Hi everyone. Does anyone know at what part of the admissions process that colleges perform the criminal background check? I am currently applying for Ph.D. programs in Physics, and unfortunately I have a summary offense for underage drinking from 5 years ago. Fortunately, this can be expunged after 5 years, but the expungement process takes 4-8 months (i.e. my record won't be clear until as late as early August 2016). I am wondering if I can get away with answering "No" on the application when asked if I have any prior (non-expunged) convictions on my record and hope that my record will have been cleared by the time any school does a background screening. If the background check is performed only after the student accepts, which I suspect it is, then I should be in the clear. However, I don't want to answer "No", and get caught in a lie. Any insight is much appreciated, but please spare me the lessons in ethics. Thanks!