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Here is my story.

I was accepted to top-30 world university to MS in Electrical Engineering(EE) progaram. In total I already have 3 degrees: MS in EE (GPA:4.0/4.0), BS in EE(GPA:3.9/4.0), and Bachelor in Economics(GPA:3.8/4.0).

In my application I misunderstood instructions, which wanted me to list "all universities attended". As far as all my degrees were from one single university I though that I was not obliged to enter all of them, because formally I did list "all universities" by mentioning at least one of those degrees. That is why I decided not to enter "irrelevant" Bachelor in Economics degree and entered only BS in EE and MS in EE degrees.

After few months I was successfully accepted to the degree program I had applied to. But after talking to some other applicants I understood that in application form they wanted me to enter not "all universities" but rather all degree programs attended. So I believe that I should have listed that economics degree as well.

Apparently, concealing this degree didn't give me any benefits during admission, but most likely even might have "downgraded" my application to some extent. So I unintentionally presented myself to be worse that I am in reality.

What do you think I need to do? If I contact admission office I can end up being rejected and I cannot risk that much.

On the other hand, If I enroll and then they disclose this fact what they most likely will do?

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    See academia.stackexchange.com/a/14983/1010. Yes, if you disclose it now, there is a slight risk that they might change your admission decision. That might set back your plans for grad school. If you conceal it, you're taking a much greater risk: you could in principle be kicked out of the program, or even have your degree revoked years later. That would wreck your academic career. – Nate Eldredge Mar 17 '16 at 19:56
  • One thing is when you falsify information to get benefits(conceal that you were dismissed, etc.) But what about case when it doen't give any benefits? I got Honors Degree in Economics, ranked 1-st in my class. Do you think they can still punish me? – Mallus Mar 17 '16 at 20:09
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    Why are you so sure the other applicants are right? You did what was asked in the application form and now you think that is wrong because some people who don't know more about the application forms than you do think it was meant differently? – Valjean Mar 17 '16 at 21:38
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    They asked about "all universities" and you told them about all universities. If they meant "all degrees" or "all programs" then they should have said so. I don't think they can punish you for not guessing that they meant something other than what they said. – Andreas Blass Mar 17 '16 at 23:55
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    @Mallus: Often there would be a question as to whether or not the missing information was "material", i.e. whether it could potentially have changed the decision. It sounds like in this case it probably isn't, but neither you nor I would be the ones determining that. If the university determined that it was material, they certainly could impose punishments as I mentioned. – Nate Eldredge Mar 18 '16 at 1:57
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I'd leave it alone, or disclose to your department, not the admissions office.

First, You got all your degrees at one university. Presumably, the school you applied to was sent an official transcript, and that transcript would show all the degrees conferred by that school. They have the info.

Second, the odd part about your application package is the MS in EE, given that you're applying for a second MS in EE. Your new department knows this. They wouldn't even bat an eye at the second BS. Dual BS's are fairly common, and it wouldn't be a negative in your package.

Lastly, you gave them what they asked for, which was all universities you attended. You followed their instructions to the letter.

  • First if all I would like to mention that I am international applicant, and my home university is located in different country than my target university. Transcripts(or as we call it here, in Europe, "diploma supplements" are attached to particular degree programs and list only subjects of this program. What's more is that there are no biographic gaps in my education history, because I did my economics degree as a part-time in parallel with my "main" EE degrees. So, there are no any evidences that I posses this degree at all. Do you think, I am quite safe? – Mallus Mar 17 '16 at 21:40
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    I'm pretty sure you're safe. I would recommend disclosing to your new department, maybe to the head of the graduate program, that you received an additional degree in Economics as an undergrad, simultaneously with your other BS, you were unaware of a requirement to disclose that at the time of application, and that you thought it was irrelevant to your application package. – Scott Seidman Mar 17 '16 at 22:21
  • thank you for you advice. It seems to be a good solution. I will try to implement it after thinking all it over once again and after I gain enough courage to contact my hopefully new department) – Mallus Mar 18 '16 at 4:55
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    thank you for the advise again. Would like to inform you that situation was resolved in a positive way - I was asked to send missing documents and that is all. However, they pointed out, they accept additional documents in my case only because the degree is a completed one. If it was failed program that I didn't disclose, they would probably revoke admission. – Mallus Apr 6 '16 at 14:09
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It's something that you should disclose, and is potentially quite serious. In undergraduate admissions, at least, most colleges try to ascertain not just whether or not the applicant is qualified, but also whether they would be benefit from attending the program. Thus you may actually have received a benefit by failing to disclose your full educational history.

I can't give any advice as to what to do, it is entirely possible that this may jeopardize your admittance status regardless of what you do, however my guess is that it will be judged more harshly if it is discovered rather than disclosed.

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    The point where I can completely agree with you is that no matter where I go and which way choose - I will jeopardize admittance. It is a stalemate situation. And I am afraid that it is me who painted myself into a corner by being not very attentive in the beginning. I carry full responsibility for this. – Mallus Mar 18 '16 at 7:10
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If still relevant: call the hotline or support at the university you want to go and ask the exact meaning of the question without giving your name.

This way, you will find out how they react without risking anything.

You can then decide on this information.

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