Jump to content
2Eudaimonia

"Unofficial acceptance"?

Recommended Posts

I have seen people post that they have received 'unofficial acceptances' from their POI, often after an interview. For anyone who has received an unofficial acceptance, does this literally mean that the POI told you that you're in, but that official paperwork is to follow?

Both of my advisors have told me that the admissions committee and the program director with which I interviewed are not *allowed* to give unofficial acceptances (although my advisors are only speaking from their own experiences in/with other schools). I had a phone interview with my dream program's director, and I have sent him two subsequent emails (one to thank him for the interview, and another to tell him I got into another conference since we spoke) and he replied nicely to each of them, but with no hint either way except that I would still hear back at the time which he told me during our interview.

Are my advisors just being nice? Has anyone else had interviews and correspondence which didn't reveal a decision, but come to find out that you're accepted?

Any kind of feedback would be much appreciated. I haven't found any info on this in the posts which I've scoured, so I thought I'd ask :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own "unofficial" acceptance meant that my POI told me that the department had decided to admit me - and had even determined my funding - but that the graduate school still had to approve the acceptance and package (which, I gather from other posters in my field, mostly means that they verify that I meet eligibility requirements). The department was "confident" that I would be approved.

I think the appropriateness of issuing unofficial acceptances varies from program to program. Obviously the program I mentioned above feels comfortable telling students that they've been admitted before the decision is approved by the graduate school. However, I also received an offer from a POI at a different school who specifically told me that she had not been permitted to tell me I'd been admitted before I'd been approved by the director of graduate studies. And yet another program issued me an official acceptance the other day when I had absolutely no contact - besides my application - with any professors there at all.

My advice: don't freak out just yet. Even though unofficial acceptances seem to have occurred at the programs to which you've applied, you just don't know that all decisions have been made. It could be that you've been admitted but not yet approved by the graduate school. It could be that the admissions committee does "rounds" of acceptances, and you just weren't accepted in the first round. It could be that you weren't accepted but are being considered for the waitlist. If you're really anxious, you can call and ask whether all decisions have been made, but you'll probably start getting more solid information in the next week or two anyway.

I hope this was somewhat helpful, and good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks BlackHatGuy, that is helpful. It's nice to hear that my chances are not shot already! I actually haven't heard of anyone that has been accepted or rejected from the program I'm referring to (I was just curious about what 'unofficial acceptances' mean in general), so I am still hoping for the best.

Congrats on the good news you have heard so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How often does the graduate school of a university reject someone the specific department reccomends for admittance and funding? That is to say, is the "graduate school approval" step a rubber stamp, or is it a bigger deal? Just curious...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How often does the graduate school of a university reject someone the specific department reccomends for admittance and funding? That is to say, is the "graduate school approval" step a rubber stamp, or is it a bigger deal? Just curious...

I think it's basically a rubber stamp. When I received an unofficial acceptance, the professor that called told me that in the many, many years he had been there, the graduate school had not rejected anyone after the department recommended them for admission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the schools I've applied to have the role of the graduate school in the admissions process listed on their website. In general these have been to verify that the application is complete, that the basic requirements and credentials are met, issue the official decision, and issue the official offer if it's an acceptance. Presumably, they also conduct a background check, and the kind of things an employer's HR department would do before offering a position, though that's just speculation. It could very easily be different depending on the school, though. The only cases I've heard of at my undergrad school in which the graduate college reversed an admissions committee decision was when someone failed to graduate when expected, or lied on their application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had kind of been wondering about this too...I received a phone call the other day to talk about some options with my field of study and we worked through a scenario and at the end she said "okay, we'll I'm going to go ahead and admit you". But the whole call was very nonchalant, though she did say that there would be paperwork that would follow that would explain everything further

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had an unofficial acceptance, but via nonstandard processes--I know the POI personally, knew he was looking for grad students to move to another institution with, we talked for a while, he is interested in me. None of the paperwork is done, since I didn't officially apply for the program, but if I do decide to accept the offer the paperwork will happen by magic?

I think that if your POI says you are unofficially accepted it means they want you and the school is still figuring out paperwork (I am assuming you are applying to a school where you apply to someone specific rather than a rotation program?)

In any case, it's good news for you! Good luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone experienced from unofficial admission to wait list? Got email from an POI informing me about unofficial admission on March 23. I wrote her today, asking about when I can get official admission, but got reply saying that " right now you are waitlisted". ...Just wonder what is happening! :(  :(  :(  :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the unofficial results last February. The official confirmation from the EC would be ob May 15, this is the usual process for my program as indicated in their website. But I'm paranoid now, that if there is really this thing from unofficial to wait list?? Nooooooooooooooo, I only applied 1 program for this year. Im putting this to hands of my Almighty God. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the unofficial results last February. The official confirmation from the EC would be ob May 15, this is the usual process for my program as indicated in their website. But I'm paranoid now, that if there is really this thing from unofficial to wait list?? Nooooooooooooooo, I only applied 1 program for this year. Im putting this to hands of my Almighty God. 

 Hi, don't panic, I guess my situation is quite rare... I got explanation from that professor yesterday, which is very negative and not warm. She said they are unable to provide me with any funding, and if I can support myself they will let me off the wait list. This sucks! In the unofficial ad email, she said " We are still trying to figure out what funding packages might be available," then without any notification, I am waitlisted! Damn! 

Edited by opaljmy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone get an unofficial acceptance from Maryland? If so, how long did it take for you to officially hear from the "the Graduate school?" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The key is to be 'extremely' patience. I had received my unofficial from one of the adcomms. on Feb 24th and only received official acceptance last Sunday. The wait is crazy and nerve wrecking, but really, the key is to be completely patience and try not to bug the people at the department as well as graduate dean's office as they have many applications to process as well. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.