right way to mention professors in SoP

muke
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:26 am

right way to mention professors in SoP

Postby muke » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:06 am

Hi, all. I am planning to mention 3~4 faculty in my SoP to better describe my research interest, but they may have different titles. So which is the right way to mention them?

"University X's physics program has a very strong faculty involved in extensive research in GR and gravity. I found many of your faculty are working on topics that fit my interest well, such as __________________"

1. professor A, professor B, associated professor C and assistant professor D. (kind of redundant)
2. professor A,B,C,D.
3. professor A,B, associated professor C and assistant professor D.
4. A,B,C,D
5. something else?

Don't know how to be both respectful and succinct. This is in the first paragragh of my SoP, so I guess I really need to make it in a good shape. Is there any better way to state this?

Thanks in advance for your reply!

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: right way to mention professors in SoP

Postby TakeruK » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:05 pm

The direct answer to your question is that when you are using "Professor" as a title, like you are doing here, we do not distinguish between the different professor rank. So, Professors A, B, C, and D is correct. (Also note, the rank is Associate Professor, not Associated Professor).

However, the answer to your overall question "what's the right way to mention professors in SOP?", I would say that you should not start with this paragraph and that you should not just list all four professors like this. I'd say it's better to describe yourself first and then connect your interests to the professors later. Also, I would not list 4 professors (too many!) and instead, mention each professor in a separate sentence describing exactly what it is that you have in common. But I am sure there is more than one way to write a SOP!

muke
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:26 am

Re: right way to mention professors in SoP

Postby muke » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:26 am

Thank TakeruK for your suggestions. I also feel I'm kind of dropping names. Actually I am very new to the field I am applying to. I just feel three years in college is too short a time to experience and decide what kind of research I want to pursue in the future, so I am applying to schools where there are at least 4~5 people working on the topics I am interested in, just to make sure I have plenty of choice in the future.
So do you think I should choose ~3 or less out of them and then describe in seperate sentences or just say I am interested both in topic A( which covers 2 professor) and topic B ( which covers 3 professors), without mentioning their names?

Given that I don't have researches in common with any of them, I think mentioning only 2 or 3 may just narrow my options. But I have no idea how the committee would think of me if I only have a vague statement of my interest that covers so many faculty. Would they think this applicant fits our program well or this applicant doesn't even know what to do in the future?

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: right way to mention professors in SoP

Postby TakeruK » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:46 pm

It's okay that you don't know exactly what you want to do.

I don't think it's worth mentioning names just for the sake of name dropping. Have you contacted these professors? It might help you get a better understanding of who you might want to work for/with.

Also, good to keep in mind that you can frame the way you mention the name so that the 2 or 3 names you mention are just examples of people you want to work with, not a complete list.

muke
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:26 am

Re: right way to mention professors in SoP

Postby muke » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:59 am

TakeruK wrote:It's okay that you don't know exactly what you want to do.

I don't think it's worth mentioning names just for the sake of name dropping. Have you contacted these professors? It might help you get a better understanding of who you might want to work for/with.

Also, good to keep in mind that you can frame the way you mention the name so that the 2 or 3 names you mention are just examples of people you want to work with, not a complete list.


Nope. I didn't contact any of them. One of my friend who is also applying this year sent many emails to professors, only got a few answer saying something like "I think you have a strong profile/welcome to apply". So I just went to their websites and arXiv to see whose researches are compelling.

I just wrote in my SoP a general interest/curiosity about gravitation and cosmology, without mention any professor. Don't know will this vague description hurt my application. :(




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