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Do I have a chance?


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I am going to be applying for graduate school (M.S.) for Fall 2016 in Computer Science this year. So I want to see if anyone has any insights or comments or advise for my profile since it's not the best...

I started college at school A and went there for 2 years before transferring out to school B. School A is a medium sized not so famous urban university (something like SFSU) and school B is a huge flagship state school (something like ASU). I performed very poorly at school A due to several reasons which I plan to explain in my SOP and ended up with a ~2.6 GPA. However, >80% of the courses at school A were general ed. liberal art courses. I will be graduating from school B with about a ~3.2 GPA.

Now since most competitive graduate schools set minimum (sometimes recommended) requirements at 3.0. Do I have a chance? If both my GPA's are averaged, they would average to about ~2.9.

Some pluses in my profile (I think):
2 student assistant positions of technical nature (technical assistant & Enterprise Infrastructure assistant)
1 summer internship in software engineering at JP Morgan.

Also, in regards to the GRE, I'm taking it in the summer this year so I still have a fairly good amount of time to get better. My mocks right now are giving me 310-315. By the summer I'm confident of a score between 315-325.

Some things I have heard from people:
1. People have gotten in with GPA's < 3.0, either because of work experience or their Technical GPA was high.
2. Grad admissions mostly care about your grades in major related courses...
3. You can ace the GRE, write a strong SOP and get good LOR's and it just might work..

BTW, the schools I plan on applying to are:
UC - Davis
UC - Santa Barbara
UC - Santa Cruz
Virginia Tech
UC - San Diego
Ohio State
University at Buffalo SUNY

What do you guys think? anyone in or was in a similar situation? any comments, insights,.. anything will be appreciated!

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I think you have a great chance! Just by skimming your profile, it looks like everything is solid, except the grades as you mentioned. I like your work experience and your potentially high GRE score. As long as you show how you've grown from your hardship in your SOP (I hear adcoms eat that stuff up), and make sure you have strong LORs from professors who can vouch for you, you should be a strong candidate for almost all the schools you listed.

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I would stay away from mentioning your poor gpa on your SOP. Keep it positive. They would much rather hear about why you want to go to grad school and what you plan on doing afterwards.


You might already know this but focus more on your Quant score on the GRE. Most schools could care less about the verbal as long as it isn't horrible.


It depends on the school whether or not they have a hard cut off at 3.0. I would apply anyways. Good luck.

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