Jump to content

The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread


Recommended Posts

@GeoDude,

 

 

When Maryland rejected my application last year I was told they would have recommended me for their Master's program had I only mentioned my GPA in my SOP.  I am not sure why but for what ever reason not discussing my GPA really rubbed them the wrong way.  This year my application will be to their Master's program.  

 

I've said this more than once on here, but it looks like you missed it. The reason it rubbed them the wrong way that you didn't include an explanation of your GPA is that they need an explanation for why it is so low (and that explanation needs to include at least a guarantee/plan for why it won't happen again). For me, I had to explain why my most recent two semesters (three before entry, but just two at time of app) was more indicative of the student I could be than the previous 115 or so credits I had sub 2.0. I had a built in excuse/reason why it would be different (10 years in industry in between), proof that I was a different student (4.0 since returning) and a specific plan on how I could continue that success at grad school. You apparently just told progams to trust that your record wasn't accurate, and that's a huge problem.

 

The difference between the rest of GC and the people on this thread is that they are trying to get into programs based on their academic records, we had to get in despite ours

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 434
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

this thread is discriminatory against people with sub-2.0 gpas!!

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

You all make me laugh. I took the time to register this account, because I thought that I was looking at a thread of disasters. In-fact, almost all of you have decent GPA's. I dont think I saw anyone

I've said this more than once on here, but it looks like you missed it. The reason it rubbed them the wrong way that you didn't include an explanation of your GPA is that they need an explanation for why it is so low (and that explanation needs to include at least a guarantee/plan for why it won't happen again). For me, I had to explain why my most recent two semesters (three before entry, but just two at time of app) was more indicative of the student I could be than the previous 115 or so credits I had sub 2.0. I had a built in excuse/reason why it would be different (10 years in industry in between), proof that I was a different student (4.0 since returning) and a specific plan on how I could continue that success at grad school. You apparently just told progams to trust that your record wasn't accurate, and that's a huge problem.
 

The difference between the rest of GC and the people on this thread is that they are trying to get into programs based on their academic records, we had to get in despite ours

Maryland was the only school that specifically mentioned it as a reason for why I was not admitted.  Perhaps it was a consideration with the adcoms of the other programs I applied to, but it never came up when I spoke with them about my applications, deficiencies, and so on.  

 

I went back and forth for near three months over whether or not to include that info in my SOP.  The advice I had received from various sources were conflicting:  some said to not discuss it, let my transcripts and CV do the talking, and if the adcoms want clarification they will ask; some said Heck yeah, you want that in there!; and yet others said to only mention it if I had a "good reason".  That last one was the source of my dilemma.  

 

While I am sure adcoms have heard every excuse and reason under the Sun, I felt that my reasoning would be taken as so bizarre that it might seem as though I were spinning a Forest Gump story.  I was afraid the path I took through undergrad, on paper, would appear as if I were aloof.  Or totally nuts.  I did some community college here and there after high school but I did not really start undergrad until the age of 24 (I was 23 at the beginning of the semester, 24 by the end).  At that age most of my friends and acquaintances had already finished undergrad and were transitioning to grad school-if they went. That included my GF at the time (I also later dated a girl from during the time she went through the process of applying and acceptances, and then another girl after she had already applied through to acceptances).  I took all of their advices, all of their "what I wished I had done differents", and so ons, and armed with that "knowledge", blazed my own path.    

 

I am leaving some stuff out for the sake of anonymity, but suffice to say I now have a fantastic CV at the expense of my GPA.  

 

So my reason:  I put heavy emphasis on gaining experiences, not grades.   I am aware of all the mistakes I have made, regardless of their intentions, and I know what I would do differently in grad school. My second dilemma is how to explain all of that without sounding like a nutter.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Finding this website/thread literally just stopped me from canceling my GRE appointment. I am applying for PsyD programs and take the GRE next week, needless to say I am extremely nervous and overwhelmingly doubtful.

 

I dont have a great GPA, when I went to my academic advisor we calculated my possible GPA when I graduate and I'll be at a 3.0, maybe a 3.1 if I'm lucky. I've never been good with standardized tests so I'm not sure how that's going to go.

 

On the other end of things I've worked within my field at a rehabilitation home for folks with traumatic brain injuries, I've also had an internship working with incarcerated individuals and those recently released [i am studying to become a prison psychologist], and I've also been apart of two research teams. I'm currently taking a class with incarcerated individuals through the inside/out prison program and working at a domestic violence shelter as a crisis line advocate.

