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Thread: Applying to MURP programs...worried about GPA.

  1. #1
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    Applying to MURP programs...worried about GPA.

    I will be applying to several MURP programs in the fall, and I am very concerned that my GPA will hinder my chances of being accepted into the schools of my choice. I still have one year remaining before I receive my Bachelor's, but at this point my GPA is only 2.6. I did the math, and if I get straight A's next year, I will be able to just reach a 3.0. Getting the A's is not the problem; I know I can do that. My real dilemma is that I want to apply in the fall/winter for Fall 2007 admission, and my GPA will not be a 3.0 when each university receives my application. I battled clinical depression for the first two years of school (garnering a 2.3 GPA). The past year has been really great for me, receiving almost all A's, but I am worried that schools will automatically reject me because I don't have 3.0.

    I feel stuck. I know that my GPA is in no way commensurate to my intelligence or abilities, but I feel like these schools are going to discount me completely based on GPA. I have excellent work experience (although not related to Urban Planning & Development), and I have great references from professors and previous employers. I know that they say professional experience and GRE's can compensate for a lower GPA, but again, I'm concerned that I will be disqualified right away.

    So if you are still reading at this point--thank you--I don't know if anyone can even really help ease my mind about this, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I am most interested in urban redevelopment and revitalization, and I am applying to the following schools:

    University of Michigan- Ann Arbor
    University of Minnesota- Minneapolis
    University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
    University of Wisconsin- Madison
    Rutgers University
    Cleveland State University

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    They will see how well you did over the last few semesters. I had a similar situation. I went back to grad school after a few years and my undergrad GPA was 2.5 or so. I took four semesters of undergraduate work and averaged a 3.8 or so. I'm guessing they see a lot of applications with low GPAs in the first couple of years of school.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    At risk of sounding like a broken record:

    -your GRE score will give you a chance to revive your application
    -your personal statement another
    -your transcript (showing the recent improvment in grades.)

    My final advice, based on what I've heard from the schools I've visited (one being Rutgers):

    Communicate. Start talking with the schools now. You can nonchalantly bring up your situation and they will very likely tell you ways to strengthen your application.

    Incidentally, I'm a Minnesota undergrad alum (and there deosn't seem to be many of those here.) If you have institution-specific questions, I can try to answer. My undergrad was in engineering.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    when applying, i would explain the low grades by mention the extenuating circumstances during your first two years of college. you can then cite your recent grades as being more representative of your abilities.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I am in the same boat, except I do not have one more semester to redeem myself grades wise. I did a little better than you in the GPA (and I do mean a little...) Check this thread out, as it is of the same topic and further along. Chock full of info it is... http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21983
    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

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    Cyburbian shishi's avatar
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    P-statement, GRE scores, and Letters of Req. will be more important. Explain the low GPA and work hard to get the grades up this year.

    The P-statement really seems to be the most important aspect of your application.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    This is thread is from those of us who went through this last year. Enjoy our posts and see the outcomes in the "I Have Been Accepted..." and "Decisions...Decisions" threads.

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...lication+blues

    Cheers!
    Kim
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    "a holistic approach"

    I too am starting my search for a planning program, and also have a low (I forget exactly: 2.7-ish) GPA. I do think I will do well on GREs, though (I am blessed with that gift.) Nevertheless, this afternoon I called the planning departments at FSU and Cornell (two randomly picked programs with 3.0 "requirements." To quote the Cornell woman, "Oh, apply honey. Don't worry about that." The woman I talked to at FSU said that the university forces them to put down a number, but that the department prides itself in its holistic approach. So don't worry too much! Show your passion in and work hard the other parts of the application and everything should work out ok.

    Cheers!

    Josh

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Nobody says you have to right to Grad School either. The more work experience you have, the less the GPA matters.

    I'm doing a MS in Civil Eng now at Drexel, with barely a 2.5 undergrad and a degree in Geography no less.....but 10+ years industry experience.

    The personal statement is what got me in, that and I requested an interview.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by njm
    Incidentally, I'm a Minnesota undergrad alum (and there deosn't seem to be many of those here.) If you have institution-specific questions, I can try to answer. My undergrad was in engineering.
    Also, if you ever return, I forgot to mention that I grew up near Milwaukee and am acquainted with Madison. However, there are many from SE Wisconsin who may be even more helpful for UW and/or UWM.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

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