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Thanks! I wonder why they don't release the results at the same time.

 

Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

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Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

 

This is a super helpful look into how admissions decisions are made, thank you!

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Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

 

 

Thank you very much for this kind of information, it really helps.

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Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

 

Yes, thank you for your insightful response!

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Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

 

To echo everyone else, thank you for this information, it really helps to get a look behind the scenes.

 

Would you be willing/able to share any insight as to how this year is different, because of covid-19 -- specifically whether it's effected 1) the amount of applications your department received, 2) the size of your cohort; or 3) your actual admissions process ?

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This is useful information, but everyone should still remember that admissions work differently in each department. In my (top 20 US) department, there is no pre-screen. All complete applicants are reviewed by one or more faculty members on the admissions committee. We review all applications before releasing any decisions. We release the majority of decisions all at once (modular processing time in the application portal) retaining a small pool of candidates as a waiting list. We offer funded admissions to more applicants than our target for enrollment, relying on historical yield information and the best information available about the current situation to wind up with an entering cohort close to our target size. One reason we take this approach may be that we target a larger class size than tbe mentions.

 

Two reasons:

 

First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.

 

Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.

 

Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)

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This is useful information, but everyone should still remember that admissions work differently in each department. In my (top 20 US) department, there is no pre-screen. All complete applicants are reviewed by one or more faculty members on the admissions committee. We review all applications before releasing any decisions. We release the majority of decisions all at once (modular processing time in the application portal) retaining a small pool of candidates as a waiting list. We offer funded admissions to more applicants than our target for enrollment, relying on historical yield information and the best information available about the current situation to wind up with an entering cohort close to our target size. One reason we take this approach may be that we target a larger class size than tbe mentions.

 

Also really good info, a little more in line with how i'd thought the process worked. I'd love to put the same questions to you -- would you share anything about how COVID has effected the amount of applications your department received or the target size of your cohort?

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This is useful information, but everyone should still remember that admissions work differently in each department. In my (top 20 US) department, there is no pre-screen. All complete applicants are reviewed by one or more faculty members on the admissions committee. We review all applications before releasing any decisions. We release the majority of decisions all at once (modular processing time in the application portal) retaining a small pool of candidates as a waiting list. We offer funded admissions to more applicants than our target for enrollment, relying on historical yield information and the best information available about the current situation to wind up with an entering cohort close to our target size. One reason we take this approach may be that we target a larger class size than tbe mentions.

 

Since folks find it helpful to see how different departments handle this, let me tell you what we do.

 

Every application is reviewed by one or more faculty members. Because we have an internal deadline that needs an early decision, we pull out something like 5 applications and make an informal admit decision in January. We generally send a special note to this handful of students letting them know.

 

We then process all the complete files. Around the beginning of March we make a first list of rankings. We then go through and try to figure out how much support we have to allocate. (We promise 5 years of support to everyone we accept.) Once we have a clear list, we choose students to accept and students to put on a wait list. We then send out all acceptances, wait lists, and rejections within a day or two. (So there's no implicit-anything from us.)

 

It may we worth noting that we tell students on the wait list to let us know if they are still interested. Most don't respond. That's okay because if they're good enough to be on our waitlist they are quite likely to have other good offers.

 

One more piece: the couple of days before and after the reply date of April 15th tend to be a zoo for everyone. We're trying to guess how many acceptances we'll have before going to the waitlist. And students on the waitlist want to hear while deciding whether to accept somewhere else. It's a pain for everyone.

 

A piece of advice: If you reach the stage of having an acceptance or a wait list position at a school, you're past the wholesale stage. If you have questions, concerns, or needs- contact the school and discuss! You may or may not get what you want, but no one is going to be offended.

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This is useful information, but everyone should still remember that admissions work differently in each department. In my (top 20 US) department, there is no pre-screen. All complete applicants are reviewed by one or more faculty members on the admissions committee. We review all applications before releasing any decisions. We release the majority of decisions all at once (modular processing time in the application portal) retaining a small pool of candidates as a waiting list. We offer funded admissions to more applicants than our target for enrollment, relying on historical yield information and the best information available about the current situation to wind up with an entering cohort close to our target size. One reason we take this approach may be that we target a larger class size than tbe mentions.

 

Thanks for the helpful info!

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Since folks find it helpful to see how different departments handle this, let me tell you what we do.

 

Every application is reviewed by one or more faculty members. Because we have an internal deadline that needs an early decision, we pull out something like 5 applications and make an informal admit decision in January. We generally send a special note to this handful of students letting them know.

 

We then process all the complete files. Around the beginning of March we make a first list of rankings. We then go through and try to figure out how much support we have to allocate. (We promise 5 years of support to everyone we accept.) Once we have a clear list, we choose students to accept and students to put on a wait list. We then send out all acceptances, wait lists, and rejections within a day or two. (So there's no implicit-anything from us.)

 

It may we worth noting that we tell students on the wait list to let us know if they are still interested. Most don't respond. That's okay because if they're good enough to be on our waitlist they are quite likely to have other good offers.

 

One more piece: the couple of days before and after the reply date of April 15th tend to be a zoo for everyone. We're trying to guess how many acceptances we'll have before going to the waitlist. And students on the waitlist want to hear while deciding whether to accept somewhere else. It's a pain for everyone.

 

A piece of advice: If you reach the stage of having an acceptance or a wait list position at a school, you're past the wholesale stage. If you have questions, concerns, or needs- contact the school and discuss! You may or may not get what you want, but no one is going to be offended.