 

I am hoping my work experience shines through, I'm also retaking some classes I received not so good grades in and hope they take that into consideration, on my way to 4.0 one of the classes! More importantly, I'm hoping they realize the progress I've made while being a full time student and full time employee.

Edited by Khy
Link to post
Share on other sites

Experience anyone and tips?

 

 

So I just graduated in May w/ 3.0 BA Intl. Affairs and I did get accepted into Masters program for Intl Studies however made the decision over the summer that I wanted to do more so now I'm on the MPH track with my sights set on Emory, John Hopkins, maybe BU, maybe Duke.(and considering applying to Geneva Graduate Institute because maybe it might be best to stick with what I know so thats my backup plan) Currently freaking out because I need to take my GRE again ( first time blew it 142 both verb and quan and 3.5 essay. I hate standardized testing). Anyways I'm getting ready to apply and would appreciate any tips.

 

I have zero public health experience, but my interest stems from a Global Health course I took in undergrad and a research project I did on sports and development in third world countries. I have a year of study abroad, semi fluent in foreign language; studied for 3 years in undergrad, on board of student organizations for 3 years, worked as a Resident Advisor, Summer internship as General Assistant at a non profit organization that deals with community health and development in New York City, and currently working as a customer specialist at a corporation.

 

Would appreciate any tips, advice and any encouraging stories of success of anyone in my shoes!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I had a GPA well below 3.0, and I was admitted to an interdisciplinary social sciences program.

 

I think what helped me was that I addressed the deficiencies in my grades, got high test scores (447 on the MAT), and I applied to a lower ranked school (in my case, a regional comprehensive university). I also took the time to get to know the professors that I was interested in working with--one of them ended up sitting on the admissions committee that accepted me.

 

So it is possible...you may not get into a top-10 ranked school but I definitely thought my academic career was over after my undergrad and I'm in a good grad program today--I even just got a funded RA position! I think the most important thing is to explain the reason for your GPA and through your statement of purpose, test scores and additional statements, reassure the admissions committee that you have taken steps to rectify whatever issues caused the low GPA.

 

As for applying for an Masters vs PhD, I'd definitely go for the Masters...usually admissions requirements for the Masters are a little more forgiving than PhD requirements. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I keep getting rejected from programs with my 2.9 gpa. Just received a call from a chemical engineering program that my transcript was obsolete. No one has been accepting me and they all remark that the 2.9 doesnt meet their requirement. It's been 4 years applying and no fortune. I'm seriously depressed again, this happens twice a year and dreams are crushed again. I can't move on with my career, can't move on with my academic pursuits, can't move on from home,  CAN'T MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.

 

This is so cruel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to come off as critical, but what have you done in the last four years to make yourself a better candidate? I think, almost universally, that those who reported success in this thread had bolstered their GPAs with presentations, publications, internships, work experience, research, or additional coursework. I think it would be worthwhile to ask yourself what you can do to supplement your lackluster GPA.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a classics major applying to grad school in classical archaeology. I have barely a 3.2 GPA due to crummy grades in gen eds and about a N average in my classical language classes. I'm worried about this! However, I may have more research experience than other applicants (2 independent studies, 3 paper presentations at undergrad conferences, and field work). I also was a leader in the classics and archaeology clubs. Two people who I want to supervise my thesis are interested in working with me but I still have to win over the rest of the department. Does anyone have a story similar to mine that ended in success/acceptance? Do I have a decent shot?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to come off as critical, but what have you done in the last four years to make yourself a better candidate? I think, almost universally, that those who reported success in this thread had bolstered their GPAs with presentations, publications, internships, work experience, research, or additional coursework. I think it would be worthwhile to ask yourself what you can do to supplement your lackluster GPA.

 

Good point! I went back to school and minored in geology with the math degree. As for work experience, nothing like that is available in NYC, except for extremely low paying jobs for data entry in a geology/engineering firm or jobs that require extensive experience. As for research, none of that, I've contacted Columbia professors if I could help out in their labs related to geophysics and never got a response from an email or phone call. There isn't one of the few CUNY professors that are close to my research interests, so that's that. Now i'm thinking I should enroll as a nonmatriculate student and take grad courses to get accepted, hopefully....

