Deferring Admission

SSP expects admitted students to begin the program in the semester for which they applied. Students should only request to defer admission if they are unable to enroll as the result of a significant, unforeseen change in the student’s personal or professional life, which is beyond the student’s ability to control.

Deferral requests are reviewed by the admissions committee to determine their validity. Failure to adequately prepare for the cost of graduate school, the desire to pursue other educational opportunities prior to attending SSP, and failure to adequately anticipate the amount of time necessary to separate from the armed forces are examples of deferral request reasons which would normally be viewed unfavorably by the admissions committee.

Students may request a maximum of one deferral, for either one semester or one academic year. If granted, a deferral cannot be extended beyond the original period of deferment. Students admitted to the fall semester must request a deferral no later than June 1st; students admitted to the spring semester must request a deferral by December 15th.

Students requesting deferrals prior to their SSP decision deadlines should refrain from paying the $500 tuition deposit until their deferral request has been processed. Students requesting deferrals after the decision deadline must pay the $500 deposit and should understand that, in the event of a denial of their request, the deposit is non-refundable. This is also true for students who pay the deposit in advance of the decision deadline before waiting for their deferral request to be processed.

Students whose deferral requests are denied must either matriculate in the semester for which they were offered admission or forfeit their offer of admission and reapply at a later date.

Students who have been offered an SSP Merit Award should understand that Merit Award offers are valid only for the semester in which the applicant originally applied.

Active duty and reserve military personnel may request a deferral only if an official request for orders (RFO) for permanent change of station (PCS), overseas deployment, or schooling is received after the student has received an offer of admission.

The form to request a deferral is located on the Graduate School website.


Applicants denied admission to SSP should not reapply until additional steps have been taken to strengthen their application. Please contact the SSP admissions staff to discuss the appropriate course of action.

Those wishing to reapply must submit a new application and new application materials. Materials from a prior application such as letters of recommendation, transcripts, and statements of purpose cannot be rolled over to a new application. 

Official test scores that were previously sent to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and have not expired can be re-used. (GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the date of the test. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years from the date of the test.) If you have retaken any of these tests since your previous application, be sure to request the testing agency to send the new official scores to Georgetown.