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GPA and Grad School

dlstroud2dlstroud2 1 replies1 threads New Member
I'm wondering what graduate programs, specifically MBA programs, think about a student who started out poorly and worked their way up to a moderate GPA. Freshman year I didn't do so well and ended up with a 2.75 (BC/B-) GPA. My sophomore year I got a 3.0. Junior year a 3.6. And senior year a 3.9. Senior year (my last semester) I overloaded credits (22) so I could graduate a semester early. I ended with a 3.34 cumulative GPA. Will they see my progress as a positive? or is my less than stellar cumulative GPA all that matters? It's worth noting that my major was not that rigorous, a communication science and rhetoric BA; however, I did go to a pretty good school, The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Replies to: GPA and Grad School

  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Top schools aren’t going to be very forgiving, as they have plenty of applicants who were strong all the way through. Just as with undergrads, you should apply to some programs that are more of a match with your cumulative GPA. Some good work experience and strong test scores (GMAT or whatever they request) can help boost your application.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9481 replies117 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    MBA admissions is a bit more complicated than that for law, medical or undergraduate school.

    @distroud2: The content of your post reveals that you are unaware of the components considered by MBA admissions officers. The good news is that MBA apps are down for a variety of reasons. A 3.34 GPA, especially in your case, will not be a barrier in and of itself for any MBA program outside of the top 10 or so schools.

    There are about 470 fully accredited MBA programs in the US. Your GPA is fine for well over 450 of the 470 plus programs.

    It may be helpful to know that one's GPA only counts for about 25% of the admissions' decision for the top MBA schools.
    edited July 2018
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  • PublisherPublisher 9481 replies117 threads Senior Member
    It would be helpful to know if you are set on pursuing an MBA or open to a specialty masters degree.

    Have you taken the GMAT or GRE ?

    Any work experience ?

    Career goals ?

    Targeted graduate business schools ?
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  • xraymancsxraymancs 4682 replies19 threadsForum Champion Graduate School Forum Champion
    @dlstroud2 - Welcome to the Forum. When did you graduate? Have you been working for some time? Work experience is a plus for MBA applicants.
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  • dlstroud2dlstroud2 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you all for your input. I'm the eldest child, so my parents knowledge of graduate program apps dates back to the 80s. What I'm understanding is that a well-rounded candidate is better off than someone with just great grades. From what I remember it was similar for undergrad, but they still placed a lot of emphasis on test scores/grades. I just want to make sure I am a competitive candidate.

    I graduated undergrad in December and am currently working full-time as a Benefits Analyst and during school I worked as an HR Assistant, so I have a little over a year of experience under my belt. I don't plan on attending grad school until I have 2-3 years experience or the opportunity to go back to school while I'm working. I am currently studying for the GMAT. I've taken a few practice tests and my range is between a 650(lowest)-710(highest). I live in the Atlanta area so GA Tech, Emory, and GA State are my main focuses, but I do want to apply to one "dream" school out of the area.
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  • xraymancsxraymancs 4682 replies19 threadsForum Champion Graduate School Forum Champion
    With work experience and the upward slope of your GPA, you should be a good candidate for several schools in the Atlanta area.
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