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Getting in Grad School with 2.2 GPA

usna_rejectusna_reject Posts: 1,533Registered User Member
edited December 2012 in Graduate School
Has anybody here gotten in Graduate School with a low undergrad GPA?
How can I make up for this?
I have a BS in English and have been out of school for 3 years now.
GRE was low too.


To make it worse...I want to apply to Yale for History of Art.
Any feedback would be great. Thanks.
Post edited by usna_reject on

Replies to: Getting in Grad School with 2.2 GPA

  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Posts: 3,080Registered User Senior Member
    Has anybody here gotten in Graduate School with a low undergrad GPA?
    Yes, a few people have, not many.
    How can I make up for this?
    It will be hard and will take some time.

    First of all, you need to identify exactly why you got such a low GPA. And I mean the real reason, not whatever you tell/told yourself to feel better about it. Then fix it. If you cannot, then you will flunk out of grad school even if you get in.

    Second, you need to demonstrate academic excellence. The best way to do this is to find some reputable university that will allow you to take some grad-level courses related to your desired grad specialty. Then ace them all. Take a bunch - I would say you probably need at least 3 solid A's, and probably more.

    Third, get some experience in the field that will garner you some research credit and some contact with people who will write letters for you. This is often one of the most difficult things to do for people out of school, but it is essential - you really need someone to attest to your excellence in doing what grad students do. It REALLY helps if these people are professors as well, especially if they are at your schools of interest.

    Fourth, get a better GRE score. Not sure why your GRE was low to start with, but fix it.

    Finally, broaden your aspirations. I am presuming (from your dread) that Yale is a top school in Art History, and that means you are competing against people who had near-perfect undergraduate records. Considering your starting place, you may need some astronomical accomplishments to make them pick you over Paul Perfect with his 3.98 GPA.

    Like I said, this is not complicated, but will likely take years and many thousands of dollars, just to get to the point where SOME grad programs will take you, much less TOP programs.

    Good luck!
  • usna_rejectusna_reject Posts: 1,533Registered User Member
    Thank you for your input, very helpful.

    I went to a military college and the workload combined with the stress was damaging to my grades. In addition even though I was a straight A student growing up, my high school did not prepare me for college level math and science.

    I'm active duty Navy and with my schedule I had to squeeze in study time for the GRE. I almost had to cancel my test appointment too.

    I love Art and would love to be a teacher. Maybe now is not my time :/
  • aigiqinfaigiqinf Posts: 3,937Registered User Senior Member
    What preparation do you have for a graduate program in art history? If you want to be a teacher, job prospects are not great for elementary, middle, and secondary art teachers. If this is what you really want, you might need to look at an MAT or second bachelor's degree.

    f you're looking to "teach" at the college level, you should know that you go to graduate school to do research--not to teach. And besides, it's not worth paying for an MA out of pocket to become an adjunct and teach 12 online sections of "Survey of Art History I & II" for a compensation package of $1,000 per course.
  • seraphzseraphz Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    Uh sorry, I think getting into graduate school with 2.2 GPA is a near impossible. I heard people getting in with ~2.9 GPA, but they graduate from ivies with several 1st author publications and letters from famous PIs...
  • usna_rejectusna_reject Posts: 1,533Registered User Member
    Thanks for the reality check.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,120Registered User Senior Member
    Perhaps you can find a local master's level university, find a professor in the area you wish to pursue, volunteer in his/her research for a year. If you can take some graduate courses, too, as a non-matriculated student, that would help.

    Then see if that professor will support your application for a probationary status as a master's student. You would likely be required to get high marks in ALL your grad classes, but if you prove you have fixed whatever caused the 2.2, you may be able to get in.
  • JenJ13JenJ13 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Yale is out of reach imo. But to say you can't get into "a" grad school isn't true. I've noticed a lot of people on this board can be a little discouraging when it comes to not having perfect grades in undergrad. I've known plenty of people who have been able to attend decent graduate schools with 2.5's on a provisional basis. While your gpa is quite low, I do think there is hope somewhere for you. Question, what was your last 60 credits like? I've noticed a lot of schools tend to look at the last 60 credits. Like someone else said, take your GRE's over. I would also try to take a related extension class before applying.
  • jontaejonesjontaejones Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    In my experience, it totally depends on what field you are going for.

    Art History does not seem to me to be a high demand graduate field, but I could be wrong.

    Therefore, there will be some schools looking to fill spots. Maybe not Yale, but still.

    That said, a 2.2 in Art History is pretty inexcusable.

    Go get some work experience, do well on the GRE or take non-Matric classes like other suggested. Or all of the above.

    After that, I'm sure some place will take you.
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