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Post-acceptance phone conversation scheduled with PhD director- Still waiting on other programs


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So I applied to several (11) PhD programs, perhaps an overkill, but I was uncertain about my admission chances. I have heard back from 3 - 2 acceptances (1 with potential fellowship) and 1 rejection. The school with the possible fellowship is currently my top choice based on good fit, a great conversation with a student, and a stressful, but very nice informal interview with the PhD director for the fellowship application before my formal acceptance to the program.


Now it is official, they want me! And I want them, as much as I can, considering that I still have 8 schools to hear from. I am in a field whose cycle is a bit later than most, so no worries about not hearing yet.


I have another conversation scheduled with the PhD director to "talk about [my] needs going forward" tomorrow. I really don't want to misrepresent myself or my intentions, but neither do I want to give the impression that I am not over the moon to be accepted. If the choices I have right now are my only acceptances, I will absolutely go to this school without hesitation.


Any advice on general demeanor, tone, or better yet, what my "needs going forward" should consist of? Can I ask to visit? Ask more questions about how the program works, assigning advisors, picking classes, etc? I've never done this before and am really nervous that I am going to ask for too much or not ask enough or that there are "needs" I haven't considered.


Any help would by much appreciated.


tl;dr accepted to PhD program- still waiting to hear back from other schools- phone call tomorrow to discuss my needs- not sure what to say

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This may be too late, but don't sweat.  Just express your excitement about the offer and that you have some important decisions to make.  They expect that you will be deciding between other programs and they won't be offended if you don't accept on the spot.  As for questions, some important things to ask are rate of attrition, time to completion, placement rates, etc.  One other thing that is VERY important to ask for if it is not offered is the contact info of some current grad students in your field.  These students will be much better resources to you as you make a decision as they'll be honest with you about conditions within the department. 

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You have the right to contemplate until April 15th to make your decision. They know this. They know you may be fielding other offers so take your time. Still remain interested and show passion and excitement for their program. Also it's considered good taste to politely decline programs and notify them if you won't be attending as soon as you've decided to go elsewhere.

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Make mention that this program is among your top choices and you are still weighing your options as this is obviously a very big decision.  


I am in a similar boat with a program that has accepted me but currently doesnt have the funding.  They are lobbying the Dean trying to get more as well as put me on the funding waiting list.  In my response to the acceptance email I reiterated my interest in their program and asked to be kept abreast of the possibility of funding as it is a major factor in my decision. I also asked to be put in contact with current grad students to further investigate fit which also was meant to demonstrate my level of interest.


I hope this helps.

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