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Emailing professors after the application is submitted?


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Okay, so I submitted all my applications within the past week. Should I email the professors I'm interested in, saying, "hey, I submitted my app, I'm serious about this! Don't forget about meeee!"?

There are a few cases that I'm not sure about:

- One professor told me that he doesn't have any say in initial admission decisions. Is it worth it?

- There are like two professors who might remember me anyway, and MIGHT look for my app. Should I bother? (One would probably remember me better than the other, since I've seen him more recently.)

- There's also another professor who I never contacted and isn't my prime interest, but I mentioned him in my SOP. Should I send him one anyway? "Hey, I never contacted you, but I'm interested"?

Oh, yeah, and if anyone has any idea about what exactly should be said, please chime in.

Thanks!

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Okay, so I submitted all my applications within the past week. Should I email the professors I'm interested in, saying, "hey, I submitted my app, I'm serious about this! Don't forget about meeee!"?

There are a few cases that I'm not sure about:

- One professor told me that he doesn't have any say in initial admission decisions. Is it worth it?

- There are like two professors who might remember me anyway, and MIGHT look for my app. Should I bother? (One would probably remember me better than the other, since I've seen him more recently.)

- There's also another professor who I never contacted and isn't my prime interest, but I mentioned him in my SOP. Should I send him one anyway? "Hey, I never contacted you, but I'm interested"?

Oh, yeah, and if anyone has any idea about what exactly should be said, please chime in.

Thanks!

I would not recommend doing that. If they had asked you to tell them when you submitted your app, then you could do that. But if you contact them without such "invitation", that may come as awkward. If you contacted them before the dedline, they already know that you exist. If you mentioned them in the SOP, they will be reminded about your existence by ad coms anyway.

There are some old threads on this forum where people discussed this issue and the consensus was that once you submitted your apps and until schools contact you one way or another, sending letters to POIs is probably not a very good idea.

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interesting... i wonder what folks have to say about this.

i've thought about contacting profs, but i decided just to be cautious and not contact them after submitting. i'm banking on any good impressions i made with them before i applied.

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For better or for worse, I sent e-mails to all of the professors with whom I had some sort of interaction during the application process. I don't think it did any harm, because all of the professors I e-mailed had encouraged me to apply to their programs. However, I would not send a long e-mail. I made sure I replied to the last e-mail I had received from each professor, so that they could scroll down and be able to put everything into context when they see what our previous emails were about.

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okay, thanks. strangefox, I remember which thread you're talking about, but I couldn't find it, and I couldn't remember what people said! And it's one of those issues where I feel like I've gotten a lot of conflicting advice, so I've always been confused about this.

Edited by katerific
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okay, thanks. strangefox, I remember which thread you're talking about, but I couldn't find it, and I couldn't remember what people said! And it's one of those issues where I feel like I've gotten a lot of conflicting advice, so I've always been confused about this.

I guess your course of action should depend on how much you have been in contact with the profs and how long ago. If you exchanged only a couple of letters two or more month ago, contacting them out of the blue would seem strange, I guess. But if you had an intense correspondense with them and sent/received the last letter only a couple of weeks ago, then why not. In that situation I guess I would contact them again. May be... Yeah, this is a really complicated issue. :unsure:

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this is something that falls along the line of 'user preference'. that is to say, do whatever you feel like as there certainly is no fixed norm regarding this. i talked to few profs in a couple of schools before applying but didn't make any contact during and after the application process. one of those schools has invited me for interview next month. and am waiting to hear from the rest (their deadline is coming up). so in essence, it is quite important to make the first contact and inform them of your existence but latter encounters might or might not be so important - based on how you look at it.

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really, the heart of the issue is that it could go two ways:

1. "Oh, that dude/chick!" (a good reminder, hooray!)

2. "Oh.... that dude/chick." (basically what musicforfun suggested)

I mean, some professors really could have forgotten, and might not make the connection that this person who wrote the SOP is the same person that he talked to a few months ago (especially if he got a lot of emails from people). I mean, that's what I imagine could happen, but I don't know (thus, the thread!). But at the same time, I don't want to come off as desperate.

