I am a junior college student that goes to a top 6 CS school. I will be graduating a year early and am starting to think about whether or not I want to get my Master's degree.

However I have an egregious academic integrity violation from my first university from which I was expelled (which was a top 4 CS school, during my first semester). I have since learned from the incident and transferred to my current college, where I have been studying for 3 years.

If I do decide to get a masters degree, I would either plan on pursuing it at my current school (where I believe I will be accepted, due to my academic performance/relationships with professors/ the fact that my department head knows about my past) or at another top-6 cs school.

Would a school of such caliber be willing to look past my academic integrity violation, or should I not even bother applying for a Master's degree?

2 Answers 2


Although it is perhaps possible that a school has a policy where they will not accept people with past issues involving academic integrity, I feel like this will mostly depend on the person or committee reviewing the applications. If you did well overall, I would think they would overlook something that happened years ago.

However, if it were my decision, I would apply to the school you're currently attending (since you said you know a lot of the faculty and it sounds like you're fairly confident that you would be accepted there; this would be your backup plan) and whatever other school you are thinking about applying to. Is there really any harm in applying to see if you will get in?


The very basic principle of Economics: Every choice is give up.
Hence, if you give up on something, you are choosing another thing.
Therefore, if you have nothing to give up, then those are not choices.

What will you lose by applying a master's degree anywhere on earth? Why not bother? I don't think it is a question of bothering if you're really planning to do master's degree. This is an academic decision.

On the other hand, what will master's degree give to you? Are you planning to do a PhD as well? Or do the companies you'll apply seek master's level as a requirement?

As ashlinry stated, it highly depends on the person who will evaluate your application. Moreover, you get to write a cover letter for your application. Great chance to clear it up! Write your excuses, write what you've gone through, etc.

By the way, did you talk to your professors about this situation?

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