Writing a Graduate School Rejection Letter

Declining a Grad School Offer

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If you were accepted to a school that you no longer wish to attend, you'll have to consider writing a graduate school rejection letter . Perhaps it was not your first choice, or you found a better fit . There's nothing wrong in declining the offer—it happens all the time. Just make sure to take action and be prompt in your response.

Tips on Declining a Grad School Offer

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Respond soon: Once you know the school is out, do not delay. Once you give up your spot, it may open up for someone else who really wants to attend that college or university. Plus, it looks bad not to respond at all—especially because the admissions committee devoted their time to evaluating your credentials .
  • Keep it short:  You don't owe the university or college an explanation; just politely and briefly decline the offer (see the template below for wording ideas).
  • Thank them: You may want to thank the admissions committee for their time. You never know when you may encounter one of the members during your career, so keep it nice.
  • Don't disclose more than you need to:  You are not responsible for telling the school which college or university you will be attending. They may ask, but likely not. 
  • Check it off:  You may not need to write a letter at all—some universities and colleges let you check a box declining their offer or do it with a few clicks online.

Thanks, But No Thanks

After you are done carefully considering all of your options and you're ready to decline the offer, how exactly do you word it? Responding with a short grad school rejection letter will do. This can be an email or a printed letter.

Try something along the lines of the following.

Dear Dr. Smith (or Admissions Committee):
I am writing in response to your offer of admission to the Clinical Psychology program at Graduate University. I appreciate your interest in me, but I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Rebecca R. Student

Remember to be polite. Academia is a very small world. You likely will encounter faculty and students from that program sometime during your career. If your message declining the offer of admission is rude, you may be remembered for the wrong reasons. 

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How to nicely decline PhD offer?

By seashells963 March 19, 2015 in Decisions, Decisions

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seashells963

I need advice about what to write in a letter declining an offer. I visited the school and everyone was extremely nice. The advisor of the program organized my whole visit. He found a grad student for me to stay with, took care of my meals, made two full days of meetings with the students and faculty, set up a tour of the campus and town for me and even got me a ticket to attend a show with a current student. He also took care of securing me a strong funding package that I learned from my visit few receive.

My visit was awesome, but the program doesn't fit for me. Mostly, it's the cost of housing and not enough research opportunities.

I feel bad so much effort was put into my visit and I want to write a nice letter declining the offer. What should I say or include to express my appreciation, but nicely decline?

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"Thank you for the offer. After careful consideration, I have decided to attend a program that is a better fit for my research interests. I look forward to seeing you at (disciplinary conference) in the years to come. Sincerely, XXX"

random_grad

random_grad

I was in the same situation. Imitated those rejection letters unis send to us:

1. politely inform of decision and do tell which other school you chose

2. decision was very difficult etc, + tell how good the school you're declining is, what you liked about it etc

3. express interest in future collaboration and such

Also, write a more personalized message to the prof(s).

imo doesn't hurt to be a bit more personalized in a case like this, as they spent so much of their time for you - might as well spend some time for them

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how to reject phd offer

/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="how to reject phd offer"> Cornell University --> Graduate School

Respond to an offer.

On or before your decision date, you should verbally inform the employer of your decision. Follow up with a well-written confirmation letter.

Accepting an Offer

Express your enthusiasm to be joining the organization, and reiterate salary, start date, and position title. Specify when you will meet any conditions of employment, such as completing a medical exam or providing required documents.

Sample Acceptance Letter

634 Oak Avenue Ithaca, New York 14850 April 30, 2010

Peggy Hayward, Director of Marketing Associated Shops 312 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10122

Dear Ms. Hayward:

I am pleased to confirm my acceptance of your offer to join Associated Shops as Assistant Product Manager. As we discussed in our telephone conversation yesterday, I will begin work on June 15 at an annual salary of $58,750 and will complete a medical examination before the start date. I look forward to receiving a written confirmation of the offer and benefits package.

In the event that you need to contact me before June 15, please note that I can be reached at 914-555-3210 from May 30 through June 14.

Thank you again for your consideration and help during the interview process. I greatly appreciated your informative and personal approach.

Sincerely yours,

(SIGNATURE) Marla Linsky

Declining an Offer

Thank the employer for extending you an offer. Explain that you are accepting an offer that better matches your needs or desires at this time. Keep the door open for future associations with the firm.

Sample Declining Letter

321 Buffalo Street Ithaca, New York 14850

March 28, 2010

Barry Boscone Research and Development Director Triton Industries 1234 Eastman Avenue Rochester, New York 13688

Dear Mr. Boscone:

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Researcher at Triton Industries. After considering this opportunity carefully, I have made a difficult decision not to accept your offer. I believe that at this point in my career another position I have been offered fits more closely with my career interests and goals.

It was a pleasure meeting you and members of your staff. I appreciate the time you spent with me and the consideration you extended to me.

(SIGNATURE) David Squires

Kshitij Tiwari Ph.D.

Kshitij Tiwari Logo Transparent

Gracefully decline PhD offer

Deciding to pursue a PhD is a significant step in one’s academic journey and applying for PhD programs is an exciting, yet challenging journey. It’s a time when you’re inundated with possibilities, dreams, and the anticipation of delving deep into your chosen field. You meticulously craft your application, compile your impressive achievements, and cross your fingers while waiting for acceptance letters.

However, what happens when you receive not one, but multiple offers? That’s when the decision-making process becomes a little more intricate. Found your ideal offer in the mix but unsure about turning down the rest of the PhD offers? In this article, we will discuss how to go about turning down a PhD offer, politely yet promptly. We will go over some considerations before declining a PhD offer and look at some samples to help you craft your response, professionally.

Table of Contents

Reasons for declining a PhD offer

How to decline a PhD offer

How to decline a PhD offer after acceptance

Sample letter to decline PhD offer

Key takeaways.

