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History Ph.D. -- Am I completely boned?

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I'm applying for Fall 2011, pursuing topics in the history of education (specifically the history of the social sciences/history curriculum in American schools) and also have research interests in collegiate history pedagogy. I am planning to apply to several programs I seem to have a really good fit with, especially Indiana University, which has a Ph.D. minor in the Teaching of History that's right up my alley. I've been in contact with profs there and at other schools who seemed very enthusiastic, moreso than I perhaps originally anticipated (one even said that her school would probably be the "best fit in the country" for my research interests). Profs have been really cool and one even contacted her old advisor (at a more highly ranked school) to give me more options.

Sounds fantastic, right? One big problem: I am not sure if my GPA totally bones me. In History of Education Ph.D. programs hosted by Ed schools, I'm pretty sure I'm okay with my 3.5-3.6 (with a 3.9 in my major). I also have a few W's because of a family emergency that occurred last year. I'm presenting at one national conference this upcoming spring, and probably another in fall of 2010, and have a pretty stellar writing sample already that I'm polishing with an eye to eventual publication in a history of education journal, I'll have glowing recommendations, and undoubtedly a really good SoP. I'm just worried that my GPA will absolutely sink me. I never thought I'd be in a position where I was embarrassed of my 3.5, but I am now.

Everyone says "fit is the most important thing." How does it factor in when the school where 3 professors seem to be actively "courting" you has an average GPA in the program of 3.8? Am I driving myself absolutely bonkers over nothing?

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I'm applying for Fall 2011, pursuing topics in the history of education (specifically the history of the social sciences/history curriculum in American schools) and also have research interests in collegiate history pedagogy. I am planning to apply to several programs I seem to have a really good fit with, especially Indiana University, which has a Ph.D. minor in the Teaching of History that's right up my alley. I've been in contact with profs there and at other schools who seemed very enthusiastic, moreso than I perhaps originally anticipated (one even said that her school would probably be the "best fit in the country" for my research interests). Profs have been really cool and one even contacted her old advisor (at a more highly ranked school) to give me more options.

Sounds fantastic, right? One big problem: I am not sure if my GPA totally bones me. In History of Education Ph.D. programs hosted by Ed schools, I'm pretty sure I'm okay with my 3.5-3.6 (with a 3.9 in my major). I also have a few W's because of a family emergency that occurred last year. I'm presenting at one national conference this upcoming spring, and probably another in fall of 2010, and have a pretty stellar writing sample already that I'm polishing with an eye to eventual publication in a history of education journal, I'll have glowing recommendations, and undoubtedly a really good SoP. I'm just worried that my GPA will absolutely sink me. I never thought I'd be in a position where I was embarrassed of my 3.5, but I am now.

Everyone says "fit is the most important thing." How does it factor in when the school where 3 professors seem to be actively "courting" you has an average GPA in the program of 3.8? Am I driving myself absolutely bonkers over nothing?

A 3.5-6 is not a bad GPA, especially when you have a 3.9 in your major and people seem interested in you and you're presenting and publishing. An average GPA is just that - an average - which means there are people who have below a 3.8 getting into the program probably on a regular basis. You just have a case of grad school application anxiety.

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Everyone says "fit is the most important thing." How does it factor in when the school where 3 professors seem to be actively "courting" you has an average GPA in the program of 3.8? Am I driving myself absolutely bonkers over nothing?

Fit is most important. You do realize that "average" means that some people's GPAs are higher and others are lower than that, right? You can't do much about your GPA now so why worry about it?

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