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2.8 GPA, grad school?

  1. Aug 10, 2015 #1
    I graduated with a BS in electrical engineering with a 2.8 something GPA (can't remember the rest of the numbers ) I know it's bad. I was wondering if there was any hope for me to go to grad school? I was lucky to find a good paying job related to my degree despite my 2.8 GPA.

    I agent to school full time and finished in four years. During those four years I worked 30-40 hours a week during the school semester and worked during some of the breaks and even hold two full time minimum wage jobs one summer. It didn't leave me with much time to do anything but sleep and even then that was hard sometimes. There's nothing I can do about my GPA now. I'm not really content only working 40 hours a week and that's it. I wish to go back to school for a masters. I know that most schools require a 3.0 so I feel like theres no hope. I'm sorry to say but I worked my butt off while in school to get the grades I did while working. I want to take one class at a time while keeping my current job during evenings or weekend courses. If there's no hope I wonder if I should get another BS to get a 3.0. If I can get a 2.8 while going to school full time and working g full time I'm position e I can get a 3.0 taking one class at a time and working 40 hours a week. In fact the summer I had 2 jobs I also took signals and systems and got a B+. So I've done it before at the undergrad level.

    I really want to go to grad school but feel that there is no hope because of my 2.8. What do you recommend I do?

    I graduated without any debt and had no scholarships and was even able to buy my first car for 5k in cash
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2015 #2
    It will probably be very difficult to get into grad schools with a 2.8 GPA. Let's get that out of the way.

    But master's programs are not quite as difficult to get into as Ph.D programs (though they aren't fully funded as often). If you want to get into a grad school, look around, apply to a few of them that don't set hard minimums for GPA, and most importantly, the rest of your application has to be stellar. You need stellar letters of recommendation. GPA is only one part of an application, and it's possible for the professors to admit someone with a lower GPA if they see that the student has potential. So you have to show that you have potential with the rest of your application, which should be amazing to make up for your GPA.

    Remember: a 3.0 GPA is the bare minimum to stay in pretty much any graduate program. The rest of your application has to be strong enough that they'll be willing to take the chance that you will be able to maintain that
  4. Aug 10, 2015 #3
    Do you think getting another degree would help. I think computer engineering and ee overlap a lot and wouldnt be many credits more. So that in combined total I could get over 3.0 or would just hurt my case more?
  5. Aug 10, 2015 #4
    Are you willing to work harder than you had been working to get the 2.8? If not, then forget it; you won't make your GPA better and could possibly make it worse.

    If yes, then check the math to make sure you can get 3.0 or better with As, commit to being more diligent, follow through, and, if necessary, point out on your grad school application that you improved in your later years through hard work.

    Best of luck!
  6. Aug 10, 2015 #5


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    If by graduate school you mean a course-based master's degree in electrical engineering there may be a little more leeway than for someone trying to get into an academic and competative program (i.e. if you were going to try to get into an engineering PhD).

    You might want to correspond with someone in the programs that you're interested in and check out what they have as official requirements and they might have some specific recommendations on what you would need to do to meet admission requirements.

    In an academic and competative program, a 2.8 GPA would require significant upgrading.
  7. Aug 10, 2015 #6


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    Does your place of employment have any ties to local universities? It quite possible you could be placed in a graduate program through work if such programs are offered.

    At any rate, as you're trying to obtain an MS in electrical engineering I think your work experience may contribute some (if not possibly more) to admission acceptance. Your low GPA is by no means a killer. Have you checked to see if you'd be able to take MS courses through out reach/industry programs? Some larger universities will offer these to working professionals/local industry (on a class by class basis) without the same strict admission requirements. That could help push you upwards academically. Maybe if schools near you offer something like this: https://students.ucsd.edu/academics/enroll/undergraduate-enrollment/non-ucsd-students.html

    You probably have options, I'm just not that familiar with them. What was your GPA in the last two years of university?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  8. Aug 12, 2015 #7
    I am under a similar circumstance. I got a low GPA (2.95) in Comp. Sci. however mine is due to having to work full time in order to support myself and my family. It's difficult to get good marks when half of your day is spent earning a living and paying bills instead of studying like many other students. That was in the mid 90's. I have been working in my industry ever since and I am now looking to get into a grad program in physics and so I am taking core engineering physics courses in the Fall (which I never took) so I am hoping that if I get A's in those they'll see that I mean business and will let the GPA slide.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
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