starmaker

The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

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There used to be a nice thread where those of us with sub-3.0 undergrad GPAs could chat and commiserate and worry, but it hasn't been updated in a year.

I thought it might be nice to have a thread where the below-three folks could post specifically about acceptances (or other happy events like winning or getting HM for fellowships, should any of us be so lucky). It might be reassuring to people convinced that a rough academic start means they'll never get in anywhere. Also, I wanted to brag. :)

Me: Comp Sci PhD applicant, undergrad GPA 2.5 from top-10 university, MS GPA 3.5 from mid-rank program. Got my first acceptance today, to a mid-rank but quickly-rising program! Still waiting to hear from two other programs, several fellowship programs (not that I really expect to win any of the latter).

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Yes is it is possible. My uGPA was a 2.7 (if I am allowed to round) from an Ivy. I had a complicated family issue to over come junior/senior year which affected my courses. I went directly in to an MPH program at top 20 school for public health and came out with a 3.5 gGPA (worked full time during my master's program). I am fortunate in that my field is biased to towards those with work experience. I have 10 years of public health experience, above average GRES and LORs from accomplished clinical researchers/public health practioners. At the time of this post I have been accepted to doctoral programs with funding/fellowships. A low uGPA can be overcome but you have to have a lot of other things working for you.

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A low uGPA can be overcome but you have to have a lot of other things working for you.

Yeah, I think this is the key. I have a decent MS GPA, several publications, four and a half years of research-environment industry experience, a high GRE.

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Me: Comp Sci PhD applicant, undergrad GPA 2.5 from top-10 university, MS GPA 3.5 from mid-rank program. Got my first acceptance today, to a mid-rank but quickly-rising program! Still waiting to hear from two other programs, several fellowship programs (not that I really expect to win any of the latter).

Congrats starmaker! And good luck with your other apps!

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I feel like I need to make a thread for 4.0 undergrads with no acceptances to balance things.

(charter member)

Last round of applications my wife, who had a 4.0 in undergrad (and now has finished her masters class requirements with a 4.0), didn't get in anywhere but me and my 3.5 did. Now she is getting all sorts of interviews and positive feedback and I'm freaking out about not getting in anywhere (Though I think everyone freaks out about that until they get their first official acceptance). Yay random nature of life.

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I believe it is doable to get accepted into PhD program with sub-3.0 GPA. Mine was 2.9 from UCD and 3.46 Master from SFSU. My GRE score is in the 1200s, and I got accepted into my first PhD programs. I think I also have research experience that is really helpful. Although I got rejected to most top ranked programs.

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I was at a 2.7 for the uGPA. Had a bomb of a first cycle last year for apps, went back and took a semester to get it up to a lil over a 3.0. Too many readings of professors just dismissing below 3.0 apps scared me :/ But have heard before if you are out of school for a while and have work experience related to the program- and research agenda- you want to get into a below 3.0 will start to look like nothing more and more.

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Thanks for this thread. My initial undergrad GPA is sub 3.0, but I took additional upper-level undergrad courses to bring it up, I have a near perfect MA GPA, and a strong application otherwse. I hope I'm as lucky as all of you.

I notice that most sub-3.0ers have a Masters... I think this may be key. At least one of the schools I applied to only requires at 3.0+ in the highest or most recent degree.

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I had a way below 3.0 GPA as an undergrad. One 3.9 MS GPA, awesome GRE scores, and 2 publications later I've gotten 3 acceptances so far to PhD programs, all with funding! It can happen!

Thanks for this thread. My initial undergrad GPA is sub 3.0, but I took additional upper-level undergrad courses to bring it up, I have a near perfect MA GPA, and a strong application otherwse. I hope I'm as lucky as all of you.

I notice that most sub-3.0ers have a Masters... I think this may be key. At least one of the schools I applied to only requires at 3.0+ in the highest or most recent degree.

Care to talk about your experience getting into a Masters program with the uGPA that you had? I hear it is more forgiving on admissions.

