I studied Bioinformatics at the undergraduate level but since I was short of one of the degree requirements and I had already been accepted to a graduate program, my university decided to re-name my degree to General Studies. The transcript obviously shows work done towards a Bioinformatics degree as does my research experience but the degree certificate would say Bachelor of General Studies.

Would a graduate school take issue with this even though I have been admitted?

  • 2
    It's possible, particularly if the degree requirement that you're missing was something that the grad school was expecting you would complete. Normally the grad school will require that you send them a final transcript (and reserve the right to deny admission if it's not satisfactory to them), so they are going to find out; it would probably be a good idea to contact them directly first so you can explain the situation. Jun 3, 2014 at 4:15
  • @NateEldredge that should be an answer.
    – Davidmh
    Jun 3, 2014 at 11:27
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    At my university, students may either graduate under the catalog that was in place when they selected their degree program or the one in place at the time of graduation. Thus if your degree program was eliminated, they'd still give you that eliminated degree if it existed when you started it. Does your university not do the same thing?
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 3, 2014 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


It's possible that a grad school would have an issue with this.

In my experience, admission to a graduate program is always contingent on successful completion of the undergraduate degree. The grad program will require a final undergraduate transcript and reserves the right to rescind admission if they're not satisfied with it. Presumably your application stated that you were working on a bioinformatics degree, and your admission was based on the assumption that you would complete it.

So it would be a good idea to contact the grad program and explain the situation. You probably don't want them to first learn about it when they get your transcript, and have them trying to guess what happened.

Some relevant questions:

  • What was the requirement in question? Is it some critical course that they might reasonably have expected every bioinformatics student to have?

  • Why didn't you complete it? Was a course not offered at a time when you could take it? Or did you fail a required course?

  • If (as your question seems to say) this was a new requirement, imposed after you started your degree, how recently was it imposed? Could you reasonably have fulfilled it?

  • What does your undergraduate advisor say about all this?

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