By Elizabeth Daley

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Drexel University mistakenly sent emails to 495 non-admitted students indicating they had been accepted to the Philadelphia university, a school spokeswoman said on Thursday. 

The emails, which were delivered this week as a follow-up to acceptance letters, were "inadvertently sent to 495 applicants who had previously been denied admission to Drexel or who had incomplete applications," according to university spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris.

Upon realizing the error, the university sent out emails within hours to the rejected students apologizing for the mistake, Gianakaris said.

With an increasing reliance on email to deliver acceptance letters, the university is not the first to deal a blow to prospective students.

In February, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh mistakenly sent out 800 acceptance emails to students who had been rejected from its small prestigious graduate program in computer science. 

"You are one of the select few," the congratulatory email said.

(Editing by Laila Kearney and Sandra Maler)