Sending an email to professor during Graduate School admission process will increase the chances of getting admission with scholarship.

Dr. Vivek Pai Associate Professor have written a page that talks about Do and Dont’s about writing Email for professors about admission, research and funding.

Typically every student sending an email is expecting 2 things

  • Will I get admission?
  • Can I get financial aid?

Read the Email reply from a Professor to a Prospective International student planning to apply to Masters in Electrical Engineering.

Professor’s are very busy and they don’t usually reply to all Prospective student, unless you are applying for PhD.

Majority of prospective student will be writing an email to Professors in other countries for the first time.

Most International students are not used to writing email in Professional way (without typos and grammar mistakes).

It’s hard for anyone to respond to email written with mistakes. People spend lot of time analyzing how to write the perfect emails to make a sale or close a deal. Even they find it hard to get response to their email. Think about your chance, someone writing to professor for the first time?

Most of the students ask for Financial Aid within first few sentences in first email. That clearly shows your ignorance.

Dr Vivek has  some strong words for students applying for Graduate School those send email asking about Grad School admission and financial aid.

I’m not looking for slave labor, nor am I looking for programming drones. The ideal student for me is some combination of being bright and being hard-working. Coupled with this is the desire to actually pursue research, which is some catch-all term for investigating an area where you don’t have all of the answers. I’d rather deal with someone who’s willing to be a little risky and come up with nothing than someone who’s willing to risk nothing and comes up with nothing exciting.

Research by its nature is an inherent gamble. However, it’s a risk that can be managed – if you aim for something ambitious, you may not graduate in four years. However, when you do graduate, chances are that you’ll have far more interesting options than someone who just wanted to get out as quickly as possible.

That being said, I also want someone who is practical – a working incomplete system is far more useful than a complete but non-working system. So, some amount of programming is almost always needed in order to get your PhD. In fact, chances are good that you’ll do a fair bit of programming on your own projects. Such is life.

If you are in processing of applying to schools in US, you should read his graduate school application guide.

  • Rajul Agarwal

    Hello Sir,

    My name is Rajul Agarwal and I’ll be applying for a PhD Program for Fall 2013, I have prepared a template which I am sending to almost all the professors and I am getting replies also, and mentioning in the mail that specifically I have liked ….. work in your laboratory, what I wanted to ask was that I have been sending this template to all the professors of the same department, can a similar kind of mail have a negative influence or should I DO some variations in the mail I am sending.

    • Dr Charan

      Each professor in the same department will have different area of expertice. Read up on their research areas, if you are interested in their field then do mention that has impressed you upon. Donot flatter them saying their area of expertice is the most promising. Be honest about what you want to say.

  • deepak gandhi

    i want to know my application status from graduate school.
    what should i mail them?
    plz , help me i am confused about it , when i write n if i done mistake than they consider ma or not i.e. send , mail me what i should mail them to ask about application status..
    it too long time i applied
    help me solve out

    • Dr Charan

      Each graduate programme will have a programme co-ordinator, or the admissions office. You can always politely mail then enquiring about your application status. Just that one simple sentence would fetch you an answer as long as you have paid all the application fees and have met the dealines.

  • pipli

    sorry to say!! but the graduate application guide is not at all useful

    I don’t know about students who are really casual about writing to prof and that they end up writing all useless things in there personal statement and pre application mails, but i think it need a lot of hard work other than the one’s mention here to write a proper mail to a prof, if some one in interested about research u need to have at least an general idea about what u really want to do.

    that is one big point other than the GRE,reco,GPA,personal statement…..etc…if u don’t get a reply from a prof they are just of no use.

  • kashif Iqbal

    Hope you are in good health. Sir,I want to get some specific wording which I will write to my Professor about increase in living expenses.If you will send me I will be thankful to you.


    Kashif Iqbal

  • Uzzwal Kumar Deb Nath

    Dear Sir,

    I, Uzzwal Kumar Deb Nath, have completed my graduation in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET), Bangladesh. My CGPA is 3.50 out of 4.0. My wife Shrabani Sarma Deb Nath completed her graduation in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET), Bangladesh. Her CGPA is 3.16 out of 4.0.

