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I am writing a motivation letter to apply to a masters program in an engineering field in an international university (Germany, Italy). I would like to continue from there on a research path.

However, currently I am enrolled in a professional masters program that I would like to discontinue. The reason for this is that the current program provides very limited research opportunities and will likely make it very hard for me to continue as a researcher.

I would like to know if I should write anything about my current masters program to the university I am applying to. On one hand, I would like to highlight the experience and the achievements I have gained in my current program; since I have not completed the program I cannot write about it in my CV. On the other hand, I do not want this to have any negative impact; how do I explain why I was enrolled in the program in the first place.

One year ago, I had no interest in continuing as a researcher; I only applied to the masters program because several friends of mine applied and because I was granted a 100% scholarship. Now that I have some experience in research, I know that I want to continue in this path.

My question is, should I include the masters program I am currently enrolled to in my motivation letter? if so, what are the main things that I need to write about?

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In my opinion, from a US perspective, you should definitely mention your current Masters program and reasons for wanting to shift to a research-based degree.

The language you use in your question, and the brief length you allot to your current program and reasons for deciding on different path, are fact-based, honest, and positive.

The questions I have are:

  1. Do you have interim grades from your current program that you can include in the letter?

  2. Do you have a current professor who would be willing to discuss your talents and performance, and your promise as a student in a more research-based degree?

And finally,

  1. How much time is left to finish your current program? If it is a year or less, I suggest you just finish it. The process of applying and starting a new program will likely take most of a year anyway, and this way you will have the degree on your CV and your reasons for pursuing another Masters as a path to a PhD still hold.

I don't know about international universities, but in the US, most science and engineering schools award a Masters on the way to a PhD, it's pretty seamless.

Good luck with your studies either way, and on your future.

  • Thanks I will take your advice. How is it possible to show my current grades to thd new university? Should I just indicate them in the motivation letter? – Mhmd Dec 31 '17 at 9:22
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    Yes, in the letter, e.g., "My GPA in the program to date is x.xx." If the list of relevant courses you have finished is short, you can list those along with grades in the same section. If you are allowed more than one page, and your list of completed coursework is more than 3 or 4, perhaps you can attach the list and grades as a separate page. Be sure to say that you will be happy to provide any additional information that would be helpful to the Admissions Committee, and give a reference if you have one. – user82849 Jan 1 '18 at 6:24

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