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EE Grad studies - Canada with low gpa

  1. Feb 16, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I need your advice here. I am in my last term in EE in a fairly reputable school in Canada (or so they say). Due to a variety of factors, my gpa is pretty embarrassing (I am looking forward to graduate with a 2.6x gpa)

    I understand this is well below the 3.0 line for grad studies, which I am very interested in. However, I am not interested in spending an extra year just to get my gpa above 3.0. Some of the reasons why:

    - Many of the courses were really a measure of how well students can copy assignment solutions and labs.
    I am not interested in spending a year cheating. There were courses in which I got A's on the midterms, and others who got C's, but consistently copied assignment solutions, got a better final grade. Professors know and they couldn't care less.

    - Extremely incompetent professors: with few exceptions, almost everything I have learned was from self-study. We have a professor that doesn't teach anything at all (keeps talking about his family), another "head of a department" who occasionally gives us hints he lacks the basics of electrical engineering (and ridicules people who argue with him), not to mention some foreign professors who have accents so heavy that you can't even tell if they are good or bad professors.

    - bias: I am not entirely sure of this, but as an international student, there have been situations where I felt there was preferential treatment towards local students. Ironically, most professors who are like this are foreign.

    - Financial issues, tuition is pretty expensive at this school.

    I am not entirely blaming the school for my bad grades, I've been through pretty tough times during the last few years and was generally in a horrible state.

    Ironically, most of the grad students in this school are from foreign countries (including my own), where I know you can get a 3.0 gpa with a fraction of the work I do. You can easily tell that some of the TA's are entirely clueless.

    I really, really, don't want this to be the end of it. Judging by impressions from my personal projects and research work, I strongly feel that I have something to contribute to this field.

    Is spending an extra year/term the only way to get in grad studies? If, say, I graduate with a low gpa, and do some work on my own. Does this mean anything if I apply to a Masters/PhD program?

    Your advice is highly appreciated
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    It sounds like none of this is your fault and the school has nothing to teach you. Why stay another year? My question is, why did you spend four years at a place that was so terrible?
  4. Feb 16, 2016 #3
    I keep wondering that too. That's why I am looking for ways to make up for my low grades without having to stay in this place for longer.
  5. Feb 16, 2016 #4


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    To the OP: I am from Canada, so I'm curious as to which school you are attending. If you don't want to disclose this information in this thread, send me a private message (you can do this by clicking my ID handle in this post and click "Start a Conversation").
  6. Feb 16, 2016 #5
    I can release this information 3 months from now ;)
  7. Feb 23, 2016 #6
  8. Feb 23, 2016 #7


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    I can't speak specific to engineering, but in Canada most graduate programs require a minimum 3.0 just to be considered for admission. So if you really want to pursue a master's or a PhD, you need to find some way to raise that GPA. In Canada it's common to weight the GPA more heavily towards your more recent years - some programs will look at only the last two years of study, for example.
  9. Feb 23, 2016 #8


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    While 2.6 GPA isn't stellar, it is enough to graduate and get into the work force. Once there, many employers do offer incentives and assistance for you to get into grad school. If you (or your employer) are paying your way, often grad programs are more lenient in letting you in (relatively speaking ie you will likely get into Grad school if you are in the work force for a year or so, especially if you follow up with a good GRE exam score).
    As for getting a job, I had a junior engineer with a similar GPA to yours and he far excelled above the other engineers who had typically much higher GPAs. Of course he had some good reasons for his less than stellar GPA, family, kids, job, all while attending engineering school full time.
  10. Feb 25, 2016 #9
    While I did not attend this university, I have withdrawn from one back home because of similar reasons (attended for less than one semester). You did not capitalize where you should have! It is like this everywhere..Professors don't teach anything here too. They just walk in, read from the slides, and go to their next class. It actually does sound like you are blaming the school for your mistakes. In my honest opinion, I don't doubt that you worked hard..but almost all university education is like this! so are you sure the right thing to do is to go into graduate school? I am sure it would be nearly the same. I have mental problems and am considering dropping out of education altogether, it simply does not suit some people believe me.
  11. Feb 25, 2016 #10


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    Do you really think that a sample size of less than one semester of classes at a single university is large enough to conclude "all university education is like this?"
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