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Found 210 results

  1. There seem to be a lot of threads asking the same thing popping up lately and I figured it might make sense to make an overall guide thread and then those who feel their answers still haven’t been adequately answered can post below for an idea of what their chances are. Here is a brief rundown of factors affecting your likelihood of getting into top-tier and well respected programs. If you fall below par in any one of these factors you can bump it up by being stellar in one of the others. I'll add to this if others point out other things I've left out. School requirements: Your first stop should be the school admissions website – this will tell you what prerequisites you need, give you an idea of GRE and GPA requirements and what work experience is expected (if any) GPA: From what I’ve seen/read over the years any GPA over 3.4 and you should be competitive. That’s not to say if your GPA is lower than 3.4 you’ll have no chance, but if you have a GPA above 3.4 you should be in good shape. GRE score: GRE scores seem to be most important for schools with demanding quantitative programs and for securing the top financial aid. Most schools will state the average GRE scores for their incoming classes on their website – use these to see how competitive you are. By and large you should be competitive if you score over 650 on verbal and quantitative and over 4.0 on the AWA. For the top schools over 700 seems to be closer to the mark. Work experience: For most programs it will be expected that you have at least 1-2 years of relevant experience in your field. This can be lowered a little if you have other pseudo-relevant work experience (management in the for-profit sector etc.) but you should have shown some level of professional interest in the area you hope to study at grad school. Applicants coming straight out of undergrad may find it very hard to get into the programs aimed more at junior/mid-career professionals such as Johns Hopkins SAIS and Princeton’s WWS. Language skills: For a lot of programs being able to speak a second language is a must, while for others it is just a very good selling point. If you can show experience working in a foreign language this will show adaptability and will endear schools looking to enrol a diverse group of applicants. Quantitative requirements: A lot of schools will want you to show experience in micro/macroeconomics and some maths/statistics courses. You can fullfil these through undergrad classes or by taking courses at a community college/diploma program. Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): Work overseas and study abroad are also viewed extremely favourably by admissions committees and if you have taught English abroad, worked in the Peace Corps or otherwise gained experience living in a developing country this will really strengthen your application. It also shows you to be a go-getter, and that you can bring this outside experience to grad school study. Statement of Purpose: This is where it all comes together. This is your chance to impress the admission committee and show how your personal 'arc' has brought you to this point - being the perfect addition to their grad school. This more than any other part of your application will determine how admit committees view you as an applicant and it's also one of the only application variables that's completely under your control. Having a cohesive narrative that brings together life experience, past academic history and professional experience is a must. It also gives you a great chance to showcase your writing style - so make sure no grammar/spelling mistakes make it into your final revision. Great list of SOP pitfalls If your profile matches at least 3 or 4 of the criteria listed above then you are competitive to apply to an MPA/MPP/IR program. What is most important about any grad school application is showing fit – that is how your profile matches the speciality of that school and its program. If you can’t articulate compelling reasons why you are a good match for them and vice versa, question whether you should be applying to that program. A note on applying to top schools: It is worth noting that nobody here can tell you what your chances of getting into a top program (Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown etc.) because getting into a top program requires a certain amount of luck as well as a great profile. Some people get offers from Harvard with a 2.9 GPA, but also happen to have singlehandedly retaken an allied command post in the Korengal valley. It’s down to who reads your application and what they happen to be looking for with the current application cycle. Spend time improving the elements of your application that you can (GRE, work experience, languages) and don’t waste time freaking out about the things you can’t change (GPA). If you’ve read all of the above and really still can’t tell if your application is competitive, post your profile below.
