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starmaker

The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

407 posts in this topic

I'm also happy to contribute to this thread! While I wasn't sub 3.0, I had a 3.1 major GPA (genetics) and a 3.4 cumulative GPA that was boosted from my 3.95 English minor GPA, so I feel that some undergrads might be able to relate. I was told countless times how bad this was and how poorly the 2 C's and 3 C+'s I got in undergrad genetics classes would reflect on my application (thats right, they were all core courses). Even from a trusted mentor, I was advised to do a Masters before PhD to help alleviate the GPA before applying, even though I had worked as a lab technician for two years and in undergrad for two years. I ignored that advice and was accepted to 3 top tier schools. My best advice for my fellow low GPAers would be to have so much success at the bench that your uGPA becomes an afterthought. I applied for a fellowship and my undergrad university (awarded), was granted authorship on 5 publications (no first author), and started my own project in my current lab that could've been publication ready if we weren't scooped a few months ago (ah well). I also asked my letters of rec for specifics to help alleviate concerns for my uGPA. For instance, I had an instructor for a graduate level class that had commented during the class how I had gone "above and beyond" what was expected of me. I asked him to really focus on my enthusiasm and my success to show ad com that I could succeed in a graduate courses. I also spent months studying for the GRE, even going as far as to study in lab with my lab mates by asking each other vocab words! By the time I applied, the other three areas of my application were so strong that I was told my GPA was no longer a concern.

So, in summary, uGPA is not a reflection of your intelligence or research ability. If theres a will, theres a way, and you just have to show that your uGPA does not define you and how awesome you are!

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I read through this thread... Seems like it would be easier to get into Masters programs (comparing to PhD programs) with a sub-3.0 GPA... is it true? I'm applying Masters...

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Posted (edited)

Hello to all! Posting here to maybe give hope to someone in the education/ed policy/higher ed field looking at graduate programs.

I was on academic probation/suspension 3 times before I graduated. I have gaps in my education since I took time to work when things weren't going well (best decision I've ever made tbh). I had to basically get all As once I returned to school in order to graduate, and I did, but my cumulative GPA is literally a 2.0My in-major GPA is a 3.2, so good, but not stellar.

I graduated in the summer, then rushed to apply to graduate school despite having tons of doubts with my 2.0 GPA. First step was taking the GRE. I'm not a great test taker, and I wasn't super motivated to study for the GRE. I'm also super super terrible at math. Sooo.. my GRE scores ranged from terrible (20 percentile Quant), to average (50something percentile Verbal), to above average (90+ percentile Writing). 

Stats wise, literally everything was against me. So I worked very hard (and fast) to make sure the rest of my application was strong. So far, I've been accepted to 3 out of the 4 schools I've applied to, including 2 Ivy Leagues. I've received significant funding at two schools, waiting on financial aid from one, and waiting for an admissions decision from one.

I know I'm an exception, but I never expected to be. I'm not great at giving advice, but hopefully someone like me will read this and get that extra kick of motivation they need. 

My end goal (eventually) will be a PhD, so who knows how my past will come into play when the time comes. For now, I'm still playing the waiting game and will have a very tough decision to make next month!

Edited by starzzz
fixing typo

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update everybody.  I posted earlier in this thread!  I came from a poor uGPA (~2.7), that was not reflective of who I could be.  However, it happened, and there was nothing I could do.  I was very lucky to find a Masters Program in my field that was willing to take a chance on me.  During my ~two years, I was able to excel and achieve close to a 3.9 GPA.  I took the GRE and was only able to do slightly above average (my combined percentiles were 70th.)  I went ahead and applied to 6 schools and was rejected by 3, accepted by one outright, and had two interviews.  I was informed last Friday that I was accepted to a program that I had my hopes for us, that was very highly ranked in the field!  

I want to give some advice for people who are in the same predicament reading this thread.  If you want to go Ph.D. and have a super low GPA, a Masters is the way to go. You will read online people say that a uGPA will also trump a Masters GPA, but for a Ph.D., I have found this not to be the case.  Sure, some universities will reject you off the bat, but I got generally good responses from schools.  In fact, out of the three schools, I applied, NONE mentioned my undergraduate GPA.  That's right. NONE OF THEM DID!  That tells you something. In fact, I didn't even mention my low GPA in my SOP (however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't even mention it, but I'm just letting you know that I did not.) 

Furthermore, make sure to apply broadly.  One thing that worried me was when I got two rejections in a row and thought that I was on the path of having to reapply.  If you have a low GPA, apply to as many schools as you can afford.  I wish I would've applied to around 10, but was lucky that I found acceptances.

A low undergraduate GPA is NOT the end!  You can overcome it! 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/13/2017 at 0:53 PM, BigThomason51 said:

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update everybody.  I posted earlier in this thread!  I came from a poor uGPA (~2.7), that was not reflective of who I could be.  However, it happened, and there was nothing I could do.  I was very lucky to find a Masters Program in my field that was willing to take a chance on me.  During my ~two years, I was able to excel and achieve close to a 3.9 GPA.  I took the GRE and was only able to do slightly above average (my combined percentiles were 70th.)  I went ahead and applied to 6 schools and was rejected by 3, accepted by one outright, and had two interviews.  I was informed last Friday that I was accepted to a program that I had my hopes for us, that was very highly ranked in the field!  

I want to give some advice for people who are in the same predicament reading this thread.  If you want to go Ph.D. and have a super low GPA, a Masters is the way to go. You will read online people say that a uGPA will also trump a Masters GPA, but for a Ph.D., I have found this not to be the case.  Sure, some universities will reject you off the bat, but I got generally good responses from schools.  In fact, out of the three schools, I applied, NONE mentioned my undergraduate GPA.  That's right. NONE OF THEM DID!  That tells you something. In fact, I didn't even mention my low GPA in my SOP (however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't even mention it, but I'm just letting you know that I did not.) 

Furthermore, make sure to apply broadly.  One thing that worried me was when I got two rejections in a row and thought that I was on the path of having to reapply.  If you have a low GPA, apply to as many schools as you can afford.  I wish I would've applied to around 10, but was lucky that I found acceptances.

A low undergraduate GPA is NOT the end!  You can overcome it! 

 

 

 

 

 

As a fellow sub-3.0 GPA-er, I've been following you over in the Biology forum. Super proud of you, man!! You deserve it!! :) 

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2 hours ago, LoveMysterious said:

As a fellow sub-3.0 GPA-er, I've been following you over in the Biology forum. Super proud of you, man!! You deserve it!! :) 

Thanks!  I really appreciate it!  After my first two rejections in a row, I was getting worried, but luckily things turned out! :)

And super congrats on getting accepted into UIC once again! Let's kick some ass in our programs! :P 

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I had a 2.8 GPA when I graduated from Binghamton University with my bachelor's in 2012, earned a 3.8 GPA in 30 credits worth of post-bacc courses. I have been accepted to 1 graduate school in speech-language pathology so far!!!! 

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