Contacting a professor prior to applying

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Contacting a professor prior to applying

Post by beetsbydre » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:24 am

So I was looking at potential research advisers at different institutes. From current graduate students at my school, I got the idea that I should not be contacting professors before being admitted to the program unless I have a very specific question about their research. I came across this one professor and I am really interested in working with them and their website says the following:

"Students interested in joining the Imaging and Computing group for a Ph.D. thesis must formally apply to a graduate program. In addition, it helps if you signal your interest to in October or November of the year preceding the start date."

Does this mean that this professor is encouraging applicants to email them prior to applying? I don't want to jeopardize my chances of working with them and I don't want to annoy them so I was wondering what this forum thinks about email them. Sorry if the answer is in plain sight and I sound paranoid :roll: I would still appreciate your input

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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:31 pm

Re: Contacting a professor prior to applying

Post by biomath18 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:43 pm

Yes, definitely reach out to that professor!

In general, I emailed professors at about half the schools I applied to, which resulted in a phone call/skype with about half of those. The other half told me to contact them again if I was admitted. I think reaching out was either positive or neutral. However, when I visited the schools on admitted student welcome visits, I then realized that emailing professors was unusual.

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