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Quit PhD after three years and re-apply, seeking advice


wayneenterprises

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changed from the experimental to computational side (apply physics) on this phd. I just finished my year 3. I screwed up in year 2 because of excessive pressure from academic and life and resulted in:

(1) failed a course (cannot focus at all), but just took again and passed in the third year with an A, but the transcript showed probation, gpa maintained in good standing.

(2) not much progress in research, PI was not satisfied, therefore I didn't take the qualify. I have to admit not enough maturity and insufficient ability to resist pressure.

Now lessons learned in the hard way, been to the counseling for a few times, but unfortunately I don't have a third chance. I made a withdrawal and planned to reapply for 2022, in related field, but less hardcore.. previous research was difficult, and my mentality (maybe wrong word here, I mean a lot of pressure to deal with) was unstable. The previous graduate program ranked around 50. I am an international with fair gpa 3.3, a slightly better GRE (325), and a lot of research experience (more than 5 years, in experimental and computational). Several potential PIs have responded positively, but they have not seen my package, and they must have questions about why quitting. I saw similar cases from Stack Exchange and felt this is going to be very difficult (someone on SE said probation was a huge red-flag), please help me with whether there is a chance. I want to do R&D in the industry after phd. The explanation I can think of is that my interest has changed. I don’t really like the atmosphere in the group, there is little communication, not good for novices, but this is partially my fault). The PI's recommendation letter should be a more gentle on restoring of the real situation, if I apply. Won't consider a master's for now due to financial reasons.

I have no idea about my chances, please take a look. Thank you! 

P.S. I am ok with lower ranking programs if that is easier.. Just need a chance to finish this. 

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