Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

GPA and Masters Program

CitanCitan Registered User Posts: 2,287 Senior Member
edited June 2008 in Engineering Majors
I am an Electrical Engineering student at UCLA in my senior year, about to go into my fifth year starting next quarter (Fall). I will be applying to grad schools next quarter so my GPA right now is the GPA I will put down in the applications.

The current GPA I have is 3.42 (Cumulative) and around 3.46 (Upper Divs). Yea, it's kinda low but that's cause I messed up in my programming classes (bloody hell). I will be giving GREs in Fall and am preparing for them.

Anyway, UCLA had a guaranteed Masters program but the GPA required was 3.50, so I missed the boat...but I only blame myself for it. Regardless, I want to apply to the other UCs for the EE Masters program and had UCI, UCSD, UCSB, UCSC and UCLA in mind (and maybe CSU SLO/Pomona as safeties). I am also doing research with a Professor (in Communications) atm, so I have that area covered. I would like to know if I have chances (if any) at any of these programs, because I am not really sure about the GPAs required to get in a EE Masters program.

Forgot to mention, I was a transfer student and my transfer GPA was 3.80. Will this be looked at too?
Post edited by Citan on

Replies to: GPA and Masters Program

  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,921 Senior Member
    Is there any way you can talk to the professor you're doing research with? Sometimes they might be flexible if you can have someone vouch for you. It's worth a shot, assuming UCLA is where you want to be.
  • CitanCitan Registered User Posts: 2,287 Senior Member
    Yea, I will try that...actually my top choices are UCLA, UCSD and UCI. I was just wondering if my GPA is good enough...
  • electrificeelectrifice Registered User Posts: 363 Member
    I am interested in this also... What is a decent GPA, especially for top programs? I know the higher the better, but good research experience is apparently equally, or even more important...?
  • tahncol86tahncol86 Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    For top programs, people with perfect GPAs with no research experience can get rejected. I hear that not "good", but "relevant" research to prepare for graduate school is imperative.
  • jjsoa1jjsoa1 Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    even for masters? I knew it was that difficult to get into phd programs straight from undergrad, but I was not aware that top masters were just as hard.
  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,921 Senior Member
    I got into Columbia, CMU, and UIUC with absolutely zero research experience.
  • tahncol86tahncol86 Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    Then I guess relative research is not required for MS. But still, research can only help increase your chances.
  • jessiehljessiehl Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
    For top programs, people with perfect GPAs with no research experience can get rejected. I hear that not "good", but "relevant" research to prepare for graduate school is imperative.

    This would be true if we were talking about PhDs. Master's programs are a different beast.

    I think you've got a decent shot at most of your programs. Your GPA is really not *bad*, and you're coming out of a very good school. Just make sure that you have safeties and/or a backup plan, get good letters of recommendation, do well on the GRE, and write a good SOP, and I think you'll be fine.
  • YOUYOU Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    ken285, what were your other stats? Did you pay the Masters on your own?

    OP, just wondering.. whether you could pull your GPA up to 3.50 and apply a year later.. get some research/work experience during that year..If I were you, I would rather wait a year and get into a better school.
  • CitanCitan Registered User Posts: 2,287 Senior Member
    I don't feel like wasting a whole year for getting a Masters, and frankly I am put off by the idea of working full time and getting a MS at the same time...seems like too much work and stress. I would rather be done with school as soon as I can.
  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,921 Senior Member
    I had a 3.5 GPA and a 3.9 or 4.0 in-major GPA. GRE scores was 800 for math, 580 or 590 for verbal, and a 3 for the writing section. No research experience, but I did have internships beginning the summer after freshman year and during the academic year in my junior and senior years. And yes, I paid for it, though CMU offered me $12,500 in exchange for some unspecified "service to the department." It wouldn't have been the workload of a TA/RA though... just odd things here and there helping out with research I guess.

    Citan, you say that a 3.50 would guarantee admission into the program. Does that mean people under a 3.50 can get in as well, but admission is not guaranteed? I'd apply regardless, especially since your GPA is so close.
  • nshah9617nshah9617 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    I agree with Citan, if you are borderline, go ahead and apply anyway. I'd have your professor to try to vouch for you and have a straighforward research goal for your personal statement.
This discussion has been closed.