I am stuck in a somewhat unusual situation. I am enrolled in a graduate program (masters) in my country in the field of my choice. My college has a good undergraduate program but, as I've come to discover over the roughly two months I've been here, the graduate program fails in comparison.

Basically, the professors teaching graduates seem disinterested, there is no visible scope for research and they are only concerned about grades and getting a well-paying job after I get my degree. I wish to have a career in academia (I particularly enjoy teaching) and my current graduate education experience has left me dissatisfied.

I am in my first semester and I am considering applying fresh to graduate schools outside of my country for the next academic year. I am planning to drop out after I complete this semester.

My questions are:

  1. Does it make sense to start afresh? Should I stay and try to work things out? (I've been talking to professors and it doesn't look good so far).

  2. Should I mention my current college in my graduate school application statement? Does it hurt my chances if it appears that I have dropped out of a graduate program before?

  • 2
    If you're looking at a career in academia and changing countries, note that in some countries a master isn't a prerequisite for a PhD but rather an alternative. For example, if you're going to apply in the USA, go for PhD programs directly and skip the master. Oct 9, 2014 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


As an alternative, you could finish the semester and take some credits with you. Changing graduate schools isn't all that unusual, particularly if you are leaving your alma mater in favor of a different school.

  • I considered that. But the Fall semester deadlines would have passed by the time, and the colleges I wish to apply to do not accept students in Spring. Also, the college I'm currently enrolled in wasn't my college for undergraduate (I would have known better about the program otherwise).
    – user22727
    Oct 9, 2014 at 20:21
  • 1
    You could start afresh and still take some credits with you. Just apply like a fresh grad student and when you get there, take your transcript to academic counseling or so and find out if you can get credit for any part of it. Oct 9, 2014 at 22:02
  • I could do that. What I am concerned about, however, is that the transfer from my current school might appear negatively to the admissions committee at the school I'm applying to. They might choose to accept a completely fresh graduate instead of me. How big of an impact is transferring out likely to leave?
    – user22727
    Oct 10, 2014 at 14:04
  • @user22727 have you considered how big of an impact not finishing the semester might have? That could look flaky to your prospective school. Oct 10, 2014 at 21:20
  • @JonathanLandrum As I said in my question I do intend to finish the semester. Because of the deadlines however, I need to apply before the semester finishes. I intend to make it clear in my application statement, however, that I will complete the semester and any remaining academic duties before leaving.
    – user22727
    Oct 11, 2014 at 5:48

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