Before we delve into the steps of declining a PhD offer, it is essential to reflect on your reasons for doing so. Here are a few common scenarios:

Change in Career Goals : You may have realized that pursuing a PhD is not aligned with your long-term career aspirations.

Financial Considerations : The financial commitments associated with a PhD program might be overwhelming, and you may have concerns about managing them.

Personal Circumstances : Unforeseen personal circumstances, such as family responsibilities or health issues, can affect your decision to pursue a PhD at this time.

Alternative Opportunities : You might have received an offer for another academic program or discovered a job opportunity that better aligns with your goals.

Lack of Fit : After careful consideration, you may have determined that the specific PhD program you were accepted into does not align with your research interests or academic goals.

Geographical Constraints : The location of the PhD program may not be suitable for your personal circumstances or preferences.

Work-Life Balance : You may have concerns about the demands and time commitment required for a PhD, and prefer to focus on other aspects of your life.

While this may not be an exhaustive list of reasons why one might need to decline PhD offers, it does highlight some of the most common reasons for doing so. Once you have made up your mind that you need to turn down some or all of the PhD offers, the next step is to formally communicate your decision. This involves being respectful and appreciative of the offer while clearly stating your reasons for declining. It’s important to maintain professionalism and leave open the possibility for future interactions with the institution or individuals involved.

How to decline a PhD offer?

When it comes to declining an offer from the graduate school, that too a PhD offer, candidates often tend to over think it. Know this, turning down PhD offers is very common because almost every candidate applies to numerous places and then based on several personal and professional parameters, have to make a final choice which means that have to decline the other offers.

How to decline a PhD offer after acceptance?

While declining an offer prior to acceptance is relatively easier, it gets a bit trickier once you have accepted it and things have changed leading you to decline a PhD offer after acceptance. While not totally uncommon, in this case, prompt response is even more appreciated because somebody else on the wait list might still stand a chance or the position would be left unfilled until the next hiring cycle.

Whether you are declining a fresh PhD offer or perhaps one that you have already accepted, you can use the template below to craft a professional email to turn down the PhD offer and depending on who you’ve had your communications so far, you can either address it to the Professor who would have been your potential advisor or to the admissions office. Usually you can find their postal address on their respective websites but you can drop that in case it proves to be difficult as this will be sent digitally anyways.

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Today’s Date] [Professor’s or Admissions Officer’s Name] [Department or University Name] [University Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] Dear [Professor’s or Admissions Officer’s Name], I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude for the opportunity to join the [Program Name] at [University Name]. It has been a challenging decision, and I have deeply appreciated your guidance and support throughout the admissions process. After careful consideration, I have decided to not accept the PhD offer from [University Name]. This decision was not made lightly, and I want to emphasize how much I respect the [Program Name] and the exciting research opportunities it offers. However, after weighing my options and considering my personal and academic goals, I have chosen to pursue a different path that aligns more closely with my long-term aspirations. I want to extend my appreciation for your time and the resources dedicated to my application. Your understanding and the experience of interacting with [University Name] have been invaluable to me, and I am truly thankful for this opportunity. I would like to keep the door open for any potential future collaboration or interactions with [University Name], as I have great respect for the research conducted at the institution. I hope to find opportunities to work together in different capacities in the future. Once again, thank you for your understanding and consideration. I hope to cross paths with [University Name] in the future, and I wish the [Program Name] continued success in all its academic endeavors. Warm regards, [Your Full Name] [Your Phone Number (optional)]

Declining a PhD offer is a challenging but essential part of your academic journey. The ability to make informed decisions reflects your maturity and commitment to your field. Remember that your ideal program is out there, and turning down offers is a step toward the future you envision. When it comes to turning down a PhD offer from a graduate offer, just ensure to take a moment and consider the reasons for declining a PhD offer very carefully.

And, if you eventually make up your mind to decline PhD offers, be sure to do so promptly yet respectfully to keep the doors open for future collaborations because you never know when you might cross paths with these people again and in what capacity.

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Devon Price Ph.D.

Rejection Sensitivity

How to handle graduate school applications and rejection, how to survive a harrowing, expensive process..

Posted April 30, 2021 | Reviewed by Devon Frye

I am a social psychologist, researcher, professor, and author of the book Laziness Does Not Exist . In my book, I discuss how centuries of belief in the "Laziness Lie" has corrupted our culture, and taught us to equate our productivity with our value as human beings. In a world shaped by the Laziness Lie, failure is never seen as useful information that allows us to recalibrate our goals or reset our expectations; instead, it feels like an outright rejection of our humanity.

Dev Asangbam/Unsplash

Rejection hits prospective graduate students particularly hard, because in most cases, they have sacrificed years of their lives (and hundreds or even thousands of dollars) preparing themselves to apply, and doing all they can to appear as attractive candidates. Academia is an elitist world that bills itself as a meritocracy, though the candidate acceptance process is filled with randomness, bias, and error. Prospective graduate students tend to be high-achieving people, often from privileged backgrounds, who may not be accustomed to setbacks and disappointments on this scale.

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Business Insider' s Emily Hein about my advice for prospective graduate students who are looking to navigate the process and handle potential rejection without succumbing to a Laziness-Lie-fueled crisis of confidence . Hein's questions are in bold below, followed by my responses.

The graduate school application process, regardless of the result, can come with a ton of pressure. How do you best suggest applicants navigate through this pressure?

Unfortunately, the graduate school application process is essentially a time-consuming part-time job that costs you money instead of paying you. Researching various programs and their application policies; completing application materials, drafting customized cover letters and buffing your CV into a shine; getting transcript copies, taking the GRE, asking mentors for letters of recommendation, and keeping track of deadlines and dates—it’s a ton of work and costs hundreds upon hundreds of dollars !

That time, energy, and money have to come from somewhere. Where are you going to get it from? What in your life are you going to cut back on doing, to free up the time necessary to do all of this? Do you have a supportive spouse or relative who can take on another burden for you, such as childcare, so that you have the ability to focus on these tasks for at least a few hours per week? Where in your schedule can you cram it in? How are you funding this process? These are all really hard questions to answer but need to be asked, unfortunately.

