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Low undergrad GPA Decent or Average Graduate GPA, PhD in Business?


ccarmona

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Ok, so I have three degrees. First is an AA in Business, GPA was 2.9. Second, is a BBA in Business and upper division GPA was 2.2. Lastly, my MBA in Business is 3.3. I know its a weird mix and I wont attempt to externalize the circumstances here, I just want to know how a decent (not online for profit schools) will look at this? I am preparing for the GRE and I know I can score average if not slightly above average. Any chance of actually getting into a decent national research institution as a PhD student in Business? I know some programs just take into account last 60 credits of school work; and possible omit undergrad GPA.

If not a PhD in Business I have to lower my standard. An EdD in Leadership or a PhD in Education as examples. I need to be a doctor in something. Its the GPA stuff I am worried about; everything else is pretty strong.

Thanks in advance!

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Ok, so I have three degrees. First is an AA in Business, GPA was 2.9. Second, is a BBA in Business and upper division GPA was 2.2. Lastly, my MBA in Business is 3.3. I know its a weird mix and I wont attempt to externalize the circumstances here, I just want to know how a decent (not online for profit schools) will look at this? I am preparing for the GRE and I know I can score average if not slightly above average. Any chance of actually getting into a decent national research institution as a PhD student in Business? I know some programs just take into account last 60 credits of school work; and possible omit undergrad GPA.

If not a PhD in Business I have to lower my standard. An EdD in Leadership or a PhD in Education as examples. I need to be a doctor in something. Its the GPA stuff I am worried about; everything else is pretty strong.

Thanks in advance!

You should be able to get in a non-ranked PhD school, or an online university.

Your GPA might be too low to get into a decent school right now, but you can take some post-graduate classes in leadership, education, or related field to boost up your GPA :). Just need to make sure you have a killer personal statement, very strong letter of recommendations, and a solid GRE score then you should be good.

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What exactly are your goals? What do you think a PhD in Business will bring you? I don't mean to sound rude, but you don't seem to have much focus, and that might reflect more poorly than your low GPAs. A PhD in Business is very different from an EdD in Leadership, or a PhD in Education (and why would you think you'd be qualified for the latter?)

What has your work experience been like? A desirable candidate doesn't apply because he/she "needs to be a doctor in something."

Edited by OTgirl
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@ SPDFG12579

Thank's for the reply. I have looked into some online programs but I am steering away from for profit models. The non profit models are a better fit for me. No offense to anyone. As far as a non ranked PhD program what exactly do you mean? I know accreditation is a big deal; especially if you are choosing to stay in academia as a career. But I wasn't aware that PhD programs are ranked? I mean I know the U.S. News ranks universities and breaks down several factors, such as: admissions selectivity, faculty ratio, best business programs, ect.

Maybe you can elaborate more? Like I said, the other compensating factors are not a problem. Those items are not my main concern.

I don't really know the difference between profit models vs non-profit models. There are plenty of PhD programs are accredited but not ranked, because schools does not disclose enough of information to be ranked. A school's ranking is only important if you plan on teaching at a top-tier university, otherwise it doesn't really matter :).

I don't look at U.S. News' ranking because their ranking is based on "survey", and not real data. http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/Resdoc/PGA_044475 is the website I use to check the schools' ranking in my field. They look at the average citations per publication, awards per allocated faculty member, percent with academic plans, and the percent of first year student with full financial support.

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I don't really know the difference between profit models vs non-profit models. There are plenty of PhD programs are accredited but not ranked, because schools does not disclose enough of information to be ranked. A school's ranking is only important if you plan on teaching at a top-tier university, otherwise it doesn't really matter :).

I don't look at U.S. News' ranking because their ranking is based on "survey", and not real data. http://sites.nationa...sdoc/PGA_044475 is the website I use to check the schools' ranking in my field. They look at the average citations per publication, awards per allocated faculty member, percent with academic plans, and the percent of first year student with full financial support.

