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Grad School Recommendations/Advice

JDotOperatorJDotOperator Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
Hi everyone, I'm about graduate from USC at the end of the summer term, but the thing is, my GPA is quite average. I started in January 2016 (spring admit) and my GPA is currently ~3.2. I failed a class my second semester and have a few C's. I did attend several community colleges where my GPA's ranged from 3.8 to 4.0, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to factor that into my GPA. Regardless, for my most recent 60 units, my GPA is around 3.2 as I mentioned.

I would love to apply for grad school at USC, but I fell like my GPA is too low for the PhD program in linguistics (they take about 6-7 students per year from what I've heard). So my plan was to apply to Cal State Long Beach and complete a masters degree in linguistics there and hopefully return to USC if I do pretty decent. What are my chances of being accepted? I'm going to graduate with a degree in computational linguistics, so I have the linguistics background - just fairly average grades in most of the classes. I did do some research (presented at the school's research symposium) and took a graduate level course in machine learning (which I thankfully aced), but I'm very concerned about my GPA since the admission requirements recommend a GPA of at least 3.0 in the most recent 60 units and I'm barely above that.

Any advice is very much appreciated. Any other school recommendations are also welcome. Or do you think I should try and work first?

Replies to: Grad School Recommendations/Advice

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,057 Super Moderator
    How much research did you do? Since you are already at USC, you can talk to your advisors and/or the professors you did research with about your competitiveness as an applicant to the PhD program there. Use the connections you already have! They can help determine how likely it is you'd be admitted to the PhD program there and elsewhere.

    My other piece of advice is not to get laser-focused on one program. Most successful PhD students apply to several different programs. Of course, the number should be guided by your career interests. Many students know they want a PhD and can't imagine doing anything, so they might apply to 7-12 PhD programs or more. Some students only want to attend a handful of schools to study exactly what they want and/or attend an elite program, and so they may only apply to 4-6 programs with a strong Plan B in case they aren't admitted anywhere.

    Why do you want a PhD in linguistics?
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