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Priority deadline?


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Some programs have two deadlines ( Dec. 1st, then Jan. 5th), the website states that Dec.1st is the priority deadline. What does this mean? Does it mean they wouldn't consider any further applications if they have enough from Dec.1st applicants? 

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I think you would have to ask the school for more details. I think just that information alone does not make it clear what they are going to do with applications submitted after Dec 1. For example, in addition to the possibility you wrote about, other potential options are:

1. Dec 1 deadline is for students who are submitting extra information (e.g. some schools have an earlier deadline for international students in case things need to be resubmitted or translated etc.)

2. The committee is meeting in early January and the Dec 1 deadline means that the staff will have time in December to compile your application material and be 100% certain to get it to the committee on time. The Jan 5 deadline means the staff will work on the applications ASAP but no guarantee that it will be ready for review by the first committee meeting. But otherwise, no preference for either groups.

3. Applications submitted by Dec 1 would be sent to professors over the break while Jan 5 applications will be sent later, meaning Dec 1 applicants get shown to professors first (however, there may or may not be any advantage to that).

Just a few examples of what they could mean, based on my experience applying to schools with two deadlines. It's best to just ask the school.

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