I am planning to drop a course in my master's program as it has been really difficult for me to score well in it while looking for internships this semester. If I don't drop it I will end up with a C in that course. I already have a B- and I don't want my GPA to drop. How badly will it my hurt my future prospects when I am looking for jobs and internships?

I am a CS major and the course is related to my field.

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    I dropped a course for a similar reason in grad school. I can safely say that it has had absolutely no effect on anything. No one has ever mentioned anything about it. No employers asked to see grad school transcripts, so no effect there either. Sample size of one, but it's a data point. – eykanal Apr 4 '16 at 22:28
  • If the course is required and you drop it, you'll have to pay for it again. Weigh the cost of (another) C against the financial cost. – Bob Brown Apr 4 '16 at 23:29
  • You also need to make sure that you maintain your academic standing (minimum number of credits required to stay as a full student, if applicable). – The Guy Apr 5 '16 at 2:02
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    I can second @eykanal, I have done the same during my MSc and PhD: – The Guy May 5 '16 at 1:46

The only repercussion you need to worry about is how much dropping the class will affect your standing in your program. If your program/school/advisor are okay with you dropping the class I see no further harm that will come from it.

This being said, you will of course miss out on what is being taught in the class, which may indirectly affect your ability to get a job since you do not have some sort of required skill.

But again, I have never had an employer ask me why I withdrew from a class.


Can you / would you want to change your grading to pass/fail? Your Department could allow you this option for one or two classes - this wouldn't hurt your GPA, I believe.

Another option: you could discuss with your professor about whether he'd be willing to give you a grade of "Incomplete". Then you can work to resolve this I-grade, either through retaking the course, or doing extra work with your current professor to boost your grade up a bit. I'm not really sure how that all works, though - I just know that some professors will offer that option for students.

(I am guessing the Incomplete grade option would only be made possible if you had some sort of crisis during the semester...)


Some things you have to take into consideration are, is this a required class, minimum number of classes to be full-time and your school's policy on low grades.

If it is a required class, then if you drop it, you will have to take it again. If you meet the minimum number of classes to be considered full-time, then from that aspect you would not have any problem with it. If you get a C, would it be alright with the academic standing in your school?

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