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Low GPA in non-philosophy classes


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Do philosophy grad schools care about a low overall GPA if you have high grades in your philosophy classes? I was trying to do math/cs for my first year and a half at college, and I found that 

a. I didn't like math or CS as much as I did the humanities, especially philosophy.

b. I wasn't as good at Math/CS as I was at the humanities, especially philosophy.

Unfortunately, both a and b are reflected in my grades in my math and CS classes. I have high grades in my philosophy classes, but my overall GPA isn't really as high as I would want it to be. Will this be a problem for admissions to graduate school? If so, is there anything I can do to ameliorate it come application time?

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Of course it matters to some extent, but probably not that much. Most applications ask for your philosophy gpa in addition to your overall gpa, and some schools also ask for your upper division gpa. So admission committees definitely weigh your philosophy and later classes more then the rest.

In the end, you can't change the past. Just focus on making the rest of your application great.

It also depends on what you mean by "low". An overall GPA below 3.0 is I think a serious red flag--if your overall GPA is that low I think it will seriously hurt your admission chances unless you ace the GRE or have exceptional letters to make up for it.

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If you think it's low enough to raise some eyebrows, you should address and explain it as well as you can in your personal statement. Make sure you don't sound like you're making excuses - you don't want to come off as dismissing responsibility for the grades, so much as justifying them to the best of your abilities. It's far from the worst thing, since your philosophy GPA is fine, but if your CGPA will draw attention, it's best you acknowledge and maximally explain that. Otherwise it looks all the more glaring.

As a side note, I think it helps that these other classes are math and CS: from all my discussions with professors, the analytically strong background this implies is positive, even if your performance in the classes themselves is not stellar. Someone who has any demonstrable experience in formal proofs, even if it amounts to a C+, in one respect is advantaged over someone who has no experience with theoretical mathematics at all (at least for admission in fields where such a skill is valued, which is often the case in philosophy).

Edited by gughok
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By "low" I mean about a 3.5. I generally got grades in the B/B+ range in math and CS, while I got grades in the A/A- range in my philosophy courses. So it averages out to a GPA of about 3.5 (which will probably improve now that I've decided to focus on the humanities). I realize that that's not a "low GPA" by most standards, but PHD programs in the humanities have quite high standards, and I go to a school that, while it is well-known to graduate schools, has a reputation for grade inflation. Would explaining those grades in my personal statement still be a good plan, or would it just come off as neurotic?

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I personally wouldn't try to "explain away" my low GPA unless I had a legitimate reason for doing poorly, e.g. health reasons, serious personal issues, etc. Otherwise you're just making bad excuses, not to mention you're drawing more attention to your low GPA. At least one school (Michigan) explicitly states that "it is not worth your time to explain GRE scores or your GPA".

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