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When to reach out to potential advisor for PhD application



I'm going to be applying to schools this December for PhD. I'm a bit confused on the whole process of reaching out to potential advisors. Some schools seem to encourage it while others seem to discourage it. It is my understanding that it is best to contact professors I want to work with before sending in applications, in case they are not accepting students. When is the right time to start emailing professors? I am thinking the sooner the better? Any thoughts?

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I suggest reaching out in August or September. October is also acceptable. Now is too early and they may not be sure of their plans for the next year. They also might not remember you by the time they begin reading applications. Note that some professors put on their website specifically not to contact them if you haven't already been admitted to the program. If this is not the case, then there's no problem sending them an email expressing your interest. Worst case scenario, they just won't reply. 

When you email them, make sure you attach your CV. If they like it, then this increases your chance of getting a response. 


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