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MA program late application deadlines?


fuzzysocks
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Hi, this might be an extremely stupid question so I apologize in advance. 

I was looking at a few MA program websites and I saw that their deadlines are after April 15th. In particular, San Francisco State University has their Fall 2021 application deadline in August, and Cal State LA's deadline for Fall 2021 is in late May. If I were to apply to these programs now, does that mean I would not receive a decision until after those stated deadlines? If decisions are sent out on a rolling basis and I would receive a decision before April 15th, would this include funding info as well?

I've already been accepted at another MA program and they told me that I have to either accept or decline the offer by April 15th. I was told that the April 15 date is common for most PhD programs as well (some of which I also applied to and am waiting to hear back from). I don't want to decline an offer just to apply somewhere else, but I also want to apply to more places and have more options. What do I do?

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It is not a stupid question! Schools are very unclear about these things and they all have their different definitions of things like "rolling," so I think your best bet is to email the DGS and ask! This is a very good and important question, so don't feel bad or stupid for asking about it! I am not sure about the schools you named, but I know that for some MAs they will have a hard deadline for funded admission and then afterwards they have rolling admissions where basically they will review and accept/decline as applications come in, but they are without any funding (which I would highly recommend against unless you have some sort of external funding like a fellowship). I would definitely email the schools ASAP so you can make sure you apply for the funded positions if that is still an option. Never feel like a question is too dumb to email the department about! There is a person designated to answer these questions and also this info tends to be very hard to find or decipher. Best of luck!

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Many MA programs set a deadline for full cosideration of funding, and have another "final" deadline. I'm inclined to think the MA programs that do not give the former one do indeed consider applicants on an equal footing for funding, since that's implied by listing only a final deadline. But, asking the department's coordinator/DGA directly is the best way you can get info like these, so just contact them and it's their job to respond.

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One thing I'd add. I found out too late last year that Western Michigan University's application portal indicated that the application deadline was in August (or thereabouts) even though the philosophy department's deadline was actually in February. I had started an MA application in January but decided not to apply.. only to change my mind a few months later when I received an email from Western saying 'It's not too late to apply!'. Long story short, I'm out $50 bucks and no one ever read my application. It's my own fault, really. I *knew* the deadline was in February, so I should've looked more closely. Hope that helps.

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