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I am an international student with a 3.7 US equivalated GPA. I applied to a grad school program in the US fresh out of undergrad and was accepted.

I was a part-time student at that grad school. During the next semester, I took up some courses at a local community college instead of the grad courses (physics 1, chem 2, o-chem 2, o-chem lab). I ended up having situational depression and got help really late in the semester. I was only able to withdraw from one course early in the semester, and failed two courses, and got a B in one.

I am currently re-thinking the grad program I applied to at first and want to apply to another one. However, this program is more prestigious. While my undergrad GPA and experience are good enough for the school, I am worried about how my recent bad semester at the local cc will be interpreted to the admissions office.

BTW: These courses that I bombed are not pre-requisites for the program I am applying to.

Should I discuss this bad semester in my personal statement? Are my chances of acceptance really low because they are recent grades?

  • Instead of the poor grades, the real problem will be trying to drop out after getting some bad results, which will be seen as incompetence, low endurance, poor persistence. Be more careful about touching these issues, rather than just pointing the failures. – user91300 May 19 '18 at 12:43
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    It is important to say what you are going to do differently in the future to make that bad semester an exception. – Patricia Shanahan May 19 '18 at 15:49
  • These are good points- i did not drop out, just took the courses I wanted to but my mental health got in the way .. :/ – Lina A May 20 '18 at 0:22

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