I am applying to thesis based Master's degree programs (in Canada/USA) and I have checked the profiles some faculties. Some faculties mention not to email them and just mention them in my statement of purpose/application form, some have asked to email them some details about myself such as CV and why I want to work with them, but for some, it just says they might not reply as they get a lot of emails, without giving any strict position on emailing them.

In the last case, should I email them for their later reference when they might come across my admission details and might want to check other details about me(without expecting a response) or does that mean I should not email them.

  • What would be the purpose/content of that e-mail?
    – erc
    Jan 9, 2023 at 8:07
  • @erc content related to why i'd like to work with them and why I'd be a good fit for the type of projects they/their lab have been working on based on my past experiences. Ones that have asked prospective students to email them have asked for this info. Purpose would be to show interest in working under them on a thesis.
    – SajanGohil
    Jan 9, 2023 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


Note that, in the US, at least, one only chooses an advisor after acceptance into a graduate program, not before. And individual faculty members have little to no influence on acceptance unless they happen to be on the admissions committee. I don't know if it is the same in Canada, but think it might be.

So, while you can write to them, expressing interest, it won't have any effect on whether you are accepted or not. And, if you are accepted you can then visit with them to explore possibilities for the research/thesis.

Many professors don't spend time or effort on such mails, since they don't lead to much in most cases. The situation is quite different other places, like parts of Europe.

In any case, don't flood them with information.

  • Even in the US, this isn't necessarily a hard-and-fast rule: my (neuroscience) PhD program had rotations, and therefore delayed picking an advisor until the first year. The psych program (with many of the same faculty!) essentially had direct admissions. Where I work now in Canada has both: there's a (more competitive) rotation program, but students can also be directly admitted to a particular lab.
    – Matt
    Jan 9, 2023 at 20:02

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