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This is a good sign, right?


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So, I emailed a prof at one of the grad schools that I'm applying to. I basically just explained who I was, research that I had done, and my interest in his research. I also asked if they planned on taking on any grad students next fall. He replied with a very kind email, letting me know that if I wanted, he would be more than happy to tell me the titles of some books and articles related to my research topic. He said that he wasn't planning on taking on any grad students next fall, but was planning to in 2012. He gave me the name of another prof in the department that I might fit well well, and told me to get in touch with them as well. He finished up by encouraging me to still consider applying to the school, and telling me to just email him back or give him a call if I had any questions about the program.

This is good...right? He could have been like, "Sorry. Not taking on anyone next year." but he wasn't. Are responses that helpful and nice the norm?

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He sounds like an awesome professor - it's a pity he's not taking students for next year since he sounds like the kind of prof students would love to work with. It's good that he was helpful, but I don't know how much his email will necessarily help your application. It sounds like he is being polite and encouraging, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you will be at an advantage for your application. Perhaps he is on the admissions committee and will look out for your application, but that would be pure speculation.

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I emailed a professor at my absolute top choice school. It is one of the best in the nation for my field (top 3). I emailed him on a Sunday afternoon. He emailed me back within an hour! On a Sunday afternoon. Very nice note, would be very interested in working with me if I was accepted. He was the chair of the dept at the time.

I got a rejection letter from them in early Feb, so it wasn't even that they held my application for further evaluation.

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