Getting into master's program with 2.3 gpa

I want to know what kind of masters programs i can expect to get into.

I took me 6 years to finish undergrad, since I didn’t declare my majors (math and statistics) until the end of my 3rd year. My cumulative gpa has been heavily weighed down by my first three years, when I was taking general eds and I was on academic probation every other semester. My low grades are not in my major courses.

I know that many masters programs require a 3.0 cumulative gpa just to be considered for admission. But I am also finding many programs that have a 3.0 requirement specifically during your last year or two, which I meet, or they don’t have one at all. I did a lot better academically after declaring my major and I had a B average in higher-level math and statistics courses.

I also have research experience in a biostatistics lab on campus. Unfortunately the project I was a part of did not get published, but my LOR from the professor should help a lot. I had to learn a lot about statistical methods in genetics and I presented many publications in the field to the lab, as well as doing programming for analysis.

My goal is to get into a reputable masters program so that I can find a good career as a data scientist or researcher. But I don’t know which schools are good-enough and if I could get into them.

For example, the University of Minnesota has no gpa requirement for applicants, so I’ll apply there but I know they’re pretty good for stats so I don’t expect to get in. Oregon State also has no requirement, but I never even heard of them and I don’t know if they’re actually good for stats. I don’t know if I’m not likely to get in there, or if it would be easy but I shouldn’t even want to.

Some other programs whose admission prereqs I meet are virginia tech, knoxville, university of georgia, georgia tech, Illinois UC, and george washington university.

I’m not trying to get into a top program but I want to get into a reputable program. Is that a reasonable goal for me?

Do you have work experience ? If so you may not need a masters to get your goal.

You should talk to an admissions counselor at each to determine the reality. I can’t imagine they would want to admit a 2.3. And if you got BS in math classes, that’s will be a difficult hurdle.

Have you taken the gmat or gre ? Are you looking more business analytics which may be in the b school or data science, some of which will be in CS.

Your list seems heavy. You might ask UTK. But my guess is yiur more likely to end in a So NH type or Carson Newman level school.

Hope I’m wrong.

Ask though and you’ll find out.

Most I see say 3.0 for all but a school like MTSU says minimum 2.75. Might they make an exception ?

I think your list is way overreach. I do think work experience helps, especially if it will be in the b school. And a test can help.

But again talk to admissions counselors - they’ll be honest.

If I had to guess from what I see on the web, you’d likely end up in a more regional/directional school - and potentially even online.

Why not get a job? math and statistics is highly employable… and your undergrad GPA becomes less important the more experience you have.


I am not sure how this will impact your applications.

However, I had two really bad grades in undergrad that pulled down my GPA quite a bit. Both were in art or art history classes. As a math major, my impression (based on my actually admissions results) is that graduate admissions just did not care about these grades at all. My total incompetence as an art historian apparently was not of interest to mathematicians.

My best guess is that this will help you quite a bit. Also, ending with three strong years should also help you.

My suggestion is that you contact graduate admissions and/or professors at a few of the universities that you are considering and see what they suggest. Remember that graduate admissions is not the same as undergraduate admissions, and that graduate admissions is very much dependent on the specific department/program/major.

To me the main issue is whether you are qualified to do well in the graduate courses and related research. You most recent three years, plus your grades in math and statistics and related courses, plus any relevant research and work experience that you might have, seem to me to be the most important indicators of how well you are likely to do in graduate courses.

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I’d agree with this - if the student crushed it in other courses but it doesn’t appear they did.

But I do agree with your strategy and if the student had no chance, I do believe admissions would be up front with the reality of the situation.

My guess is the student will have to go to a lesser pedigree school - but frankly, with a degree in math, the where may matter less in the corporate world.

I think of the data scientists that support my team - and they are less about the data and more about getting in into dashboards for others to use. They don’t even understand what the data they are using means - so I’d also talk to some data scientists about what they do day to day and to ensure it is something you want to do.

Can you take one upper level math or statistics each semester at a reputable university near where you work and do your utmost to get A’s? A few A’s before you apply would definitely help.



