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Signature for school email

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Just curious....do you include a signature in your school email? If so, what is the convention? What information do you include (dept name, your title, address, etc.)? I have seen several types of signatures and wonder which is most appropriate.

Edited by Charlie808

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Same as Eigen.

I wear different hats so to speak (grad student, tutor, lab manager), so I tend to customize my signature to the situation, that is if I'm emailing a potential lab assistant, or a student asking for tutoring, etc. Otherwise, I either sign off with just my first name, or my full name.

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I have a generic signature only with my student (.edu) email account that is automatically attached to the end of my emails. Something along the lines of:

BrokenRecord

M.S. Candidate, Exposure Sciences

University of Washington School of Public Health

Seattle, WA

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It's pretty standard to include a signature that states the following:

Your Full Name

Master's or PhD Candidate, Program of Study, Expected Graduation Year (Optional)

Name of University and Graduate Program

Email Address

Other Contact Information (Phone, Web Address, etc.)

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Thanks for your input. I like all of your ideas. I normally don't put a signature in my email either but have seen quite a few students in my cohort do so, and it made me wonder if I should be do something similar.

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Just remember that you should not put "candidate" until you actually are one.

Your committee usually raises you to candidacy following approval of the prospectus for your Thesis/Diasertation. Before that, you're a PhD Student, not a PhD Candidate.

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I also do the same as Eigen. It's just me, but I think signatures in emails from people I know make the message seem overly formal. Personally, I'd expect to see one if e.g. the Registrar's office is letting me know that my transcript is ready for pickup (for example), but not if it's a colleague asking about a study group or a prof letting us know when the class times are.

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Eigen raises a good point about the difference between PhD Student and PhD Candidate in the signature. However, I think it's totally fine for master's students to use the "candidate" in his or her signature since program lengths are generally much shorter (less than three years).

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I don't know as much about masters programs, admittedly, but even though the program is short, it was my understanding that the candidacy period was still a defined, but shorter, period. The programs I'm familiar with consider the student advanced to candidacy after the completion of most of their coursework and any comprehensive/cumulative exams.

Especially for correspondence within your school, I would be careful about labeling yourself a candidate if you aren't sure you are. It can cause people to assume you're in a different part of a program than you are, or if it's someone who knows where you are, it can seem pretentious. Especially since your transcript from the registrar's office will either list you as a candidate or not, you usually want to match what they say.

I do agree that it's not as important for masters students, though.

It does make me shake my head when I see first semester PhD students with "candidate" in their signature, though.

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It's pretty standard to include a signature that states the following:

Your Full Name

Master's or PhD Candidate, Program of Study, Expected Graduation Year (Optional)

Name of University and Graduate Program

Email Address

Other Contact Information (Phone, Web Address, etc.)

this is my signature

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I use one when I'm teaching with the following format:

rising_star

Instructor, ABCD 1234

Dept Name

Email address

Office Location; Office Days and Hours

I find that it helps with student questions since they'll often ask questions, which I answer, and then send another email asking if they can come to my office hours.

For the rest of my correspondence, I write a signature as needed, deleting from the above signature.

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Do you put what lab your in within the signature? Also what do I put for department/specialization, i'm in psychology but my focus is cognitive neuroscience. 

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Is this fine?
 

Austyn X. XXX, MA, MSED
PhD Student, University of XXX
Department of Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience
XXX Laboratory 
 
Edited by Austyn

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@Austyn that looks like it should be fine––email signatures vary by type of major, school, and department; if your lab makes up a large component of what you are doing for your degree, then it can be helpful to have that information there.

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I would sign ''candidate'' not ''student'' if you are in Canada. Unless your university works differently. 

Where I am, in Ottawa, there is no such thing as a difference between a ''candidate'' and a ''student''. The programs are not split into different parts. You do the classes, the research, the lab, the teaching, the writhing when you can (everyone was a different schedule, you do a lot of things at the same time). You do not call yourself a ''candidate'' only at the end, when you are suppose to defend, but all the time. 

Also, if I see ''student'' instead of ''candidate'', I will ask myself the question: ''Is this person doing a masters that is class bases (no research that leads to a thesis), just classes and small projects... or does this person really mean ''research based thesis''...

