Here comes another post from Reader A about sweet and dirty tips to follow while sending email to professors.

I have split AM’s post into 2 parts. Part 2, contains 11 Awesome Tips to Writing an Email to Professor.

Links to AM’s previous articles

… And so finally the much awaited post on mailing tips…

email to professor tips

Photo Credit - Flickr - pip_r_lagenta

I think this info is going to be redundant after those awesome HSB posts on mailing I read about in today’s feed (“Yes, professors do reply back to emails” and associated links with it) but what the heck- I had written this anyway! So enjoy 🙂

Sweet little tricks to choose a prof

  1. Choose a prof according to your profile. You can over-reach if you want to, but don’t be disappointed when they don’t reply. And don’t reply them slangs either if they give a negative reply (hell yeah, I know some crazy people who did!)
  2. Of course, the prof should be working as similar as possible to the area you have an experience in.
  3. Check out his funding…..s/he should already have an endowed project and not promises of one in the distant future. This is vital if if u need funding…..remember endowments are being cut off by the US govt now.
  4. If s/he’s getting a heavy funding, s/he’s “safe” in the sense that s/he can fund you well at least till your degree.

This is a Dirty Tip

Go for a prof that seems to love your nationality. If you are an Indian for e.g., find a prof whose profile indicates a majority of students that s/he’s guided for PhD are Indians.

Sometimes if you are lucky, s/he can become so happy to see one more soul from India in “Amrika” that they might take you on inspite of a sloppy CV.

It does happen…but remember 1000s other Indians have mailed them too with the same motive, so again, don’t get discouraged if they don’t reply.

And of course, trust me, there are an ample number of them, you just have to find them. (By the same logic, zero in on Indian profs in your area of research)

Part 2 – 11 Awesome Tips  – Coming Soon.


  1. arun on October 15, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    hey HSB its is 1 of my best decisions to join u & thnks u didnt disappoint me thnks

  2. Joy on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    hello! could you please tell me if professors reply to emails sent by prospectove masters students or they prefer replying to prospective PHD students?

    • A on October 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM


  3. Navin on October 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM


    I had registered with the name of navin. How r others using that name to give a comment? And I am receiving email every time when some one comments.
    Pls look into this issue……………

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 5:10 AM

      Its like facebook and twitter. You can tag others using @name (like @navin).

    • A on October 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      sorry for the inconvenience, i started it @navin …..ooops πŸ˜€

  4. Navin on October 11, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    my belief is
    Int. student + US prof=works
    Int. prof + US student=works
    int. prof + int student (same country)= works
    int. prof + int. student=hardly works..


    • HSB on October 11, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      Why do you think so? I don’t agree to int. prof + int. student=hardly works..

      • Vijay Sankar V on October 23, 2011 at 10:39 PM

        Yes, I have seen so many other national professors take Indian students. Primarily it depends upon our passion and credentials. The dirty tip ‘may’ work but your credential can also hurt your chances.

    • A on October 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      @navin: whre did u get this ridiculous idea?

      • Maverick on October 11, 2011 at 11:57 PM

        But still, It’s rhyming anyway ! πŸ™‚

        You might have been on the wrong side in knowing the advantages of being an international student. And “working” and ” hardly working” depends upon the student,not the professor .The zeal and enthusiasm to work should lie in the student (doesn’t depend on the country) ,and professor are there for helping you πŸ™‚

        If it was only US students who are zooming ahead ,It would never happen that a International student is in the US Universities or Other Universities .I assume the idea above to be a misconception only.

        • A on October 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM

          @maverick: ur wish if u take it as a misconception, i just spoke what i have witnessed irrefutably. i wonder if u r also thinking that i am globing & gossiping on this blog to incrse my TRP or sm equal othr benefit πŸ˜‰ .

        • nav.. on October 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

          Did not know I already had so many feedback :).
          The idea is based on my personal experience + discussion with several others from other departments. We are generally too respectful towards profs. and some int. prof. (especially those with short nose) tend to take advantage of it and we do not even complain about their wrongdoing. Many of my frens have had hard time working with them since there was not any emotional connection in between…the list is too long. Do you think US students would tolerate this?

          this was my experience which I shared others might have other.

    • amit on October 11, 2011 at 11:22 PM

      Int student + indian prof: sometimes works

      Indian student+ prof from Inda (in US ): never works

    • munna on October 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      I agree with navin. I too had a hard time with a professor from Mexico.

  5. dirtymac on October 11, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    i believe it is always good to work ‘with’ an American prof. instead of working ‘under’ an Indian prof….reasons are pretty obvious from the above line πŸ˜‰

    • sushant kainth on October 11, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      I really dont get the point in ur above line …u can always work WITH an Indian prof. too and certainly as he mentioned the NATIONALITY factor may work out in some cases…..

    • A on October 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      @dirtymac: “under” is a common Indianism & shouldnt be harped upon. reasons? ur way i can think of just one! d message in the post is important

  6. Rohit on October 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Waiting for part 2…

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