major,  programs

emailing the program director might make you feel like a karen but it’s ok… just be nice

hi there! I recently got declined from my major and wanted to try again in the second request period. I was wondering if it was worth emailing the program director to introduce myself and outline reasons to be in the program. Is it worth it and do you think it would help/hurt my chances? Thank youuu

hey there,

honestly, you beat me to this — usually i do recommend for people to try emailing their departments about stuff like program admissions or course waitlists, because they’ll be able to give the most accurate answer.

i really don’t think it’d hurt your chances, as long as you do it in a courteous way. in the best case scenario, it could get the department to take second look at your file and perhaps improve your chances, and in the worst case scenario, you’d get a no, as in, “this doesn’t count, we’re still gonna review your application the normal way”, or no response (fair enough, i’m sure they get a loooot of emails…) but from my experience no one would hold it against you for sending a brief friendly email.

also, i’m assuming that the major you’re applying to doesn’t have a supplementary application already, so that your email is actually adding something above and beyond. but if it does, you should probably hold off on the email so that you’re not just bombarding the department with multiple versions of “reasons i should get into [insert competitive major]” because, well, they know, or will eventually after reading your application.

other than that, try to be respectful — and imo, that also includes being respectful of time. a straightforward email describing your interest in the program (you can back this up by mentioning a few relevant future goals/extracurricular involvement) and marks from prereqs will get the point across.

it might also help to end off on a specific question/concern you might have, like asking for feedback to improve your application, or if there were truly extenuating circumstances (cliche, i know… try “unprecedented times”? “never-before encountered conditions”?) that affected your application, this could be your chance to explain things — not in a guilt-trippy way of course, but more to show that despite all this, you’re still very interested, and would like to know if you still have a chance/what you could do to make up for it, etc.

anyway, i hope this post has had the effect of helping you in some way (besides making you overthink about email etiquette).

best of luck!


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