starmaker

The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

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I'm also happy to contribute to this thread! While I wasn't sub 3.0, I had a 3.1 major GPA (genetics) and a 3.4 cumulative GPA that was boosted from my 3.95 English minor GPA, so I feel that some undergrads might be able to relate. I was told countless times how bad this was and how poorly the 2 C's and 3 C+'s I got in undergrad genetics classes would reflect on my application (thats right, they were all core courses). Even from a trusted mentor, I was advised to do a Masters before PhD to help alleviate the GPA before applying, even though I had worked as a lab technician for two years and in undergrad for two years. I ignored that advice and was accepted to 3 top tier schools. My best advice for my fellow low GPAers would be to have so much success at the bench that your uGPA becomes an afterthought. I applied for a fellowship and my undergrad university (awarded), was granted authorship on 5 publications (no first author), and started my own project in my current lab that could've been publication ready if we weren't scooped a few months ago (ah well). I also asked my letters of rec for specifics to help alleviate concerns for my uGPA. For instance, I had an instructor for a graduate level class that had commented during the class how I had gone "above and beyond" what was expected of me. I asked him to really focus on my enthusiasm and my success to show ad com that I could succeed in a graduate courses. I also spent months studying for the GRE, even going as far as to study in lab with my lab mates by asking each other vocab words! By the time I applied, the other three areas of my application were so strong that I was told my GPA was no longer a concern.

So, in summary, uGPA is not a reflection of your intelligence or research ability. If theres a will, theres a way, and you just have to show that your uGPA does not define you and how awesome you are!

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I read through this thread... Seems like it would be easier to get into Masters programs (comparing to PhD programs) with a sub-3.0 GPA... is it true? I'm applying Masters...

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Hello to all! Posting here to maybe give hope to someone in the education/ed policy/higher ed field looking at graduate programs.

I was on academic probation/suspension 3 times before I graduated. I have gaps in my education since I took time to work when things weren't going well (best decision I've ever made tbh). I had to basically get all As once I returned to school in order to graduate, and I did, but my cumulative GPA is literally a 2.0My in-major GPA is a 3.2, so good, but not stellar.

I graduated in the summer, then rushed to apply to graduate school despite having tons of doubts with my 2.0 GPA. First step was taking the GRE. I'm not a great test taker, and I wasn't super motivated to study for the GRE. I'm also super super terrible at math. Sooo.. my GRE scores ranged from terrible (20 percentile Quant), to average (50something percentile Verbal), to above average (90+ percentile Writing). 

Stats wise, literally everything was against me. So I worked very hard (and fast) to make sure the rest of my application was strong. So far, I've been accepted to 3 out of the 4 schools I've applied to, including 2 Ivy Leagues. I've received significant funding at two schools, waiting on financial aid from one, and waiting for an admissions decision from one.

I know I'm an exception, but I never expected to be. I'm not great at giving advice, but hopefully someone like me will read this and get that extra kick of motivation they need. 

My end goal (eventually) will be a PhD, so who knows how my past will come into play when the time comes. For now, I'm still playing the waiting game and will have a very tough decision to make next month!

Edited by starzzz
fixing typo

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update everybody.  I posted earlier in this thread!  I came from a poor uGPA (~2.7), that was not reflective of who I could be.  However, it happened, and there was nothing I could do.  I was very lucky to find a Masters Program in my field that was willing to take a chance on me.  During my ~two years, I was able to excel and achieve close to a 3.9 GPA.  I took the GRE and was only able to do slightly above average (my combined percentiles were 70th.)  I went ahead and applied to 6 schools and was rejected by 3, accepted by one outright, and had two interviews.  I was informed last Friday that I was accepted to a program that I had my hopes for us, that was very highly ranked in the field!  

I want to give some advice for people who are in the same predicament reading this thread.  If you want to go Ph.D. and have a super low GPA, a Masters is the way to go. You will read online people say that a uGPA will also trump a Masters GPA, but for a Ph.D., I have found this not to be the case.  Sure, some universities will reject you off the bat, but I got generally good responses from schools.  In fact, out of the three schools, I applied, NONE mentioned my undergraduate GPA.  That's right. NONE OF THEM DID!  That tells you something. In fact, I didn't even mention my low GPA in my SOP (however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't even mention it, but I'm just letting you know that I did not.) 

Furthermore, make sure to apply broadly.  One thing that worried me was when I got two rejections in a row and thought that I was on the path of having to reapply.  If you have a low GPA, apply to as many schools as you can afford.  I wish I would've applied to around 10, but was lucky that I found acceptances.

