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k_shin

Applying for Masters, Fall '19.. low GPA :(

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Hello everyone! I've seen a few posts similar to this one, but I want to explain my situation as well as get some any feedback/encouragement

I will be entering my senior year this fall at San Diego State University and I am pursuing a B.A. in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences with minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Cultural Proficiency.

I currently have a major GPA of 2.885 and an overall GPA of 3.32. Ya pretty low :( I just had some personal circumstances, and Audiology at my school is RIDICULOUSLY hard. Also, my highest grad I ever go in a major class was a B+. I've just heard that the program at SDSU is one of the top in the nation, so that's why it's so hard. I know a lot of other people in my classes struggled as well... But I'm trying my best to stay positive! I can bring them both up a little bit if the upcoming fall grades will be included. 

As for extracurricular activities I am highly involved in my Christian fellowship and in my co-ed service organization, and I have held multiple positions in both. From the service organization I have tons of volunteer hours. I also have a lot of job experience.. nothing related exactly to the field but I have a desk job at school and have had lots of experience with customer service. 


I have talked to my SLHS undergraduate advisor and some other students in the field.. advice so far I've heard is to look for schools that have a lower GPA requirement and have an interview process.

All this being said, does anyone have suggestions on schools I should apply to? Or any other tips in general?

TBH the whole application process seems so cut throat and scary, but I hope someone can just take me :(

Any advice, tips, encouragement, etc. is greatly appreciated. Thank you ❤️

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You mentioned Audiology, and I'm not sure if you were just talking about a single course if you're looking at aud programs - sorry! The following advice is for speech path, I'm not sure of audiology stuff! If you're willing to go out-of-state, try to check out schools in more rural areas. Less people apply to these more remote schools, so it may be "less competitive." If the cost of living is low enough, attending OOS schools can sometimes be comparable to attending school in-state in CA.

I would also consider taking a year off to build more experiences in the field. Some jobs include being a para, behavior interventionist, etc. Since you're in CA being an SLPA for a while is also an option. That would give you extra time to focus on your grades next year and study for a higher GRE score to offset your GPA. The application process can be daunting and competitive, so it may be beneficial to save yourself the stress and money if you take some time off to build up your application. Seriously, there's no rush to get into grad school right after undergrad! 

Best of luck to you! ❤️ 

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5 hours ago, pbandj said:

You mentioned Audiology, and I'm not sure if you were just talking about a single course if you're looking at aud programs - sorry! The following advice is for speech path, I'm not sure of audiology stuff! If you're willing to go out-of-state, try to check out schools in more rural areas. Less people apply to these more remote schools, so it may be "less competitive." If the cost of living is low enough, attending OOS schools can sometimes be comparable to attending school in-state in CA.

I would also consider taking a year off to build more experiences in the field. Some jobs include being a para, behavior interventionist, etc. Since you're in CA being an SLPA for a while is also an option. That would give you extra time to focus on your grades next year and study for a higher GRE score to offset your GPA. The application process can be daunting and competitive, so it may be beneficial to save yourself the stress and money if you take some time off to build up your application. Seriously, there's no rush to get into grad school right after undergrad! 

Best of luck to you! ❤️ 

Hello! Sorry, for clarification I am applying to an SLP program! And I currently go to SDSU as an out of state of student. My state of residency is actually Washington! 

Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it : )

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I would suggest applying to smaller programs in Rural areas as the above poster has said. Also focus on getting the highest scores you can on GREs and strengthening every other aspect of your resume. Maybe even apply to programs that do interviews. In some programs it matters less about grades and more about the fact that you can hold a conversation with another person. My advisor always suggested applying to a large amount of schools that match your stats pretty closely. You can find that info on EdFind on the ASHA website. Then apply to a few "reach" schools. They may see something in you and be willing to give you a shot! It is worth the try! 

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I agree with @Jordyn_M463 and @pbandj. Apply to schools that have fewer applicants applying and a higher ratio of those that they interview. I tried to stick to schools with 250 or less applicants. Like others have said if you can apply to schools from all over. Good luck!

