How many interest emails (Ph.D in Counseling and Clinical applications)?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by da3mite, 09.21.14.

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  1. da3mite

    da3mite 2+ Year Member

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    Hello,

    I am currently finalizing my list of schools I would like to apply to, including the professors I would like to work with.

    I see a few other threads on this topic but I have yet to find a (moderately) solid answer to these questions for emailing professors with interest before application:

    1. Should I send an email to at least one faculty member from each school?

    2. Is it a bad idea to send more than one to each school (unless there is overlap in research between the same-school professors)?

    Thanks!
    Michael
     
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  3. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I think you essentially have to send an email to everyone you're interested in applying to work with. People go on sabbaticals, move, retire, etc., and if you don't check you might be wasting an application. Applications can be expensive (app fee, sending transcript, sending GREs, time taken to make the applications, etc.) so in my opinion, as a professor, these emails are totally fine (unless the professor posts on their web page that they are or are not taking students).

    I would only send to two people if the areas really overlapped, and I'd tell them both about the connecting interest. It's hard to gauge that part of the dept culture without being there (e.g., where I am, it is super common for faculty and students to collaborate across labs and areas, but this is very much not the case at some programs).
     
  4. ddsooner

    ddsooner 2+ Year Member

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    MCParent has a good point-- it definitely wouldn't hurt to e-mail professors with whom you're interested to work, just to be sure they will be around or accepting new advisees. Some programs might not require you to apply to work with specific professors, but it still might be helpful to make some contact with a potential advisor.
    However, you may not get a response from some--which I wouldn't take personally. Shooting an e-mail to the TD might be helpful too. In the end, though helpful (and probably wise), e-mails aren't completely necessary. I don't remember making contacts to the various programs/people to which I applied and still received a number of interview invitations.
     
  5. Rose Tyler

    Rose Tyler 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with both above. One thing to keep in mind is not to email professors to ask if they're accepting students when that information is openly available. Some schools list the professors who will be accepting students on the website. Make sure this information is up to date, though. One of my prospective schools listed my only POI there as not accepting a student for the 14-15 academic year so I emailed her to ask if she'd be accepting a student next fall and she said yes. Even if the school doesn't have a list, some professors state on their lab or faculty website whether they're accepting students. That being said, I've seen some schools explicitly say to email professors that you're interested in working with, even though a couple of them also have lists of accepting faculty.

    I don't see anything wrong with emailing more than one professor at an institution. I emailed three at one only to find out that two of them were taking students and one wasn't. Only time will tell if it works out all right or not.
     
  6. da3mite

    da3mite 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone! It's all incredibly informative.

    One last question: When I email these faculty members, how much of my credentials should I include? I was thinking about leaving the email relatively concise, so I would only mention my undergraduate institution and current research status. However, should I include my GPA/other credentials as well? Or would that come off as vain?
     
  7. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    Definitely keep it concise. I wouldn't get into credentials, but it seems appropriate to mention your undergraduate program and briefly describe research you are doing, folks you are working with and possibly the direction you'd like to take it in graduate school. Mostly just because you probably don't know this person and asking "Hi - are you taking students next year? Bye!" without any way of introduction is highly questionable.

    Ask questions if you have them, but save the credentials for the application process - it won't make a difference anyways if you send them now (its not like faculty will only reply if your GPA is over a certain number) but does risk irritating them.
     
  8. mewtoo

    mewtoo 2+ Year Member

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    Would attaching your CV to the email be a bad move, then? I always thought attaching and mentioning you did so just in case they would want to see it was ok.
     
  9. psycscientist

    psycscientist 5+ Year Member

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    Unlikely they will have time to look at it. Faculty get bombarded with emails around this time. You will attach your CV to your application, so they will see it then.
     

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