I am an international STEM major graduate. Immediately after I obtained my BS degree in the spring semester, I went on a funded Ph.D. program in the following Fall semester. However, 2 months into the program, I received a very generous "a tenure like" job offer in my home country that guaranteed, after working for a year, that they will fully fund my education and all related expenses with retirement benefits. This led me to quit the Ph.D program after merely 2 months into it. However, right after I quit covid restrictions delayed my employment but I was able to get the job. Now after working for a year, I am applying again to Ph.D. programs in the same field as the program I quit.

Should I mention this in my statement of purpose? Would not mentioning this reflect badly and be considered dishonest?


2 Answers 2


If your employer is going to fully fund your PhD, you should state that very prominently in your application. Include the dollar amount, if you have it. Financial factors are often very important in PhD admissions decisions.

It's perfectly fine that you quit a PhD program because you found a new opportunity with better funding.

Hiding your 2 month period of enrollment would be considered dishonest. I see no benefit from the dishonesty, either.


The statement of purpose is not the place for this. Don't use it to explain the past, and especially not to excuse past decisions. The SoP is a place to detail future plans, both of study/research and thereafter, and how you intend to achieve them.

If you can make a personal statement also, put it there. Or in an introductory statement. At most you might give hints that both COVID and other opportunities caused a delay. If asked in an interview you can expand a bit.

Nothing you say sounds dishonest or disqualifying, but use the available application materials to build a positive picture of the likelihood of your success and some plan, even if not fully formed, about the future.

What you have written is an interesting "coffee room" topic for discussion, but not a reason to accept you into a program.

If you can say "cover and other opportunities" in a few words as an opening clause in some sentence about more vital things then you can make it work. But not as much as a full sentence.

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