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Contacting potential advisors-MA


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I'm applying to four MA programs in biological anthropology to start in Fall 2014. I've contacted the professor that I'd like to be my advisor at each school, but two of them have not responded and it's been a few weeks. Maybe a few weeks isn't anything to worry about and they'll respond eventually? But if they don't, is it a waste of my time to apply to those two schools? If the professor isn't interested in me at all, I don't want to waste my time applying to their schools. 



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I have run into the exact same problem.  The advice I have been given is that if they don't reply, try sending a really polite follow-up that includes the original message and reiterates your interest.  Sometimes professors are too busy to respond, the emails get caught in their spam folder, or they simply forget to reply.  I actually just sent follow-up emails today.  Hoping I hear back.


I think that if I don't get a response, I'm still going to try to apply to my top choice.  If it's not your top choice though, and you don't get any response from potential advisors, might be worth considering not applying?

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I asked my thesis advisor, and he said it'd be good to wait two weeks before you send out and reminder email but that you definitely should! He explained that often times they get so busy with emails that they'll get lost, so don't worry too much.

Once they get to know you, I'm sure they'll be better at replying.

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  • 2 months later...

I had some POIs respond to my e-mails over a month later, so don't give up hope!!

Also, one of my profs from my undergrad said that even if they don't respond, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. She told me that sometimes she'll forget to respond to an applicant, but when she gets their application, it will jog her memory. She'll remember that they e-mailed her and showed interest and that will be a definite positive. So even if they never respond, it doesn't mean you won't get in! Lots of professors are flaky and forget to respond to e-mails. 

Good luck!

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