Unofficial vs. Official

<p>I applied to a master's program in environmental engineering. A little over two weeks ago, I got an email from a professor offering me a fellowship, but after writing him back I have heard nothing official from the school. Is this normal? I have to accept/decline from other schools by April 1 so I'm wondering what to do. Any thoughts? Thanks.</p>

<p>This is normal. And you have plenty of time. It's only mid-March. </p>

<p>Here's how it usually works. A <em>department</em> accepts you, and offers you funding. The <em>graduate school</em> of the university has to send you the official letter that confirms the offers. The administrative staff in the graduate school is really backed up at this time of year, so you'll almost certainly hear from the department via phone or email well before you get a letter from the graduate school. (Unless the department did NOT accept you, in which case, the graduate school usually sends the letter, and you won't hear directly from the department.)</p>

<p>However, this does NOT mean that the department's offer is not firm. The graduate school merely rubber-stamps it. </p>

<p>So, in your case, you likely wrote to the Director of Graduate Studies in the <em>department.</em> Did you email, or send a letter? Did you accept his offer? Did you ask for more time? If you asked for more time, then he's waiting to hear from you again, after you make your decision.</p>

<p>Thanks Professor X!</p>