There is another answer sort of regarding this topic Academic dismissal from PhD program. What next? . but my situation is different.
I am currently completing applications for PhD programs in Economics and Statistics. I have a Masters degree in Economics from which I just graduated.
I absolutely love these two fields and want to continue with a career in research. When I was an undergrad though I had a lot of trouble and was put on academic probation. It was 3 years ago, and I feel that I have matured a lot since (I did very well in masters program GPA: 3.77), but I do not know how to explain it on my applications.
Some schools specifically ask for you to do so. Others do not. The later are the most challenging since I do not know whether or not to even mention it in other materials (such as the Statement of Purpose).
I can say that I managed to turn it around for two reasons
- I developed an incredible passion for econometrics that kept me motivated to perform.
- I learned how to work with others more productively. I developed specific areas in which I was very strong, like statistical programming, and because I was willing to help others with their work (mostly students but a few faculty too), I would receive help from them as well in areas I was weak.
It is a shame that I have this on my record, because I feel I would make a great fit for some of these programs, and believe I have a lot to offer. Any advice on how to approach this issue would be appreciated. Thank you