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omoon

Ways to boost my chance with a low GPA but 3 years of industry experience?

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After my terrible performance in undergrad, I am really concerned about getting into grad school. 


I graduated in 2016 with a Cognitive Science B.S. (GPA:2.2) from a public research university after working in a research lab during my four years as an undergrad. I was lucky to receive a job offer from one of the top tech companies and have been doing research in the industry since then. I was also fortunate to work with many talented peers that often hold advanced degrees.

After working in the industry for 3 years, I am planning to go back to school to advance my skill to the next level. Instead of psychology/cogsci, I am planning to apply to MS/MA programs with courses in advanced social analysis and qualitative research.


But I'm incredibly concerned about my chance due to my unimpressive undergrad performance. I wonder what I can do to boost my chance? I took the GRE in my junior year without preparing for it, and I wonder should I either apply for Fall 2020 with my old scores or retake it and apply for Fall 2021. 


My Stats:
GPA: 2.2
GRE: 151 quant 149 verbal, 50% (Took it in 2015)
RA experience: 4 years in a developmental psychology lab
Industry experience: 3 years in a tech company.

Thank you all for reading. Any advice is appreciated.

Edited by omoon

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I'm applying so I have no actual experience to offer, hence the brevity of my reply, but my first gut reaction is the GRE absolutely needs to be as high as possible given your GPA. (I personally think the GRE is a biased piece of crud that has nothing to do with intelligence, but since Soc programs still use it for applications, it unfortunately matters — especially when you have a 2.2.) It's not the most important part of the app, but it's the only thing I can judge given the information you provided — I have no idea what your writing sample, LORs, etc. will be like. Good luck!

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Also, lots of MA programs have deadlines in the spring — you might be able to take the GRE again and apply this cycle for MA programs if you want to.

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