Jump to content
Epaphroditus

Explaining below-average UGPA and weird courses?

Recommended Posts

I'm applying for PhD programs in religious studies and am wondering if I need to include a note about my undergrad GPA in my SOP. It's not horrible (3.46 on a 4.3 scale), but not exceptional either. I'm finishing up my second master's (not uncommon in my field) and my GPAs for both masters are above 3.8. 

I'm also wondering if I should explain this because my undergraduate transcript has at least one C from my freshman year and some withdrawals from courses, not to mention random coursework (Political Math anyone? Astronomy? What was I thinking...). I know I'm competing against students who knew exactly what they wanted to do from freshman year and who have 3.9 GPAs, so I'm just wondering if it's worth the sentence or two in my SOP. Perhaps mentioning it will raise concerns that weren't even there? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adcoms expect that a 17-18 year old is exploring their interests, taking unrelated courses due to the schedule/an easier class to balance against heavier courses. They will assume that was what you were doing -  unless you make a big deal over it and try to explain it away.

 

Just focus about your strengths; you have plenty of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm a) old-fashioned about this and b ) just a pre-candidacy graduate student, but I think it's weird when people don't have undergraduate coursework in like, art and oceanography. Where was your curiosity? Didn't your school have distribution requirements? Even if you've always known exactly what you wanted to do, didn't you want to learn a bit about the rest of the world's kinds of knowledge? You have two good master's in your subject, it's clear that you are now committed—and it is not a flaw not to have been committed by the age of 17.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.