Any advice on getting off the waitlist and onto the accepted list?

I found out on Friday that I was waitlisted at my #1 choice grad school. Gah! I’m getting someone else to write me a letter of recommendation and I think I’ll soon have a couple more accomplishments to let them know about, but if anyone has any more good ideas, let me know, okay?


I don’t think there’s really anything you can do but wait.

For the waitlist in my program, the admissions committee would have already made their decision about the order in which waitlisted people would be granted admission (after the chosen ones who get first right of refusal, so to speak). I think it’d be rare that any new information short of a Nobel Prize would make them reconsider the waitlist order.

That was for a hard science program, by the way. YMMV.

It would be a shame if anyone on the accepted list had…an accident


Yeah, usually waitlists are in a certain order, and there’s really nothing you can do at this point except wait for someone who was accepted to decline admission. Or several someones, depending on how far down the waiting list you’re on.

At least you know where you are! I just had my interview on Friday and won’t find out whether or not I got in until the last week of April.

My program has a tentative waitlist but information can make a difference. Send a thank you note to the faculty if you haven’t already. If you haven’t yet responded to the notification that you’ve been waitlisted, send a reply e-mail thanking the committee for letting you know, expressing your appreciation for their difficult decision, and stating clearly that you remain extremely interested in their program. Then do let them know of any important accomplishments between now and when you hear from them. It couldn’t hurt, and it might help, especially if other people on the waitlist are unresponsive or churlish.