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I have a 3.67 GPA at Rutgers in Materials Engineering and I plan on going to UConn for a masters in Mechanical Engineering since my job after graduation is more aerospace and mechanical engineering ( I am working for Pratt & Whitney) and I am more interested in the crossovers between MechE and MSE. However I have some W's on my transcript. One was a Matlab course my freshmen year I took that I hated and dropped a week after the withdrawal deadline (wasn't needed for my major). Another was during my junior year when I did a full time internship and this was an elective in industrial engineering for systems and reliability engineering. The course was in the evening but at a horrible time after work and I disliked it by the middle of the semester and I didn't have an interest in the material anyway. I also withdrew from 2 major classes because of courseload problems one semester my senior year but I took them the next semester and got an A in both. I dropped a graduate level MSE class in thermo recently because the course subject matter was dry (I don't like phase diagrams and chemical thermo too much) so I dropped it; I took the class originally to see if I would like MSE at the graduate level despite my career path moving towards mechanical engineering just to get a feel for things. I anticipate doing well on the GRE and I can have many letters of recommendation. Will these W's hurt my chances of being accepted into the UConn engineering masters program?

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    Could you explain "W"? – Thomas Oct 24 '19 at 19:46
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    Rutgers and UConn are universities, right? – Thomas Oct 24 '19 at 19:46
  • A W is a withdrawal from a course, and yes those are both universities – Trevor Frederick Oct 25 '19 at 19:11
  • So what does "withdrawal" exactly mean? Do you have to register for courses and if you change your mind you obtain this "grade"? Does it have any implications? ..You might want to clear your question up for the international audience. – Thomas Oct 25 '19 at 19:13
  • In the USA, students have a grace period of sorts at the beginning of a semester/quarter during which they can drop and add classes on a whim (more or less), with no penalty. After this period a student can withdraw from a course without affecting their GPA, and it shows up on a transcript as "W". Some institutions have a WF or WP, to indicate if the course was dropped with a failing a grade or passing grade. – SciGuy Oct 28 '19 at 18:51
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While it is impossible to know what is in the minds of an admissions committee, I would think a few W's shouldn't matter much as long as your GRE scores are strong and your letters are positive. However, I would consider briefly addressing those withdrawals in your personal statement in a positive way (ie, you preferred another course vs you hating a course).

Basing this on a brief stint on a medical school admissions board in the USA.

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