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.

Chemistry grad school with a 2.8 gpa?

magnetamagneta Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hey everyone, I'm looking for some advice about graduate school (I'm finishing my BA in chemistry this spring). I graduated a full year early, finishing my undergrad in 3 years because of AP credit, summer courses, etc.

Anyways, I think I overworked myself, and my GPA is looking rough at 2.88 right now. No one in my family has ever gone for a PhD so I'm completely unsure what are "good" schools, and what mid/low tier schools I could have a reasonable shot at acceptance. I'm hoping east coast (looking at NYU (reach?), Wesleyan, Stony Brook, UConn).

More details: Haven't taken GRE (next week), minor in physics, research since freshman year (~1.5 years so far), will be submitting some papers for publishing soon. Assisting in the chemical stockroom for my last year.

I feel like my bad GPA is killing my chances and a lot of deadlines fall before the end of this semester. I did some math and I could realistically get up to a 3.0 by January if I keep my grades where they are at.

Help recommend schools please?

Replies to: Chemistry grad school with a 2.8 gpa?

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 3,059 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    I encourage you to talk to your chemistry professors and graduate students at your college if there are any about what advice they can give you. Some grad programs require a 3.0 to be considered, so your GPA is a concern. In some fields, students with weaker records start by getting a masters degree first to show that they are capable of getting good grades. Also, your choice of a PhD program will depend on what specialization you are looking for.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,673 Super Moderator
    In graduate school, which universities are well-reputed depends on the individual program/department. Cornell, for example, could be really excellent in some fields, mid-ranked in others, and not competitive in maybe a few others. As Cheddar said, talk to your chemistry professors for recommendations that align with your background and your research interests. You can also look at the NRC's doctoral rankings: https://www.chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-/124713

    Don't limit yourself geographically yet. The program's reputation and strengths in your interest areas are more important than location, and you might find yourself excising some really good programs if you don't consider nationwide (although of course you can narrow down from there).

    What is your major GPA? Most doctoral programs would not seriously consider a candidate with a 2.88 GPA, unless there is some extraordinary circumstance (i.e., you're a noted or strong researcher in your field already). However, you can mitigate that by doing an MS in chemistry, and/or working for a few years in the field doing research.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,147 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    If you can get over a 3.0 by graduation (and over in your major as well), it might be worth taking a gap year so you are presenting the best possible application. And I think you have to be realistic— I think with a 3.0 you can get into programs, but they are going to be at places like directional state or non-flagship state universities. And the stipends will be small and VERY hard to live on. But if you can get one in a place with a low cost of living and wrangle summer research positions as well, it could be done. If your job goal is industry, not academia, this could work out. PM me if you want — I had a STEM kid with a GPA just over 3.0 apply to grad schools a couple of years ago.

    Your other option is to pay to get a masters.
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,618 Forum Champion
    @magneta - welcome to the forum! Your GPA below 3.0 will make it very challenging to get into a PhD program immediately. Starting with a Masters to prove that you can handle the coursework will be a good way to eventually move into a PhD program. You should also look into the possibility of applying to the ACS Bridge Program (just search for it) if you qualify for it.
Sign In or Register to comment.