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Advice/Insight -> The age old: Low GPA Interested in PhD


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oGPA: 2.64

Last 60 units: 2.78

Last 4 terms: 3.1

CS Classes GPA: 3.1

Research Experience:

None. I do read publications for fun.

I graduated with a BS in Computer Science in the spring of 2012 and have been working in Industry.

Circumstances for low GPA (They may be considered "okay" reasons, but i honestly feel as though they wouldn't be enough for reconsideration of GPA):

  • Collegiate Sports
  • Youthful Ignorance (Including the carefree attitude, thinking i could be a scientist/research with just a bachelors, rarely doing homework in the first few years of college but doing well on exams because i enjoy theory and the topics).
  • 1st generation American


My Plans:

Hopeful: Be admitted to do research in PhD Program with funding.

If necessary: I'm willing to fund my way through an MS program to start fresh and have a good GPA to show. Also to build a resume of research, which i lack.


Do you have an insight on my potential for any level of PhD program? Ranking does not matter, but funding and a good adviser is much desired. 

Do you have advice/insight regarding "My Plans"?

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  • 7 months later...

Your reasons are likely insufficient if you want to go into a PhD program straight out of undergrad.

Why exactly do you want to get into a PhD program, much less a funded one? You can do research in industry and teach at community colleges with a strong MS, but you will need a PhD if you want to become a professor. Keep that in mind.

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  • 1 month later...

If you read papers as a hobby, and you have the skills to implement the concepts in there, you may have a good shot. I only started my graduate degree last semester, but it is extremely rare for a student to read papers for fun in my experience. Top companies employ people who can read actually papers and make use of them.

As for your profile, it is weak but I think relevant experience and work can compensate for that. If ranking is not important, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Good Advisor is not subjective, it's mostly the chemistry that differentiates between good and horrible. On that front, it is your job to thoroughly search for the right person (choosing the professor instead of the higher ranked school is always wiser).

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