In many ways, applying to graduate school is very similar to being in graduate school itself: you’re doing a lot of thankless labor that is self-directed and that you’re not being compensated for. So it is a bit of a dry run for figuring out how you will balance the immense workload and pressures of graduate school itself, and a chance to ask yourself if you have the resources, schedule, and support system necessary to go through it in a sustainable way. Unfortunately, graduate school is not set up to be accommodating for people who lack those resources. It’s very exclusionary and elitist in that way.

How can those who’ve recently been rejected from graduate school avoid generalizing their rejection to their overall productivity, and their productivity to their worth?

I wish prospective graduate students knew just how arbitrary and unfair the graduate application process truly is. If your GPA isn’t in the right range, or your research interests aren’t a good fit with the faculty who are seeking new students to mentor that year, it won’t matter how beautifully written your cover letter is, or how much internship experience you have—you’ll be rejected without anybody having even looked at all that other application material. Some years, a school will open up applications only to decide that they didn’t need as many Ph.D. students as they thought they did. Or funding will get cut at the last minute. All kinds of random things happen.

Realizing the graduate acceptance process is unfair and unscientific doesn’t make the rejection hurt any less, of course. In some ways, it’s even more distressing to realize academia is not a meritocracy, and that it’s not always the best, hardest working, or most passionate people who get accepted. Usually, the people who get in are those who are judged to be a good “fit.” And as is the case in most workplaces, judgments of “fit” in academia tend to be poisoned by racism , sexism, classism, and other injustices.

I want graduate school applicants to know that rejection is not an indication of their capacity or potential at all. Every single year there are dozens upon dozens of graduate school applicants who would have made amazing professors and researchers, who didn’t get in for some small reason out of their control.

how to reject phd offer

Do you have any tips for reframing the rejection process/suggested next steps?

I think if you are rejected from all the graduate programs you applied to, you’re going to need some time to mourn and be angry and disappointed. You’ve just put immense effort (and paid a lot of money in application fees) in pursuit of a dream, and your hopes were dashed (at least temporarily). That is going to hurt! You’re going to feel jealous of the people who did get accepted, and resentful of the programs that spurned you. You honestly deserve to feel that, and give it time to sink in.

I think in the wake of being rejected from graduate school, it’s valuable to read blogs like The Professor Is In , which talk all about how mystifying and unjust the graduate school application process is, and also about how exploitative most graduate programs are. It can be helpful to learn that academia is not the egalitarian, joyously intellectual place you may fantasize it to be. You may even come to decide that getting rejected spared you from a lot of pain.

As Karen Kelsky recently argued in her TEDx Talk on the subject, academia is analogous to a cult in many ways. It drives a lot of people to go deeply into debt while using them for free (or cheap) research and teaching labor, it makes them feel inferior and inadequate, and it yields pretty dismal job prospects for the majority of people who go through it. Being rejected from that system may not be the worst thing. If you didn’t get into any graduate program you applied to, take a moment to think about your life goals and do some research, and see if the reality of academia lines up with them.

If you enjoyed this piece, please let me know and I will run Part II off my interview in a few weeks!

Devon Price Ph.D.

Devon Price, Ph.D. , is a social psychologist and professor at Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Price is the author of Laziness Does Not Exist.

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gradbunker.com

Your Study Abroad Guru

How should You Politely Decline an Offer from Grad School?

gradbunker multiple offer grad school

During the admission season, every grad school loses some percentage of the prospective PhD students regardless of ranking. Often students have multiple offer, and they choose one over the other. Thus, every faculty members loses out on some percentage of the potential mentees. Nobody can identify the obvious reasons for this type scenario . But, in general, either a better school or a better funding often influences such type decision.

There is nothing wrong in declining an offer — everyone has the right to seek the best, and so as you. So, if you accepted an offer from a grad school that you no longer consider to attend due to any circumstances, you should consider writing a formal letter to the admission committee regarding your decision.

Declining an offer from a grad school?

First, you need to keep in mind that you don’t owe an explanation to the grad school. Just politely and briefly decline the offer — even a single line would suffice. But, a nicely written letter will leave a good impression about you.

Respond immediately to the prospective supervisor:

Before starting any research project, the professor has to decide who will be working on that project and for how long. And, finding the right student for a project is not an easy task . So, if you just decided to reject an previously accepted offer, you must inform the Professor ASAP so that s/he can start looking for another candidate.

Respond shortly:

You are not bound to give them any explanation if you reject an offer, neither you are responsible for telling them which school you will be attending. They won’t ask, and you don’t have to say anything.

Thank them:

You may want to thank the professor or the admission committee for considering you for their program. You never know when you may encounter the professor or one of the members during your career, so always keep it nice.

gradbunker grad school

Before you decline:

Before you decide to reject an offer from a grad school, make sure you evaluate all other offers. Also, try to get a feedback from the grad student about the lab, or professor or school. Once you made your decision, you can just respond with a short letter as follows:

Dear Professor Calculus,

Thank you for your offer to join your lab. Although I was very flattered to get a chance to work with you initially, I have decided to attend another school. I do so appreciate your help, and I’m sure you will have someone else who will be very glad that I declined the offer. I am mailing the admission form today with my formal declination. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call. Sincerely,

Faculties are used to this type of situation, it’s not a big deal. Being nice and frankly classy and sending a nice letter like this always leaves a good impression. Academia, especially grad school, is a small world, and it is likely that you will meet the faculty from that program sometime during your career. So, you will obviously want yourself to be remembered as a nice person.

Disclaimer: No A.I. was used to generate any portion of this content.

