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Getting kicked out of graduate school

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Long story short.

 

Last semester I took two classes and received a C and B-. The C was from my PI's  class who was very disappointed in me. I was put on academic probation and was told that I must have an overall GPA of 3.0 of better and not get any grades below a B. This semester I got two B's so my current GPA is a 2.72.

 

This morning, I received an e-mail from my adviser saying that he is very disappointed again that I did not get out of  academic probation. I also received an F which I am hoping will turn into a W. I received this F because I forgot to drop a class. I did not go to that class at all because I thought i had dropped it before the class even started.

 

The only thing that is going well in my life right now is that I received the NSF fellowship.

 

so now am waiting to receive a letter from the deans office telling me that i have been kicked out of the program. what to do?

Can i ask them to give me another chance and if they do how can i convince my PI to let me stay in his lab and continue my research.

 

should I even go to lab and do my research?

 

what are my options?

 

stories of people who overcome this is welcome.

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You need to sit down and talk to your advisor, first and foremost. 

 

If they are on your side, they can help you not get kicked out (petition the dean, etc). 

 

If they aren't, then you need to talk to your graduate coordinator/director of graduate studies to see what your options are from here forward. 

 

Sadly, even with an NSF, maintaining it requires that your advisor sign off yearly that you're making satisfactory degree progress- so you need your advisor to be willing to attest to that to keep the fellowship. 

 

That makes making sure your PI is on your side doubly important. 

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You need to sit down and talk to your advisor, first and foremost. 

 

If they are on your side, they can help you not get kicked out (petition the dean, etc). 

 

If they aren't, then you need to talk to your graduate coordinator/director of graduate studies to see what your options are from here forward. 

I concur.

Take as much initiative as possible without being obnoxious. Getting the "F" removed should be something you can handle on your own by talking to the registrar's office, so get that process started. If your adviser has emailed you, it means he already has to "deal" with you, so if you are sending the email proposing a meeting, that keeps him from having to do the same, and shows that you are taking responsibility in spite of your grades.

At this meeting, come prepared with a plan for how next semester can be different.  Don't have a list of excuses, but do analyze what could have been done differently. Can you identify why your grades were low?  If it was from the material being so difficult, maybe you can outline a plan for reviewing material over the summer, or taking one of the free mega online classes (I'm drawing a blank on the acronym) to brush up on what you'll need for the fall classes.  If it was more the general stress of grad school, you can make the case that you are feeling more established now -- or if not, consider signing up for counseling and/or a grad student support group.  Your adviser might not care about your personal life, but it seems like all actions to correct the situation would be appreciated at this point.

Are NSF grants transferable?  (Congrats on that, BTW.) If you don't think that staying in your lab is a possibility, maybe that's something you need to figure out.

I imagine one thing the school might decide is they will let you stay there, but revoke all funding and tuition waivers.  I don't know how the NSF grant would be affected by this, maybe it would help.  You'd have to take out a loan for tuition, but then could use the NSF stipend for income or something.  This is pure speculation on my part, but it might be worthwhile to look at your finances and see what your options are.

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The school would have to be willing to certify that you are making satisfactory progress to keep your NSF. They might be willing to do that even if they pull some funding. 

 

That said, under the terms of the NSF fellowship, the school is required to support your tuition and fees if they keep you on, so they can't stop supporting you and let you retain your NSF. 

 

You can transfer institutions with a fellowship, however. 

 

And academic probation by itself won't trigger your fellowship to get taken away, as long as your school is OK with you staying. 

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If I remember correctly, isn't your advisor/research in another department?  As a result, I'm assuming that some of your coursework has been outside of your department/comfort zone, as well.  If so, can you make the case that changing labs (and courses) might fix things?  The NSF stipend should help, too.  And, as the other two said, please speak with your advisor immediately.  Best of luck.

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Did you not do well in the classes because you didn't understand the material, or was it because you didn't spend enough time on the coursework because you were too busy in the lab?

 

If you just got the NSF GRFP, they may be willing to give you another chance.  It doesn't look good for the university to kick out a new NSF awardee.

 

I agree with the advice to sit down and speak with your PI.  You need him or her on your side.

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I have identified the reasons why I failed to get an A in both classes and will work on them. Sadly my adviser kicked me out of his lab yesterday. He said that he does not believe that I am a great fit for his lab, which is pretty big ( about 30 graduate students). He said that I might do better in a small lab and I believe him, I felt really lost with very little support from anybody in the lab.

 

Getting into the lab is very hard, you have to apply to his lab directly and then you get admitted to the school ( he has a lot of influence). Because of that, I did not bother to look at what other researchers were doing in my department. after spending a lot of time yesterday, i could not find anybody in my department who is doing the type of research i want to do. Now what?

 

1. Find a lab that would take me even though I have no  interest in there research

2. Find a job as a Lab technician

3. start studying for the MCAT and go to medical school

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Well, the med school thing is more than a notion, and I'm not talking about the low acceptance rates.  You have to be passionate about it.  If not, it's a waste (IMO) b/c of the extraordinary amount of time/money/effort required.  Now, if you discover that you have a latent passion for it, then go.  But, if it is just a plan B...

Initially, you picked research for a reason.  Remember what drew you to it in the first place.  If research was/is your passion, don't abandon it b/c of an academic speed bump.  Maybe a smaller lab  with a very supportive advisor is the elixir.  Meeting success (in said lab) might trump the "blah-ness" of the project.  With that said, I think it's a little premature to write off all the other research in the department.  Talk to students.  Find out who the (very) supportive profs are.  Talk to these profs.  Get the fine details about their respective projects.  Maybe there are some skills/techniques that you'd learn in one of these labs that can be cross applied to your area of interest. 

You have this grant; try out a new lab for a year.  If you're bored to tears, then you can leave.  But, I wouldn't bail until I had explored all possible options within the department.

Edited by Chai_latte

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Time to do some soul searching.  A 2.72 GPA and getting kicked out of the lab is either a wake up call or an exit call.  You need to figure out why NSF is "the only thing going right" in your life. Maybe you don't really want to be there? 

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