    Now, both of us are interested to continue our Higher Studies (M.Sc or MEngg) in a foreign University.We want to get admitted in the same University. I am interested in Civil Engineering (Environment, Water Resources, Transportation, Structure, Geo technology).My wife is interested in Petroleum/Chemical/Environmental Engineering. Both of us have professional experience more than 2 years. We are planning to sit for IELTS in January 2012 and we want to get admission in September, 2012. How can we proceed? What is needed for that and what have we to do? How can we get Scholarship or any other funding?

    Please help us. We will be very grateful to you.

    Thank you

    Uzzwal Kumar Deb Nath

  • Meena


    I will be applying for 2012 fall (Bioengg) and have two research papers.
    GRE, TOEFL,LOR and SOP all are in place.

    How do I know more about the kind of research activities going on at the schools I am interested in? I want to
    What I want to know exactly is, where can I get the information on which prof is working on my area of interest? I am yet to shortlist the universities I wish to apply.

    For ex: If i wish to apply for Univ of Cal, San Diego, where can i get info on their research activities and prof names and addresses in their site.


    • Henry Thomas

      Pick the schools you wanna go to… go thru your department site for each school… then browse the research section to know what all researches are going on… You can also browse thru the department faculty which would also list the faculty member and would have a link that would explain what all he is doing and it should ve info abt the researches he or she is doing… it might be a pain to find the right one but it definitely is worth it.. good luck!

    • Dr Charan

      Please go to faculty section of the websites. They will definitely have a page on each of teh faculty which would mention their interests, current projects. You can also use pubmed to search for papers that respective faculties have published.

  • amanda valasquez

    I would simply like to point out the copious amounts of typos made on this site and the irony of the typos themselves. The strong language and approach taken in expressing advice for graduate schools requires some reviewing or at least proof-reading before being published on the web. I apologize if this site was written by a non-native english speaker ranslator, in which case heshe should consider changing hisher policy about responding to comments with typos.

    The errors are as follows:

    "Sending an email to professor "—— "…to a professor"

    "Dr. Vivek Pai Associate Professor have written a page"—— "…has written"

    "that talks about Do and Dont’s about Email"—- "that talks about the Do's and Dont's of Email"

    "expects to get reply "—–"expects to get a reply"

    "reply to all Prospective student, unless you are applying for PhD"—"reply to all prospective students, unless he or she is applying for a PhD"


    "Most International students are not used to writing email in Professional way (without typos and grammar mistakes)….(Even, here at Happy Schools, we don’t respond to comments that has lots of mistakes. )"——– "Most international students are not used to writing emails in a professional manner…. (even here at Happy Schools, we don't respond to comments that have a lot of mistakes.")

    "Dr Vivek has some strong words for students applying for Graduate School those send email asking about Grad School admission and financial aid."—"applying for graduate school who send email asking…"

  • Rajveer

    At last your research experience matter's the most/ Good academic bakground. No shortcuts!Please!!

  • osabutey felix

    with a second class lower and having credentials in other areas make u gain admission to graduate school in the u.s.

  • Noran El-Sherif

    Dear Dr. Vivek,

    First, sincerely I would like to extend my gratiude for sharing with us applicants your experience in this process.

    I am a female, from Egypt, with a BSc. in Accounting, interested in applying for a MSc. in Geology. I would highly appreciate if you may answer two questions:

    a) I have taken a few undergraduate courses in Geology, but ultimately my geology parlance is limited in order to discuss a research interest when I introduce myself to a professor. Should I write “I am interested in your research work, please accept me as part of your team,” only. Please advice what to write to show that I am an earnest applicant.
    b) Is it acceptable to contact simultaneously more than one professor in the same University/Department, or is it sort of unprofessional. My reasoning is that maybe one of them refuses, while the other accepts me.
    (Is it considered risky – in case they find out that I am knocking other doors? Is it sort of impolite to do so?)
    An alternative scenario, that I wait until I get an email with a “No” in it, and communicate with the second professor. But chances are that the first professor might never reply.

    Many thanks..

  • Preethi

    Hey nice post, i too agree with this post but i have a query regarding this post, can anyone clarify that. My query is that our I 20 is decided by admission committee right? so if we mail professors does that have an impact on getting I 20. As far as i know if you mail professors that might be helpful in getting assistantships but not I 20. Can anyone clarify my doubt and help others…

  • Amir

    This part of e-mail seems … It is good to say that words by the way,I loved that.but i think I.U.T is not ranked the 2nd…

    1.Sharif University of Technology.

    2.University of Tehran.