Get a job, and then your work experience will be a more prominent metric than your undergrad grades. Also…that work positive experience puts some time distance between you and those grades, and shows that you have the stuff to achieve well.

And you may realize that there is a job out there that does not require an advanced degree at all…or at least right now.

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I plan on working for one year before applying to masters programs. The main reason I want to get a masters is the higher pay and more employable

What do you consider a lesser pedigree school? For example I’m interested in Oregon state because they’re a research institution, and they’re very easy to get into for undergrad which makes me feel like it’s attainable but I don’t know how they rank for grad programs

Oregon State is very well known. It’s a Division 1 PAC 12 university. It’s also a Tier 1 research university. Also, it’s a nice college town with good living standards.

There are 3000+ colleges in the country and you won’t have heard of them all.

I suggest you apply widely. Good letters of rec will be helpful. I also agree that taking a couple of classes at another university and getting A’s will help. Good luck.


Well they mention 3.0 on a four year degree.

Again, you can ask but I think you are dreaming. But you should ask these questions of admissions - they will be honest.

If you work 3-5 years, it will help - maybe significantly.

I’d look at directionals (Northern Illinois, Se Oklahoma, etc) or regional types - but again Middle Tennessee state asks a 2.75.

Or less competitive privates - ones you’ve not heard of.

But again, call admissions. They want to help steer you right. If you want a name, maybe it’s more Idaho State than Oregon State.

But truthfully I don’t know. But if you believe the Oregon State website you are a no. But set an appointment with admissions and ask. And don’t eschew schools like Montana or South Dakota etc.

Good luck.

But again I’ll remind you - do you want business or cs - and if you can get work experience, it’s going to help a lot. And many will require a test.

Good luck.

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Depends on the job. Don’t assume an advanced degree will make these happen…just because you have an advanced degree. Many places value good work experience more than an advanced degree.

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Yes, I just sort of glossed over the “B average” in math and statistics classes and did not pay much attention to it.

@Johnny_L What sort of grades did you get in classes in your major for your last three years of university? This might matter more than your overall GPA.

Mostly Bs and ABs, a few As and a few Cs. I was hoping that would meet more of a minimum requirement for showing that I can do better in those classes than my overall gpa. I wasn’t expecting that to impress them, I’m expecting my research experience and LOR will carry a lot of the weight.

Again, the question to me is, you listed top schools but then come back with an Oregon State who clearly says a 3.0 in undergrad. You’re not even in the ballpark.

Not saying it can’t happen. But only these schools themselves can guide you.

Where did you graduate from ? Do they offer your major in grad school?

Graduated from UW Madison but I don’t meet their grad school requirements.

I must’ve missed that on oregon states website but I wasn’t just interested in that school. Georgia tech is one that doesn’t have a gpa requirement. UI-UC wants a 3.0 on your last two years, which I have. Viginia tech and I wasn’t under the impression that those are top programs… are they very hard to get into?

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Apply and find out.

And on those that State a 3.0, call and ask. We can’t tell you.

But I’d assume those are minimums but a 2.3 will be difficult at any school, especially big names. Or call and talk to them.

We are not AOs.

No one can give you a true answer.

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Do u have a gre or gmat.

Ga Tech says they have 1k applicants for 100 spots.

They are unlikely to pull in a 2.3.

Also they have course pre reqs? Do you meet these ?

You can apply and they might not say minimum 3.0 but that doesn’t mean they’ll take anyone.

This is the kind of program that may take you - as they note provisionally. It’s online - is that ok?

The school is fully accredited - you can see about the major. But at any school make sure the overall curriculum works for you. In addition look at Central Arkansas and Arkansas Little Rock - both less prestigious but legit. They don’t list gpa but a third party article says 2.0. Btw - snhu is legit regardless of the tv commercial rep.

At any school you apply, ask for career outcomes. I’ve read over and over data science people aren’t necessarily majors in it.

You might also look up data science people on LinkedIn. Where did they go ? What did they major in? What is their actual job duty ?

I just looked - . Ours did applied applied stats at Kennesaw State but again is building dashboards and not analyzing.’m

all top programs are hard to get into. Assume 3.6+ GPA, A/A- in all math courses, top GRE math score (90%+).