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Contacting Grad professors for admission/funding

paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
edited April 9 in Graduate School
So, I have contacted a few grad professors by email saying on the line of "I read your research paper, and I am very intrigued by XYZ and it aligns with my interests in ABC..and I would like to know if you are looking for a new Ph.D student in your lab in spring 2019." It's been about 3 days, and I haven't gotten any responses. This is actually a hindrance because I have to tailor my statement based on the professors whom I am interested to work with and who has funding to accept a new student.

I don't want to annoy them however...should I give it more time?
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Replies to: Contacting Grad professors for admission/funding

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,784 Senior Member
    Perhaps not central to your question, but why would you be entering a PhD program in the spring semester and is that really how the programs work that you are applying to?
  • dygibbsdygibbs Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Give it a few more days before sending a second email. I work in a research lab, and I know that P.I.s and professors are busy (teaching, writing grants, traveling, etc.). Some are prompt in responding to emails, others aren't. Good luck.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    edited April 9
    Because I graduate on December, and I have been told by quite a few grad students in my discipline that's it's common AND encouraged to directly contact the professors before submitting any application. I am a Chem. E, by the way, considering to apply to Chem. and biomolecular engineering, Bionanotech and food science.

    Also, because I am an international student I don't have a luxury of gap year/semester. If I want to go to grad school it has to be within 5 months of completion of my undergrad.

    @dygibbs Yeah that's what I thought but wanted to hear some inputs from current grad students. One person I talked to responded very quickly but she said there was no funding available :-(
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,414 Super Moderator
    1) PhD programs very rarely start students in the spring, and the ones that do typically aren't all that great. Virtually every reputable PhD program in your field is going to expect you to start in the fall. I would expect to start in Fall 2019, and plan to find something to do between January and August/September.

    Actually, saying this may honestly be lowering your response rate.

    2) Three days isn't nearly long enough for professors to respond. I'd wait at least a week (and maybe more like two) before I pinged them back.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    @juillet yeah, I know many programs are open in fall, but I just can't wait until next fall because that would force me to reapply to F1 visa, which will take so much time.
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    You can't stay an extra semester at school?
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    edited April 9
    @bodangles That would cost me 23k dollars, which I can't afford because I am on full tuition scholarship, which cannot be extended.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,784 Senior Member
    So what PhD programs have you identified that enroll new students in January? You need to contact the director of graduate studies as the individual professors you are targeting now likely don't the ability to get you admitted in the middle of the year.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    V tech, Cornell, U Minn and NCSU accept Food Science Ph.D applicants for spring.

    Tuft has Biotechnology Ph.D program open for spring.

    Ohio State University, U Alabama(my alma mater, but I prefer to study somewhere else if possible), UNT-Denton and Columbia accept spring applicants for Chem. E.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,754 Senior Member
    Give it more time. 3 days ago was a Saturday after all.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,533 Senior Member
    @paul2752, why dont you see if UA would extend your scholarship and allow you to take just one class in the spring, instead of having you graduating in Dec. ? Tell them the reason for your request.
    if that IS possible, I'd ask your Dept or the Dean if there were funding available for you to do research in the Spring as well.
    It CAN'T hurt to ask..
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    @menloparkmom I just emailed them as you suggested. Hm I hope they reply soon. Our school is soo big that you sometime don't get a reply
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,533 Senior Member
    you should visit the office directly and tell them your situation.
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,501 Forum Champion
    You can also apply for Optional Practical Training status after your BS. This would give you time to apply to a program starting in the Fall.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,989 Senior Member
    @xraymancs Yes, but who's going to give me a job offer? Although OPT doesn't require a job offer to apply, you HAVe to be employed at some point, and it's getting harder and harder to find a job.

    @menloparkmom I talked to them, and nope. Not a chance.

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