So you have great test scores, a killer essay, and the right activities on your resume. The only thing that might be holding you back from becoming a graduate student is your GPA. It’s never easy to look at our grades objectively, but if you’re really determined to get into grad school, you need to know where you stack up against other applicants.
Some people prefer to look at the numbers instead of the letter grades. But… does your GPA really matter?
You can get into grad school with a low GPA provided that you did well in your essay, tests, SOP, and activities section. But if your grades are all over the board, you will need to work extra hard during application essays and activities if you want to stand out among other applicants.
The good news is that you can improve your GPA by taking some courses that are rated as “easy” or “above average”.
You might not be able to fix your GPA with any course credit that is below average for either advanced or undergraduate courses at US universities, but you can raise it by taking “vocational” classes. These are courses geared towards helping students in industries that have a high demand for graduates, such as healthcare, IT, or engineering. The list of courses below is not complete because it’s extremely difficult to find out all the vocational course offerings at any given university. But if you know what type of education you want to pursue, try finding out what classes are offered by different institutions in your area.
What Is a Low GPA in Graduate School?
In general, a GPA of 2.99 or lower is regarded to be a low GPA. GPAs, on the other hand, might be judged and viewed differently by different institutions or academic programs.
When examining your GPA, colleges may take into account a variety of factors that might impact how that score is regarded, such as the program and institution you attended and the courses that contributed to that grade.
Your GPA is simply one component of your application to graduate school, and it is frequently supplemented by additional information. GRE or GMAT scores, verification of job or volunteer experience, and criticism from prior academic or employment superiors are also requested for some institutions.
Is it Possible to Raise My Undergraduate GPA After Graduation?
Yes, you may improve your undergraduate GPA by taking more courses. This might take the form of repeating certain classes that you struggled with throughout your undergraduate study. After graduation, you may pursue a second bachelor’s degree.
How to Get Into Grad School with a Low GPA
Grad school is an important transition in your life, or it can be. You’ve spent years honing your skills, pursuing a degree that you know is right for you, and have acheived countless things. It’s time to take your education to the next level. But many people are afraid of applying to grad school with a low GPA because they think they won’t get accepted or their performance will be held against them.
The truth is, however, that it doesn’t matter.
Whether you have a 2.0 or a 4.1 your admission to grad school will depend on you and not on your GPA. But it will also be based, in part, on how many applications you apply with and how many interviews you go through. If your GPA is low, you’ll likely need to apply to more programs and go through more interviews.
If you’re determined to get into grad school with a low GPA, here’s how:
1. Be competitive in your field. If you’re applying to grad school in your field of study, you’ll want your GPA to be competitive. This means you must work hard to make sure that graduate schools know what you can bring to their program.
2. Recruit research mentors who can give the committee an idea of what you are capable of. Research mentors are usually very senior or senior level researchers who work in your field and know your research well enough that they can say something positive about it during an interview or on a letter of reference. They may be able to give you a number of references that can help your case.
3. Be honest about the limitations of your research. You have to be honest about the limitations of your research during an interview and on a letter of recommendation, but do make it a point to keep things positive and stress what you can bring to a program rather than what else you might not know.
4. Keep up on the literature in your field by going to conferences and reading articles related to your research areas. Even if you’re not in a position to travel to conferences, subscribe to a few journals and read the articles online.
5. Keep a positive attitude. If you’re applying with a low GPA or even no degree, you probably already have plenty of things going against you in the process. Don’t make your application worse by being negative about it or doubting yourself when it’s time for an interview or when writing a letter of recommendation.
6. Plan a strategy. Know exactly how many programs you plan on applying to and how many interviews you’ll go through. If you have a low GPA, this will mean going through more interviews and going to more programs.
7. Follow up on your invitation letters. Most invitations are for a specific date and time, so if your interview is at 8 am, don’t assume that the letter of invitation indicated that an interview will be held at that time or that an applicant can just walk into the building at 8 am.
8. Read the instructions in the invitation letter carefully. You may or may not be able to arrange an interview before you depart for your pre-arranged interview, and if so, it will be with another committee. If you’re in grad school and conducting research in a particular area, any invitations that include that region of the country might also include research sites.
9. Make sure that both graduate committees know you’re applying for an internship or fellowship. If you’re applying to grad school and already have an internship or fellowship, don’t assume that they will take your application into account. Although it may be considered unprofessional to lie about having an internship or fellowship, it is best not to bring up the fact that you already have an internship or fellowship for this reason. Only if you can’t get any interviews and want to go apply for a different grad program should you mention that you already have an internship or fellowship.
10. Make sure that both committees know that you have an internship or fellowship already. If your internship is in a place where you can’t take a week off to go to an interview, make it clear that you have an internship and will only be able to attend the interview for one day or so. Ask if they have any options, such as indicating how long the interview will take and whether they will allow you to interview for a longer period of time after a weekend.