I applied for PhD position and later I received an email telling that: I regret to inform that you have not been selected for this position, how may I send a follow up email, if should I do so?

  • 14
    No follow-up is necessary.
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


how may I send a follow up email, if should I do so?

That's not expected. You got the answer.

Time to move on and get on.


In my opinion, there's really no need to respond to this. The sender was in all likelihood support staff and so won't forward your response further. But if you feel compelled anyway, you can write a very short message along the lines of: "Thank you very much for your consideration." Perhaps you would like some explanation, too. (I found their message to you rather terse!). In that case you may add: "I'd appreciate any insight into the Committee's decision not to pursue my candidacy for this position."

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you very much for your consideration. While it's regrettable that the decision was not made to support my candidacy, I would nonetheless appreciate any insight into the Committee's decision not to pursue my application further so that I can improve the competitiveness of my profile for future applications. If possible, could you kindly provide some input on that issue? Thanks again.

Sincerely, X"

  • This was a professor, who would be the potential supervisor, for the PhD position. Is it still worth it to contact?
    – AlFagera
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 17:42
  • 5
    It's unlikely to get you anywhere, and likely wouldn't seen as particularly polite. Professors in the US often have little control over the admissions process, and this one may well have little insight into why you weren't selected. What's more, the very terse letter strongly suggests that they have many of these to write, and/or are not invested in the outcome to any extent, further suggesting that you won't get any more information by writing.
    – iayork
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 17:53
  • 8
    You will only receive something to the effect of "We had a large pool of highly qualified candidates to choose from". Don't waste your time and the time of the person you're sending this email to.
    – user8001
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 18:30
  • 3
    Whenever I get these sorts of emails, I cringe. I often feel almost as bad for rejected students as they do, but there's nothing I can do. Any attempt at an answer would be either an exercise in nearly-excessive vagueness ('we did not have room for all of the qualified applicants this year') or a way of doing an applicant's homework for them ('we did not see signs of you being a good fit for our department, because...').
    – trikeprof
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 20:00

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