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Admission & POI's disappearance


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Hello, dear GradCafe fellows!

Recently I have received a letter with conditional admission offer. Before applying to that school, I contacted the POI there who was very enthusiastic and positive, and encouraged me to apply. Professor immediately arranged an interview via Skype and asked to keep him/her in the loop. POI was always kind and supportive enough to answer my questions on the same day, and, well, we had a constant contact with each other for a month or so. So when I have got a conditional offer (the only condition is to find a supervisor), I though I broke in that grad school. I immediately emailed my POI to share the news and ask if s/he will be able to accept me as a grad student into the research group. However, POI has never replied. I wrote 2 emails (1 per week) afterwards, but there is still no answer. I am going to accept an offer from other school; I believe that POI's behaviour is at least unprofessional.

Honestly, I don't know what to think. Is that a common practice in American academia? Any suggestions? Eager to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance.


Edited by Masington
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It is possible that the POI has already accepted another student and is just ghosting you.  Or that professor is bogged down like crazy with all their academic requirements and just hasn't had time to review your packet and decide.  Either way, they should of responded. 

That said, call them.  Before you jump ship, call the department and find out more information.  Emails can get lost in the waste land.  Call, call, and call.  Speak to a real person.  I get it, calling from Europe is expensive and troublesome, but it is worth it if you get the answers you need.

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I am an international student and according to my experience for US PhD application, I wouldn't say it is rare.

I have had:

Once an advisor promised he could take me and then he said he had no funding 3 months later, which led to my gap year (I trusted him much and only applied for one school)

Once an advisor emailed me an unofficial offer letter, and asked me whether I would definitely accept if I got official offer; I asked him whether I can have some time to consider and how long he can give me and he never replied(it's been a week).

Once an advisor said he would be glad to take me and hope I will choose his lab (before I submit application), and then I receive no response to email and finally found he admitted 3 new students 4-5 weeks ago.

So, I think you may contact your advisor again since it is not impossible that your POI missed the email. But also get ready for attending another school.

There are definitely trustworthy POIs, but you cannot tell until you get in. My experience told me never be so sure until you get an official letter.

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