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Is it okay to email another POI?

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psychick

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I've been emailing POIs for programs that I'm applying to this year, and the professor from my 1st choice school replied that she wasn't accepting students this year. However, she will be part of the interviewing committee, and will help the admissions committee make their selections for the incoming class. Based on the Insider's guide, I understand that it isn't be advisable to email 2 POIs in one department because they might both be offended if they found out, but since professor A already informed me that she wouldn't be taking in students, would it still be not okay to email professor B (who almost has the exact same research interests as professor A)?

On the other hand, professor A has been very supportive in her email, saying that I was a competitive applicant and giving me advice on how to strengthen my application more, and offering to answer any more questions that I might have. I could very well establish a good relationship with her, but then again, she's not taking in students. hm?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

psychanon

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The Insider's Guide says not to email more than one professor because they might get offended? Why would they get offended? That's weird. I can just envision a faculty meeting where a tweed coated professor says "This applicant Jane Smith just emailed me, she looks great," and the another professor spits out his coffee, saying "Jane Smith? But....I thought..." whiping tears away from under his half- glasses.

I think the one potential issue is if the two professors have widely disparate research interests... saying your interests are a strong match for X and then switching to saying your interests a strong match for Y sounds fishy, like you're not really committed or haven't really thought things through....but that's assuming that their interests are different and that they'll actually remember you, etc.
 

myelin

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The Insider's Guide says not to email more than one professor because they might get offended? Why would they get offended? That's weird. I can just envision a faculty meeting where a tweed coated professor says "This applicant Jane Smith just emailed me, she looks great," and the another professor spits out his coffee, saying "Jane Smith? But....I thought..." whiping tears away from under his half- glasses.

:laugh:
 

psychick

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The Insider's Guide says not to email more than one professor because they might get offended? Why would they get offended? That's weird. I can just envision a faculty meeting where a tweed coated professor says "This applicant Jane Smith just emailed me, she looks great," and the another professor spits out his coffee, saying "Jane Smith? But....I thought..." whiping tears away from under his half- glasses.

I can see your point regarding the impression one might make in emailing 2 profs with completely diff research interests, and I might have interpreted the text wrong, but this it what it says verbatim, "...most faculty (ourselves included) have a negative reaction to learning that the same person has written to more than one faulty member. Remember, there is a certain amount of self-interest involved: We're looking for bright, motivated student to collaborate on research and clinical work"

"It can be awkward when an admissions committee is discussing an applicant and two faculty express desire to work with him/her. Our advice: Don't write to more than one faculty member in a graduate program"

-Insider;s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psy, 08-09, pp 62-63

So yeah, to a lesser degree, I think the people who wrote the Insider's Guide really does have that vision of a faculty meeting that you just desribed! :D
 
D

deleted176373

I've been emailing POIs for programs that I'm applying to this year, and the professor from my 1st choice school replied that she wasn't accepting students this year. However, she will be part of the interviewing committee, and will help the admissions committee make their selections for the incoming class. Based on the Insider's guide, I understand that it isn't be advisable to email 2 POIs in one department because they might both be offended if they found out, but since professor A already informed me that she wouldn't be taking in students, would it still be not okay to email professor B (who almost has the exact same research interests as professor A)?

On the other hand, professor A has been very supportive in her email, saying that I was a competitive applicant and giving me advice on how to strengthen my application more, and offering to answer any more questions that I might have. I could very well establish a good relationship with her, but then again, she's not taking in students. hm?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Ask Professor A if they think that Professor B would be a good match, and if so, could she arrange an introduction to Professor B. This is the way to broach it without offending Professor A and getting some additional support for your candidacy at that program.

Simple.

Mark
 

BorntoRun

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Given that the professor you really want to work with isn't taking students I would say it's not the worst thing in the world to e-mail a second choice (after all, you're not going to get into that school no matter what if you don't, unless your prof changes his/her mind about taking students). I do think it might hurt your chances, though. Most schools want someone who will collaborate well with other members of the department, but if you e-mail too many different professors, chances are you'll be describing two different types of research interests (which could make you look wishy-washy), or you'll continue to describe the thing you really want to study, but it might not be a good fit for prof #2.

I'm basing this mostly on personal experience. For a few schools to which I applied I e-mailed more than one professor, and those are the schools from which I didn't get so much as a nod for an interview. I think it might have looked like I was more interested in getting into the school than I was about working with one specific intellectual inspiration. But like I said earlier (speaking of wishy-washy - sorry!) if the person you really want to work with isn't taking students but you want to apply to the school no matter what, and there's someone else you'd be a good fit with, it can't hurt - the worst that can happen is that you don't get in.
 

psychanon

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I'm basing this mostly on personal experience. For a few schools to which I applied I e-mailed more than one professor, and those are the schools from which I didn't get so much as a nod for an interview. I think it might have looked like I was more interested in getting into the school than I was about working with one specific intellectual inspiration.

Well, there could be a coincidence factor at play here....after all, you're assuming that professors tell their colleagues about every email that they receive, and I just don't believe that this happens. Now, when you write your statement, you'll have to gear toward one person or another, and this I think is tricky because in my experience it varies a lot by program. In my program, for example, my lab has another lab with overlapping interests, and people routinely apply for both labs, and we would say why wouldn't they do that. But I have heard that some programs would see that as being wishy washy. But I think that the issue is how closely linked the lab interests are. If one studies marital dysfunction and another studies intimate couple violence...that's not so disparate that you couldn't honestly be a match for both.
 

psychick

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Thanks all so much regarding your input on this matter!:) Well the main difference between prof A and prof B's research interests is the demographic of the participants they work with. Prof A basically works with geriatric populations, while prof B works with pediatric populations. I think these would count as 2 very diff topics, so I will have to agree with Borntorun's opinion that emailing 2 profs might make me seem wishy washy.

Is there no way one can get accepted into a program without first establishing a relationship with a POI? I'm sorry if these seem to be very elementary questions, I just really want to do this right! :) Thanks in advance!
 

mplsgirl

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I just had an experience with this issue, in fact. I am interested in participating in a Psych and Law minor at one of my top choices. The director of the Psych and Law program is a Social Psychology professor. I emailed her asking if she was taking students, and she said she "may" take a student, but hasn't typically advised Clinical students in the past. So, I then emailed one of the Clinical faculty that had interests similar to mine as well. I asked him if he would be taking students, told him about my interests (which overlapped his and the other professor's.) I explained to him that I first had contacted Professor A, discovered that she most typically does not advise clinical students (although she had done so a few times in the past), and then asked him what he thought the best thing to do was. His interests included Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, and I have a background in MRI research and an interest in using this to study areas in psychology and law. So, hopefully they don't see me as wishy-washy--I'm just trying to determine who would be the best to advise me!
 
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