Hope everyone's doing great.

This is with reference to asking for views/opinions on how to approach this situation based on your similar experiences in past during masters applications. Upon multiple follow ups over email, I've been able to get a chance for an interview from Professor X, the interview went really well, and I was given an assignment to complete to demonstrate my skills, I was able to submit the assignment in time and got below response form the professor after a week or so.

Thank you for your patience. I would be happy to offer you an Masters position here at University X. At this time I will invite you to submit a formal application to the program. Please be sure to mention my name in your application, and let me know once you have a X University student number.

I look forward to receiving your formal application!

Now my queries are in the lines of whether I should ask the professor about funding opportunities as the response does not explicitly states the position being a funded position or this would be considered a rude gesture?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated as well.


  • 1
    The question is unclear. Have you applied for a particular position? A position would mean that you would be hired as an employee, which means that there is funding available for you. Your salary would highly depend on the type of position. – lighthouse keeper May 8 at 11:59
  • Thanks @lighthousekeeper for responding, I am planning to apply to a university for a thesis based masters program and this was an initial connect with professor asking for research opportunities. I haven't made any (official) applications yet, neither for a program nor for any particular position, it was an initial connect with a professor with similar areas of interest, to potentially see if there could be opportunities to have him supervise/guide me for my masters thesis. – Dricera May 8 at 12:28
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    Ah, I now recognize that the professor has offered you a "MEng position". This indicates that he has some funding, but it's unclear what the conditions of the positions are. Your best bet would be to send a polite e-mail, like "Thank you, I'm very happy about your offer for an MEng position! What would be the conditions of the position?" – lighthouse keeper May 8 at 12:58
  • Would it be okay to ask about question like "what would be the conditions of the position?" while he had yet just suggested to make a formal application for MEng degree program? – Dricera May 9 at 14:47
  • Yes, absolutely - if he offered you a position, it's reasonable to ask for the conditions of the position before you accept. It actually seems a bit odd that he asks you to proceed with the application for the program without specifying the details of the position first. Maybe too early to call it a red flag, but if you now ask him to clarify the conditions and he evades the question, it would be one. – lighthouse keeper May 9 at 15:18

My first assumption would be that he is assuming that you know of whatever is standard at the institution (or field, or country) and that he doesn't need to be specific. He mentioned funding, which I would guess means that there will be some funding for you. But you don't know the parameters and you need to know before it is reasonable to formally accept.

So, yes, ask specifically about the level of funding and any conditions. You can also explore the various web sites at the institution to see what is "standard" there.

You can also start the formal application process that he suggests, since it will take time and you can learn more along the way.

But, note that my guess might be wrong. He might have forgotten to be more specific, he might have meant nothing by mentioning funding.

Don't make assumptions. Ask. Express your "confusion" about the details, perhaps. But ask.

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  • I checked with the graduate admissions team at this institute asking for more information about what's "standard" here. I was responded with - "M.Eng programs require a supervisor for admission, supervisors fund their admitted students program. These supervisors provide the student with the courses they want you to complete in order to obtain your degree." Also, the institute's website state phrases such as "Most full-time graduate students in research programs must be funded. Ask about funding levels for your program and options for scholarships in your field." Any changes in thoughts? – Dricera May 9 at 18:50
  • The "funding" may just be for tuition reimbursement, not for living expenses. The statements "fund their admitted students program" and "provide the student with the courses" seem to suggest that. If you need more funding, ask the prof. – Buffy May 9 at 18:56
  • Thanks a lot for your prompt response. Would you be open to phrase me an example draft that would not sound rude? – Dricera May 9 at 19:02
  • I don't think you need to worry about rudeness. Just express your confusion about what sort of funding there is and the level. It is proper to say that you need to cover living expenses while studying. It is also proper to ask whether you need a separate application for that. But the grad admissions team can probably answer that if you make it explicit. In writing to the prof it may be useful to also say that you are excited about the possibility and hope it can be financially possible. People need to eat. Others understand that (mostly). – Buffy May 9 at 19:04

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