My experience: On the "strength" of great GRE scores but a terrible through-junior-year GPA, I was admitted to one unfunded history MA program - the one at my undergrad alma mater. No sense paying for grad school, so I declined. Worked my butt off to earn a 3.8 in the spring of my senior year, then took paid internships over the summer and into fall to think about what I wanted to do.
The fall internship inspired me to pursue graduate studies in a totally different field - and I was able to apply with an innovative research proposal PLUS a strong upward trend on my transcript to offset a barely-3.0 overall GPA. I got accepted to a bunch of places, funded at three and will start at Indiana U. in the fall on a full assistantship.
Work your tail off this year, do some research internships next summer and fall, then apply for the 2013 admit cycle. You'll be a much stronger candidate.
Last edited by polarscribe; 05-29-2011 at 08:39 AM.