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response to phd offer



I got accepted into one of my top choices but still waiting to hear from other schools. The professor contacted me and asked if I can make decisions within 2 weeks since they have students on the waiting list and they want to reject them within 2 weeks. I'm kind of worried that he would withdraw the offer if I tell him that it's hard for me to decide until I hear from other schools. How should I reply?

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First of all, it is unlikely (but still not impossible) that they will revoke their offer if you ask about extending the deadline. You are allowed to consider other schools too.

However, you said this is one of your top choices. How high is it on your list? What do you need to know before you can decide (I presume there may be other top choices you would want to hear back from, but you probably can eliminate some lower choices, if any, that were on your list now).

You don't have to ask for anything right now. But reach out to the other schools that are your other top choices and see when they will make decisions. Maybe you already got rejected from some and they can tell you that and you will know. Or maybe they will make decisions in just a few days. In about a week, you hopefully will know how late your other decisions might be and then you can think about whether you want to ask for an extension.

Finally, do you have a written offer from the school yet? If not, you can say that you would like to see a written offer before you can make a decision. It will hopefully mean something a little more secure---i.e. if the offer says you have until Feb 19 (or whatever) to decide, then if they try to revoke your offer before then, that is something you can fight (although if they are going to act that way, maybe  it's better to just not go there).

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