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Low uGPA, high Master's GPA/academic related question.

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As evidenced here on Grad Cafe, those with sub 3.0 uGPAs are often times admitted into Master's programs while being denied straight access into Ph.D. programs from undergrad, the Redemption Degree as GC forum member Lifesaver called it.  


While there are many reasons for a sub 3.0 uGPA, and many of those reasons stemming from insinuating circumstances that may not be directly related to one's own academic ability, I find it fascinating that so many in the sub 3.0 club are now reporting gGPAs in the high 3.Xs.  Just as there are many reasons to have earned a sub 3.0 uGPA I am sure there are also many reasons for how each rectified their issue to earn their now high gGPA.  That is, however, not the concern of this OP  :P


My question is what do you all think of graduate level courses in terms of academics and how they relate to the undergraduate courses you took in terms of academics?  I have not taken a single graduate level course but I have sat in on a few, have dated a few girls while they were in graduate school, and know a few others who either went through graduate school or are currently in graduate school (both MA/MS and Ph.D.).  Based on my own limited exposer it seems to me that graduate level courses may not be tougher academically, but perhaps only more rigorously scholarly. 


Recently I came across a blog that discussed the differences between graduate-level coursework in the U.S. and that of graduate-level coursework taught abroad from a foreign students perspective.  One of the participants in the blog made the comment that in his Mathematics Ph.D. program getting the answer correct was not what is being tested, your approach to the problem is.  He went on to write that even if you got the answer correct, if your approach was ambiguous it was still wrong.  I have also read accounts of how mathematicians can spend weeks or months contemplating a problem and working through how to set it up instead of working on how to quickly crank out an answer.  If both of these are correct than grad school is right up my alley!


So what do you think?  Graduate level courses tougher?  Easier?  Just different?  


*an aside.  One of the courses I sat in on was for graduate-level biostats.  The prof spent the lecture laughing at his own corny jokes that apparently only he understood, regaling the class with corny "life stories", marveling over his own cleverness in general, and then 10 minutes with a few Power Point slides discussing epidemiology.  

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My grad courses have been more along the lines of different than anything else. There has been the element of being graded with higher expectations, and there are certainly more essay questions on exams, more papers, longer papers, more presentations, etc. However, for most of the courses, there has been more of a seminar atmosphere, with a lot of reading and discussing, as opposed to the traditional lecture. It's not about regurgitating information, it's about sharing ideas, thinking critically, finding out about the latest research in the field, things like that.

Ultimately, grad courses haven't been extremely different from senior-level undergrad courses, but there has definitely been a shift away from "let's learn what's in the textbook and see a few real-world examples" to an open dialogue about what's been done and what new exciting stuff is just coming out.

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