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If you were to ask the head of an adcomm from your top choice program (from which you were rejected) for feedback on your application, how would you do it? What would you say?

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I wouldn't do that. It just seems unprofessional and to be honest, it really is true what they say in reject letters that they don't have the time to give personalized feedback on why the rejection decision was made.

The reason you were rejected is one or a combination of the following: GRE/GPA weren't high enough, recommendations were not stellar and seemed generic, not enough research experience, research interests don't fit, or it was just a really hard year and better applicants applied and accepted.

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It may be worth it to ask for feedback, but it might be odd to contact the head of the adcomm if you hadn't been in contact with them before. Had you been in touch with a professor before you applied? If so, maybe you could email them and ask what you could do to strengthen your application.

You would have to word your email appropriately. Don't phrase your email in such a way to give the impression that you are surprised and angry that you weren't accepted and that you wanted to know why they rejected you. Make sure that your email is humble and that you could tell them that you intend to apply again and that you wanted their opinion on what you could do to strengthen your application.

Keep in mind that they will probably not respond to you (especially if you haven't been in touch before) and some schools say that they are unable to give applicants individual reasons for their rejection but some people have received good advice by asking schools or profs what they could do to improve their chances when they re-apply. Good luck.

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