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I am applying to a PhD program at my alma mater this fall, and I am trying to make my application as strong as possible. A friend who went through the program suggested that having people lined up to be on my dissertation committee before I applied would help my application.

I have a professor who has agreed to be my advisor if I am admitted, and another professor who has agreed to be on my committee if I am admitted.

I have a meeting with a third professor next week that I have never met before, but was introduced to by another professor. Aspects of his work are very similar to my interests, and I would love if he would be the third person on my committee, but I don't know how to go about asking if he would be willing when we meet.

Do you have any advice on how to approach this meeting and this professor? How much will having all three professors necessary for my thesis committee on board when I apply help my application?

1 Answer 1

Lining up the committee this early has definite disadvantages. Your area of research may shift as you learn more about it. The top professor in your field may join the department next year - you would have loved to have her on your committee, it if were not already filled.