Jump to content

Reapplying to new PhD program after dismissal


Recommended Posts

My story is that the research in my department did not match with my background. I worked hard and my GPA is 3.5+, but the research topic was hard to develop. Due to the slow research progress, I was then placed on academic probation, and was given a grace period to push my research. The policy was if my work during grace period satisfies my advisor, then I can continue, otherwise I will be dismissed from the PhD program. Since it was a misfit, I did not want to continue, so I wanted to withdraw, but the department still gave me a letter which said I was dismissed from the PhD program. Then I was approved to switch to the master program, take master coursework and graduate with a master degree. I do not have any misconduct. Now I am applying to another PhD program which could be a good match with my research interest. However, I am facing a question from most universities that I am applying to.

The questions is: "Have you ever been expelled, dismissed, suspended or otherwise subject to disciplinary sanction by ( in some other similar questions, the preposition they use is "at" or "from") any college or university"?

I need to select yes or no. For my case, it is not a disciplinary sanction. I was dismissed from the PhD program only due to misfit in research. I am still staying at the university for my Master's degree and I was not dismissed directly from the university. As an international student, I am not quite sure how to answer this question.

Some people think that the question is asking about misconduct, while my case is not related to misconduct, so I should answer "no".

Other people think that no matter what kind of dismissal, if I answer "no", that might be kind of lying. So I should answer "yes"

I am very hesitant and nervous about this application. Can anyone help me figure out how to answer this in a proper way? Thank you so much!

Edited by 273695001
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you get letters from anyone at this school, and will this show up in the letters? If so, I think what you want to do is say "yes" and explain what that means. The "yes" field usually comes with a place to give some explanation, and if not then you'll want to create a separate (short) document where you address that. You were dismissed from the PhD program for what sounds like a legitimate reason (bad research fit with your department) but you did well in terms of grades and were allowed to graduate with a MA. You should not hide that or lie, but instead address it head on and say something about how you've learned how important fit is, and why you think School XYZ is the right fit for you now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@fuzzylogicianThank you for answering. I have a letter from the department and on the letter it says I was dismissed from the PhD program. 

The situation is tricky and the question from university is not clear enough. So I am still having concerns about answering "yes". As the question is asking whether a student is dismissed from university, but I was not dismissed from the university, only from the PhD program.  So there are different opinions. Some people think that answering no is lying. Others think that my case is not serious enough to answer yes. If I answer "yes", will it significantly reduce the probability of admission? It seems that for some universities, such question indicates serious misconducts and may only apply to students who have misconduct in their history.

Edited by 273695001
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use