So, I'm heading out to see a school in which I'm very interested, meeting with the head of the department to talk about the program, my background, strengths and deficiencies, etc. I've done this before, and it seems to have worked in my favor (though it was not an official interview, I do interview rather well). I'm actually very excited, since this is my top choice for MA/MS programs, and I seem to already have a good report with the dept. head. My question is this: Is it a no-no to also directly contact heads of the labs I'm interested in working as an RA, or is that crossing the line when the school doesn't have a formal interview policy? I'm mostly concerned that I'll be going out there over fall break, and would like to find out if these professors will even be on campus. I also will not be able to make it back out there till some time next year. I also wasn't planning on wearing a tie, just a suit and dress shirt ... again, not a formal interview ... of course I know that on a regular, formal, PhD interview I'd dress as if it were an interview for a job (which is mostly is, anyway). But I wonder if it would be too formal to do so in this situation. I appreciate anyone's input!