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How bad do withdrawals look?


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So, long story short, I had 3 semesters where I enrolled but then withdrew from my classes due to medical concerns. I wasn't aware that a medical withdrawal was an option until it was too late to apply for one. That being said, I feel like the rest of my application to the M.S. I/O programs I've applied to is strong. I've got a 3.6 overall GPA and a 3.8 in my major. I have 9 conference proceedings (with about half being APA), 1 publication, and 1 article in Erognomics in Design. I've worked in 2 labs for 3 years and received a grant to conduct my own research in the summer. Still, I can't shake the feeling that a school is going to see 3 semesters of withdrawals and think badly of me. Does anyone have any experience with this? If it helps, I did explain the reason for my withdrawals in my statement of purpose. 

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If I am reading this right, you have three full-time semesters of withdrawals? As in like 15 Ws?


If that is the case, you should definitely devout a sentence or two to explaining the situation in your SOP. One or two Ws on your transcript isn't a big deal, but having that many is a big red flag if you don't provide a valid reason (which yours is).


Just re-read the last sentence of your post. You should be alright then. 

Edited by HopefulComparativist
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I have a semester of withdrawals due to health reasons. I missed a lot of school, and came back and dropped one of my classes. I tried to finish out the semester, but it was just too much with everything that was going on. I withdrew, which left me with a semester with one W and about 4 WP's (withdraw-pass). Our school has a policy where if you drop past the withdraw date they state whether you were failing or passing when you dropped.


I explained it in my SOP, but only used about a sentence. It didn't seem to really effect my results. 


You seem to have a strong application, and health reasons are usually a good explanation for withdrawals. I wouldn't worry too much. At this point, it is out of your hands anyway. 

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