I appreciate the prompt reply.

I sent out my phd application in epidemiology to NYU , but got short listed to interview the department of social and behavioral sciences at NYU, because they sensed my application fits this department better.

I did an interview, and the chairs of the social and behavioral department were so happy with my interview and asked me if i was happy with the shift in the departments for my application.

Two weeks later, (today) i receive an automatic reply from the NYU portal saying that I was rejected from the phd in epidemiology department (one that i have not been interviewed for!)

What should i do! I am so nervous!!!!!

  • 1
    Why do you think that an automatic reply about being rejected by the epidemiology department (which was presumably sent out to all people who applied minus those people who were shortlisted, so in particular this set of people includes you) has any connection to your application's status at the social and behavioral department? Mar 11, 2022 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


If you would be happy in the new department then keep following up with them. The other one is apparently closed to you. The rejection by one department is unlikely to have any effect on the other.

But, until you get an actual acceptance, keep other options open.

You seem to be still under consideration by Social and Behavioral Sciences and will be told of any outcome when decisions are final. Anything else would be improper. If you are feeling uneasy, you could ask them for an update.

  • If you are rejected by Social and Behavioral they will tell you specifically. So, yes, you have hope. Some folks there seem to think you are a better fit in one or the other. I would probably wait to seek reasons for the rejection until you have a happy outcome somewhere. Departments can be very independent.
    – Buffy
    Mar 11, 2022 at 19:58
  • You haven't been rejected by the new department. I don't understand the comment. Do we misunderstand each other?
    – Buffy
    Mar 11, 2022 at 20:04
  • 2
    If the PhD program in epidemiology decides they will not be taking you on as a PhD student in epidemiology, the proper way for them to communicate that to you is by sending a "rejection email". This is far more polite for them to do than to say nothing to candidates they will not be accepting. Why should they only let candidates on a short list know? Every applicant needs to know their status. The epidemiology program doesn't have any involvement in who gets accepted as a graduate student in a different department.
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 11, 2022 at 20:42

But you didn’t set out to apply for Social Science. There are big differences between it and epidemiology. I am puzzled by the school’s action to pick majors for applicants. It is very odd; and if that’s a new way for school to reject applicants, then it’s a pretty slick one.

I hope you examine your passion and career goal for epidemiology, and have applied other schools. Social Science did not grant you admission either. So I think you would be well advised to look at other school with Epidemiology program.


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