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GPA Below 3.0

excelblueexcelblue Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
edited December 2010 in Graduate School
If I have a GPA that's slightly below 3.0 (eg. 2.9s), have I pretty much screwed myself permanently for grad school? I'm currently an EECS major at Berkeley and am thinking about doing CS in grad school with a goal of eventually getting a PhD.

I'm currently in my third year and have a bit of research under my belt, but it's nothing too impressive.

In terms of how my GPA came to be: I've been the ambitious type to take the most challenging courses in my major all at the same time, and as a result, I get high grades in the courses I'm most interested in, but also very low grades in those which I just had to push aside in the repeated times where I had to do the "time triage". As for grade trends: it's just been getting more and more unpredictable with more As and Cs but less Bs.

My actual major GPA is hovering right above a 3.0 right now.

Did I just screw myself at getting into any serious grad school? Or, will the GPA become less of an issue if I enter the workforce for a few years?
Post edited by excelblue on

Replies to: GPA Below 3.0

  • polarscribepolarscribe Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    There's a number of grad schools, including ones at quite respected universities (Indiana, Clemson, etc.) that don't have hard GPA cutoffs.

    Getting professional experience will definitely help.
  • WilliamCWilliamC Registered User Posts: 785 Member
    Don't take the advice anyone on a message board without first talking seriously to your professors (the ones you'd be getting your LORs from), your school's career services office, and anyone you know who's actually out of school and working in your field.

    That said...

    Schools publish that 3.0 minimum GPA in order to thin the herd. While you're about to graduate from one of the best programs on the planet, your GPA will still be an issue.

    My recommendation (after 35 years in the field): enter the workforce, get your employer to pay for part time graduate study, and enjoy your 20's while you're single (assuming you are single) and have some money. Then, once you've moved up a couple of job grades and management is starting to ask you if you're interested in the research/engineering path or the management path, begin to plan to decide if you really want to dedicate yourself to graduate level study.

    Good Luck!
  • excelblueexcelblue Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    Job prospects are actually really nice in my field, and it appears that getting a graduate degree has pretty much zero benefit in terms of job prospects. In fact, it can hurt in the sense that experience is absolutely critical (at least for any job title that I'd ever like to have) and grad school takes away from that.

    So, for me, grad school is 100% a personal goal.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    I wouldn't pursue graduate school solely as a personal goal, unless you're independently wealthy. There is a real opportunity cost if you're not interested in eventually pursuing directions which require a graduate education.
  • nevermoreenevermoree Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Hey..you have a year left to step up your game. Do it.

    I was in a similar situation this time last year at a similarly prestigious tech school. I took tons of hard/grad classes and had a low(er) GPA. In the past year I busted my ass (well, with regards to everything BUT grades - I just can't seem to bring myself to care about them) and by the time application deadlines rolled around, I had a couple of papers submitted, a couple of cool/patent-pending projects, and another paper in progress. As of now, I'm in at at least one "serious grad school".

    Your gpa is pretty much what it's going to be by now. You can bring it up some and you should certainly keep it from dropping, but work on the other stuff. Find some legitimate research opportunities and work on making sure you'll have good LORs.

    Oh and make sure you apply to more than MIT/Caltech/Stanford/Berkeley. :)
This discussion has been closed.