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The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

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I would say, focus on your portfolio and put passion and clear ideas in your SOP. If necessary, get a job for some time, and try to get in in places with reputation. Fight to get where you want to get! Don't settle for less and don't be afraid of effort and hard work, it pays off. Good luck everyone!!

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Never say never! I got accepted today into an MSW program at Aurora University in Illinois, with a 2.8 gpa. It is true that social work schools tend to put more weight on experience, but with a 2.8 I was obviously worried. Waiting to hear back from 3 schools, but happy that I got at least one acceptance!

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My boyfriend got into the only masters program he applied to with a cumulative GPA teetering right around a 3.0.

 

He applied for a master's program in Emergency Management.  He has tons of volunteer experience with organizations that help rebuild homes after natural disasters and the salvation army disaster service. He made a lot of great connections on campus during his undergraduate education with the EM department, and he has his undergrad degree in Meteorology which is a great complement to Emergency Management (which he also minored in as an undergrad).  

 

I'm not sure if he's fully funded or not, but they gave him a paid position working at the Center for Disaster Research and Education 20 hours a week on campus.  They also said how they wanted to make an additional GA position just for him!

 

One thing that helped him was his abundant volunteer experience.  Also, he applied to grad school where he also attended undergrad, so they knew the exact intensity and rigor of the program he went through (our school's program is really tough -- for example, the only other highly ranked meteorology program in the state has lower math requirements than our school.  They put our meteorology students in math classes that only math majors take and sometimes fail!), and they knew his intelligence, work ethic, and passion for Emergency Management were all top of the line.  [As for the GRE, he didn't need to take them since he went to the same school for undergrad.  This was the part I was most jealous of him for .... ]

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I was so worried about getting accepted. I had a 3.38 GPA and GRE scores of: verbal 153, quantitative 153, and analytical 4.5. My school involvement was limited to school recruitment and not much health related. The only health related course I had was over the past summer at Columbia. 

So far I have been accepted in my top programs, so I am happy. 

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I haven't heard back from any schools yet, but I have a uGPA of 2.7 and average (70th percentile) GRE scores with some research experience. Currently praying like crazy that I get accepted to the two master's programs I applied to. I've had some research experience (2 research courses with unpublished papers) and already have spoken to potential PI's about what research I wanted to do with each of them. I'm hoping that and my passion are enough to get me accepted. However, all I've gotten back is silence.

 

PLEASE ACCEPT ME. (Dreams do come true right?)

Much worry.

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So far, I've gotten into 2 grad schools with a 2.9 uGPA.  I had a fairly strong verbal score, a mediocre quant score, and a really strong writing score on the GRE.  I think what really helped me out is that I've spent that past year working for prestigious institutions in my field.  I think my recs were strong too.  Granted, I'm also going for a professional master's degree.  It took a lot of hard work but I've found the back door way in to grad school!

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Have a 2.84 now, will graduate with just under a 3 (about 2.95). I have research experience and good letters. I just took on a hard double major my freshman year and that screwed me over. I've been doing fine the past 2 years, so lets hope thats good enough for phd programs. We'll see in the coming weeks

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Got my fourth admit offer of the season today.  Also offered a very nice fellowship!  So yeah, even that can be done, sub 3.0 / F's and W'ers :).

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Admitted to a PhD program today. Didn't have to do a masters first, but did work for 2.5 years as a lab tech to get a paper under review. 

 

Never lose hope, and never ever ever give up.

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I'm gonna assume caffeinated = me. :P

 

2.9/4 GPA @ top5 UG

GRE v/q/a =162/156/4.0

GRE subj: (biochem) = 73% (with a 95% subscore in molec bio/genetics)

One LOR from leading scientist in cancer/developmental bio, others from experienced heart development/heart repair profs. Decent SOP. 

If I missed anything else you'd like to know, just holler and I'll post. 

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I just got accepted to my dream program (as much as one with a 2.9 undergrad from an extremely non-prestigious undergrad can dream)

Still in shock and so happy.

- 2.9 GPA
- 310 combined GRE
- Great LOR's - One academic, one professional, one government-service oriented
- MPA

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I feel like I must be doing something wrong...I see all of you getting acceptances here and there. 

 

My undergrad GPA was a 3.56 (psy major 3.7). I have 2 masters. One in counseling psych (3.96). One in forensic psych from John Jay (3.56).

GRES are medicore: 580/580 4.5A 

I wanted to take them over by was to broke to afford the fees. 

 

This is my third year applying to programs. Third round of almost universal rejections. (Still waiting on 3 schools). I don't know what else to do at this point.

