To help you out, we list below some answers to frequently asked questions. If the following does not answer your questions, then please feel free to email email@example.com and we will do our best to reply to your queries.
American universities accept new graduate students for start-of-study in mid-August and mid-January. The application process for those dates starts months in advance. You should be planning your application at least one year before your desired start date. I have no authority to accept students, but once they are accepted, we can supervise graduate students. So please review our admissions procedures at our departmental Web site. That said, during the admissions review process, all faculty are sent a sheet listing the candidate students, and I am allowed to "nudge" a handful of names. So if you elect to enroll here, please ping me so I can watch for your application in the system.
Tips for writing to Professors:
When writing to a CS prof in the USA, here is a big tip on how to attract their attention. Do not send a form letter-- we get enough of those. To prove that you are not sending a form letter, it's best to make some reference to their current research, perhaps even to one of their recent papers (and how your prior work or interests match up). Demonstrate that you have done a little homework before sending an email about the department. E.g.
Read over the department's recruitment policies and say things like "I am targeting an application for your next round of applications for (say) January 2016 which I will submit to".