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About a week ago, I went to submit the application for the mathematics PhD program at one of my top choice schools. The form told me I had missed the deadline, which was December 15th. I had January 5th written down on my list of application information, but when I looked it was indeed Dec. 15 on the department website.

I distinctly remembered seeing Jan. 5th, however, so I looked it up again and found the website for general graduate admissions where I found the deadline to begin with. It said/says January 5th, and is even program specific (under the "PhD in Mathematics"). So I emailed my application to the mathematics department graduate admissions email address explaining there was an incorrect deadline on another part of the website, provided a link, and requested that I still be considered.

I haven't heard back from them aside from an automated "we'll get to this eventually" email, and it has been about 7 days now. I think I have a strong application for this school in particular and really don't want to lose my chance to apply. What do I do? Should I try to call the math department? Submit it to a different email? Or am I just boned?

EDIT: I should note that this is a big school which will probably get a lot of applications, so hopefully they haven't gotten far through review yet. Also, everything except my personal statement was on the website before the Dec 15 deadline, but of course the submit button was not hit so I don't know if this helps.

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I would call them. –  gerrit Jan 13 '13 at 22:46
Or, if they're nearby and your initial attempts at contact were unsuccessful, visit them in person. Also make sure to contact both the central admissions office as well as the department. –  aeismail Jan 14 '13 at 13:33
What became of your application? I'd try to move fast with this (it's much easier to resolve these things before the committee meets face-to-face to rank applications, and that's likely to happen in January, perhaps soon). I'd try writing again if you still haven't heard back, and you could also see whether one of your recommenders could check with a faculty member at the school you are applying to. It might just not work out, but it can't hurt to ask, and you at least deserve a response. –  Anonymous Mathematician Jan 15 '13 at 2:31
By the way, I'd bet one issue here is that the January 5th date is from another university web site, not the math department's. It's still a university web site, which is a major point in your favor, but the math department likely considers it quite a bit less official/meaningful than their own web site, and they are probably quite upset with whoever didn't keep it up to date. They really ought to consider your application, but they may not do it gracefully or cheerfully, and that could explain the delay. –  Anonymous Mathematician Jan 15 '13 at 2:38
@AnonymousMathematician I called the department's admissions office and was vigorously informed that they refuse to consider my application under any circumstances and that they "didn't care what my excuse was." I have written the two professors I wanted to study under requesting that they read my application, if nothing else because I worked hard on it and I can't accept that nobody will ever read it. I doubt this will do any good, though. It's kind of a bummer. –  Alexander Gruber Jan 16 '13 at 5:56

1 Answer 1

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I would try and personally contact someone at the school, like @gerrit commented, call them. Try and explain your situation, and say that you hope you will still be considered for the program. Do mention that it was not that you simply forgot the deadline, but that an official document stated the wrong dead, include this piece of evidence. Stress that your are very enthusiastic about the program, and that you would be disappointed if this communication error would prevent you from having a chance to enter the program.

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