  2. Andromeda3921

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    I went through the hugely popular 'Am I competitive'? Thread in Government Affairs and was wondering if it made sense to create an overall thread in this forum as well. I only noticed three very specific threads on here (linking the one I found to be slightly more general). Hopefully, I get answers and others who are asking themselves the same/similar questions get on here and find answers as well! Program: PhD in Sociology Schools Applying To: Columbia University, University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, National University of Singapore, University of California - Berkeley, London School of Economics, Sciences Po Long-listed Schools: Harvard University, University of California - Los Angeles, Yale University, Princeton University, University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of Amsterdam, New York University, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina, University of Texas -Austin, Brown University, Duke University, Boston University, John's Hopkins University, Northwestern University, University of California - Irvine, University of California - San Diego, University of Maryland Interests: Urban sociology - Qualitative Transportation, Identities, Spatiality, Heritage ; Comparative Sociology; Applied Sociology; International Development; South Asia; Public Policy Expectations from Programmes: Program: Interdisciplinary, Allowing students to choose courses across departments, emphasis/known for applied approach Resources: Ongoing projects with vibrant research space, Access to funding, Encouraging collaborations, Good enough brand to ensure employment on completion of programme, preferably located in an urban area to aid fieldwork.  Graduate Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India Graduate Major/Degree: MA in Development Studies (Integrated Course, no undergraduate degree granted separately) Graduate GPA: 7.99/10 Undergraduate Minor: Operations Research GRE: V 168/ Q 156 / AW 4.5 TOEFL: 113 (iBT) Age: 25 Languages: English & Tamil - Fluent ; German - A2 completed, B1 in progress ; Hindi - Working Knowledge Work Experience: (2 years research experience currently, 3 years professional experience by Fall 2019) > 1.4 years at Indian Center of International policy think-tank : Spearheaded research project on on-going urban policy scheme in India > Currently freelancing as urban research consultant for local organization apart from volunteering with organizations dealing in gender and mental health advocacy > Multiple research internships as student > Policy report & newspaper OpEds published > Presented in multiple International conferences since undergraduate days SoP: Not begun yet, but will focus on specific research I hope to do (along lines of a proposal) LORs: 1 from Masters supervisor (senior Indian Urbanist and extremely well known internationally for seminal work on Urban informality) ; 1 from Professor during Masters degree (rising Anthropologist in India, knows me well personally) Can obtain 1 from previous boss (Head of Research at International policy think-tank, Member of PM's Economic Advisory Council in India) - however, would be one year since I quit the job. Concerns: 1. Low Graduate GPA 2. No academic/journal publications yet 3. Applied to Northwestern, NYU, U.Penn & U.Minnesota for Sociology PhD for Fall 2018 and got rejected by 3. U.Minn placed me on the Waitlist, but did not convert to an admit Would really love feedback if I am competitive for the range of schools I plan to apply to. I am posting early only to gain an understanding of what I can fix for the next round of applications.
  3. novajones001

    gpa calculator

    I am trying to design a gpa calculator for my semester project. I want to know what logic does exactly gpa calculation uses and also which algorithm would be appropriate for this design. Please help.
  4. TalkPoliticsToMe

    MPP GRE Score: 307 low?

    Hi all, Is a score of 307 too low for funding consideration and/or admission? I am not great at standardized tests which is why I am debating retaking it. 5.5 Writing 153 Q 154 V My undergraduate GPA is 3.33 (3.60 in my major). Schools I am applying to: Michigan (Ford), Duke (Sanford), and Chicago (Harris). Thank you.
  5. Hey everyone. I recently graduated this semester. My plan is to work for two years in order to save up money for a masters program. Right now I have my sight set on the masters program at University of Houston in ME/Aerospace Engineering. However, I am in a bit of a predicament. I graduated with a BS in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. My GPA was low. I got a 2.94 gpa on 63 credit hours. I only had 63 credit hours since I transferred from the University of Texas at San Antonio. My GPA there was a 3.78 on almost 80 hours. However, when you combine the GPAs, it comes out to 3.42. My questions are: will grad schools look at the combined GPA, or will they only look at the GPA of the institution I graduated from? And also I have 2.5 years of research with two projects done. Could this possibly help my chances? And will working for two years up my chances of getting into a masters program as well? I have yet to take the GRE. I’m
  6. Hi, I am an international student (Iran) and I want to apply for masters or Ph.D. degree in economics in Canada. But I am in a complicated situation.my bachelor degree is in Mathematics with a low GPA (2.50/4). I changed my field for masters and studied economics with a great GPA (4/4). (both in on of the best universities in Iran). I prefer to study masters of economics again in Canada. But honestly, I don't know it is the right decision or not. My bachelor GPA is lower than all the university requirement. if I apply for masters degree again would they consider my masters GPA or Bachelor GPA? Am I eligible to be admitted to one of the universities?Furthermore, If I want to study Ph.D., how much my undergraduate GPA is important? I am going to take GRE next month and having the score 170 in Quant is quite possible.
