- 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