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Programs Is it unprofessional to defer a PhD acceptance for one year?

  1. Feb 14, 2010 #1
    I was accepted to a PhD program in Materials Science and Engineering at a prestigious university and I find myself reconsidering immediate entry into the program. I am very intent on earning my graduate degrees from this school, but I would prefer to begin classes in the Fall of 2011 if given the option. The school's website FAQ states that deferrals are granted more often then not, for a period of one or two semesters, so the option appears to be there.

    However, I am a naive undergrad. For all I know, it is considered a sign of weakness or some other failing to do this. What does the community here think about this issue? I would like to hear some advice. And if it is a fairly common occurrence, then when is the best/worst time to bring up the idea? Should I even go to the graduate school open house? It seems tacky to attend and ask the question there, because at that point they would have spent money on me as an applicant. I could see some ill will growing that might effect next year's admission.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2010 #2


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    I don't think it's unprofessional.

    Your best bet is to contact the associate chair of the departement responsible for graduate students or the graduate advisor and just tell him or her that you're interested in deferring admission for a year. It happens and students will do this for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they just want a year off. Sometimes they want to work and earn some money to pay off undergraduate loans or give themselves a bit of a cushion as a graduate student. Sometimes they have family reasons.

    I would bring it up as soon as possible though. They might be able to offer the spot to someone on a waiting list that way (and then next year they would just have one less spot, as it's already been granted to you).
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