Thanks for the info I didn't know this ranking even existed! I can see your point about the US News ranking. Maybe they are more of a publicity stunt or "marketing" than they are about actual real information. They do provide some good information about costs, student body, and admission selectivity. Although if its based on "surveyed" information I am not sure how relavant it is. Before I got into my MBA program I was already researching where I would apply for a doctoral. For the most part it was information from US News and Gradschools.com that I found were most useful. Looks like I have to take sometime with this spreadsheet I just downloaded from nationalacademics.org; its pretty long!

Thanks again

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Just to let you know, "just getting a PhD" probably won't be enough to set you up for teaching or research. Positions in these areas are quite competitive.

And an EdD won't do that nearly at all, unless you're at one of the top programs. Most EdD programs are designed for professional educators/higher education administration.

As to the GPA: All of those are pretty bad for graduate admissions, and depending on where you're looking to go, might get your application tossed without further review if there are GPA cutoffs. Taking the usual weightings into account, your 3.3 in an MBA program is better than your 2.2 undergrad GPA, but not by as much as you might think. And a lot of schools have GPA cutoffs around the 3.0 range.

That's not to say you have no shot, but you need to really have everything else in order if you're going to make it in- great past research experience, letters of recommendation, etc.

As to USNWR vs other ranking systems: While US News uses a survey model, their methodology is quite decent, since they're surveying people in the field and hiring graduates from the field about their relative ranking of universities. While this isn't the most objective model, it's quite useful when you're trying to determine the reuputation of the university and the program you're attending. While it's not the whole picture, reputation of the program is quite important when it comes to getting a job coming out of the program, so it's something you should definitely keep in mind.

And even though you didn't want any advice on anything outside of your GPA question, I'll mention that you should also remember that the most important facet of a PhD is the fit of your research interests (and by extension, past experience) with an advisor at the institution you're interested in. Hence, one of the best ways to find schools to apply to is to keep up with the current puplications in the field, and find out who is writing papers that interest you.

I'll also note that just comparing stats vs. admission criteria rarely gives very good estimates on chances of admission. It's not how you stack up against the requirements, which are often set quite low, but rather how you stack up against the other applicants in a given year- and right now, admissions to most programs are the most competitive they've been in a long time.

Edited by Eigen
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Just to let you know, "just getting a PhD" probably won't be enough to set you up for teaching or research. Positions in these areas are quite competitive.

And an EdD won't do that nearly at all, unless you're at one of the top programs. Most EdD programs are designed for professional educators/higher education administration.

As to the GPA: All of those are pretty bad for graduate admissions, and depending on where you're looking to go, might get your application tossed without further review if there are GPA cutoffs. Taking the usual weightings into account, your 3.3 in an MBA program is better than your 2.2 undergrad GPA, but not by as much as you might think. And a lot of schools have GPA cutoffs around the 3.0 range.

That's not to say you have no shot, but you need to really have everything else in order if you're going to make it in- great past research experience, letters of recommendation, etc.

As to USNWR vs other ranking systems: While US News uses a survey model, their methodology is quite decent, since they're surveying people in the field and hiring graduates from the field about their relative ranking of universities. While this isn't the most objective model, it's quite useful when you're trying to determine the reuputation of the university and the program you're attending. While it's not the whole picture, reputation of the program is quite important when it comes to getting a job coming out of the program, so it's something you should definitely keep in mind.

And even though you didn't want any advice on anything outside of your GPA question, I'll mention that you should also remember that the most important facet of a PhD is the fit of your research interests (and by extension, past experience) with an advisor at the institution you're interested in. Hence, one of the best ways to find schools to apply to is to keep up with the current puplications in the field, and find out who is writing papers that interest you.

I'll also note that just comparing stats vs. admission criteria rarely gives very good estimates on chances of admission. It's not how you stack up against the requirements, which are often set quite low, but rather how you stack up against the other applicants in a given year- and right now, admissions to most programs are the most competitive they've been in a long time.

Hi,

Thanks for the heads up! I am coming to terms with what plenty of people are telling me, more specifically about getting set up to research and teach at a University. Realizing that just getting the PhD is not enough (going off of competitiveness and how schools select their candidate) its almost certain your competing with students who themselves want to teach at a U.

