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    I apologize if this question has been asked countless times before, but I came across no similar threads whilst searching the boards and figured that it couldn't hurt to ask again.

    I will be applying to several masters programs this coming fall and have been told on numerous occasions by those who have already gone on to do postgraduate studies that it would be in my best interest to attempt to contact potential supervisors prior to and during the application process. I've already trolled through the lists of my prospective departments' academics and have come up with a list of individuals whose research interests and current projects are similar to my own. However, I have no idea how to actually initiate continued contact with these individuals. Do I simply send off an email introducing myself and my research interests? Do I, as has been suggested, send an actual typed letter (so as not to get lost in the maze that is the academic's inbox)? Also, what should I include in this initial message beyond the basics (research interests, academic background, etc.)? Is it acceptable to ask about their research and specific questions about the application process into the department? Or is the latter better off avoided?

    I appreciate any and all suggestions.
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    First of all, take a close look at the department website and see if they have a policy on this. Some do, and ask that prospective applicants don't contact staff, as it may be seen to be gaining an unfair advantage. Others have no policy, in which case you can try. However, if you get no reply or a dismissive reply, it may well be because the individual is unwilling to give specific advice because they deem in an unfair advantage. On the other hand, you may get a positive and helpful response.
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    When I was collecting info for my application, I wrote an email to a potential supervisor. It included only my accademic background and research aims. I don't think it has been an advantage for me but the answer I received made me a little more confident.

    I don't think it would be appropriate to ask about the application process, you should contact the department officer for such queries.
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    I sent an e-mail to a professor at Oxford's Department of History, and I never got a response. I figure it's because the Faculty don't want you to do that if you aren't a research applicant. Do you think doing something like that will count against my application? [I'm starting to get paranoid, and admissions hasn't even started yet.]
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    I sent an e-mail to a professor at Oxford's Department of History, and I never got a response. I figure it's because the Faculty don't want you to do that if you aren't a research applicant. Do you think doing something like that will count against my application? [I'm starting to get paranoid, and admissions hasn't even started yet.]
    Paranoia. There is an infinitesimally small chance the Professor will link your name to the application procedure, and even then view it in a negative light just because you asked a few questions. You over-estimate the attention these folks pay to their emails - when you get there you will be glad to have your emails answered after the third one, even by your Supervisor :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    when you get there you will be glad to have your emails answered after the third one, even by your Supervisor :rolleyes:
    Drat *waves goodbye to undergrad perks* :hmpf:
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    Thanks everyone! I won't hold out much hope at a response (which won't be that far off from the behavior of my current supervisor), but figure it can't hurt to try contacting someone in one or two of the departments.

    Thanks again!
 
 
 
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