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Am I being dramatic or do I not have a chance at grad school?


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Hello all, this is my first post on the forum so apologies if this isn't the right place to ask this!

My issue: in my sophomore year I had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized, and I failed every class (3) I was taking that semester. Before that I had a 4.0 GPA and after my grades went back to A's and B+'s. Despite my hard work, I'll likely be applying to grad school with a 3.3 GPA this year. It feels like this one bad semester is haunting me.

I'm trying multiple things to compensate for it. My writing sample is a research paper my professor (established in my field) said was graduate-level work. I'm hopefully going to do 1 or 2 internships in the fall. I'm also going to submit some of my other research to undergraduate journals. I plan to address the grades in my SOP and take the GRE. I've essentially spent my summer researching and preparing for grad applications.

My anxiety keeps telling me none of that will go right, though. Could I get a reality check? Any advice? For reference, I'm applying to masters programs in art history. I keep freaking out over this and I just want peace of mind.

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In terms of writing your personal statement / or SOP, I heard it really might negatively affect you if you discuss your mental health (whatsoever - (stigmatized)) in your grad apps. I think you can disclose that you had health issues, but just don't get into it too much. (It's not the admission committee's business to judge based on mental health, so don't give them that chance to unfairly do so). Since masters/PhD programs are incredibly stressful and demanding, I've heard that people's applications have been tossed from discussing their mental health struggles, unfortunately. I can't speak for art-history since I am in the biological sciences, but I know that most programs look at your application holistically, and your research will be the #1 important thing in your application, if not the letters of rec. Most applications with a GPA above a 3.0 will be reviewed by most programs, I think.

Edited by 564654899865
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Thank you for the response! After I posted this I did come across advice that mental health shouldn't be mentioned, so I think I'll just call it health issues like you said and keep it very brief.

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