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Are my chances of grad school nil due to taking reduced course loads?


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I have been taking reduced course loads over the past 4 years and I intend to stay two more semesters. When I say reduced course loads, they were like in the range of 2 classes for the first two years and my junior and 4th year they were 3 courses. I have had a history of taking some classes P/NP because I was afraid that they would ruin my GPA. I will graduate in 5 years and it is my hope that I can take heavy courseloads in my final 5th year since family issues have improved a whole lot (went through hell past 4 years). Right now my gpa is upwards of 3.9 because of my actions. If I take heavy courseloads in my fifth and final year, and get great grades ( I am double majoring) will I stil have a bad chance at grad school? Ive heard grad schools might look down on you taking very light loads.

My Hopeful Profile (Estimated at end of 5 years):

-More than enough units for graduation.

-3.9+ GPA

- double major in mathematics related majors

- 20 units + for final two years

- 800 GRE (I took this last year)

I really dont know how bad my past 4 years of p/np actions + very reduced course loads + all that would factor into grad admission. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm just afriad that even with taking 20+ units my final 2 semesters might still make grad schools brand me as someone who cant handle courses or who isn't up to par.

Edited by mathundergrad
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I have been taking reduced course loads over the past 4 years and I intend to stay two more semesters. When I say reduced course loads, they were like in the range of 2 classes for the first two years and my junior and 4th year they were 3 courses. I have had a history of taking some classes P/NP because I was afraid that they would ruin my GPA. I will graduate in 5 years and it is my hope that I can take heavy courseloads in my final 5th year since family issues have improved a whole lot (went through hell past 4 years). Right now my gpa is upwards of 3.9 because of my actions. If I take heavy courseloads in my fifth and final year, and get great grades ( I am double majoring) will I stil have a bad chance at grad school? Ive heard grad schools might look down on you taking very light loads.

My Hopeful Profile (Estimated at end of 5 years):

-More than enough units for graduation.

-3.9+ GPA

- double major in mathematics related majors

- 20 units + for final two years

- 800 GRE (I took this last year)

I really dont know how bad my past 4 years of p/np actions + very reduced course loads + all that would factor into grad admission. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm just afriad that even with taking 20+ units my final 2 semesters might still make grad schools brand me as someone who cant handle courses or who isn't up to par.

It has gotten a lot more competitive and difficult to get into a grad school now. Even for a non-ranked, low-tiered school, you will need a minimum of 1000 on your GRE.

The admission process for grad school is completely different from undergrad's. They usually careless about your GPA or GRE, and tend to focus on your research experiences, number of publications, internships, etc.

To my knowledge, admission committee will turn down applicants with 4.0 GPA and above average GRE if he/she does not have any research experience.

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I do not think a reduced course load will be noticed much by admissions committees as they just tend to look at the final GPA. I have to differ from the above post and say the GPAs do matter in the sense that most programs have a cutoffs (usually -A to +b, but I do agree that research potential is very important. If I were you I would try to get a research position from one of your professors to bolster my application.

Edited by RosamundReage
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