  7. So to start I am a second year in undergrad and I am having horrible anxiety over if I will get into grad school. So my first year of school I was pre med and didn’t adjust to first year well at all. After my first year, my gpa was a 2.75. I switched to CSD and I have been LOVING IT!! Well I’m worried that after my first year, I’m not going to get into SLP grad schools... I’m doing much better this semester and I think I’m getting a 3.4-3.5 which will bring my overall up to a 3.0. I’m hoping by the time I graduate I’ll have a 3.4... I just am scared and stressed. and another question, I heard a lot of SLP grad schools look at the last 60 credit hours I took, does anyone have a list of those schools?
  8. Let me first start off by saying that I am not doing poorly in linear algebra because I don't understand it, rather there was a misunderstanding with my professor. I had my first linear algebra exam last Wednesday. I was up very late studying for the exam, however, at around 3 am I got super sick (it was something I ate). I was legit puking every 20 minutes, I couldn't make it to my morning exam. I don't have insurance so I didn't see a doctor and get a note. I went to the dean of students, and because of that my professor gave me an offer to replace my zero exam 1 grade with 2/3 of my final exam grade. ex. if I got an 100 on the final exam, my zero will be replaced with a 66. However, the exam averages in this professors class are in the low 70's, so going off of that I will either end up with a low B or C in the class, and thats assuming I score around 10 points above average for the rest of the exams. I currently have two W's on my transcript-- one in computer science from my second semester (retaking next semester) and one in actuarial science from my third semester (he curved the class so only the top 40% passed, also changed my major so I didn't need the class). I am currently in my fourth semester, so this means that if I drop this course I will have a W on my transcript for the third semester in a row. I think this creates a poor representation of who I am as a student, as it shows that I won't be able to handle a graduate school course load because I keep dropping one course every semester. I want to get into a good graduate school for economics. I am currently double majoring in math and econ. I am a transfer, My first semester at my new school was last semester, where I got a 3.3 GPA. I am trying to get this up by getting straight A's this semester and my last two years. If my GPA still isnt high enough, I would be willing to do an extra semester or two to take extra courses. Now, I do believe that I will get A's in all of my other courses, however, I think getting a 'W' in linear algebra will make this look not as impressive. I'm thinking about staying in the course, getting a B or C, and just retaking it over the summer online. The original grade will still be on my transcript, but it won't count towards my GPA. Would grad schools look past this? What should I do? This is such a terrible situation... :/
  9. Does anyone here understand the process of admission by canadian universities that require the two last years GPA? My CGPA is a mess, about 3.4/4, but a have nearly "straight As" in the last two years (3.9/4). On the application process, do they consider look at the rest of the grades as well? Since I am an international student, I have converted my grades.
  10. rejectedndejected

    Another "Stats Needed for PhD Admissions" Query

    Hi all. I am really quite confused about PhD admissions. I've heard various things from various people--everyone has their own theory on what AdComms are looking for. Do any decent PhD programs accept applicants with limited language training (1 yr Latin/1 yr German)? No B.S.: What GRE scores are "safe" for top programs in theology/religion? I have a 164V/156Q/4.5. Should I retake, or is this a waste of time? Obviously my MA theology gpa is stellar (because prettymuch everyone applying for PhD programs has stellar grades...3.95ish). I have a TAship this semester, but no publications. Am I S.O.L. for all TT programs?
  11. I know a high GPA is necessary, but far from sufficient. However, I wonder what GPA is considered as a weak point in the application? Will a 3.6 GPA be too low for top 20 programs?
