PDA

View Full Version : Emailing grad students



fakeo
02-18-2015, 02:58 PM
What is the etiquette about this? Can I email current grad students some questions about their program? I'm talking about programs where I've been admitted. Should I email more than one student per program with the same questions (to see more than one perspective)?

jrdonsimoni
02-18-2015, 03:02 PM
On pure pinciple I dont see why not, so long as you keep your message short (emailing a few might in fact help you maximise your chances of a response). But perhaps you could look up people in those programmes you were admitted to on TM and message them here directly (Assuming they check their inboxes regularly :/).

ColonelForbin
02-18-2015, 03:06 PM
You most definitely can. Typically, they the adcom will connect you with students who might share your interests or ones that are likely to be the most helpful. Feel free to email whoever told you about admission to ask for references.

This is pretty standard IMO.

Food4Thought
02-18-2015, 03:08 PM
As long as you have specific questions, I can't imagine you getting ignored by everyone.

Insti
02-18-2015, 05:56 PM
I too think that emailing the is fine. I have had several people email me last year and I responded to all. As far as I can tell if students have the time they will respond. We all have a lot to gain from good peers.

PhDPlease
02-18-2015, 07:20 PM
Yes, I think it is completely reasonable to email once you have been admitted! I think emailing multiple people is fine, but I'd try to keep it to a reasonable number (maybe 3-4 people?) rather than emailing the entire program. You might want to include a sentence on why you are emailing them specifically (ie they are in the field you intend to pursue, they are from the same home country or undergrad institution, etc) although that is not mandatory.

mcsokrates
02-18-2015, 08:21 PM
Emailing grad students is fine. As has been suggested, to maximize the probability of response, going through the graduate director or secretary might be the best move. Talking to people at different stages of the program would actually be a pretty good idea. first and second years will probably be better for getting more info on coursework/qualifying exams, while 3/4/5th years will be better for advice about working with professors, and job market experiences.

Team3
02-19-2015, 01:10 PM
What is the etiquette about this? Can I email current grad students some questions about their program? I'm talking about programs where I've been admitted. Should I email more than one student per program with the same questions (to see more than one perspective)?

Are you going to the flyout? Most programs assemble a sampling of grad students there for a Q&A. Also, many program directors have grad students with similar backgrounds reach out to prospective students (as has been mentioned). But, grad students are used to getting emails and shouldn't mind much (you get used to it as a TA...)

fakeo
02-19-2015, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm gonna go ahead then. Yeah, flyouts seem like a good opportunity, but I'm not yet sure I'll go. One school hasn't announced a visit day yet, and anyways I'm based in Europe so I don't know if I can go, especially to more than 1. I have time+money constraints.

behavingmyself
02-20-2015, 11:32 PM
Grad students will understand your situation, having been in it themselves, and will generally try to be helpful so long as you appear to be respecting their time. Just be aware that different grad students in the same program can have widely varying perceptions of their own school. It's really preferable to go on the visit day.

chateauheart
02-21-2015, 07:17 AM
I would love to receive e-mails from prospective grad students. Unfortunately the only e-mails I ever got about admissions was part of some weird experimental study from a few undergrads in Spain.


Re: Question regarding Ph.D. Program

thanks for your quick response. You participated in a randomized controlled experiment. [...]

gradhope
02-23-2015, 06:00 AM
I did it in my year and would gladly answer emails now.
As someone said, look for people from your home country etc.
You could even google/facebook (creepy) a couple of people to try to find people with similar lifestyles. I mean, choosing a program goes beyond professors, classes, quals... The environment in the dept is important, what kind of life style people have, I think this is important if you are from abroad and not going to big places like NY or Chicago, you gotta make sure you`ll be sane for the 5-6 years to come.

I also emailed people assigned by the depts to talk to students, they were surprisingly honest. But I don`t know, I think programs would pick the very smart kids to be answering emails, they might have it easier than you will, or its just random, I don`t know.

Anyways, afterwards I talked to people I emailed, they didn`t recall it very well, so I guess they got a decent amount of emails and didn`t bother getting upset or anything about it.

Ah, be polite and concise on your emails, no problems sending more than one if the conversation flows.