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Waitlisted for PhD/ask for admit to Masters?


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I was waitlisted at my first choice for PhD and got an email that basically said the possibility of a spot opening up is nil. Can I ask to be considered for the Master's program or would they have filled up their spots for that too by this late date? The deadline for it was the same as the PhD. I thought about emailing the head of the graduate program but didn't want to come off as needy or desperate (even though technically I am), so just wanted some opinions and advice. Anyone have prior experience with this? Is it a normal practice or should I just wait for another year to reapply?

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Sure! As it seems that funding and guidance is much rarer in a Masters program than a PhD program, departments appear to be much more flexible in terms of how many Masters students they can admit.

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If you got as far as a wait list, they liked your application. Not everyone gets a second look from their most preferred school, but you did. You have absolutely nothing to lose by asking. And although you may wonder about being seen in terms of "desperation," it is also possible that your inquiry may be perceived as showing genuine interest, persistence, flexibility and resilience.

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