  12. Hello all, A bit more of a non-traditional background here. I was an econ 'math-light' major in undergrad. Started to get interested in statistics after a year long course in econometrics my senior year (lower level - no prerequisites in multivariable calc or linear algebra if you can believe it...). I didn't feel overly satisfied with continuing on a finance track as a profession, and decided to jump into the maths after I graduated. Over the past year plus I have been working from the ground up taking courses in mathematics, statistics, and computer science, and have loved everything I've taken. I also (hope) I've done relatively well in these courses, but unfortunately no matter what I do I cannot seem to get my GRE score up... It seems silly to me that I can take these courses and do well, but somehow struggle with high school maths 😂(...and I have done loads of studying, tutoring, and the like in an attempt to pick these scores up). I will certainly be applying abroad to programs that do not require GRE scores. (Please excuse the slightly bitter rant to follow). It does seem a little bit odd that programs across the globe all require around the same basic coursework, but largely only US schools require the GRE. This makes sense to me for the obvious reason of sifting through piles of applications, and for the purposes of having a standard means to equate applicants who come from less familiar universities, but does a high GRE score really translate into an ability to succeed in the masters level? I guess I'm holding onto a prayer that my (super) low GRE scores could be overlooked given what seems like a pretty odd mismatch between my scores and my academic performance? I should also note also that my SAT scores were awful as well, but I don't think that really impeded my performance in undergraduate level mathematics... Am I praying too hard here, or am I just out of reach for US schools (or for that matter am I out of reach for all the schools I listed)? Are there schools that would better fit my profile? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Sorry for the essay.. Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts *Since Undergrad*: Ivy Major(s): Economics Minor(s): Philosphy GPA (undergrad): 3.74 GPA (*since undergrad*): 3.84 Type of Student: Domestic Male GRE General Test: Q: 157 V: 153 W: 4.0 Programs Applying: MS/MA Statistics Research Experience: N/A Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (not sure they are all too pertinent..) 3 summer internships in finance (equity research, insurance brokerage, investment banking) while in undergrad Letters of Recommendation: Linear Algebra (strong), Real Analysis (I think strong pending he says yes! - just asked), Statistical Inference (I think strong pending he says yes! - just asked) Relevant Coursework: Econ: (not sure this will bear any weight): Corporate Finance (3.67), Micro(4.0), Macro(3.3), Int'l Finance(3.67), Intro to Statistical Data Analysis(4.0), Int'l Trade(3.67), Econometrics (4.0) In the past 1.5 years: - Calc I (4.0) - Calc II (4.3) - Accelerated Multivariable Calc (two full Calculus courses (III & IV) taught at this institution and rolled up into a one semester course - 3.3) - Linear Algebra (4.0) - Intro to Proofs (Pass) - Real Analysis (first ~ 6.5 chapters) - Rudin (4.0) - Intro to Java/CS (4.0) - Probability Theory (taught to both undergraduates and graduates with no distinction between the two - 3.3) Currently taking: - Statistical Inference (also taught to both the undergrad's/grad's with no distinction b/w the two - on course for 4.0 to 4.3) - Linear Regression Models (a bit more on the applied side, also taught to both grads and undergads) - Data Structures in Java Next Semester: - Advanced Linear Algebra - Statistical Computing (taught to both grads/undergrads) - maybe Advanced Programming - possibly audit another math course (for personal fun, Analysis and Optimization for example).. Over the Summer: - possibly Time Series Analysis - possibly Statistical Machine Learning - possibly some Python online courses.. Applying to Where (Subject to adding and subtracting *advice welcome*): US: Stanford Berkely Chicago Columbia Duke University of Washington Wisconsin-Madison Cornell Abroad: LSE (Senior year spent here) Oxford U of T UBC McGill Imperial UCL Thanks!!!
