Email Template for Contacting Graduate School Professors for MS and PhD

Are you planning to contact professors when applying for graduate school admission (M.S. and PhD)? Use this email template as a starting point and just improvise.

Here’s one email template that you can use to contact professors to express your interest in his or her research and hopefully that will lead to graduate school admission with scholarship.

You may have to customize the email based on the professors’ research interests as well as on your needs. Don’t expect to get reply from all the professors.

Email template to contact professors

Dear Professor (Last Name)),

My name is /First Name/ and I am a current student at /University or College Name/ . As part of my undergraduate project, I worked with Professor Dr. XYZ in implementing x y and z methods using technologies.

I am contacting you because I’m applying to programs in /Major/ this /Semester/. My research interests are in A, B, and C…

From your web page I saw that that you have done research on projects X and Y. Because of our similar interests, your lab is one of the few I am intrigued at the graduate school of /University Name/, if you will be accepting any students into your lab for Fall 2015 Semester.

I’d be interested in hearing more about your particular lab and getting in touch with some of your current students.

Are you accepting new students for your lab and research work? I would appreciate if you can direct me towards your most recent research (manuscripts, etc.) as well.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Best Wishes,

/Your Name/.

Now you can use the above email template as a starting point. Then make changes based on the replies and types of professors you are contacting.

At times, you may have to just use a 3 line email or 10 line email. The key is to improvise your email to fit your situation.

Additional information you can include is about your research work and your past research experiences. This will make your email stand out from rest of the emails.

Your goal is get the conversation going from the first email.

P.S. Don’t ever ask for funding in your first email.

Email to Professors: Series of Articles

The following are series of articles that will give further information about contacting professors before undergoing the graduate school admission process (for both master’s and PhD degrees).

  1. How to Contact Professors for Graduate School Admission ( this article )
  2. Think Twice Before Contacting Professors via Email for Admission
  3. 11 Tips to Follow when Writing Emails to Professors
  4. Email Template to Contact Graduate School Professors (the current article)
  5. Sample Letter to Get Funding from Universities in the USA
  6. I sent Emails and got Favorable Responses from Professors
  7. Reply from Professor is disappointing about Grad School Admission

24 Comments

  1. XYZ on December 9, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Hello!
    I am a prof. at mumbai university – India. I am interested in obtaining a PhD in the United States. I wrote an e-mail (below) to a lead of a research group at a university. Haven’t heard back from him yet. Wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions which would increase my chances of hearing from the professors/departments. I haven’t applied to any universities yet. I am trying to contact individual departments before I apply for a PhD position. I want to get an idea if a prof. can at least consider me as a potential research candidate before I go through the process of taking the GRE, sending the actual applications and paying the application fees to various universities.

    Dear Dr. (last name),

    I am currently a professor in the department of (name) at ABC university. I am interested in obtaining a PhD in the field of YZ.
    My areas of expertise include (x,y,and z)

    I have read about the work of the (name of Dr.’s research group) group and would like an opportunity to work with the team. I think my research and teaching experience can adapt well with the work of your team. I would like to apply and kindly be considered for a PhD position in your department.

    Sample publications:
    (provided a list of 4 publications relevant to the department I plan to apply to)

    Please find my curriculum vitae attached. If you should require any further information please contact me at (my e-mail). I look forward to hearing from you regarding any opportunity that you may have for me. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    (my name)
    (my e-mail)
    (my contact number)

    • HSB on December 9, 2011 at 5:48 PM

      Do you already have PhD?

      • XYZ on December 9, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        Hi HSB,

        No, I don’t have a PhD yet.

        • XYZ on December 9, 2011 at 6:31 PM

          I have only published and presented a few papers in my field.

        • HSB on December 9, 2011 at 7:02 PM

          Just wondering how you became professor without PhD? In US if you don’t have PhD, you are called as Instructor.

          • XYZ on December 9, 2011 at 7:12 PM

            In India instructors or lecturers are at times also referred to as professors. However, while writing to universities in the US I will refer to myself as a senior lecturer. Thanks for pointing it out.



  2. Preetham on October 9, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    This is really helpful…..Thanku HSB!!!!!!!

  3. Suraz on September 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    This post is indeed very helpful for the beginners who are going to take a first step towards the process of applying universities.
    Thanks HSB for a tiny but trustworthy wonderful help!

  4. Kriti on July 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Thanx a lot, its a great help.

    It seems as a solace in this tough tym

    Thanx

  5. ashiskumarjain on January 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Hello sir,

    I have been through your research profile and it is very similar to my research interests. I am very enthusiastic in completing my MS under your guidance and some financial aid from your side would be an added advantage. I have completed Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. I have attached my resume with this mail. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    regards,
    Ashis Kumar Jain
    India

    Is this email ok to send to professors for asking for financial aid???
    plz help me i am in confusion!!!!
    thanx in advance!!!!

    this is d correct question.. plz dont bother reading those below queries..