Edited by DustSNK

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Got my first acceptance today!!!!!!!!! Proud to report, with a lil hard work, you can get over having a 2.7 uGPA!!!!!! I went back to uni and took a semester of ug and grad courses, got an 4.0 GPA there so that was factored into my 2.7 gpa. Did lots of graduate lv research, and improved as a student. I will say if things don't go your way the 1st time around, GO BACK to school and take some non-degree grad courses. Worked for me I feel.

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Care to talk about your experience getting into a Masters program with the uGPA that you had? I hear it is more forgiving on admissions.

Having some kind of experience helps. By the time I submitted my MS apps, I'd been working in my field full-time for a year and a half (with a peer-reviewed publication) and had taken four post-bachelor's non-degree classes in my field. And I had a well-above-average, though not outstanding, GRE score.

By the time I submitted my PhD apps, I'd been working full-time in my field for four and a half years, had a 3.5 MS GPA plus five non-degree classes before that, had four peer-reviewed publications (one as first author) a published abstract, and a poster presentation under my belt, and had an over-1500 quant + verbal GRE with a perfect writing score. And I have grant-writing experience through my jobs (which, unsurprisingly, a lot of PIs appreciate). And all that experience allowed me a very focused SOP and lots of options for strong letters of recommendation.

People with very low undergrad GPAs, for the most part, don't get into grad programs because they got lucky (well, they did, but not moreso than other applicants) and were selected before more-qualified applicants. They get in because they made themselves highly qualified in other ways.

Edited to fix typos.

Edited by starmaker

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2.9 GPA here, applying for PhD'S and MS's in Biostatistics/Biomath. I returned to school to complete more advanced math/statistics courses and ante up my GPA but I still got rejected to 7/9 schools so far. My gpa is that bad because I had SEVERE domestic issues within the first two years of undergraduate school ( went to the wrong school, majored in the wrong major initially, no familial support, advisors at school were HORRIBLE), included a brief description of my issues in my SOP but didn't drag it on.

All in all, I tend to excel beyond my expectations when I'm alone or have my own space. Things I never had and still don't even at this moment of my life. I was hoping for a life-changer starting September 2012 but it seems bleak. Now I'm applying for Spring 2013 in applied math/biomath/applied math programs to reverse the two years of chaos that as I say, ruined my life.

Congrats and glory to those who rectified themselves through hardships, I can't seem the see the light.

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Care to talk about your experience getting into a Masters program with the uGPA that you had? I hear it is more forgiving on admissions.

i'm also in the club of sub 3.0 with a masters phd offers. i had a 2.97 in undergrad. i went back and did a masters with a near-perfect gpa. this cycle, i did extremely well getting offers from 3 top-10 departments.

getting into a masters program doesn't seem terribly difficult, if you are willing to pay. many masters programs are cash cows for their university. however, they also have the resources to make someone an attractive candidate. i found that i was able to get everything i needed, as long as i was willing to work for it. i put a lot of work into getting myself into the right classes and building relationships with faculty. the masters not only provided me with a chance to show i could do top level work, but also gave me some really excellent references and a lot of ideas that were the basis of my statement of purpose

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Hello 'sub 3.0' comrades :D I'm trying to get into MPP programs with bare minimum uGPA (engineering). I applied to 8 programs, haven't heard from any so far, rejections neither. As days pass by, I'm running out of nails to bite. Has anyone (or know of someone) been accepted into MPP/MPA with low GPA?

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I had a 2.96 undergrad gpa, GRE Scores of V:530 Q:800 AW:4.0, and 1 first author publication. I was rejected by all chemistry PhD programs I applied to last year. So far accepted to 1 PhD program that had a 3.0 cutoff (must have rounded up).

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Care to talk about your experience getting into a Masters program with the uGPA that you had? I hear it is more forgiving on admissions.

Well, you don't really need this now, but I took some extra courses here and there to bring up my GPA and applied at a small school that offers no funding for Masters students. Most grad students are professional track, if that makes any sense. I also had experience in my field, and a decent letter I think.

I think things work a bit differently in Canada with respect to master's degrees.

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