A low undergraduate GPA is NOT the end!  You can overcome it! 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/13/2017 at 0:53 PM, BigThomason51 said:

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update everybody.  I posted earlier in this thread!  I came from a poor uGPA (~2.7), that was not reflective of who I could be.  However, it happened, and there was nothing I could do.  I was very lucky to find a Masters Program in my field that was willing to take a chance on me.  During my ~two years, I was able to excel and achieve close to a 3.9 GPA.  I took the GRE and was only able to do slightly above average (my combined percentiles were 70th.)  I went ahead and applied to 6 schools and was rejected by 3, accepted by one outright, and had two interviews.  I was informed last Friday that I was accepted to a program that I had my hopes for us, that was very highly ranked in the field!  

I want to give some advice for people who are in the same predicament reading this thread.  If you want to go Ph.D. and have a super low GPA, a Masters is the way to go. You will read online people say that a uGPA will also trump a Masters GPA, but for a Ph.D., I have found this not to be the case.  Sure, some universities will reject you off the bat, but I got generally good responses from schools.  In fact, out of the three schools, I applied, NONE mentioned my undergraduate GPA.  That's right. NONE OF THEM DID!  That tells you something. In fact, I didn't even mention my low GPA in my SOP (however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't even mention it, but I'm just letting you know that I did not.) 

Furthermore, make sure to apply broadly.  One thing that worried me was when I got two rejections in a row and thought that I was on the path of having to reapply.  If you have a low GPA, apply to as many schools as you can afford.  I wish I would've applied to around 10, but was lucky that I found acceptances.

A low undergraduate GPA is NOT the end!  You can overcome it! 

 

 

 

 

 

As a fellow sub-3.0 GPA-er, I've been following you over in the Biology forum. Super proud of you, man!! You deserve it!! :) 

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2 hours ago, LoveMysterious said:

As a fellow sub-3.0 GPA-er, I've been following you over in the Biology forum. Super proud of you, man!! You deserve it!! :) 

Thanks!  I really appreciate it!  After my first two rejections in a row, I was getting worried, but luckily things turned out! :)

And super congrats on getting accepted into UIC once again! Let's kick some ass in our programs! :P 

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I had a 2.8 GPA when I graduated from Binghamton University with my bachelor's in 2012, earned a 3.8 GPA in 30 credits worth of post-bacc courses. I have been accepted to 1 graduate school in speech-language pathology so far!!!! 

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my overall GPA in undergrad is 2.86. However my major GPA, I did the math three times, is 3.3. My field of study is archaeology/anthropology. I'm mainly applying to UK, I want to attempt to get my phd after masters and maybe be able to live there, though it is very unlikely. You miss all the shots you don't take. I'm assuming I should focus on why my major GPA is higher than my overall?  Also do y'all think taking the GRE to go to UK schools is a good idea? I'm going to be contact the heads of the department in the coming days. 

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On 3/20/2017 at 4:23 PM, SLP1719 said:

I had a 2.8 GPA when I graduated from Binghamton University with my bachelor's in 2012, earned a 3.8 GPA in 30 credits worth of post-bacc courses. I have been accepted to 1 graduate school in speech-language pathology so far!!!! 

Congratulations!!! :D 

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On 3/3/2016 at 8:48 AM, JMarv15 said:

I was accepted to my first choice (masters program in a STEM field) with a mediocre GPA of 2.4, average GRE, but my LOR's are probably what pulled my application through. This thread provided a much needed motivation boost for me, I hope this encourages anyone else that is in a similar situation.

Hey Mate! Congratulations for being accepted. Do you mind to tell which university you got accepted into? and what was your program of interest?

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I always encourage everyone to try and apply, even if the university you're looking at says they won't consider you because you absolutely never know.

I had a 2.7 undergrad GPA and was on academic probation twice while I was an undergrad. Back when I was an arrogant 20 year old I was the poster child for "C's get degrees!"

About a year and a half ago, I applied to a university that flat out said "if you're under a 3.0 we won't even look at you" and brags the average accepted student has a 3.8 GPA. I was very aware that my 2.7 was going to be a problem so did I everything I could to address it before sending my application.

1. I studied like crazy to make sure I got a decent GRE score, which I could then use to show that I'd mended my slacker ways. Ended up with 168 verbal and 5.5 analytical writing. Quant was a garbage 144 but submitted it anyway because I wasn't applying for a math based program so who cared. I was applying to a research heavy university and I suspected the verbal and writing was what they truly cared about.

2. Applied for an "off season" start date. I knew most people apply for Fall start dates, which meant I was going to be competing with a lot more people if I went with Fall. So instead I opted to go for the Spring start date to increase my chances.

