No chance at a decent grad school?

Oct 21 '13 6 Last Comment
Oct 21, 13 6:12 pm

Hi, I'm a 3rd year undergrad pursuing the 4+2 path

My first two years of college were really bad... suffered with depression and didn't have it under control until the summer after my second year

My gpa is currently 2.5 (I failed one course - psychology)
I'm trying my best to raise it to a 3.0 but I'm already in my third year... 

I go to a relatively decent undergrad (UVA) so I really need to go to a graduate school that is on the same caliber if not higher (I actually would love to come back to UVA for grad school)

My plan was to work for 2-3 years before applying to graduate school but with a low gpa would anyone even hire me
I know that a strong portfolio is the selling point for everyone but how much does gpa account for and will graduate schools understand my situation with the depression and whatnot? Is it necessary to tell schools? 


Oct 21, 13 6:22 pm

I had a 2.444 after my second year...did great freshman year and bombed sophomore year. I was able to raise it to a 3.2 and was accepted to grad school with a generous aid package. I was deans list for every quarter after I got the "wake up call." It is possible but you have to be willing to change your entire approach to academics and get rid of any bad habits you may have picked up your first two years in the program. 

Change your approach to academics and the portfolio will follow suit. 

Oct 21, 13 6:30 pm

I recommend this for all students: focus on learning, not on grades. Oddly enough, grades will follow. It's also important to get to know your profs, as real people, not as people who are in between you and a grade. You will probably go to a 3.5 or above in your last semesters. Email me at punkmotorcycles (at) gmail and we can do a phone call to get you on track. GPA is important but grad school admission is a mix of GPA, GRE, portfolio, recs and essay.

Oct 21, 13 7:30 pm

An employer will rarely if ever ask for your GPA, they will mostly only care about your portfolio and resum, so in that regard I wouldn't worry. As for Grad schools almost none of them have a minimum, GPAs dont' tend to be a very good indicator and they aren't relied upon as a result. My undergrad didn't even give out GPAs, just a "Pass/Fail".

I wouldn't sweat it, and like gruen said, its way more important that you glean something from the course that is useful than it is to get good grades. I agree with their other points too... good relationships with professors can become some of the biggest assets you have upon graduating, whether they employ you themselves or refer you to their contacts.

Oct 21, 13 8:37 pm

^Most grad schools say 3.0 

It's not a hard minimum at any schools, but if you are too far below that it seems like a pretty tough obstacle.

On the fence
Oct 22, 13 2:13 pm

See about taking the psychology class again.  Some schools will allow you to take it, then ask to have the first time (the F) dropped from your record.  Ask a counsolor or admissions what their policy is.  Just a suggestion.

Caitlin CopelandCaitlin Copeland
Oct 22, 13 7:01 pm

Remember, schools get your entire transcript when you apply. An admissions officer will see that even though you bombed the first two years of uni, you pulled yourself together and ended up doing well. I think this shows a certain characteristic that is desirable in a student... Admissions officers look to see if you are a good *student*, this doesn't mean you get the highest grades, but that you have a set of characteristics they find desirable and complimentary to the course.

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