But bhikhaari has a point that this part probably doesn't matter as long as contact was made prior to the submission.

Hmm, I'll think about this a bit more, but I might just refrain from emailing them (and hope they remember).

oh, also,

Then again' date=' I am from the Old World and we are cute but awkward over here.[/quote']

laugh.gif

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I don't think it looks desperate at all. Almost all the professors I was in contact with said things in our email correspondence like "Keep me updated on what you're doing" and whatnot. I actually picked up a nice achievement in between the time I had corresponded with them and when I actually submitted the applications about 1-2 months later. So, I used that as my pretext for sending them one final email. Nevertheless, it was very brief... basically, "Prof. So-and-So, I am writing to let you know that I decided to apply to xxx U. and have submitted my application. I also wanted to thank you for taking the time to correspond with me and I look forward to a decision on my application."

Now, if the professors didn't leave the kind of opening for further communication mentioned above, then it could go either way. The first example given by the OP seems to be a situation in which you would not benefit from sending another email. IMHO, if you had good contacts with the professor, I don't see anything wrong with dropping them one final, brief email.

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I think it depends. If, say, you have been going back and forth with a professor for some time and the professor seemed eager to take you on as a student if you did apply then I don't see anything wrong with giving them a heads up that you have submitted your application. If you didn't have much contact with the professor, then I suppose contacting them out of the blue would seem weird.

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I remember several similar discussions when I was applying last year. It's clearly a touchy subject. I didn't contact professors after I submitted applications, with one exception, (UW), where you get "accepted" to the University, and are then encouraged to contact/contact again anyone with whom you are interested in working in order to see if they will agree to fund you. Professors from the other schools actually contacted me to see if I was still interested in their research/school. In my experience (and by that I mean I'm speaking specifically of my field) it's very uncommon to accept someone outright. Once they decide that they want to accept you, they basically feel you out to see how likely you are to accept before formally offering an acceptance.

In hindsight, I think the main reason I didn't contact them after applying was because I couldn't come up with a way to email them without sounding desperate! So, if you can come up with a tactful way to say you're still interested, I don't think it would be a bad thing.

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....with one exception, (UW), where you get "accepted" to the University, and are then encouraged to contact/contact again anyone with whom you are interested in working in order to see if they will agree to fund you.

NCState is making me do this. so, did you end up contacting profs at UW? Or went with others that made you offers? At this point, one school has invited me for interview and am sure others will do the same in the near future (their deadline isn't even close). And I am not sure if I really want to pitch my case and make all the effort. Suggestions?

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The best thing is not for you to contact professors, but for one of your letter writers or professors to put in a phone call on your behalf. Seriously, it's all about who you know not what you know.

Count: If only more people knew this and used this fact to their advantage...

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NCState is making me do this. so, did you end up contacting profs at UW? Or went with others that made you offers? At this point, one school has invited me for interview and am sure others will do the same in the near future (their deadline isn't even close). And I am not sure if I really want to pitch my case and make all the effort. Suggestions?

I did, and was successful, although there were professors with whom I wanted to work, who were not accepting any students due to lack of funding. In the end, I ended up not choosing UW, but I'm glad I made the effort, because at the time I really hadn't made my decision. Honestly, after all I went through to get the applications all set, contacting the professors and interviewing over the phone was the simple part.

My suggestion: if you know you'll be accepted at other places that you would prefer, then it's probably not worth the effort. However, if you're not sure you'll be accepted at a place that you'd prefer, it's probably relatively minimal effort to contact the professors now compared to the work that you've already put into it!

Good luck!

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When adcom committees are meeting? I just think you are playing with fire with a POI who you don't really know, even if you have had some decent email correspondences with them. I had some amazing pre-submission interviews where I was contacted again by POIs and really encouraged to apply and let them know if I needed anything else along the way. A simple, "Thanks so much for everything. I am currently working on completing the application. I appreciate all your time and information in meeting with me" was the last contact I had with even the best prospects. They'll see your application, and if the meeting or talks were that great they will remember.

1) Not contacting them won't hurt.

2) Contacting them is a gamble.

I hedge with #1.

