Importance of Faculty in Graduate Student Recruiting

Graduate student recruiting is different from bachelor’s level recruitment. There is no set graduation date and often finding time to intern while completing their program is difficult. If you want to recruit PhD and/or MS students, faculty are the key to your success. Following graduation, approximately 70% of graduate students will find a job due to the input of their faculty mentor. Here are a few steps that will help your solidify your relationship with the faculty, and in doing so, the graduate students.

Identifying research alignment

The best way to identify your ideal graduate student candidate is to first identify which faculty is doing research that is relevant to your corporate research goals. Coming to campus and having a series one-on-one meetings with faculty members is the best way to start. Often times the faculty member will bring their graduate students to the meetings and you can start to get an idea of the quality and style of work that is being done by each team. Once you’ve identified those faculty members that are doing work related to your corporate interests, you then want to solidify this relationship by sponsoring their research or exchanging ideas for future collaborations.

Sponsoring Research

Once you’ve identified the faculty member that has research in alignment with your corporate interests, one good step is to fund a multi-year research collaboration. Sponsoring their research ensures a solid relationship with the faculty member and when the time comes for their graduate students to move into industry, they will remember your company and will be influential in persuading the students to join. It is an easy way to differentiate yourself from the competition.


Fellowships are another good step in establishing a great working relationship with faculty at UCSB. They are similar to scholarships in that you identify top students that you think would be ideal candidates for your company, then sponsor their work for a year or more. However, fellowships have the potential to foster a long-term relationship with the student if you maintain it. This is an excellent way to assess the ability and expertise of the student while positioning your company as the obvious choice for employment following graduation.

Thinking long-term

Graduate student recruitment is not a seasonal endeavor nor is it a quick and easy process. If you want the best candidates for the position, it is ideal to plan well in advance. Work with faculty and solidify these relationships. Once you have this strong relationship, it can present a constant stream of potential graduate candidates for years to come. 



If you have any questions or would like to schedule an info session,

contact coecareerevents [at] engineering [dot] ucsb [dot] edu or 805-893-5544.