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Thread: GPA into grad school question.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    GPA into grad school question.

    A few of the grad schools that I am looking at require a 3.0 minimum GPA. Some require a minimum 3.0 GPA of your upper division coursework. My first year in college I was in aerospace engineering and my GPA got pretty shafted from that, so my current GPA going into this semester was a 2.89. My GPA for the last 2 years is above a 3.0, my Upper Division GPA is above a 3.5, and my departmental GPA (i am graduating with departmental honors) is above a 3.5 as well.

    So my question is, am I really going to get turned away from a school if my GPA is a little under what they require even though I am graduating with honors, I have written an honors thesis, done an internship, etc? The school that I think I most want to go to requires a 3.0 but doesnt require a GRE. After this semester, however, if everything goes correctly, I will have above a 3.0 GPA over all, but it wont be much over.

    Thanks in advance for any advice about this.
    Adam

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I was in the same boat, but didn't have aerospace as an excuse. In my application letters, I emphasized the GPA progression, and was accepted at 5 of 6 schools.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I graduated with a bachelors and have often thought about Grad school. (I'm currently working as a Planner I). My GPA was in 2.6 range. Is there a grad school that will accept that, or should I just keep working?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    most grad schools seem to emphasize the last two years, especially if there are significant improvements. Most of them acknowledge that new college students screw up some the first year or two while trying to "find themselves" or something. In your case Ramen, with you graduating with honors, the turnaround in grades may actually help you since application readers will likely be impressed with your ability to knuckle-down. Also, you already have a thesis experience, which will help.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    You all shouldn't worry about this. Planning school isn't law school. I know a few guys that were accepted here without the mandatory 3.0 GPA. But, they had to get a 3.0 the first semster to stay in the program. Most grad classes only give As and Bs anyway.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    I didn't have a 3.0 in undergrad (I think I had a 2.6) but in my major coursework in Political Science, I had a 3.5. They let me into grad school. I guess they assumed that if I am focused as I was in Poli Sci I would be focused on urban planning.

    Like Greenscapist said, I think worst-case scenerio is that they would give you 1 semester of probation where you must get a 3.0. Don't worry too much about this requirement. In most schools there are fewer students than the program could support. If they are under their quota of students what do you think matters more, a 3.0 GPA or a nice fat tuition check?
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    GPA is not the only measure, consider
    What was the subject of your Honors Thesis ?
    Where was and how long did you stay in your internship ?
    Who wrote Letters of Recommendations ?
    What other qualifying experiences do you have ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    It depends on the graduate school. Some look at the last 60 hours.

    Based on your record you would likely be admitted or admitted provisionally. In some cases the department may have to submit a letter to the graduate school recommending your admission even though you don't meet the minimum standards.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as your grades are consistently good.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I graduated with a bachelors and have often thought about Grad school. (I'm currently working as a Planner I). My GPA was in 2.6 range. Is there a grad school that will accept that, or should I just keep working?
    In cases like this graduate programs typically advise students to go out and work for a couple of years before returning to school. Now that you have experience working as a planner most graduate programs would take this into account as part of your graduate school application.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    GRE and Special Considerations

    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I graduated with a bachelors and have often thought about Grad school. (I'm currently working as a Planner I). My GPA was in 2.6 range. Is there a grad school that will accept that, or should I just keep working?
    If you make application for Grad School, consider:

    1. Taking classes to beat the GRE and get a great score.
    2. Work as a volunteer for something planning related....(parks advisory boards, homeless, and so on....)
    3. Get a certificate prior to grad school and get higher grades....would look good and give you that edge....
    4. Don't worry about it....if you want it bad enough, it will happen....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  11. #11
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    If you make application for Grad School, consider:

    1. Taking classes to beat the GRE and get a great score.
    2. Work as a volunteer for something planning related....(parks advisory boards, homeless, and so on....)
    3. Get a certificate prior to grad school and get higher grades....would look good and give you that edge....
    4. Don't worry about it....if you want it bad enough, it will happen....
    Yeah, but then I would have to go to class again and do homework and write papers like a thesis.
    Man, my mind is never made up. <sarcasm> I flip and flop like a true democrat <sarcasm>
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  12. #12
          roger's avatar
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    I think most schools would work with you, with the possible exception of the very highly selective ones. If you show genuine interest in their program and can prove that your GPA isn't indicative of your capabilities (which you can) then they will probably bend the rules a little for you.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I think it really depends on what schools you are applying to. Most of them only look at your last 60 credits, but some of them put more emphasis on other things like GRE, extra curriculars, references, etc. I know places like MIT and Cornell are very strict about GPA, but most others look at the collection of qualifications. I got in, I'm sure you will too.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Devils Lake ND.....WOW

    Quote Originally posted by Planner22
    I think it really depends on what schools you are applying to. Most of them only look at your last 60 credits, but some of them put more emphasis on other things like GRE, extra curriculars, references, etc. I know places like MIT and Cornell are very strict about GPA, but most others look at the collection of qualifications. I got in, I'm sure you will too.
    How's it going up there? Been to Rugby lately? How's the geographical center of North America doing?
    Skilled Adoxographer

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Belle's avatar
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    Don't sweat your GPA

    Unless you are thinking of applying to a highly competitive school, don't worry about your GPA as long as you can write a strong statement of interest/entrance essay. I discussed this with a fellow student recently (I just got my Masters in May), because my school had a high acceptance rate compared to application rate. I thought all my fellow students were well-qualified; therefore, I think that if you're interested enough to know that you want to go to school for planning (a subject most people don't know about), you're certainly smart enough to go to graduate school. And, as stated previously, most schools are perfectly happy to take your tuition check!

    So, complete your applications, have somebody proofread them, and send them in. Best of luck!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    The reason GPA is so important to schools is because the best indicator of future academic performance is past academic performance: A students usually keep making A's and B students usually keep making B's, etc. It is a much truer indicator, generally speaking, than SAT scores and other measures of "ability". (There are exceptions and I am one of them: my college grades were more in line with my SAT scores than my high school grades...long story and you probably don't want to know.)

    So, you need to tell them what you have told us: "I made a mistake by going into the wrong major and my GPA took it on the chin. When I corrected that mistake and got into the right major, my grades thereafter were more than sufficient to meet your requirments. Since the program I am applying to does not require me to be good at the things I did poorly in but does require me to be good at the things I did well in, that is what should really matter. Thank you, yadda yadda"

  17. #17
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FueledByRamen
    A few of the grad schools that I am looking at require a 3.0 minimum GPA. Some require a minimum 3.0 GPA of your upper division coursework. My first year in college I was in aerospace engineering and my GPA got pretty shafted from that, so my current GPA going into this semester was a 2.89. My GPA for the last 2 years is above a 3.0, my Upper Division GPA is above a 3.5, and my departmental GPA (i am graduating with departmental honors) is above a 3.5 as well.
    If they question you on it, tell them Planning is not rocket science and you have the grades to prove it.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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