I attended a 2y MSc mixed mode (Coursework+Thesis) program which is incomplete as of today. I have completed two semesters and still 2 more semesters to go.

I have dropped 3rd semester and never attended the 4th one. Coz,

  1. I ran out of money.
  2. I didn't like the program as it contained too much coursework. A whole load of coursework unrelated to my area of research interest was hindering my effort towards getting into research. Suppose, I am interested in Machine Learning. But, I have to study Economics and so on.

Now, I found that I, actually, can apply to Ph.D. programs without completing an MSc program (there are a lot of universities which accept Ph.D. students without MSc). I have good GRE score, so the chance of getting into a Ph.D. program is very high. But, I am worried that my previous incomplete MSc program will discredit my CV and statement of purpose as the dropped semester would be considered as failed courses.

Would it be a crime to not to disclose the incomplete MSc program? What would be the possible consequence of concealing an incomplete degree?


1 Answer 1


I wrote about this here.

Short answer: yes, it is considered dishonest, and the possible consequences are severe. You could be dismissed from your new program, or, if it's discovered after you finish, have your degree revoked. The likelihood of this actually happening is hard to evaluate, but those sorts of sanctions will certainly be "on the books" and available if the school decides to enforce them.

You'll be much better off if you submit the transcript and explain in your application why you decided to drop.

  • It's dishonest, but not a "crime" unless you're receiving funds from the department or a federal grant.
    – aeismail
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 0:52
  • @aeismail, i will be receiving funds.
    – user84565
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 20:02
  • @why: You could be sued by the university to recover any funds paid to you as a result of the deceit.
    – aeismail
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 20:46

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