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Has anyone got any stories of being accepted into a Phd Clinical Psychology program with a below 3.0 undergraduate gpa?


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33 minutes ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

Most masters programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA so I can’t imagine any PhD program would admit that low of a undergrad gpa. Unfortunately, there’s just too many good candidates that have way above that. 

@Skibz in other words – no.

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1 hour ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

Most masters programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA so I can’t imagine any PhD program would admit that low of a undergrad gpa. Unfortunately, there’s just too many good candidates that have way above that. 

To add to this - of course, having a 3.0 GPA might not look too good for a selection committee, unless there are other factors that could bump up your academic record. For example, having a high psych major GPA (if you double majored in something difficult that would bring your GPA down). Also, having a master's could change things. Some universities have policies regarding the GPA for the last two years of study (if your last two years are 3.5 or better that would be good) or having excellent grades in a master's program would bring the GPA calculation up.

So the specifics matter, and you can still have a shot to improve and be competitive for graduate admission.

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1 hour ago, SoundofSilence said:

To add to this - of course, having a 3.0 GPA might not look too good for a selection committee, unless there are other factors that could bump up your academic record. For example, having a high psych major GPA (if you double majored in something difficult that would bring your GPA down). Also, having a master's could change things. Some universities have policies regarding the GPA for the last two years of study (if your last two years are 3.5 or better that would be good) or having excellent grades in a master's program would bring the GPA calculation up.

So the specifics matter, and you can still have a shot to improve and be competitive for graduate admission.

Although I do not have any personal experience with the situation @Skibz described (since I'm currently applying for the first time, and my GPA was MUCH higher than 3.0), when I was applying to University of Utah, their application said this:

"Your undergraduate GPA will be verified as part of your Graduate School Application. Please provide self-reported information below. The University of Utah requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher. If your undergraduate GPA is less than 3.00, we will calculate a GPA on the last 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of your undergraduate course work. Please use the essay areas of this application to provide information regarding a low GPA."

Below that, there were 2 boxes: one for "Cumulative Undergraduate GPA" and another for "Last 60 Credit Hours GPA".

Edited by MiddleOfSomeCalibrations
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A bit surprised by these last few comments.. 🤨 There could be so many factors behind why somebody's undergraduate GPA is not that great; I think that if you are able to obtain excellent GRE scores, you definitely have a chance at being admitted into a PhD program. In addition, as somebody said above, pursuing a master's degree could also help you. 

Edited by lolhelp
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On 12/23/2019 at 6:53 PM, lolhelp said:

A bit surprised by these last few comments.. 🤨 There could be so many factors behind why somebody's undergraduate GPA is not that great; I think that if you are able to obtain excellent GRE scores, you definitely have a chance at being admitted into a PhD program. In addition, as somebody said above, pursuing a master's degree could also help you. 

I agree with this post. If you are pursuing a PhD, a low GPA can hurt your application largely because you'll be screened out and won't reach final stages of the review process. Clinical psychology programs have hundreds of applications, and use metrics like GPA, GRE, etc. to filter. A master's degree could help "override" your undergrad GPA, and help you bypass these filters. Some advice I received that has been helpful: look at your application like data. The more data you have that suggests you're a good candidate (e.g. high GRE, research experience), the higher your chances. Try to make your GPA the outlier, and the rest of your application data show your true potential.

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  • 1 month later...

No, in short with so many applicants with much higher GPAs who don't get in, you have no shot. That is the brutal truth. If you smash the GREs, they will think you goofed off in school. Your best hope is to go to a master's and kill it. People saying it's holistic etc are dreaming if they think a sub 3.0 GPA will get a serious consideration. It won't. Dead on arrival. Are they even familiar with clinical psych?  . Unless it is an unfunded for profit school, but those are terrible, so don't go there. Don't waste your money applying at this point. The reality is people with 4.0 GPAs and great GRE get rejected all the time. someone with a 2.8 or something is not getting one of those few spots. This is the truth. No sugar coating, I know it sucks to hear, but it's the reality. 

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On 12/23/2019 at 6:53 PM, lolhelp said:

A bit surprised by these last few comments.. 🤨 There could be so many factors behind why somebody's undergraduate GPA is not that great; I think that if you are able to obtain excellent GRE scores, you definitely have a chance at being admitted into a PhD program. In addition, as somebody said above, pursuing a master's degree could also help you. 

These comments are the truth. Clinical psych does not admit people with that GPA. They just do not. Maybe somehow you will find an outlier, but it's very rare. We are being honest and realistic and not selling false hope just to make the OP feel good. It's a waste of money and time for them to apply with that. 

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Hey OP! 

I am currently in a funded PhD program in Clinical Psychology and my undergraduate GPA was just under 3.0. 

I had a very difficult freshman year for personal reasons, and those resulted in significant academic struggles. As some previous posters have mentioned, my last two years were both over 3.5 and the marks I received in my psychology courses were consistently high - not high enough to get my GPA over the 3.0 mark though. 

Knowing the likelihood of getting into any program with this GPA, I worked in a research position for 2 years before getting my MA where I got a 4.0. I also worked part-time and in 2 labs and made sure to study my ass off for the Psych GRE. After graduating from my masters program I worked in a clinical position for another 2 years. I applied to PhD programs after only a year of working (no offers, 2 interviews and waitlisted at both schools). Last year I applied to 7 schools, interviewed at 2 again and was accepted at both when offers first went out. 

I remember being in your position and thinking I had completely f****ed up my chances of having the career I wanted. Anything is possible if you're willing to put in the time and work - and it was a lot of work. Your journey to a PhD might not look like everyone else's, but if you have enough drive and passion to be here you'll figure out a way - either by stacking your CV with experiences and a masters and/or getting published and throwing yourself into research. You will not get into the schools that automatically weed out undergrad GPAs under a certain number and all of the previous posters are right that it decreases your overall chances. Thankfully there are others that look at the whole picture and there are ways to stand out. Happy to give you more info in a DM! 

Xoxo 

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