Carnegie Mellon fulfilled, then horribly crushed, the dreams of 800 budding computer scientists

The lucky ones.
The lucky ones.
Image: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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Carnegie Mellon University accidentally accepted about 800 students to its computer science masters program, only to retract the offer hours later. Gawker earlier today published two emails the university sent to applicants. The first offers admission to the program, and the second—more than six hours later—reads, ”Earlier this morning, we mistakenly sent you an offer of admission to Carnegie Mellon’s MS in CS program. This was an error on our part.”

In an email statement, Carnegie Mellon spokesman Ken Walters tells Quartz:

About 800 applicants to the Master of Science in Computer Science program in CMU’s Computer Science Department on Monday were erroneously sent an acceptance letter via email. This error was the result of serious mistakes in our process for generating acceptance letters. Once the error was discovered, the university moved quickly to notify affected applicants. We understand the disappointment created by this mistake, and deeply apologize to the applicants for this miscommunication. We are currently reviewing our notification process to help ensure this does not happen in the future.

The school is ranked first in US World and News Report‘s computer science graduate program rankings. This is not the first time that students have received false acceptances from an American university—in December Johns Hopkins accidentally sent acceptance emails to almost 300 applicants who had been rejected days earlier. Sometimes the faux acceptances come in the form of financial aid emails, which happened with Fordham (paywall) and UCLA. MIT, Vassar and UC San Diego have also had slip ups.