Last year, I went to exchange credit with another university. During course registration, I applied for a graduate class in another department by purely clicking mistake. I explained that the school could not accept graduate classes and that I could not take more than my maximum grade point.

If it had been the way it was, I should have dropped the class easily, but my school abolished the drop system a long time ago. I thought that other schools would be like ours, and of course there would be no drop system at that school. I had no choice but to hold back my tears and decided to get an F grade.

It wasn't until recently that I learned that an F grade is a big problem in determining sincerity. I will take classes there again to erase this credit, but that does not guarantee that the F itself will disappear, or even I can get to that university again. I will also ask the professor to write a letter explaining the different administrative systems between the schools, but I don't know if this will work.

I know that many competitive schools drop students with F grades or don't offer scholarships. What should I do in my case? Will a letter with such a story work for the judges?

  • 5
    Your story is confusing, but if you registered by mistake and never attended the class or submitted any work, can't you petition to have it removed from your transcript? Aug 7, 2022 at 18:25
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    Presumably even at your own school if you misclick and apply for a graduate class you did not intend to apply for, you're not condemned to take an F. Whatever you do, I would suggest omitting entirely the strange and irrelevant sounding part of the story about "different administrative systems" in any applications. If you cannot fix your transcript, then stick to the relevant, non-confusing part of the story, which seems to be that you misclicked during the registration process but did not do anything to fix it and took an F instead, and only later did you realize that this was a bad decision. Aug 7, 2022 at 18:28
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    You need to make this clearer to get any answer here, or any good answer from an admissions committee. It is hard to understand what you did, or why, or how you "decided" to take an F. It is hard to tell which school you are talking about in various parts of this. I don't understand "could not take more than my maximum grade point". Could not take more "what"? And "more than max grade point makes little sense. Clarify if you need an answer.
    – Buffy
    Aug 7, 2022 at 18:33
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    The concern I'd have reading your story is less about an F on your transcript but that it seems like you made so little effort to do something about it. Graduate school expects more self-starting and initiative than earlier education levels.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 7, 2022 at 18:33
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    If I understand the story correctly, it's something like this (modulo the fields): you are a physics major, but you accidentally signed up for a graduate-level art history course while studying abroad. You assumed that you would automatically be dropped from the course, since this is what would happen back home. By the time you realized this assumption was incorrect, there was nothing you could do, and you ended up getting an F. Is this roughly correct? In particular, was the graduate course indeed in something very different from your main subject?
    – cag51
    Aug 7, 2022 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


I think you should work from the premise that a typical school does not recognize the concept of “F grades caused by administrative errors”. An F grade is supposed to signify that you took a class and didn’t manage to pass it, and that’s how almost everyone will interpret it. I doubt that the admissions systems of most graduate schools are capable of handling complicated explanations of F grades that don’t actually mean what they are supposed to mean.

If it really was an administrative error, I’d advise you to fight hard to get it corrected by your school. Your grades should reflect your actual performance, not the vagaries of institutional bureaucracy.

I’m sorry about your predicament. Best of luck resolving this issue!

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