11 09

Undergraduate research low gpa

undergraduate research low gpa

Is your college GPA abysmal? Are you worried this will keep you from being able to attend graduate school? While a low college GPA will limit your graduate school options, it does not necessarily mean you have to kiss your graduate school dreams goodbye. Here are some suggestions for how to compensate for a low undergraduate GPA in your graduate school application.

Be realistic. Many of the top graduate programs will do an initial culling of the applicant pool based solely on their GPA and GRE scores. A low average undergraduate GPA for admitted students can bring down program rankings, and many of the top programs receive far too many applications to truly be able to consider each application individually. If your GPA does not make the initial cut, then you will not be considered for admission. Before you send in your application, call the program and ask them if there is an undergraduate GPA cutoff. Make sure the programs you apply to are willing to evaluate your application as a whole.

Don’t ignore your bad grades. Graduate schools will see your undergraduate transcript as part of your application, so if you have a low GPA, be prepared to explain why. Most graduate school applications have an additional optional essay where you can explain any extenuating circumstances related to your application. Use it to explain your low grades! Some applicants have poor undergraduate GPAs due to outside family or medical issues beyond their control. Other applicants may have come into college pursuing a major that was too challenging or did not interest them and gotten low grades in their first two years that brought down their GPA. (How many pre-meds did you know coming into college? How many of them switched to English majors by junior year?) If your low GPA was due to extenuating circumstances, such as family or medical issues, or because you spent the first two years of college trying to be pre-med and failing many of your graduate schools may be more willing to overlook a low GPA, provided the remainder of your application is strong.

Distinguish between your major GPA and your undergraduate GPA. Graduate schools are generally most interested in how well you handled classes in your major, since that is the field you will most likely be pursuing in graduate school. An English department, for instance, may overlook some bad grades in science if you did exceptionally well in all of your English courses. If your major GPA is significantly higher than your undergraduate GPA, be sure to point that out in your application.

Still worried about your low GPA? Check back soon for more tips on how to compensate for a low GPA.

This entry was posted in Admissions and tagged applications, graduate school. Bookmark the permalink.

If I have a low GPA in undergrad, and want to get into top ...


  1. Mocigiguwey

    It seems that your so called high gpa hangs between 3.2 and 3.5. That is not even close to a research lab or a academic journal club minimum requirement. I have been working as a researcher for more than three years and i haven"t seen even one fraternity memeber among my peer.

  2. Buzewihonudise

    The Institutional research office found that high school GPA with familial support and realistic self-appraisal appeared to be potential indicators of student"s first-semester GPA.

  3. Nopoyeruce

    Want to increase your GPA? The key, research suggests, is in your sleep!

  4. Kofoxayequju

    1 thing that surprised me when doing qual research on mult measures was variation across CCs in HS data already collected. At some schools, this was easy bc they were ALREADY collecting HS transcripts through adm process for all students putting GPA, grad date into data system.

  5. Ciqoqupaz

    Research shows that 98% of institutions are losing more people with above a 2.0 GPA than below. Life, logistics and psycho-social factors contribute. Wraparound supports and well-informed, caring adults are necessary to address the non-academic factors. caelconf

  6. Gusehijanab

    Agree! I see these extremely high GPA students doing poorly in grad school. No research intuition.

  7. Mofexatogosey

    There are some many talented students who want to learn, to discover, to research not because they want to get a good GPA but because they enjoy the experience, the process.

  8. Fezizicupe

    No but I hold leadership in student organizations, volunteer clinically and non-clinically, about to start research in a lab, and have a 3.9 GPA. A job won"t make up for horrendous academic performance. You won"t make it if that"s ur GPA.

  9. Padacagavoyo

    A2 Do your research before you apply! Make sure the school is a good match ( GPA, scores, etc ) AND fit ( location, major, size etc )

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