3. Work experience. This is, honestly, what I think saved me. I had 10 years of work experience in a related field and I made sure they knew all about the projects I worked on and the achievements I'd gotten from my companies and clients. In the SOP I essentially said "Yes, my undergrad GPA was garbage but look at all the amazing things I've done since then. I have grown up, matured, and proven that I have learned my lesson and can be successful in this field."

4. I didn't ask for an assistant-ship or financial help from the department. Again, to increase my chances I didn't want to look like I was competing with other applicants over the limited financial opportunities and I didn't want them to consider me as a "burden" on the department in any way. (This didn't mean I couldn't ask for it or get help later. The department actually offered me a TA job my second semester despite me telling them in my application that I didn't need it so I only ended up paying tuition for my first semester.)

With that plan in place I basically YOLO applied to that one school and two weeks later they sent me an offer of admission. Like I said, I really didn't think I was going to be accepted because literally everything the school and department said indicated that someone like me was never going to be considered and it is a top 10 school. 

So, you never know. Even if you have a low GPA and are nervous, do your best to show you've matured since then and give it a shot!

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I was wondering if someone could help me out? I want to know my realistic chances of getting into a graduate program with my current credentials. I'd be willing to go the Masters route prior to a PhD if that's necessary. My undergrad major was Chemistry and my minor was Mathematics.

Long story short, I was an immature kid my first few years in college and didn't take much seriously (wasn't a party-goer, just lacked drive). Ultimately, I got my act together and retook several major and minor classes, going from D's and F's, to A's and B's. I spent a total of 5 years in undergrad. Going into my 5th year, I had just gotten out of a bad relationship which left me depressed and unmotivated. As a result, I got D's in all my major classes my final year, which obviously caused a major hit to my GPA. All in all, my cumulative GPA is 2.7, while my major GPA is ~2.5. I know this doesn't look good from an academic standpoint since my final year showed a complete decline from my recent semesters of trying to pull my grades up. However, I've done as much as I can do to improve in other areas.

The summer before my final school year, I had an internship at a pharmaceutical company (not much lab work, but a way to get my foot in the door). I also have one year's worth of research under my belt (nothing published). Since graduation (May 2017), I've been working in an analytical R&D lab in the liquid chromatography (LC) lab. As far as letters of recommendations go, I know I'll have 2 great ones (1 from current lab supervisor who's very impressed by my work ethic and eagerness to learn and 1 from math professor who's known me my entire college career) and 1 okay letter from my research instructor (for being unable to publish, but still producing good work). I took the GREs and I'll be taking the GRE Chemistry subject test in a few weeks.

GRE Score: 148V, 154Q, 5.0AW

I've already reached out to potential advisers from multiple programs and have heard back from a few. I'm trying to network as best as I can so that they could possibly overlook my GPA. I'm aware that certain programs have automatic cutoffs and, in some cases, professors can petition to get you in. I've inquired to many programs that are more willing to do this. 

So far, my current choices are as follows: University of Maryland College Park, University of Rutgers New Brunswick, Rochester Institute of Technology (Masters), University of Rochester,  SUNY Buffalo, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Tufts University

I know many people on this forum say this, but I know I am a hard worker and I have the passion and desire to want to pursue a PhD. The only thing standing in my way is convincing an admissions' committee of this. If anyone could offer me any advice on what I should do or what approach to take, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks and I wish the best to all who are trying to pursue their educational endeavors!

 

 

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Hi, it’s my first post here but I hope not last :lol:
I’m an international student who would like to pursue her PhD in Psychology in the US. I have BA and MA in Applied Linguistics from the top tenth university in my country. My GPA is pretty low but I hope to get great GRE and GRE Psychology scores (I plan to apply in 2018 so I still have a few months to prepare).
BA GPA 2.95
MA GPA 3.25 (some unis count my MA as an equivalent of US BA)
Cumulative GPA 3.10
No lab research experience, no publications. I only wrote and defended two theses because it’s the standard procedure in my country required to obtain your degree. In order to write them I had to collect materials, pick up examples and analyze them in writing. And then defend my results in front of the commission. My theses had 60 and 72 pages. (I’m writing about it because perhaps I can use these experiences in my personal statement, can't I?). I’ll get good letters of recommendation from my former uni.
I don’t want to enter clinical/counselling/school PhD. All I want to do is research (eg. cognitive psychology/language psychology). So I guess the uni doesn’t have to be APA certified. Also, I’d like to attend a funded program and of course the uni doesn’t have to be top.
As I’m already in the US and have some time I plan to volunteer at some uni in the neighborhood to get more research experience.
Do I have any chances of getting accepted for a fully FUNDED program (tuition waiver + fellowship/scholarship) or PhD in Psychology is so overcrowded that my GPA will hinder my application leaving me with no admission?

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