I'm considering transferring to a school with a worse CS program to avoid 3 semesters of W's (withdrawal grades) and a dismissal on my record come graduation time. (Or would I just have more explaining to do?) Should I stick with my school?

  • If you completed the classes in previous semesters those should still show up on transcripts. Being dismissed does not (at places I'm aware of) wipe out your prior academic record.
    – Jon Custer
    May 26, 2021 at 23:05
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    I suggest prioritizing your recovery over restarting your studies. May 26, 2021 at 23:19
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    Not what you asked, but having some horrible semesters followed by some excellent semesters is actually a really good "story" -- much better than someone who did mediocre work all the way through. The catch is that "excellent semesters" are not so easy to achieve, especially if you are still recovering.
    – cag51
    May 27, 2021 at 2:16
  • If you don't inform of your prior college you can probably fresh start for your graduate school app. You will lose out on prior courses though. If you transfer you might be able to hide it, it depends if they ask where you transferred from. May 28, 2021 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


Graduate schools generally ask for all of your undergraduate transcripts, not just transcripts from schools you got a degree from.

Transferring is a decision you'll have to make on your own, but it is probably not a mechanism to clear your record of Ws if that's your intent.

In the meantime, probably best to focus most of your attention on your mental health, followed by graduating itself, regardless of future plans past then.

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    "probably not a mechanism to clear your record" That should say "certainly not". Hiding your pre-transfer record in an admissions application or job application would be misconduct, and could well be a reason to get dismissed. academia.stackexchange.com/a/104674/13240 May 26, 2021 at 23:17
  • @AnonymousPhysicist Kept that uncertainty in because I don't know whether there are any systems where this wouldn't be true, but certainly for the US aka the system I know then yes, agreed with you 100% that this is certainly not the way to go.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 28, 2021 at 22:55
  • I would have no problem lying about it myself, you're in a competition not a purity contest. Obviously the OPs success hinges on if he can get past or not. I know a ton of people who have very successful careers who lied about a lot of shit starting out May 28, 2021 at 23:48
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    @FourierFlux Not everyone shares your ethics, and I think perhaps your cynicism leads you to leave a lot of bad advice for people in the comments on this site.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 28, 2021 at 23:51
  • The fact that people like @FourierFlux lie does not make it any less wrong. May 29, 2021 at 0:29

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