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low undergrad GPA and medicore grad GPA - is a PhD with funding even possible?


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I did my undergraduate and graduate studies at a southern public HBCU. My undergraduate GPA was 2.72 and I knew that my options were limited for graduate school so I remained at my alma mater to enroll in a one year professional master's program.

Checked my spring grades and I was upset but anticipated it. My cumulative GPA is a 3.5 and after I complete my internship practicum in the summer (theses are not supportive), it will be a 3.6.

Both my degrees are in Political Science and I plan on applying to two social science doctoral programs at Howard University and University of Maryland - College Park.

My goal for this program was to have no lower than a 3.7-3.8 to counteract my pathetic undergraduate experience but now, I feel that I will be seen as the applicant who did a "BIT" better than they did as a 3.5 for a master's is equivalent to a 3.0 for a bachelor's.

In all reality, am I truly competitive enough to apply to this two schools with this academic background? I am currently working on conference presentations to build my resume, by the end of the year, I should have completed 3 (if all my proposals are accepted, I have done one so far). I'm counting on strong recommendation letters, my presentations, and my statement of purpose to make it through. I am just starting to think that academia might not just be for me.

I was already planning on taking a hiatus for 2012-2013 and apply for admissions for Fall 2013 but a part of me wants to push it till Fall 2014 to pursue some research at an institution abroad in order to distinguish themselves from other applicants.

I am new to this entire process and would appreciate some honest feedback to my situation.

Edited by sateria143
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