Edited by Hanyuye
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

This post was very helpful for me when I first came across. I was in pretty much of the same situation as many here: low uGPA. I had clearly below 3.0 overall GPA in undergrad (2.7), and even my major GPA was still low, which was hovering around 3.2. This was my first application cycle, and I expected that I would not get in anywhere due to my low GPA. But to my surprise, I have four acceptances so far, with one place being a "reach" school for me. So, now I thought it's my time to contribute here--I just want to highlight and emphasize from my experience that admissions decisions consist so much more than your GPA. While I still am not sure which school i will end up with, I am still glad that I will be starting a PhD program this fall for sure. I am hoping that my story will encourage someone out there who is discouraged due to his/her undergrad GPA. If you'd like to discuss more about your concerns with GPA and applications, feel free to send me a message, I will try my best to share my own experience of going through applications with my horrible GPA. But keep in mind that my field is political science and it might be different for your own field. Those who are disheartened because someone says, "Your application won't be looked at due to your sub 3.0 GPA," I say, "Tell them no, and never give up." Cheers.

Edited by visgiven
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I *might* belong in this thread.

 

Undergrad GPA (computer science):  3.4

Grad GPA (computer science):  3.2

Last 1-1/2 years in college (studying undergrad mathematics):  4.0

 

In my SOP I high-lit my last 1-1/2 years in college, but didn't make an attempt to explain my low grad GPA.

 

I was young (half a lifetime ago) and foolish.  I was focused on research, caring very little for my grades.  Like water off a duck's back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been the one divulging in these threads and think it's finally time for me to post!  

 

I graduated from a university that has a great reputation with a low GPA of 2.84.  My major GPA was a 3.2 (major: psychology).  I had a troubling family life and no financial help.  I chose to go to school out of state and extenuating family circumstances combined with financial stress got to me.  I worked 30+ hours each year in undergrad.  When I finally graduated, after retaking every class that the school allowed me to retake, I was a bit jaded.  I decided I would obtain a job in the psychology field to better define my interests.  I worked for 3 years in the psychology field in a clinical/research position.  I became increasingly interested in social psychology and decided my goal is to go to school for a PhD in the field.  However, I knew that there was a chance I would have to start with a Masters.  

 

I applied for Fall 2015 and put out 5 applications to MA Psychology programs and 5 PhD Social Psychology programs.  I had 3 strong LORs, 4+ years professional experience, decent GRE scores, and a strong personal statement.  

 

Frankly, I am THRILLED that I have been accepted to 1 school so far.  I knew that I had to augment my GPA but after applications went out I got so nervous that I felt foolish.  

 

DONT BE DISCOURAGED.  it's possible!

 

Accepted: 1/10

Denied: 3/10

Waitlisted: 0/10 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2.95 UG GPA, and no graduate experience yet. My GRE scores, from the one and only time I've taken it, are 166V, 160Q, and 4.0AW. My cGPA is so low because of several semesters about a decade ago trying to unsuccessfully balance parenthood, work, and studies. My major GPAs for the last couple years were 3.96 (psychology) and 3.92 (interdisciplinary studies). I just got into an experimental psych master's program, and I'm pretty happy about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread makes my grades look like cack

 

I have a 2.1/4 GPA from a University in Quebec (I failed my 1st year in a totally different field, switched faculties and moved to another school where I was average except my 2nd year where I got a grand total of 0.6 GPA)

 

After 5 years of graduating (working in my field in 4 of them), I'm nowhere near prepared to apply, every professor I wrote to refused to write a LoR so I have limited options

 

Any ideas?

 

I'm trying to apply to schools in Britain as deadlines for schools in Canada & the US have mostly passed (and that US schools are damn expensive for an international student), I'm also thinking of the Fulbright but I was told by someone that I need more experience to overlook my GPA

Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread makes my grades look like cack

 

I have a 2.1/4 GPA from a University in Quebec (I failed my 1st year in a totally different field, switched faculties and moved to another school where I was average except my 2nd year where I got a grand total of 0.6 GPA)

 

After 5 years of graduating (working in my field in 4 of them), I'm nowhere near prepared to apply, every professor I wrote to refused to write a LoR so I have limited options

 

Any ideas?

 

I'm trying to apply to schools in Britain as deadlines for schools in Canada & the US have mostly passed (and that US schools are damn expensive for an international student), I'm also thinking of the Fulbright but I was told by someone that I need more experience to overlook my GPA

That's a rough situation... When I was getting rejection letters the second go round one of the Prof's I worked with told me I should consider getting a Master's degree first. This may be the way for you.

 

Also not sure what field you're wanting to go into but if you can volunteer some of your time in a research lab and get your name on some publishable work you will be able to help your situation in two ways. First it will augment your academic experiences and demonstrate you are dedicated to the field. Second, if you work with some current academics for free and do GOOD work for them, you will get letters from them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Any ideas?

 

 

For profs, I only asked those from who I earned a decent grade in their course, which for me included one course outside of my major but aligns with graduate school in general well. 