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The Techy Life

How to Decline a PhD Offer with Grace and Professionalism

Deciding to decline a PhD offer can be a daunting and challenging task for any aspiring researcher. It may come as a surprise to some that accepting a PhD offer is not the only option, and sometimes the decision to decline can be the most suitable course of action. However, declining an offer should be done with grace and professionalism to maintain relationships and uphold one’s reputation in the academic community. In this article, we will discuss the various steps and strategies one can employ to gracefully decline a PhD offer, ensuring that the decision is communicated respectfully and thoughtfully to the concerned parties involved.

When it comes to declining a PhD offer, it is essential to recognize the significance of maintaining a positive and professional image. The academic world operates on a network of connections, recommendations, and collaborations, making it crucial to handle such matters delicately. While it may be tempting to simply ignore or reject an offer without much thought, taking the time and effort to decline with grace can have long-lasting benefits for both personal and professional growth. By following the strategies and suggestions outlined in this article, individuals can navigate the process of declining a PhD offer in a manner that preserves relationships and reflects their dedication and respect for the field of research.

Table of Contents

Assessing the Offer

A. evaluating personal goals and priorities.

When faced with the decision of whether to decline a PhD offer, it is crucial to take the time to assess your personal goals and priorities. Consider what you truly want to achieve in your academic and professional career, and whether the offered program aligns with those aspirations. Reflect on factors such as location, funding, research opportunities, and the potential for growth and contribution in your field of interest.

B. Considering the fit with research interests and program offerings

Another important aspect to consider when assessing a PhD offer is the fit between your research interests and the program offerings. Evaluate whether the program provides the necessary resources, faculty expertise, and research opportunities that align with your specific research interests. This alignment is crucial for a successful and fulfilling PhD journey.

Take the time to carefully review the curriculum, research centers or labs affiliated with the program, and the faculty members’ areas of expertise. Consider whether these align with your research goals and if they will contribute to your intellectual and professional development.

By thoroughly evaluating personal goals and priorities, as well as the fit with research interests and program offerings, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept or decline a PhD offer. Remember, declining an offer can open doors to other opportunities that might be a better fit for your academic and career aspirations.

ITimeliness of the Decline

A. promptness in communicating the decision.

When it comes to declining a PhD offer, timeliness is of utmost importance. Once you have made your decision, it is crucial to communicate it promptly to the institution. This allows them to proceed with their admissions process and potentially extend the offer to another candidate on their waiting list. Delaying your response could hinder both your fellow applicants and the program, as they may be left in a state of uncertainty and unable to move forward with their plans.

It is recommended to notify the program within a reasonable time frame, typically within two weeks of receiving the offer. This gives you enough time to carefully consider your decision without causing unnecessary delays for the institution. Remember that the faculty and admissions committee have invested time and resources in reviewing your application and making the offer, so it is respectful to respond in a timely manner.

B. Being mindful of others on the waiting list

In the PhD admissions process, many programs maintain a waiting list of qualified candidates as backup in case initial offers are declined. Being mindful of these candidates is essential when you are considering declining an offer. By promptly notifying the program of your decision, you allow them to extend an offer to the next deserving candidate on the waiting list.

Keep in mind that others may be eagerly waiting for a spot in the program, and your timely decline can help them secure their position. It is important to remember that the academic community is interconnected, and your actions can impact the journey of others. By being considerate of those on the waiting list, you contribute to maintaining a fair and respectful environment within the academic community.

Furthermore, by declining timely, you also show professionalism and respect towards the program and its selection process. It demonstrates that you appreciate the opportunity and want to ensure that the program can move forward smoothly in making admissions decisions.

In summary, timeliness of the decline is crucial to uphold professionalism and respect in the PhD admissions process. Being prompt in communicating your decision allows the program to proceed efficiently, potentially offering the spot to another deserving candidate. Additionally, it shows consideration towards your fellow applicants, who may be eagerly waiting for an opportunity. Keep in mind that a timely decline helps create a positive and supportive academic community.

**IPreparing Yourself**

Reflecting on reasons for declining the offer

Declining a PhD offer is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before sending that email, take the time to reflect on your reasons for declining the offer. It is important to be clear about your motivations and ensure that they align with your long-term goals and aspirations. Are there specific aspects of the program or research area that are not a good fit for you? Are there personal or professional commitments that make pursuing a PhD at this time impractical? By understanding your reasons, you will be able to communicate them effectively and confidently.

Ensuring a confident and well-reasoned decision

Once you have identified your reasons for declining a PhD offer, it is crucial to ensure that your decision is confident and well-reasoned. Take the time to evaluate your options and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks. Consider alternative paths or opportunities that may be more aligned with your goals and interests. It is important to approach the decision-making process with a clear mind, free from doubt or uncertainty.

By conducting thorough self-reflection and analysis, you will be able to communicate your decision with conviction and professionalism. Remember, declining a PhD offer is not a reflection of your abilities or worth; it is simply a choice that best serves your individual circumstances.

In preparing yourself, it is also essential to manage any emotional or personal attachments that you may have formed during the application process. While it is natural to feel a sense of gratitude or excitement about being accepted into a PhD program, it is equally important to recognize that declining an offer is a valid choice that can open doors to new possibilities.

Consider seeking advice or feedback from mentors, faculty members, or trusted advisors to gain further perspective on your decision. Their guidance and insights can help validate your thinking and provide valuable input that may assist you in navigating this process with grace and professionalism.

By preparing yourself mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, you will be able to approach the task of declining a PhD offer with clarity, confidence, and professionalism. Next, we will explore the long-term implications of this decision and how to maintain positive relationships with faculty and institutions.

Thinking Long-Term

A. recognizing the potential impact on future applications.

Declining a PhD offer should be done with careful consideration of the potential impact it may have on future applications. While it is important to prioritize one’s personal goals and interests, it is also crucial to recognize that the academic community is relatively small and interconnected. Admissions committees often communicate and share information about applicants, and a poorly handled rejection could potentially tarnish one’s reputation.

