Research Programs & Contacting Faculty

  Researching Programs 

  • Determine which aspects of a graduate program are important to you
    • Example: Start date, advisor, size of program, location, cost of living, proximity to family
    • Discuss these topics with current grad students for additional perspective 
  • Nearly all grad programs have websites with key information – read it thoroughly!  
  • If you need clarification about general program information, email the graduate program staff or administration  

    Reaching Out to Faculty 

  • Etiquette for the timing of introductory emails to faculty varies by field
    • Reaching out after you have applied is more widely acceptable than doing so before applying 
  • If you know someone who can introduce you to a prospective PI, ask if they would be willing to do so 
    • Ex: a faculty with whom you have done a semester of undergraduate/volunteer research may be able to introduce you to a collaborator at a different university  

  Introductory email suggestions

  • This might be your first impression with the faculty – make it count! 
  • Leave no doubt that your email is genuine! Faculty typically receive and delete many copy & pasted prospective emails per week 
    • Write a specific subject line 
    • Introduce yourself and clearly state your timeline and intent to apply to grad school 
    • Mention details of the PIs work, such a recent paper, and how it relates to your interests 
  • Proofread several times  
    • Make sure you have the correct faculty name in your email and spell it correctly! 
    • Ensure there are no typos or errors in your message