Emailing professors for grad school

<p>Hi Everyone!
I will be applying for Clinical psych Phd programs this Fall for admission. There are a few professors that I have identified to be at the top of my list. So, I thought I would start emailing them to develop contact so that when I apply they know me and if there is anything wrong with my application they might override and make the final decision. Anyways, I started with the professor who is my first choice and she emailed me back with a positive vibe. She told me that I have a great research focus and that I would be a good fit for her lab. She said that she wasn't sure 100% if she would be allowed to take on a new student but could influence the department if the student is a right fit for the lab. She lauded my research experience so far and encouraged me to apply. Now, I'm kind of confused as to how to keep the conversation flowing. I really do not want to ruin the good beginning I have made with her.
Any advice would be appreciated.

<p>I think that you have made a very positive connection and should not spoil it by pestering her. After you put your application in, drop her a note to let her know and tell her you hope her review reveals you to be the right fit blah blah.</p>

<p>So, after getting a good response from a professor you’re just supposed to drop contact until you apply?</p>

<p>She also mentioned that she would let me know by the end of the semester if she will be able to take me in for sure or not. Do you think I should say that I will be in touch with her mid-novemeber? Also, I am kind of worried about my GPA, it is quite low for a grad school applicant. And I’m hoping that she might overlook that and ask the admissions office to make an exception. Do you think I should mention my low GPA to her after she finalizes her decision later in the semester?</p>

<p>At this point, you don’t have much to go on.</p>

<p>Yes, you got a positive response from her - and that’s great. But you’re not really supposed to “keep a converation going.” Unless you have a compelling reason to contact her again, I wouldn’t. I agree with BrownParent that you should drop her an email to let her know when your application is in, so she remembers your name when you go through document review. If you have a paper pending that may be relevant to her and it gets accepted or something, you may want to forward it to her. But other than that, yes, you do kind of contact professors to say hello and ask if they are taking any students and after that more or less let it go.</p>

<p>She’s not going to ask the admissions office to make an exception yet - she doesn’t know you and hasn’t seen your complete file yet. Be patient and let it happen. The department makes decisions first and then sends the students they want to the grad school. Clinical psych is also an interview field, so this is something she’s much more likely to address after she’s actually met you. If they really want you they WILL ask the graduate school to admit you despite lower GPA (although if your GPA is above 3.0, you don’t need to worry about that) but it’s too early for anyone to go to bat for you unless they already know you.</p>

<p>I’m pretty sure that she didn’t say that she would let you know by mid-November whether or not she would take YOU in. She said she would let you know whether she would be taking a student for 2014-2015.</p>

<p>Sorry Juillet, I meant if she will be take a student in or not, I didn’t mean for it sound as if she was talking about me in particular. In any case, your advice has really put my mind at ease. So, I will not email her and I hope that she remembers me on her own. And I hope this works out for me! Thanks for your help :)</p>

<p>Two things:</p>

<p>First, as juillet noted, you should not contact a prospective advisor without a good reason. Now, if you HAVE a good reason, then go to it. If you really think you are a good match, you might want to ask her opinion as to what classes you should take in your last undergraduate semester. But don’t email her unless you have a real reason that does NOT constitute nagging.</p>

<p>Second, if she does not know your GPA then she hasn’t seen your resume or application, and she certainly hasn’t seen ALL the resumes and applications. So I would consider any promises or offers soft until they have reviewed all the applicants and are officially offering admission. I had a contact who seemed all in favor taking me… but I never heard from him again after they got all the applications.</p>

<p>Well, I emailed her because her research does interest me quite a lot. I have read most of her recent work and I would like to pursue something similar. I posed some questions related to her research and asked her if something like that would be a feasible line of research. So, I hope it didn’t seem like I was just emailing her for the sake of it.
In any case, I think I read too much into a simple email too quickly and got overly excited lol.</p>

<p>I wasn’t trying to get on you or anything - I was just trying to help you keep your expectations realistic :wink: Emailing professors is very common in psychology (this is my field too), so you didn’t do anything wrong. Best of luck with it.</p>