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Dwizz

Applying to grad school with low gpa.

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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 

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Have an overall 3.1 gpa and extensive research experience and am not having a bad time applying for grad schools (phd) at all. Of course it's really difficult to compare two apps by numbers alone but overall I'd say go for it, and focus on your research background in the app.

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My understanding is that many schools look at your overall trajectory, and weigh most recent work the most heavily (per profs with whom I've spoken).  I'm sure this is program and field dependent to a certain degree, but while I highly doubt they would average out your grades from both schools, they'll take all of them into account.  The downward trend that you described would likely raise some questions, but if you have a solid work history (in the field, or outside of it?) that might contribute positively, and any research related to your field certainly would.  GPA within your major(s) could offset a lower overall GPA as well; if you have a 3.9 in your major they're a lot less likely to care about that, say, music history course you got a D in that one semester.

Can't be more help than that since we're in different fields and I'm not sure how prestigious the program you're applying to at Houston is.  Some graduate programs at the master's level have lower bars for admission but only offer financial aid to a few, so that also might be a situation you could encounter.

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