I was reading about email etiquette. Dos and don'ts when you are sending mailing your professor. One of them was about email domain. I was wondering if it is a good idea to use personal website domain? (eg. [email protected])

(Does the professor really look at those things? Seriously?)

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    @EnthusiasticStudent: This is a different question.
    – aeismail
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 8:30
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    Personally, I would view the email address as a small reflection of your personality, and nothing more. You will have a long and somewhat intense professional relationship with your graduate advisor. A good match of personalities is important. If you are the type of person who has a personal website domain that you use for most of your business, you might as well use it to contact potential advisors. If they view that as a turn off, then perhaps they were not the best fit for you. Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 10:44

4 Answers 4


Nowadays, I really don't think it makes any difference whatsoever. You are free to use whatever domain you like, so long as it's not somehow offensive or insipid (for instance, if the choice would be considered a curse word or epithet). If there's something potentially offensive, your email could get blocked by a spam server or filter.

Otherwise, though, it really doesn't make a difference. I'm not going to judge a student more or less favorably because they use an email address that isn't a school-based address, or if it's a "vanity address" like the one you've listed.

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    I'm not sure this is completely the case. Would you get the same impression from [email protected] as from [email protected]? Would everyone be completely indifferent to the difference?
    – E.P.
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:16
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    I was addressing the issue of domain names more than usernames. I thought it was more or less a given not to use oddball user names.
    – aeismail
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:47

If the professor's email is an university-based account (e.g., ends up with ac.uk), to make sure the email doesn't end up in the 'Junk' section (i.e., because of universities' firewall system), send your email through your university account. I had an incident through major free email providers, based on the username I chose.


I would recommend against using a university e-mail account for this because you are presumably about to graduate and you will likely be about to lose access to your current university e-mail account when you do so.

Any sensibly named personal account will be okay. But if your e-mail address is something like "[email protected]" or "[email protected]" then take the time to get yourself a more sensible e-mail address (while those two aren't real examples you'd be surprised how often people use these kinds of e-mail addresses for serious correspondence).


I agree with other answers that assuming it's not obscene or childish, it won't make a huge difference either way. I just wanted to add that if you're sending it from a personal website, the domain may pique your potential supervisor's interest. Make sure that you have some information on there about your academic achievements, maybe a writing sample, things like that. Some personal stuff to make you a bit more memorable is good as well. It's not guaranteed to make any difference, but on the off chance they do type in the domain you want to make a bit of an impression.

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