Reaching out to prospective professors?

<p>Hello. I applied to UC Davis' grad. program in civil engineering; I have my undergrad. degree in mathematics. GPA: 3.2 Q: 730 V: 530 A: 3.5
I barely met their application deadline yesterday and did not have a chance to reach out to any professors in the program. I was wondering how do I go about doing this considering I already submitted my application; what do I say so when they see my application there is some name recognition and they want to let me in?</p>

<p>P.S. Based off my numbers, will I get in?</p>


<p>well, why do you think reaching out to prospective professors will help your application?
I thought most professors detest communication from random unknown applicants, since they would certainly get a chance to know you when they read your application.</p>

<p>I have read on a couple web post that doing this will help you stand out; recognition of my name when they are making admission decisions has got to be good?</p>

<p>I've only heard bad things about "reaching out"; that it's not tactful or professional. It's only recommended that you do so if you have a legitimate question or comment for that particular professor....</p>

<p>Connections are good, but contacting random professors seems to be looked down upon.</p>

<p>So there is no way for me to improve my chances of getting in having already applied--let the dice fall where they may? </p>

<p>Anyone applied to Davis? Will I get in?</p>

<p>Almost every graduate program I've personally looked into ENCOURAGES you to contact potential professors, so I don't understand why THREE people are saying otherwise. Maybe it's just my field, but when you apply to the program you're applying for a certain professor's lab, and if you're not a good fit or they don't have any room I'd say it's better to find out earlier than before. Most of the programs I've been looking at also don't have any rotations -- you join a lab when you're accepted and stay there.</p>

<p>So I'd say it's really program-specific whether or not you should contact professors...</p>

<p>But if you've already submitted your application I don't think contacting professors will help you; it's usually something you do before you apply.</p>

<p>All the programs (phd) I'm applying to encourage contacting professors, and I have always heard that contacting professors is good. It shows that you really are interested in their work and it puts a face to the name. In case this is field-dependent, I'm in the natural sciences (not engineering).</p>

<p>Ok, but from what you guys (ishaelstrom and kmh11) said, contacting professors seems to be merely gauging whether or not the program is a good fit for you, and has vacancy for you in some specific lab of interest. However, I think showing interest is not that big of a deal in grad school. It's not like the time when you are still able to blow the undergraduate adcom with your awesome personal statement back in the days of high school.</p>

<p>my 3 cents</p>

<p>Contacting is only good to determine fit? I don't believe my post conveyed that sentiment at all. Although you are right, contacting is a good way to help determine fit..... but I don't think that's all. Even if it's just "oh, this person is interested enough to contact me about our overlapping research interests," I think that helps convey that you're serious about applying and wanting to pursue graduate education/research.
The way I see it, at the very least it certainly shouldn't hurt you. What professor would be irritated that someone is really interested in their research? At worst they're "meh" about it. But perhaps engineers/programs/fields are different, I dunno.</p>

<p>P.S. Badjuju, I can't really say if you'll get in or not (I have no idea, there are a lot of variables here, and i'm no engineer), but good luck!</p>

<p>I can see it being irritating if they're getting dozens or even upwards of hundreds of emails with interested students that all sound transparently superficial in their approach to contacting them.</p>

<p>well, kmh11, how do you know the professor you contact IS the one you want to work with during the whole course of your grad school life? Is it possible for you to change later once accepted?</p>

<p>Nevertheless, I do agree it never hurts to try, but I just don't know how MUCH it's going to help application wise.</p>