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If I haven't heard back by now, am I screwed?


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I applied to PhD programs in math in the F21 admissions cycle. I only applied to a few schools, which might have been a bad idea given how COVID might affect funding. I applied to Duke, NC State, Ohio State, University of Michigan, and University of Minnesota and have only heard back from Duke (a rejection letter). I don't have the most amazing GPA (3.7/4 GPA), but I was a double major in math and physics have taken a few graduate-level courses and have published research, so I felt like I should at least have some chance in admissions. If I haven't heard back from anywhere by now, should I take that as a probable rejection?

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Let me be a bit more optimistic than the poster above me =)

First off, you're not "screwed" until you hear a no. You most likely are on some waiting lists, which means that you'll get in only if other people turn down their offers of admission. That doesn't mean there's no chance; it just means you might not have been a first choice for those schools.

But even then, if you follow the trends for your programs on this site, you'll see that some of them tend to release even their first round acceptances later (some of my programs tend to do theirs mid-march). You also just don't know with COVID if people are behind schedule or not.

You can check and see if others are getting acceptences, and if they are, you can sort of assume you're on a waitlist. But try not to be too discouraged by this; you have no way of knowing if you're first on the wait list or last, and first would still give you a decent shot.

Basically, you're not screwed until it's a no. It might not be as likely as it was earlier in the admissions process, but I've met people who get into their dream program in April. It ain't over till it's over. 

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