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How to nicely decline PhD offer?


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I need advice about what to write in a letter declining an offer. I visited the school and everyone was extremely nice. The advisor of the program organized my whole visit. He found a grad student for me to stay with, took care of my meals, made two full days of meetings with the students and faculty, set up a tour of the campus and town for me and even got me a ticket to attend a show with a current student. He also took care of securing me a strong funding package that I learned from my visit few receive.

My visit was awesome, but the program doesn't fit for me. Mostly, it's the cost of housing and not enough research opportunities.

I feel bad so much effort was put into my visit and I want to write a nice letter declining the offer. What should I say or include to express my appreciation, but nicely decline?

Edited by seashells963
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"Thank you for the offer. After careful consideration, I have decided to attend a program that is a better fit for my research interests. I look forward to seeing you at (disciplinary conference) in the years to come. Sincerely, XXX"

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I was in the same situation. Imitated those rejection letters unis send to us:


1. politely inform of decision and do tell which other school you chose

2. decision was very difficult etc, + tell how good the school you're declining is, what you liked about it etc

3. express interest in future collaboration and such


Also, write a more personalized message to the prof(s).


imo doesn't hurt to be a bit more personalized in a case like this, as they spent so much of their time for you - might as well spend some time for them

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