hope everyone's well.

To explain my situation, I'm waiting to hear back from Columbia University's MSOR program. It was my #1 choice when I applied, and I'm considering sending an email to restate my strong interest in the program and to strengthen my position as an applicant.

Briefly put, I was a Chemical Engineering major and so wasn't initially intending to apply to an Operations Research program. Thus I had basically zero work experience in the field. However, I've gotten an internship in a consulting firm after applying, and I've been doing data analysis, database management, and web crawler development. I've done a lot more than was initially expected of me as an intern, and I've had a lot of fun in the process.

Would it make sense to send an email about this? The program isn't research-focused, which I think makes this a tad more sketchy, since the only option I can think of is to send an email directly to the admissions office. (i.e. since I have no prospective research advisor)

I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks for reading, and be safe.

  • I'd guess emailing has no effect. Apr 5, 2020 at 5:44
  • Emailing the admissions office will almost certainly do nothing. Emailing a professor you'd like to work with could be useful; there are already several questions about that that have been answered on this site. Apr 5, 2020 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


I think David's comment sums it up well:

Emailing the admissions office will almost certainly do nothing. Emailing a professor you'd like to work with could be useful[.]

Regardless, emailing is a complete shot in the dark -- the more likely possibility is your email is ignored. But it depends on how you write the email, and how impressive the additional internship is.

For best results, I would not phrase it as a way to boost your application, but rather just an email to say "hi" and introduce yourself, and ask about the status of your application. But then you can find a way to throw in the additional qualification somewhere.


Even in the best of times, which these are not, anything that attempts to go around the established admissions system is pretty much assured to be ignored. In particular, if ranking has been going on, based on normal application materials, nothing you say in an email is going to convince them to rank you over someone else. It would probably be considered improper to do so.

If the system permits you to supplement your materials through some normal process then it would be a different matter and you could do that if your older materials have become obsolete in some way.

The procedures have been established to make it easier to fairly judge all applicants. They almost certainly will respect that.

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