I am first a semester PhD student from India. I am not a good fit at my current university, so I want to drop my PhD here and start anew in the US. I made a terrible mistake while applying for the Indian university, I did not research the university in full. My mistake is so bad that my area of research interest is not currently available at my university.

I feel like a moron by making this mistake. But I am a mature person now and I am doing extensive research about which universities I need to apply to and enroll in (in case I get admitted). My area is available at many universities in the US and I talked with multiple professors and they said that there is a vacancy in their lab and I can join them if I get admitted. In the past I made a mistake, but learned my lesson and I need a second chance to do my research.

I am planing to disclose this in the SOP to avoid any academic dishonesty, will this hurt my application despite the fact that I understood my error and rectified it and have passion to do research?

P.S.: I have three internships at top universities (2 from TIFR india and one from MIT in USA) and independent research based on my research interest which might help me


1 Answer 1


In any US application don't focus on "the mistakes I made", but on your future plans and how you plan to achieve them. Make it positive and forward looking, not the opposite. Make sure you get good letters of recommendation as the canonical question suggests.

Note that in the US, applications are generally made to a department, not to an individual faculty member.

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