Guide to Postgraduate Applications • Popular Master's Courses

Master’s Programme Inquiry Email Made Easy: Sample Included

POSTED ON 08/10/2023 BY The Red Pen

Person composing an email inquiry for assistance

The online application process for master’s degree courses often leaves applicants with numerous unanswered questions. Sending a master’s programme inquiry email to a graduate school gets you the correct information and helps you build connections that positively affect your application. In this article, we explain a master’s programme inquiry email, its importance and how you can craft one, along with a sample for your reference. 

What is a master’s programme inquiry email

A  master’s programme inquiry email refers to a letter sent to a graduate school’s admissions office or a faculty of a specific programme. It enables you to introduce yourself, express interest in a programme, get unavailable information or explain a personal situation. For example, you may be concerned about the 16-year minimum undergraduate requirement and want to assess your chances with a 15-year bachelor’s degree. You may wish to explain a low GPA and gaps in your academic or professional history. In such a scenario, as your trusted postgraduate admissions counsellors, we recommend that you email a graduate school to secure direct answers and clarifications. While you aren’t obligated to send this email, we consider it good practice. 

What must a master’s programme inquiry email include? 

Whether it’s information you seek or wish to explain a personal situation to the admissions committee, a well-written inquiry email goes a long way. Typically, the word limit should be anywhere between 100 and 300 words. The tone of voice must be formal, crisp and academic. Here are a few guidelines: 

1) Personalise your email

While graduate school inquiry emails often have similar structures, and you can always use a sample template as a reference letter to create yours, giving it a personal touch is essential. Doing so increases the likelihood of receiving accurate and meaningful information in response. It also demonstrates professionalism and consideration, enhancing the overall efficacy of your communication. 

2) Create a strong subject line

An email subject line is the first thing the admissions office sees and can determine whether your email gets opened. While you must include critical details and purpose, subject lines should be concise and easily scannable. Forty-one characters, or seven words, is ideal for a subject line. Ambiguous and long subject lines may get ignored or cut. As postgraduate counsellors, we recommend that applicants begin their subject lines with an action verb. Look at these professional email subject line examples: “Inquiry about master’s in finance” or “Highlighting interest in the M.Phil programme”. Consider referencing prior communication (if any) in the subject line for continuity and recognition. For example, “Follow-up on MA inquiry”.

3) Use appropriate salutations

Begin your email by addressing the recipient formally. Your message should open with the salutation “Dear,” accompanied by the accurate title and surname of the recipient. It is of utmost importance to verify the recipient’s title. Some professors prefer using “Dr.” instead of “Prof.” as their title, especially if they have a PhD. Using an incorrect title or name indicates insufficient preliminary research and projects an unprofessional image. If you’re unsure who to address in this email, “To the Admissions Committee” or “Dear Admissions Committee” should suffice. 

4) Open with impactful introductions and intent

Start the introductory paragraph by introducing yourself and outlining the purpose of your communication. Adopting a direct and sincere approach by expressing your intent is crucial to convey your message effectively. Address the application’s specific aspects causing confusion and demonstrate a genuine interest in seeking clarification. For instance, if you need to understand the contrast between a lower GPA and a strong GRE score, mention it right in the beginning. 

5) Elaborate effectively in the body

This section should give the recipient deeper insight into your concern or substantiate your viewpoint or situation with examples. When addressing a challenge or a drawback, emphasise the positive aspects and elucidate how you successfully managed or navigated through the ordeal. For example, let’s assume you wish to explain a low GPA. In that case, use this section to elaborate on the circumstances that impeded your performance and highlight your commendable GRE score, which counterbalances your GPA results. Doing so will assure the reader of your capabilities to excel academically.

But always adapt and structure your letter to the specific subject matter and prevailing circumstances. For instance, in correspondence directed towards a research-oriented institution, it might be more fitting to focus on your current research trajectory and its significance. In such an email, you must articulate how and why this institution’s guidance will contribute to your research. 

6) Conclude with conviction

In your conclusion, write about how you plan to contribute meaningfully to the course and the university’s community. Reiterate genuine enthusiasm and passion. Ensure that any essential prerequisites, like a recommendation letter and supplementary materials, are adeptly addressed, underscoring the validity of your email and substantiating your capabilities. Extend gratitude to the admissions team for allowing you to present your case and wrap up with a polished sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Kind regards.”

Here’s a sample of a master’s programme inquiry email:

Subject Line: Request to Reconsider My Masters in Finance Application

Dear Admissions Committee

I am writing to express my keen interest in the Masters in Finance programme at your esteemed university and respectfully request a review of my application despite not meeting the minimum GPA requirement. While my current GPA of 3.0 falls below the 3.3 program threshold, I wish to provide context to my academic record. 

The untimely passing of my grandfather in 2018 took a toll on my studies that year. The sudden loss of a significant relationship profoundly impacted my mental and physical health. Through psychiatric help and perseverance, I gradually coped with my grief. While battling the loss, I retook the Fall 2018 courses the following spring. However, despite not healing completely, I achieved a 3.0 GPA. 

In keeping with my state of mind, my professors recommended that I join robotics clubs and a wellness society. While the robotics club renewed my passion, the wellness society helped me heal. 

Accepting my grandfather’s death and realising he’d want me to be happy and prosperous helped me normalise and reorient my academic efforts. As a result, I featured in the Dean lists for the spring and fall semesters of 2022. 

Though my overall GPA has suffered, I wish to highlight my potential and desire to succeed. You can see that I have had a positive track record since this setback, and my competitive GRE score of 328 (Quantitative score of 170 and Verbal score of 168) are a testament to my determination. 

Through this email, I urge the admissions committee to consider my application for the Masters in Finance course. 

Thank you for reading this email. I look forward to your response. 

Yours sincerely

[Your Name]

Crafting a master’s programme inquiry email can significantly enhance your application process by securing accurate information and addressing specific concerns. It also lets you demonstrate interest and connect positively with the graduate school. You may also read our blog on what admissions officers want beyond GRE/GMAT scores and 5 Secrets to Acing Applications for Top Graduate Schools. If you need further guidance on your master’s application, please get in touch. The Red Pen, Postgraduate Admissions Team, looks forward to helping you at every step.