Also what makes sense is your take about an EdD to research and teach; going off school admission pages, that is not what this degree is designed to do. Certainly true, many schools still hire EdD for this function, again, depending on ones resume, credentials, where they want to teach, etc. I think it would be cool to entertain this idea further down the road, like years from now after I build my credentials. I will start teaching lower level transfer business courses in the summer (2012) to build on this side of my resume. For my age and resources it will take years to make up the Undergrad GPA requirements and be a stronger candidate; which I am not opposed to I just prefer to not have any gaps in schooling and employment. In other words quoting from SPDFG13579, "Your GPA might be too low to get into a decent school right now, but you can take some post-graduate classes in leadership, education, or related field to boost up your GPA :).". I think it will take approximately 1-2 years to accomplish this task. I am already enrolled in a Post Graduate certification course in Education, but I am not sure how much weight it will carry in terms of my overall GPA.

You said, "Taking the usual weightings into account, your 3.3 in an MBA program is better than your 2.2 undergrad GPA, but not by as much as you might think. And a lot of schools have GPA cutoffs around the 3.0 range". How do "most" schools calculate the GPA? Is it the last 60 units or do they also factor in undergraduate GPA? I mean when your at the doctoral level.

Edited by ccarmona
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You said, "Taking the usual weightings into account, your 3.3 in an MBA program is better than your 2.2 undergrad GPA, but not by as much as you might think. And a lot of schools have GPA cutoffs around the 3.0 range". How do "most" schools calculate the GPA? Is it the last 60 units or do they also factor in undergraduate GPA? I mean when your at the doctoral level.

When I submitted my application for PhD programs, I only gave them my master degree GPA and not the undergrad one. It's really pointless to give undergrad GPA if you already have a master.

I have never received any emails from the schools I applied (7 schools) asking for my undergrad GPA :) , although I had to submit "all" transcripts to 2 schools, which I thought it was kinda funny because I took a class at a local community college back in 2005 and it was "introduction to sociology", and I can't believe they wanted a transcript for that one :blink: ? Like, how is that suppose to help me get into PhD in Chemistry?

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Usually, they want GPAs for all schools you've attended.

And you can find at least one story here from last year of someone with a sub-3.0 undergrad GPA and a 4.0 in her masters that got rejected from the graduate school (after the program accepted her) for not meeting minimum GPA cuttoffs.

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That's terrible!

I came across another post where he feels all they really looked at was his G-GPA or the last 60 hours. Not sure what program or what school but when he applied (accepted) he didn't put in his U-GPA all he put was his G-GPA. But do I really want to take this strategy? If the overall opinion is they will weigh the U+G GPA it is what it is. I know on some program pages I am considering applying to they say "last 60 hours".

Going into my U-junior year I had a "B" average. All was fine and dandy as I was actually looking forward to my second semester junior year (and senior year classes). Then I found out I was having a child. Everything flipped upside down for me. My G-Admission team was extremely understanding of the entire situation and looked at my file as a whole. But I am not sure that is the way it is at the doctoral level? Everyone here seems incredibly focused and it seems very very competitive.

Edited by ccarmona
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That's terrible!

I came across another post where he feels all they really looked at was his G-GPA or the last 60 hours. Not sure what program or what school but when he applied (accepted) he didn't put in his U-GPA all he put was his G-GPA. But do I really want to take this strategy? If the overall opinion is they will weigh the U+G GPA it is what it is. I know on some program pages I am considering applying to they say "last 60 hours".

Going into my U-junior year I had a "B" average. All was fine and dandy as I was actually looking forward to my second semester junior year (and senior year classes). Then I found out I was having a child. Everything flipped upside down for me. My G-Admission team was extremely understanding of the entire situation and looked at my file as a whole. But I am not sure that is the way it is at the doctoral level? Everyone here seems incredibly focused and it seems very very competitive.

Yes, it has gotten a lot more competitive than ever. The cutoff GPA for most of grad programs is 3.00. My combined and subject U-GPAs from my BS and BA degrees were pretty similar to my current G-GPA (only 0.1 off) so I only gave them my G-GPA (~3.5).

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