I want to obtain a masters degree at a certain top university (in Canada).

However, I was kicked out of the department due to my bad performance. Repeated attempts at getting back in were unsuccessful.

I have since then fixed my lack of discipline, achieved top grades at a "lesser" university, graduated with a bachelor's degree, and have worked (in a relevant field) for 7 years.

I was wondering how, or if I should even consider applying to my original university.

The reason is purely for my self confidence and, I guess, my ego. I got into that top university with excellent grades, but I was not ready to become an independent adult; computer games dominated my life until my final semester when I finally couldn't hang on anymore.

Graduating with top grades at another university showed that I picked myself up, but I want to prove to my family, the university, and mostly to myself, that I have the abilities to achieve what I could not 7 years ago.

The university is the top university at the field I study, in Canada. US have a couple comparable or better ones, but I cannot afford to go to those...

I know I can apply to another university, but I really want to find a way back in to my old university, and only apply elsewhere if no other options are available...

Any advice is fully appreciated.

Update: Clarification - I am asking this because that university has my status listed as "may not continue in Faculty"

  • 2
    Were you kicked out a bachelor's or post-graduate program? If a bachelor's, I would think that you could cover this in the SOP.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 17:01
  • @mkennedy it was when I was in my bachelor's program
    – user17371
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 17:03
  • Graduate and undergraduate programs of a same university could be quite autonomous, they may or may not depends of the same faculty.
    – P. O.
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 19:21
  • 4
    I would definitely call the graduate studies division and ask whether it's possible and if it's up to the department/faculty. You're not asking if they'll admit you, just if an FRW on your transcript disqualifies someone from applying to a graduate studies program.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 19:46
  • ...The reason is purely for my self confidence and, I guess, my ego. This is the wrong reason for doing things
    – Alexandros
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 12:57

3 Answers 3


Keep trying! I was on academic probation (at a Canadian university :-) ) after my first year of undergrad (2.88 gpa). Thankfully I did not get kicked out. I persevered and now have an MSc and PhD and have been doing medical research for many years. Don't take this as gloating, just trying to say anything is possible :-).

Now, it will depend a lot on the university or department, but if you can convince a faculty member in the department that you want to do research and that you have completely changed your attitude, maybe they will have some sway (at least with the department). In my field, it is primarily a matter of convincing a faculty member (assuming the grades in the "lesser" university were good). Again, this will depend on the department.

Alternatively, maybe you can make an appointment with the admissions department and make a case to them why you should be allowed back in to the university. I suspect many would take your 7 years of experience as a growth experience.

Good luck!

  • 1
    Thanks for the encouragement! I have been away for 7 years, and unfortunately I was an extremely bad example of a student... So I never even had much contact with my professors in the first place. I will try to reach out to them based on their research subject... I don't have an exact direction of where I would like to research in, which btw is in the field of Computer Science, so I will do my best to look at what kind of research is currently going on.
    – user17371
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 18:54
  • One way to do that might be to look up the CS profs in the university in which you are interested. Then for each of them read some of their recent papers. From that see what interests you. Read more, then contact that prof :-). That way, not only are you informed, it should give the prof a good feeling about you.
    – brechmos
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 19:07

Usually, in Canada there's a limit for that kind of status. For example if you drop a Master program from Concordia (like I did)there's a five terms period before reapplying. Here's an extract from the regulation that applies:

Re-Admission of Withdrawn Students

Students who have been withdrawn from a graduate program for academic reasons (e.g. low GPA, C or F grades) may wish to be considered for re-admission into the program. Normally, students must have been withdrawn from the program for a minimum of five terms in order to be reconsidered. A request for re-admission is considered to be a new application. Students who wish to be considered for re-admission must submit an on-line application, along with the required application fee. Documentation (e.g. CV, transcripts) showing professional or educational accomplishments since the student was withdrawn must be submitted along with a recommendation for re-admission by the degree program.

At McGill (in the top 20 of univerties in North-America) it's two years for medicine

If an individual has not registered for a period of more than two years, their student file will be closed. These individuals and those who have formally withdrawn may be considered for admission. Applicants' admission applications will be considered as part of the current admission cycle, in competition with other people applying during that cycle and in accordance with current graduate admission procedures and policies.

Also for Graduate studies in Canada there's a lot of exceptions made, whatever regulation says. Try to contact the head of the department you're interested in.


I don't know what conditions are like at a Canadian University, but I graduated from a top American university and am basing my answer on this background.

Most universities, graduate faculties included, will base their decisions on an applicant's more recent experience. If you have top grades from a "lesser" university, that should be good enough (provided of course, that your target university routinely admits students from the other university). The seven years of work experience further separate you from your unfortunate undergraduate experience. College faculties are aware of "youthful indiscretions" with drinking, partying, etc. and are looking for signs that you have progressed beyond that point.

When I was admitted to a graduate school, I was told, "you only have to prove yourself once." That is, you will be admitted (or not), based on your "high water mark;" your highest level of achievement. They're not looking to disqualify you for things that happened maybe ten years ago; they're looking to see if your highest level of demonstrated aptitude meets their requirements. Good luck.

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