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Do I need to include degrees that were not completed?

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Do I need to include degrees that were not completed?

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Usually when you search for jobs you don't include masters or phd degrees that you failed to obtain or did not complete. Is this also applicable to MBA admissions where you are also supposed to calculate the number of months worked?

For instance if you were given a leave of absence to study a master's degree, yet failed to obtain the degree. and then returned to where you were working previously, do you need to explicitly state this fact on the resume, or just leave it out and subtract a year from the months worked? In particular if the company gives you six months of work time for a year of study relevant to the company's main industry, then am I allowed to

1) leave it out of my resume
2) subtract six months from my time to employment till now

and not be, for example, denied admissions or the degree later on for admissions under false pretenses?

Thank you.

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redalertmba wrote:
Usually when you search for jobs you don't include masters or phd degrees that you failed to obtain or did not complete. Is this also applicable to MBA admissions where you are also supposed to calculate the number of months worked?

For instance if you were given a leave of absence to study a master's degree, yet failed to obtain the degree. and then returned to where you were working previously, do you need to explicitly state this fact on the resume, or just leave it out and subtract a year from the months worked? In particular if the company gives you six months of work time for a year of study relevant to the company's main industry, then am I allowed to

1) leave it out of my resume
2) subtract six months from my time to employment till now

and not be, for example, denied admissions or the degree later on for admissions under false pretenses?

Thank you.
Be very careful in presenting what is accurate-- for many MBA programs the last step is a verification check and the worst thing that could happen is for the school to discover something that you did not present. I would not try to hide the degree you did not earn-- sometimes the school asks for all your transcripts-- even if you did not graduate-- so they might want to see the transcript-- then if there is something to explain about why you stopped the program that you think adcom needs to know-- address it in the optional essay. I would not feel the need to share this coursework on your resume if you don't want-- but I would not fabricate any employment dates either-- and if there is a gap-- adcom will want to know why-- so just say it was for school and that you decided after x months to leave because.... (state reason). Being upfront is the best policy.

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Donna@Stratus wrote:
redalertmba wrote:
Usually when you search for jobs you don't include masters or phd degrees that you failed to obtain or did not complete. Is this also applicable to MBA admissions where you are also supposed to calculate the number of months worked?

For instance if you were given a leave of absence to study a master's degree, yet failed to obtain the degree. and then returned to where you were working previously, do you need to explicitly state this fact on the resume, or just leave it out and subtract a year from the months worked? In particular if the company gives you six months of work time for a year of study relevant to the company's main industry, then am I allowed to

1) leave it out of my resume
2) subtract six months from my time to employment till now

and not be, for example, denied admissions or the degree later on for admissions under false pretenses?

Thank you.
Be very careful in presenting what is accurate-- for many MBA programs the last step is a verification check and the worst thing that could happen is for the school to discover something that you did not present. I would not try to hide the degree you did not earn-- sometimes the school asks for all your transcripts-- even if you did not graduate-- so they might want to see the transcript-- then if there is something to explain about why you stopped the program that you think adcom needs to know-- address it in the optional essay. I would not feel the need to share this coursework on your resume if you don't want-- but I would not fabricate any employment dates either-- and if there is a gap-- adcom will want to know why-- so just say it was for school and that you decided after x months to leave because.... (state reason). Being upfront is the best policy.
How should I then try to include this educational history? On the list of degrees attended it seems you only can include those degrees you finished and earned successfully. Otherwise if you leave it out of the resume as well it will just be the optional essay. So for schools that don't want to see all of my transcripts should I just mention this degree on my optional essay and nowhere else? Or is there somewhere I can make this vivid to the adcom?

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Yes, but not necessarily under the "education" section of the online application. Some schools' applications leave a space for non-degree granting studies, and you should list these courses there. If this seems to require an explanation, use the optional essay space to explain what you studied, why you left, and perhaps what you gained from this or what challenges you faced during that time. You should not omit it, because studies are always a good thing, even when they don't result in a degree, and because falsifying or omitting information can have dire consequences, even after admission. You don't want to put yourself at risk like that... and you don't need to. Just focus on the positive aspects of what you studied, even if you didn't complete the degree, and write about that in your optional essay.

Good luck!

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Margaret Strother
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Stacy Blackman Consulting

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