 

It seems April 15th quite a chaos... so it is still possible to get a slot after April 15th even with funding right?

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It seems April 15th quite a chaos... so it is still possible to get a slot after April 15th even with funding right?

Yes. it is possible.

 

In fact, let me explain an additional opportunity/complication. [This only applies to schools in the United States.]

 

All schools have signed an agreement about the deadline for funded offers. That's where April 15th comes from. Everyone has agreed that applicants have until April 15th to respond, and if a school asks for a response before that date the applicant is free to change their mind up until April 15th. Unless a school is violating the common reply data rule. once a student commits to one school they are not allowed to switch.

 

Except...the applicant can ask the school they agreed to attend for a "release" to go to another school. The release is almost always granted.

 

From what I can tell, this situation doesn't arise very often. But it is not that unusual for there to be some wait list admissions in the days right after April 15th.

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To echo everyone else, thank you for this information, it really helps to get a look behind the scenes.

 

Would you be willing/able to share any insight as to how this year is different, because of covid-19 -- specifically whether it's effected 1) the amount of applications your department received, 2) the size of your cohort; or 3) your actual admissions process ?

 

I'm only part of the way through our applications, but so far this year isn't quite as different as I expected it to be. We waived the GRE requirement and I thought this may affect how we evaluate candidates, but nearly all applicants submitted a GRE score.

 

It seems we have about the same number of applications as last year. It's a little early to say how the overall quality compares, but seems fairly similar.

 

We will likely aim for a slightly smaller cohort this year, but within the range of our recent cohorts. The university has some budget cuts and so one way for us to reduce our spending is to support fewer graduate students.

 

Otherwise our process is not different at all from what we've done in the past. Our admissions committee has three people. All files are reviewed by at least two of us, but usually all three. All three of us are pretty experienced with graduate admissions and so we know what we are looking for in an applicant, we know how to read reference letters, we know who might be a riskier admit, etc.

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I'm only part of the way through our applications, but so far this year isn't quite as different as I expected it to be. We waived the GRE requirement and I thought this may affect how we evaluate candidates, but nearly all applicants submitted a GRE score.

 

It seems we have about the same number of applications as last year. It's a little early to say how the overall quality compares, but seems fairly similar.

 

We will likely aim for a slightly smaller cohort this year, but within the range of our recent cohorts. The university has some budget cuts and so one way for us to reduce our spending is to support fewer graduate students.

 

Otherwise our process is not different at all from what we've done in the past. Our admissions committee has three people. All files are reviewed by at least two of us, but usually all three. All three of us are pretty experienced with graduate admissions and so we know what we are looking for in an applicant, we know how to read reference letters, we know who might be a riskier admit, etc.

 

This is good to hear, thank you for sharing. My biggest anxiety this year is getting disappointing results and always wondering how much of an effect the virus had, and what would've happened if I'd waited another year. I went through the admissions process two years ago (different story; was quite happy with my results, but had to decline for personal reasons), and I don't have it in me to try a third time (plus many schools won't let you). I'm hoping other schools are in a similar position to yours, though I guess one way or another I'll find out over the coming weeks and months.

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I'm only part of the way through our applications, but so far this year isn't quite as different as I expected it to be. We waived the GRE requirement and I thought this may affect how we evaluate candidates, but nearly all applicants submitted a GRE score.

 

It seems we have about the same number of applications as last year. It's a little early to say how the overall quality compares, but seems fairly similar.

 

We will likely aim for a slightly smaller cohort this year, but within the range of our recent cohorts. The university has some budget cuts and so one way for us to reduce our spending is to support fewer graduate students.

 

Otherwise our process is not different at all from what we've done in the past. Our admissions committee has three people. All files are reviewed by at least two of us, but usually all three. All three of us are pretty experienced with graduate admissions and so we know what we are looking for in an applicant, we know how to read reference letters, we know who might be a riskier admit, etc.

 

We are also only part way through our applications. In our case, our applications are up about 45 percent.

 

We don't know yet whether we will have a smaller cohort. It is possible though. We have a small number of students who deferred admission in the Fall, so I would guess our number of admissions will be down a little.

 

We did not accept GRE scores this year. A few students managed to submit them anyway, but we ignored them.

 

I expect we will be a little slower in getting out acceptances this year (and we are never very fast). Other than that, the process is the same as usual.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Looks like UofM has completed their admissions for the econ phd. I applied to the public policy & econ joint PhD - does anyone know if this is treated differently? Based on previous years' results from Grad Cafe these applicants received acceptances/rejections a little later in the cycle so I'm inclined to think that it is.
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Looks like UofM has completed their admissions for the econ phd. I applied to the public policy & econ joint PhD - does anyone know if this is treated differently? Based on previous years' results from Grad Cafe these applicants received acceptances/rejections a little later in the cycle so I'm inclined to think that it is.

 

Yeah I also gathered this from GC and just the fact that the app needs to be reviewed by both PPol and Econ, and I think Econ treats this as a completely separate pool of applicants (i.e. there are slots set aside for this program) so sit back and relax!

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Yeah I also gathered this from GC and just the fact that the app needs to be reviewed by both PPol and Econ, and I think Econ treats this as a completely separate pool of applicants (i.e. there are slots set aside for this program) so sit back and relax!

Thanks for that response! Don't know about sitting back and relaxing haha. Did you also apply to this program?

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