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I need advice for grad.

  1. Jul 28, 2009 #1
    VERY low gpa (around 2.8)
    GRE V590/Q740
    MATH major
    no research experience
    one semester left
    I am a student at university of illinois at urbana-champaign.

    I know it is not easy to get admission for grad. school, but
    I really want.
    Actually, my major was CS and my CS gpa was under 2.0 for 3 semesters.
    so I changed my major to MATH. my math GPA is about B-
    (I took 8 math course and got B+/- except one course(C+))
    If I don't like to study math, I will not go to the grad school, but I really like.

    I have no idea where I can apply... Can I top 30? 50?
    Do I need to retake GRE?
    If I retake GRE and I got Q800 points, is it better than now?
    I will take GRE math subject test. If my subject score will be good, is it helper? how?
    Actually, I want to get research experience but I do not know how..
    just I directly contact any professor?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2009 #2
    You probably won't like my insight:

    Most institutions that I know of have a minimum GPA (set by the graduate school... not the department of interest)... and that minimum GPA is, at lowest, usually a 3.0. In this case, even if a department decided to admit you (and the weighting of factors and influence of professor contacts varies by the institution... so I won't comment on that), they would need to petition the graduate school on your behalf, just based on your GPA. In my experience, these cases are rare... generally departmental cutoffs after end-ranking are well above the graduate school cutoff. In the department that I was involved with (a physics department), there was only one case we thought MIGHT come up (where the student had a low GPA, but from a VERY highly ranked undergraduate institution), but when our final ranking of applicants was compiled, this candidate did not make the cut, so petitioning did not become an issue.
  4. Jul 28, 2009 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    With respect to reseach experience, yes, you can contact professors directly, or you can check with your department or academic advisor to see if they have any formal programs for placing undergradutes in research positions. Generally, it's best if you do a little research before hand so that you can speak intelligently about the kind of work you might be expected to do.

    Obviously the other issue is your GPA. As physics girl said, a 2.8 won't even make the minimum cut-off in most institutions, so you really need to try raising that as much as possible in the time you have left. Where there might be an exception is if your senior year marks are much higher and the low average is due to poor marks from a few years ago before you figured out you wanted to study a particular subject.
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