It is important to approach the decline in a professional and respectful manner, as this will leave a lasting impression on the faculty and institution. Even if one is declining an offer from their top choice program, expressing gratitude and maintaining a positive tone in the rejection email can go a long way in preserving a good reputation in the field.

B. Maintaining positive relationships with faculty and institutions

Declining a PhD offer does not mean burning bridges with the faculty and institution. The academic community is built on relationships, and maintaining positive connections can open doors for future collaborations and opportunities.

Expressing genuine appreciation in the rejection email for the time and effort put into the application process, as well as any interactions with faculty or admissions staff, can help leave a positive impression. It is important to convey that the decision to decline was not made lightly and that the individual respects and values the institution and its faculty.

Additionally, expressing an interest in staying connected for future collaborations can demonstrate that the decision to decline is not personal, but rather a result of specific circumstances. This opens the possibility for maintaining a positive relationship with the faculty and institution, which could prove valuable in the long run.

By considering the potential impact on future applications and focusing on maintaining positive relationships, individuals can navigate the process of declining a PhD offer with professionalism and grace. It is important to remember that the academic journey is dynamic, and opportunities for growth and collaboration can arise from unexpected places.

Crafting a Polite and Gracious Email

Addressing the Recipient Appropriately

When declining a PhD offer, it is important to begin the email by addressing the recipient appropriately. Addressing them as “Dear Professor [Last Name]” or “Dear [Admissions Committee]” is appropriate and shows respect for their position and role in the admissions process.

Expressing Gratitude for the Opportunity

Expressing gratitude for the offer is an essential part of declining a PhD offer with grace and professionalism. Begin the email by thanking the recipient for their time and consideration, and for the opportunity to be admitted into their program. This demonstrates your appreciation for their efforts in reviewing and assessing your application.

Complimenting the Program and Faculty Members

Furthermore, taking the time to compliment the program and faculty members can leave a positive impression and show that you have carefully considered your decision. Mention specific aspects of the program that appealed to you, such as the faculty expertise or the research opportunities available. This will convey that your decision to decline is based on personal circumstances rather than any shortcomings of the program.

Highlighting the Difficulty of the Decision

Acknowledging the difficulty of declining the offer can help convey that your decision was not taken lightly. Express that you carefully considered all factors and deliberated on the implications before coming to this conclusion. This will demonstrate your professionalism and the respect you have for both the program and your own academic journey.

Explaining Reasons for Declining, Without Being Overly Detailed

When explaining your reasons for declining the offer, it is important to strike a balance between providing a concise explanation and maintaining professionalism. While you do not need to provide an exhaustive list of reasons, it is helpful to provide a general explanation that conveys that your decision is based on personal circumstances. For example, you may mention pursuing alternative opportunities that align more closely with your long-term goals or family considerations.

Maintaining a Respectful Tone Throughout the Explanation

Throughout the email, it is crucial to maintain a respectful and appreciative tone. Even if you have concerns or reservations, express them in a constructive manner that focuses on your own needs and priorities rather than criticizing the program or faculty. This will ensure that you leave a positive impression and maintain a professional relationship with the institution.

By following these guidelines and crafting a polite and gracious email, you can decline a PhD offer with professionalism and maintain positive relationships with faculty and institutions. Remember to proofread and review the email for impeccable grammar and seek input or feedback from mentors or trusted advisors before sending it. Ultimately, your ability to decline a PhD offer with grace demonstrates your maturity and professionalism as you move forward in your academic and career journey.

Being Respectful and Appreciative

A. complimenting the program and faculty members.

When declining a PhD offer, it is important to express appreciation for the program and the faculty members who considered your application. Highlighting the strengths of the program and the positive interactions you had throughout the application process can help maintain a respectful and appreciative tone in your email.

Begin by acknowledging the unique qualities of the program that initially attracted you. Mention specific aspects such as renowned faculty members, cutting-edge research opportunities, or a vibrant academic community. Take the time to reflect on how these factors contributed to your decision-making process.

Express gratitude for the time and effort put into reviewing your application, conducting interviews, or offering funding opportunities. Recognize the impact these individuals have on shaping future scholars and researchers, and convey your appreciation for the valuable experience gained through the selection process.

B. Highlighting the Difficulty of the Decision

Emphasize that declining the PhD offer was not an easy decision. Acknowledge the challenging nature of the choice and the careful consideration you gave to it. This demonstrates your seriousness and dedication to your academic and professional goals.

Explain that while you hold the program and its faculty members in high regard, after much deliberation, you have decided to pursue other opportunities that align more closely with your academic or career aspirations. By acknowledging the difficult decision and explaining your reasons, you portray yourself as thoughtful and respectful.

Remember to maintain a respectful and appreciative tone throughout your email. The goal is to convey your gratitude for the offer while respectfully declining it, rather than burning bridges or seeming ungrateful for the opportunity. By navigating this section with grace, you uphold a professional image and leave the door open for potential collaborations or connections in the future.

Providing a Concise Explanation

Explaining reasons for declining, without being overly detailed.

When declining a PhD offer, it is important to provide a concise explanation for your decision without going into unnecessary detail. While it is courteous to offer some insight into the thought process behind your choice, it is not necessary or appropriate to delve into every aspect of your decision-making process.

One approach is to focus on overarching factors that influenced your decision, such as personal goals or fit with research interests. Let the recipient know that you have carefully considered the offer and have determined that it does not align with your long-term objectives. Be prepared to provide a few key points that support your decision, but avoid being overly critical or negative.

Maintaining a respectful tone throughout the explanation

Throughout your explanation, it is crucial to maintain a respectful and professional tone. Remember that the recipient of your email likely invested time and effort into reviewing your application and making the offer. Express gratitude for their consideration and acknowledge the difficulty of the decision you are making. This will help to ensure that you leave a positive impression and maintain a professional relationship with the program and its faculty members.

