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Chance of Getting into Philsophy Grad School


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Hey all,

I’m a new user here so if this is in the wrong place please let me know!

I’m currently in my third year of my undergrad and am starting to prepare to apply for the 2020-2021 session. I currently plan to apply for MA Philsophy programs only.

I am doing my undergraduate in a top 10 school but I worry that my GPA will ruin my chances of getting into any program. It currently sits at a 2.9 but I’m on track to have it at a 3.0 by the start of my 4th year. I have gotten 4.0s in Philsophy courses and am currently taking a graduate level Philsophy course but I fear that my application won’t get very far along the process due to my GPA. 

I know that there really is no secret to getting into programs but was wondering whether I stood a chance.

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13 hours ago, DeliciousH2O said:

Hey all,

I’m a new user here so if this is in the wrong place please let me know!

I’m currently in my third year of my undergrad and am starting to prepare to apply for the 2020-2021 session. I currently plan to apply for MA Philsophy programs only.

I am doing my undergraduate in a top 10 school but I worry that my GPA will ruin my chances of getting into any program. It currently sits at a 2.9 but I’m on track to have it at a 3.0 by the start of my 4th year. I have gotten 4.0s in Philsophy courses and am currently taking a graduate level Philsophy course but I fear that my application won’t get very far along the process due to my GPA. 

I know that there really is no secret to getting into programs but was wondering whether I stood a chance.

Your major GPA is most important, to be sure. However, why is your overall GPA low? A 3.0 is low enough that you should get your letter-writers to address it.

Also, here's a relevant recent thread (there's also another linked thread within that one from a few years ago in which folks discuss getting into programs with a very low GPA):

 

Edited by hector549
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3 hours ago, hector549 said:

Your major GPA is most important, to be sure. However, why is your overall GPA low? A 3.0 is low enough that you should get your letter-writers to address it.

Also, here's a relevant recent thread (there's also another linked thread within that one from a few years ago in which folks discuss getting into programs with a very low GPA):

 

Thanks for sending over the other post!

As to why my GPA is so low (as much as I hate excuses) is my job. I work 30-40 hours a week to put myself through my undergrad so some courses get more attention then others. 

My major GPA is good and my grads in my AOI are 4.0. Also I will definitely have my LORs address it.

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4 hours ago, DeliciousH2O said:

Thanks for sending over the other post!

As to why my GPA is so low (as much as I hate excuses) is my job. I work 30-40 hours a week to put myself through my undergrad so some courses get more attention then others. 

My major GPA is good and my grads in my AOI are 4.0. Also I will definitely have my LORs address it.

I'd stick to MAs next cycle.

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If your overall GPA is low but your major GPA is high because of working 30-40 hours a week address that in your statement of purpose, if you think it'll negativity impact you. Stress that you have a 3.0 overall GPA and a 4.0 major GPA even as you work full time. Also given you come from a program that seems to have some prestige it should all balance out. 

 

Of course, some programs may look down on you but I think a few adcoms will overlook it given that you can produce a phenomenal writing sample with glowing letters of recommendation. 

Out of curiosity, what will your GPA be like at the end of next semester? It may be advisable that you hold off till those grades are posted if(f) your GPA will be higher than a 3.0 (eg. 3.2). 

 

In any case, best of luck to you! Apply to a few PhD programs and just hope for the best. Contrary to what some people seem to think the application process rarely falls on one weakness. The adcoms I've spoken to admire grit and determination more than arbitrary number values. 

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I am not sure if this will help at all, but my overall GPA was once lower than 3.0 (the sophomore year I think), then I was able to boost it a little later on by concentrating on Philosophy classes. (For several semesters I take only Philosophy classes).  I applied this cycle to MA programs with a 3.29 overall GPA. For what it is worth, my Philosophy GPA is not as high as I wanted to either (somewhere between 3.6/3.7) and I have an embarrassingly low GRE score (even for an international student). I did mention it to my letter writers. I was told by many that the most important thing is your writing sample and (probably) followed by letters. For the transcript, your philosophy courses matter more. If it shows that you have a strong background in Philosophy, I would not worry too much about the GPA. I suspect that I did so by having 18 Philosophy courses, tho I have a few B/B+ among those. So far tho still waiting for funding infor. I got into several programs.  You can see my results in my signature. 

 

Edited by a ravenclaw
typo
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