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I go to a top 30 liberal arts college in the US, and I'm planning to go on a study-abroad for one year. I want to go for a Computer Science PhD after I graduate. I will be a Math major with a scientific computing concentration since my college does not have a CS major -- we have some classes like "intro to CS, data structures, software development, coding theory, comp organization, software & system design" but those are all when it comes to CS classes. Therefore, I am looking to go abroad for a year and take all of the core CS classes and many more -- like database systems, algorithms, compilers etc.

One downside that could come into play is that these classes that I take abroad won't count towards my college GPA although the grades will be posted. To elaborate, I will get transfer credit and the grades I earned in these classes will be shown in my transcript, but they just won't count towards my GPA. Is this going to hamper my PhD admissions? Will it be a bad idea to go abroad for a year in this scenario? I also have summer research in Information Theory that went quite well (we have three papers in arXiv that we aim to get published.)

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    I cannot imagine how this could affect you negatively, unless you completely fail in your courses. Sep 11 at 21:13
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the grades I earned in these classes will be shown in my transcript, but they just won't count towards my GPA. Is this going to hamper my PhD admissions?

Most likely this will have zero effect on your PhD admissions.

If you study abroad, do it at a university with a good reputation for the topics you will study. Get good grades. Then apply for a PhD at universities that are sufficient quality that they will read your transcript in detail.

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  • Thanks! I am going to Queen Mary University of London -- it's ranked within the top 100 or thereabout in the world. I hope that is going to be considered a reputed university by the admission folks. Sep 11 at 21:15

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