|Westward beach, Malibu|
There is a webpage I told myself I wouldn't visit, but I have been unable to resist taking a peek at least once a week. It tracks acceptances in a wide range of programs. People who sign in voluntarily post the dates they received a notice.
This is not a scientific study - for all the 6000 or so applicants to a program, maybe only five are even aware of the website and choose to post their experience. So if only three acceptances appear for a program that accepts twelve students, it does NOT mean that there are nine slots open!
So far, two of the schools I've applied to have appeared; University of Alabama phoned one accepted applicant on February 10th. University of Pittsburgh emailed two accepted applicants, one on February 14 and one on February 18.
Methods differ among schools. There's no regularity in how they do it. Some send acceptances first, others rejections. Other activity on the list shows several schools - not any of mine - sending out a dozen or more rejections this month.
A look back over last year's activity shows that this is the week that notifications start appearing - whether by mail, by email, or by phone. And most people are notified by the last weeks of March.
So for me it's a waiting game right now, trying to get through each day without thinking about it - and without taking another obsessive peek at the list!