    3.Amir Kabir university of Technology(Tehran polytechnic)

    4.K.N.Toosi University of Technology.

    5.Isfahan University of Technology.

    6.Iran university of science and technology.

    By the way be honest and say your words as you decided…

    I loved it…

    • parisa

      I do not like your answer.please delete my comment and your answer rapidly.because I wrote my real name in the addition, in my major my university is the second one in my country

  • Renee B iswas


    Am currently pursuing my m.pharm degree in pharmacology from an university in India, can i opt for a phd degree from any universities in U.S.A directly after completing my masters from India or i have to do another master's programme there.

    I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to you for your concern and many thanks for your valuable time. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    thanking you,


  • Chandrani Chakrabort


    I just read through Dr. Vivek's blog. Extremely informative and eye opener. I am thinking about applying to PhD schools, and loved the writeup.

    Please keep up the good work with this happyschoolblog.



  • Md. Zaffer

    I am a BSc graduate in Agriculture. I would like to pursue my MSc in US University with assistantship. How shall I mail a professor and convince them that I am worth the assistantship?

  • Ajay


    I am finding happyschoolsblog very interesting and informative.

    I am pursuing my M.Tech in CSE which will be completed in 2009.

    I feel that it was not worth while studying M.Tech here in a mediocre university and I am now very much keen on getting a M S degree from USA.

    1. What do you think about me getting an admission in US University despite of me having a Master degree from India?

    2. I see in lots of University websites about MS in Computer Science? How do I find what are the other different majors the school offers ? Usually, I look in CS departments for different majors, but most of them have MS in CS ?

    3. Do you think getting scholarship in India during M.Tech study and having one year internship experience, M.Tech average of 67% and with good GRE will help me get some sort of financial AID.

    4. What aggregate do US Universities consider ? As in my degree certificate of B.E it mentions about class considering only 5th to 8th sem (which makes my % less compared to 8 sems average) or will they consider all 8 semester aggregate? or the degree % and class mentioned in degree certificate is final?

    5. What will I write in statement of purpose?

  • vicky

    I have applied for M.S in Dairy Science, now i want to contact with the professor ,about my interest.and i want to convince the professor. so can any one help me??

    • mohamed

      i need your help

  • Brandee


    I have been selected for PhD admission to an US university in computer science. I have also received the name of my advisor. Now I want to send my professor an email. How should I write it?

    Please help!

    Thanks in advance!

    • HSB

      Brandee – Introduce yourself and say you got admission and you are looking forward to work with him. I think that should be enough.

  • Salem

    I am an Egyptian winner for USA green card , Egyptian Pharmacist , have M.Sc in cancer biology.

    I wish to apply for ph.d in cancer biology , Are TOEFL& GRE required for my application for american universities? can i find graduate school for admission without TOEFL &GRE ?

    Thanks for help.


    E.mail : [email protected]

    • ziya

      SALAM/Hi. I read your e-mail about green card and PhD apllication without GRE-TOEFL. I am cancer biologist and i have MSc about cancer like you ,also i have green card too. I wondered that did you find any answer about that. I am trying to take this exams but if we have like this opportunuty , it will be wonderful. Please can you share with me if you have any information .

      Ziya/ TURKEY

      • noura

        wow cancer biology my interest area, please share me as well !! :)

  • Salem

    I am an Egyptian winner for USA green card , Egyptian Pharmacist , have M.Sc in cancer biology.

    I wish to apply for ph.d in cancer biology , Are TOEFL& GRE required for my application for american universities? can i find graduate school for admission without TOEFL &GRE ?

    Thanks for help.


    E.mail : [email protected]

  • Anukriti

    Can I decline an admission after getting I 20? Please somebody reply soon, its urgent!

  • Jennifer

    Nice post. I think this information should be widely distributed. Some of the comments within are eye openers, such as the thought a prospective student would pit profs against each other, or even use their words against another college.
    It’s true that there is an admissions office at any college in US and really most things funnel through there. It is an organization like any other with red tape and each level has it’s own functions and no one should take that role of another. For instance, that is one reason international student offices survive in US- to help the students with visa concerns. Like that each office has a function.

  • Karthik Bharadwaj

    certainly an eye opener man… u know one of my close friends is doing his phd @ purdue.. he told the profs don even read let alone respond, to mails that dont bear a purdue id. best chances for unfunded students for a research opening is post first semester imho…