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On 6/1/2018 at 11:06 PM, k_shin said:

Hello! Sorry, for clarification I am applying to an SLP program! And I currently go to SDSU as an out of state of student. My state of residency is actually Washington! 

Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it : )

Aw some of my speechie friends were afraid of applying to SDSU's master's program since their requirements are so high! So I understand where you're coming from. I applied to CA schools all over but ultimately got rejected, the one school that accepted me was out of state and an online program. I have pretty average stats, but you can totally get in if you have a lot of experience to balance out your stats!

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On 6/1/2018 at 11:06 PM, k_shin said:

Hello! Sorry, for clarification I am applying to an SLP program! And I currently go to SDSU as an out of state of student. My state of residency is actually Washington! 

Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it : )

Looks like we switched places then! I'm in WA but from CA haha. Best of luck to you!! The application process is so crazy but you will get through it! :)

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I want to be as candid as possible to you, because I was in a similar place, and haven't seen any real advise for your situation in this thread. My words might be a little harsh, but I promise you it will help. So here goes:

Do you have Cs in your major classes? If so I suggest you to not apply this year, and retake some classes and get as many As as you can. Most schools (if not all) will automatically rule you out if you have any Cs in your major classes. Not to discourage you, but a 2.8+ GPA will hardly get you anywhere. In my state, you need at least a 3.0 to even qualify for an SLPA job. I understand that major classes are extremely hard. But that tells you what it takes to be an SLP. I also understand how hard college is, maybe that's why you had to work so many jobs. But the truth is, Choosing this field means a hard path ahead. If your jobs are taking up your time for studying, then quit your jobs. Do whatever it takes to get As. Spend your time to look for field-related work & volunteering opportunities, get acquainted w/ your professors and offer to help them with their research. San Diego State has an amazing program, I am sure there are lots of opportunities for you to do these things.

I have seen so many people in this field who graduate college with low GPAs, don't get into grad school, and can't even become SLPAs. They end up settling for petty office jobs with enormous student loans. Therefore, DO NOT graduate until you have a presentable GPA and resume. I understand that staying in college for 1 more year might not be able to sky rocket your GPA. But what would you rather do? Apply this year with a 1% chance of getting in, or work hard and apply next year with a 20% chance of getting in?

If you absolutely have to graduate this year, and have your mind set on pursuing an SLP career, I suggest you to find a full time job to support yourself, and get into a post bachelor program, so you can complete all the major courses again. Because frankly, applying this year might just be a waste of time and money for you.

I really hope I'm able to help you, and sincerely good luck to you!

Edited by AliceWang

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1 hour ago, AliceWang said:

I want to be as candid as possible to you, because I was in a similar place, and haven't seen any real advise for your situation in this thread. My words might be a little harsh, but I promise you it will help. So here goes:

Do you have Cs in your major classes? If so I suggest you to not apply this year, and retake some classes and get as many As as you can. Most schools (if not all) will automatically rule you out if you have any Cs in your major classes. Not to discourage you, but a 2.8+ GPA will hardly get you anywhere. In my state, you need at least a 3.0 to even qualify for an SLPA job. I understand that major classes are extremely hard. But that tells you what it takes to be an SLP. I also understand how hard college is, maybe that's why you had to work so many jobs. But the truth is, Choosing this field means a hard path ahead. If your jobs are taking up your time for studying, then quit your jobs. Do whatever it takes to get As. Spend your time to look for field-related work & volunteering opportunities, get acquainted w/ your professors and offer to help them with their research. San Diego State has an amazing program, I am sure there are lots of opportunities for you to do these things.

I have seen so many people in this field who graduate college with low GPAs, don't get into grad school, and can't even become SLPAs. They end up settling for petty office jobs with enormous student loans. Therefore, DO NOT graduate until you have a presentable GPA and resume. I understand that staying in college for 1 more year might not be able to sky rocket your GPA. But what would you rather do? Apply this year with a 1% chance of getting in, or work hard and apply next year with a 20% chance of getting in?

If you absolutely have to graduate this year, and have your mind set on pursuing an SLP career, I suggest you to find a full time job to support yourself, and get into a post bachelor program, so you can complete all the major courses again. Because frankly, applying this year might just be a waste of time and money for you.

