Medical How bad does it look to withdraw from a class while applying?

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TheBoneDoctah

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Hi, MSTP applicant applying this cycle here. I was wondering how negatively it would look to withdraw from a graduate-level statistics programming course? I've been dealing with a lot of work lately, with classes and interview prep and I did not devote as much time as I should have into this class. Consequently, I did not do too hot on the first exam and am thinking of withdrawing. I was wondering whether having my first W from this course would raise eyebrows from MSTP admissions during the cycle? Thanks!

I mean, a W is probably better than a failure...
 

tantacles

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Thank you for your reply! I was wondering, what grade cutoff would you say I should take the W? Also how exactly would having this W affect my chances of getting interviews/acceptance as I am currently on the interview trail? Thanks!

No one really cares about W's unless there are a million of them. If asked about it, you can give any answer you like as long as it's professional. No need to bring attention to bad performance, though. My preferred answer is something along the lines of, "I wanted to give the subject matter a fair shot, and I ultimately found myself not interested in the material after a month and decided to withdraw."
 
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tantacles

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Thanks for your reply! If I am waitlisted at a program and I provide them with an update along with my fall and spring grades, would it be fishy to them that I have my first W during this semester? I've gotten mostly A's and couple B+'s throughout my first three years, so would this W seem really bad to them? Thanks!

As I mentioned, one W is not a big deal. People withdraw from courses due to all sorts of reasons - lack of interest, poor grade in the class, forgot to drop before deadline. Not something to worry about.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Thanks for your reply! If I am waitlisted at a program and I provide them with an update along with my fall and spring grades, would it be fishy to them that I have my first W during this semester? I've gotten mostly A's and couple B+'s throughout my first three years, so would this W seem really bad to them? Thanks!

W is better than a low grade.
 
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