  13. Hi Everyone! I am applying to HKS, WWS, SIPA, and SFS. Harvard Kennedy School is my dream school, and I wanted to know what you guys think my chances are: GRE: 164 Verbal, 163 Quant, 4.5 AWA Education: NYU Stern School of business, Major: Business (concentration was Marketing). GPA: 3.4 Work Experience: Currently work as a policy research analyst for the NYC Department of Transportation (8 months), worked at Unilever’s Future Leaders program for a year and a half prior this role Non-Profit Experience: Director of a non-profit I joined my freshman year, organization was small but I arranged a meeting with the Prime Minister of India and so popularity skyrocketed – also proposed a highly-impactful program within the organization that highly scaled impact. Part of two other large Indian non-profits currently, on the leadership board of one for their young professionals chapter. International experience: Travelled to 35 countries over the past four years, volunteered abroad in Tanzania and Bali, upon returning I fundraised to expand the school I worked at in Tanzania from primary to secondary school (experience featured in an article on usblastingnews). Travel photographer with 10K followers on Instagram (handle @travelwithkrishna) Analytical experience: A’s in all statistics courses (freshman statistics, Time Series Regression, Multivariate regression and analysis), A in calculus, B+ in macroeconomics and B in microeconomics LORs: One from a professor, one from CEO of non-profit, one from Manager at unilever. Should all be solid. Concerns: My undergrad GPA is low as I developed a severe skin condition my sophomore year, and was very sick and depressed. I took a semester off my junior fall and my condition healed, but it severely impacted my grades both sophomore year and junior spring (transitioning back was very hard.) I explained this in the optional portion of my application – but do you think it is far too low to be excused? Thanks so much for your help 😊
  14. Hey y'all. Worried about my chances of acceptance into philosophy MA programs. As of right now, I know I am for sure applying to San Francisco State, California State Los Angeles, London School of Economics (MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy/Philosophy of the Social Sciences), Wayne State University (I'm already accepted into the AGRADE program there, so this is my backup), and the University of Missouri St. Louis. Possibly also applying to Georgia State University and Northern Illinois University (depending on if I can take the GRE in time). Here are my stats: GPA: 3.75 Philosophy GPA: 3.73 Treasurer of a political activist group on campus. Also involved in a volunteer group dedicated to teaching elementary students philosophy. No papers in conferences. Two letters of recommendation very familiar with my work and enthusiastic about writing the letters. One of the professors has friends in the faculty of a couple programs I'm applying to. Hoping that will help. No GRE scores. This may theoretically be a problem for University of Missouri St. Louis (recommended but not required), but for SFSU, Cal State LA, LSE, and WSU, they do not ask for GRE scores at all. Doing my writing sample on how to legally classify trans folk to ensure that insurance companies cannot deny them access to resources such as hormones, gender therapy, and surgical procedures, without resorting to the medicalization of trans bodies. My interests are primarily in political philosophy, legal philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics. What do you think are my chances of acceptance? The dream would be to eventually work on a PhD at LSE or CUNY Graduate Center. I'm also very interested in the PhD programs at Michigan State, Penn State, University of Oregon, and DePaul. For schools like MSU, Penn State, and Oregon, is it really necessary for me to stress where I'm getting my masters at?
  15. Hello, My question is for anyone who has been accepted to media related PhD programs. I'm looking to apply for Communications/media studies programs and wanted to know for those who have been accepted to these programs what type of background did you have: - what was your GRE score? - past college GPA's - did you have any publication experience? - did you have and related work experience in the field of communications/media studies/film? - what school were you accepted to and what did they offer full funding?
  16. Hello everyone, I've been looking at GPA requirements for programs and am a little confused as to figuring out what mine would be/getting an idea of where I stand. I attended three community colleges simultaneously for the first half of my undergraduate degree (the course options at the school closest to my house were slim) before transferring to where I spent my last two years and eventually graduat ed from. My question is this: is GPA averaged out between all of the institutions attended? It would make sense if this was the case. For reference, my cumulative/averaged GPA across all colleges attended would be a 3.84, but if only the university I graduated from is considered, it would be a 3.61. I'm mainly applying to UK schools, so it feels a bit more ambiguous, as they don't even use GPA's. I would be providing transcripts from all institutions. I've sent emails to the schools I'm interested in asking this question, but have not received any answers yet. Thanks for looking/replying, and good luck to everyone during the application process!!
