This is why they have waitlist. I seriously doubt a program would allow you to defer admissions. If you are on the fence after going through the massive amount of paperwork, interviews, etc..., it is my guess that the program could rescind their offer as you may not be a serious candidate and they do not want to have an empty slot for next years class. I would be very cautious about your decisions or making public your intentions. I've heard of programs offering more slots then are available as they expect or rather from past history know that not all students will accept their offer. Once they get the full amount of replies to fill their slots, the remaining students who were offered may get a letter recinding the offer with apologies as funding was reduced and they were not able to accept all of the students offered.
If you really seriously want to begin your doctoral program, it may not be in your best interest to wait until the final date...I guess it is April 15, 2012 because you are sending a message that your are, well "on the fence!"
Last edited by 4410; 03-21-2012 at 10:15 AM.