I really hope I'm able to help you, and sincerely good luck to you!

I agree with this poster.  So many people will try to be nice and say you'll get in with no actual knowledge of what the process looks like from the inside.  Many times people will post on here about retaking classes after they graduate many programs will not calculate this into your Bachelor's GPA.  The poster here is so so right on, if you can raise your GPA now that is much better than graduating with it low.  Retake classes BEFORE you have that permanent BA GPA.  Don't apply places where your grades don't line up people would call my program wondering why they didn't get in when their GPA's were below 3.5 and our average applicants were 3.8-4.0.  If you're above the 3.5 of course apply that's in the ballpark if you have a 3.0 or less why would you apply to a program that typically takes 3.8+?  Just think about all the applications they are sifting through and if you can't answer how your application will stand out from the crowd apply elsewhere.  I would recommend the Midwest and very northern central cold states where many people that are from out of state would not think to apply to.  

Extracurriculars are great but many applicants have extracurriculars.  Lab work or other things field related that set you apart as unique will help you stand out more.  And i'd say take the GRE and see where you end up on there before applying.  If you can't get above a 300 think about if you really feel you will be able to succeed in a graduate program.  I'm not saying this to be mean, I just am trying to show the application committee's perspective.  Master's programs have minimum GPA requirements and if you don't meet them you don't graduate and their program looks bad as a result that their student's didn't all graduate.  I don't think there are many options once you hit that point.  

This is not all to say you can't do it, I'd just seriously evaluate all the factors before spending the time and money.  Explore other options in the career center just in case and still pursue it but have a backup plan so there is something to fall back on if things don't go as planned.  Join a study group get tutoring etc, work now to show the future committees that you gave it your all.  That all reflects positively on you!  Start building a relationship now with programs you're interested in email, go visit, do what you can to put a face to your application.  Good luck!

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I also wanted to comment on your post since I recently went through a very similar situation this past year as I was applying to graduate school. Just want to let you know that there is hope and I wanted to offer you some super tangible steps to get to that desired acceptance. 

Personal Background Info:

  • Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders graduated spring 17
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.398 
  • GRE Scores: Verbal 150 Quant 148 AW 4.5
  • Lot's of experience working with children and individuals with special needs

Since you have an overall GPA of 3.32 and I also had a 3.3 it can be very difficult to know where to begin with the daunting application process. Here are some chronological steps you can take to help strengthen your application. 

  1. As previously mentioned try to increase your GPA as much as you can while you are still a student. If you have below a C- I would highly recommend retaking those classes. I ended up retaking 6 credits senior year and it did help increase my GPA slightly. 
  2. Not sure if you've already taken the GRE yet but study as hard as you can for that exam! Low GPA but high GRE scores can significantly help increase your chances for getting in.
  3. . Go to ASHA's edfind and make an excel spreadsheet of all 250+ SLP grad school programs across the country.  Make sure you write down the average accepted GPA, GRE score and their stats for number of applicants, number of admissions and target class size. You can use this data to organize a list for schools you have a higher chance for getting in by taking the number of admission offers divided by the number of applications and get a percentage. Use this info to help narrow down your choices for where to apply. 
  4. Now pick your top 25 schools and apply to all of them regardless of location! I know 20+ schools will be extremely expensive and a lot of work but you need to increase your chances for getting accepted! I also strongly believe you will have better outcomes when you apply out of state! I literally applied all over the country! 
  5. Consider taking a gap year after your undergrad to increase your application. I highly recommend working with children and individuals with disabilities. I took a year off to work in a school district as a paraprofessional and I strongly believe that helped my application stand out. 
  6. Start applying as early as possible. Filling out and completing applications takes a long time so if you can get your application done sooner I think that will also help increase your chances. 
  7. Remember that a waitlist is still a good response! I ended up getting waitlisted for 13 different schools and so far I have been accepted into 3 of those! So do not be discouraged when you get a waitlist! 
  8. Last but not lease you mentioned that your a Christian! I am too so keep praying that God will reveal your future to you and trust in his faithfulness! 

Alright, I hope you found this a little encouraging. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Good luck to you! 

 

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