Jump to content

Accepted a Program, Sudden New Offer


Recommended Posts

Hi all, I need your advice. I went to all of my advisors and such, but I think you guys will give me a better idea.


Before April 15th, I had received all of my acceptances and rejections. I accepted the best offer at the time which included a great stipend for my stay and the research is really awesome. I love my advisor (he's a cool dude). Every one is really nice at school X. I never met my cohort, unfortunately, so that's up in the air.


Recently, I received an offer of a research assistantship to school Y. This was a school I was originally rejected from, but this offer is in a different department than the one I applied to originally. I don't have a strong background in this discipline (it's an engineering discipline; I'm in physics). This advisor has connections to places I want to work, and I am very excited about the more direct applications and connections towards my desired career goal than school X has.


Considering that I've already accepted the offer to school X, how bad would it be to go back on my acceptance? Is there a polite way to do this?


I think I may be more inherently interested in the program at school Y, but I am disadvantaged in my academic background. My research interests, however, are more in line with this advisor. I would probably be at school Y for a longer amount of time than school X.


I am not necessarily worried about burning bridges, since I will be moving across disciplines and am unlikely to interact with people with connections to advisor X.


Condensed Version:

Accepted school X (good stipend, great research, same discipline as undergrad).

Received offer from school Y (after initial rejection, research more in line with future career goal. Disadvantaged due to academic background. Would have to switch disciplines).

What do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like you want to do Y. If you'd been accepted to both originally, what would you have done? At the same time, why didn't you apply to this department in school Y to begin with?


For what it's worth, I think "I have chosen to attend a program in a different discipline", is probably one of the reasons for reneging on an offer that is going to ruffle the least feathers. "I'm sorry, I chose to go into accounting, not chemistry." What are they going to do, tell you not to get the training you want for the job you want? Seems pretty inoffensive, as decisions go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can't go through life / academia without making some people upset sometimes. The important part is whether or not you are doing what's right for you. If you feel like School Y is what you want to do and where you want to go with your career, then it is okay to let School X know that you have changed your mind because of a last minute offer from School Y. 


School X will understand that you didn't set this situation up on purpose--the physics department at School Y rejected you originally. School X will also understand that you need to do what's best for you! 


Although School X will understand, still be prepared that some people at School X will be upset. Be polite and apologetic if it happens. Remain professional. These things happen and both you and School X will move on! After all, it's not like they are planning their whole future around your attendance--they might be disappointed but it's not going to "ruin" anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To knp:

I originally did not apply to any Engineering programs and had only applied to Applied Physics-type programs. The reason being that I did not think I had the qualification and the necessary background to go into Engineering period. However, when you put the switch across disciplines in that way, it seems easier for me to justify what I want from life.


To TakeruK:

The reassurance is definitely helpful. The main source of my apprehension is the fact that I took up a spot that could have been otherwise awarded to someone else.


Thanks to all for your time.

Link to comment
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
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use