I worked as a research assistant, participated in several labs for my research based master's. Wrote a master's thesis which I designed my own enormous survey for. 

 

I really don't know what else I'm supposed to do and I'm completely at my wit's end. 

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Well, despite what has been said in this thread, I'm sure some programs/fields still want high GPA candidates. It's too difficult to speculate about what makes or breaks an app, but consider that your SOP and letters of rec are important too. How do you feel about those?

I'm sorry that the app process hasn't panned out for you but you have to realize that rejection is statistically the most likely outcome for everyone.

Have you considered asking the programs for feedback? Also, have you been using the same app every year?

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I've been applying to different programs, revised my essay each year. The first round of apps was before I got the second master's so I can understand the rejections. So I've been revising everything I can to emphasize my research abilities and interests in my SOP. The only thing I could think is if I had to - do whatever I can to make the GREs higher and reach out to more faculty before I apply to programs. 

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wow this thread has been evacuated it seems. Well, I'll post anyway. Sooo I have a 2.98 from my undergrad (I usually just play it off and round up to 3 on job applications), but I'm hoping my GRE scores, 3 page long resume and meticulously put together heart gripping essay of all the reasons I am better than my GPA gets me in VCU's School of Ed program. Any responses on my chances?

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Two acceptances and two wait-lists to some of the top programs in my field.  My gpa was 2.783, GRE scores verbal: 161 Math: 150 Writing: 3.5, really good LORs, contacted faculty members early on for each program and introduced myself.  I was told by one POI that "I did everything right."  I had a really good writing sample that one DGP describing as showing that I was a "big thinker and analytical."  I attended a writing workshop.  I worked on my SOPs for months with many edits.  And I included an addendum to explain my low GPA and that made a case that highlighted my improvement.  My two acceptances were fully funded through a TAship and grant.    Also my LOR writers highlighted my improvement in their recommendations. 

Edited by jhsting32

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2.67/4 here from Pakistan's best Engineering university (ranked in top 500 world universities by QS Rankings). So far have been admitted into Syracuse for MS Aero. I believe I got in because my final year project (and a conference paper based on it) align perfectly with the research interests of one of the faculty members. 

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I have been accepted to a PhD program with full funding just today. My undergraduate GPA, of the first and only bachelor, is 2.30/4.00. This thread helped me hugely while I am searching for my PhD degree, therefore please allow my contribution to the thread with my long long searching story.

 

I completed my first bachelor degree in 2008, the same year Lehman brothers gone bankrupt, exit with 3rd Honor at 2.3/4.0 GPA. I joined the work force in business field, earning a grand each month and suffering with nadir self-esteem. In the middle of 2009, swine flu pandemic hit Hong Kong. Research assistant positions in local University gusted out cause of funding rushing in. I grabbed the chance and, just by absolute luck, joined the WHO reference lab for virology in a global-scale-top-tire University located in Hong Kong, directly under the supervision of a Global known epidemiologist. I served the team for five years, attained my Master's degree in 2012, published 5 publications with 3 first authorship, and another 4 in preparation. In the mean time, I established a strong professional network, joined lab meetings and various courses and workshop, learnt a great deal of scientific knowledge of my research project and methodology, and trained up my English in the multi-national working environment. While I was not given good chances to work on research even though they are more than able to provide, literally my boss wants me to routinely work on his assigned work without any deviations for my whole life, I struggled to get publications myself and learn all I could by myself. 

 

After I graduate from my Master's degree in 2012, I started my searching of PhD position by then. I research Professor of Interest (POI) by checking University website, read their papers and profile and tailor made emails to inquire possible vacancy in their lab. My search didn't restricted to US, but also Canada, UK, Europe, middle east, but not in Asia except Singapore. Concerning my honors, I put my focus in Europe and individual positions, where they don't care about that much, except UK. I got response from them in a rate of roughly 1 in 30, and somehow positive feedback at a rate of around 1 in 200. At the same time, I checked out, daily, various scientific job websites such as naturejob.com, the job vacancy webpages of various research institutions around the world, subscribed job notifications, surf grad cafe and other postgraduate orientated forum. I tailor CV and PS/SoP/LoM for every position. I keep doing this for 2 years. The first positive response for interview was from Germany, a renowned historical University with research focus on virology. And then I received another phone interview followed by face to face interview, asking me to fly to Germany on my own expense, from Germany, near Berlin. I got another interview from Oxford, where the POI is one of the collaborators of my current boss and this is the only reason for his entertainment. I didn't apply to any US school in 2013 Fall. and this is the end for that round.