 

I also got an LOR from a PI who was not really familiar with my GPA.  

Edited by Crucial BBQ
Link to post
Share on other sites

2.7 uGPA and middling GRE's. I got my BA years ago and worked in various fields. When I decided to go back to school I researched the programs I was interested in (Botany and Ecology) saw what courses they required and the spent the last two years in community college. Over that time I got much better grades, formed great relationships with my professors and worked in many internships. Because of all that I got very good LOR and just was accepted to UC Riverside with a full fellowship. You can overcome a low GPA, but you need to put in the work. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Now that I have an acceptance to a PhD program, I thought I'd share my story from start to finish so you all can have some hope :)

 

I started my undergraduate career in 2003 at a very good university majoring in computer science. While my first semester went well, by the end of the second I started having some real issues with social anxiety, depression, and personal relationships and my GPA dropped below a 3.0. Things only got worse my second year, and I flat out failed everything because I stopped going to class (and as a result was dismissed from the school). So I went to much smaller, less known school that decided to give me a shot and tried to get my associates in IT. I got a 4.0 during both semesters I was there, partially because I had some friends there to help me through my problems and partially because I handled my anxiety better. However, I decided to give computer science a try again, so I had to transfer to a different school, since this one didn't offer it. At school # 3, I ended up double majoring in computer science and computer forensics. I did very well my first semester, but my second semester was mediocre, because I was getting A's in some classes and F's in others (basically I flunked classes with attendance policies). I switched my major to English because I thought I might be more likely to suffer through my anxiety symptoms and go to class if I was taking courses I was more interested in. It didn't work, and I continued to fail classes that had attendance policies. During my fourth semester, I withdrew. I went back to college # 2 and enrolled in a B.S. program in IT this time, but I still couldn't make it work. I failed everything yet again and was suspended. So I did a semester online at school # 4, which was a terrible idea because I had zero motivation to do the work when it was 100% online. After that debacle, I went back to school # 3 and tried computer forensics again. The only thing I passed was an archaeology course I took as an elective (which I absolutely loved!) and I ended up changing my major to anthropology at the end of the semester. The next semester actually went great, but I decided I wasn't going to be able to make a career out of archaeology, at least not with all of the crap in my academic history, which my advisor at the time told me would prevent me from getting into graduate school. 

 

So I went back to school # 2 (by this time it was 2010) and decided to go into a completely new direction that I had zero coursework in - biology! Since I had been suspended the previous semester I was there, I had to do a student success program, which involved weekly meetings with someone in the student success center and I had to go to the library for a certain number of hours every week to study and have a librarian sign off on it. I was also required to get tutoring in at least one subject, but I managed to get out of that because I was getting A's on all of my tests. So the success program actually did help keep me on track, and my professors were actually quite supportive of me (which I didn't really have before). Plus I really enjoyed my science classes, which were basically all I was taking because most of my gen ed requirements had long been satisfied. By the time I finished, my GPA at school # 2 was 3.59 and my major GPA was about 3.89. GPA for school # 1 was 1.79, # 3 was 2.28, and # 4 was 0.00. Across the board, my GPA was 2.80.

 

I initially applied to PhD programs my senior year (and my overall GPA was about 2.65 at this point, and my GPA at school # 2 was 3.52) and was rejected from all of them. I don't even think they looked beyond my overall GPA. My GRE scores were also V160, Q155, AW4.5. I did, however, get accepted to 3 masters programs. Two were unfunded, and one was partially funded (and a very good school). I went with one of the unfunded options, because it was close to enough to home to commute, it was cheaper than the partially funded program, and the thesis project was awesome. The graduate coordinator told me that it was my LOR's that got me in, because they were very hesitant with my horrid undergraduate performance. I did well in my classes, worked on a few projects other than my thesis that led to conference presentations, did some pretty awesome work on my thesis, and submitted a manuscript to a journal.

 

By the time this application season rolled around, I had a lot of research experience under my belt, plus the conferences and submitted paper. I also won several awards along the way, including the outstanding graduate award for my major at my undergraduate school. My masters GPA was 3.72 at application time, and I picked out three really good writers for my LOR's (graduate PI, undergraduate advisor/PI, and an undergraduate professor that I did a lot of work with). I was rejected pretty fast by three really good programs and got waitlisted at two others. However, I finally got accepted at Oregon State University.

 

So you can do it if you put the work in. You might have to do a masters degree to get there (and do it unfunded), but if you can prove that you can be a successful graduate student (and get some professors to sing your praises in LOR's), you can get into a PhD program.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.