  17. Zaheersboi

    Debating options

    Hello all, I've gotten myself into a bit of a bind, and I could use some advice. My name is Patrick. I'm a 23-year-old, underemployed, miserable gas station attendant. I graduated with distinction in history and archaeology from the University of Virginia in 2017. I barely remember how I got to this point, but I know I'm unhappy with how things have turned out. Following several months of post-graduation unemployment, during which time I had lived as a homeless freegan in Maine, I took a job as a history teacher at a shamelessly fraudulent for-profit private school chain called Fusion Academy in Washington, DC. I survived for a few months, but couldn't stand its toxic work environment and resigned in disgust. I then fled my parents' house in Fairfax, VA, for the cornfields of Urbana-Champaign, IL, armed with nothing but a couple thousand dollars in savings and the vague, tentative plan of establishing Illinois residency for in-state tuition purposes before matriculating into their Library and Information Science masters program. In the meantime, needing to pay rent and unable to find meaningful employment with my BA, I have found myself cleaning up vomit at a Circle K a block from my apartment. Here's the thing. I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly my options are for grad school, now that I'm here. For the longest time, I had wanted to pursue a PhD in history, but fulfilling that dream seemed like an increasingly remote possibility when one considers the collapse of my undergraduate honors thesis for mental health reasons, my distaste for teaching, and the larger employment crisis in academia. Failing that, a Masters in LIS seemed like a logical alternative, given my well-documented bibliophilia(/-mania?). That's why I'm in Illinois now, after all. As I learn more, though, I'm pretty sure I could get into the LIS masters at UIUC, the top-ranked in its field in North America, without breaking much of a sweat. They don't even require the GRE. Part of me wonders if getting the LIS rather than a PhD amounts to selling myself short. Part of me wonders if it makes more sense to sell out and get an MBA like all the bootlicking quasi-fascist turdnuggets I went to undergrad with. I earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.78 overall. I don't know my major GPA, but I suppose I could calculate it if pressed. I scored 169 V, 155 Q, and 5.5 AW on the GRE. I'm pretty sure I have (had?) killer recommendation letters, as I held prestigious research assistant positions during undergrad and won a competitive undergraduate research grant to support that thesis I didn't end up finishing for mental health reasons. But my work history since graduation is spotty. Like I said, several months of unemployment, during which time I lived as a homeless freegan in Maine, followed by my stint at Fusion, followed by several more months of unemployment, followed by Circle K. There's a ton of additional complicating factors. I'm happy to answer any questions readers might have. At the moment, I just need guidance from someone who understands the graduate admissions process.
  18. Hi, I am a Senior Year undergrad studying B. Engg in Information Technology. I am planning to do Masters by thesis in Computer Science from a good university in the USA, preferably FALL 2019. I have given the GRE and my scores are Q - 161 , V - 152 and AWA - 3.5. My CGPA is currently 7.47/ 10.0 (uptill 6th semester) and my SGPAs' from first sem to sixth sem are 8.33, 8.08, 6.92, 7.23, 7.16, 7.19 on a scale of 10.0. Also, my grades in key subjects like Operating Systems, Computer Networks, Probability and Random process, Discrete Mathematics, Compiler Construction, Theory of Automata are usually either C or D and occasionally B. What are my chances of getting into some of the decent colleges for MS in CS like Stony Brook, Rutgers NB, UMASS Amherst, University of Maryland, Texas A&M Collegestation etc ? Would I be able to get into a respectable grad program in any public research university with good placements and engaging programs? TLDR: My CGPA - 7.47/10.0 and SGPA dropped from 8.33 to a low of 6.92 due to poor health and stabilised around 7.2 by end of 6th sem. Poor grades in important subjects. Chances of getting into colleges like UMASS Amherst, Ohio State University, Rutgers NB, Stony Brook etc. PS: Giving my TOEFL on sep 15 and Thanks in Advance!
  19. Hi all - I'm an electrical engineering graduate from the Class of 2017, and will be applying to grad schools this cycle for the Fall of 2019 (M.S. program in the same discipline). Unfortunately, I'm one of those people looking to get in somewhere with a bad GPA - specifically, a sub-3.0 GPA. It's literally right around the 3.0 cutoff (2.95), but my major GPA is lower than that; it's a B- average. I took a look at my transcript, and there really isn't anything good that I can take to shed any kind of positive light on either one of my GPAs. There is no significant upward trend at any point, and I didn't have any "special circumstances" that severely limited my ability to study and get good grades. The only upward trend that I've got is a jump from around a 2.86 my freshman year to a 3.05 during my sophomore year, but a measly jump like that during my underclassman years is insignificant. My academic marks as an undergraduate were pretty much always stagnant, and remained around a 3.0 until the very last moment. My reasons for the poor marks? I was involved, yes, but nothing crazy by normal standards. What really killed me, though, was my personality. I wasn't lazy, and I wasn't a party-goer. I was just afraid to ask questions, even when I didn't understand something. When I first stepped foot on campus, I had absolutely no background in the STEM fields aside from mandatory coursework at the high school level. In my first engineering class, I was taken aback by how much everybody else