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I am considering applying to a computer science department at an esteemed US university, university A, as a non-degree seeking student. The reason is three-fold:

  • Determine if what I'm studying is truly what I want to do.
  • Do well in the classes to improve my chances of being accepted to their MS program in the near future.
  • Make connections with profs who might be a good academic/research advisor.

My goal is to eventually apply to a PhD program at university B.

Will the non-degree option help my chances at being accepted to university A's MS program?

Will the non-degree option hurt my chances at being accepted to university B's PhD program? Will they need to know about the non-degree if I'm eventually accepted to the degree option?

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Will the non-degree option help my chances at being accepted to university A's MS program?

No.

Will the non-degree option hurt my chances at being accepted to university B's PhD program?

No.

Will they need to know about the non-degree if I'm eventually accepted to the degree option?

Do well in the course and then you'll be proud to share the transcript with them.

  • I know this is a bit old, but I am not sure this is true. Why do you think it won't help him? – Chris Doyle Mar 19 '16 at 9:37
  • Hmm. To tell you the truth, I don't remember why I answered no to the first question. Thanks for the comment -- I can see your point. – aparente001 May 9 '16 at 13:59

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