Let me explain my situation a little bit, then I will try to make it more general for others to benefit.

I am graduating in a month and getting my bachelor degree in computer science. I did apply to graduate programs of US universities, and it did not end up as I expected. Right now, I am still looking for chances, graduate programs, to get in. I guess all the programs in US made their decisions already, and this is true for most of EU universities. But, still I want to check if I am missing anything.

More generally, consider an international student who wants to apply for graduate programs of computer science in EU/US. It is mid of May. Does this student still have chances to get in a graduate program with scholarship?

  • I guess you mean you have already applied and you wonder whether your pending decisions will be admits or rejects.
    – Bravo
    May 12, 2012 at 10:44
  • @Bravo No. I applied to US programs and got rejected. Currently I am looking for new programs to apply.
    – mert
    May 12, 2012 at 10:47

3 Answers 3


At my university (Bath), prestigious university scholarships are awarded through a competition that has its first rounds of evaluations in January, so we recommend submitting December of the year before. However, in the UK and Europe generally much research is funded by grants from research councils and industry which may be awarded at any time. These studentships are on particular topics and will be advertised on relevant mailing lists and sites like http://jobs.ac.uk. In addition, often multiple universities offer the same top students studentships, so occasionally funding gets returned and reoffered to a new applicant.

Application times for American academic positions (both faculty and postgraduate) seem to be more structured, at least in my experience. At MIT they said they had at least 120-150 fully-qualified applicants for the 30 slots they had the year I was lucky enough to get in (note: this means getting rejected does NOT necessarily mean you weren't good enough to get in!) So I don't think there is any chance they would look at someone who missed their application deadline if they applied late. But I could be wrong, and certainly it might be different at smaller universities.

In general though I'd recommend spending the time between now & the next deadline making yourself a better candidate, e.g. by publishing, working in a lab, or helping out with a conference or even just getting a job. Even if you put in another application this year, this is still good advice in case you reapply for next year.


Yes, it's too late, at least in the US.

All the PhD programs I'm familiar with (mostly in North America, but a few European programs too) require admitted applicants to accept or decline admission offers by April 15. The admission offers themselves are sent out weeks or even months earlier. For example, my department tries to finalize all PhD admission offers by mid-February. We get about 750 PhD applications every year, so to keep ourselves (relatively) sane, we don't even consider applications that arrive after the December deadline.

A few PhD programs do consider applicants for admission in the spring semester. But I wouldn't recommend trying for spring admissions to the same programs that already turned you down. In my experience, spring admission is more competitive. Moreover, a few months is unlikely to significantly improve your application, especially since they've already formed an opinion.

I also agree with Joanna's recommendation: Your best bet is to strengthen your record and apply again next year, for admission in Fall 2013. If possible, get involved in a research project with the goal of publication. At a minimum, do something independent, creative, and technical to show off your potential for research. Show your complete application to your letter writers (or other faculty mentors), especially your research statement, and ask for their detailed and brutally honest feedback. Listen to them. Finally, confirm with your references (by asking them directly) that they are willing to write you strong letters emphasizing your research potential.


At my university (KU Leuven, Belgium), PhD positions are available all year round, as admissions depend very strongly on faculty obtaining grants, and these are available at different times of the year. Faculty select their own PhD students individually, rather than depending on a centralised procedure. Just check the web site of the faculty you are interested in and look for open positions.

The same procedure may be used by other Flemish universities, but I cannot say for sure.

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