I started my Bachelor's as an international student in Electrical Engineering. Later, I switched my major to Computer Information Science (because I loved working with C and Assembly language programming while in EE) and minored in Mathematics. I completed my minor.

Due to a family emergency, I had to forfeit my studies and returned home with just three major courses left. However, without taking any further courses, I later completed my bachelor's, earning a BSc in Interdisciplinary Studies (as it met the graduation requirements) with a 3.20 GPA. Although my GPAs in CIS, Math, and EE were around 3.33.

I am now planning to pursue a master's degree. What's the best way for me to write an SOP and convince the graduate admissions committee? Will my background in different subjects be helpful to highlight, or will it be considered a weakness? I am open to both course-based and thesis-based master's programs.

  • Application in which country?
    – Buffy
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:59
  • I am doing research on US, Canada, Australia or Germany universities and professors for now. But it can change.
    – wonderer
    Nov 13, 2023 at 16:02
  • But in which countries are you applying for graduate study?
    – Buffy
    Nov 13, 2023 at 16:06
  • Sorry if I was not clear. The countries I mentioned above. I am planning to apply to those countries.
    – wonderer
    Nov 13, 2023 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of issues. First is that a US application might need to be quite different from a German one. I'll focus the rest on the US.

An SOP should be forward, not backward, looking. Focus it on what your goals are for grad study and thereafter, especially if your eventual goal is a doctorate. In fact, in the US, you would probably be better applying to doctoral programs in that case rather than masters programs.

Also, in the US, let your letter writers make the case that you are well prepared and likely to succeed with your goals, especially those related to grad study and future research.

I'll also note that most (all?) US undergrad programs are pretty interdisciplinary. Much more so than, say, Germany. So, we expect that to some degree. If you have done well in "key" upper level courses in your field then I see no block. While the GPA is a bit low, it might be better if computed on those more advanced courses. That would be a plus.

And, my usual advice is to make a broad search for an institution, which you seem to be doing, but also on ratings scale. Don't apply only to "top" institutions, nor to only universities that are very similar to one another.

  • Thanks Buffy. I've got few key points from your reply. I will go with the first one. As you said, "most (all?) US undergrad programs are pretty interdisciplinary", in that case, don't I have to mention it separately in my SOP then? Explaining why my major was changed?
    – wonderer
    Nov 13, 2023 at 17:39

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