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A simple, "Thanks so much for everything. I am currently working on completing the application. I appreciate all your time and information in meeting with me" was the last contact I had with even the best prospects.

This is exactly the kind of note I thought we were talking about sending. I would definitely not send another e-mail with the intention of starting up another conversation. Just a quick thanks and letting them know you did apply...

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This is exactly the kind of note I thought we were talking about sending. I would definitely not send another e-mail with the intention of starting up another conversation. Just a quick thanks and letting them know you did apply...

I think you're missing the point--do not contact them after you have submitted your application. But it seems like you really want to and you probably will anyway.

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I think you're missing the point--do not contact them after you have submitted your application. But it seems like you really want to and you probably will anyway.

Is that "the point?" I think the jury seems a bit mixed. Again, if you received only one terse reply from a professor than you probably shouldn't even bother emailing them one more time. However, if you exchanged a couple of messages both ways with a professor, who definitely showed interest in you and/or your work, then I don't see anything wrong with emailing one more time to say something very brief like:

Prof. xxxx,

I just wanted to let you know that I have submitted my application to your program and thank you for your assistance. I look forward to a decision on my application.

Regards,

Xxxx Xxxxx

Of course, others do not agree with me, but, again, I think it depends largely on the number and nature of your previous communications with each professor. However, I should also add that I am in History and it appears that different fields, even within the Humanities, have different expectations and protocol on these kinds of matters.

Edited by natsteel
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I strongly agree with the statement "It's not what you know, it's who you know". That is exactly how I got my job as a research assistant with the professor of my dreams at the school of my dreams. I am sure many other people have anecdotal experiences as well with this saying.

I think if you have met the professor, or you have contacted them before about your interest in their work, and they have responded favorably, it would be appropriate to send an email stating "I appreciate you meeting with me (or discussing your research with me via email) and I have submitted my application. Thank you for your time".

I encourage this because, (again anecdotal experience) during my application process I contacted professor X and told them how interested I was in their work, I luckily lived in the same state, and they invited me to meet up with them and discuss their research and me applying to graduate school.

During my application process however, my materials (ETS score) did not get their on time and I was therefore removed from the applicant pile. Professor X later told me how disappointed this made them because they thought I had not applied at all, and was therefore not that interested. They encouraged me this year, (after i have been working with them for 2 years) to email specific faculty members I have had contact with and just say basically-thank you for talking with me, I have submitted my materials. Keep it short and to the point but do not have the intentions to start up another conversation.

I received this advice from my boss who is the program director as well as they are a chair for the adcom. So take the advice or leave it.

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Look, if you want to email them then go for it. It's your application and your situation, right?

The email I was speaking of was sent at the end of October, not after the application had been submitted. I met one professor face to face, had wonderful email exchanges, a lot in common, met with a couple other faculty at the school via their recommendation. I still wouldn't have contacted them again. That's me. It just kind of wreaks of those students in undergrad who show up at every office hour in hopes of trying to wiggle their A- to an A. But I'm just one person.

Edited by musicforfun
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Look, if you want to email them then go for it. It's your application and your situation, right?

The email I was speaking of was sent at the end of October, not after the application had been submitted. I met one professor face to face, had wonderful email exchanges, a lot in common, met with a couple other faculty at the school via their recommendation. I still wouldn't have contacted them again. That's me. It just kind of wreaks of those students in undergrad who show up at every office hour in hopes of trying to wiggle their A- to an A. But I'm just one person.

I think it's a completely different dynamic and shouldn't be compared to undergrad situations. The grad school admissions process is highly competitive and professors know that. I think they also want to know that you're genuinely interested in their program, especially those not at top 10 programs. Obviously, if you lack tact than, like a previous poster said, extended communication could be disadvantageous. But I don't think most professors are turned off by a student showing real interest in their program, especially one with whom they have traded multiple emails and/or met in person.

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I had one prof who I met with in August who said I should let him know when I applied so that he could look out for the application. I did. I haven't sent any other such post application emails, but I don't think that it necessarily hurts, at least the prof will remember your name which I don't think is a bad thing. Of course it all depends on the strength of your application.Just don't be a sycophant or expect a response.<br>

Edited by newms
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