already knew about the discipline. Lecture material went right over my head, and I could not find any openings to jump into during discussions. I felt dumb as heck, but I tried to shoulder the burden on my own, tying myself to online resources and other methods that I could try from the comfort of my own laptop. Looking back, what I was afraid of wasn't really looking dumb in front of my professors; it was looking dumb in front of my peers, the guys and girls with whom I would be friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for at least the next four years. If you take out the disappointing academic performance, however, I do think that I can remain fairly competitive with a lot of other applicants out there. I went to a fairly well-regarded university ranked in the top 25. Among other things, I was involved in a design team, did a big-time internship at a big-time company, served as president of a professional organization, and am fortunate enough to be working as an electrical engineer post-graduation doing stuff that pretty much have everything to do with the line of study I would like to pursue in graduate school. But - graduate school is all about business, and you're not there to mess around. GPA still matters a lot, and I realize that. Here's my question to you all - I've read a lot of posts on people who have had bad uGPAs, but have had legitimate reasons for the bad marks - be it depression, family problems, or health problems. I've got none of that - I was just too afraid of looking dumb, and, in a way - too prideful to admit my deficiencies early on by asking for help. If there's one thing that I do have to say to that, it's that I really feel like I've improved on this attitude after starting to work as a full-time engineer. In school, I could remain in my little shell, but nobody would bat an eye - I could save my "embarrassment" at the expense of my GPA, but it was all private to me. At work, trying to act like I knew how to do things when I really didn't can lead to a bad product, strained relationships with clients, a bad reputation, and getting the axe - the list is endless. Performance has everything to do with job security. I swallowed my pride and approached work with humility, asking questions as often as I could, no matter how dumb - looking back now, one full year later, I can say that I really have learned a lot not just about my discipline, but about communication, as well. Can addressing something like this in my SOP help me come off as a more mature and prepared candidate for admission, or is that 2.95 on my transcript - especially since I have nobody to blame but me - going to keep admission committees skeptical about my potential and seriousness? In general, if you've got nobody to blame for bad marks but yourself, what's the best way to approach that issue in your writing? If there's one thing that I am absolutely confident about, it's my writing skills - I just don't want to get off on the wrong foot and jeopardize my chances. I have my range of schools that I am shooting for, but to put things into perspective - the schools that are higher on that list (i.e. my dream schools) are places like Texas (Austin), UCLA, and UCSD. I realize that some of these places have explicit GPA cutoffs of 3.0, and the average GPAs of admitted students is way up above the clouds, but f**k it, I'm going to shoot my shot anyway. Thanks!
  20. ContractMonsterSlayer

    Scholarly Track-Record vs. Prior GPA (Grad)

    Hi ? I am Contract Monster Slayer of Purgatory, yet you're all free to truncate my name however you wish, so long as I know you're referring to me. Anyway, this is my first day here on Grad Cafe in what I hope is my first and only year as an applicant. Then again, I've got quite the story, so I could be here a while. But hey, you tell me. Here it goes... STORY TIME (Read on if you want more detail/Skip if you don't) I am a former M.A. philosophy student/TA. I departed from my program without graduating for two reasons: (1) Incompatibility with the program in terms of research interests; I was essentially training myself to be a professional philosopher to the extent that I was self-directing my entire thesis. As for (2), I got caught up in some political B.S. that occurred within the department walls. Long (vague) story short, I got reprimanded for defending myself against some violations of both the student conduct code and workplace harassment policy. To paraphrase the Dept. Chair, "I brought attention to the people that said these things" during a seminar and work hours, mind you. Simply said, I didn't want any affiliation with this program anymore. In the end, I left the department with an exacerbated anxiety disorder, insomnia, and a meager 3.0 GPA. I had to leave. POST-DEPARTURE Unconvinced that my GPA defined my talent level, I immediately began a writing project intended for (non-graduate) academic conferences. Consequently, and please let me know if none of this means jack, I garnered acceptances to two regional conferences and one more invite (2+1= 3) via an unpublished blog post submitted to the public philosophy workshop at UNC-Chapel Hill intended for early career philosophers (if I remember correctly). Thus far, then, it would appear according to my CV that I've been active in some corner of academic philosophy since leaving my previous program. Though, it's worth mentioning that I'm not done yet, as I've expanded and submitted my project for review at an open access journal (fat chance at this point in my development, I know) and I plan on writing at least one more project for more conference presentations, though hopefully more as I have a few projects on my mind. ADDITIONAL (QUICK) DETAILS I have three LOR writers: Two from my most recent undergraduate institution and one from my previous graduate institution. WHAT I WANT TO KNOW Have I improved or in some way restored any chance of moving onto the Ph.D.?
