I can't seem to find a answer regarding this point, I would like to know what the usual timeline from the point of application (for tenure track faculty position) submission to contact for interviews looks like. I have applied to numerous positions, some in February of this year. More than half have neither rejected or contacted me and May is just around the corner. What can I expect?

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    If you haven't heard back from applications by now I wouldn't get your hopes up. No response is often an implicit rejection. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 20:34
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    Country? Field?
    – Thomas
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 20:41
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    No answer often means implicit rejection indeed, as @astronat wrote. Don't wait for an "explicit" rejection to move on. As an example, late dec. 2016 I applied to a position. Mid-april 2018 I received an email informing me that my application was not successful. You should not expect to receive a negative answer anytime soon.
    – Clément
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 3:16

3 Answers 3


It's hard to answer your question without knowing the country and field. I'll answer from my perspective, which probably extends to your situation, but take it with a grain of salt.

Here's a helpful resource describing in detail a typical (successful) job search timeline for computer science tenure-track faculty positions in the US: http://www.pgbovine.net/faculty-job-search-timeline.htm

Most interview invitations are sent out by the end of February. If you haven't heard by mid April (now), then unfortunately I think it's almost certain that you won't be invited.

Another source of information: Most departments list seminar speakers on their website. When their seminar starts filling up with interviewees, then you know they have been sending out invitations.

Most places never send a formal rejection or, if they do, it comes so late that the outcome was already obvious. So don't expect to hear anything.

Commiserations. The academic job search is tough! I wish you the best of luck in your other endeavours.


My response is coming from my experiences in U.S., working in languages/linguistics, serving on a job search committee, and applying for jobs myself this year.

Typically, initial interviews will start up 2-4 weeks after the application deadline, as search committee members need time to look over the pool of applicants, meet up, discuss, and come to a consensus re: their top picks. There are definitely some exceptions though - I had one place reach out to me after only a week, and another place that reached out almost 2 months after the application deadline.

Also keep in mind that every search committee is operating under some sort of bureaucracy where they need to get approval from higher ups every step of the way, which also adds to the waiting time.

If you've made it to the initial interview and they want to bring you back for a second round/campus visit - which is always the case for tenure-track jobs - they'll probably reach out in 1-2 weeks (the initial round of interviews can take 1-3 days to get through, followed by more meetings/discussions). They'll book your campus visit maybe 2-3 weeks from the time they contact you. After that, you might have to wait an additional 2-3 weeks for a final decision (if you're their first pick), given that they probably have 2-3 other final candidates, and because the campus visits are much lengthier, full-day events, each candidate visit is spaced out a bit.

Concrete example: with the job search committee I was on, our application deadline was near the end of October, and the final offer wasn't made until mid-February, I believe. Approximately 3.5 months. (assistant professor)

A contrary example coming from my own job search experience: a couple of weeks ago I received an offer for a job I applied for in mid-March (visiting assistant professor) - so that one only took a month! And in another case, I got an offer last week for a job I applied to back in January, after doing my last interview with them well over a month ago...so that one was closer to 3 months total (and admittedly, I'm pretty sure I wasn't their first pick, lol)

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    Visiting professor is usually different from tenure track. I've never heard of the multi-day mock lecture, research presentation and abundance of faculty meetings being done for the hiring of a visiting professor.
    – Nik
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 4:55

My response is coming from being on hiring committees in Canada. We generally do not ask for letters of reference at the time of application, but three references who we can contact if/when we want more information on a potential applicant. We then ask for the letters, which can take some time to assemble given the busy lives of most referees, and use them to make the shortlist. Thus, it might be 6-8 weeks before we actually contact applicants for further information or to schedule interviews.

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