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Contacting my advisor

Shelley Burian

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I am entering an art history graduate program (track PhD) and am wondering is it is appropriate to email my advisor (at this school you are only admitted if you are selected by the person you want to work with so I already know who she will be) about classes and RAing for her. I don't want to be annoying and know that we will have a formal meeting when I arrive at the school in late August, but I'm really excited and interesting in starting a dialogue with her before then. My biggest worry is making sure that the relationship starts on the right foot.

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I don't think there's anything wrong or annoying about contacting your advisor with a brief email saying that you are/have accepted the offer of admission, and are excited to work with her in the fall. To start a dialogue, you could reference some of her recent work (theres a lot on this forum about contacting faculty before applying, consult those threads for ideas on your email.) I would use this reference as an "I admire what you've done" piece rather than a "I want to keep doing that" piece, since faculty interests can change.

At this point, you may not get much of a dialogue from her, if she is like most faculty during the summer!

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