But both should work if everyone remembers that not all universities work the same way and make a distinction between ''student'' and ''candidate''. 

Edited by Mina_Nature

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Not all Canadian universities work the way Ottawa seems to, and even at Ottawa there are program based differences. The Chemistry department at Ottawa (and most of the rest of the sciences), for instance, has a comprehensive exam that marks advancement to candidacy- so a chemistry PhD student using "candidate" at Ottawa during the first few years before they pass the comprehensive exam would be using it improperly. 

McGill certainly has advancement to candidacy/candidacy exams in a number of departments. 

This also might make you re-think how you read "student" relative to "candidate", since you may well be mis-interpreting people at your own school outside of your department. 

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The preferred format here is

--
name, masters degree if any
professional position at the university if any
Doctoral Student - department
university address
university name
Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx

 

The 'Doctoral Student' part gets changed to 'PhD Candidate' after completing qualifying exams, I tend to use '--... ...--' instead of '--', as it is the morse code abbreviation for 'best regards'

 

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20 hours ago, Eigen said:

Not all Canadian universities work the way Ottawa seems to, and even at Ottawa there are program based differences. The Chemistry department at Ottawa (and most of the rest of the sciences), for instance, has a comprehensive exam that marks advancement to candidacy- so a chemistry PhD student using "candidate" at Ottawa during the first few years before they pass the comprehensive exam would be using it improperly. 

McGill certainly has advancement to candidacy/candidacy exams in a number of departments. 

This also might make you re-think how you read "student" relative to "candidate", since you may well be mis-interpreting people at your own school outside of your department. 

I was going to write something similar. Also, it really doesn't matter if you are a class-based Masters or a research-based Masters student when it comes to "Student" vs. "Candidate". In my field, in Canada, most Masters students (whether class or thesis based) will introduce themselves as "I'm a 1st/2nd/3rd year MSc student" (or they might omit the year altogether). Usually they say the year though because there's a pretty big difference between a first year MSc student (who would have just started months ago) and a 2nd year MSc student (who is likely applying to PhD programs right now). But if they were being formal on a signature, I think MSc Candidate is more common than MSc student (although as I first wrote years ago above, signatures aren't very common anyways). It doesn't really matter if you are thesis or class-based Masters student, you are still a Candidate for a Masters degree, so MSc Candidate is equally valid for both degree programs.

In almost all PhD programs in my field in Canada, there is some candidacy-like exam partway through, and that's where you can distinguish between "student" and "candidate". However, that said, most students don't write these super formal emails prior to reaching candidacy, so you see a lot more "PhD Candidate" than "PhD Student" in emails. Furthermore, I think most people in my field will use the title that's relevant to the email. So, when I was a student and I was writing in my role as a TA, I would put that as my title (although not to my students, since they would know I'm their TA....but perhaps to the university's Teaching Centre or something). If I was writing to another researcher in my role as an RA, I might write "Graduate Research Assistant" as my title.

Now, as a postdoc at a non-University institution, I make my signature more academic sounding when writing to scientists (e.g. my title is XYZ Postdoctoral Fellow) and I use my official job category/title ("Research Associate") when writing to Human Resources or other corporate/business departments in my organization.

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On 2012-09-02 at 8:23 PM, prettyuff1 said:

 

 

this is my signature

That's also my signature. 

 

Full name, S.W. (I am a registered social worker), title, program, university, email address and phone number.

Edited by Adelaide9216

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Mine only includes my name, pronouns, and phone number. If I am cold-contacting someone, I will include the necessary relevant information in the body of my email (e.g., year, program, and university)

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I have my MA from a different school than where I'm doing my PhD. Does it matter if I include that or not in my signature? How might I indicate it?

Using one of the templates provided above, I could do something like:

Name, Masters of Arts  University of MA School
Instructor of Stuff
Doctoral student- department
PhD University address
PhD University name
PhD Phone

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Honestly, I think shorter signatures are in general better. Why does anyone need your snail mail address in an email signature?

Also, are you currently employed as a (ranked faculty) Instructor in addition to being a student?

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