Instead of focusing solely on why you are declining the offer, consider also highlighting any positive aspects of the program or faculty that stood out to you. For example, you could mention the program’s impressive reputation or the valuable insights you gained from interacting with faculty during the application process. This not only shows your appreciation for the opportunity, but also demonstrates your ability to constructively evaluate and discuss academic programs.

By providing a concise but thoughtful explanation for your decision while maintaining a respectful tone, you can decline a PhD offer with grace and professionalism. Remember, the objective is to respectfully decline while preserving positive relationships and leaving the door open for future collaborations or interactions.

Offering Alternatives, if Appropriate

A. mentioning other offers or opportunities that were accepted.

When declining a PhD offer, it is important to show gratitude and maintain a positive relationship with the program and faculty members. One way to do this is by mentioning any other offers or opportunities that you have decided to accept. This not only communicates your appreciation for their offer but also demonstrates that you have carefully considered your options and made a well-informed decision.

In your email, briefly mention the offer or opportunity you have accepted and explain why it aligns better with your personal and academic goals. Be sincere in your explanation, emphasizing that it was a difficult decision to decline their offer. It is important to express your appreciation for the time and consideration they put into reviewing your application.

B. Expressing an interest in staying connected for future collaborations

While declining a PhD offer may mean the end of your formal engagement with the program, it does not have to be the end of your relationship with the faculty and institution. Expressing an interest in staying connected for future collaborations shows your professionalism and leaves the door open for potential opportunities down the line.

In your email, express your admiration for the program and the faculty members. Highlight any specific research areas or ongoing projects that caught your attention and express your interest in potential collaboration or involvement in the future. This not only conveys your genuine interest in their work but also leaves them with a positive impression of you as a potential collaborator and asset to their academic community.

Remember, even if you are declining their offer, maintaining positive connections in the academic world can lead to unforeseen and valuable opportunities in the future. By expressing your willingness to stay connected and work together, you are showing your professionalism and commitment to your academic field.

Overall, offering alternatives in your email demonstrates your appreciation for the offer while also expressing your commitment to your own academic and personal goals. By mentioning other offers or opportunities you have accepted and expressing an interest in future collaborations, you are showing grace and professionalism in your decision to decline the PhD offer.

Proofreading and Reviewing

Ensuring impeccable grammar and professionalism in the email.

Once you have crafted a polite and gracious email to decline a PhD offer, it is crucial to proofread and review it thoroughly before sending. Careless mistakes or typos can detract from the professionalism of your message. Take the time to ensure that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are impeccable.

Proofreading involves carefully reading through your email, line by line, to catch any errors or inconsistencies. Pay attention to the details, such as subject-verb agreement, verb tense consistency, and proper sentence structure. Use online grammar checkers or tools to help you identify any potential mistakes that you may have missed.

In addition to grammar, professionalism is key in your email. Double-check that your tone is respectful and considerate throughout. Avoid using overly casual language or slang. Make sure that your email adheres to proper email formatting, including salutations, sign-offs, and appropriate greetings based on your recipient’s position or title.

Seeking input or feedback from mentors or trusted advisors

Before hitting the send button, it can be beneficial to seek input or feedback from mentors or trusted advisors. These individuals can provide valuable insights and help you ensure that your email conveys your message effectively and professionally.

Share your email draft with someone who has experience in academia or professional communications. They can help identify any areas that need improvement or suggest alternative wording that may enhance the overall tone of your message.

Receiving feedback from others can also provide a fresh perspective and help you gain confidence in your decision. It allows you to address any potential concerns or doubts before sending the email, ensuring that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light.

Remember to consider any feedback or suggestions with an open mind, and make adjustments as needed. Ultimately, you want to make sure that your email reflects your genuine gratitude, respect, and professionalism in declining the PhD offer.

By taking the time to proofread and review your email, as well as seeking input from trusted advisors, you can ensure that your message is flawless and leaves a positive impression on the recipient.

Sending the Email

A. choosing an appropriate time to send the email.

When declining a PhD offer, it is important to choose an appropriate time to send the email. You want to ensure that the email is received in a timely manner and gives the recipient enough time to make alternative arrangements. It is recommended to send the email as soon as you have made your final decision, as delaying the communication can cause unnecessary anxiety for both parties involved.

Consider the program’s deadlines and timeline when deciding on the appropriate time to send the email. If there is a specific deadline for accepting or declining offers, make sure you meet that deadline or communicate your decision as soon as possible.

B. Confirming receipt or following up, if necessary

Once you have sent the email declining the PhD offer, it is a good practice to confirm receipt or follow up, if necessary. This helps to ensure that your message has been received and prevents any misunderstandings or delays in processing your decision.

If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within a reasonable timeframe, consider sending a follow-up email politely asking for confirmation. This can help alleviate any concerns or doubts you may have about the status of your decision.

When following up, remember to maintain a respectful and professional tone. Thank the recipient for their attention and reiterate your gratitude for the opportunity they have given you.

Overall, sending the email to decline a PhD offer requires careful consideration of timing and a courteous follow-up. By conveying your decision promptly and confirming receipt, you demonstrate your professionalism and respect for the program and the individuals involved.

Moving Forward

A. accepting and embracing the decision.

After declining a PhD offer, it is important to accept and embrace the decision that has been made. Understand that this rejection does not define your abilities or potential as a researcher. The selection process for PhD programs can be highly competitive, and sometimes it simply comes down to factors beyond your control. Remember that there are numerous paths to success, and this rejection could lead you to new and exciting opportunities that you might not have considered otherwise.

It is completely normal to feel disappointment or frustration initially, but try not to dwell on these negative emotions. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your academic career and the achievements you have already made. Remind yourself of your long-term goals and the steps you can take to reach them.

B. Maintaining a positive outlook and seeking new opportunities

While a PhD offer may not have worked out this time, maintaining a positive outlook is crucial. Use this experience as a learning opportunity and motivation to explore other options that align with your goals and interests. Keep an open mind and be willing to consider alternative paths, such as research positions in industry or other academic programs that may be a better fit.

