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I had an interview for a Ph.D. Biostatistics program at a US university. Later, I received an unofficial rejection email from the interviewer after I asked him about my status. However, during the interview, he mentioned that my profile was better suited for the Ph.D. Epidemiology program. When I asked him whether I can be considered for that too, he said that it was too late as the process has been wrapped up already. Nevertheless, I reached out to the Epidemiology Ph.D. director and she said that she was wrapping up but will take a look at my application. The last I heard from her was almost 20 days ago, and she said that she has read my application and was then trying to arrange interviews with the faculty members of my interest. I have followed up twice since then but she hasn't responded. The last follow-up was 8 days ago.

I know that people were shortlisted even before I reached out to her. Hence, it confuses me as to why she said she'll check my application. Since this is a very unusual scenario, I am wondering whether she still remembers the correspondence we had. Should I reach out to her or wait it out? I don't want to annoy her and seem desperate, but I also don't want her to forget about me.

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You didn't formally apply, you're past the deadline for applying, you've followed up twice already. It sounds like you have done everything you can. In my opinion, it's best to just move on. Following up again sounds like a dead end. Maybe you will get a nice surprise in the mail at some point, but I wouldn't count on it.

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You should not hold your breath for this school. At this point I would encourage you to apply for other schools. If biostatistics is what you have a passion for, then stick with it. Just because someone thinks you are a better fit with epidemiology, doesn’t mean you actually are going to enjoy it or do well in it.

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