I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate student at a large public university. I am a music performance major. I'm very interested in applying to graduate school for either performance or music technology, which I am receiving a minor in. My biggest concern is that at the end of my freshman year I received a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge. I paid the fine and have been done with it for a while. Unfortunately, I can feel it haunting me still and the closer and closer I get to graduation and applying to graduate school the more I feel it creeping up on me. In my state nothing is offered to "remove" it from your record such as some states have diversion class.

So my questions are:

Is this something I should be extremely concerned about?

Will a university or conservatory completely disregard my application because of this reason? Or will affect their decision on my acceptance?

I didn't lose my scholarship because of it (and actually I have received more money from the school of music after applying for other scholarships) but will I be ineligible in the future?

Anything helps.


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    While the marked duplicate is slightly different (with respect to how the legal system treats the offense), the answers (especially the last two) seem to apply generally, including your situation. – ff524 Jan 11 '16 at 23:08

I probably would not worry about this at all. Conviction of a misdemeanor (as opposed to a felony) would not disqualify you from any of the U.S. graduate programs that I have been familiar with. Schools will not necessarily even ask about misdemeanor convictions on their applications, nor will they be running criminal record checks on their applicants. It is, of course, possible that some faculty reading applications at some schools may be vociferously opposed to admitting anyone with any kind of criminal history. However, most places simply will not care.

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    I concur. As I recall, our application just asks "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" So we don't even find out about misdemeanors. We don't care if you ever got a speeding ticket. – Kimball Jan 11 '16 at 23:08
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    I think by this point in my life it is safe for me to say that if someone asserted/commented to me that someone "had smoked dope", I'd say "ok, sure, and what?" Or, depending on mood, quote our former prez, Bill Clinton's hilariously silly attempt at evasion, "yes, but I/they didn't inhale". Next, jaywalking? In contrast, e.g., hit-and-run stuff is pretty inarguably sociopathic. Assault-and-battery... ? – paul garrett Jan 12 '16 at 1:05

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