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do or don't: emailing current students and professors


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I am currently in the process of applying to several grad programs (but I am most interested in Harvard and Brown for their Film & Visual Studies and Modern Culture and Media programs, respectively).

I am wrapping up my applications and as a result I find myself panicking tenfold about every facet of my applications (anyone else out there do this too? haha). 


My question is this, what is the general consensus on emailing current students and professors during the application process? I had always assumed that was best to do if/after one had been accepted to a program...or that perhaps it was a more common practice for science students rather than humanities students. 


I want my applications to be as strong as possible and I'm not sure if emailing current students and professors will be an aid or a detriment to this goal. Does anyone have any advice on this topic? I would greatly appreciate any and all wisdom on this matter!!


Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read/respond  :)

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Hi OP! This subject has been discussed here in the forum many times, and as far as I can tell (I'm sure others will come to our rescue) this is a very field-specific matter. 


Would it be possible for you to also ask any of your current/past Professors? They might be able to give you valuable advice on this.


In my experience (I applied to Linguistics programs), e-mailing POIs beforehand to ask if they were looking for new students and whether they believed I was a good fit with their research interests turned out to be a great idea. I got nothing but positive replies, and managed to strengthen my relationship with many of them throughout the application process. 


Hope that helps - good luck! :)

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