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GPA Question

athenaNYathenaNY Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
edited April 2005 in Graduate School
Hi there!

I am considering applying for grad programs in polisci... I know graduate admissions rely heavily on GPA. Is there ANY way to compensate for a less than stellar GPA?

Also, if anyone comment on the role of affirmative action in graduate admissiosn as compared to undergrad, that would be great.

Thanks guys. :)
Post edited by athenaNY on

Replies to: GPA Question

  • harriharri Registered User Posts: 408 Member
    I don't have any experience with this, but I would imagine that the best way to compensate for GPA is to have great recommendations from professors and to demonstrate that you have great skill at research. Afterall, grdauate school for the social sciences is mostly geared towards research. Having impressive research that can get published probably really helps.
  • joevjoev - Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
    How less than stellar is less than stellar? 3.5 will get you into most programs while above 3.0 will get you into most 2nd tier grad programs. Below 3.0 you better have a stellar recommendations and a superb GMAT/GRE score. Below 2.5 you probably don't have a shot.
  • marianamariana Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    I would say also great recommendations and research experience, but I haven't been accepted yet (I'm applying also for polisci) so who knows. I guess it also depends on where you did your undegraduate studies
  • mol10emol10e Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    another route is to get a MA degree from a terminal masters program and then apply to a Ph.D. program. Admission criteria to MA programs are less rigorous and you can show the Ph.D. programs that you apply to that you are capable of doing graduate work.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    GPA isn't everything. When considering applicants for PhD admission the committee looks carefully at the quality/content of your curriculum. Often undergrad students start out in one major, don't thrive in it (and get bad grades) but then find their way and do much better. Of undergrads may take an especially rigorous and demanding program, perhaps at a school with little grade inflation, and get what may appear on the surface to be a mediocre GPA -- and yet be superbly well trained and ready to enter graduate school.

    We also look at your whole set of skills and experiences, so the GPA or even GPA+GRE are not the whole story. The quality and content of your undergrad experience, your math/stats skills, your knowledge of languages (if relevant to your intended speicialization), research experience, letters of recommendation, and your career statement all matter a lot.
  • vg1026vg1026 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Publications, presenting papers at conferences, and getting your advisor or someone who is distinguished in the field to call that school's department and recommend you.
This discussion has been closed.