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Ppkitty

Whether to contact POI for Masters?

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Hi everyone! Does anyone have any advice about if it is good, bad, neutral, etc. to contact a faculty member of interest for a Masters program in Psychology? (Especially if that program offers guided study or a thesis?) Obviously there are many more MA applicants per year to a given program than PhD applicants, and I would understand if a faculty member would be annoyed at receiving inquiries from a Masters hopeful.

In general, I would like to ask faculty I am interested in whether:

  • they will be teaching the year(s) I plan to attend
  • whether, in their opinion, I am a good fit for the program (given attached CV)
  • whether they have any current or former students I could reach out to for more information

Please let me know if you think this is overkill! I just don't want to waste an application on a program only to find out that I was never a "good fit"

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I think it's overkill to ask about fit and send them your CV but that might just be me. If I were going to write to someone as a prospective MA student planning to do a thesis, I'd express my interest in their current research and possibly ask about upcoming openings and projects in their lab.

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3 hours ago, Ppkitty said:

Hi everyone! Does anyone have any advice about if it is good, bad, neutral, etc. to contact a faculty member of interest for a Masters program in Psychology? (Especially if that program offers guided study or a thesis?) Obviously there are many more MA applicants per year to a given program than PhD applicants, and I would understand if a faculty member would be annoyed at receiving inquiries from a Masters hopeful.

In general, I would like to ask faculty I am interested in whether:

  • they will be teaching the year(s) I plan to attend
  • whether, in their opinion, I am a good fit for the program (given attached CV)
  • whether they have any current or former students I could reach out to for more information

Please let me know if you think this is overkill! I just don't want to waste an application on a program only to find out that I was never a "good fit"

I don't know how psych works, but if it the MA programs anything like Chemistry or the life sciences, then it would actually be in your best interest to reach out to them. However, do not ask them whether they think you are in a good program (that is the job of your counselor or advisor) or send them your CV. Also, if you are looking at the schools program itself, and it isn't explictly explained online, then call/email the schools dept. and not a faculty member. The only time (at least in my field), you contact the faculty member is if you want some information about them explicitly (i.e. is their lab accepting new students, do you want to join their lab, etc.), you should not contact a faculty member for general questions. In regards to my field, if you contact them regarding joining their lab, if they do plan to only be there for a year, they will tell you. My PI used to get very annoyed when people would send her, instead of the department, general emails regarding programs and whatnot. 

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