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Low graduate GPA, how can I reapply and join a new school. I am desperate now


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I graduated with honors from the University of California with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, holding a GPA of 3.73. My honors thesis focused on the historical impact of East Asian popular culture. During my senior year, I was misled by an alumnus into applying for a professional master's program at our university. This program was advertised externally as a humanities graduate program named Global Studies, but in reality, it focused heavily on economics and data research.

One of the reasons I applied was my desire to study East Asian culture and political conditions. After discussing with the department head, they believed I would be a good fit. Consequently, I quickly enrolled after submitting my application, which turned out to be a significant mistake. I deeply regret not accepting my master's offer from the University of Tokyo.

In the first quarter, I struggled with the economics core courses, a field outside my expertise, and received a D in the required economics course. This initial low grade significantly impacted my GPA. After discussing with the department head, she assured me that my low grade was not a reflection of my abilities but rather a result of my first encounter with the subject, encouraging me to continue.

In the second quarter, the core data research course, previously taught by a retired professor, was taken over by a new and unfamiliar instructor. He made numerous changes to the syllabus and did not clearly communicate that the final exam would determine the final grade. The grading distribution was 30% for the final exam and 70% for assignments. His teaching methods were disorganized, with little explanation provided, and a week before the final exam, we still had no clear idea of what to expect. Adding to the frustration, while last year's students were allowed open-book exams, we were required to take a closed-book exam. Unsurprisingly, I received another D, causing my GPA to drop to 2.37. Despite this, the department head still believed I could continue, as I had earned two B+ grades that quarter (the department uses a curve grading system rather than letter grades). However, the pressure had overwhelmed me, and after consulting with a psychological counselor, I applied for a leave of absence due to psychological stress.

I am in a state of despair and pain, uncertain of what to do next. I am currently planning to apply to the East Asian Studies programs at UCSB and UCLA. I have successfully made contact with professors in these departments, and they seem to believe that I would not face significant issues. However, I remain uncertain and deeply confused about my path forward. Can I successfully apply to the East Asian Studies programs at UCSB or UCLA?

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