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Good morning.

I'm currently four semesters (plus one summer) away from graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications and am looking at attending graduate school to study Middle Eastern Studies. I'm currently at a 2.7 GPA with about 70 credit hours to go and I have not written the GRE as of right now.

I'm planning on specializing in the Middle East in a journalism career and am wanting to use the M.A. to bolster those credentials. However, I don't want to shut the door entirely on future Ph.D studies. The Middle East is a passion of mine and there's the off chance that the academic field will draw me away from the career in journalism.

Here's my dilemma. The school I was able to get into to finish off my Bachelors degree does not have any coursework related to the Middle East. This was forced due to the 1.5 rule on federal aid coming into play with other schools as well as a low GPA. No matter what happens, I am not going to have the ideal GPA since I'll be getting around a 3.3 in the best case scenario. Considering I'll have a low GPA by graduate school standards, what are my options for getting into a competitive status with the mid to upper level schools in this field?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Can you incorporate the Middle East into assignments for your other classes? You'll probably have some open-ended writing assignments in communications, and maybe in electives as well. If you consistently choose to write about Middle East topics when possible, you'll have a portfolio of related work by the time you apply, even without any related classes. And of course, get the highest grades possible in the next two years -- your last two years are what matters most with your GPA.

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Should be able to do that. I'm planning on taking two International Politics classes for my minor which will open the doorway for that. In addition, there's an independent studiesclass I can use as an elective for my major that may allow me to focus on Middle East Mass Media. Opportunities are slim for this first semester, but hopefully the doorway will open up some more in later semesters.

I'm also seriously considering transferring to UGA as a transisent student next summer to participate in a three month study abroad trip to Morocco. Two of those months will be spent completing Intermediate Arabic I and II, so I'm hoping that will help out a little bit.

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