I am about to withdraw from a PhD program and apply to another one, do you suggest to submit my transcripts if I have low grads or just mention my former program in my CV? Both are among the top 30 universities in QS ranking. I am afraid that my grades would leave a potential supervisor with a bad impression.

Is it ok to explain in my statement of purpose that the reason for those grads was that I had to focus on my immigration and family matters?

  • 3
    The many Ph.D. programs I've applied to ALL had very explicit instructions as to EXACTLY what should be submitted in an application, sometimes even providing a checklist for the candidate to use --- "checklist" in the sense of a printed list of items, with square boxes to the left of each item for the candidate to physically check with a pencil, that the department needed to have received before the application would be considered complete. Given this, perhaps more context is needed. For instance, are you specifically told that transcripts are optional? Or are transcripts simply not mentioned? Dec 12, 2020 at 15:08
  • Thank you @DaveLRenfro for your quick reply. According to the application procedure for this new program, it is not necessary to mention PhD experiences, but if you mention, it is needed to submit the transcripts. However, since I had bad grades in some courses, I do not want to leave a bad impression. On the other hand, I do not want to lose the merit of having the one year experience at the previous university, considering its high rank (Top3 of Canada).
    – Tired
    Dec 12, 2020 at 15:35
  • The SOP is not the place to dwell on the past. Make it a completely forward looking document. Show that there are reasons to predict seriousness of purpose and success.
    – Buffy
    Dec 12, 2020 at 15:42
  • I appreciate the compliment, but you just happened to ask the question a handful of minutes before I took a break from what I'm working on and visited Academia. Dec 12, 2020 at 16:16


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