I sent an e-mail to a professor along with my CV explaining my research background and expressing an interest in joining his research group as he has asked to send CVs if anyone is interested in joining his group. After a few hours, I got a reply from him saying that my research background is quite relevant to his. He has also encouraged me to apply to the college and take the English tests.

When I checked the college website, it seems that the interview date for the possible candidates has already passed and they have stopped taking further applications.

I haven't yet taken the English exams as well. What should I do? Shall I send an application anyway? Is there a chance for me to get the scholarship?

3 Answers 3


If someone has told you they are interested and to do it, where is the doubt? I say do it.

You can always send the professor an email saying that you have seen that the application deadline is over, and ask if they think you should still apply.

A lot of PhD offers have no academic deadline other than the funding deadline, very often you can just start whenever.

  • He has not mentioned that he is interested. He has just said that my research background is similar to his. And has said that he encourages me to apply. The problem is, I have to do a master and then do the phd. They have a separate track for students without a master. So for that the application date is closed. Do you still think it is worth to do english exams and apply?
    – Umayangani
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:19
  • 1
    @Umayangani so he encourages you to apply, therefore he is interested in you applying no? If he had no interest, why would he encourage you? Don't overthink it, apply. If you are in general interested in PhD, you will anyway need to do an english exam, so you are not wasting your time on doing it. I dont understand your worry, what do you fear to lose by applying? Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:21
  • Ok, i will do the exams and apply. Do you think it would be good to send a reply to the professor asking if he thinks that I should apply even if the deadline is closed? Thanks you for helping me out. :)
    – Umayangani
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:30
  • @Umayangani yes, it is not a bad idea. Maybe the professor did not realized or maybe he thinks that you are OK with waiting a year, or maybe he has a position for you to start right now. Just ask. Note that in some countries (e.g. UK) a masters is not needed to get a PhD. Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:33
  • One more question, I initially addressed him as 'Dear Dr. XXX' and he has sent a reply saying 'Hi <my name>'. Should I still send a reply addressing him as 'Dear sir' or is it okay for me to say 'Hi' too?
    – Umayangani
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:49

Don't apply blindly, because there's a good chance that an administrator will filter it out as "past the closing date" and delete it.

But it's reasonable to respond to the professor explaining that it's closed, and asking if you should apply anyway. As others have said in comments, don't overthink this - professors are normal people, and you can interact with them in normal professional language!


In the United States, the closing date for applications is generally set at the level of the university, not by the department. If you missed the deadline, you will have to wait until next year to apply. I'm not aware of any exceptions being made to an application deadline.

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