 

After I virtually get nothing in the last round, my boss asked me to stay and offered me MPhil in his lab. I figured out that is actually not a great idea to spend (waste) two more years for a degree, which focused on a field that I never ever studied, worked or intended to switch to, which is not necessary for my career, I turned down my supervisor and started looking for career advancement else where, since I have proved to myself this is not a place (and supervisor) which worthy to waste even more time. I prepared to apply to US schools, keep looking for individual positions and stopped spamming POI's mail box, which is actually not really totally useful in my POV. I took GRE for 3 times, TOEFL for once, tailored PS with focus on my research background, write separate paragraph to explain, professionally, why I picked the faculty member as my future supervisor, why I picked this University, and never mentioned personal particulates. Please check out my result for 2014 Fall from my signature.

 

To conclude, accumulate real world research experience, publications, improve English writing and speaking in academic manner, keep searching and asking would help. References do count, but not in every case. A strong, well written and positive reference letter weight out the reputation of the Professor, but definitely not vice versa, where it is the best if you can shake out whether he or she would like to write you a very nice one. If he or she is reluctant to let you know whether they are going to give you what, forget about it and move on even if they are the faculty dean of Ivy league. Finally, keep your faith, maintain a preferred attitude and never ever give up if you are determined to get your PhD.

 

Undoubtedly it is a long battle especially for low stat applicants. It is very easy to conclude this long journey by 3 paragraphs or less. However, the personal quality and things that I have improved in the process can never be taken away and I cherish this experience. I would never be the same if I haven't gone through all these. Last but not least, get used to arsehole and I can assure you they are everywhere in any field and any place. Once you confirm you are under such, let go and move on. They are less than benign to remember you right after your departure and once you gained a position which can benefit them, who knows who will approach you with words like "It is because of me." 

 

Best of luck.

Edited by meaningless

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I had around 3.0 as undergrad from a top 5 university. Was on academic probation for a semester too due to depression, I think at my lowest my GPA was a 2.5. I took a gap year after graduation to continue working on a research project with my PI and prepare for GRE. Ended up with 325 GRE and 5.5 AW. Got in PhD program first round of applications, didnt do masters program. 

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The bottom line here and what the common trend is when you read through the thread is this:

 

Your GPA may suck, but your GRE's rock!!! 

You may have been out of school a while, but your GRE's rock!

 

My GPA a 3.35 undergrad and 3.29 masters coursework coupled with my 69 percentile GRE's have gotten me rejected 30 times. thats across 3 application periods.

Im in a masters program and finishing up my thesis.

 

- No publications despite my 3 straight years of undergrad research.

 

Side note to those who hope to publish - If the data is not your "intellectual property" but rather someone elses (ie P.I.) then you cannot publish without their consent or without putting them on the article also even if you write the whole thing and even if they were your hypotheses and not theirs.

 

I have publication worthy materials of scientific journal formatted write ups of my own hypotheses but CANNOT publish it due to a disinterest in putting forth the effort by the PI who the data belongs to. Your data is your intellectual property and therefore you can publish what you write up from your masters degree. 

 

 

For MASTERS STUDENTS or those to be: Always do YOUR OWN PROJECT, unless your faculty promises to share in their publication wth you. Your data=YOUR publication

 

NOW I have to wait at least 2 years before I can start a PhD.

(1) I have to publish before I apply to compensate for scores and GPA

(2) I cant apply til at earliest 2015 so that i have time to publish which means i cant start a phd til 2016. 

 

If you have an undergrad AND grad GPA from a masters IT IS FROWNED UPON if your undergrad GPA is lower than your graduate GPA

You are going into YOUR specialize field and are expected to be soooo interested in the subject that you are suppose to have a higher GPA in grad school than you got as an undergrad.

 

30 REJECTS  Those GRE's wil MAKE or BREAK you.  so i have to become a certifiable master of the GRE's as well before I'l ever get into a PhD $60,000.00 later in debt of my masters.

Edited by InnovativeL

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Dont forget publication may be great but presenting at conferences are also EXTREMELY important. It also show cases your verbal skills, atleast conveying them on paper as you add them to your CV.

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My UGPA was a 2.7 and master's GPA was a 3.67 (from the same institution, a public, known but lower ranked university)

 

My GRE scores sucked.... 294 combined.

 

BUT I had strong letters, went overseas to be a research assistant, and had a few conference presentations under my belt.

 

(If your field allows it, getting a university affiliation with an overseas institution can do wonders).

 

I ended up getting admitted to all the schools I applied to and was awarded an external 5 year fully funded fellowship.

 

I definitely cried when I got the call. Didn't think it was gonna happen.

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