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Deferring an Offer?


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What do you guys know about deferring offers? I have a friend who deferred an offer last year, so I know it’s possible.

 

How would you go about asking a university if it’s an option? How likely do you suppose it is?

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I have heard of programs allowing people to defer, but from my understanding it is rare (or at least conditional upon something) and typically for only a year. I think you would probably need to show the DGS (or whomever makes the decision) that there are viable grounds for deferment or show your rationale for deferring--I have a friend who asked to defer because she felt as though she needed a break before starting her Ph.D and the DGS basically told her it was now or never except in a nicer way. Another friend asked to defer because he needed to work another year before moving to an expensive city for his Ph.D and the DGS granted it on the grounds that he start during the winter semester. 

 

TL;DR: I think it depends. 

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I have heard of programs allowing people to defer, but from my understanding it is rare (or at least conditional upon something) and typically for only a year. I think you would probably need to show the DGS (or whomever makes the decision) that there are viable grounds for deferment or show your rationale for deferring--I have a friend who asked to defer because she felt as though she needed a break before starting her Ph.D and the DGS basically told her it was now or never except in a nicer way. Another friend asked to defer because he needed to work another year before moving to an expensive city for his Ph.D and the DGS granted it on the grounds that he start during the winter semester. 

 

TL;DR: I think it depends. 

 

This is my experience as well-- it's not unheard of, but it's rare.

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I deferred last year. It was very easy. I just emailed and requested a year to gain work experience and also to try to find funding. It was for an unfunded MA, though. 

 

Now, a year later, I most likely am going to be telling them I won't go at all. Not sure how that will go over, but considering it's an unfunded MA... Don't think it will be a big deal.

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It would be pretty difficult to get a funded offer deferred, and especially if it's a public university. DGS's tend to be pretty skeptical, and assume you're just applying again the next cycle and hoping to get into better programs, while keeping them in the backpocket. But, it never hurts to ask. 

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Some programs allow it; some don't. I think as ArthurianChaucerian points out, your reasoning for wanting to defer would be crucial. You mentioned earlier in another thread that you were thinking of reapplying next year despite getting a few funded offers; is it your hope to defer one of those offers and have it as a backup when you reapply next cycle?

 

I would first comb any of the materials you've received from the schools that extended offers as well as the department website and the grad college website if there is one. If deferral is allowed, there might be a protocol to follow and your chances might be better at getting approval if your initiative shows that you've exhausted available resources prior to just asking the department.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I am hoping to defer for a year so that I can first complete a second Master's in Film Studies in the United Kingdom (which I can do in about eight months) before I start my PhD.

 

The program that I’m thinking about deferring doesn’t have a wide range of film classes (or any, for that matter), which is going to make it difficult to work in my area of interest. My current Master’s thesis and my undergrad thesis were both film-related, but I don’t feel like I have enough experience in what I’m trying to do to make it work without more in-depth knowledge about the subject.

 

I’m hoping that the school in question will consider that a valid reason for deferring. They know that their courses are limited in my area and maybe having a student with two strong Master’s degrees will appeal to them? Hmm... We’ll see what happens. 

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I am hoping to defer for a year so that I can first complete a second Master's in Film Studies in the United Kingdom (which I can do in about eight months) before I start my PhD.

 

The program that I’m thinking about deferring doesn’t have a wide range of film classes (or any, for that matter), which is going to make it difficult to work in my area of interest. My current Master’s thesis and my undergrad thesis were both film-related, but I don’t feel like I have enough experience in what I’m trying to do to make it work without more in-depth knowledge about the subject.

 

I’m hoping that the school in question will consider that a valid reason for deferring. They know that their courses are limited in my area and maybe having a student with two strong Master’s degrees will appeal to them? Hmm... We’ll see what happens. 

 

Good luck, Kamisha! That seems like a valid reason to me.

 

If I may ask, why are you so keen on this program if they don't have film classes? Is there a professor with whom you want to work?

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Good luck, Kamisha! That seems like a valid reason to me.

 

If I may ask, why are you so keen on this program if they don't have film classes? Is there a professor with whom you want to work?

 

That’s a good question. It’s a really great offer that’s difficult to turn down. There are a couple of faculty members there who I would really enjoy working with and I was able to meet some of the graduate students and really clicked with them. 

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I asked for a deferral for the Fulbright should God shine upon me and I get it. UConn said yes. I haven't asked Tufts yet because I'm nervous. 

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That’s a good question. It’s a really great offer that’s difficult to turn down. There are a couple of faculty members there who I would really enjoy working with and I was able to meet some of the graduate students and really clicked with them. 

 

Do you think you'll end up doing a film studies dissertation? If so, do you have a sense of which faculty would be able to advise?

 

Also, I bet you could propose a film studies survey course in a couple years if you do take the offer. Maybe you can bring film studies to the university! :D

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Do you think you'll end up doing a film studies dissertation? If so, do you have a sense of which faculty would be able to advise?

 

Also, I bet you could propose a film studies survey course in a couple years if you do take the offer. Maybe you can bring film studies to the university! :D

 

Yeah, I have two faculty members in mind who could advise me :) 

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