On e-mailing Professors

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:45 pm

On e-mailing Professors

Post by aherring » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:44 am

Hello all! I am in the early stages of preparing my applications for the Fall 2014 Math PhD Admissions Cycles. I applied last year and struck completely out, so I am really doing everything I can to try and have a successful outcome this year. This being said, does anyone have any advice when it comes to e-mailing professors at schools where one would like to apply? It would be especially nice to hear from someone currently in a PhD program who may have e-mailed professors ahead of time and who might be able to speculate as to whether or not they believe this helped their outcome. Essentially I am wondering if it is a good idea to start e-mailing professors whose research interests me; will they find this obnoxious and unnecessary, or intriguing? Of course if anyone here NOT in a PhD program has any advice they may have received, it will be welcomed as well.
Thanks in advance!

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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:53 pm

Re: On e-mailing Professors

Post by boo78 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:52 pm

I'm currently applying. A good friend of mine who is a professor told me emphatically to email professors ahead of time, that name recognition is very helpful. Sure, a few might find it annoying just based on their personality, and that's a chance you take, but it's probably worth the risk. I got into grad school years ago without doing this, but this time I'm non-traditional and so I contacted the chair of the graduate program a year ago to discuss my chances, and he was very helpful and encouraging. He asked me to send him all my application materials and took the time to look them over and give me feedback. I have also just emailed another prof that my friend specifically recommended and am waiting for a response. My friend would say do it.

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