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Has anyone had their interview requirement waived? Did you get in?


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This happened to me today; I've already gotten into a better fit program so I am not worried about what this means, but it made me wonder. I applied to an in-state Masters program and received an email today that I am being considered for acceptance. They said since I had already met with a faculty member on the selection committee that I did not need to complete an interview. (They didn't include any "But if you would like to have one anyway . . ." information, leading me to believe I don't get one.)

I can only assume that this means I am getting in, because the idea of them waiving an interview then not letting me in would be pretty cruddy if I needed that spot, given I'd feel I didn't get the same chance other applicants got to make an impression. What do you all think?

It's also notable that, well, I didn't meet with anyone on the selection committee, I don't even know who is on it. I'm assuming this waiving happened because 1) a very large portion of the graduates from my undergrad go to this program, and there's a strong partnership between the schools and, more importantly, 2) my "main" LOR writer (former professor and boss at my undergrad) is up there doing a PhD and teaching undergrad classes, though I do not believe she is on the committee.

Thoughts on this situation? Has anyone else basically been told "You're in the running but we don't want to interview you" before? Since I'm not going to choose this program unless they make some major funding available (unlikely for this level/school) I'm not worried, per se, just thinking about the situation in general.

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It's common for many programs (although I'm in a different field) to not interview every single applicant, only the ones that are borderline between acceptance and rejection. (i.e. they need the info from the interview to make a decision). For example, if they want to accept 20 students, and they have 100 applicants, they might choose to do an initial ranking and then:

- Admit the top 10 applicants without interviewing them
- Interview the applicants ranked 11-40 to select the next 10 admits (and maybe to select the waitlist too)
- Reject the applicants ranked 41-100 without interviewing them

You don't need to treat every applicant the same way as long as you have fair and clear rubrics ahead of time that apply to every applicant. If a school chose this scheme but then still interviewed a candidate ranked 57 because someone wanted to interview them, then I'd be concerned of unfairness. (The fair way to do this would be for the champion of #57's application to convince the committee that this applicant should be ranked #40 instead).

Given that they told you that you are being "considered for acceptance", you are likely going to get accepted, not rejected. I know you're not really worried about this and it sounds like you were just wondering whether it's fair to allow some applicants a chance to make an impression via an interview, I think some implementations can be fair such as the example above.

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