I'm on a waitlist, should I email the admissions officer?

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woodbetweenworlds
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:56 pm

I'm on a waitlist, should I email the admissions officer?

Postby woodbetweenworlds » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:47 pm

Sorry if this has been asked before. I've been looking for advice online and can't find any tailored to physics graduates.

I have been placed on the admissions waitlist at my top pick university. I want to email the person in charge of admissions decisions. My current plan is a short, maybe three-line email saying I'm still interested and reasons why. Is this a good idea?

I have found other online advice targeted more generally suggesting sending funny pictures or baking cookies with the school's name, and I'm very sure those are terrible suggestions for getting off of the waitlist for a physics Ph.D. At best, the admissions committee would probably restrain their annoyance and not hold it against me.

Is there anything I can do? The letter I received said to email if I wish to be taken off the waitlist, but gave no other instructions. I understand the admissions committee is very busy and probably glad to have the bulk of decisions behind them, and that pestering them is a bad idea. However, I'm afraid that not saying anything might imply a lack of interest.

Some other ideas might be emailing the professors I'd like to work with telling them about my research interests, or sending in copies of work I've done, or going on a tour, or things of that nature. However, I can also imagine those hurting me more than helping, as they seem pestering.

Any advice would be appreciated! Especially if you've been on a waitlist and later gotten off of it.

astroprof
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: I'm on a waitlist, should I email the admissions officer?

Postby astroprof » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:16 am

At this stage, it is perfectly reasonable to reply to whomever notified you that you were on the wait list that you are "still very interested in their program" and that you hope you hear positive news from them soon. However, I do not recommend stating explicitly that this is the only school left on your list (even if that is the case), as you do not want to indicate that other schools have judged you negatively (even if they have). While this e-mail will probably not change your ranking on the wait list, it is beneficial to keep the lines of communication open, particularly as it gets closer to April 15. However, I will also note in passing that, for the first time, my department down-ranked a few wait listed applicants based on their unprofessional responses to being told that they were on the wait list. So, while communication is generally a good thing, all communications with the department should be brief and professional.

deterministic devil
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:22 am

Re: I'm on a waitlist, should I email the admissions officer?

Postby deterministic devil » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:06 am

astroprof wrote:At this stage, it is perfectly reasonable to reply to whomever notified you that you were on the wait list that you are "still very interested in their program" and that you hope you hear positive news from them soon. However, I do not recommend stating explicitly that this is the only school left on your list (even if that is the case), as you do not want to indicate that other schools have judged you negatively (even if they have). While this e-mail will probably not change your ranking on the wait list, it is beneficial to keep the lines of communication open, particularly as it gets closer to April 15. However, I will also note in passing that, for the first time, my department down-ranked a few wait listed applicants based on their unprofessional responses to being told that they were on the wait list. So, while communication is generally a good thing, all communications with the department should be brief and professional.


Dear astroprof, I have a similar issue that I would like to hear your opinion on this. I have not receiced any decisions yet from some universities, where some of them have sent acceptances and rejections to few applicants aldready. Should I contact them and ask about the status of my application? Or wait for their final desicions come out?
One of those universities that I ve applied is University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Thanks in advance.

astroprof
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: I'm on a waitlist, should I email the admissions officer?

Postby astroprof » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:11 pm

Yes, at this stage in the admissions cycle (mid-March), it is appropriate to contact schools with an inquiry regarding status of your application. In all likelihood, if you have not yet heard from them, you are probably on a wait list. Some schools notify their wait lists, others assume that "no news is good news" and thus provide no indication of wait list status to their applicants.




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