I want to apply for admission to a PhD program in Canada. I hold a Master's degree. But when I was doing my undergraduate studies, I went to an exchange program in Canada and studied there for two semesters. I got really bad notes there, like C's, D's and even an F. In my home institution they considered only some of these notes to put them in my transcripts, the highest ones, so at the end, I had a good GPA of 3.8/4.0 in my official transcript in home institution.

Now that I want to apply for a PhD, I'm thinking in not putting the exchange in my CV, so I won't need to submit the transcript from the Canadian university, since it could affect it negatively instead of positively. But I'm afraid there could be some sort of network of Canadian universities and that they reject my application if they find out that I was hiding information. I'm also afraid that they could find some information if they google my name.

What should I do?

Addendum: The GPA in my exchange transcript is lower than the minimum required in most universities, less than 2 out of 4. Does this GPA matter or only the GPA of the transcript of my home institution matters?

1 Answer 1


Almost all universities require transcripts from all previous programs. It could be considered fraud to omit a transcript.

I suggest that you follow the rules but use other things to support your candidacy more positively. Later grades are usually more important than early ones. Letters of recommendation can be important to help the institution make a judgement about your future success.

More than grades are important.

Edited to add after the OP's update. An overall assessment will be made. The fact that you did poorly in one program will be considered but it wouldn't be standard practice to judge based on that alone since it wasn't the basis on which your degree was given. If you did well "overall" you should be ok. You might also have some explainable reasons for poor grades in the exchange program if you are asked about it. But don't spend much of any space in application materials making excuses. It is what it is.

  • If the university asks for "a minimum overall average of B+", does the word "overall" mean that I need that average in all my transcripts or that they calculate the average of all my transcripts?
    – J. Doe
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 18:00

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