  21. Hi everyone! I'm currently in my third year at university studying economics and possibly adding a computational data science minor! Although right now I'm torn between working straight out of school or going into a graduate program, I'm definitely looking to apply next year. My main question is with my GPA and academic performance, what tier schools should I be looking at? When researching programs, the only real statistic I see is a minimum 3.0/4 to apply, but not a lot of programs give insights as to the scores of their incoming class. Additionally, I'm not really sure what constitutes a "good GPA" in an undergrad economics program. I currently have a 3.43 cumulative (3.33 within my major) HOWEVER, I started out as a nursing major and basically failed out my first semester of college and ended up transferring schools 3 times because of financial issues resulting in my 1.6 GPA my first semester (long story short I found out I lost my scholarship 2 weeks before school started my sophomore year, couldn't afford out of state tuition, transferred last minute to a safety school I was accepted to in HS that allowed me to apply last minute, then transferred AGAIN into my junior year into an actually solid economics department at another school because I was unhappy with the academics of the school I had to transfer into last minute). Basically, my applications are gonna make me look like a crazy person for transferring, and that 1.6 my first semester drops my cum GPA down to a 3.01 (not counting that first sem I have a 3.43 as an econ major ever since). My major GPA is a 3.4 which I ~think~ is OK for econ, I've gotten all As in math and nothing lower than B in my ECON classes. Based on that though, I'm not sure what would be a target school for my GPA. I have yet to take the GRE but my professional experiences I think highlight my strengths well as I have had great internships in the finance and tech world which I am hoping can offset the fact I "failed out almost" my first semester freshman year (lol). Is there a range of schools that anyone suggests I should look into? Specifically masters programs in applied economics? Ex. I would LOVE to get into George Washington but I doubt my grades are good enough, should I be targeting schools like George Mason, U of MD, etc? I know this post is super long so I apologize!!
  22. Hello! I am currently a Research Investigator working for a reputed Institute in South India. The project is a panel survey funded by the Government and World Bank and we work with a reputed University in the USA who are our research partners. I moved into this field after working as a Business Journalist for over year in Delhi where I have published work, both written and in video. So I have two years of work experience in these respective fields. I'm part of a fellowship that works towards public policy solutions in India as well. I studied my bachelors in Economics and then a PG diploma in Journalism. I've done certificate courses from Trinity Guildhall and London School of Economics and have obtained high scores. I have a ton of social work with Red Cross, AIESEC, Teach for India etc. I am currently teaching underprivileged children English. Right now, I plan on applying for the MPA course in America and other development Policy courses too. However, my CGPA is 6.7/10 from undergrad and 78% from my PG diploma course. I took my GRE last year and scored a mere 304. Do I even stand a chance at getting admission? Im looking to apply to Columbia, NYU, UT-LBJ, Chicago University, Gerogetown, Duke Standford, LSE and IDS. Please suggest more universities that I can look at and stand a chance to get in. Any kind of help would do!!
  23. slptobe!

    Gap Year Advice??

    Hi there! I graduated undergrad from CU Boulder a little over a week ago, woo! I'm taking a gap year to relax a little and gain a little more experience because I graduated in three years, as well as be able to be with my family a little more. I have my list of schools I want to apply to and had already done most of the research on them, but I'm terrified I won't get in anywhere. I'm from California, so I'm currently looking at schools in California, Colorado, and Washington (but am open to others!). I am taking the GRE this summer/fall and have volunteered and done internships throughout my time at CU, but my GPA is only at a 3.4 because my first year wasn't my strongest. So I'm scared that it'll be too low. I am fluent in Spanish and am learning ASL more in my gap year. Does anyone know if the admissions teams take into consideration that I did it in three years? Also any advice of things to do during my gap year to raise my chances? Any advice helps! Also sorry if this is too long.
  24. I will be applying to MSW programs soon in NYC. Does anyone know if your undergrad GPA gets factored into your graduate program GPA. For example, do they take your undergrad social work classes and factor it into your new GPA in the program or your overall GPA? Thanks.
  25. Hi everyone, I'm currently an Undergraduate student at UW Madison and I would like to apply to the UW Madison La Follette school. I looked on the website for average GPA, GRE scores and etc for acceptance into the program but there was nothing on the website. Can anyone tell me what you got for GPA and on the GRE to get into the La Follette school? Or where I could find more info? Thanks!
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