I am applying to a particular university in US for MS this year. At this particular university there are three professors who are conducting research in the area I am interested in. I have two questions:

  1. I saw two questions here in this site about people writing emails to professors while seeking out a PhD admission. Should I do the same? Or will it look like I am being over-enthusiastic? See I am applying to MS with thesis option so I wish to have one of the three professors as my thesis adviser if offered an admission. Also I wish to follow my MS with a PhD later on. So if I do get a chance to continue in the same university, I would like to work under the professor who advised my MS thesis.

  2. I am not able to pick a single professor who I wish to have as my thesis adviser because I find the works of all the three professors interesting. Their work kind of falls under the same category to someone who has just finished as an undergrad. Also, it could be that the professor I am interested in is very busy this year, so I don't want to choose just a single professor. If these three professors ever get together and talk will it look superficial since I have sent emails to the three of them. Not that I will be sending identical mails to the three, it will be personal and I will talk about their research.

  • 4
    Regarding the second question, they are getting a pool of student applications from which they would choose the best that is willing to work with them. Why shouldn't you do the same?
    – Davidmh
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:11
  • @Davidmh I was worried that it may seem superficial. But what you say makes sense. If other people tell me to write email. I will mail all three.
    – Aditya
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:20
  • Have you asked for any advice from your former professors?
    – kitty
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:27
  • @kitty I did my undergrad in India. Here people have a very different system for masters admission. There is a single exam which is like subject GRE for CS. Which is optionally followed by an interview by multiple professors. At the university you are interested in. People travel to the university they are interested in, on their own expense.
    – Aditya
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


I'd go ahead and ask, even all three. Ask for further details on their current work and potential thesis ideas. As an outsider you can't really select one of them today, without working your way into the subject.

If they are closely related subjects, as you state, chances are that they work together and perhaps even supervise students as a team. Best of all worlds, sort of...

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