Seeking new opportunities also involves networking and establishing connections within your field. Attend conferences, join relevant professional organizations, and engage with professionals who share your research interests. Building a strong network can lead to collaborations and future research opportunities.

Remember that the decision to decline a PhD offer should never dampen your enthusiasm for pursuing a career in academia or research. Focusing on your passion for knowledge and your commitment to making a contribution to your field will help you overcome any setbacks.

By accepting the situation and maintaining a positive outlook, you are better positioned to move forward and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. Embrace the journey, stay resilient, and continue striving for excellence in your chosen field. Ultimately, success comes not from avoiding rejection, but from how you bounce back and grow in the face of it.

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how to reject phd offer

How to Reject a Scholarship Offer Via Email

reject a scholarship offer

Here’s a quick scholarship rejection email “I sincerely appreciate your gracious admission offer and the generous scholarship that accompanied it. Regrettably, after careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I must decline this opportunity. My decision stems from the belief that a different educational path aligns more closely with my current aspirations and my vision of the future. Thank you again for your consideration and understanding.”

If you receive a scholarship offer, you can do either of two things: accept or reject the offer. The latter is seldom heard of, but it will be our focus today. A candidate can decide to reject a scholarship for many reasons ranging from financial (yes, financial), familial, a better offer, etc. All these and more are what we will discuss in this article. 

If you want to reject a scholarship offer, there’s only one way to inform the university of this decision, and this is via email. 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with rejecting a scholarship offer. You’re not the first to do it, and you’re surely not going to be the last. 

When writing to reject a scholarship offer, there are things you must do and boxes you must ensure are checked. 

Before writing an email to reject a scholarship offer, you need to make sure that’s the procedure with the school. This is because some schools have an online check box where you choose “yes” or “no”, totally eradicating the need for an email rejecting the scholarship.

How to Become a Pro in Managing Your Inbox

Without further ado, let’s get into the main reason for this article:

Tips on How to Reject a Scholarship Offer Via Email

When rejecting a scholarship offer via email, some rules must be observed. Including all general email etiquette , there are more things to keep in mind when rejecting a scholarship offer via email, and we’re going to discuss all of them in this section of the article.

1. Respond as Soon as You Make the Decision

Do not delay your response once you decide to reject a scholarship offer. There’re two main reasons for this. 

Firstly, the admission committee spent a lot of time selecting candidates, and there may already be preparations ongoing to process your admission formally. By emailing your rejection, they’re told on time, and they can stop all ongoing preparations.

Secondly and most importantly, scholarships often have more rejections than acceptance. This means if you inform the school on time that you’ll be rejecting the scholarship, they will give it to another candidate who probably needs it more than you do. 

Additionally, it is wrong to reply late or not at all as this deprives someone else of the opportunity. 

2. Your Scholarship Rejection Email Should be Concise

 While you may be tempted to make this email as detailed and elaborate as possible, do not. It’s an email rejecting a scholarship and not an essay. Hence, everything should be concise and straight to the point. Briefly explain the reason you came to your decision to reject the offer, including your pleasantries and hit send. 

3. Do Not be Tempted to Explain More than You Need to 

While you’re explaining why you’re rejecting the scholarship, make sure not to include more information than is necessary. One common mistake candidates make when rejecting scholarship offers is to tell the name of the school they’ve decided to go with. Remember that the school you’re rejecting has no business with this information. 

4. Express Your Gratitude

While rejecting a scholarship, you need to make sure you understand the opportunity you were given. While this should have no bearing on your decision, that gratitude should be translated in your email rejecting the scholarship. Ensure to thank the Committee for their time and consideration. 

8 Email Samples for Rejecting a Business Proposal

Common Reasons to Reject a Scholarship

Reasons to reject a scholarship are unique to different individuals. This means the reasons for rejecting a scholarship are different for every candidate. While this is true, there are also some common reasons to reject a scholarship via email. 

And in this section of the article, we’re going to discuss why candidates reject scholarships and how these reasons can be applied to help you write emails rejecting scholarship offers. 

  • Received a better offer: This is a common reason to reject a scholarship offer. If you receive a better offer that ticks more of your boxes and is more favourable, then it is completely normal to go with this new offer. This should be briefly explained in the rejection email you’re sending. 
  • Received an offer from your country or another country: If you received a scholarship offer from a university in your country or vice versa, it is also an acceptable reason to reject the offer that is less geographically favourable. If you want to remain in your country and you get an offer from a university in your country or state, it makes sense to reject an offer that’s in another country or continent. 
  • The scholarship aid does not cover all costs: Most scholarship offers do not cover ALL costs. Most scholarship offers cover just tuition fees, and for some candidates, this is simply not enough. If you need a scholarship offer that covers all expenses, this is also a valuable reason to reject a scholarship offer. 
  • Did not get your desired discipline: If the course of study you were given is not your first option, it is completely okay to reject this offer for an option that’s more in line with what you want for yourself regarding your career.
  • If you’re rejecting for personal reasons: If you don’t feel like explaining the reasons for rejecting an offer, you could simply state that you’re rejecting the offer due to personal reasons. By choosing this route, you’re stating that you do not want to explain your reason for rejecting the offer, and the Committee will have no choice but to respect your decision. 

reject a scholarship offer

Reject Scholarship Offer Via Email Template

Reject scholarship offer via email sample, reject scholarship for a better offer via email sample, reject scholarship offer via email sample three, reject scholarship offer via email sample four, scholarship decline email after accepting, reject an athletic scholarship offer.

Writing an email to reject a scholarship offer is not an easy task as a lot of thought would have to go into the decision and then writing the email. 

The most important rule is to send the email immediately after you make the decision. Also, to explain the reason to the scholarship committee (if you’re comfortable with it). 

We’ve included some samples here to provide pointers for when you need to write an email to reject a scholarship offer.  

