I applied for admission for a PhD at a university in the US well before the deadline. A potential advisor contacted me saying that he is recommending my application to the department. I thanked him for it. However, it has been almost one month, and I still have not received the official letter from the department. Should I send an email to the professor enquiring when I can expect the official letter?

  • I don't think a lot of US universities use "rolling admissions" anymore and release all acceptance decisions on the same date. Often it is April 1.
    – Buffy
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:15
  • 3
    @Buffy April 1?? That's very late, maybe it's field dependent but most admits I hear of are at least early March. I guess it could also depend on interview schedules Mar 6, 2021 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


The professor's recommendation to the department is not a promise of admission. You can ask the professor about when you might hear from the department one way or the other - particularly if you have other positions you need to decide about. You can't reasonably expect an official letter at this point.

  • It is unlikely, in the US, that anyone will hear prior to April 1, actually. See: ivywise.com/blog/regular-decision-notification-dates. There is some variation, but this seems to be pretty typical.
    – Buffy
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:13
  • I probably should have mentioned it in the original question itself, but in the email, the professor had said "I hope you will accept this offer when it arrives" and had also mentioned that I will most likely be offered a TA or a RA position. These things led me to believe that I should expect an official letter. Mar 6, 2021 at 15:17
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    @AnonymousAsker, perhaps, but, again, in the US a professor doesn't normally have the authority to accept you and especially not to offer a TA. Don't burn any bridges prior to April 6. Good luck, though.
    – Buffy
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:58
  • If a professor tells admissions he wants a particular guy, there is no way admissions would reject that. Why would they? Mar 7, 2021 at 2:39

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