accepting this year?
What upcoming research projects do you foresee a graduate student like myself working on?
What the average time to graduation for your students?
Do you prefer a hands on/off approach with your graduate students?
Are you looking for a student to start research right away, or after qualifying exams?

 

 

Questions for the Department

What is the qualifying exam procedure and timeline?
What is the procedure for acquiring an advisor? (If you don’t already have one)
 How difficult is it to get nearby housing?
Does the department offer grants for conferences?
What’s the protocol for teaching assistantships?
Is funding guaranteed and if so for how many years?
How many students fail the qualifying exam?

 

 

 

 

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Can I Turn Down An Interview?

December 25th, 2016

Yes. But you probably shouldn’t turn down a grad school interview. Next question…… Not a satisfying answer? Ok, we’ll elaborate. Note: If you want to attend, but have ...

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December 13th, 2016

Grad school interview conflicts are a great problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. The first time you get an interview invitation, it’s incredibly exciting. Then ...

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December 24th, 2016

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If you haven't heard back from graduate school admissions yet, does it mean you're rejected?

I Haven’t Heard Back Yet, AM I REJECTED?

December 23rd, 2016

For most applicants, the blissful few weeks after applications are submitted is a gift. Finals are over and you have a week or two away from work and ...

Subscribe

Trending

You CAN Get Into Grad School With Low GRE Scores

June 19th, 2016

  Grad School With Low GRE Scores? Yes! We’re going to try and convince you that you can get into graduate school with a mediocre GRE ...

GRE Words

How Many GRE Words Should I Learn?

May 10th, 2016

Learning GRE words can be a daunting aspect of your study program. It’s about practicing questions andlearning material, which is a process that can takes weeks, months, or even years. This ...

Graduate Admissions Interview Questions

Graduate Admissions Interview Questions April 6th, 2016


Insightful questions are one of the best ways to convey a deep understanding, and this is no less true when it comes to a graduate admissions interview. In contrast to a traditional professional interview, a lot of your one-on-one time with faculty will actually be you asking questions about their research and the department. What you choose to ask reflects a lot about you and your interests. If you’re looking for information on what you’ll be asked, read our page on what to expect at a graduate admissions interview.
There will never be a one size fits all set of questions because each program is different and each advisor/department has a unique amount of information they’re willing to share online. You absolutely need to go through the department and faculty webpages before attending a visit weekend or interview, if only so that you know what information is already readily available. At that point you should have a good idea of what isn’t available that you need or want to know.
Below is a list of sample questions to ask when face to face with a professor at a graduate admissions interview. Please remember that these are just suggestions, and that you should tailor your list of questions to your special circumstances. The list below is comprised of questions that you should know the answers to before accepting an offer of admission, and they are also questions that will make you look knowledgable and mature to faculty members.

 

Questions for Faculty

How many students are you accepting this year?
What upcoming research projects do you foresee a graduate student like myself working on?
What the average time to graduation for your students?
Do you prefer a hands on/off approach with your graduate students?
Are you looking for a student to start research right away, or after qualifying exams?

 

 

Questions for the Department

What is the qualifying exam procedure and timeline?
What is the procedure for acquiring an advisor? (If you don’t already have one)
 How difficult is it to get nearby housing?
Does the department offer grants for conferences?
What’s the protocol for teaching assistantships?
Is funding guaranteed and if so for how many years?
How many students fail the qualifying exam?

 

 

 

 

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