I am looking for a master’s position. I emailed a professor and we arranged a meeting on Skype, where he said that he would send me a project on which I should work for two months. I agreed and afterwards I sent him an email and thanking him and asking for the project.

One week later I emailed him to read my mail which I had sent him about six days ago, but he did not answer me.

How should I write an email to him now to ask for the project that I was supposed to do? I want to tell him: “Please consider my request, my future depends on this.”


2 Answers 2


First, about the email:

  • Do you have a deadline coming up, for applying for a master’s? If so, then you should probably send him a polite reminder, something along the lines of:

    Dear Dr. X, I was wondering if you had given any more consideration to the projects you'd mentioned earlier.

  • Do not say something like “my future depends on this.” Firstly, your future does not. If this particular master’s opportunity doesn’t work out, it is by no means the end of your career. Secondly, it will come across as rude: The Professor is aware that master’s applications are important to your career.

  • Don’t expect professors to respond terribly soon. They receive a large amount of email, and are often extremely busy balancing research, administration, supervising, and teaching. If you have an impending deadline, or it has been long enough that you believe you have been forgotten, you can send a polite reminder. But pestering will only annoy the professor.

Secondly, about the projects:

Is he asking you to do projects for him, unpaid, before you have been accepted as a master’s student? This is highly unconventional, and seems like it might possibly be a scam, to get you to work on projects without paying you or giving you credit towards an academic degree.

What country is this master’s in? Usually, professors do not directly choose who is admitted to a master’s program. So your professor may not be able to guarantee your admission, even if you do good work for them on this project.

In any case, it’s not normal to be given months of homework to “prove yourself” before starting a master’s. Usually your bachelor’s grades and projects, along with reference letters, are what you are judged on.

So I would be very wary of this situation, unless I am misunderstanding what is actually happening.

  • 1
    thank you for your kind reply. yes, he asked me to do a project for him, before accepting me as a graduate student. on skype he told me that he is going to send it to me. then I have been waiting for it for nearly one week. this professor is one of faculty members in the USA but he isn't an American he is from my own country(countryman) (he told me I do in this way for all students who wants to apply for this program from your country). there is no pay jut he wanted me to prove myself.
    – nikki
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 21:51
  • 1
    Yeah... this sounds suspect. I would make sure to find out if he actually have a say in if you get accepted, and verify that he is in fact a reputable researcher. This is particularly odd in the US, where (my understanding is) most Masters are course-based at first. I can't say for certain that it's a scam, but it's strikes me as not quite right. Commented May 13, 2017 at 21:54
  • Is it really enough to say, Dear Dr. X, I was wondering if you had given any more consideration to the projects you'd mentioned earlier on skype. Regards, should I give him information about the date that we had a conversation on the skype? more over the deadline is on 31 July and he wanted me to work on it for 2 months. Is it proper time to mail him again?
    – nikki
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 22:39
  • That would mean you start at the beginning of June. I would mail your professor 1 or two weeks before the beginning of June, and just mention that you'd like to get started with the project. Commented May 13, 2017 at 22:41
  • 1
    ... are you at a predatory college? This sounds highly unusual. Please do be careful, and look at your options for Master's. There are many colleges you can attend. Commented May 13, 2017 at 23:29

Read the application instructions for this department. I very much doubt they say anything about doing work for a professor prior to enrolling, and outside any class or employment arrangement.

Contact the director of admissions of the program where this professor is employed, and inform him or her that the professor asked you to work on a project for two months, as part of your application for the Master's project.

Do make sure you follow all the posted recommended steps for applying for admission.

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