    • Ravi kiran on December 10, 2011 at 3:12 AM

      Hello ,
      I found this discussion very helpful to contact the professors as I’m applying for fall ’12.
      I am also in dilemma of whether to ask for funding in the mail or not? Please share your views on how to approach.
      Thanks,
      Ravi

  6. ashiskumarjain on January 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Hello sir,

    I have been through your research profile and it is very similar to my research interests. I am very enthusiastic in completing my MS under your guidance and some financial aid from your side would be an added advantage. I have completed Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. I have attached my resume with this mail. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    regards,

    Ashis Kumar Jain

    India

  7. Abhijeet maurya on September 15, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Hii HSB…As per this part of the blog i had sent an e-mail to a professor asking him about my admission chances….My e-mail contents were basically how his research work was commendable and that i would like to join his lab for the spring semester..i quoted that i have read his article and due to my similar interest i would like to be a part of his lab if he is expecting new students….Now there is another indian professor in that university…I wanted to ask whether i should try mailing him as well…or should i stick to one professor….i havent got any replies from previous prof..how much time do they take to reply to prospective students??? Should i mail him again…i had sent the mail 3 -4 dayz back….hope so u read this post a lil sooner….i have applied for Spring 2011 intake….GRE TOEFL GPA is decent…..problem is that i dont any research experience…nor any paper publication….3 months work experience…thats it…what is ur advice on this???

  8. Anirudh Sardiwal on August 18, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    Thanks to the happyschoolblog for sharing this information. I've referred to quite a few of your posts.

    I've been studying bios of profs of the univs I'm interested in, and now it's time that I start writing mails. Will keep everyone posted on how well this template works, and my own experiences.

    All the best to everyone.

  9. aap on March 29, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    hello everybody,

    I had mailed to a few professors a month ago but didnt get any reply. So i mailed them back , and got a favourable response from one professor. this is what he wrote:

    Hi,

    Sorry I missed your earlier message, and thanks for applying to our graduate program. There are definitely interesting opportunites to work on social networking privacy issues.

    I am looking for new students for my research group for the fall, but it is primarily up to our admissions committee to make decisions on which students to admit.

    Best regards.

    I am now worried as to how should I proceed. What should I write to him in the next mail. I have not yet mailed him my resume, should that be attached to my reply to him?? someone please help me with this…

  10. met student on November 23, 2009 at 4:52 AM

    Hi,

    I plan to apply for PhD in Atmospheric Science for Fall 2010. I have contacted some professors and they have asked me to submit my application. Will this can be considered as a positive response?

    Thanks,

  11. db on July 31, 2009 at 7:16 PM

    most profs will just ask you to submit your application.

  12. Subhamoy on March 20, 2009 at 2:55 AM

    Yes, this seems to be a very important question! What should ideally be the subject of the e-mail?

  13. Punit on January 21, 2009 at 7:36 AM

    what should be the subject of this e-mail, ideally?

  14. Sam on November 15, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    Thanks this is indeed useful.

  15. ami on November 13, 2008 at 7:05 AM

    Hey,
    Thank you so much! that of course, I did and got favorable responses. I am a graduate student in India doing masters in Clinical Psychology. I plan to apply for the Fall 09 for masters in Psychology (clinical or counseling). Like i mentioned earlier, I have written to a couple of professors (only those with whose research interests matched with mine) and did receive encouraging responses. Now, I want to take it further and I am a little confused. My GRE scores aren’t great (860 total) so, I am very reluctant to tell them my GRE scores and then further the conversations along the path of needed financial aid. However, I have work experience in the field of mental health for almost a year (clinical and non clinical setting). I have one research paper presented in a national conference and in preparation to go in for a publication (either in a national or an international journal). My under graduation scores are good too (72% aggregate and 81% only in psychology). I am also getting them evaluated by WES.
    So please let me know, if i stand a good chance in the following universities and also advise on how you think I should take it forward from here:
    CSU, Fresno
    CSU, Fullerton
    University of West Georgia (most preferred)
    Barry University
    UT, Tyler
    Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    MTSU
    Western Kentucky
    Augusta University

    I apologize for this really long email, but, I really am in a fix and need some direction. Please feel free to ask me any other information you think is required. At this point, let me tell you, like any other Indian student, there isn’t anything much I can really do without an aid or a TA/RA. Please help…

  16. HSB on October 27, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    @ami: Short One. Even for prospective student, professors will not care much to reply or respond. Make sure you spend sometime reading their research area before sending email to them. Plain email saying about you and your profile => your email going to trash. Good Luck.

  17. ami on October 26, 2008 at 4:42 AM

    This is certainly a good template. I remember reading other articles too about why a long mail shouldn't be written. But, I was wondering, like mentioned in many of your articles, they receive innumerable amount of mails like these. So, does it help by introducing ourselves a little detailedly… with experience, why the course and what in the course is so interesting. Please comment. In fact, I have been speculating about writing to professors and I clearly am in a dilemma as to how long or short the mail should ideally be! I don't even plan to tell them that I am applying, I am only trying to be that inquisitive, prospective student and mailing only those professors with whom I share similar research interests. Kindly advise. If needed, I will post a mail that I wrote to professors of 2 different universities……. one long and one short! this explains my dilemma…..

    • subha shankar on May 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      What should be the subject of the email?

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