So it is the season where PhD offers are doled out (for US universities anyway). I am lucky enough to have received a number of offers via email. These typically comprise of a polite email from a member of faculty, normally the director of postgraduate study (or similar), along with an offer letter attached.
My question is, are replies to these emails expected? I felt compelled to respond with a quick thank you - I wish I could have asked some insightful question about the program but I couldn't reliably find something to ask.
How should one respond to these offers? What about schools that I will not likely attend as I was offered a school I prefer - should I decline at this stage?