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Decline an Offer of Admission to Graduate School

    Responding with a short grad school rejection letter will do. This can be an email or a printed letter. Try something along the lines of the following. Dear Dr. Smith (or Admissions Committee): I am writing in response to your offer of admission to the Clinical Psychology program at Graduate University.

  2. graduate admissions

    How do I politely decline a professor who's really keen on having me for a PhD position? Ask Question Asked 3 years, 8 months ago Modified 3 years, 8 months ago Viewed 18k times 19 I wrote an email to my potential advisor, politely declining an offer for a PhD position.

  3. How to nicely decline PhD offer?

    1. politely inform of decision and do tell which other school you chose 2. decision was very difficult etc, + tell how good the school you're declining is, what you liked about it etc 3. express interest in future collaboration and such Also, write a more personalized message to the prof (s).

  4. How should You Politely Decline an Offer from Grad School?

    Dear Professor Calculus, Thank you for your offer to join your lab. Although I was very flattered to get a chance to work with you initially, I have decided to attend another school. I do so...

  5. Respond to an Offer : Graduate School

    Declining an Offer Thank the employer for extending you an offer. Explain that you are accepting an offer that better matches your needs or desires at this time. Keep the door open for future associations with the firm. Sample Declining Letter 321 Buffalo Street Ithaca, New York 14850 March 28, 2010 Barry Boscone Research and Development Director

  6. graduate admissions

    1 Answer. I am a professor and have experienced this situation from that point of view. Any experienced professor should be used to that, I would not worry too much about this. I would suggest writing a brief mail to the professor to just inform her that you have accepted another offer.

  7. graduate admissions

    1 Just be sure this is what you want to do, and that you will be happy with the decision yourself. Also, what is your estimated probability of being accepted into another program? If you didn't get accepted anywhere else, would you still want to decline this position? - JosephDoggie Jul 26, 2022 at 14:31

  8. Gracefully decline PhD offer

    Key takeaways Reasons for declining a PhD offer Before we delve into the steps of declining a PhD offer, it is essential to reflect on your reasons for doing so. Here are a few common scenarios: Change in Career Goals You may have realized that pursuing a PhD is not aligned with your long-term career aspirations.

  9. How to Handle Graduate School Applications and Rejection

    In many ways, applying to graduate school is very similar to being in graduate school itself: you're doing a lot of thankless labor that is self-directed and that you're not being compensated for.

  10. How should You Politely Decline an Offer from Grad School?

    Also, try to get a feedback from the grad student about the lab, or professor or school. Once you made your decision, you can just respond with a short letter as follows: Dear Professor Calculus, Thank you for your offer to join your lab. Although I was very flattered to get a chance to work with you initially, I have decided to attend another ...

  11. How to politely decline an offer? : r/gradadmissions

    If you are certain that you will not accept an offer, you should send your decision through the portal or directly to the department via email. Just state that you will not be taking the offer.

  12. What I should write to a professor to decline a PhD offer, while I have

    9 In Dec. last year, I got admitted to CUHK as a PhD student, and have chosen my 'future advisor', with whom I had been emailing for several months. Three months later, I recieved HKPFS (Hong Kong PhD Fellowhship Scheme, HK$20,000/m, big award). Currently, I'm waiting for the result of visa application.

  13. How to Decline a PhD Offer with Grace and Professionalism

    Deciding to decline a PhD offer can be a daunting and challenging task for any aspiring researcher. It may come as a surprise to some that accepting a PhD offer is not the only option, and sometimes the decision to decline can be the most suitable course of action. However, declining an offer should be done with grace and professionalism to ...

  14. Declining PhD Interview

    26 Incidentally: please decline the interview as soon as you are sure you will not attend it. The longer you wait, the more people have wrapped their schedules around this calendar item, so it's professional to cancel as early as possible.

  15. How to gracefully reject a PhD offer

    How to gracefully reject a PhD offer - Would love to hear people's thoughts and advice! (from students and lecturers/academics holding more senior positions alike) Meta Hi all, I am currently applying to PhD programs in several countries, mostly the UK. I have a bachelor's in Psychology and a Master of Science in Neuroscience.

  16. How to politely decline a PhD position : r/AskAcademia

    Accepting an admission offer for a PhD program is a 5-7 year time investment. Not taking a few weeks to consider it against your other offers is reckless and immature. ... Having someone decline an offer is a routine part of life for a PI. The nicest thing you can do is tell her as soon as possible, in case this is a situation where she could ...

  17. graduate admissions

    I declined a PhD offer from one university and accepted an offer from another. It was a very difficult decision and I later regretted it (and still do). It made my whole experience of the PhD quite miserable because I regretted my decision. You are making a commitment to spend several years of your life in one place. It is not an easy decision.

  18. How to reject PhD offers : r/GradSchool

    The offer email you recieved has a link to the application portal, where you can click "Accept" or "Decline". Do that latter if you are not going. As a courtesy, follow up with emails to the professors who make the offers you are declining to let them know where you did end up.

  19. How to Reject a Scholarship Offer Via Email

    4. Express Your Gratitude. While rejecting a scholarship, you need to make sure you understand the opportunity you were given. While this should have no bearing on your decision, that gratitude should be translated in your email rejecting the scholarship. Ensure to thank the Committee for their time and consideration.

  20. How do you politely reject a PhD offer? : r/labrats

    Be polite and honest, and say you've found a slightly better for for you, and you wish them the best of luck in their search. [deleted] • 4 yr. ago. There's no way you can do it, you'll have to accept the offers of both programs and do that thing they do in sitcoms where someone has two dates at once and they keep having to make excuses to ...

  21. Declining PhD program offer after accepting : r/PhD

    Declining PhD program offer after accepting. So I accepted an offer from a PhD program. I recently have been going through interviews for an incredibly job opportunity but I will not find out if I got it until after the April 15th commitment deadline.