Contacting potential supervisors ?

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm

Contacting potential supervisors ?

Postby ahmadfadl » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:58 pm

Hello guys,
Is it necessary to contact doctors (potential supervisors) before applying directly ? and if so, what is the best way to do that ?
I have tried that myself, but got typical answers like "you can apply via our website ..etc"

Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:45 am

Re: Contacting potential supervisors ?

Postby catharsis » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:42 pm

I didn't contact a single professor, and got into good places. I know people who contacted profs, and got into those places, and people who tried that, and didn't get in. In my opinion it's a complete variable which depends on:

1) The school. Department culture and approaches to applicants varies incredibly.
2) The professor. See above.
3) Your email. Be sure you're asking a question that you cannot find the answer to by googling it (at all), or talk about how your research/skills might interface with their work. You could ask if they are looking to take graduate students in the coming year. Just make sure your email is appropriate and makes you look BETTER than you would have looked had you not contacted people -- otherwise contacting professors can actually hurt your application.

In short, it isn't necessary, but if you do it right, it can either help or not hurt, in my experience.

User avatar
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: Contacting potential supervisors ?

Postby quizivex » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:55 am

Find some of the past threads on this topic.

Contacting Professors

Suck Mails to profs

Even some professors shared their thoughts on those threads.

Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Contacting potential supervisors ?

Postby Catria » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:22 am

I don't know how to interpret a reply from a professor at UNC that suggested me some privates (I already have UPenn and UChicago on the list she provided) while, at the same time, encouraging me to apply there. I interpreted it (as an international student) as a diplomatic way to discourage me from applying to UNC... perhaps I have it wrong, though.

Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 3 guests